Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Book of Secrets Part 4

Caroline Lamb lies to herself more than she does to Byron
she could not have expected to be believed
that she really thought this secret book was the opening of a dialogue?
That he'd ever have her back?
That he'd court his certain social ruin?
(not in 1812...he hadn't crossed his personal Rubicon yet...)
But maybe I'm wrong
Did she sense something about him
his suicidal, romantic doomedness
that it was this that was real, threatening them both with ruin
though he didn't know that yet himself
was she psychic?
Or lucky
Or maybe she just knew him better than he did himself
Did she really love him
did she really think he loved her
did she really think she knew
knew him, more than he knew him?
was this because she fell in love
with a fictional version of him
his own fiction, to be sure, but...
She knew, somehow, that it was his destiny
to fulfil his own fiction in his actual self
that his pose of doomed satanic exile
was a prophecy more than a strategy

That might be her story
if she were writing it now

But I'm writing it
and at the moment I'm arguing with her
I'd ask her...if I could
What is it, this secret book?
Was this ever really intended to be delivered?
Isn't this a game?
Isn't this for yourself?
Aren't you playing pretend?
You can't believe John Murray is going to send him this?
That Byron will ever set eyes on these scribblings
and self advertisings?

"my very love was a crime towards you, and this if nothing else, requires your pardon"

the wind whistles inside the emptiness of this
you can't possibly think it could mean anything to anyone
is that why it reads, your opening essay, LIKE an essay...
is that why you write your name at the bottom, squashed in like an afterthought?

"your friend and servant, Caro."

You can't have thought this would actually communicate...
except perhaps to me
And it does communicate to me.
I'm reading and shaking while I type.

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