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Famous Reporter # 32
 

 

 

ADRIAN CAESAR

 

 The Weddings of Narcissi

 

I
 
They are shaping each other
applying the bevelled edge
to knock off rough corners
shape their ideal romance.
It is the work of many days
there are abrasions when
the material seems knotty
resistant and suggests a
form quite other than the one
desired. Cunning is needed
plane and sandpaper, a smoothing
over, or sometimes a more violent
approach, the cutting deeper
more pronounced to oust
the irritant trait,
or unfortunate feature.
Their making love
is a rubbing each other up
the right and wrong way
an erasure of possible differences
indicating a need to preserve
the appropriate image.
It is a way to make statues
and photographs of statues;
it is a way to cheat change.
And so they chisel each other
in successive diminutions
for thirty years until
the finished product is admired -
how alike they are,
how they'll never alter -
artists of a marriage they
have sculpted the perfect exchange.
 
II
 
They fall for an armature
the possibilities of a straight ideal
fashionably thin
then add the flesh of clay
wet and slippery
in sensuous mouldings
through rub and finger
palm and pressure
they make each other
roundly every night
smothering imperfection
with new invention
a plastering over
until fat
they grow
into each other's
perfect lover.
But it can't go on
the clay dries
is fixed and fired
and they are chained
to forms from which
there's no escape
though they might brush
each other up
with different colours
or attach some
metal plated armour
the growing days
are over, no further
transformations
will move beyond indifference
they have become
finished.

 

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