Wednesday 14 February 2018


Because today is Valentine's Day, and because I was tinkering with this poem last week while I was in Minneapolis, I thought I'd post it now. It was written, pretty much as is absent the tinkering, in February 1987, during and just after a Jan Garbarek concert at Logan Hall in London. The title comes from a tune off Garbarek's album It's OK To Listen To The Gray Voice, in which all the song titles are lines from poems by Tomas Transtromer. So it is a poem based on a song based on a poem.

It was published, titled '...Forgetfulness' later in 1987 along with two other poems, as issue 89 of Infolio, published in Cambridge, the group called 'Solo Trio'. It then appeared by itself in the Montreal magazine Shadowplay in May of 1992. It all seems a long time ago. I decided in Minnesota to revert to the full title. The changes are small but I think telling. It was written for Theresa, two years too late.


A few more sides
of the crystal slide into
         if every feeling for you
turned to stone I would be
frozen, all alone for
         almost ever

somethings are never
what they seem
to me
and never learned
                                  it's like
the past two years have been
a dream
                my heart, locked in
a cell that only waking
can unlock, awaits

its own long day, the last
one done
& while I sleep I know
what disappears is gone

I never know the cost or
know what more
there is to tell
about the past or
what I have lost
                             or I can say.

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