oh now, I discovered her, Anne Carson, about ten years ago I think,
one of those chance encounters
we were there seeing other authors at the Edinburgh Lit. Festival
and there it was, The Beauty of the Husband,
and whatever they say about covers and judging is wrong
because I picked it up,
something about the title sang out to me
‘this is your kind of book’
and it was.
it was everything.
it was the best heartbreak I went through
it would help me through the worst goddamn heartbreak I had ever felt
it said things that I should have known
sentences I could sense existed.
well, anyway, it fit into my life perfectly
and now, often, now and again, I need more Carson
because I am convinced no one on earth can write
such agony and such beauty as her.
so if you get a chance, please do read her
The Beauty of the Husband, Autobiography of Red, and everything you can find
from The Glass Essay by Anne Carson
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.