A Letter from Magritte
There is a little Indian blood in the veins of the coffee.
Yesterday I visited the date on the calendar
in a flat in a white house saccharised with religious education.
I am, at the moment, seated in front of a South American jungle
(the home of psychoanalysis) in a black, prickly, Victorian chair.
Mrs Paige arouses the anacondas. Dr Vits
paints her out with a brush stiff and staccato.
The typewriter is about 50 years of age and has
no hair. It will travel back with me to Brussels shortly.
beautiful like the sizzling chance encounter on a
dissecting table of a pig and a slice of bacon
it wasn’t as if Moiseiwitsch was keeping his bees in order
behind the hedge
or trimming his long-haired piano with garden shears
or clearing the staves each autumn of fossil ivory
but his invitations did go out
in impeccable ink
flourishing their mud & mussel-blue black
beneath the weary legs of a pier
& it wasn’t as if Moiseiwitsch was failing to prise the light
in its drenching tumults of silk
from the carved Stygian Bechstein branchy with wax
of blazing baroque
on three legs of wood
a mouth devouring the landscape
on three legs of silver awash with sapphires
a dung beetle rolling its pellet
on three legs of ice crystals
the symphonic weight of Chartres Cathedral
on three legs of blue smoke
the confused eye of the conjurer’s white rabbit
Where is your limousine
where is your peach melba
where is your Jamaican serving girl
with the cool & sinuous fingers
or your house come to that
built from the bricks of old mortuaries
every room with its silver tray
& drowsy revolver?
the chair doesn’t need to burst out laughing
or fan itself into sweetness & light
the chair doesn’t suffer a touch of the vapours
or go through life whipping itself
until the blood oozes
the chair just sits in a field of snow