Sunday, February 07, 2010

Edward Hopper Floating Curtain for Jonnie and Anne

Edward Hopper Floating Curtain

each summer trailing from an open window
across the flat gardens or down the street
I see again that Edward Hopper curtain
a white promise lifted by the breeze
a presence of unshared regret
lingering across my vision/and the light
that comes and changes things
where all alone a woman
kneels on the bed and looks/I
not knowing if she knows just how
the light picks out the rumpled waves
the sheet she’s kneeling on in New York

in London that same light has come
to visit me in the just-before or
just-after I dial or log on boot up

it’s as if Edward Hopper knows my place
the way shadow is and how the light is straight -
straight as my trunk or table -
showing new across the carpet
like a lance from worship or silence
from some place other in the world
that came alight while we still slept

I daren’t go up too close
to those paintings at the exhibition
in case I get pulled through
into that bar somewhere on the corner
in America where loneliness
works by electricity or into a cinema
where the light is red and blue
against the tawdry lushness of cinema curtains
where an usherette lovelier than a film-star
shines in her polyester like a torch

come back home and look through a window
at a scene or part of a scene by Hopper/
it’s just a wall or a building or part
of a wall or of someone in another window
across the night over the street
and even though there is no message
on the answer phone
I still know Edward Hopper
dialled my number while I’ve been out