Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Monologue - from Sappho.


                               from Sappho

I am lying in a dead body under the dead water. You are the distance. As I lie here in my body in the warm dead sea, you are the distance, the light at the top of the water, the arriving and the leaving. I stare across the field towards the buildings. So many lives inside that place they move in the light and hide in the darkness, the field inside the dream, where I climbed into the ground through layers of wires and posts, down into the soil to find your still living body, having been  there, down in the earth all this time, and we began to climb up through layers of pipes and posts, to move into the light of the field.

You are still dead, still there in some churchyard asleep in the soil and I wonder who thinks of your name, goodbye until paradise, until we meet again.  I touch the surface of the water. We have sat quietly and suffered the violence. Lost our interior lives. My eyes are against the water. My body is beneath you, being slowly deadened by guilt and its attrition. The water has covered my body and I am lying dead in the water. What a frenzy in my breast raged and by what cure to be assuaged, what gentle youth I would allure whom in my haunted heart secure, who does this fractured life subdue, tell me water, tell me who. You may live between the sand and the salt and the breath.

We woke inside the dead water. We were scared... like any newly born baby opening our eyes to a gigantic glow — we lived in the dead water, our dead bodies glowed, we were frightened... every knock, every word. We realised our panic was minute compared to the panic of the mirrors, and it flashed: We were invincible... because we were everybody. We held our bodies together in the dead of the sea. It is a life of attrition I live to refuse, under the cover of the dead water in my dead body I hold you to myself, you are still older than I am. You died so long ago. I believe that you are still moving through the world and through time, through this slow dead water, so beautiful and calm, the surface that I touch with my palm. I stopped being living for you.

And this will be your food, the salt of the water. And this will be your air, my blood and my skin. And this will be your light, the pulse of my chest. And this will be your sleep, the sleep of my body. Look up, so much beauty, look into the ground. Squint with me, into the middle distance, so far back and I am dragging you out of the ground. The escape is corroded. Your overnight balance. We go out of our minds and tear the skin from fish with our teeth. I am lying beside you forever and speaking this. You are moving close again, handing me an open paper bag. I long for your heart to move. It is still. The ground is somewhere, gone. Wind tears the scaffold sheets. But I can barely speak. I lift your body out of the water and begin to walk, holding you in my arms, barely speakable. Please fall out of the dead ground. So far away, and into the hungry earth. I stretched and lifted you into the dried up sky.

The birds are silent (while you remain), in the woods a complete silence of birds. The beauty of the skies I hold you there, Come then, I pray, grant me surcease from sorrow. We are no mercenaries, shaking children unjust in the soil, we are destroyed at inception, dead in the soil, dead in the water, the water is dead, dead in the sockets, dead in the chest. We are dead in the water and the soil. Salt will be our food. Kill the soil and the water, I want you to live again. These are my last words for you, the salt and the water, the birth and the death. Come away from dying, come and stare at me again. Grant the sound to cease from sorrow, quickly the light will follow. I watch the lives are destroyed. Give you limbs and teeth, life after life, up from the soil, up to the air, limbs and a chest and eyes to stare and the peeling deadened water and the mouth of the ground.

Of barely seen, hardly noticed, you were in grey and red, some yellow and the sun in your glass. Would I breathe at you, strobing yellow, grey flecks of red would my dreams haunt me you climbing figure dangling from the sand and salt stained in the sun on the white paper day I stare down into the bag there’s nothing in it the colours are flotsam we’d array love arrests my heart it has destroyed the mind is over is all that is left O, slipping contrast love robbed my heart.

I love to fall asleep, but I fall asleep to you. I am robbed of sleep and robbed from the heart. We lurch up together in the dirty water like wooden deckchairs. I think your chest is moving, or peeling away from the earth. There will be eleven more summers, you said. And my hand moved slowly across the soil. I am near to screaming for you, because you bob in the soil like a collapsed deckchair, close the sky and a little like the light that is coming to touch the sky, and I do not expect your chest to move, nor for your eyes to gently fall open, nor for the ground to give you back, nor for my breath, for paradise singled down to a tiny fleck of yellow in a sea of gray, or a few red bands. But I can hear your voice.

A bit of your voice, a tiny glint of how you would speak with a little creak fleck of yellow, red and tongue glint from the glass, but exactly where we were at this moment or trace of you in a carpark as I sat there alone like the soil. Sometimes buried to me or sometimes that one time so alive and climbing back into the world, older and able to move through the ground. And what you do to the heaving chest though never my eyes or the chest dusted in soil and never decomposed, just a piece of your light seeping into the gorgeous creaking ground.

How the loud sky tugs the tiny chests from the ground. I clench all of my teeth. Deep into the scaffold sheet howls the cladding wind, paper and gold, grey or gray, two strips of red, eleven new summers, I am the birth and the death and the light that is coming, the hopeless stunted light that is come to go again, lain against the water’s top. Red on red I am dead to hope I know not what to do: I have two minds. In doubt I am, I have two minds, one is grey, the other a hopeless splash of yellow or gold I know not what to do. With my two arms I lift your tired body from the speechless ground, so, like a child after its mother, I flutter like a scaffold sheet in the tearing wind. The eyes of my head scan tenderly left to right, the eyes in the sockets of my body in the water stare up at the soil through the salt at your chest. To me thou didst seem a small and ungraceful sea.

Now that we are allowed on the grass will you not speak. I will not speak. Your voice with a tiny creak. You drank in the water forever, every single piece of the water inside you, but you shall ever lie dead; it feels as though everyone has forgotten, that I alone burn for you to live, that tiny blotch of colour by the gate of the car park. Now we are allowed to go onto the grass you wonder unnoticed even through death folding into the shadows and fixed to the gloom where memory seeps away like the water you drink forever.

I clench my wet fists, shot up in colour. The killing of a wave in the colours of the field, the rain is done the sun is come. Circuits and the stars about the grey moon throw down their red beauty. I know one day that you will come, that your madness will step aboard the world, do not try to save me, stay in my arms. Do not save me again.

Down in the leaves press to my cheek the grassy eyes of the hollow bare ground. The motions of soil from the motions of the ground from the motions of water from the motions of your chest from the motions of the water from the motions of the ground to the motions of soil; I stand chest deep in your grave, my eyes gently scream in the rain. Why were the ground why were the chest why were the indicants of the field. Now we go are allowed to the grass and the grass for our feet is the life in the arc, we are falling and moaning, smiling and sharing, a prelude to taking you into the earth. I am stood in your grave neck deep, trying to dry out the last of my eyes. They will not come dry. They are like the dead water that won’t stop pouring into your mouth. Then never ending drinking of the dead water and the never stopping fleck of yellow or gold the grey and the grain of the floor, that pillar, the yellow tree in the corner, the birth and the death, slowly the death, lilting in the warm cool water, holding in a trance to our chests.

Sweet villains in the soil chewing the salt, I am so glad we’re allowed together to go out onto the grass, best to a tender front may I liken you to the quiet water’s top there was no other, no other sound but your quiet chest please come back to the grass, stir not the pebbles, I am standing in a grave up to my ankles and the rain has stopped, we are quite alone, with blushes and gently darting eyes; our kind voices reach up to the incredible colour, in the air, in the water, gathering chests and holding in the longing swell as soil to grey against red to the last fleck of yellow or gold creaking into the coming light.