Sunday, 12 July 2015

THE COLOURS OF CHLOE: A POEM (AFTER EBERHARD WEBER)

I wrote this poem in January 1977, in my hometown of Milford, Connecticut. I had left Montreal in late November '76, having completed my master's thesis in August, to avoid having to register (and pay) for another academic year. I was about to fly to London with Theresa. I can't say I ever imagined I would stay more than a few years.

The title, of course, comes from the title song of Eberhard Weber's first ECM record, which was one of my favourites in the tiny flat Theresa and I shared on Lorne Avenue, and I'm sure I set my simple stereo up on my parents' porch, listened, and wrote. I may have been looking at Maya Weber's cover painting while I did. And it may have been the last thing I wrote before I arrived in England.

It seems it was published in something called Chock, which may have been the same as the Chock Freesheet, in October 1979. I've probably got a copy of it in storage somewhere. But this is its first appearance since then, 35 years ago...


THE COLOURS OF CHLOE      (Eberhard Weber)

Why is she sleeeping
           underneath
the rain

while her cello sits
unbowed just out of
the shadows
                         cast aside
by a cypress, reaching down
to touch her?


                         She surrounds
               the sunset in
                                       her eyes.

The path of her dreams can be
followed on her face
                                     by anyone
                who drifts by
& happens to look.

As slowly as the music lures
her back to consciousness

she sees a spectrum
rising, below the horizon

the redness of angry
sky, crackling louder
than the cold blue of crying

          than a yellow straw forgetting

colours

broken in the wind.

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