Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A re-working of Odysseus

Odysseus Before The Window.

I hear a trumpet this night that sounds
like a heart squeezed between two dawns,
blown by the memories of footsteps
trod on other people’s lawns.

I can visualize the trumpeter’s thick lips
pursed with pain needing to be shed, her cheeks
inflated, walls trying to protect; a sound produces -
seduces the spaces between the disks of my spine
as I stand naked to this night’s ambiguous shrine.

It is an implausibly hot night, the air
a lair within my head to catch thoughts
that should have been put to bed.

This heat makes everything unreal.

Trapped before the window - a mast
in this city’s ocean of night - unable to flee
or fight; the trumpet’s sound creates me,
berates me, calls me home
and away again as it pries into my mind.
I grow fearful I might forget who I have become –
the choices that cannot be undone; the actions,
thoughtless and destructive, that litter…
sun-glinting bottles strewn beside a highway.

This Vincent night – the city’s colours melt,
merge, bend with sounds, with smells, with memory;
the stars pushing through the smog are not
right and yet their swirling bright attack on the dark,
like that trumpet, gives me heart as I stand in the front
of this open window. The belated breeze hounds,
the brick spits heat, my mind treads old sentences,
merges verbs to nouns, imagines a thousand possible
excuses that are swallowed before the lie is set to flight.

She stirs behind me – I remember
it was originally her smile, then the way her right
hand twirled her reddish hair; the blouse
spread and  the nipple not yet erect, kissed
and as I flared
I surrendered to the call of the beast.

I had hoped this was not a reality  
or that this me standing here
was not…

That the picture I had tried to paint
as my life

had become

and the trumpet was soothing
The Siren calling me out again.

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