song to elsewhere

July 01, 2007 sunday - 00:11

i am dreaming of an elsewhere. i live in a place that stares up at me from the bottom of a mirror, glistening mercury and jade.

but this elsewhere is dying. the cobblestone streets are awash with dust, and the wrought iron balconies are draped with black. the stores on the street corners, where they sold yellow and black scarves and leather bags and delicate jewellery, all stand empty and looted. the flowers are withered and the trees are dead. black clouds throw shadows over the darkened hills in the distance. and under the last working street lamp, a single broken bottle rolls, spilling a stream of wine onto the pavement that looks like blood.

moonrise tonight is red.

Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home,
Strangeness made sense. The salt rebuff of speech,
Insisting so on difference, made me welcome:
Once that was recognised, we were in touch

Their draughty streets, end-on to hills, the faint
Archaic smell of dockland, like a stable,
The herring-hawker's cry, dwindling, went
To prove me separate, not unworkable.

Living in England has no such excuse:
These are my customs and establishments
It would be much more serious to refuse.
Here no elsewhere underwrites my existence.

- philip larkin, "the importance of elsewhere"

every small bit of happiness earns you a small bit of misery.

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