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El mundo que yo no viva / Euripides Electra: 699-746

Grace Linden

 
[1]

Picture by the author

 
El mundo que yo no viva
 
the world that I don’t live –              like

a strange thing           I thought

like a marvellous arch          rosewater

and white spirit         but writing has

no smell                      it’s a room where

the paint’s not yet                  dried for want

of someone                to watch it

quiet companion,                   how long

have we                      been here? what

was our reason                       for entering

in the first                  place?

there’s a row of                      suits on a

clothes rail                              near the window

each very slack          at the joints

I can’t stop staring                not seeing

not quite                     very transparent

suddenly very afraid           because my

body is                        recording gestures

for the future             to use against me

 
 
Electra chorus
 

in the evening we fell apart laughing

a little ha ! the worse for where we were

under pressure from, in light of some ha !

heavy argument never the less like

a dead horse in the middle of the day
 

call it revenge if you wish, I’ll go on

calling it aggravated empathy;

drawing a cloth back again across the

blackboard sky he shouted ‘it was never’

the echo was fantastic, terribly
 

let’s talk about the old trade winds, how

they rubbed against the sea, because like me

they have no children, and were not ever –

look mum! no hands, no mouth, no eyes neither

all gold, everything, soft and reddish
 

I saved tears to use as a deposit

on a house in the south of France, which has

just now skyrocketed in value

on account of the climate, was it what

you wanted ? love doesn’t permit exchange
 

my horny golden lamb, my good cheap dog,

you called? the report endures, is profit,

is the little left over part, is me,

is the gag line – forget you forgot it

is my advice, wear it backwards, wear it thin

 
 

El mundo que yo no viva’ and ‘Euripides Electra: 699-746’ are part of a Special Issue on Uto/Dystopias [2].

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Grace Linden [3] studied Classics at Magdalen College. Her poetry and artwork has been published in Eyot and the Oxonian Review, and she was the Oxford Editor of the Mays Anthology 25. She is one half of the organisers of the feminist book club ‘Hard to Get’.