Saturday, 6 June 2009

Answering back... x2

Elqui 1, Detail, oil on canvas, 70x80cm

From the Guardian Magazine's Space Solves, 6 June 2009:

"Re Dear Diary... I need a Fireproof Safe (9 May), I, too have diaries that I try to keep safe. However, I have now produced a 10-word summary of each weekend on an Excel spreadsheet and have backed this up in several places. This is not only safe, but it can easily be searched, so helps to answer all those 'When did we last see Fred?'-type questions."

Hello?! ... I have some questions too... how about:
Am I asking the wrong questions?
Do I not understand the purpose of a diary?
Why do I never see Fred?

But that wasn't it. There's been more talking and answering back that led to some laughter. This time, M. and mine when I showed her one of my recent poetry finds, Carol Ann Duffy's edited collection of poets' responses to other poems, Answering Back.


To women, as far as I am concerned

The feelings I don't have, I don't have.
The feelings I don't have, I won't say I have.
The feelings you say you have, you don't have.
The feelings you would like us both to have, we neither of us have,

The feelings people ought to have, they never have.
If people say they've got feelings, you may be pretty sure they haven't got them.

So, if you want either of us to feel anything at all
you'd better abandon all idea of feelings altogether.
DH Lawrence

Chosen by Jean Sprackland who responds with


He adjusted the chain on my bike, so I let him
leave a few oily marks on my blouse. After that

he'd always be coming round when my parents were out,
asking how did I feel. Had my feelings
grown, altered or faded. Were they dying.

I thought of a tortoise asleep in a box of straw.
In spring you had to reach in and feel for warmth,
carry it onto the grass and try it with dandelions.

It was weeks before I knew that all I wanted
was to be driven at night up to the gravel pit
wearing only his proper coat, then to throw it off
and run into the water feeling nothing at all.

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