Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tan morados como siempre

Al contrario de lo que mi naturaleza forever dicta, yo nunca había ido a ver a Deep Purple. Lo juro. Siempre por alguna razón, quizá otro concierto que me interesara más. Sin embargo, mientras pasaba el tiempo, me puse a pensar que probablemente ésta sería la última visita a México de este grupo, y como no puedo morirme sin verlos y demás, me lancé al Auditorio Nacional.
Desde el inicio ya había advertencias incrédulas: que si a Ian Gillan no le alcanzaba la voz, que si de plano no podían aguantar un concierto decente, que... lo que fuera. Sin embargo, hasta no ver, no creer.
Que por un momento creí, cuando el concierto arrancó con "Highway Star". ¡Saquen el Rockband, mamás! Todos podrían ser mis abuelos, todos, sobre todo Ian, quien salió caminando hasta dificultosamente, nada que ver con el guapísimo frontman de hace muchísimos años. La voz le flaqueaba, las cosas no parecían ir bien.
Pero fue sólo una finta. Tras esa primera canción, las cosas cambiaron: el ritmo duro, la guitarra machacona, embrutecida y sexy de Steve Morse demostraron lo contrario. "Hard Lovin' Man" y "Maybe I'm a Leo", y no importaba que Gillan se viera ridículo, con unos lentecitos oscuros de falso galán: lo importante era el rock, el sonidazo que tenía la banda, y yo otra vez quería irme al backstage con Steve Morse, como cuando tenía como quince años y lo vi en un video.
"Strange Kind of Woman", que me encanta, suena magnífica, y es ahí cuando Gillan revive sus viejas glorias, y se lanza a retar a la guitarra con la voz, como lo hacía en los setentas, con Ritchie Blackmore. Y no le sale mal. La verdad, Gillan lo hizo muy bien, no excelente, pero demostrando que todavía puede.
"Rapture of the Deep" fue todo un despliegue de buen heavy metal, junto con "Fireball". La siguiente, "Silver Tongue" se podría considerar incluso bastante sensual.
Tras "Contact Lost" surgió algo que tal parece que no puede faltar en bandas de este calibre: la clase de guitarra. Así es: Steve Morse echando el solo apantallador. Sé que eso puede resultar tedioso, pero mi naturaleza de guitarrista medio frustrada todavía me ganó... y a las primeras filas más, pues voló un bra al escenario. Y eso que ninguno es Mick Jagger.
La balada "When a Blind Man Cries" fue seguida por "The Well Dressed Guitar", "Amost Human", y luego "Lazy" donde Gillan demostró que también le alcanza el aire para la armónica. Excelente.
De ahí, ahora le tocaba al tecladista (el magnífico Don Airey) demostrar de qué cuero salían más correas. Las clases de teclado abarcaron desde los rugidos metaleros/progresivos que hacían temblar el recinto (neta), pasando por los grandes clásicos, hasta... La Raspa y el Jarabe Tapatío, que siempre hacen gritar a los locales. Pus sí.
Un rugido más de teclado y la siguiente fue "Perfect Strangers" que, personalmente, me fascina, con los arreglos de cuerdas ahora hechos por el teclado. El mood metalero prosiguió con "Space Truckin'", sabrosísima, y, y...
Tenía que ser. Saquen el micrófono niños. "Smoke on the Water", la mil y una veces repetida historia de la bengala que encendió (literalmente) el concierto de Frank Zappa, y que aún así todos escuchamos, y cantamos. De hecho, en algún momento la música se detuvo para dejar la voz al respetable... y todos, en una sola voz, rugimos: "Smoke on the water, fire in the sky!" Nimodo. Comercial, choteada, todo eso no importó en ese instante.
Obviamente, tras ese momento que dejó al público de pie, Deep Purple desaparecieron en el backstage, porque aún a su edad pueden darse a desear. El regreso fue nada más y nada menos que con "La Bamba"... otra que también pone feliz al respetable mexicano. Ésta se conectó con "Hush", y las primeras filas hasta estaban bailando, y por ahí le voló un fondo o algo (porque era demasiada tela para un bra) a Steve Morse por segunda vez y no fui yo. Por cierto, que también en esta rola el baterista fue el que aprovechó para echarse su clase.
Interconectadas por la clase de bajo (que, aunque no lo crean, fue un solo bastante interesante) llegó "Black Night", mientras el Auditorio se sumía en cánticos de borracho feliz. Todo eso regado con un cameo de "La Grange" de ZZ Top, antes de que Deep Purple desaparecieran, sin cantar, para mi mal, "Never Before" y "Woman from Tokyo".
Como pueden ver, el concierto no ofreció nada. Nada nuevo: solos, éxitos, metal. Y fue muy entrañable por lo mismo. Rock sin adulterar, las viejas glorias que siguen siendo moradas y no lila pálido como mucha gente quisiera creer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Heart-Shaped Box

(I wrote this poem--and it has made me realize that I write under the damn influence of whiskey or something. The worst part: I haven't drunk any alcohol. Hope you enjoy, nonetheless. Remember, the epigraphs... well, they're my inspiration/soundtrack, but I always end up getting rid of them).


And this is my kind of love
It's the kind that moves on
It's the kind that leaves me alone.

-Mother Love Bone, "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns"

On some foreign, borderline side of the bed
I just mapped out your silhouette.
It has become the warm side of the pillow.

Still, I wake up from my drowning man position
To misty-eyed, yet incessant peer pressure
Of ice-cold windowpanes with makeup of red stickers.

Every word sells itself very cheap these days.
Mass-production verses and the others in a pawnshop.
Anything goes--the heart, not represented.

You grow old, Love,
So you can't rememmber any longer
Passions with no Riot Act.

The warmth of empty glasses always teary-eyed,
And so is the helping hand of silent bedrooms,
The blinding glacier lights of nightly grocer stores,

The indifferent, but brotherly ragged hug of the sofa,
The mindless good night sleep of channel-surfing;
They're none about the heart-shaped box sincerity.

You grow old, Love.
Attraction is not born on your cracked smile,
The candy from your sleeve.

I built my world around my cold side of the bed.
The other one I just gave up to fantasy.
A heart-shaped box, the warm side of the pillow.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nick Cave knows I'm a bad seed

Por eso hoy no hay playlist de San Valentín, sino simplemente las canciones que suenan este día. Primero, una idealista, la canción más hermosa de amor a mi parecer, que ya quisiera yo que no sólo me la cantaran o me la dedicaran (porque los hipsters seguro la tienen), sino que... me la demostraran.



Into My Arms
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

I don't believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

And I don't believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that's true
But if I did I would summon them together
And ask them to watch over you
To each burn a candle for you
To make bright and clear your path
And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
And guide you into my arms

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms

And I believe in Love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
So keep your candlew burning
And make her journey bright and pure
That she will keep returning
Always and evermore

Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms, O Lord
Into my arms





Aunque, curiosamente, lo que he estado escuchando sin parar... suena así. Lo único que sé es que me encantó, me tiene hechizada, me hace volver a querer escribir poesía. No lo sé, exactamente... pero ahí se las dejo de regalo a falta de playlist. Después de todo, es una de las mejores canciones de más de siete minutos.



Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns
Mother Love Bone

Ooo, yeah, yeah, yeah...
Chloe don't know better
Chloe's just like me, only beautiful
A couple of years difference (Her trouble lovin' is different?)
But those lasses never learn and you know
Chloe danced the tables in the French Quarter
She's always been given so I can't always make her laugh
But I'm proud to say and I won't forget
The time spent laying by her side, oh yeah, yeah
The time spent laying by her side, oh yeah, yeah
Dreams like this must die
And a dream like this must die
Dream like this must...


You ever heard the story of Mr. Faded Glory?
Say he who rides a pony must someday fall
Talkin' to my alter, life is what you make it
And if you make it death well rest your soul away
Away, away, yeah child

It's a broken kind of feeling shed have to tie me to the ceiling
A bad moon's a comin' better say your prayers, child
I wanna tell you that I love you but does it really matter?
I just can't stand to see you dragging down, again
Again, my friend again, oh yeah

So I'm singing
And this is my kinda love
It's the kind that moves on
It's the kind that leaves me alone, yes it does
And this is my kinda love
It's the kind that moves on
It's the kind that leaves me alone

I used to treat you like a lady now you're a substitute teacher
This bottle's not a pretty, not a pretty sight, yeah
I owe the man some money so I'm turnin over honey
See Mr. Faded Glory is once again doin' time, oh yeah

And this is my kinda love
It's the kind that moves on
It's the kind that leaves me alone, yes it does
And this is my kinda love
It's the kind that moves on
It's unkind and it's unkind and
It'll leave me alone, yeah

Like a crown of thorns
It's all who you know, yeah
So don't burn your bridges woman
Cause someday, yeah

Kick it!
And this is my kinda love
It's the kind that moves on
It's the kind that leaves me alone, yeah
And this is my kinda love
It's the kind that moves on
It's unkind and it's the kind that
Baby i said com' on, com' on, com' on,
com' on yeah I said baby don't burn your
bridges woman

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

It's only words, part 6

Bien, pues con eso de que se acercan San Valentín y demás mamadas, y que se ponen de moda los poemas (seguramente de Bécquer) he decidido terminar este conteo, que estuvo dedicado a mis poemas favoritos. El problema es que los que quedan son extremadamente largos, así que he decidido poner el fragmento de ellos que me conquistó. Para que no se traumen.

Empiezo con Blanca Varela, y su poema Valses, que llegó a mí gracias a la generosidad del habitante de la Calle Poesía. Desde el primer momento, se darán cuenta de que tiene que ver con las cosas que escribo. Espero algún día escribir como esa mujer. Después de todo, yo también tengo un nombre de seis letras negras. (Y tiene un poema sobre el fut, y eso me hace feliz.)

Valses (Fragmento)
Blanca Varela

Hedores y tristeza
devorando paraísos de arena
sólo este subterráneo perfume
de lamento y guitarras
y el gran dios roedor
y el gran vientre vacío.

(¿Cuál de tus rostros amo
cuál aborrezco?
¿Dónde nací
en qué calle aprendí a dudar
de qué balcón hinchado de miseria
se arrojó la dicha una mañana
dónde aprendí a mentir
a llevar mi nombre de seis letras negras
como un golpe ajeno?)


Luego, este poema, que desde que lo leí me impresionó por su poderosa sucesión de imágenes, por la fuerza, por la... histeria. Díganme hippie come flores o forever, pero ahí les va un poema que me gustaría poner completo pero los espantaría

Howl (Fragment)
Allen Ginsberg

For Carl Solomon

I

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night

with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,

incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping towards poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,

Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,

who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,

a lost batallion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon

yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,

whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,

suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railway yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,

who studied Plotinus Poe St John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the universe instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,

who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,

who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,

who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,

who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving nothing behind but the shadow of dungarees and the larva and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago...

El de Bolster se los debo. Una amiga lo tiene, me lo prestó. Sólo consideren que es triste, tristísimo, ver a un Christopher Robin envejecido en un mundo de juguete...


Luego... ¿quieren que me ponga cursi? Pues va. Un fragmento de cuatro líneas fue lo que bastó para que Huidobro me conquistara. Bueno, es que también qué manera de hablar de amores. Y yo qué tengo una cosa con los ojos...

Altazor (Fragmento)
Vicente Huidobro

Mujer el mundo está amueblado por tus ojos
Se hace más alto el cielo en tu presencia
La tierra se prolonga de rosa en rosa
Y el aire se prolonga de paloma en paloma

Al irte dejas una estrella en tu sitio
Dejas caer tus luces como el barco que pasa
Mientras te sigue mi canto embrujado
Como una serpiente fiel y melancólica
Y tú vuelves la cabeza detrás de algún astro

¿Qué combate se libra en el espacio?
Esas lanzas de luz entre planetas
Reflejo de armaduras despiadadas
¿Qué estrella sanguinaria no quiere ceder el paso?
En dónde estás triste noctámbula
Dadora de infinito
Que pasea en el bosque de los sueños

Heme aquí perdido entre mares desiertos
Solo como la pluma que se cae de un pájaro en la noche
Heme aquí en una torre de frío
Abrigado del recuerdo de tus labios marítimos
Del recuerdo de tus complacencias y de tu cabellera
Luminosa y desatada como los ríos de montaña
¿Irías a ser ciega que Dios te dio esas manos?
Te pregunto otra vez

El arco de tus cejas tendido para las armas de los ojos
En la ofensiva alada vencedora segura con orgullos de flor
Te hablan por mí las piedras aporreadas
Te hablan por mí las olas de pájaros sin cielo
Te habla por mí el color de los paisajes sin viento
Te habla por mí el rebaño de ovejas taciturnas
Dormido en tu memoria
Te habla por mí el arroyo descubierto
La yerba sobreviviente atada a la aventura
Aventura de luz y sangre de horizonte
Sin más abrigo que una flor que se apaga
Si hay un poco de viento
Las llanuras se pierden bajo tu gracia frágil
Se pierde el mundo bajo tu andar visible
Pues todo es artificio cuando tú te presentas
Con tu luz peligrosa
Inocente armonía sin fatiga ni olvido
Elemento de lágrima que rueda hacia adentro
Construido de miedo altivo y de silencio

Haces dudar al tiempo
Y al cielo con instintos de infinito
Lejos de ti todo es mortal
Lanzas la agonía por la tierra humillada de noches
Sólo lo que piensa en ti tiene sabor a eternidad
He aquí tu estrella que pasa
Con tu respiración de fatigas lejanas
Con tus gestos y tu modo de andar
Con el espacio magnetizado que te saluda
Que nos separa con leguas de noche
Sin embargo te advierto que estamos cosidos
A la misma estrella
Estamos cosidos por la misma música tendida
De uno a otro
Por la misma sombra gigante agitada como árbol
Seamos ese pedazo de cielo
Ese trozo en que pasa la aventura misteriosa
La aventura del planeta que estalla en pétalos de sueño
En vano tratarías de evadirte de mi voz
Y de saltar los muros de mis alabanzas
Estamos cosidos por la misma estrella
Estás atada al ruiseñor de las lunas
Que tiene un ritual sagrado en la garganta

Qué me importan los signos de la noche
Y la raíz y el eco funerario que tengan en mi pecho
Qué me importa el enigma luminoso
Los emblemas que alumbran el azar
Y esas islas que viajan por el caos sin destino a mis ojos
Qué me importa ese miedo de flor en el vacío
Qué me importa el nombre de la nada
El nombre del desierto infinito
O de la voluntad o del azar que representan
Y si en ese desierto cada estrella es un deseo de oasis
O banderas de presagio y de muerte
Tengo una atmósfera propia en tu aliento
La fabulosa seguridad de tu mirada con sus constelaciones íntimas
Con su propio lenguaje de semilla
Tu frente luminosa como un anillo de Dios
Más firme que todo en la flora del cielo
Sin torbellinos de universo que se encabrita
Como un caballo a causa de su sombra en el aire
Te pregunto otra vez
¿Irías a ser muda que Dios te dio esos ojos?


Y, los dejo, finalmente, con el poema más triste que leído en mi vida. Con el poema más crudo, más heartbreaking. El amor al desnudo, la soledad, disfrazado de la vida de Emily Brontë. Vale la pena que lo busquen completo. Vale la pena.

The Glass Essay (Whacher fragment)
Anne Carson

WHACHER


Whacher,
Emily’s habitual spelling of this word,
has caused confusion.
For example


in the first line of the poem printed Tell me, whether, is it winter?
in the Shakespeare Head edition.
But whacher is what she wrote.


Whacher is what she was.
She whached God and humans and moor wind and open night.
She whached eyes, stars, inside, outside, actual weather.


She whached the bars of time, which broke.
She whached the poor core of the world,
wide open.


To be a whacher is not a choice.
There is nowhere to get away from it,
no ledge to climb up to—like a swimmer


who walks out of the water at sunset
shaking the drops off, it just flies open.
To be a whacher is not in itself sad or happy,


although she uses these words in her verse
as she uses the emotions of sexual union in her novel,
grazing with euphemism the work of whaching.


But it has no name.
It is transparent.
Sometimes she calls it Thou.


“Emily is in the parlour brushing the carpet,”
records Charlotte in 1828.
Unsociable even at home


and unable to meet the eyes of strangers when she ventured out,
Emily made her awkward way
across days and years whose bareness appalls her biographers.


This sad stunted life, says one.
Uninteresting, unremarkable, wracked by disappointment
and despair, says another.


She could have been a great navigator if she’d been male,
suggests a third. Meanwhile
Emily continued to brush into the carpet the question,


Why cast the world away.
For someone hooked up to Thou,
the world may have seemed a kind of half-finished sentence.


But in between the neighbour who recalls her
coming in from a walk on the moors
with her face “lit up by a divine light”


and the sister who tells us
Emily never made a friend in her life,
is a space where the little raw soul


slips through.
It goes skimming the deep keel like a storm petrel,
out of sight.


The little raw soul was caught by no one.
She didn’t have friends, children, sex, religion, marriage, success, a salary
or a fear of death. She worked


in total six months of her life (at a school in Halifax)
and died on the sofa at home at 2 P.M. on a winter afternoon
in her thirty-first year. She spent


most of the hours of her life brushing the carpet,
walking the moor
or whaching. She says


it gave her peace.
“All tight and right in which condition it is to be hoped we shall all be this
day 4 years,”
she wrote in her Diary Paper of 1837.


Yet her poetry from beginning to end is concerned with prisons,
vaults, cages, bars, curbs, bits, bolts, fetters,
locked windows, narrow frames, aching walls.


“Why all the fuss?” asks one critic.
“She wanted liberty. Well didn’t she have it?
A reasonably satisfactory homelife,


a most satisfactory dreamlife—why all this beating of wings?
What was this cage, invisible to us,
which she felt herself to be confined in?”


Well there are many ways of being held prisoner,
I am thinking as I stride over the moor.
As a rule after lunch mother has a nap


and I go out to walk.
The bare blue trees and bleached wooden sky of April
carve into me with knives of light.


Something inside it reminds me of childhood—
it is the light of the stalled time after lunch
when clocks tick


and hearts shut
and fathers leave to go back to work
and mothers stand at the kitchen sink pondering


something they never tell.
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.


Why hold onto all that? And I said,
Where can I put it down?
She shifted to a question about airports.


Crops of ice are changing to mud all around me
as I push on across the moor
warmed by drifts from the pale blue sun.


On the edge of the moor our pines
dip and coast in breezes
from somewhere else.


Perhaps the hardest thing about losing a lover is
to watch the year repeat its days.
It is as if I could dip my hand down


into time and scoop up
blue and green lozenges of April heat
a year ago in another country.


I can feel that other day running underneath this one
like an old videotape—here we go fast around the last corner
up the hill to his house, shadows


of limes and roses blowing in the car window
and music spraying from the radio and him
singing and touching my left hand to his lips.


Law lived in a high blue room from which he could see the sea.
Time in its transparent loops as it passes beneath me now
still carries the sound of the telephone in that room


and traffic far off and doves under the window
chuckling coolly and his voice saying,
You beauty. I can feel that beauty’s


heart beating inside mine as she presses into his arms in the high blue room—
No, I say aloud. I force my arms down
through air which is suddenly cold and heavy as water


and the videotape jerks to a halt
like a glass slide under a drop of blood.
I stop and turn and stand into the wind,


which now plunges towards me over the moor.
When Law left I felt so bad I thought I would die.
This is not uncommon.


I took up the practice of meditation.
Each morning I sat on the floor in front of my sofa
and chanted bits of old Latin prayers.


De profundis clamavi ad te Domine.
Each morning a vision came to me.
Gradually I understood that these were naked glimpses of my soul.


I called them Nudes.
Nude #1. Woman alone on a hill.
She stands into the wind.


It is a hard wind slanting from the north.
Long flaps and shreds of flesh rip off the woman’s body and lift
and blow away on the wind, leaving


an exposed column of nerve and blood and muscle
calling mutely through lipless mouth.
It pains me to record this,


I am not a melodramatic person.
But soul is “hewn in a wild workshop”
as Charlotte Brontë says of Wuthering Heights.


Charlotte’s preface to Wuthering Heights is a publicist’s masterpiece.
Like someone carefully not looking at a scorpion
crouched on the arm of the sofa Charlotte


talks firmly and calmly
about the other furniture of Emily’s workshop—about
the inexorable spirit (“stronger than a man, simpler than a child”),


the cruel illness (“pain no words can render”),
the autonomous end (“she sank rapidly, she made haste to leave us”)
and about Emily’s total subjection


to a creative project she could neither understand nor control,
and for which she deserves no more praise nor blame
than if she had opened her mouth


“to breathe lightning.” The scorpion is inching down
the arm of the sofa while Charlotte
continues to speak helpfully about lightning


and other weather we may expect to experience
when we enter Emily’s electrical atmosphere.
It is “a horror of great darkness” that awaits us there


but Emily is not responsible. Emily was in the grip.
“Having formed these beings she did not know what she had done,”
says Charlotte (of Heathcliff and Earnshaw and Catherine).


Well there are many ways of being held prisoner.
The scorpion takes a light spring and lands on our left knee
as Charlotte concludes, “On herself she had no pity.”


Pitiless too are the Heights, which Emily called Wuthering
because of their “bracing ventilation”
and “a north wind over the edge.”


Whaching a north wind grind the moor
that surrounded her father’s house on every side,
formed of a kind of rock called millstone grit,


taught Emily all she knew about love and its necessities—
an angry education that shapes the way her characters
use one another. “My love for Heathcliff,” says Catherine,


“resembles the eternal rocks beneath
a source of little visible delight, but necessary.”
Necessary? I notice the sun has dimmed


and the afternoon air sharpening.
I turn and start to recross the moor towards home.
What are the imperatives


that hold people like Catherine and Heathcliff
together and apart, like pores blown into hot rock
and then stranded out of reach


of one another when it hardens? What kind of necessity is that?
The last time I saw Law was a black night in September.
Autumn had begun,


my knees were cold inside my clothes.
A chill fragment of moon rose.
He stood in my living room and spoke


without looking at me. Not enough spin on it,
he said of our five years of love.
Inside my chest I felt my heart snap into two pieces


which floated apart. By now I was so cold
it was like burning. I put out my hand
to touch his. He moved back.


I don’t want to be sexual with you, he said. Everything gets crazy.
But now he was looking at me.
Yes, I said as I began to remove my clothes.


Everything gets crazy. When nude
I turned my back because he likes the back.
He moved onto me.


Everything I know about love and its necessities
I learned in that one moment
when I found myself


thrusting my little burning red backside like a baboon
at a man who no longer cherished me.
There was no area of my mind


not appalled by this action, no part of my body
that could have done otherwise.
But to talk of mind and body begs the question.


Soul is the place,
stretched like a surface of millstone grit between body and mind,
where such necessity grinds itself out.


Soul is what I kept watch on all that night.
Law stayed with me.
We lay on top of the covers as if it weren’t really a night of sleep and time,


caressing and singing to one another in our made-up language
like the children we used to be.
That was a night that centred Heaven and Hell,


as Emily would say. We tried to fuck
but he remained limp, although happy. I came
again and again, each time accumulating lucidity,


until at last I was floating high up near the ceiling looking down
on the two souls clasped there on the bed
with their mortal boundaries


visible around them like lines on a map.
I saw the lines harden.
He left in the morning.


It is very cold
walking into the long scraped April wind.
At this time of year there is no sunset
just some movements inside the light and then a sinking away.