“1987-1991 and Walking Down the Street” by Liesl Schillinger, NYC

Love and Heartbreak July 14, 2011 00:14

He’s the big affair I cannot forget.
Only man I ever think of with regret…”
—from You Can’t Take That Away from Me
VALEDICTION
Although I know I only make you ripe
For another woman’s harvesting,
I am glad in this:
I have tasted your first blush.
And in our numbered evenings,
When we first probed each other’s shadows,
Defining them in light,
I enmeshed myself
In the course
Of your new growth.
So when someday I will see
Another possessed of you, my apple tree,
I will not mourn you as one dead, but
Rejoice in knowing
The shelter she finds
Was part built by me.
The gingered essences she will lick from your skin
Will be mine too, intermingled.
For I have melded myself to you,
And you, unknowing, knowing, bent to me.
And we are of the same flesh, and redolence.
And we are of the same tree.
—1987
A WOMAN CUTS HER HAIR
The hair that I grew
while I knew you
is gone.
Short skirts, black boots,
feigned indolence
put aside.
My books, my thoughts,
my writing,
reassumed.
My gin and tonic
still
are by my side.
I wish I could cut off
the love
that grew
While I was linked
unluckily
to you.
—1989
Resistance
I led you to wine and you wouldn’t drink
I led you to light, and you wouldn’t see,
I led you to thought and you wouldn’t think,
I led you to love; you forgot me.
Went back to your small beer,
Went back to your dull bawds,
Went back to your low gear
Went back to your non-Gods.
And yet, how I want you,
And yet, how you haunt me-
And yet, how your hoodoo
And yet seems to taunt me.
—1990
Ressentiment
J’écris un roman sur toi—
Et je veux que tu le saches.
Et tout ce qui te tâche
Je retrouverai et éclairerai.
Tu brilleras de ma lumière,
Derrière—tes ombres surtout,
Illuminées par mon dégoût,
Apparaitront dans leur misère.
Mon doute de ta simple valeur,
Ma haine de tes basses qualités
Y seront nettement découpés;
Offrandes à ton malheur.
—1990
[And, in an ex-post-facto preamble…a song from right before HIM]
Walking Down the Street
In the book of my life
You won’t fill a page
A line or two is all that you will get.
So fiction lover, find another
Young mystery—
Now that this one’s dead.
In the book of my life
You won’t fill a page
A line or two is all that you will get
And that’ll just be how I found
You weren’t what I’d thought
And how I wish we’d never met.
I always forget,
All they want is a dream
A hard thing to be,
When you’re walking down the street,
With his arm in your arm,
And the ground beneath your feet,
Walking down the street.
In the book of my life,
You won’t fill a page
A line or two is all that you will get
So fiction lover, find another
Young fantasy,
And get yourself into a new one’s bed.
I always forget,
Once they leave, they don’t come back.
I guess it’s time for me to face the facts.
Now you’re gone,
You’re gone for good,
And you won’t be round,
My neighborhood,
But that’s OK, ’cause I don’t live there anymore.
(Higher)
I always forget,
All they want is a dream,
A hard thing to be when you’re
Walking down the street,
With your feet on the ground,
And his arm in your arm,
And you’re telling yourself, baby,
‘I’ll never come to harm,
With his arm in my arm,
And the ground beneath my feet,
Walking down the street.’

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