Friday, 26 February 2010

3. 1871, she was outside a poem last week

om mani padme hum. There’s something glamorous in my inability to read these words, or so I think.
It’s like the time Anne-Marie checked out of a hotel somewhere leaving her sunglasses behind.
Shortly afterwards came a series of phantom kidnappings somewhere else.
How do you kidnap a phantom?
I don’t know, how do you kidnap a phantom?
When they found Josephine she was living rough, discoursing with angels.
I like it here.
I like the days when the sea is uneasy & eagles blow in on the blast & bite out my eyes.
I keep replacement eyes in this cabinet made by Harry Godwin.
OK, don’t be so unhappy.
Look at the beautiful way the meadows bend into the telephone call, make that sighing noise.
The noise she used to make when she burnt the backs of her hands with cigarettes.
I’ve got a postcard Otto sent me last year.
“Hello,” he says, “how you doing?”
“I’ve not thought of you for years.”
“Who are you?”
But that’s why aesthetics has its part to play in the War on Terror.
Watch your back & don’t ever look back.
They may be statues, but they ooze 100% genuine blood.
The tour is drawing to its conclusion.
We dawdle over obituaries

discuss who died
whilst eating kedgeree.

When the total eclipse came
we were drinking champagne on the balcony.
You wore the dress of rare butterfly fabric.

Tomorrow is Wednesday
& the menu might change
so you make a hair appointment
and we must leave.

In the harbour the yachts turn with the tide.
We haven’t bought any presents or sent postcards.

The press wanted to speak to you.
I feigned an epileptic fit.
You shouted at the waiter
who made the sign of the cross

it was almost checkmate.

Everywhere is closed
we can not get what we want.

Battleship grey
the footprints in the hall

they all add up.

I notice your handbag

the mystery of birth

the red dress

the fog of war


Queen Mary docking in New York

the photograph of a child.

This is not the road to the ferry
but Oberammergau.

I still remember you smiling over the dinner table in candle light

It is spring
so we discussed books, listened to music

yoga, origami
we painted our nails pearlescent

and the singing was fabulous. fine. coral like

then your graceful bow.

My hand comes up to the bridge of my nose with the thought of Mahler, Veronika and moths.
Rennecke huffs loudly as she is trying to pin the sleeve.
They are butterfly sleeves.
Veronika sent a dead butterfly to Joe’s wife in a pearly envelope – such lovely paper.
I have to hand it to her for subtlety.

Butterflies are Hera’s spies.
I was never subtle.
I met Joe in the café outside the opera house every morning while his wife was home suffering and pointedly ordered divorce pastries.

He was amused. He has always loved attention. I remember talking about the story of Paris and the Apple with Susan. She said, “ you’re an Aphrodite so watch out”. And it’s true. I like parties and pastries and lying around. And men love me, I can’t help this. I remember walking Heinrich Heine Allee im wunderschönen Monat Mai thinking about Joe, thinking about Otto, thinking about potatoes but mostly Joe. I thought nothing of the truck driving by until the half chewed apple core came flying out of the half open window of the passenger’s side hitting me clean in the forehead. Have to hand it to Hera for her subtlety.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

2. The Ghost Hotel (Room no. not Known)

He will look on me with love and has looked on me with love. He does look - but the present terrifies me as if I am sight singing a piece of music. To do so successfully means to have no grasp on whether there is success, to be unable to perceive the shapes as they are forming across my eyes. I like the past; it trails by nicely with its established paramecium like wiggles, just like the songs I’ve sung. I remember the concert with Veronika where I sang the Mahler and I had one of those blackouts in the middle-no idea of what was coming next. One of those where the body becomes a moonwalker feeling for anything the feet can recognize- well known to performers and the brain damaged. Really, there is no problem-what is the matter really with floating in space?

not crossing the road
at the zebra crossing

but behind the bus
the one that goes to you aunts

I dodge the puddle
in my new patent shoes

I know you are waiting
by the fireplace with martini.

Today is the anniversary of something important
not that is why we are meeting.

I notice the girl in red shoes
the fine flowers in the lobby.

When we leave the rain will have turned to snow
and we will adjust our coats

a man will offer us a free newspaper
on which the cover

shows us the remains of a train crash.

But I panic, having lost the notes of the code that will reopen the door to the spaceship. Then, I noticed a g minor chord jumbled in a heap in the corner of my eye jump up to reassemble itself and my mouth opened with quite beautiful sound. Veronika was in the wings, in a bronze gown, looking on with love and jealousy. She had yet to break my nose.

The room is full of birdsong.
I am not sure how we arrived.

Our fingerprints were taken
our eyes photographs

That day yours were pearls
you wore the red brick wall.

Mine were tanks
and mine fields. I wore torn tweed.

We counted boats in the harbour.
The harbour the romans made in roman times.

Then we went to dine on take away octopus
picked our teeth clean with little brittle sticks

watching boys throw stones at the windows
and the planes came in flying low

so we decided to stay and explore the amphitheatre
but it couldn’t be found.

i’ll soon get bored with iconography
that’s why he burnt down his niece’s cottage
nostalgia eats away at me
& earlier she’ll look at the sun for three hours in silence & then says
it’s a fish i don’t know its name
or there was something shimmers about living
in that high-rise which tore [Idea]
anne-marie’s dress
the next time i met otto i’ll hit him
he staggers but didn’t fall to the ground
some infants watched the whole thing I guess
they’ll be playing truant from school
i often play truant from school

& then she hadn’t eaten (before doing his gardening).

I went shopping this morning; I had already done the laundry.

I had already left (when you called).

We wanted to talk to you because we didn’t see you yesterday.

If you had asked me, I would have answered.

We would have gone if we had known.

So the impressive flower arrangements, the carefully contrived bees

were ignored by the guests.

None of whom came by tram.

I found your beautiful pearl shoes in the dark pot of strangers.

When you left in the morning I mowed the south lawn singing songs of tiaras

removes her dress then throws it over the back of the mirror
& i sniff at the fabric until she’ll return & beyond
yes if i had the contour for it i’d wear her dress
he has difficulty sleeping
a bare light bulb, also her resemblance to saskia

i got bored at school, that’s why i go there

i’m six years old & six feet tall

so we waltzed through the park, nothing distracted us, not a thought of silk manufacturing, nothing except the motoric joylessness of the waltz & its silence
cuts her left index finger opening a tin of peaches in syrup

no? we heart berlin

Saturday, 13 February 2010

1. Rennecke

Veronika arrived in a metropolis, labelled the metropolis, which was how she knew it was time to burn future maps. some part-docile, part-elongated animals snoozed in doorwayed shadows. Joe could not make up his mind: were there intensities of goldenrod & mechanised butterflies in 0.75 of novellas of the 1850s, or was the toyshop a front organisation for terroristic translated texts of the new empiricism? just as she was about to lose them, Joe found Veronika’s beautiful pearl shoes. no one loved the taste of potato soup more than Otto. it was Susan’s job to document graffito-ised bus shelters. "Stop fluttering about" Rennecke is telling me. Her mouth is full of pins. I like it when her mouth is full of pins. I like her implications of moth like behavior on my part because this is theater and moths are the first ladies of theater. And everything is dry here, years of water spilled and dried up leaving that smell that tells you once there was water and after that cigarette smoke. And the costumes smell like this and also like ghost, like traces of ghost sweat. Step out in ghost sweat and flutter against lights that slow time. then of course it all comes back

16 magpies in a tree

miles and miles of graveyard

the misty country lane

random cumulus clouds

talk old oaks

and as morning paints its lips

you promise me you will keep safe

in the summer when the swallows never came

I see you looking out of the window

near the railway station

I wonder what you see

by the red post box

by the chemists

over the humped back bridge

it isn’t straight forward

there are no warnings

and the pregnant woman sits in the cafe

then we are gone

like taxis, I’ve just told Rennecke: “I’ve never been to Düsseldorf.” she always believes a word I say, but now she certainly trusts me. there’s something horrifying about the light dripping down from the Düsseldorf sky this middle morning; it’s so speculatively usual, amnesia of all revolutionary discourse. & my left arm hurts. I don’t think it will ever recover, it’s been like this for so long. I can’t stop wondering if Otto shoplifts potatoes – I’ve eaten some toast, but that’s not the answer. a dead bird floats through the un-pearly sky reciting an alphabet and it’s night again, kind of. Soon I will be there and it will be limited space and I will walk to the dotted edge of that space. I will know in an instant when I’ve gone beyond and I will hesitate in a real hesitation. Not a fake hesitation, not the kind that is meant to demonstrate a change of thought. A real misreading of the internal compass and they will see it and know it. And I will think, this morning I was eating toast and it was just as awkard. I don't know what they see or what they don't. Otto looks on me with love. What for? He will be there third row or so.

We came here and stayed.

But nothing more is known or remembered.

Glazed ceramic. Polished table top. Ash tray.

Then in the dream you cry out so I stroke your back.

Soon it will be morning and we can drive to the ferry and leave.

We played chess beneath the deafening seagulls blown in from the coast.

And in your eyes a hint of the irish potato famine. Grey stone walls. Suitcase.

In the hotel the room was full of perfume.

When the rain came and we wept and walked through the gardens

under the cypress tree

full of hungers.