Saturday, 11 June 2011

the bench that should have been

i remember us on the bench that has never been,
the light playing on our shoulders and
what would have been our face, had we really existed.
i turn to you,
my breath tearing through you like a whip,
a silver snake in the dark.

i don't speak.

my words echo thus, but not in your mind:
on your trembling hands, your bending knees,
in your throat.

you haven't come. to what purpose disturb the dust
on a bench that has never been, i do not know.
other voices inhabit me
that you will never know, either.

i turn to you and light my cigarette

only because i know you love this burning
and mourning of ashes, this beauty of mine now,
behind the veil of flesh.
i blow the smoke, gently, into what
would have been your wound, had you been there,
my cry, that we can bear only so much paleness.

i remember the moment that should have been,
had the future been your cat's ball of speckled yarn,
my poem.



  1. As ashes on cuttlefish ink
    into which all image sinks
    the paring off of color
    reveals rainbows rarer
    than any seen in air.

  2. It is not
    enough to say
    take my breath away,
    I didn't need it
    I feel like
    a person not there,
    yet, still
    there is this fragrance
    of your hair,
    and the hills and hollows
    my fingers trace
    all over your face
    on some bench
    we never shared
    some place
    far away.

  3. "Ain't it just like the night,
    To play tricks when we're trying to be so quiet,
    And we sit here stranded,
    Though we're all doing our best to deny it..."
    --- Dylan, Visions of Johana

    Funny how an image can bring a song to mind almost immediately, but it did, yes, we are all stranded here, sitting on a bench in the dark, waiting, waiting for love, for redemption, for salvation, for something...

    "While my conscience explodes..."

  4. i know this is going to sound slightly blasphemous but, but...over the last 2 or 3 posts i think your words have outshone the photographs. there, said it.

    but what are these "other voices inhabiting" this poor soul? not craziness, i hope ;-)

  5. A thousand thank you in return my dear A. I'm speechless now, like I've been on that bench and I've been experienced all those hidden sensations more than once. This haunting poem really makes me tremble reminding scattered childish dreams.

  6. This is a poem I understand with my soul, as poems must be understood.

    All that suffering and longing for what might be, what should have been, what could possibly exist, but that lives only in one's fervent imagination and longing.

    Perhaps this has little to do with your intended meaning of this artful grouping of words, but it is what I bring to the viewing through my personally ground lenses.

    Someone very close to me is going through a painful process of grieving for a future denied her, even though it was only imagined.

  7. Okay, now here is a poem to rival the images. It is breathtaking, Roxana. (And the image of the cigarette reminds me how literally breathtaking those things were for me and how glad I am that I was able to quit smoking!)

    Your posts on benches are tugging at something deep within me but I have not met it yet.

  8. Quelle atmosphère ! Et c'est encore flou... mais je ne sais pas pourquoi j'emploie ce terme là ! ! !...:)
    Si c'est toi qui fume, arrête s'il te plait ! C'est pas bon pour la respiration même si on croit que ça peut faire du bien ! Sucer le sein de la mère, téter, à un moment, faut arrêter ! Mais c'est dur et difficile, je'en conviens !
    Mais je ne suis pas là pour te faire la morale même si mes propos pourraient laisser penser que...

    J'en suis resté à cette photo de banc ! Un banc, qui semble bouger, qui respire ! C'est-il possible que la matière bois puisse remuer ? Non, en principe ! Mais à force de bois ( pas de boire ), la solitude du blanc abandonné peut, va savoir, s'exprimer ! ! ! Il y avait là, peut-être, une mère assise entrain de fumer et qui s'est mise à boire ou à téter ? Pas au goulot, car au goulot c'est pas donné à tout le monde ! Si, peut-être, pour les âmes désespérées qui s'assoient sur un banc, un soir, avec une seule clope à fumer et un fond de bouteille à rêver !
    A qui vient à manquer un banc isolé ? Pas au bois évidemment, à moins que les bancs se mettent à penser...:) Ou alors à celle qui un jour est venue se reposer sur une cigarette pour penser à celui qu'elle aimait !
    C'est vague tout ça ou flou si tu préfères ! Mais en fin, j'ai envie de souhaiter à toutes les matières inanimées, de laisser venir les êtres en quête de noir et banc, de se mettre à songer, sans but ni idées... Juste pour voir le temps passer, avec une cigarette ou une mère assise donnant le sein à téter à une âme en peine de fumée du passé, banc !
    Les idées noires sont plus claires que la fumée blanche ! ! !...


  9. oh,cate poezii se ruleaza fin in aceasta rostogolire a ghemului,cat de la locul lui fiecare cuvant,am stagnat,pur si simplu, in "behind the vail of flash"...aceasta asteptare a clipelor acelea de regasire si focul,focul care insoteste tot ce trebuie sa lumineze si sa distruga intunericul

  10. after such knowledge, what forgiveness?

  11. wie traurig... also entferne Dich, Prinzessin!
    Ein Lächeln schickt Dir

  12. oh, i forgot to mention to you that i was going to be away for a few days (not that you'd really care, dearest) - and this explains my absence on the bridge. Where did you go, you (don't) ask? Well, i was invited to speak at a seminar on vexillology. You're probably surprised at this (if you've read this far and endured the circumlocution). What does this have to do with benches (again, she asks (not))? Everything: there is an exact replica (every aching detail) of this bench in my community courtyard (she's probably thinking sanatorium). So you see, dearest, everything that should make sense - does so in the end.

  13. it's the thread on the carpet for me. but what's this....smoking!? ; )

  14. ah, Michael T., such rainbows, do they really exist? sometimes an image seems to me to hide such revelation, yet at other times revelation takes place only in the erasure of all forms and colours. i am torn between the two, you see :-)

    Dan, it is not enough to say thank you, but you don't need it anyway. yet...

    Owen, "waiting for love, for redemption, for salvation, for something...", what a Beckettian tone in your comment :-) but yes, it is completely so. and tragic too, irredeemably so, yet there is beauty in this too.

  15. Anon, how dare you?!!!
    well failing as a photographer, i could soothe my wounds thinking i am a great poet, but you see, the 3rd post backwards is a video, the previous one a quote from somebody else, and here, hm here i assume it is only Eliot's genius shining through...
    now i have two options, either closing down the Bridge or banishing you, guess which one it will be :-P

    (just joking, of course :-)

    K'line, je t'embrasse...

    second Anon., do i know you? won't you reveal your face, since you seem to identify so well with this Bridge musing?

    oh no, Lynne, this is exactly the spirit of my poem, and i am grateful for this comment, it means so much to me. sometimes i think my entire life is a grieving for all those futures denied to me. very unwise, this, but we can hardly choose our longings.

  16. Lydia, i am so happy you are telling me all these deeply personal things, and how my images (and sometimes words) touch you, this is one of the reasons i keep the Bridge open, to be able to connect like this with people i value...

    Jeff, mais quelles reveries tordues tu fais ici oh la la :-) du banc au sein de la mer a la cigarette a la morale au flou etc, Freud pourrait en faire une analyse :-P (je te taquine bien sur).
    mais sois tranquille, ce n'est pas moi dans la photo, je ne fume pas meme si je reconnais que le geste, la pose de la main qui tient la cigarette, le regard reveur etc. tout ca a un certain charme esthetique, non?


    Cerasela, şi dacă nu s-ar rula acolo atâtea poezii, tu le-ai inventa :-)

  17. Kubla,

    yes, it can seem so, that there is no forgiveness for the two of them, if they missed this moment ("To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk
    Among whispers;"), the only one perhaps, which was to be given to them.
    yet in the world based on the principle of reality and not on that of dream, forgiveness is often uncalled for, simply superfluous. others are the laws of the world.

    Renée, wie suess von dir, dass du dir sorgen um mich machst, es tut mir leid, wenn ich dich traurig gemacht habe... um das wieder gut zu machen schicke ich dir mein schoenstes laecheln :-)

    swiss, don't worry, it's not me in the picture... :-)

  18. Prospero, as i am struggling through your comment, i wonder about your optimism ("everything that should make sense - does so in the end", really hmmm). i want to see that replica of the bench in a film, now that you mentioned it, if not you will have to invent it :-P
    (shouldn't 'bench' have been one of those mystical words, actually?)

  19. am i not already banished?

  20. After all these years, I still read, still view, each and every post. This place is its own realm, its own dimension - its own ethereal, magnificent sigh.

  21. another masterpeice of wordvisions,
    hi my beautiful friend,
    I like to go out to the bench to talk to the ancient oaks and pines and to read when the sun is out,but the benches have gotten to be sticky and my friend says well it is probably sap from the tree and I say I hope so and hope that it isn't just a spilt mickey a spilt dream
    and I went out there to photograph the extravagantly beautiful cherry blossoms before the fruit set and as you pointed out the cherry blossoms in japan do not set fruit and now I see the cherries from these trees-they are dried and shrivelled up as if someone had sucked out the blood of their dreams and perhaps it would have been better not to set the fruit at all the trees were far more beautiful without them..
    this is my dream today on the bridge that pursues your powerful dream like words...

  22. the bench that has never been .... but that might have been .... and that does not remain an abstraction....with this photo echoing in our minds

  23. dearest S. - i am touched beyond words. you are always in my thoughts, do you know that?

  24. ah Madeleine, a spilt dream, i don't know why i suddenly got so sad about these words, indeed they are perfect for my bench and the mood of this poem... thank you, once again, from my heart...

  25. ffflaneur, it is impossible to resist him, is it? i don't have a love affair with english as i have with german, on the contrary i could say, but only the thought that without it i would have missed Eliot makes it all worth to me :-)

  26. Pourquoi Roxana ?

    "du banc au sein de la mer a la cigarette a la morale au flou etc, Freud pourrait en faire une analyse !"...:)

    Je n'ai fait que tirer le fil de ta pelote de laine blanche, si pure et si, ronde !
    Quant à freud, il m'a déjà analysé !
    Verdict : esprit tordu, déjanté, déconnecté de la réalité, sur la touche, sur le banc, définitivement assis,
    face à la mer des vertues,
    où des verts tuent,
    couleur des sentiments confus,
    flous, opaques ou obscurs,
    telle une fumée de vert tue,
    abandonné au banc de la société,
    jeté par la mer,
    nié par la mère,
    dans le couloir qui mène,
    dans le labyrinthe...

    Ma pelote s'étire,
    pour ne pas me perdre,
    dans le dédale des couloirs,
    aveuglé par les fumées,
    non des cigarettes,
    mais des enfers qui enfe rme,
    à corps perdu,
    à mère perdue...:)

    Peut-être trop tordu finalement ! ! !...:)

    Désolé si ton talent de photographe et ta lecture me font divaguer loin dans le dédale des tes pensées... ou de mes pensées...
    Mais avec ta pelote de laine, je ne perdrais plus... promis !...:)

    Je redeviens sage et retenu !

    Je fume une dernière cigarette

    assis sur le banc