Friday, 1 April 2011

Before the Honey

I clearly remember the last
conversation we had
before you honeyed me to death.

I recall you stood on
your last legs of youth,
determined, unexpected in my
front room, brandishing the
day’s newspaper like a
truncheon, smiling hard as if
your mouth was holding your
tired, suntanned skin on to
your face.

If I’m not mistaken you were
damp from a summer downpour,
hinting, pulling at sodden floral
cloth like dogs tug at
blankets for attention, uttering
pseudo-profound phrases
fresh from the footnotes of
organizational diaries, and
your gaze didn’t drift from me,
following me like
helicopter beams trace
urban criminals.

When I finally screamed and yelled,
demanded to know who
let you into my house,
you just laughed.
Then you held a dainty
finger to my lips like it
was the missing piece in the
indent of my philtrum, and
gravely accused me of
focusing on the negative in the
situation yet again.

1 comment:

  1. The best poetry, the best art, takes something we think we know and makes us see it anew, afresh. I think I read that in a book somewhere, or something similar... And I think if there is one last scrap of idealism we can wring from the barely living body of the artistic left-wing it will be some new and hitherto uncharted honesty.

    What I find here, and forgive me if I am misreading, is anger. And I understand I suppose some parts of the poem, if not all the events it depicts at present. Hell, the most immediate phrase:

    "brandishing the
    day’s newspaper like a

    rings bright immediately, though some of the more complex resonances arise only, perhaps, from more deeply considered personal experience. It was to me initially the best line in the piece, but I wonder if it might also be possible both to reveal more and simultaneously, to show those aspects of politics which might be transcendent of statements like "pseudo-profound". I suppose if you were to reveal more of the detail here in the poem, I might be able to understand more of the circumstance, and to read that through the poetry in a way that gives new visibility. Which is I suppose why I read poetry now, though only the contemporary poems of late. I think... hmmmm... again, sometimes it is difficult to out-think your own box when appreciating the poetry of others. There is something here that speaks to me directly of political experiences. Of a certain feelings of violation by people who are only now in public admitting conspiracy -- though of course I would be wary of using the word in most circumstances... those political unitings that seek perhaps first to group together, as the hunting creature might seek allies for a hunt before they embark, wildly barking with the blood of their hunted freshly scented as of another group than their own, and ripe to be broken by their grouping. Though I've never been much for those things myself.

    Because of what is a suppose the inverse of the above, I am not sure if there is a plea I can make to a fellow poet. They say poets are by nature individuals first, or perhaps where they produce their best work? Probably not always. But as far as the rules of literature thus far established would allow me to speak such things... if I saw there some bold humanity in this piece I hope that it is real and falls also off the page in the way the greatest writers and poets of the past always did -- though certainly they were never uncomplicated...