Thursday, July 31, 2008

31st July 2008

I was looking out poems to send someone and stumbled upon this:

LOVE WOUNDS (after Lorca)

"love wounds with light
love wounds with fire
the fire devours me: greyness surrounds me
love’s wound obsesses me
love’s wound that I cannot escape
that fills each inch of the sky
each blade of grass each minute of each day

I weep tears of blood which fall
on my poetry and stick
like enamel on a broken guitar
like rancid fat like grease which covers everything
my pulse has a heavy beat
the ocean weighs on me
a small stinging scorpion has taken over my brain

I live like a patient in a hospital bed
love decorates with a fever chart
I pass sleepless nights dreaming you’re with me
like an invading army encamped
in the ruins of my chest
where my heart was

I don’t want this. I want mountains
I want to wear sensible shoes and walk on the hills
but your heart drags me down a dark valley
a valley of bitter knowledge
and of poisoned flowers"

At the bottom I'd put a now unfamiliar name: John Clifford.

It started life as a translation of a sonnet, "Llagas de Amor" ("Wounds of Love") and I remember solemnly trying to make it into a sonnet in English, and failing, because although I could reproduce the form, just, I could never manage both the form and the poem's deep sense.

It got published in a book "Fire, Blood and the Alphabet" that was mostly the published proceedings of a "Lorca Fiesta" organised by the Playhouse in Newcastle to commemmorate lorca's centenary.

So that would be 1998.

I performed a long piece there called "The Night Journey" and (more or less) outed myself as a trans woman, which frightened me.

Nothing bad happened, of course.

And then when the book came out I performed "Love Wounds" at the launch party. It happened the same night as the televising of the opera based on my "Ines" and I felt quite high at the time; and I remember as I performed in the crowded bar I felt the audience totally with me.

It was the first time I'd felt that.

I'd related very strongly to the poem at the time, and I couldn't really think why, because I had no memory of ever feeling like that before.

Now, as I rediscover the poem, I find it expresses really powerfully what I felt years later - after Susie's death - in about 2005.

Sometimes I think the part of us that creates, down in the subconscious, inhabits an entirely different time zone. Where time doesn't go forwards, tick tick tick, but just, somehow, IS.

But I don't know.

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