Saturday 21 October 2017

Anne Carson, John Berryman, Puerto Banus

De luxe hurricane blog post

Puerto Banus is not for poets. That's why I read poetry here. John Berryman. Anne Carson. As if being alone were not enough I'm sitting on the beach reading these utterly separating turns of phrase; the Thai masseuse passes offering neck and shoulders or full back, unconvinced; the African bag sellers defer to my solitude. A beached jellyfish the size of a transparent sombrero quivers slightly. A large catamaran opens the near horizon. We are all guarded by Señor Banus on his pillar like Napoleon. Bathers, readers, lovers, investors and lapdogs. Small flightless shrieks from gulls at water's edge as the midday tideless rises over countless pebbles. In the pleasure harbour tall masts quiver; a Bentley nudges the gangplank of a giant motor yacht; downwind of a famous buffet lunch—think Sean Connery and Brigitte Bardot—where smart lunchers range along, choosing like the damned from vastitudes of salads, meats, desserts and cocktails by design. Later you can do a wellness spa w/personalized detox-style cuisine, Welcome Juice as well as detailed Body Composition Status & Progress Report.
Figurez-vous, a time swarms when the word
'happy' sheds its whole meaning
Three children under twelve spend twenty minutes under the beach shower, de-sanding; I want to tell them clean water is precious and they do not need to be this anxious about sand but instead I glare as they head off along the beach towards, doubtless, a hot shower back at the de luxe apartment. Water can be very drying, I learn from the wellness persons as they pass.
When worst got things, how was you? Steady on?
I move from John Berryman/gentle friendly Henry Pussy-cat to Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red: careful strides of language and fancy footwork to please the most demanding holiday mind. So I am leaping and retracting all over Anne Carson's pages, keeping safe on a Spanish beach, looking after my language, making a cocoon for myself with some difficult poets and a towel beside the tideless sea, while, two thousand miles northnorthwest, Storm Ophelia is having her way with the home patch.
Reality is a sound, you have to tune in to it not just keep yelling.
 That night, despite a 600 thread count on sheets and Hungarian goose down in the pillows, I'm at home on the hill in Ireland. I want to see the angles at which the torn trees fall. I have to place every ripped limb, every stick and leaf as if blown way across the hot Atlantic to land in a lush, strangulating dip, in our patch. A hurricane is most particularly where you are, even if you're not there. Your oak your ash your beech your willow your will.  Señor Banus does not speak back. Storm Ophelia is barely a rustle in our tourist pelt. This is not a wellness issue.

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