Desmond Painter. “…and terrifies with frailty”: Mark Doty in die gym

Mark Doty

Mark Doty

Ek was van plan om gisteraand, na weke van wik en weifel, my lidmaatskap by die gym te gaan hernu. Want ek word vet en die jare stap aan (en so aan, en so aan). Maar toe nooi vriende ons uit vir snoek en DSTV, en wie op aarde kies nou gym bo snoek, gesels en goeie TV?! Nie ons soort mense nie; en met “ons” bedoel ek nou ek en Claire. 

Maar die gym het teruggekom om by my te spook vanoggend; en hier’s hoe. Ons het pas by ons vriende aangekom gisteraand toe stop Danie ‘n digbundel in my hand en sê, “Lees bietjie hierdie gedig, dit is regtig uitstekend.” Ek het die digter glad nie geken nie, so ek maak toe ‘n nota van sy naam op my selfoon. Mark Doty. ‘n Amerikaanse digter. Ek het die titel vergeet van die spesifieke gedig wat ek gisteraand gelees het. Vanoggend google ek Mark Doty en wragtie, die eerste gedig van hom waarop ek afkom gaan oor… gym!! Ai man; did you have to remind me?! Maar ai ook vir die gedig: myns insiens is dit meesterlik.

 

At the gym – Mark Doty

This salt-stain spot
marks the place where men
lay down their heads,
back to the bench,

and hoist nothing
that need be lifted
but some burden they’ve chosen
this time: more reps,

more weight, the upward shove
of it leaving, collectively,
this sign of where we’ve been:
shroud-stain, negative

flashed onto the vinyl
where we push something
unyielding skyward,
gaining some power

at least over flesh,
which goads with desire,
and terrifies with frailty.
Who could say who’s

added his heat to the nimbus
of our intent, here where
we make ourselves:
something difficult

lifted, pressed or curled,
Power over beauty,
power over power!
Though there’s something more

tender, beneath our vanity,
our will to become objects
of desire: we sweat the mark
of our presence onto the cloth.

Here is some halo
the living made together.

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4 Kommentare op “Desmond Painter. “…and terrifies with frailty”: Mark Doty in die gym”

  1. Danie :

    Die gedig wat jy gelees het, was “No”. Maar ongelukkig kry ek dit nie op die internet nie. Vandat ek “No” gelees het, kyk ek anders na skilpaaie.

  2. Desmond :

    My oupa het, toe ek klein was, knaend “Daar loop ‘n skilpad in die pad” vir my gesing. Dis al hoe hy geweet het om met die inkennige miniatuurmensie soos ek toe was om te gaan… So ek weet nie of “No” genoeg gaan wees om my bestaande beeld van skilpaaie omver te werp nie, maar dit is nogtans ‘n uitstekende gedig!!

  3. Johann de Lange :

    Ietsie vir jou, Desmond:

    House of Beauty
    Mark Doty

    In Jersey City, on Tonnelle Avenue,
    the House of Beauty is burning.

    On a Sunday morning in January,
    under the chilly shadow of the Pulaski Skyway,
    the House of Beauty is burning.

    Who lobbed the firebottle through the glass,
    in among the crèmes and thrones,
    the helmets and clippers and combs,
    who set the House of Beauty burning?

    In the dark recess beside the sink
    —where heads lay back to be laved
    under the perfected heads rowed along the walls—
    the hopeful photographs of possibility darken,
    now that the House of Beauty is burning.

    The Skyway beetles in the ringing cold,
    trestle arcing the steel river and warehouses,
    truck lots and Indian groceries,
    a new plume of smoke joining the others,
    billow of dark thought rising
    from the broken forehead of the House of Beauty

    —an emission almost too small to notice, just now,
    the alarm still ringing, the flames new-launched
    on their project of ruining an effort at pleasure,
    jagged glass jutting like cracked ice
    in the window frame. All things by nature,
    wrote Virgil, are ready to get worse;
    no surprise, then, that the House of Beauty is burning.

    Though whatever happens, however far
    these fires proceed, reducing history to powder,
    whatever the House of Beauty made is untouchable now;
    nothing can undo so many heads made lovely
    or at least acceptable, so much shapelessness
    given what are called permanents, though nothing holds
    a fixed form. Bring on the flames,
    what does it matter if the house is burning?

    Propose a new beauty, perennially unhoused:
    neither the lost things nor the fire itself,
    but the objects in their dresses of disaster,
    anything clothed in its own passage:
    padded vinyl chair burst into smoky tongues,
    Lucite helmet sagged to a new version of its dome.
    Our black bridge, a charred rainbow on iron legs,
    two ruby eyes glowering from its crown.
    If beauty is burning, what could you save?
    The house of beauty is a house of flames.

  4. Desmond :

    Hmmm, ek gaan duidelik Mark Doty se bundels moet koop. En dit lyk my sy essays en memoirs gaan ook die moeite werd wees om te lees.

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