I wonder : What's this woman really like?
And can it be she's interested in me?
Is this the moment I should pick to strike
And ask her if tomorrow she'd be free
For dinner, or a drink, or maybe lunch?
I shouldn't move too quickly, I suppose,
Unless I can rely upon my hunch
That she'd accept whichever one I chose.
She's smiling at me; no, she's turned away,
But only to introduce me to her friend.
I'm fumbling in a game I used to play
And trying to remember how it ends.
Relax, you fool, this planning does no good :
Just be yourself, as if you ever could.
There's nothing that I want from you, my love,
And nothing that I'm trying to achieve.
I barely notice all the stars above
Or music rustling gently through the leaves.
The quarter-moon is rising from the ocean,
The sand between our toes is soft and warm;
Surrendering myself to pure emotion
I feel like I am somehow being born.
There is no thinking in the place we're in
Distracting us from this eternal now
With fantasies of dreams we might begin
To realize or bury with a vow.
This momentary madness is divine
When you are yours and I am truly mine.
I played a record that I thought I'd heard
And listened as I never had before
The band was sharp, the singing clear, the words
Were carried on a melody that soared.
It wasn't really anything you did
That made the music come alive for me;
You bopped around the room just like a kid.
I caught your mood and giggled in my glee.
We talked and talked until the moon had set
And then we made some tea and talked some more.
Whoever would have thought that we'd connect
With such a fine, immediate rapport?
A week awake is worth a year asleep
But ecstasy is not a prize you keep.
I love your nipple hard against my lips,
The way you breathe as I caress your breast,
The endless curve around your supple hips,
Your fingers running up and down my chest
And stroking till they can't contain my cock.
My hand is sliding down towards your cunt;
And now I want to take you from the back
So I turn you round and lay you on your front.
"Let up," you say, "I want to see your face."
I need you now, I wouldn't press my luck
So bending back your legs I start to chase
Transcendence in the climax of a fuck.
I almost didn't know you when I came :
But afterwards I softly call your name.
Take me not too deep inside,
Protect yourself from consequences.
Play until the moonset hides
Our gentle loving's hard pretences.
Beware the rhapsodies of lusts
That sometimes gild a real desire
And sometimes hide behind its thrusts.
Remember friendship might expire
When love assaults a life's routines;
Hold on to laughing conversation
And self-sufficiency that seems
Enough for every situation.
Bury the lies that lovers learn
To boast how brilliantly they burn.
I try to reassure myself
That what I want to feel is true
And so I take down from the shelf
The icon that I made of you
From shards of memories and dreams.
I kneel before this holy shrine
And pray this goddess intervenes
To take your heart and make it mine,
And equally to make mine yours,
To validate this endless quest,
To give me someone to adore
So blessing her I may be blessed.
When follies fool their architect,
How can he keep his self-respect?
Believe me when I tell you that I lie
Whenever I explain the way I feel,
For with such neat confessions I deny
The truth of anything that I've revealed.
When honesty becomes another mask
To hide what it pretends that it must show,
Communication is a hopeless task.
Do I love you? How could you ever know?
Can I accept the risk that I'll be hurt?
Or do I in a slightly subtle way
Protect myself like any harmless flirt
Avoiding games I don't know how to play?
Pain and love are closer than they seem :
A nightmare's just another kind of dream.
When I was there I thought I beat him out,
Professing my undying sympathy
And listening intently to your doubt.
But now I wonder, were you using me?
Unconsciously, I'm sure, but what a plan :
Inviting him to join us at the bar;
To come, alone, to your birthday party; and
In general not to wander very far.
"Is that OK?" you used to ask of me,
"Don't worry about a thing, he's just a friend."
So tamping down the pain of jealousy
I made myself believe that story's end.
But when I left he blew upon the ember
And found a flame you once could not remember.
I see you as I wish you were,
I see you as I know you are;
I understand the way I blur
The two of them. It's quite bizarre
But ordinary for any lover
Looking on the one he loves.
For, thinking that she's like no other,
He places her so far above
The world that even all her faults
Are perfect in the context that
Sends him spinning somersaults
And pulling rabbits from his hat.
If you could see what I could see
You wouldn't be the one I see
Sometimes there's nothing anyone can say
And nothing is the only thing to do;
Sometimes you have to throw away a day
To do no damage while you struggle through.
So give yourself a break and just stay home,
Escape into a book or television;
Settle back and hibernate alone;
Decide that you'll defer all your decisions.
Allow yourself to cry or scream or curse
But do it on your own, as medicine,
Don't dig yourself a hole that's any worse
Than the one that you're already in.
It's just a day devoted to your sorrow :
A better one will be along tomorrow.
She barricades her private space
And claims that you're too sensitive;
She's proud to have a poker face
Which you call being secretive.
You feel she's treated you like dirt;
She says she's being realistic.
She's terrified of being hurt;
You wonder if she's masochistic.
You're silly to be sentimental;
She's too repressed to show her tears.
That surface calm is fundamental
For a life that's built on fears.
To keep out love that can't be borne
The rose is hidden by the thorn.
A fool obsessed by folly of my own,
I stand and watch my woman-goddess try
To throw her foolish self away. Alone,
I drink, I chatter, for an hour I lie.
Her painted face, her laughter turning shrill,
The artificial sparkle in her spine,
Tell me how much she's hoping that she will
Be his : as much as I wish she were mine.
He's toying with her in some stupid game;
It doesn't help to know he'll go away
And everything will then remain the same :
I'll see her live to cry another day.
Each wanting only what we cannot catch,
We fools and folly make a perfect match.
It isn't rape : she's begging to be hit.
While I stroke myself upon my single bed,
I conjure screams to make myself forget
The devils breeding in my lonely head.
I use my belt to stimulate her lust,
I tie her down to screw her in the ass
And take the mouth she offers as she must,
Because she wants her punishment at last.
In fantasy I find a vicious side
That shames me more than I can ever say,
A recipe to salve my injured pride :
Humiliate and force her to obey.
It doesn't work: I cannot be this way.
I hate myself for games I do not play.
I picture women I would like to fuck
And even some that I have had before.
Wouldn't it be peachy keen to run amok
Through all the pretty bodies I could score?
Sometimes I spot a sweetheart in the street
And think that she's exactly what I need;
I visualize her as a bitch in heat
And pick her phantom image for my seed.
Or else aroused by lovers I've outgrown,
Or fantasies about the friends of friends,
I take my satisfaction on my own
To tide me over till this season ends.
But when I come there's only one I see.
My body cannot fool my mind or me.
A real beauty has its purpose,
The living bloom attracts the bee;
But prettiness that's only surface
The jewelled ears that never listen,
The widened eyes that never look,
The waiting lips that softly glisten
With promises I once mistook.
The diamond that I thought I'd made
Turned out to be the cheapest paste;
Attraction was a game she played,
The love I spent was all a waste.
The mannequin who turned my head
Wasn't even good in bed.
She thought she'd like to have a man to screw
From time to time, if it was casual,
A walking cock to share a laugh or two
And keep it meaningless and mutual.
The trouble is that even men will chat
And most of them get boring pretty soon,
So that will quickly put an end to that :
Who wants to fuck a gibbering baboon?
But then if someone interesting arrives
They might be friends and that's a scary thought.
And if he made her glad to be alive
Instead of catching him she might be caught.
She'd rather focus on a fantasy
Than risk her life for who she might yet be.
A heart that's feeling pain is still alive,
No matter how decrepit it may feel;
Its scars are earned in struggles to survive,
They cover it and let the damage heal.
But scars are not resilient like skin,
They linger longer as the body ages
And every time they're opened they begin
To raise the price of paying pleasure's wages.
Yet anyone who shies from feeling pain
Condemns themselves to being something less
Than they deserve to be. It's all the same :
No worst, no best; no hurt, no happiness.
If life is pain yet pain is less than living :
You get no gifts if you will do no giving.
I thought I saw beneath the skin
A fortified but tender heart
But no: The fearfulness within
Keeps her self from all apart.
I tried for ages being fair,
Acknowledging her point of view;
Her center simply isn't there,
There's nothing more that she can do.
She cannot love, she won't accept
The offer of a life to live;
She asks for nothing to protect
She will not take, she cannot give.
The end of hope is never pretty,
Dissolving into dismal pity.
I took a picture and created you
From little bits of life as if by magic.
I desperately needed something true
And faked it so I saw myself as tragic.
It's not your fault that you look beautiful
That's why I chose you as my new ideal,
To which I promised to be dutiful
In symmetry that now appears surreal.
You didn't like the flattery I meant
As truth, especially when I was rejected,
But don't trust anything that I invent
It isn't you, it's someone I projected.
Oh Galatea, my love for you is true :
Pygmalion is come to life anew.
"Dear friend, I wish he'd leave and stay away,"
She wrote, "So I can try to think." Right then,
I understood I'd lost but still I prayed.
He left, I came, she wouldn't take me in :
"Let's not be lovers, let's once more be friends."
When he returned, she painted on a smile
And when she lost, decided to pretend.
She clung to dreams, I vanished for a while,
But even when he left, she would not show
Her real self to me again, just curt,
Polite hypocrisy at best, as though
There never had been feelings to be hurt.
When will this crazy spiral ever end
Old friends not lovers nor old lovers friends?
I saw you crying in the pub last night
With solitary tears, invisible
To anyone who's not in love with you.
You only did the things that you will do
(The change was almost imperceptible)
But something in your laugh was not quite right.
You knew I knew and wouldn't say a thing
Except about Phil singing out of key
And whether I was smoking cigarettes,
As though we both had managed to forget
The time when you confessed your pain to me
And accepted any comfort I could bring.
You let the mask slip once and I still see :
You can't reclaim your dreadful privacy.
I saw my demon sitting in the pub,
Listening to the band and looking bored;
A normal fellow, no Beelzebub
And not the jerk I'd seen him as before.
He smiled and said hello; we shared a drink
And talked a while. He seemed a little down
And, listening, I couldn't help but think :
In all my tragedies, I'd been the clown.
Obsession feeds on fantasy, and these
Were just two lonely people in a bar
With thinning hair and insecurities,
Wondering how we ever got this far.
We talked as men, of things that men will do :
Of course, we didn't even mention you.
No woman ever sent a man to hell,
Unless he'd bought a ticket in advance.
Of course he always blames the Jezebel,
Or puts the whole disaster down to chance.
It's not your fault I thought I needed you
When Father died and everything went bad;
It was easier for me to misconstrue
The sense of loss and longing that I had.
It does not matter if my love was real
I had no other prop to take my weight.
Confused and almost desperate to feel,
Without your love I came to lean on hate.
I've lied about you to myself too much :
It's time for me to throw away the crutch
I saw your shadow laughing by my side
Last night, while strolling aimlessly around.
You seemed relaxed, sidestepping through the tide
Of visitors enjoying this old town.
For once, it didn't hurt. I realized
I hadn't seen you laugh that way in years.
Your laughter doesn't usually reach your eyes
Except as camouflage to hide the tears.
That Giaconda smile that looks so good
Conceals a sadness you don't care to name,
A sense of innocence misunderstood,
A fear of retribution and of shame.
What I saw then I doubt you'll ever see :
Your perfect self, the way you ought to be.