Saturday, 21 February 2009

Lopsided (4)

Me thinks I resolved the poem too neatly and with it the issue of memory and its taunts, haunts, demands and frailties. It’s been nagging me since I posted it, but posting was important, I wanted it out in the world, fresh, naked, and see if it could breathe on its own. It is good to have the blog as a sounding board, it helps me communicate with myself in interesting ways.
Working on this poem has been illuminating to me, as it brought up things that I hadn’t consciously considered before. The recalcitrance, resistance, unwieldiness of memory has become clearer. The mood of and relationship within the poem changed with the ‘knowing look’ –
I now have an opposite who wants to be reckoned with - unsettling and exciting. It was a surprise to see written: ‘I want speech of her’ - so true! Letting the poem breathe and change here makes me consider it a live thing, as is the process of remembering.
I’ll leave it at this for now. Made changes in the first stanza, clarified mood and direction. The ending is new. Still don't feel it's quite right, it will keep changing, you'll see.

Keeping time

She died a child, a sigh
breathed on a window.
From where she makes her play
for me I cannot say.

Finders keepers: her pale face
hovers, pain-pinched,
with a knowing look.
She clings to me like a bur.

Has she crossed these distances
to stand and stare?
I want speech of her,
not this stone-rose mouth.

I prod her, feed her lines –
she cries like a fox.
I touch her eyes –
those lids won’t close.

She keeps with me now
in my hoary house,
still as a picture.
Glassed under I heed her not:

Say my name! Say my name!

1 comment:

Nathan Walker said...

well hello,
long time since i've been on here too. some lovely words. some lovely work. i'm only showing some small zine type books and some badges in leeds. but i will go and see the fair so will get to see your work.
giving a talk on my practice today to MA students / staff, too much pressure. :)