why I sing my blues

27 May

Is the title of an article I wrote for Global Comment. It was about Saas-Bahu soaps, and I tried to be amusing rather than acidic.  I might have failed.  Go judge for yourselves?  Yes, the title was inspired by a BB King song. I like him. A lot. No one’s perfect, so deal with it, ok?

It has been a while, though, since we had a pilfered poetry post on this here bogey, so I figured I would indulge us all and keep silent. A few words in credit: all the poetry that follows is from Annie Zaidi’s book Crush, which has helped me through many an unrequited time. I have imposed my own order on the verse, as I do each time I read this deft little book. I have read it backwards, forwards, sideways and with every random pattern I can generate and every single time it has found for me a story. I love that her language is simple and swift, that all the genius is in the way words are used, that if you don’t listen closely you might miss something until the next time you visit the lines. In the first verse below, for instance, how much she captures with such a basic pun!  But I am not a poetry critic and shall never attempt such a rarified art.  I love Crush almost more than I loved Known Turf. #‘nuffsaid

(More ‘Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens’ illustrations at BibliOdyssey, here)

The Progress of a Fight.

Once,

he told me,

he wanted nothing from me.

Once,

I refused to believe him.

It was an evasion I was to find myself very grateful for.

Break Up #1, Three months in.

I’d forgive you all your loves

if only

you’d forgive me my lovelessness.

Doisneau, 'Stairway'

#2. Eight months

My page is already too crowded

With verses to people, forgotten.

But every bland afternoon, or so

I cram in another line

for a forgetful you.

#3. Two years.

Even if I run?

Even if I cling?

Even if I let out my smiles on lease?

Even then?

#4. Two years, five months.

Heat

smoke

stink

lint

And this ankle-biting, straggling chain

Of the free pursuit of happiness.

#5. Three years, eleven months.

Now, I think, I’ll hold you yet.

And now I think, you’ll let me go.

… at this stage I lost count; besides, ‘breaking up’ became an abstract concept.

Year Four.

Hush! Have you nothing for me

but the noise of language?

Your ego-

My ego-

Weapons of mass destruction, guarding against

the consummate species we could be.

Go,

rot

in your stubborn silence.

I’ll be damned

if I break mine

….Why we persist. I think.

To think, I thought my spontaneous desire

Would, someday,

spontaneously expire

Waterhouse, 'Echo and Narcissus'

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