Friday, June 13, 2003

it's been a weird sort of day this far -- woke up this morning at 1030 just because i didn't have to be anywhere at any time, and because my room phone rang multiple times [multiple calls were made] this morning at some unholy hour, because H was moving her stuff and needed to have keys and stuff like that taken care of...thankfully she jumped on the phone before it could ring more than twice, but in my half-asleep not-quite-coherent stage i think i must have been turning the air quitequite blue with swear words.

visited the apartment that paul eric and bob are going to be living in for the next year. it is HUGE, they have hardwood floor and tons of space and lots of windows...it's a relatively nice apartment complex, and i'm pleased for them. i'm also jealous of their space. though perhaps not of their view: paul and bob face a brick wall -the wall of the building next to them- and eric sort of maybe has a little bit of a view of the street. unlike my view of downtown.

which was obscured today, when H and i went to the apartment in the afternoon to drop off more of my crap, by fog. it was really sort of pretty, but still, it meant we couldn't see past the boundaries of hyde park, even from the seventh floor. even my little sliver of a lake view [which ironically is a much bigger sliver in the winter, when it's cold and grey and not pretty, because the leaves fall off all the trees between us and lake michigan] was erased by the bank of whiteness descending on the world. eerie. but also really beautiful, it blocks out the ugly bits of the world. sometimes i wish i could have selective fog just floating around me and obscuring the parts of the world i wish didn't exist.

it's sort of weird to still be in BJ. the dorm year is clearly winding down, though a surprising number of people are still around on thursday night of finals week. i remember last year i just SHOT out of here, i think the day my last final was over. or perhaps the day after. it was weird. but here i am, sitting in my dorm room that is slowly but surely being cleared of stuff, and people are starting to leave. paul's off home for a week, and rachel is leaving tomorrow, and then i'll be out of here either tomorrow night or saturday morning depending on whether the bed gets built tomorrow or not. i'm thinking maybe even then i'll stay here, 'cos H isn't leaving til saturday morning. we'll see what happens. but yeah, BJ is slowly becoming strangely silent, settling down for another summer dozing in the sun, waiting for a fresh crop of firstyears to arrive in the fall, and the familiar, welcome noise of the returning upperclassmen moving in the weekend before first week fall quarter, throwing things around, yelling greetings up and down the stairs, hugging each other and catching up on all the stuff they missed over the summer. it's going to be strange not to be a part of that next year, but well -- things change, people change, we all move on to hopefully better if not just different experiences. i'm sort of looking forward to apartment life: i spent an hour in there today, alone with the music pouring out of the speakers of mike's computer -yoyo ma playing Bach's Cello Concertos, i'm so thankful that Musi 104 made us listen to that [nights of sitting up in H's old room, both of us poring over the scores which we'd tracked down, and trying to figure out what is going on...i think i will be able to recognise the sounds of yoyo ma playing the concerto in C and G until the day i die] because it rapidly turned into some of my favourite music in the world. but yeah, pattering around the apartment in my bare feet, putting things away where i think they should be put, enjoying the light pouring through the north wall of windows and the silence other than my music and myself -- it was peaceful. i like it.

back to the apartment in a little while. there is yet more stuff to be carted over...

One Winged Angels

Can you draw me the shape of love?

*

John Donne was right after all;
the body is the book.
He is written into me, into every line
and recess, scored into hair skin bone,
etched on the pattern of the cell, carved
on the door of the heart. My fingertips
are branded with his name. He reads me
as a blind man does, with fingers and tongue;
his hands delve into the deepdown places,
the spaces between the ribs, melting the secret
emptinesses with the sweet solvency of touch.
He finds me in the chaos of myself,
and draws me into being.
And I am learning him, learning
the journey of him, the journey of the
cobbled spine and the contours of muscle,
of tongue and lips and teeth, of the old scars and
the steel-toed heart. His warmth winds around me
and his voice binds me with a whispered word.
I trace his veins to their fire source and
dissolve into them, and find the shape of him
in the heart of a flame.
He is the poem I travel.

*

I am the shell by the sea, hollow, emptied, quiet,
burnt by the sun, lipped by gentle waves, waiting
for him to fill me.

I am the leaf dancing on the broad blade of wind,
spiralling up to graze the stars and drifting back down
to alight on his hair.

I am the bowl he shapes, looks in, lifts to his lips;
I am the clear water rippling his reflection,
locked in his hands.

I melt into the inky darkness of his shadow
and sheltering in his strength redraw the outlines
of a curious grace.

I am the drop of rain just learning the storm,
drawing the curve of a snow-petalled flower,
shaping a clear peace.

*

My phantom lover in the deep black jazz night,
his ghost hands whispering down the strings
of the heart and playing them with the lightest touch,
drugging the dreams with rich saxophone notes
of deep longing, binding the soul, shivering down
the bones and infusing them with a mute cry,
a sudden sharp ache of loneliness.

*

I want you to miss me when I'm not there -
I want you to watch after a disappearing back and wound yourself on the
sharp edges of an
absence -
I want a sudden remembrance to flood your senses, to wake a terrible
longing under the skin, to slice
into the heart and leave you crying out on this side of the night -
I want your arms to ache with emptinesses, your hands to clutch at forlorn
air, your ears to ring with
silences -
I want you to search the night and trace in the pattern of stars a foetal hope,
to listen for a breath of
voice in the haunting wind -
I want to haunt you, to lurk in the unknowing mind, to scorch your
fingertips with a remembered
warmth -
I want you to eat fire for me -
I want you to want me too.

*

Love brute and beast, rubbing against you hungrily, hesitantly, lapping at
the salt of you, wrenching at
your mouth-sweetness.
Love a savage knowing, a shock of recognition ripped from you, more than
feeling and deeper than
consciousness, rapped into the frame of bone.
Love a clarity of blindness, exhilarating and frightening, a mirror for a
flawed vessel, an act of faith,
forcing you to your knees.
Love an invisible circle binding you, anchoring your flight, building you a
homecoming.
Love a violence to shatter your peace.

*

Will you leave me here on the other side of the glass
with only a snatch of voice and the faint memory
of a fleeting touch to keep me?

*

We are one-winged angels just learning to fly,
riding the piercing sweetness of hope with a pair
of dreamer's wings, shaped of a song tender
and tremulous, soaring high into the clear night
and waking all the stars to dance, a great golden
shower of exuberant exquisite joy.
This is our time, this diamond night, the
bewitching hour, this dreamtime perfumed
with the sandman sleep, this velvet wilderness
of a wondrous grace; and these our hands
will find each other.

Koh Tsin Yen


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