Saturday, 20 December 2014

Relationships - mine have been like Verlaine's and Rimbaud...

...not really. That's a quote from our man Dylan, who's done a better job than most [in my humble opinion] at apprehending the essence of male-female relationships in popular song from Blonde on Blonde  to Blood on the Tracks [seminal albums both] and Desire. Maybe that's just a male perspective. Lady Dylanophiles speak up, if indeed there are any.

Lines I wish I had conjured up [#127 and #128 in an infinite series] come from Dylan's "Visions of Johanna" which can be found on the afore-mentioned Blonde on Blonde album from 1966.  A former Poet Laureate has proposed that composition as greatest song lyric ever written and I wouldn't be so churlish as to disagree with the Motion. It is seven minutes of aural magic, Dylan's amphetamine-sparkled imagination fired into a wider and wilder orbit after his encounter with Allen Ginsberg. Of the many wonderful images that come tumbling out, these are two I still marvel at every time I hear the song:
- 'the ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face'
- 'inside the museums infinity goes upon trial'
Give it a listen if you get the chance. It's on vinyl and CD, iTunes and Spotify and there's probably a youTube rendition lurking in the ether.

So then, relationships. Here's a poem I started to write over a decade ago but only finished to my satisfaction tonight. It's about a pivotal - and fairly catastrophic - time and I think it speaks for itself [otherwise it's not doing the job properly].

Sofia Gardens

Sofia Gardens
in the sun
planting bulbs out as she hums
a tune that comes from nowhere earthly.

I heard today a friend of mine has gone.
Life isn’t tidy, love isn’t neat,
can’t be kept in a box,
but there’s a stillness in retreat.

I was looking for some answers and
I’m missing you is what I found.
It’s hard to figure out
what’s right and wrong
and where my feelings for you
should belong.
Lovers come and lovers go,
passion burns as hot as snow
and everybody wants to be wanted.
When darkness falls
I smoke another silhouette,
listen as the soundtrack slows,
shorn of absolutes,
bereft of co-ordinates, 
intangible and shifting,
irresolute and drifting…
…sweet friend of the dew
apprehended anew,
your smile and your touch
are like prints on my soul
and Sofia Gardens.
Thank you for reading. I wish you a Merry Christmas and much happiness in 2015. S



Heather Taylor said...

Thank you for posting. I like the lines about the unearthly singing and smoking another silhouette. It has a melancholy feel. It seems like song lyrics. I could imagine Leonard Cohen singing these lines.

Anonymous said...

I like the way you double-spaced the last two lines in the penultimate verse to make the sense of shifting and drifting graphic. Simple but effective. A lovely poem.

Steve Rowland said...

Congratulations Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate for Literature.