Acedia

The frayed remains of two daydream decades
listlessly slides glass beads across
an abacus
        one
            by
                one,

        some
are so delicate that they break
upon contact
        & the shards
                are lost
to the permanence of
    forgetting:

the Sun walks away toward the west as
each sunset colour elides the other,
            leaving behind
the blue creeping twilight
            & a shrouded moon

like
                a widow leaves flowers
at the grave of
                a secret lover.

Ignorant of all but their game,
the frayed remains
        sees nothing beyond
            the broken glass,

trapped

in a present moment
       empty of all content:

a skeleton
 
with hollow bones.

Uncertain & Afraid

For S.

Last night I woke up & mistook
        your tresses
            the for fallen
        golden leaves
            of Autumn,
we were collecting for reasons
I forgot the instant I tried
to recall them…

…all that
        I remember was
the way we walked through a forest
admiring the gracious way
            that trees decay…

Do you remember last Autumn?

How we were fighting
to forgive each other for reasons
we needed
       to believe in
            without understanding,

like the words of a foreign song
playing in the distance?

We will die
whether we love each other or not*,
        but
            without forgiveness
we’re all fucked,

& love has to wait for hatred
& petty resentment
    to be
        castrated by
            humility.

All we have are voices
        defenceless
            against the night,
but when the weight of you body
        presses against me
the darkness ceases to be
        so deep…

So will you wait for me,
        & can we

            forgive ourselves?

* September 1, 1939 – W. H. Auden

Pause, & add your own intentions…

You found me at the worst possible time,
but only in the sense in which a dog-walker finds
a corpse in the woods:

        It wasn’t your fault.

The words in this verse are replacing
the excuses I’d prepared for presentation:
words about falling, & nihilism &
other self-pitying bullshit trying
        to play tragic…
but the truth
        is never quite so ornate
as I’d like to make it…

I told you that I’d become a mistake.

But that doesn’t make it ok…

I remember you as
vulnerable insolence &
timorous intelligence but
I was too selfish to realise how
much attention you gave to my words &
how little you understood about my
actions:

        your skin
compelled me to write a poem across
the inside of your left thigh
            & I think
you found it charming.

That poem had been written for someone else…

Attention is the rarest & purest
form of generosity*: you
    gave it to me
        & I what did I
give back to you?

Nothing:

it wasn't that I didn't care
it was just that I hated everything…

So this
is an attempt to apologise
        for the ugliness
by replacing it
        with failed attempt at elegance.

& that still doesn’t make it ok…

* Simone Weil

The Eyes of Death

For my father.

So that you wouldn’t die so undignified,
I wanted to force a black rose
        down your throat, so
that the thorns
            would pierce your larynx
        & silence
the animal noises;

a language
capable of expressing
        only pain & existence,
            both
belonging to you alone.

Your cells were in rebellion:

first, they conquered your lungs,
before taking your liver
        & then,
            traversing your spine,
they laid siege to your brain:

dead pixels in your irises,
        made me
            think of machinery,
but
       technology
            doesn’t feel pain…

Hours dragged past like sandpaper against glass.

I held your hand, sat by the bedside as
        you died,
until suddenly, what remained of you
        sat upright
& pulled me close enough to hear
            your last words…

& that’s when I saw it, in the last moment
            of your lucidity:

    the eyes of death
        staring back at me.

*The Eyes of Death – Off With Their Heads

Anamnesis

So many rooms in so many houses;
spaces within which the walls have waited,
        unseeing,
            uncaring,
as I played various roles
in minor dramas,
some of my own devising,
        some not,
    & most
being incomplete.

I often forget the lines & sometimes
those of my own design
are the ones most easily forgotten…

So many days wanting to stay away
from this mess,
        this reluctance;
a daydream
of purposeful action
        that abandons me
            with every movement
around the Sun.

The fragility of everything; entropy
    seemingly inevitable
            & us,
                the animal
that will not be itself,
capable of knowing all this;

when words emerge to seek
a story worthy of
    acknowledging that beneath
        every surface

something waits to be
            misunderstood
        is
either serendipitous or fucked up:

The choice is yours.

The choice is mine,
           
        & I
            can’t decide…

Meena Muska

Seperation, you set fire
in the heart & home of every lover. – Traditional Afghan Landay

The blue horizon of your eyes tricked me:
a mirage or sanctuary?

I can’t decide.

But,

last night,
        the blue horizon of your eyes
            came to me
in a dream,
 
Purple carnations brushed against
my face,
        you were careful
not to press too hard,
        just in case
I awoke at the moment of your
    betrayal, which
        in time,
            became a gift:

Even though
it filled me with sadness,
        now that our distance has
            multiplied across space & time,

I now know that
beyond the blue horizon of your eyes
the real sky reveals itself…

Die, & be forgotten…

“This place is a dream.
Only a sleeper considers it real.”
– Rumi

Soon enough every cell in us
will cease to repeat the pattern,
        & we will die

& be forgotten.

So focus on each breath as
our chests repeat the movement
        of our heartbeat;

in & out,
        up & down,
            until we’ve found

the place where presence elides into absence &
from something to nothing,
we return again
        to where all things
            begin…

The future is composed of consequence
not yet made manifest
& the past
        is the mess
            it left behind.

Diaphanous & thin,
the boundary between
    mind & brain; something &
        nothing;
            life &

                death.

Your Daughter

For S.

You tell me that she was a breech-birth. I’d
always thought that was worse
        but
            you say
it was easier that way;
didn’t hurt
as much as the first time,
            when your Son was born.

She is two & a half years old.

She’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen,
& I used to fucking detest
        the word “adorable”,
            especially
                if it was ever used
to describe me.

When I tell you this, it makes you laugh:

“You’re not adorable!
Sweet,
        maybe,
but only sometimes, & sweet like
liquorice: a weird,
        acquired taste”.

We’ve stayed awake far too late tonight,
drinking red wine
        & talking
            about our lives.

I once believed we were defined entirely by
the roles we play in a stupid fucking game,
        & that neither the rules
            nor the roles could
ever change but

when you leave me,
        briefly,
to check on the children,
            I realise
that I was wrong:

You’ve changed me completely:
        
I don’t believe
that this is a game any more;
        now,
            I see it as a dream
                waiting

to be realised.

Language Games

I assert my existence with this sentence.

With this one, language turns the intangible essence
of myself into a substance,
an external object created
from the interior composed of spaces,
& the connections
between them;

interactions; the relation
of a relationship to that
which surrounds it;
a project
motivated by tensions & the tension
between them;

repetition & other patterns
composing
their own performance.
Now
        a pause in the form
of the following:

escape,
confrontation,
affirmation & transcendence,
a permanence made possible
only through disappearance.
So with these words the author now tries

to achieve this by using
the third person to persuade the second
that you can see
what he wants when she
presents these series
of symbols
& with this penultimate sentence I present you with a question:

where did the words come from?

Beyond Idempotence

Nothing else comes from yourself
when applied under
                a binary operator

            or when
interpolated between
History & the
hysterical performativity
demanded of us
            by those who would
subject us to

                isolation

                so intense
that subjectivity blends
with the screen;

your/our/my
fingertips intimate with
        plastic
                & glass;
touching that
which can never touch back…

                but

when enough of us
            are stuck
to damaging habits,

like a bird with clipped wings,
            escape mutates
from ease into extreme difficulty…

We need to break from this endless
            imposition
of regulation upon our bodies,
the remorseless, repetitive demands
always controlling &
            quantifying
the value of our lives
            to satisfy
the demands of profit.

Time is alive & so am I,
& we both deserve our freedom.

I need you & you need me &
        we need
            each other:

Solidarity is the only solution.

Fuck the impotence of idempotence
imposed upon us from above:

Multiply together & we'll become
            
            infinite.