I was young, I was clay I was given to looking out and there upon the train seat a gift from the universe A barely filled notebook no name, no number no way to find the owner it piqued my curiosity…
With pencil then, I tried to fill it with all my words, my wonderings my secret truths but it went nowhere just collected dust upon my shelf
A few months gone by still young, my paint still wet still at my most malleable Lying on the pavement there another present from the universe a gleaming fountain pen lid on, no engraving, no passer by no way to return it instinctively, I picked it up put it to the waiting paper
The flick of that scalpel nib the infinite potential, the promise… For the first time in my life I could speak without interruption get my thoughts straight, talk it over A friendship formed there that has never faded
Since that strange coincidence or you may call it providence I’ve always had a keen eye on the world for its quiet subtle gifts and moments Look up, look down, look out It’s all around, every day I am humbled by the wonder of nature and the ever generous beauty of existence…
You saw me, even then you knew me back when no one saw me I kept no one around who might know me I, too, was in my infancy twenty-something and far from knowing much in any real way at all
Still, somehow, you found me brought books of Blake to the shop we worked we’d sit and read together on the varnished wooden counter your summer dress hanging from you like a sail we’d admire the crazed paintings taste those verses on our tongues
Books of Blake we stood before and poured our minds all over you said I ‘didn’t know how to do what I was doing’ I ‘didn’t know how to love who I was loving’ the cheek of it! the incisiveness…
And you’d tell me of the bottle of wine you drank in the bath, the night before as the water grew cold around you cleverly planting images that I’ve not shaken to this day (all these years on)
You were a lush and tranquil island in the sea of my stupidity you were the first mind I truly connected with
And I still rue the day you slipped through my fingers growing cold around me then gone forever…
There’s no such thing as a secret spot in this college town where strangers are just friends of friends news travels faster than light Even in the dark they’re bound to see as we embrace before we could kiss word would have blossomed across town
These people live for gossip these people live for scandal I don’t want to service them and their rotten needs (by giving in to my own…)
There’s no such thing as privacy in the glare of these glass eyes tacked onto busses, buildings, banks Casually observing every action if you and I would dare to speak we’d be captured, saved and dated before we’d even finished in this mistrusting town
These people live for drama these people bay for criminals I don’t want to fold to them and their rotten needs (by succumbing to my own…)
We cannot touch in this post-code we cannot push the slightest limit there is no shade there is no dark corner we can dwell in there is no blind spot there are no closed eyes in this paranoid town
Perhaps you could meet me on a sea-front somewhere wet and in the torrential rain this country’s eyes will be blinking so furiously, that they don’t see the true, free love that flows in us and we may finally give in and we may finally succumb to our rotten needs
There exists a God in your body a deity in you, somewhere All who look upon you, they become detached from what they thought they knew from what they understood before And so begins the free fall… into a deep and glowing love for you
You are a carrier, spreading the seed of this great ailment throughout With each bat of each lash you do and with that smile and slow sure dance your words are bursting in my ears And so begins the free fall… into a deep and shining love for you
Thanks for reading.
Note: written into my phone in a club in Oxford early 2008.
Image Credit: Image is a still from the excellent film ‘Victoria‘ 2015.