Homage to a Pirelli Calendar (1974)
Kindling expired with a crackle on the sand. You discarded your sandals
and cut a toe. The blood was the same colour as your lips and nail
varnish. Which was a bit ridiculous!
Catfish spine; crabs legs; murmaid's purse. Sifting fine shells and
other oceanic matter through fingers: a lot of life to toss away and toy
with. I wanted to say something to unknot the tension in your clenched
tendons, but failed to.
A vizard over your eyes and bracelets wrapped around your slender,
tanned wrists: crimson gauze and dusk and other excellent effects.
Climbing over rocks studded with barnacles; leaving blood trails, bits
of sole, broken heal.
I swam in subzero tempratures. Passenger jets flew overhead. Contempt
kept my pulse steady. I am nasty enough to record this. The style is
admirable, I assure you.
You looked fantastic over breakfast: wet hair tossed over bare
shoulders; buttery fingers clutching a china coffee cup; lipstick-smears
beneath hollow, khol-colour eye sockets. You picked up your high heels,
tossed into a corner at 2 AM, and left, leaving a mess of crumbs and
cream, and a very stained table cloth.
I wanted, actually, to write something to make your toes curl with
delight and disgust. A billet doux, packed with detail, and written in
cold blood. I wanted to keep a promise for once. Or even think of one.
Tried to recall some horrendous censure or atrocity. So.
Sat down with a packet of Consulate in a bid to smoke less, and South
Eastern Australian Merlot, in an attempt to drink less (although I'm
informed that Australian wine is fine: like I'd even notice in the
middle of this nervous, vicious binge) and I came up with nothing but a
fast flash of F_____, with blood between her legs and hounds howling
over hills; the last train pulling out of the station, a pathetic
attempt at telepathy, and a big sign that read
oh, it flickered. In a hammock, sunlight pulsing through tall trees,
spat out pine cones, feathers, porcupine spines. A lot of spittle on the
grass and dirt and moss and a sizzling headache splitting wine, spirits
and menthol cigarettes with white filters, through delicate bone and
synapse, response and tremour. Do you remember? We had a day of hell
together. "Quixotic, so called," you said, to spark swear words and
produce mature bruises, purple and sceptic. You flimsy, sour foxlet.
It had been good, otherwise. Until, that is, something or other, like a
dream: in a desert, with shabby Egyptian vultures circling our skulls,
resplendant under radioactive waves, wisps of hair still attached. On
the horizon we saw a billboard dictator touch the sky with his index
finger; we spat Sufi slang like rugged gold-smelters. It got a bit
bawdy. We failed to communicate from then on. Your fine white complexion
went quiet which just about put a full stop
on it. The Russians sent their best baladines. We danced without relish
or discretion and then let each other go. A fine thing to do. Such
slovenly bullies! We went from wanton kindness to malice, indiscretion,
misfortune; the modes and intrigues of the day. But, in equal measure,
we would, indeed, have it no other way.