(Barely catch movies anymore because I just don’t have the energy or the time or the company to watch them at cinemas. It is quite sad, but books serve me well too. And the best thing about poetry books is that you feel, learn and imagine so much with so little. It’s beautiful.)
Simple and beautiful, I think The Last Skin really stripped poetry down to its essence for me. Maybe it is also because of the themes she wrote about, such as love, loss and places she visited that spurred thought. Each and every poem painted an image in my mind and not only can I see it, but I can feel it on my skin as well as taste it in my mouth.
Sometimes bombastic words are not needed to evoke emotions.
Out of the entire read, I think my most loved piece of writing from Ras would be “Now All The Fears”. You can try searching for it online or borrow the book to read the entire collection. I can tell you now that this book is definitely worth your time.
My favourite takeaways:
While beside ourselves, our shadows flicker, in despair, in laughter, the same trembling.
All day the train chases understanding, all night understanding’s ghost.
Maybe we loved you, but not always. Now, please. Let us go like a meadow of balloons let loose to the sky.
Someone else said, “Words are blankets.”
The swiftest heartbeat, the sheerest bones.
Where the lingering rain imperceptibly returned to the sky.
Nights fall. Days fall harder.
While I am tossed over and over by the ocean that holds me ransom.
So when we taste, we taste bitter, forgetting the flavour of truth.
Just as the lake called to draw blue out of the day’s sky and later the night’s black.
A constellation of islands.
Its edible heart.
And what could she possibly know beyond a door, a colour of a little bit of heaven with some darkness added, and the right amount of oil to make it shine.
Who fears water and talks like a river that will never be broken.
In the dimness of starlight.
The faces we have touched and lost, their eyes mute now in memory.
I wanted to surrender their beauty, craving some nature beyond human.
The sun will be weightless and the rain silky.
Death is the mother of beauty.
And its emptiness exhaled the truths and lies of secrets.
Give me your whole hand so it opens the way dreams bloom at night.
Words, not for me like truth written on skin.
While we draped our weight on each other in a bond adults would call filthy, but was really only lostness clinging to lostness.
If it’s the remnant of a love letter, the rest gone, just the anonymous kiss I wish had been mine.