This reading was recorded by Alessandro Mistrorigo at Phonodia LAB in Venice, Italy, on the 2nd of April, 2014.

Read by Douglas Reid Skinner on 2 April 2014


-----------L’étonnant est qu’un autre puisse parfois y détecter
-------------------------ces choses qui ne sont pas dans les mots.
---------------------------------------------------LORAND GASPAR

I happen to be the one who wrote
The words that you now read.
You happen to be the one who reads
The words that I once wrote.

I’ve never owned even one of them,
Not when I wrote, not now;
And sitting in the lamp’s warm glow
Not one of them’s your own.

The day I chanced to write them out
It rained from dark to dark.
The day you’ve chanced to pick them up
The weather’s what it is:

Great cloudless skies, pale blue to eyes,
Strong rain or threats of snow;
Cool winds that swirl around the house,
Or calm, birdsong and heat.

For years I’ve wondered at your shape,
Your hands, your face, your lips,
Your body’s brimming blocks and planes,
The puzzle of your hips.

I’ve longed to smash the glass and reach
Right through and touch and hold
The you that’s you, utterly embrace,
If only for a minute.

But there is no way of knowing who
You are or where you live,
And the only place we have to meet
Is among these graveyard stones,

Where as my fingers chance to move
A music starts and rolls,
And we are written into being,
Art’s verisimilitude.

from Blue Rivers (Plumstead: Snailpress/Crane River, 2011).

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