The River

Everything moves in the river,
even the stones erode slowly &
disappear.

We are no exception.

If you try becoming a prisoner
in love with their guard, then maybe
existence wont be so hard
but

when you search for the spirt in the bone
be prepared for disappointment:

the sickness is indiscriminate &
it never goes away.

Everything moves through the river,
everything decays.

You are no exception.

Enough

You have a favourite tree in this city,
& the one he hung himself from
is in the same public garden.

You took me there once:
                        2 am.,
we were drunk.

You climbed the trunk & sat on the branch
where he swung
for hours, years ago, until
the grounds-keeper found him in the morning.
& quit their job soon after.

He is always somewhere in your mind,
the memories you want desperately to survive
come flooding back to you sometimes
& the pain in your eyes is unbearable.

So much trauma.

Every year
you plant flowers at the base of the tree.
Every year
you despair as age reminds you again
just how young he was.

So much trauma.

I asked permission
& you let me sit on the branch with you.

Looking down on the ground,
every suicidal thought returned &
I realised I wasn't ready;

                        I wanted
to lay beneath a cherry tree
& bleed, buried beneath fallen blossoms:

no,
I wasn't ready then…

was your friend?

You asked me & the only answer
that I could find
was that some of us need more

than life can provide,
but we search
                    until the searching

becomes too much.

The present absence

A present absence expands & contracts,
hollow at the core as
                    thin thoughts
convinced that words
can poison internal organs
                    collapse
into a pool of stagnant water
where no light survives.

The days
                    fold & fall away
leaving only the faintest trace
of what once
existed…

                grotesque
& never-ending,
a thing somehow still alive, like
                a zombie
convulsing on the floor
in a room
with an unlockable door;
the Will conflicted, torn
between hatred
of daylight & fear of the night
bringing tapeworms beneath the skin:

rip them out, one by one
until the arms are nothing more
than wet ribbons of red;
            tattered remains of flesh
draped across bone.

Then wake up
                    alone
without hope
that this will end the way it always does:

new meds, new promises

& the slow return of memories that always
break your fall;

                    the pale shimmer
of phosphorescent ghosts.

Dancing

Insistent whispers from distant places,
tease & menace;

the hold is held*,
coils then melds, melts & is gone forever.

Solid & insubstantial, all objects
whole & partial
resist or yield,
or stubbornly reveal futility

to be both the cause & death of meaning:

every answer
a more graceful dancer than the question;

                            never ending
tension between existence & being.

It slips away,
                            eternally
within the reach,
of a grip that cannot keep what it holds:

grains of sand in the hands of a creature

who doesn't understand
either…

*Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Alive

Here we’re
            alive.

Here we are as we love & complain,
orgasm & menstruate;
vomit & piss & waste our hate
on the smallest of things.

Here we are
            with or without
mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters;

comrades or enemies;
consumers or revolutionaries*,
            attack or defence,
for or against:

reasons so solid yet insubstantial
at the same time.
 
An accident upon infinite accidents,
so improbable
as to constitute a miracle,

here we’re alive
                to the glorious light:

your life is not a cage, a stage
or a performance,

                it’s just an accident.

You’re alive, & one day you will die

So…laugh until we burst**?

*Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious – Against Me!

**Idioteque – Radiohead

Evergreen

With all the inevitability
& perfect frailty
of autumn’s
final fallen leaf

the secret violence of our silence,
stands exposed;

a distance so vast in a space so small.

Every word that once was shared
now hides
with their patterns obscured.

The summer is turning it’s back,
as the wind grows sharp teeth
greedily devouring the trees;
darker mornings, colder evenings.

Will the winter destroy the warmth we need,
or will we find a way to keep our dreams
from fading?

There is still hope,
not every leaf will fall:

some trees are evergreen…

There is a robot that lives in my brain*

Warped
        the shape & sound of thoughts
contort as they rise & fall

in the darkness.

I cannot catch them all.

So now pure instinct reigns supreme
& the Will relents
to every whim
of this self-destructing machine:

object
not a subject;
the It
& not the I.

Or is that just one more excuse?

When tomorrow becomes today,
perhaps it all will change

or stay the same.

*No Future Part 111 – Titus Andronicus

The Madness of Crowds

The talk,
        the talk goes on forever;

unfocused, the tumult of noises sounds
like the symptom of a fever.

I pick out one voice after another,
disappointed as each
seems to me to be a foreign language
I cannot speak.

It’s the silent ones I can understand,
shrouded in loneliness or pensive thoughts
        or maybe just nothing at all.

Are they, like me,
        bewildered
                as to how the past
can blend
from Spring into Winter
so swiftly?

As the noise, the
        noise goes on forever…

Sand Mandala

For once on the face of the earth
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness

Keeping Quiet – Pablo Naruda

 

Using water to gild wild flowers with gold leaf
for hours.

The technique requires practise that few will ever
master,

                            yet still you keep trying,
while the world around you ignores all that you
want to
                            give: a delicate gift;

desperate attempt to prove that you still exist,

before a silence, so intense
descends, just as you have been dreaming of
                            ever since

your first fascination
                            with gold leaf & flowers.

All of this is temporary*

The City swells with life
& I,
                        insignificant,
stare at the people & the buildings
& the utter lack of meaning,
overwhelmed by purpose:

one must stay busy.

Smoke dances the in rain
                        framed
by the sickly-white, luminescent light
of the street lights:
sentry post for every building.

They are trying to say something,
these buildings, something
more than their designer or
creators ever intended,

but I don’t know what it is
                        any more than they do.

So I flee to the nearest breath of green
& living things;

I tilt my head back,
as I lay down upon the the grass,
& stare at the immense & ancient darkness of

                        the sky…

*“Emnacipatory politics must always destroy the appearance of a ‘natural order’, must reveal what is presented as necessay and inevitable to be a mere contigency, just as it must make what was previpusly deemed impossible seem attainable”– Mark Fisher