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TALK TO HER : A Prosaic.
(Idea for a Poem for two voices)
After the film by Pedro Almodavar
When I was young I was idealistic,
Like my daughter when the moon full and finished hangs
Like a huge goldfish bowl of light
Between the dark and angular slabs
I was, Ideal, I shone. My eyes shone. My hair shone.
My skin shone. I shone.
Like the moon shone
And the idea of the moon
Because she says we can't photograph this
Our perspective gives us a more perfect focus
And Image than we can ever reproduce
And I would dive deep into novels To find out about life.
And life itself dives deep into us
Like a knife
Like bitter surgery
I would eat novels for breakfast.
Surgery is after that which would eat us
I would eat novels at night.
Surgery would remove the piranha cell
I would read novels about Women to find out about women,
Women : these mysteries that men fear.
but the novels began to have the effect of eating rich Food in an overpriced restaurant.
I began to notice a vaguely unsatisfying but persistent Nausea.
When the world is coming to an end
When as a child we first encounter death
When those girls that were our friends
Where do they go?
When the boat sailing first so smoothly encounters the storm
We hold our stomachs
And turn as pale as cherry blossoms
Floating on the water
And I began to notice that many of these, mostly American novels, but not Entirely, Anna Karenina etc, were teaching me about how
to court women. And romance yes
I was learning the classical nausea of romance
The classical sea-sickness of love
How to Chase, but not necessarily what to do at the end of the chase,
And what do I appreciate now that the dance is over?
once a woman was courted And caught. And I began to notice that most of these women awaited only one fate :
I appreciate the obvious and the prosaic
That the men writing the novels did not appear to know what to do with a woman after That.
I appreciate that you brought me the orchestral Beatles music
That I loved and could not find
And I began to notice that a lot of the women appeared to have to die.
I don't like,
Gaylene, I don't like coming home at the end of the day
To the dark and empty house
There were Car crashes and suicides. You know the kind of thing.
I don't like the emptiness in the bed next to me
Like the emptiness under an ocean
The emptiness that makes death seem attractive.
I began to dread the end of the Novels and inevitably the end of those wonderful women. Consumption was often a Romantic end.
Very Dickens and now I think of the many meanings of that single word In our more modern world and somewhere in my dark and
unfinished soul I think that Many women today also die of consumption
I don't like the silence
Where once we spoke and I cooked for you.
Now, many years later, in my middle age
Perhaps I don't deserve things now that I am old
Perhaps we are only offered so many chances
So many bites at the apple
I miss us going shopping together
I go to see the new film by Pedro Almodavar and reflect upon what must laughably pass For progress one hundred years after Freud
and Virginia Woolf.
She who filled her pockets with stones and walked
Into the cold water
Why do I feel like I am drowning?
What does it mean that when I began this poem we were together
But at its end
I am alone?
The women now do not Need to die, but apparently they must be comatose. Unable to speak. Unable to have a Voice. So after all of
this and after years of talking to men about women and women About men and women etc, I would say, yes, Talk To Her, but also,
let her speak
And for Christís sake, when she speaks, listen.
Sunday, March 09, 2003
Second serious draft
Sunday, August 31, 2003
First composed and read live at La Mama Poetica : Monday 24th February 2003.
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