Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Not original but unexpected

How do love affairs start? Jana Nordmeyer, disfigured by naevus flammeus, has made do without love for much of her life until… well, that’s for those who want to read the book. And it’s been for me to solve. A more difficult task than you might imagine given that I’ve been her dominant, if unrequited, lover for the last eighteen months, finding it hard to let her suffer.

Carol Ann Duffy’s Rapture proved a useful handbook. Sixty-two poems, meant to be read in sequence, cover the beginning, middle and end of an affair, Sapphic but that’s beside the point. Love is love, although I wonder about CAD’s former lover, now engaged elsewhere (one hopes), yet able to read this monument to their shared passion at any time of the day or night.

They were modern lovers:

We text, text, text
our significant words.

I re-read your first,
Your second, your third

look for your small xx
feeling absurd.


They were, thank goodness, uninhibited:

…We undressed,
Then dressed again in the gowns of the moon.
We knelt in the leaves,
Kissed, kissed; new words rustled nearby and we swooned.


And when it went wrong:

Learn from a stone, its heart-shape meaningless,
perfect with relentless cold; or from the bigger moon,
Implacably dissolving in the sky, or from the stars,
lifeless as Latin verbs…


Not that I wanted to poach anything from these powerful, unique reflections. Other than the idea that poetry and love might co-exist in A Stall Recovered. Not exactly an original idea but one which I could never have foreseen when I started writing. The first time I’ve felt grateful to a Poet Laureate.

4 comments:

Hattie said...

I would love to read these. Will have to order the book.

Sir Hugh said...

How does a love affair start? That is the most inexplicable question ever.

Maybe scientists have already “discovered” that it arises from some kind of chemical interaction, and if so I don’t want to read about it - it is better that it should remain as an unexplained and wonderful mystery, which will continue to test writer’s skills providing us with infinite and fascinating interpretations..

Rouchswalwe said...

There is something in me that bristles at the internet dating services. It's all too supermarkety. I tend to think that a love affair begins when all of the senses are overwhelmed. This could be a subtle thing. But all of the senses of both people are somehow swept into play all at once. Then there's no silence anymore. Silence speaks, it moves the two. It's when the silence becomes quiet again, as before the meeting of the two, that the love affair begins to shrivel and die. At least that's my impression.

Barrett Bonden said...

Hattie: I've read and re-read 'em.

Sir Hugh: I'm not setting out to explain things at the molecular level - only to imagine what the event would look like to a third party. The further point being that the event has to be imagined - personal experience wouldn't fit the situation I have created.

RW (zS): I'm not not sure how I managed to trigger this response from you. I agree about the mechanistic nature of computer dating but only because I was lucky enough to find someone by the shockingly random, old-fashioned system. Although computer dating was not available at the time my mother became so worried about the feverishness of my unfructifying adolescence that she signed me up to the contemporary equivalent a male/female pen-pals scheme. The outcome of this was both amusing and self-flagellatory and I think worthy of a post. I should add that this salutary experience occurred in and around National Service and didn't solve any of the underlying problems. In the end the solution proved to be quite simple: move the hell out of Bradford and take up residence in London. Within months I met Miss T who became Mrs BB and that was that. Keep an eye open for the pen-pals post. It shows me at my worst.