Three Laws of Flamenco
For Tanya Diamond
One: Time – You do not command it
The world rang out at the first
And single time was born: the ripples that still lap from that original contact.
Two: Eating time – Don’t do it!
The camber of our lives collects us in this well of time.
Rootstock – that taps into the motherlode.
And, grafted on, is double time.
Then, tripling up, as our percussive feet find common purpose and suspend their usual habit:
gobbling silences between beat and counter beat.
Proximity to such precision drives the rhythm amplifying our lives.
Three: Having duende
What we know is that it is small, hard, dark, scratched yet shiny.
It is wrought.
The tempo draws it out –
Our feet concentrate;
and compact it.
What we know is that it is so dense that it draws our heartbeats into the balls of our feet
until the force that binds us all is membrane-thin:
the perfected thud of unison.
By Tracey Chalmers (2018)