CHAPTER X

from R E D


My art    is a thing concerning sudden death

I shall unfold    when ripened

dig and sow and sprout

sprout    begin to swell

*

Change gathers round a foreign body

an envelope of ordered selfishness

I used my knowledge of this rule to recognise

the origin of my silence

I choke on a narcotic kiss

Something like life seemed to strain my soft voice

betraying emotion not at all wholesome

It once occurred to me that this was loss

but I abandoned this idea

drenched to a scarlet with want

*

Sleep    a presage of horror

Dread all night long rose and fell with the regularity of a pendulum

I was anxious about my work

my brain was beginning to argue with itself

I heard the low hiss of inspiration

My iron face was drawn and ashen

as a corpse after prolonged illness

*

I must obey

and silence is a part of obedience

Obedience    is grotesque to me

It keeps me fixed to weakness