Monday, 14 February 2011

A Poem for St Valentine's Day


It was around your neck, or I was, with my ideal hands
loose about your ideal shoulders lost in a storm
of ruffs and frills in the middle of a night’s sleep.

The sleep was silk, or I was, slithery with silence
in the rain that was an articulation of something
I did not understand but would continue to trouble

the sleep remaining to me. A wardrobe left open
always brings good luck, and maybe this was luck
folding out of the mud of the shower, in the earth

beneath the trees, where I, or it, or that sheer bolt
of silk lay unrolled, unfolded, my ideal body
curling its lip in disgust and, I must admit,

pleasure, at your neck and shoulders and your trees
and all the invited adulation of the rain
in that dead sleep where I was around your neck,

where your head emerged out of its shimmer,
or my shimmer, or that nothing that was sleep
or simply took the tree’s or sleep’s or my own form

and you lay there, pure silk, pure storm.

from New and Collected Poems, 2008


Anonymous said...

Maybe it should be retitled nightmare after Valentines day. All that talk of necks and things around them is making me think of millstones, vampires, perhaps even the hangman's noose- even the silk isn't a light scarf, but a great big damn bolt of the stuff! It is the pressure of Valentines day, to be more attentive or to even think of matters of the heart, it can all be a burden.
I for one, prefer it if people don't concentrate on my neck.... nothing good can come of it.

George S said...

I think you might have a problem with silk scarves. Strangling with silk scarves is a rather expensive way to go about the nightmare.

In any case, the neck is one of the most beautiful parts of the body. But then I am half Transylvanian.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I know....

George S said...

Not from experience, I trust.

Anonymous said...

I feel neither way about silk scarves- but my favourite silk related poem would have to be The silken tent by Robert Frost.
So... being half Transylvanian -and running with the whole vampire reference- is that like being 'well I like the blood but I can take it or leave it...' or like just having the one fang and a certain ambiguity towards virgins?

George S said...

Interesting question. I have never quite resolved it.