This piece is written from one of Sara’s photos taken in Berlin, which I need to find and upload! I have edited it since I first posted it. Also I have just (day 6) learnt a new term from the NaPoWriMo site,
which I am adding to this post. Photography ekphrasis, ekphrasis meaning a piece inspired by another piece of art, in a different form. As Sara’s photos are what inspired this piece, I’m going to say it’s an ‘ekphrastic’ poem.
What interests me in Sara’s photo is the sense of intimacy with the smoker, I feel like I know him, but it also feels like I am spying on him. The pull between distance and familiarity.
You are still smoking
The sun and ice are shallow;
treacherous neither has made their minds up
Like us stuck between tram stops
Snap sight people out of the corner of their life
A man in a flat cap lights up.
You tuck him into your lens
As we move past toward the T.V tower.
It stalks us from many angles and distances,
our circuit of the metro map brings us back
To the same places, the smell of frozen rubbish, decaying tobacco
And beer cans, leaking old alcohol.
Euros round as oranges,
spread around Mitte, ‘Lottie’ berg. We feed on a pepper,
apples divided between two, and cream cheese rye bread
as many flavour cheeses as chocolates, cigarettes
addicted to food, our roll ups of tea, coffee,
pills and tram routes, maps
I’ve found him again, in a corner of my mind he is always lighting up.
As we leave the pillars of Museum Island, the first hit of smoke
fills his lungs, their warmth on that cold day
their constricted hug inside his chest.