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Tuesday 12 May 2015

Michael Lally: Swing Theory: 2


Swings Revisited: photo by Sara Björk, 17 December 2006

The mood swings unpredictable but
reliable, from affectionate to hostile,
from I want you to I hope you have
a heart attack and drop dead now.
From get the fuck out of my house
to please please don't go, from don't
ever talk to me again to unable to stop
talking, from let's play to don't touch
me, from you retard lazy liar to you're
so handsome stylish and cool.  From
cruel to caring.  Then react to insulting
jokes with anything but total accept-
ance or dare joke back in a similar
vein and: You'll never see me again.

Michael Lally: Swing Theory: 2, from Swing Theory, 2015

swing: photo by takis katris, 4 April 2009


Anonymous said...

awareness of our dark side makes us more human may be...

TC said...

Es cierto.

tpw said...

Swing Theoryis classic Lally, and you picked my favorite poem in the book.

billoo said...

Tom, have you seen the 'swing scene' from Ikiru?

TC said...

Funny thing, K, that film's been on my mind... maybe not so funny given the circumstances but still... in particular the dreamlike final flashback scene you're thinking of, the dying man, having come the long way round to an acceptance of life as it is, singing softly as he swings in the snow in the children's playground.

So beautiful. If only "reality" were like that.

Ikiru: final scene (swinging, snow falling in the playground)

My own most profound swing experience came c. age 6, when I brilliantly ran under another kid swinging, and then... no memory of anything but waking up to having stitches inserted in head. More or less the opposite of what happens in the Kurosawa movie. Maybe life's just like that, too. Though at the time I was sharply informed the fault had been all mine. And that was of course all too true.

billoo said...

Tom, that scene always reminds me a line from Hesse's Knulp and of something my father said to me:

"Promise me one thing, son"

Me: Yeah, sure, what is it Ubo?

"Never grow old".

Me: "okay, I'll do my best".

Yes, that's acceptance that 'the song of joy and sorrow' will always be with us.

(No access to youtube in the land of the pure!)


TC said...

If the movie exists in your mind and memory, who needs YouTube.

It's a film with depth and reverberation, which has outlasted, for me, much of the the director's better-known work.

Your father had the right idea, K.

And so did you.

If any of us were given to be allowed so much as the slightest inkling of how this particular brain movie -- a life -- were going to turn out, we'd probably request a refund.

Else how keep on with it.

And in any case, of course, there were never going to be refunds.

billoo said...

Yes, you're right, of course. No need.

TC said...

When I read Michael's poem, and began the mental search for image correlatives -- swings -- in fact the first thing that came to mind was also a movie, Todd Field's Little Children (2006), in which a children's playground is the central locus, and the conclusion involves a swing.

The movie is disturbing in a way that certainly prevented wide distribution, as what it has to say about America is troubling -- Americans don't like that. The "supporting" performance by Jackie Earle Haley in particular went straight to, and exposed, a vulnerable nerve in society. Can't have that. So you probably will not have seen the film, and as the crucial scene is up on that site you don't have in the Land of the Pure, you won't be able to see that here either.

Little Children: Ronnie in the Park

But of course there are always other ways to find things...

billoo said...

Will keep an eye out for it, Tom. Thanks!