I find language often fails or falls too easily into cliche with our strongest emotions – love being one of them. This piece was an attempt to respond to the ‘pleasure of love’ whilst acknowledging that it is never simple, always being ridden with doubt and strangeness.
The persona takes the simple task of a letter to a romantic partner, and yet appears to avoid the topic of romance. This dislocation is furthered by the setting of a foreign country, and the incursion of a foreign language.
Playing with other sights and thoughts are often themselves pleasures. Here, the persona takes in and relishes in such touristy observations. Yet, though asked to write a letter from a ‘cafe’- that is, from a typically tourist perspective, she never dwells long enough on any of her observations to truly give a complete pleasurable description to the receiver of the letter.
These distracted thoughts thus become a form of playing out the process of her own emotions.Underlying many of the phrases, despite their interest in what they’re describing, is an awareness of her own removed place as an observer, and an inability to take in the present.
This bright, almost sardonic tone continues until the end, when it gives way. In the last lines, the avoidance of declaring strong emotion is perhaps explained. Strong emotions, bring with them difficulty,and the brain cannot always delineate this from pleasure.
Other pleasures may be experienced, but sometimes they are at war with the less pleasurable stain of an overriding emotion. Life might be exciting, and so might romance, but longing can be disquieting.
A Little About Me
I’m in a final year of a long and winding Arts/Law degree. I write poetry and short fiction, and am fascinated by the gaps between expression and emotion. I’ve been shifting countries and languages since I was a kid, and I’m sure it informs my work – though I’m not quite sure how!