Saturday, March 8, 2008

I long to hold some Lady

I'm into poetry.

Yesterday in a literary conference at the Salt Palace there were several moments that could have been composed into poems about my life. I was sitting alone on a pea green bench during a break and a small, doe-eyed girl from India came up to me. She had a pink balloon tied to her wrist, and she looked at me with more boldness than I have seen in a child. There was no shyness there. We stared at each other for a long time. Longer than was probably proper for a stranger and child to stare. Her parents were about 20 feet away caught up in a conversation about medicine. She pointed at my hair and then she held up her wrist to show me her balloon. Before I was able to speak, her father whisked in and carried her away, the pink balloon bobbing like a bird on waves.

There were two other events, one involving a teenage boy and one involving a Hispanic woman...maybe I'll save those experiences for another post.

At the conference a world renown poet explained the interaction of the poet and the reader with a metaphor (dare he use anything else!) He said that when you read the poems of a poet, it is as personal as sharing a kiss. This quickened me and I was full of visions of kissing various poets. As poets faces flickered across the gray coils of my brain I shuttered a little when Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson flashed there, but the the images stopped and rested on Mr. Cohen. I pictured having a long, drawn out, soft French kiss with Leonard Cohen....and the metaphor came to life with piercing imagery.

I Long to Hold Some Lady from The Spice Box of Earth

I long to hold some lady
For my love is far away,
And will not come tomorrow
And was not here today.

There is no flesh so perfect
As on my lady's bone,
And yet it seems so distant
When I am all alone:

As though she were a masterpiece
In some castled town,
That pilgrims come to visit
And priests to copy down.

Alas, I cannot travel
To a love I have so deep
Or sleep too close beside
A love I want to keep.

But I long to hold some lady,
For flesh is warm and sweet.
Cold skeletons go marching
Each night beside my feet.


KB Studios said...

d'arcy i am sad that we live so far away from each other. you inspire me.

skippylongjacket said...

Maybe I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What's real and going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Marie said...

That's a lovely one. He really is great, isn't he?

I have often fantasized about singing "Dance Me to the End of Love" to my husband at my wedding (even though my voice isn't great). Though of course as a good Mormon I would have to switch verses 2 and 3 to avoid the presumption of premarital sex ;)

As for kissing poets, though, I'm saving myself for Gerard Manley Hopkins.

mattycake said...

There was a literary conference? Involving poetry?
Sigh... why didn't I know about this? I would've been there in a heartbeat!

Oh, and I'd french kiss Walt Whitman AND Emily Dickinson. At the same time.


Mr. Cohen, however, would have to settle for a high five. It just seems more appropriate.