11 February 2007

In an effort to distract myself from missing that darned lady, I've been hosting a rag-tag of pals so that they can laff at me and deride my pining.

I'd been going thru old files and came across this effort from around 2003 when I turned up at Bainbridge's San Carlos restaurant poetry slam and was so entranced by one of the readers that I wrote something for reading at the following year's event.

All these emotions are basically identi-kit, aren't they? I commented on this to Jeannie who read it and looked a little teary and muttered hoarsely that I should post it so she could read it again at leisure. Here it is - a bit cheesy by adult standards but with some lines that are above my usual game.

San Carlos Encounter

Do you remember me barging out the Carlos back door?
Tipping your book and cigarette and toppling you
Against the Texas number plate?

I was heading home but you put paid to that,
Practising out loud your poem. I listened
But heard not one word,Too mesmerized
By your crème brulé Carolina vowels
And the swell at the missing button on your blouse.

I bought lunch and you then lured me home to call up
Half the Hawleys in Ralegh to listen
In stunned silence to my clipped Brit fluting tones

We were accent junkies before we were lovers,
Even friends mocked how we must sound between the covers.
You threatened to trap our tusslings on tape
Dubbing them “Jeeves in dalliance with Miss NASCAR 1998”

We should have talked then, when the jokes were good
Before the wonderings where the other stood,
Talked when we had the chance and life turned on a glance;
Then when we shared a bedroom but not a bed at the end of a summer
At the end of a party, at the end of an era.

We should have spent all night talking,
Lying in the bed we never shared, afterwards
All sticky and warm, and you growling for a cigarette
While not wanting to leave my arms.

Talking at the wrong time has been our silence
Or, rather, not talking when there was still time:
When the chance of action, and so many small decisions
Could have been some sort of revelation.

Sometimes I felt that we lay down together
To dreams that never quite touched,
Our lives like parts of the same machinery,
Chugging past some sweeping scenery we never crossed
Because we didn’t say the word or we said it
And it was not heard or was heard and we did not
Take the penny at the precise moment that it dropped.

It was that not knowing, not listening, not speaking
Except endlessly to ourselves that landed us
There, where two voices fall a few feet into
Nothingness, making a distraction more noisy than
Niagara, where the swallows dive for gnats
And the cats watch the swallows and
The chance of any change is
What we also do not discuss.

Missing you is a kind of hibernation
Which ignores the seasons, or are they just on speed dial?
My daily walk down Madison takes me past San Carlos.
I think of you. I smile

1 comment :

rwellsrwells said...

nice to see this part of you - a little blood on the trackie...