Three versions of Vallejo – Richard Price

(published in alba Londres 01)

“In the corner there…”

In the corner there, where we slept together
so many nights, I’ve sat down at last
still travelling. The sofa for defunct lovers
has been removed or who knows just what has come to pass.
You soon turned to other business
and you’re not here now. It’s the corner
where, by your side, I read one night
between your tender tips. I remember
a story by Daudet. It’s the corner
I love best. Don’t doubt it.
I’m determined to remember the days
of lost summer, your coming and going,
too little and too much, pale, room to room.
On this rainy night,both far off, I jump suddenly.
It’s two doors, opening and shutting,
two doors the wind is opening, shutting 72 shadow to shadow.

(Trilce, XV)


“A second’s scalding”

A second’s scalding
across the sum total of desire’s little flesh,
piquant vagrant chilli-pepper
at two in the immoral afternoon.
Glove of hems hem to hem.
Fragrant touched truth alive, connecting
sexual antenna
with an estimate of our being minus knowing.
Maximum ablution washing dregs.
Travellers’ cauldrons that clang and splash with fresh shadow,
unanimous, the colour, the fraction, the hard life, the eternal hard life.
Don’t worry. That’s death.
The sexual blood of the lover crying out
deliciously, taking so much
to such a ridiculous point.
And the circuit
between our poor day and the vast night, at two in the immoral afternoon.

(Trilce, XXX)