Brief Life

This reading was recorded by Alessandro Mistrorigo for Phonodia in Venice, Italy, on the 15th of October, 2013.

Read by Philip Morre on 15 October 2013

Brief Life

What we lived then as stasis
– hunting wild strawberries
a whole summer's-worth of a summer's day,
week-long winter afternoons
shooting the snow-hills on a tea-tray –
looked back on is always old film,
sepia and speeded-up, with bits missing,
replaced by exclamatory prose:
Head-first in a snowdrift!
Whose hands and feet are those?!

Later if anything the pace seems to lift:
dinner-jacket chased shocked frock
in and out the revolving doors,
dare-drove a blagged cab
backwards round the block,
fumbled in darkness to a numbing tune:
Whose hands and feet are yours?!

Jerkily the camera (hand-held)
records a scintillant sea;
enter, bereft, decrepit fellow
in torn evening dress, he
-----------lurches
Too bad she left!
-------------------------like a
--------decelerating
----------------top...

Of its own accord
everything slows:
evening (lento)
descending (lento assai)
Stop!

from The Sadness of Animals (Canterbury: San Marco Press, 2012).

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