Friday, March 18, 2011

A House of Doors

"A House of Doors" (1987)

To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings.

The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you

Put down the weight 
of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation.

Everything is waiting for you.

  Everything is Waiting for You
  by David Whyte
"For My Father and Time" (1987)


He opened the door, and walked outside.
It was summer, I remember cicadas
scratching through a hole in space
and a hole in the door
where a man used to be.

The house I live in
has many rooms.
I recall white rooms,
and a grey room
wallpapered with old letters.

Some rooms are tombs for the heart
full of damp bones
and useless ornaments.

I remember a pink room
that pressed me until I couldn't breathe
and a yellow room
big enough to hold the sky
or a troupe of elephants
dancing on a thimble.

Some rooms diminish
some rooms compress.
Rooms can be tricky.

What I chiefly remember
are doors.

I live in a house of doors.

"Persistence of Memory" (1987)

She stood at the door
and walked outside:
it was Spring,
I remember lilacs
opening through a window
framed in lavender light
and a window opening into space
where a girl in a white dress used to be.

A white dress,
flying like a flag,
a white dress
opening like a morning glory.

"A House of Doors III" (1987)

When I opened the door
I saw her sitting there
the girl with the Kodak smile.

The sign on the door said 1969
it was February in Berkeley.
Plum trees were red in the rain,
steam rose from an espresso machine
and smoke rises from the girl
who listens to the boyfriend
whose name I don’t remember

cigarette in hand
she listens
she knows the punch line.

I closed the door
and the girl slipped away behind me,
riding a train I could see in perspective,
riding to a vanishing point.

I remember

"When The Rain Was Singing" (1989)

An onion, that's it.

All those layers
just when you think
you can name yourself,
you discover new layers,
you’re forming a new skin,
a new ring.

But there's a core.
And where does that core start?


This room I live in
these walls
they seem to be getting thin.
I can almost see through them today.

Today I feel,
I feel like a Chinese box
one inside another.

I consider a state of grace:

I think
I think I may be the gate

that opens into another room
made of clouds, or sky
I think about clouds today,
about the tops of clouds.

I remember white dresses I wore.
I remember doors.
I can't remember the girl's name.


"Funny", she said,
"how time takes the names out of things,
and bleaches the rest kind of transparent."

I remember doors.

Sometimes, you open a door,
any door
and you have to walk outside

into something tender
like a touch on a winter night
into a quiet yard
because of a voice you hear

or a bell
or a train
pulling away somewhere.


Unknown said...

Is The House of Doors written by yourself? x

Lauren Raine said...

Yes, back in 1986. It was originally a spoken word piece with synthesizer.