Life and War with Mikey Fatboy Delgado
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
For W…. in Cardiff who I thought of tonight
I had come back at the end of a war to the same room I left at the start of it.
Because so much had happened I expected as I turned the key that the room
would be as different on my return as I was. It wasn’t. Rooms don’t change much
when no-one has been in them, not to us anyway. We are too big to notice
the small real deaths of mites in the carpet or the life in the decay of some crumb
teeming with change between a chair and a wall. I wrote something to W…. who
would never read it, I wrote quickly about what I saw when I came back through
the door. It seemed momentarily as important as what I’d seen while I’d been away.
I have returned from a long journey, and the forgotten half-cup of tea
with two dead flies in it returns me to mourning in the empty room
where nothing knows or cares of the monstrous sadness of a forgotten
half-cup of tea with two dead flies in it. The air is so still, nothing that
cares has moved through it in all this time. Every night now the door
is left unlocked to let you in and find me.
All these years later and there is war again. This time I have stayed in a different room.
I haven’t gone to the new war. All these years I have kept Nigel’s drawing of the cup
with the two dead flies in it which he drew after I sent him a copy of the note I’d written
to W…. who would never read it. I sent the note to Nigel to let him know I’m back.
He sent the drawing to me by way of saying good. Tonight I have taken the drawing
down from the wall to gaze at it, to imagine him reading and then drawing, perhaps
like this, like me, in a lamplit room in the early hours. Earlier tonight I read Schuyler’s
poem that has a cup in it, Schuyler’s beautiful poem about a cup half-filled with sunlight.
That poem made me think of Nigel’s cup and of W…. and of how I’d like after all these
years to write something about what happened between us all, all those years ago,
some poem, or something as beautiful as the drawing, but here you are, almost at
the end of this, and still no poem.
Cup - (Nigel M ©)
Shimmer - James Schuyler
The pear tree that last year
was heavy-laden this year
bears little fruit. Was
it that wet spring we had?
All the pear tree leaves
go shimmer, all at once. The
August sun blasts down
into the coolness from the
ocean. The New York Times
is on strike. My daily
fare! I’ll starve! Not
quite. On my sill, balls
of twine wrapped up in
cellophane glitter. The
brown, the white and one
I think you’d call ecru.
The sunlight falls partly
in a cup: it has a blue
transfer of two boys, a
dog and a duck and says,
"Come Away Pompey." I
like that cup, half
full of sunlight. Today
you could take up the
tattered shadows off
the grass. Roll them
and stow them. And collect
the shimmerings in a
cup, like the coffee
here at my right hand.