POEM: A PILLOW BOOK

by contemplativeinquiry

The wisdom of diffident humanism. Spontaneity, immersion-in-the-moment and dissolved boundaries aren’t everything. Our narrative natures may be present, self-conscious and hyper-sensitive as we negotiate connection between self and other.  In my world this too has integrity, beauty, and tenderness.

I lie in bed, watching you

Dress yourself in nudity

For your part in a story

You are about to tell me.

Once upon a time, you seem to say,

There was a woman who took off all her clothes

And stood for a moment

With one hand on her hip.

You have my full attention

As you pile your hair on top of your head

And let it fall down again.

Up to this point I am familiar with the story.

Your movements suggest a possible outline,

But nothing is certain yet.

You lift your arms above your head

In a gesture of boredom or surrender.

Your hands touch in mid-air

And you turn them palm-side out

In a kind of question mark,

As you ask for help with the ending.

Hugo Williams, West End Final London: Faber & Faber, 2009. The publisher’s blurb describes this collection as a set of “sardonic investigations into the fault line between voice and projection”.