Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Notes on Hope

Written to be performed on 26th March 2011

Here I stand, thinking out loud. Hoping you’ll listen. Taking my chance.

I cannot be here today, but still my words…

For those that could not be here today, here are some words in their honour. For those of us here, here are some words to keep us together, keep it together, in face of what’s coming, in spite of what’s been.

What do we need to know? What can I tell you that you won’t have heard a thousand times already?

Even the thousandth time, it might still need to be heard.

Art is not a luxury. I am stating the obvious.

Love is not a luxury. I am stating the obvious.

Wherever, whenever, however, you live, they belong to you.

Art and love are not inseperable. And when something is gone it is gone forever. Let us not lose sight of that fact.

In the country where I live things are changing. Some might say not fast enough. In the country where I live things are being done in my name. I don’t know how to stop them. I don’t know what to say…


Much that you need has been lost. The poems that we know are merely fragments. We must use what we have to invent what we desire. We cannot work in isolation, or in fear of other voices.

Take as much time as you need.

Learn to use your hands, use your heart, give what you can and don’t be afraid. Here is the hardest thing: do not be afraid.

What would that feel like?

You ask me, is this time worse than another? I ask, for whom?

Big my secret. Not just my secret, but all of ours. The secret we’ve all been keeping.

Take as much time as you need.

Keep on moving. Remember how this feels.

What can we do when everything feels hopeless?

I have been trying to imagine where galaxies end and where they begin.

Dear Tim, who will never read this, never hear it, did I ever, even for a moment, amaze you?

What can we do when everything feels hopeless?
Prepare ourselves not for the world as it is, but for the world as it might become. In this preparation, we experience this world as it becomes one, for a moment. This moment. Us. Now.

The last time I saw you, you said “be here now”, but I wasn’t, so –

We will remember this time as a good time. Let us remember today as a good day.

I’ve loved you my whole life, every one of you, especially those I have not met. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, place these words inside you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, all of your openings, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you, right now, us.

Tell me something I don’t know.

Sit me down at the piano and put your hands next to mine, on top of mine. And teach me to listen, to touch and to play. Play me. Play me again. Play me at a different speed. Until I can do it on my own. And then don’t forget the melody. Keep on singing the song of us when I forget the words.

Language presupposes community. Therefore without you, nothing I say has any meaning. Without love or language, I do not exist.

Some stories never end.

And when this is over how will we know?

When did you last love life?
Go tell it to the big man: what will survive of love is us.

You want my advice?

Walk, do not run, for we are going very far. Now is the time of walking the paths we create by walking them. Ask no permission. Make no demands. Just do. Create the world that does not yet exist by living it. Create a space of dignity, horizontality, love.

Come over some time. I’ll improvise risotto. It will take the time it takes. And you can sit there and tell me all about your day; tell me all about your life.

Even after all these years, I can still ask, who are you?

What have you heard and what have you seen and how did that feel? Tell me everything or everything you can. We don’t have much time.

We are each other. Black skin // white skin. It all tastes the same in the mouth, right?

What’s that I hear? The sound of people living their lives at the speed of making love. Totally fucking beautiful.

I wanted to say, I think finally we’re going to be ok. And if not us then the others we’re doing it for, some day.

This is where I am in history. With you, now, today.

We’re all in this together, right?

Monday, 21 March 2011

the become

Wait so long until the become
that never came
person I wanted you to be
expected you to be you never were

All the time the wanting
all the efforts unwarranted unwanted
Elsewhere sometimes but nothing here
and me not caring if you managed at all

These were the first mistakes
early evidence
my eyes I thought open never open
always opening and then the close

Saturday, 19 March 2011

the words

The words I put into your mouth
did not belong to you and the things
I tried to make your body do were
not your thing and all the time I
spent confusing the situation with
my ontological inarticularcy.

Those were the wasted days
- that was a wasted year. If only
I had known the things to say
to remedy impossibility.
I had known those things
known and then forgotten them.

This seems to be the way
a good old repeated pattern
I never asked directly or told
you what to do but neither
was I honest about my expectations.

I did not care about yours.

That was a wasted year
- those were the wasted days.
All that time I watched you
but couldn't later describe
what I had seen. All of my witnessing
nought nought nought.
I will not give us another thought.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Fort. Da.

On my pillows is the smell
of where you were that night
and in my mind is the memory
of where you were all night

And now and then I forget and
then remember the shape of
your body on mine - your weight
and how you held it above me -
and the way we kissed that was
nothing like kissing
more like discovery or tapestry.

I'm bearing scars, prizes, gifts and promises
I know now what yes really means
and yes and yes and yes.
I've got a new vocabulary and an equation
which is a bit like one plus one
but far more complicated.

Magic like snow, and just as surprising
when it comes, changing the landscape,
gone in the morning.

And a promise: to return, to repeat, to renew.
To know always and forever that one and one make more than two.
Fort. Da. You.