Dignity

The Seagulls used to be Angels
according to a Nordic legend that
I probably don't understand.

They have become this way, it seems,
because we simply,
                slowly
forgot about them.

& as I stand outside in the warm night
                smoking,
I can hear them squawking
a seething, teeming mass of white feathers

& cold hard beaks poking at discarded
styrofoam chip boxes,
                ketchup packets
& chicken bones:

all the detritus out here by the coast
in one of so many forgotten towns…

The thought that these
strangely mechanical seeming
beasts could once have been
our sublime idols seems oddly appropriate:

Now that we have
desire as disposable convenience
what need do we have
for the Magnificat;

for prayer or pilgrimage,
supplication, meditation & incense
or any attempt, no matter how naive
to transcend the brutish fact
of materiality;
existence & mortality?

So the seagulls scrabble among our waste
like avian beggars, safe
only because wings bring freedom,
& ignored or else quietly despised
by the normal
& respectably employed,

like the homeless people
who hide & die
behind the houses
& in the filthy streets.

Dignity is denied to the forgotten.

Solidarity

The grass is no greener on the other side,
no matter what they say
& stomachs like ours can’t digest it anyway.

Whether we’re more poster-children
for just another trend
we’re still just children.

I guess that’s why its so easy to hate
& why black and white look better than grey.

But easy doesn’t leave a trace,
can’t keep that fear at bay…

the fear we’ll all either feel at the end
or can’t keep away every day:

not one of us is exempt.

Whatever consequence
you want to call god or
karma or claim as the fault of others,

only we can face the danger of freedom;
only we can fight the terror of existence,

but I cannot do it alone.

So

will you join me?

Flowers & fate

Morning;
        horizon cuts the throat of the Sun,
        memory separates from fantasy,
        you fail to comprehend what you’ve become.

Repeating:
        the sky bleeds above the same scenes;
        same faces, same shapes & places & you
        always another day further away

from when it began,
from when so much sand
was left in the hour-glass.

So awful it was when you finally
realised the truth;
                    when the wildflowers
withered & the blue
                    slowly faded away.

Trapped
behind darkening glass,
seeing
no way out.

How
did it come to this,
when
did all the mess begin?

& yet
either the future already exists or still
it can be changed,

                    so wait

because
not every chain
is unbreakable.

The City at Night

The City at night smells like memory & life to you.

Only in the right places, of course.

It smells like youth,
like fantasies of endless abandon.

Especially when it’s just rained.

You don’t know the names
of the chemicals & materials
that constitute this smell.

She knows only why you find
so much delight
in such a slight thing:

Once, a long time ago, you would roam
the luminescent concrete pathways
of the City & you was free.

Liberated from the wrong kind of eyes & noise,
you found a place where
the rules were different,
 
where you had just enough money,
& just enough friends,
to create a sense of excitement…

Now you’re older, & everything is different.

Somehow all those nights came to an end
& you’re left with nothing
but soft-edged memories.

All the minor details,
once so sharp & bright
you held them tight & protected them

like diamonds, have faded;
the beginning has become
only the fragment of a dream.

Freedom has changed;

obligation replaced attachment
& left you with only
a feeling of distance,

the strange sensation
that you are not what you once were,
the you is lost
& always have been.

Reason has fallen.

Yet stubbornly
you still cling to something
you cannot explain,
except to say:

“We all have dead & dying hopes & beliefs scattered about our feet…
but I refuse to believe that we cannot find the strength
to bury them; that one day we will find the strength
to begin again.

Fuck you if you don’t believe

    just watch me.”

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.