Peter Clarke (1929 - )
Notes for a Diary: Iowa City/Chicago/Tokyo/Ocean View

mixed media
50 x 35cm

We ate soybeans. A. ate enthusiastically. I didn't like the
look of the beans. It was stringy, gooey threads & smelled
off. I put my chopsticks down next to my bowl.
"It's fermented," A. explained.
"Is it safe?," I frowned. Back home we wouldn't eat
beans if it looked like that & smelled like glue.
"It can only be cooked when it's like this," she said. "Otherwise
it's not edible." She was obviously enjoying the beans.

She massaged my back, commenting, "You have such a
nice smooth skin." Then I felt her kiss me - on my back.

Each night she writes, preserving each day in her diary.

It was snowing on Lake Shore Drive. Joe M waited in the
car while I went into the Sheraton. A. met me in the foyer
& we were happy to see each other. We went up to her
floor. Afterwards I wished I could have had a shower.
An hour later when we parted in the foyer, we both wondered
if we would ever meet again. I felt so sad. Such loss.

"I am going to send you my Burning Heart (Seabury)
very soon," she wrote.

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.