Sunday, 10 May 2015

Feeling twins - Looking at bed linen - Alan Buckley

A pregnant woman invited me to feel her twins

I felt the instantly familiar sensation of the surface of the belly, with the baby's head moving in the waters a few millimeters away. I never thought I'd feel that again. I can't bring it to mind, it is a sensation my hand recognised and my primitive mind, but not my conscious mind. I have no words for it at all.

Bed Linen

Maybe it is ok to buy a soft mattress topper, fresh pillows and a super soft synthetic duvet. Create a nest of simple pleasures. Knowing how to do without these things is necessary, but I don't have to live in a war zone any more.

Memories of that lumpy because of springs mattress in Edinburgh are funny in retrospect. Using the end of the duvet as my pillow because there was no pillow, of any sort. Did that box room have a window onto the hallway? If it did, the light would have shone in at night, so it probably had no window at all. It was a big cupboard.

In Paris I used to trust that the cockroaches would not learn how to climb up the bed legs. I guessed the bed was far enough away from the kitchen area to not be attractive to them...all the time knowing they only came out in the dark, and that whenever I brought a friend back I'd keep her talking in the hall while I turned on the light and let them have time to scuttle away.. The horror.

Even here I had a wasps' nest in the wooden beam last summer. It emitted wasps day and night. I must be very calm to sleep amongst all that. They made their slow way to the window, but kept on stopping off to buzz round the light. In the dark they buzzed around the room, but I don't hear much, so slept through it all, though I kept the sheet right up to my nose and over my ear as a precaution.

Alan Buckley

We had a great workshop on redrafting poems. I love taking a knife to a sheet of words, gently teasing out exactly what I want out of it.

I made a haiku out of one. That could be a private entertainment and way of focusing right in on what any poem is saying to me. Or it would be like taking some phrases and making a simple display of them, from a much wider choice. No limits to the number of tiny poems I could make from the bigger source poem. With acknowledgements of course.

My mind goes back to the Ashmolean Museum with a particular cabinet in the basement I sit with every time I visit. I want to leave a small love letter to the curator for being so clear with the displays. All those choices made from a much bigger set of items, a sophisticated version of what I do at work now.

What else? We all went quiet when he read out the poem to his ex-girlfriend Katie, who died nearly 6 years ago. How many of us have had to experience that? I have always assumed a dignified and calm silence was the best way out of any ended relationship, but life might overtake that stance I suppose.

The poem on the whippets and running was wonderful. That silence came over us again for that one.

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