POEM: A PILLOW BOOK
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”.