i.m. Anita Marsh
The colour red is all it takes:
red lipstick, red ring, red dress, rouge,
and I remember the Millennium Bridge
and Howard Hodgkin at the Modern Tate
where (after churches by Christopher Wren)
you talked art, and colour photography.
But now, memory of red is checked
by (black & white) photography:
the Emerald coast, France, double-selfie,
my Van Gogh beard and your paint-brushed cheeks
muted, our red hats and crimson scarves
a shade of brown in the dying season.
In a Bavarian jacket (from a second-hand store)
he rides the Metro to Johan Teslak’s apartment
like 60s Europe, Cold War, or a movie star
from Prague going AWOL at Gents,
a drunk (asleep in the Rosenberg Gardens)
dreaming Hans Christian Anderson and Kierkegaard
attend Glyptoteket and Brondby v Copenhagen
as friends in life, death, football, art.
‘Soldier Svejk’ to the ticket guards of Tivoli,
‘Tramp’ and ‘Prince’ and ‘Ghost’ in Kongens Nytorv,
‘The old emigrant’ to prostitutes, former “lovelies”
and Johan’s velkommen a truth, cliche, epitaph:
‘Life is a journey Svejk, not a destination,
a journey, not a destination’.
* Glyptoteket – museum of art
Kongens Nytorv – region of Copenhagen
Tivoli (Gardens) – 19th Century amusement park.
It felt like Bloomsbury had eyes
and the high buildings listening,
the plane trees gossiping,
a Turner sun observing
until we walked the dark sides
of London’s streets.
A generation from war,
no killing gas or blown limbs
blocked our way, just lovelessness,
argument, conflict, how light
turned to dark and love, rancour.
©2015 Anthony Costello
Anthony Costello is a poet, writer and translator. His first book of poems, The Mask, was published by Lapwing in 2014. The Poems of Alain-Fournier, a collaborative translation project with Anita Marsh and Anthony Howell, is forthcoming in 2015 with Anvil Press.