Dream as Hugues Cuénod

Artefacts: Interview, ‘Mit 80 fing das Leben erst an’, written by Michael Wersin, RONDO, Ausgabe 2 / 2007. / Obituary for Hugues Cuénod, written by Alan Blyth, The Guardian, 08 December, 2010. 
Brief snatches
Coming and going
Often drifting into a nap
Dozing off
Reawakening to tell Alfred something
The dog barking
Remembering a visitor from yesterday
Asking who that young man was
Eyes, energy soon snoozing again
The pictures muddle, then
The years

And Nadia

Boiling an egg for John
Fresh summer air fluttering in and up his dressing gown
The heavy kitchen door, propped open
English green framed
Those regular songbirds
Lark, robin, thrush
And walkie-talkies crackling
Young animated staff
Calling to each other about cabling
When the catering is due


The hotel in Paris
The staircase he runs up
Small bed
Hot narrow room
Laying out flat
Boots still on
Dangling off the edge
His long body, spaghetti-ing
Arms reaching up the wallpaper in an ‘L’
Knuckles, fingertips making contact
Grinning to himself
Singing a refrain under his breath


New York
From the wings
Bright light, hitting side on
The stage lost to a green sea
The others, camping it
Out there in the lime
He can see their bodies slipping, elongated
Wrists, flicking
The big black mirror of shadows, laughing heartily
All the hidden eyes
Entranced by this peacock display
The languid joy
Hugues, shaking his head
Concentrating on his own notes
Standing upright
Preparing to sing
Wary of being sucked into all of this
Cabs, oysters, cigarettes
Shaking himself back to sense
A polite distance

Top ‘E’

Alfred, then
Brand-new face
A quarter of the century back
Back at the beginning
My life is just starting
Hears himself gushing
Everything, swelling
Heart, pride
Things, falling into a strange familiarity
As though the universe he was in
Has shifted
And now he has returned to where he was meant to be 

Alfred, now
Telling the journalist that he, Hugues
Is always saying this
That’s when my life started
It’s his go-to story
Favourite phrase to walk out
A beautiful nonsense
The early eighties
Not being a start
Perhaps for someone else’s life, of course
But we had already lived a full innings by then
Hugues, born here
In this house
Two years in to the twentieth century
Perhaps it was a second life?
Proffers the journalist
Hazel eyes and neat slender fingers
Perched on the edge of the floral sofa
Hugues doesn’t hear what Alfred replies
The telephone rings
The dog, joining in
Playing her happy cacophony game