29 Jun 2017

watertight bulkheads & glowing embers, as always


There had been a season 
to dwell and grow and break
and yearn
in the small and vivid
island of the Britons and the
Scots and the Irish and the Welsh.
and in that exploding mess of a
capital, London.
Their English, and souls,
Accents, and twangs,
rhythms and slang
jokes and complaints
harboured and washed over
my foreign search of a linguistic territory
which I started to own
and make mine.
The English speakers and writers
are very defensive of their
ivory tower, one is not allowed
in lightly usually.
So lightly we did not go in.
Armed with synonyms
and dictionaries and ears as big as a continent
I heard the rhythm of my soul
and forged it into the world in sentences
for all to enjoy and envy.
`My chest has no breasts
Just two plains
for hands to touch, and rest, and caress`,
I declared.
Or `In a marble room I was alone,
Somewhere in the heart of Rome...`
I quoted.,
demanding from Blair's Britain if it
`recalled now`?
And when, missing the south,
I begged
`Please let me hear crickets again
Astounding dirty loud scratching crickets.`
and compared
`On the hills of Brockley sometimes,
I can hear the Mediterranean laugh.
In a glance, overcast.
In the sound of a little hammer on a beam
In the whiff of washing powder in the breeze
and I wonder how hard it must be,
though the wind gets stronger and agrees with me,
how very hard it must be still,
to ever sniff Jamaica in these wide English streets.`

And maybe streets were the only
Wide thing on the isle where
all is small.
Houses, rooms, trains, stations,
windows, bridges, fates, ideas,
lives, eyes, horizons…
Where the only way to grow
is sideways spilling out of the clasp
of society and class and religion and racism.
So much racism.
Where I breathe the open horizon (le large!) only in the
dreaming blue eyes of my Irish friend
scheming up travels and sails
across the ocean which is all but a pond.
It is in invention that this smallness is smashed.
In music,in art, in work, in humour, in stories
spun so perfectly, in spirit which sometimes
visits,in demons so varied, so present, so many. 
Now as I listen and watch and read
American and Black American, and Anglo African
and Indian and Australian and Kiwi writing,
the English language is finally the house
I imagined it to be.
Open, post industrial, full of light and wind
gushing in and out of the massive glassless
bay windows and sheets of colour
and white and story flapping whilst drying
and children playing amongst them,
untouched and happy.
The big redemption of the language of experience
The loss of innocence with the invention of the machine
But was anyone ever innocent?
Is anyone ever redeemed?
And you, just how are you experienced?
I mean, still, do you know Voudou?