The Body, Mind, & Lies

Although the body & mind
can be conceptualised
as distinct
they are inextricably linked.

The body gives expression
to the mind’s longing,
just as flowers express colour
as a means to birth others.

The body,
& therefore the mind,
will always find a way to take
the path of least resistance,

& belongs entirely to causation;
to the eternal unfolding of consequence
in which chance & predetermination
somehow co-exist.

The mind must decide how to live with this:
knowing that our autonomy is that
of autumn leaves…

So we lie to ourselves
because no one else
can carry this burden for us.

This is not wisdom.

It is observation
as sutures to a wounded conscience.

It is conscience
as consequence of impotent revenge,

& impotence
as unconscious attempt to make amends.

So, don’t let these words fool you:
I know nothing about Truth.

I know only what occurs within me
as I play my small role in eternity.

Acceptance as Defiance

Thought & image blend with emotion,
creating a weird creature
of our own creation,
& then
we attempt to control this creature
with language, but the wild horses
of desire,
of impulse & sensation,
cannot be tamed by satiation
or speech.

We must accept the existence
of an empty space,
the place
where we exist;
the solitude
that will always be with us,
& that can not be filled
by consumption;
by that
which consoles & poisons
in equal measure.

Nothing can save us
unless we shred instinct
& learn to forgive,
& to accept,
that sometimes we are scared
& sometimes lonely;
sometimes hurt &
sometimes just horny;

that sometimes
we are nothing more
than another animal,
born of a capricious mother
& a vast,
incomprehensible,
indifferent father,

& that all we really seek
is comfort
& some answers
to our never-ending questions,
& that these motivations
are in conflict with each other.

But acceptance is not giving up:
acceptance is defiance.

Salvation

“We have too much to gain from the gods, and this is why they fail to love us…” – John Burnside

We once found a word we’ve now forgotten,
explaining a concept that drifted away
        like vapour
            & left us,
in the same way
that everything
        eventually must
            decay.
            
            We were dreaming
about perfect expressions of language,
about harmony between anguish
        & affirmation;
            wishing
for what can never be achieved:
a gift from the gods that may or may not
        exist,
            a gift
of significance & meaning.

But meaning must be made
like a statue of clay
we leave out in the rain:
a gesture of defiance
we know in advance
        will not last,
            & yet
                we do it anyway.

& as for significance, well,
that can only be given by the gods
        & the gods
            don’t listen,
because they can’t:

we haven’t discovered perfect language yet.

The fact that the gods don’t seem to exist
is irrelevant,
            doomed as we are
to the merciless law of entropy
from which nothing escapes
beauty from going under the
        weight of history, by
continually searching for

            those perfect words.

Today

Both of us a shifting infinity
of confusion in constant collusion,
    fusing together
the precise moment
we're severed;

there's a small space between your face
& mine when we kiss…

& when we speak
invisible thoughts distort
& twist our words, so
that we'll never completely know
the other
                & love
will never help us escape
from the confines of our minds:

we will always be
ultimately
            
    alone.

But
despite it all,
        despite
the sleepless nights
born of petty fights &
the blood-shot eyes too tired
to cry any more;
regardless of every moment
we feel slipping away,
        hopelessly lost…

even though we know
it can be so fucking ugly sometimes,
nothing can change the fact
that there's such incredible purity
to the beauty
of this:

today I woke earlier than usual,
with nowhere to be &
nothing to do
but lay down next to you,
deep in animal heat,
listening
to the persistent rhythm
of our synchronised breathing…

The Dream

Before the shimmer of colour dissolves into images
& the senses synchronise,
before objects gain permanence
& noise becomes language,
as instinct urges
the first scream of protest,
the craving begins:

to touch & to be touched.

A dream proceeds through the senses,
through sadness, through elation,
through bitter-sweet isolation,
& the aleatory revelation
when first we notice the symmetry
between our veins & those
of the leaves:

the dream
that we can reach out to touch
not just the surface but
the ineffable essence.

Melancholia is our mourning for,
& fucking our delirious affirmation of,
this dream;
speech
is our abstract acceptance
that the dream is impossible,
& your smile is the only reason
I sometimes still believe it isn’t,

because
there are more ways than one
to touch & to be touched…

“the limitless duration of that which existed”*

I remember
the taste of your insides,
the feel of your skin
& the sunlight
dancing across mine,

& I remember
how we lay down together
surrounded by an abudance of living colour,
beneath the open azure ceiling;

& how strange sounds
began flowing from our mouths
when we tried to speak
about the creatures of our dreams,
tried to tell of how it feels
as we slip through the stream…

I kept talking
but failed to express my meaning,
& you said what could not be expressed
just by looking at me
with the opalescent light
of your almond eyes
& smiling.

Perhaps we both meant to say
more or less, perhaps
what we said
was not what we meant
but it doesn’t matter:
either way
language is part guess-work anyway
& meaning is made
from the strange non-substance
of the spaces in-between.

In the end
we just lay there in silence,
& for one long, slow moment,
we were alive

together in the light.

* The Oblivion Seekers – Isabelle Eberhardt

The Kingdom of Context

Sometimes
it's enough to know
we think that time isn't linear,
that space
has a granular texture,
& that everything
is stardust,

even the dog-shit
your lover stood in this morning,
with a red rose gift
brought because no one ever taught them
any other way to display their affection.

Sometimes
there's just no reason
why things happen, or at least
not one that we can see.

We’re all just subjects
in the Kingdom of context &
must learn to live with it…

                        but please
don't ask me how
because
I haven't got a fucking clue…

Nothing is sacred

For S

Nothing is sacred unless we make it
so why not run with me naked
through these trees that aren’t
what they seem;
    to be
        or not to be
is not a question we need to answer,
not here, not when we’re together,
where benevolent light
    guides us through the forest
        & into the clearing…

If only you could see
just how
beautiful you are right now with
the wind twisting its fingers
through your hair
    & the air
        enfolding us
            turning golden…

Nothing is sacred,
but we give the void its colours
regardless*:
no meaning
beyond this nascent second
    unfurling;
        a flower
            in the sunlight
    reaching up
        in supplication
            to the sky.

* The Myth of Sisyphus – Albert Camus

Funereal Debauch of the Mind*

In hopeless devotion to absurd dreams
I ceaselessly spin a thin web of words:
a hurdy-gurdy turns, a sound
ridiculous yet unnerving emerges;
as the wheel rubs against the strings
the skin begins to bleed a little,
    then fists
        & skull
are slammed against the wall.

But of course,
nothing breaks that isn’t already broken…

Beauty serenely disdains to destroy me**,
so I destroy myself:
beyond the reach of sedatives or sleep,
I cut once & then cut again
        & again
            & again,
    furiously I slash
until my hand
is slick with the wet warm red
    & the blade
slips from my grip.

Now
    there is a brief moment of peace

& I survey the scene: me
    alone in a room
        covered in blood:

A fucked-up,
stupid,
ridiculous mess.

Laughter is all that is left to turn to
        but soon
that sound too becomes unnerving,
& all that is solid
melts into squalid self-pity.

Now
    what else is there to do?

I don't fucking know, so
– always one for a dramatic gesture,
for the deep allure of hysteria –
I lick away the still warm blood;
        a taste of salt,
the trace of assault
            exalted
in the crazed nature
    of what I am doing.

There is an undeniable,
self-directed
sadomasochistic pleasure to this,
which will soon turn to shame
& eventually fade
into just another memory.

So once again the impossible state:
    something both does
        & does not exist:

change,
    everything & nothing
        has changed…

***

Draped in the word-web, I begin dancing.

A proposal is made,

a proposal that this "I" is a lie,
a reified grammatical necessity,
a reference to the referent,
no more than words hidden beneath skin & skull;
words that haunt a tormented animal,
trapped within a network of veins
& a cage of flesh
that will crumble to powder one day,  
        like butterfly wings:
 
desiccated,
        useless things.

A proposal is made
that this self is a dislocated time-line,
    badly narrated
        & ultimately boring,

    a thing
severed from transcendence,
reduced to the facticity of presence
        & the unbearable density of being***.

These proposals
are to be considered at a later date,
    but I suspect
that they will be rejected.

***

I think
the medication isn’t working.

* A Short History of Decay – E. M. Cioran
** First Elegy – Rainer Maria Rilke
*** The Ethics of Ambiguity – Simone de Beauvoir