SOMEWHERE NEAR KETTERING:
Obedient to the 6:45 lie-in alarm, from a bed of unfamiliar
silences, a night of punctured dreams. It was like sleep,
but not, last night, like sleep, fitful, disconnected,
discontinuous, intermittent, fragmentary, broken.
I’m single-glazed this morning, membrane tight as a drum,
can hear birdsong in the next county, ticking clocks in
locked rooms of houses in the next town, the whisper of paper
not yet turned.
Last evening, at the theatre of dinner, welcomed into the light,
I began my listening, would’ve drowned on any other day,
flailing in the torrent of conversation, were it not for the passion
stringing pearls of words, beats, clicks, twinkle-eyed winks, rough
as un-hewn diamonds dug straight from earth, dirty & proud of it,
the uncut celebration of life! I was mute, stunned into listening,
(you would’ve laughed) stoned on the joy-of-food made with love,
delivered as performance, surfing on the rhythm of voices carrying
energies I’d forgotten, plugged in, vibrating, knife, fork, spoon.
“Do you want custard with that?”