A wrist-flick at solitaire
Or fingers creeping across
The pad of my computer
(file not found; how apt)
A sigh, a lie
A turn through the fridge
Another try, a restless dream
Summoned back by a teasing
Spectre of disconsolate discontent.
The ache of TV Pavarotti
(Great fat man with God's great girth,
Nessun Dorma all over earth)
The awright ya of U2, Bop!*
Stale faces, and "I'm rich" mirth,
The drudgery of work,
And lethargy of this hourless Sunday.
The thin poverty of what I write
A message scrawled bright
Along the brick tunnel of the brain
So distant it's a prick of light
Screaming like a train 'bout
Love, and finite life, and Time,
Drooling over men,
A humourless beast with loveless chops.
Past fatales, and other fleeting things,
Skinny love, floating somewhere in the universe,
I cannot grasp, or name, or regain it.
Hale-Bopp! – how can something so on-the-way-out**
Outlast us all? A breath from Troy to here,
A mere 'once around,' and I am scratching with
– Confound it –
Love, or not love: Peace, or better not:
(Too blunting on ambition) –
Tranquility, decision – what? Scratching, blindly
At a scalding mirror of revelation
To find a message of... consolation. Instead
Tormented by Petra's constellation eyes,
her foal-youth, her trippy hippy smile,
And her weightless laugh...
...I take a bath.
"I lie on my bed, and smoke,
And wait for you to call."
("Is that a wise example of the present tense?!")
"Pričam ti priču,"*** but the story only
Poises on her fruiting lips!
And I find that I am staring
as a hungry boy at a bowl of fruit:
– What's there that I can loot?
Some misfit moral gesture
Returns me whole to her promise of
"The future tense – next time."
Now Misery sloshes about me
Triumphant over my Joy
At being instructed by this she-star
sage. Did I ever cage hearts?
They say so, but why then shiver
As though I am ageing cold
Loveless, warless, artless, regardless,
In short, split from
All the less that makes men more?
When all I desire,
Is your touch, a light kiss and the light of your eyes
Shedding all over me, fondly,
Tippy-toe waiting my telephone call,
(Not post-screw after drunk night in bar
Grateful though I was Jasmina),
But for Joy
Or a little light, because my facial expressions
Or my gestures, bring a smile
To the object of... my imagination.****
Petra goes, my Serbo-Croatian improved
By a proverb, her thought, a plundered word
Me a little more frantic – she has left –
And I am unnerved. Left me,
To crawl around this apartment
Skate through the afternoon
Fidget with fantasy
Skirmish with sleep, and things to do,
And not to do. I'm not Hale-Bop.
There's once around, and I'm halfway through
My flight. And I wake with moments of fright,
Alert to the drowning night.
* U2 sang their first post-war convert in Sarajevo around this time
** I remember vividly the comet's passage over the night sky of Bosnia that year
***I tell you a story, which also implies deceiving somebody.
**** It was not confined to imagination. And Petra became a pre-eminent Bosnian scientist. Always sardonic, extremely intelligent, warm, funny, and with a smile like a glow worm's.