Postcard in an Envelope
it’s called the literary life, then needlessly translated
into real life. the translation’s an exegesis –
a kind of recycling. means you can say “action!” without anxiety.
past gestures: she’s carrying plastic cups of wine,
not thinking of three in a bed,
head still full of Art. she’s on a train,
in tears, walking, taking taxis.
doing it in smart hotels, in ordinary hotels, in apartments,
on the floor, in thought, with others, on the telephone –
imaginary examples, since my gift’s the microscope
not opera glasses.
our colleagues are expert in translation.
there’s the getting ready, there are the launch, the dedications and a postcard of Juliet.
there’s stupid jealousy over a past we can’t hold onto (or back),
there are shame and understanding, a getaway in the Owl Mountains,
the editors of a widely-read periodical, sudden estrangement
and the first Christmas a without a card. I lift my gaze,
the sky’s empty, it doesn’t fall. and this is the visible world,
the one where we can still be in touch.
Translated by Fiona Sampson