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 spirit 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 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 final moment
of your lucidity:

            the eyes of death

            staring back at me.

*The Eyes of Death – Off With Their Heads

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.

Mourning & Modern Knowledge

Permutations of motion though matter;
the ecstatic union of void & fire;
    mutation arrayed
        in differential display:

                                is this
use of language the only way
for the feeling to fade
        & finally escape
from my bones?

Can't I ever
go beyond what is here in front of me
& reach the place
        I want to be?

No.

Escaping the maze
is not an option,
so I remain trapped
in oxymoronic structures;
the point
where concept concedes to content;
    when precision
                  & all measurement
reach their limitation,
but grammar still remains needed
for practical reasons.

Without language there is
no way to express
this sense
of frustration & unease
        echoing through me,
as I witness
                unbounded expansions
ripple & sway
when thrown stones

disturb the surface of a lake,
reverberate
    in brief undulations,
        & sink
            slowly
until they can be seen
no longer:

nothing ever
disappears completely…

but you're too far away
for me to care.

Even if absences linger within
                every presence,
there's nothing comforting
in that knowledge:

what remains of the lost
    
is not enough.