October 28, 2011
It’s so hard to write about love without being sucked into the great swamp of cliché. (That swamp is just near the level playing field and the field of dreams, incidentally.) Here’s a poem that attempts to avoid the swamp.
I’ve totally given up trying to make my poems copied onto here revert to single spacing; they just like to be double spaced. And who am I to argue with the muse of the computer?
Dangerous ground, they say; thick sands
tending towards the gluggy, or cloying
like dessert wine, just too too sweet.
Roll it round your tongue and spit!
say the many, divorced from lingering,
an evicted dog’s cold fleas, itching.
But that is not it, that is not it at all.
I realise that now, tottering past forty,
smorgasbord stashed in past’s
crumbed pantry of regret.
Hungover with experiment,
trapezed into performance,
the gourmet becomes gourmand
or abstemes self into shape.
But the shape of love is not six-packed muscle,
nor even delicate lines of balletic grace.
Love is a vegetarian at the butcher’s,
gapes of bed-socks beneath ageing dreams
and the practised caress;
an ideolect of touch and lapping
curled like a cat in memory’s ample gut.
Stretching, it rubs against the legs of so far and thus good.
Then it stalks out into future’s thin twilight, hunting for self,
in the deep dear shadows of the you and the now.