1200 kilometres and one bottle of all-night-long scotch later, a 10-man reggae band called The Human Rights comes to my house and after partying euphoric until almost daylight, drapes its multi-limbs over every available surface and falls asleep, still humming.
Sometimes you just need a good shock to the system. This makes it possible to change, says the Russian Martial Arts Master.
Old and dear friends carry pieces of you and keep them safe. There have been two such in my life recently, for whom I have done the same. We exchanged old letters, things kept now returned. They returned to me many of my adult selves who’d been misrepresented in my memory- all of those selves are here in my studio now, chatting, getting acquainted. They are interesting, these new-old bits of me. But it has been a shock, to welcome them in.
So- a poem about shock.
open your heart
indeed it has been laid bare
all veils lifted even the final bullet
proof glass pulled aside
which cannot happen ever
without the key
The key of E minor hidden inside G major
the one-note key, long and blue
the uncomfortable incendiary note buried
but still glowing in the back of the closed
the forgotten closet, decades dark.
Damn it, you found me. You Bastard.
After all that work of building callous
practising the fine art of dismissal
my bespoke suit made from
the most expensive nonchalance,
so that I, I ‘present’ well.
inside a steel-ribbed corset
that keeps me standing upright
in my self-respect.
Oh yes: I own and appreciate my rigid.
Now, so now
Now there is a chorus of my wide open
hearts all singing discord
in the room, all tone-clustered
each note waiting for the next
private interview with bespoke me.
I have the gift you brought and left,
the small thing I know now
the incidental thing you returned to me
– that I have always had beauty.
It is a comfort, amid the ghostly caterwaul.
Open-hearted, I listen to the large issues
while the newly returned senses of my Beauty hear
the whispered question:
did you keep the key?
For both K and F, who recently reappeared out of thirty years ago, and M, who will at the end of the month.