Poem #12/52

Here is the twelfth poem in my 52-poem sequence (one a week) for 2013, followed by some illumination and reflection:

OFFERHygeia-Gustav Klimt

Accept me
I am only what I am
this page this face
and the lines time wrote there:
read me if you can.

Except me
when you make your list
of types and characters
definable by labels:
I disprove but exist.

Respect me
if my affection is free
forget all preconditions:
the small print
is the memory of me.

Reject me
when you need an escape
for the love of bravery
danger is beautiful:
duty is like rape.

~

Followers of this blog might be able to see chart how my personality was changing back then with each new poem. Here, I no longer seem to be seeking idealistic love but something simpler. Soon, some women would be taking me at my word on this approach. One of them was rather moved by this poem and asked to keep a copy just before we parted. She gave me one of hers, which I still have somewhere. It’s not TS Eliot, but then again neither is mine. It’s sad the things we feel for each other, us human beings, the little pangs as we glide and drift through the weird dance of life, wondering who gave out the invites. Perhaps there is poignancy, looking back, on the minor relationships as much as the major ones, not to mention the near-misses, the what-ifs and might-have-beens, the never-happeneds. Who writes about those? Who charts the splinters, the falling fragments of the mirror of self… the reflections we never quite caught in the eyes of others?

For eroticism, our choice of image has to be Gustav Klimt. I think the Nazis destroyed this portrait (‘Hygeia’ from his Medicine painting unveiled at the tenth Secession Exhibition in 1901), but somehow this colour image has been reconstructed since. I wasn’t sure why I was drawn to it as an accompaniment to this poem, then I read that Hygeia, the Greek goodness of health, cleanliness and sanitation, with the Aesculapius snake wrapped around her arm, is holding the cup of Lethe in her hand, the drinking of which results in the loss of memory. That’s all highly appropriate.

Next week I’ll be talking about casual sex.

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