Tuesday, 26 August 2008


I am the stalk.
My roots go down
to the depths of the world,
through earth dry with brick,
and damp earth,
through veins of lead and silver.

I am all fibre.
All tremors shake me,
and the weight of the earth
is pressed to my ribs.
Up here my eyes are green leaves,

I am a boy in grey flannels
with a belt fastened by a brass snake up here.
Down there my eyes are the lidless eyes
of a stone figure in a desert by the Nile.
I see women passing with red pitchers to the river;
I see camels swaying and men in turbans.
I hear tramplings, tremblings, stirrings round me.

But let me be unseen.
I am green as a yew tree
in the shade of the hedge.
My hair is made of leaves.
I am rooted
to the middle of the earth.
My body is a stalk.

I press the stalk.
A drop oozes
from the hole at the mouth
and slowly, thickly,
grows larger and larger.
Now something pink
passes the eyehole.
Now an eye-beam
is slid through the chink.

Its beam strikes me.
I am a boy in a grey flannel suit.
She has found me.
I am struck on the nape of the neck.
She has kissed me.

All is shattered.

virginia woolf


Anonymous said...

holy shit this is amazing

Sorlil said...

how are getting on with Les Mis? I've finished book one and giving it a few days before starting book two

swiss said...

i've currently stalled on book eight, not because i'm tired of it but because it's a bit mad and i need a rest.

soooooo much better than the musical, which i've seen, though not by choice and it still haunts me with its badness

Sorlil said...

yer joking, I loved the musical!

my version is split into two volumes , I've finished volume 1 which is halfway through 'the conjunction of two stars' section. I think my favorite part so far is the chase through Paris by Javert and the police.

swiss said...

i liked that bit too. the waterloo thing threw me a bit but i'm sure there'll be a reason for it

you liked the musical! i did think the staging was amazing bubt the music still give me the shivers! lol

Sorlil said...

I guess that means you don't want to borrow the soundtrack
"can you hear the people sing, singing the songs of angry men..." ok I'll stop singing now!

swiss said...

thank you for that. yes, thank you!

Erin Davis said...

Brilliant use of Woolf.
And by the way, I love Les Mis the musical...

swiss said...

it's one of those things - when you break down the way she writes it gets even better!

as for the musical - it just wouldn't do if we all liked the same things! lol

Anonymous said...

OH! This is so much like what a boy who is in love for the first time would feel I image.

Great job on the edit!


Elizabeth said...

This is beautiful. Thank you.