FOUTRE LE BIBLIOTHEQUE! (brighton beach sessions, i)

After handing in essays I went to the beach. Once I was there I felt very strongly against the library and was feeling dreadfully wordy and inspired, so I scribbled furiously for the next three days. It’s hard for me to comment on the quality; Hélène Cixous and Maurice Blanchot both propose that the skill of the writer is not in finding the words but in disposing with them; cut and keep cutting; it’s in the weak left hand that the writer’s talent lies. So I’ve tried to edit them all to hell, but they remain more or less the same, and what they are I’m not entirely sure. I would hesitate to call it poetry; admittedly I’m rather shy of poetry. Well it certainly isn’t prose. It’s an experiment, then; I’ll leave it at that and stop disclaiming.

(It began one night)

humid and green smelling
the whisky cat stretched out, fell asleep in front of
the window in the shabby garden room
where skin is sticky, socks, feet
hair sticky, palms sweaty, nails, knickers and
eyes are hot
darting swifts birds you can hear but not see
shrieks like sonar, like bats piercing
the sound of the silence of the laughing gulls
from their rooftops
and chimneypots, wherever white on purple
lavender dove grey indigo
ice cream van moment
the air of moisture; breathing steam
sweat, dew on arms, chests, legs
evaporates from the damp leaves and thunder
groans from vaults above
where the buckled ceiling expects;
the nestling violent cloud whose sighs
move so prettily with a song, in the flowers.
on either side of ours, where families came,
patios clean and pleasant
not this one.
tangled mess overgrown grass, weeds
even the rose not a real rose but a
dog rose
looking at
gaps in the pointing
wrinkles in flaking white wood of the pane
decking of old pallets
rotting breaking treacherous underfoot
wooden chair, cheap, sliver of wood
curling, cracking upwards but
I can see over walls
where the whisky cat sitting there looks back.

garden room where jewelled lights and silent gulls
hats furs clothes, shoe crammed floor
and red little toenails on the ends of legs
the wind always rises before the rain.


nothing separates us from the garden
not glass, not space between us
the chipped old red bricks
so favourably and fortunately keep us dry
warm in the red light crystalline garden room exotic where
whisky cat comes in because the window is wide open
but how to bear closing it when
the garden in the room the room in the garden
the sweet rain that falls on wood making it slick, shiny
first summer rain
falls like first snowdrop, daffodil, bluebell, dandelion
first dog rose to bloom

Don’t hesitate to tell me what you think. This doesn’t really feel like ‘my’ work – that is, I can’t appropriate the words. It’s become like a horse and I’m looking at it and I get on to ride, but it’s risky business – the horse is not yet broken; it’s doing what it wants to do and I just sit tight and try to get somewhere (anywhere).


One thought on “FOUTRE LE BIBLIOTHEQUE! (brighton beach sessions, i)

  1. it’s beautiful, evocative, gorgeous, sumptuous.

    “the sweet rain that falls on wood making it slick, shiny
    first summer rain
    falls like first snowdrop, daffodil, bluebell, dandelion
    first dog rose to bloom”

    sounds like you live in a place where my soul would be comfortable, and comforted. i felt like i was sitting beside you, smelling the petrichor. thank you for that.

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