Editing poetry: Pictures on the Wall

This is a piece that is I am quite pleased with, possibly because it addresses some emotional times in my life without being completely awful. It also contains references to a lot of things that I love or have loved. The last line is inspired by a line in Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Dinner at Eight’: ‘Actually in the drifting white snow / You left me’.

I find it strange
To hear your name waver on the lips of others,
The tightly wrapped French consonants
Like these soft cakes in cherry blossom leaves.

I find it strange
When the blind girl talks about the handsome baseball players
In the same breath
And in the same way as Schubert
She talks about watching television as if it really happens
And I think the way her hands move over each other like waves is the same way she hears things.

I find it strange
That at the crest of my guilt
Your picture fell from the wall
And lay gazing up at its twin with hydrochloric eyes
Etching the silence with purpose.

I find it strange
And beautifully tragic
That this café in a foreign place plays Rufus Wainwright
Those lyrics large as breakers
But nobody hears the words,
They only sit and eat small French pastries,
The flakes fall like drifting white snow.

Editing poetry: Pictures on the Wall.


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