Notebook pages written In Liverpool
by Suzanne Vega
…the bells are clanging and clamouring from what appears to be a church now they have stopped, ring twice — now the ceremony is over — it had gone on for a good five or ten minutes. two clocks look into my hotel room and from the window I see a small river — is this the river Mersey that Andy once told me about? I thought of him today as the bus rolled into town — how homesick he was for Liverpool, for the big clock that always told the same time — where is it? for the river Mersey which, if this is it, is much smaller and browner than the Hudson which I am homesick for right now — the light is pale and thin here like the inhabitants of this country — a pale watery light not unpleasant but not substantial — Here the bells have started again — it begins at the top of the scale and hurls itself down in a mad clamor over and over again in an uneven rhythm
there must be some mad boy in the belfry hurling himself across the ropes like a hunchback. perhaps he loves someone who doesn’t love him. perhaps he is remembering an old lost love . now the scale is confused and is sounds like a carnival of bells, a dull peculiar melody, with a lilt but no reason to it. now it returns to the scale from the beginning over and over from the top down to the bottom the low notes hitting with a dark clanging resonance the top bells more cheerful — besides this banging and clamouring there is no other sound, no shouts, traffic, people, nothing except the stone, the pale sunlight, the small brown river and the bells on Sunday afternoon.
This morning I lay awake from four am to 730 am. a long treacherous stretch of time to think things over again. Unfortunately lately I fall into idle daydreams about his brown skin, open generosity, blunt…