Monthly Archives: August 2019

The Queen’s Intelligencer

Fridayam's Blog

The Queen's Intelligencer

I feel like a spy in my own country,
snapping secret photos full of
operational intelligence:
how wide is that river? how deep?
is that mud or will boots grip?
is the bridge defensible or
easily taken in a coup de main?
if tidal, when is high, when low? are there
fortifications? landward? seaward?
are they expecting us?

Wait a minute—us?
For every “us” there is a “them”.in which
category I felt ensconced,
so when exactly did I step onto the
slippery slope between
“them” and “us”?

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Hera at the British Museum

Fridayam's Blog

They know me now, the Security Guards,

nodding faint acknowledgement that the

crackpot is back, the dapper old lady with a

screw loose, blinking her bovine eyes before

blanking them and heading for the pathetic

shards of my life enamoured with glass.

They think I am a bag-lady without bags,

except that exquisite Chanel clutch. Did I

steal it? they wonder, but I shan’t tell them

how many such guilt-gifts I’ve had from a

husband who has fucked everything

including my life.

There is rarely anyone there to see my

family album in red and black:

nothing like us of course, as though we had

all turned away when a photo was taken, or

been blurred or photo-shopped,

and I am always such a frump!

Was I ever young? Or did you

birth me as a mother? Was there

something before? Heat and dust, the

sense of a jolting cart…

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Musings

Perhaps you are the backing singer

harmonising his songs of

lost loves, your

soprano squeezing some

juice into his

grizzled heartbreak,

knowing you will

share his bed but

wondering about his heart.

 
Or perhaps you are cold and

naked on a dais,

perused and perplexed while

pen, pencil, oil or

watercolour try to

capture you who have never

wanted capture.

 
Or you are the anonymous

face on the tram or train or

bus, your vacant stare

stirring a man or

woman to sieve the

vast pot of words to find a

few to describe you.

“These are the things that happened in Sicily”

Fridayam's Blog

ταῦταμὲντὰπερὶΣικελίανγενόμενα.

Athenians thought Nicias modest, walking with

downcast eyes, but really he was just another

morose millionaire on the

lookout for a lost obol, missing the

minor miracles of life, like the

meteor streaking across the window, the

everyday stars that evanesce from

evening sky, the abrupt

startlement of jays, the woodpecker’s

gentle tap-tap seduction of

soft bodies in hard wood, the

redefinition of grey in every

overcast sky—all this is

missed if eyes are fixed to ground or

face is pressed to pillow, eyes

gummed shut with tears as even

Nicias’ eyes were when he led Athens to its

Golgotha in a Sicilian quarry, hot, dust-dry,

surrounded by spears, where all his

millions couldn’t buy a

cup of water.

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Focus

Fridayam's Blog

In that dim room, between

dozing nods, the people looked like

figures in an Adoration around an

oversized crib; next moment a

different tableau, a

Night Watch, then an

Exemplary Dissection, a Demonstration of

Gas in a Jar, a

Dawn Vigil—all, my

fuddled brain knew, with something

very precious at the

focal point of all those

nocturnal witnesses.

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Introspection (take 3)–Thelonious Monk

Fridayam's Blog

Listening to it was what it felt like:

Monk’s hands–their hands–everywhere,

unexpectedly feeling for her

chords, her grace notes, her

majors and minors, her

cadences (Oh, you darling!), her

Picardy thirds, stretching her

loins like lion-meat, then

vamping into a second subject just to

titillate, then a third to

make her scream for the

dominant to make her

movement finish with a

flourish.

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