Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Antidote/Uncle ( A Double A-sided Single)


When in doubt, pretend to be someone else.
This maxim has lifted – before being pushed back down,
me up from various deep, deep holes.
It was a relief, this morning, to let go,
like a silvery string tied to a helium balloon,
of myself for a while – to try putting something
someone else in its, my place.

Closeness in the air. Sticky sweetness of budding things,
pollens – cloying – but happy to have it here after
the long months of darkness – each day, indifferent
grey until the sun slides down its slow arc and makes
for delicious evenings which seem all at odds, variance
with the gloom that's been here.

A cure for all of this, for want of another although
not necessarily better word is the close attention
given/required for the following of a long film -
2 hours and sub-titled from the French.
A slow film in a slow location – antidote for
a fluttering gradually becoming absorbed -
almost as satisfying as reading a novel -
the two of us lost in a mutual novel

that took us on a – deceptive in its cold beauty -
journey into a snow covered landscape the air misting
as a morning mirror until we faded
the end credits in white letters
Courier font on black background.

You hear stories of messages tied to balloons
arriving on other shores, crossing seas to descend
in gardens, on beaches a world away

here, again, returning through the clouds
the old familiar string.


Unbidden, from nowhere, Uncle arrives with his nineteenth century whiskers
all rounded roundness and a welcome diversion from the long hours of sitting

In the garden, Uncle, although hardly built for speed
happily talks and works up a sweat keeping the ball rolling
turn-taking at being goal-keeper and joking
about ancient footballers, their names fading
in the history books – Nobby Stiles was one
although the real joke being that Nobby
had only stopped playing five years ago.

Uncle, wondering how to cope with the
embarrassment of asking the neighbours
if he could have his ball back.

Years later in the waiting room of a crematorium
the whiskers and the Henry VIII vastness gone
Uncle sizing me up and wondering if it was really me.

I'm not sure what he was thinking but I know
I bungled my words and what I said sounded all wrong
but as we wouldn't be seeing each other again
none of it really mattering just glad to get out of there
and back to the nowhere we'd all chosen.

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