Gesture (2019)

Then I realised, even if late, that my gesture was seen but no hand would reach me back. I had walked down the hill, the narrow street, the back alley past the church where music still beats inside the walls. If corners could tell stories, if bricks could sing this song – If only – they’d speak in alien tongues forcing smiles and helpless tears. Today I’m damned, today I’m listening. I can’t help but hear the voices, hear them all, hear the words of a mad poet, standing like the sun in February’s northern sky. These songs are torn open, like ripe fruits left behind. I pronounce them with my gestures in the middle of the expanse: this dance is not a dance for the festive bodies of the mindless, this dance is my hand reaching out the outside, across town, from the hill down, past the temple and the limits of my life.

Once, the temple was taken by a tribe musicians. Do you remeber that, sweetheart? They came with the sound of a storm and the breathing of a bird. Do you remember? We had one to many beers that night, sweetheart – I sure did. Your gesture was the definition of invoked presence, your eyes lost up the heavens, or the ceiling of that dirty bar. You know I tend to distort everything my memory holds. That gesture is now another gesture, a dance from somewhere else. I’ve had my share of redirection; I too have danced the ‘Change of Heart’, the ‘Love me not’, the ‘Dance of Death’. But tonight (the sun’s getting low, the damn poet’s too stoned), there’s something else on stage.

Tonight, I elongate my body to the other side and nothing happens. Nonsense. Lies. An empty canvas is a happening, a minute of silence an event. ‘Nothing’ is something with meaning beyond content. It’s me crouching in an awkward cabin in the woods, it’s a clearly written letter wishing you a good season. It is also spit and slap, push and drunken wrestling in a centenary house. Sometimes, it’s clear that the other side is not willing, or interested, or able, to grab the hand given in offer for purposes never crystal clear.

(Look, dear! Geese!)

But what do I know? Whose hand is the hand that I can’t see? Am I not willing, or interested or able to understand? Perhaps. I extend my hand and the sound of my being impertinent trumpets out like a warning. My straight arm becomes an angle, a hand covering the face, a finger pointing to my chest. ‘Go Away!’ is the tune playing, the band brings the thunder into shape by suffocating the bird’s breath from the heart. I’ve got to dance to the songs I hear. The temple resonates. The bells toll for me. There cannot be death in death