The cottage was long, settled in the grass with a pleasant grunt Everything fit The whole world compressed And gently shaped
We spent a summer there My room was mint green with rocks everywhere And a mirror in a green frame encrusted with cheap, faded rhinestones. My bed was near the window with copper rocks on the white sill dull hay lines running through their sides And the ceiling sloped down towards the other night The living room was downstairs with big windows looking out to glowing tin roof sea The kitchen cupboards were full of labelled jars We loved cinnamon so much the whole cottage smelt of it No one could decide if the smell was sweet or savoury We weighed everything down with sun warmed rocks That's what rocks are for. Books, paper, plates, doors, and folded up clothes. The books in the house were all unknown thrillers and love stories and Reader's Digests and I remember I mocked them We wrote things on the beach with sticks and rocks they wrote 'happy birthday' in the sand And I wrote on paper 'promise me don't cry' After noon when it began to get dark he would get jittery for food stomach cramping sweat breaking We would all twist our wrists Faster & faster & faster & faster till the clicks were not clicks And I cut sandwiches, white and clean, horseradish paste - strangely pink And crispy leaf But we never ate in the dining room A long room with a long oak table shiny and dark and polished With a filigree turquoise lamp hanging overhead. She lay next to the dull, glowing lights of the car green grass and grey tarmac in pale yellow light And breathed in the smoke & smiled her hands stopped roving As if caught momentarily on pale string The steps were so small that only my feet fit We ate Italian sausage and buzzing, static rocket with juice running down our chins The sun fell again in golden olive lines inside an amber dome through tall leafy trees and their rust shade And we went about our business, sneakers crunching on purple gravel. We sat near the window & flies flew in and couldn't fly out And we swatted them for being lost.
I haven’t posted anything new in a while, but this is a fairly long poem I wrote this morning. I’ve been developing it for a few weeks now, and the idea first came to me when I was on a train on a very sunny day.
This was the result of spending a few days in a cottage that we rented somewhere in New York a few years ago, so of course the sea mentioned above
isn’t really a sea, it’s lake Erie. I remember that the cottage was both fresh and musty, and my feelings for it ranged from an overwhelming infatuation to a vague disquiet. The atmosphere of the holiday was electric, to say the least, and the ruralness of the setting was not something everyone was necessarily used to. The quiet was nebulous and threatening, unfamiliar American countryside.
I think I take so long to post things because I am very reluctant about my writing, I don’t think much of it is good, and I struggle to come up with things that I feel will be worthy of sharing with people. That has never happened, I think, and when I do post I post in a quick haze of writerly occasions when I type things right onto the blank screen and click post. And then I think ‘oh God, this is really not very good.’ But I leave it there.