from prose to poetry : processing the image

D and I sit in the cafe, me with my pen, he with his pencil, trying to come up with images for this line:

sometimes when you’ve been with someone, you can still smell them on you


Sitting across from him, I watch his pencil tip cursive through the air. He’s quite brilliant at stuff like this, even though he doesn’t believe me when I say this.

I’m struggling.

There’re a number of images that come to mind, but nothing that I know I’ll be able to undress to the point of intimate vulnerability. Without that moment of recognition, I’ll never know how to use it successfully.

So, I sit.

There’s nothing to do but count the passing seconds and minutes. I’d been insistent on writing without interruptions, setting an alarm to call us out of our writing, but all this means now is that I stubbornly refuse to ask D if we could take a break.

People pass in front of the huge wall-to-wall windows in the front of the cafe. The waitress has just arrived with a plate of chips (yes, let’s order themD had said when I’d pulled my puppy face at him earlier). There’s a sound of gentle chatter in the background, but no-one’s speaking loudly enough for me to eavesdrop. My pen’s grown too heavy. So, I sit.


~ by translating for peas on May 15, 2010.

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