Escape

For S

The city lights always invade the night:

I just want to fuck you in pure moonlight
or beneath a furious storm,
but the city forever prevents me.

I dream of our escape, but first
we must learn how to be caged
                                together.

This is how we live now (if you were born after 1984)

Expensive mistakes made to wait
for the cancelled screening of lost futures.

                            Never mind,
just watch the trailer;

a sentence cut short for bad behaviour,
particular particulates chosen
                            for both air & water.

Which method of suicide would you like?

No need for haste,
we have a decade to waste first,
                            & anyway
the decision has already been made.

                ****

Words twirled like sugar cubes
                            by silver spoons
into porcelain cups are not enough.

They’re useless.

Images are different.

With careful consideration
they will change the world,
                            or else become exhibitions
to be sold & then interpolated
into the process of rebellion:

they won’t threaten the system.

                ****

We drown in noise, suffocated by information.

Anhedonic hedonism,
                            cynicism,
& one more beer, one more smoke,
just one last line of coke;

desperate times & desperate measures,
insanity as a reflex against insanity;

                            a litany
of clichés & new prescriptions
for yet more medication. Don’t question
the efficacy, or the necessity or
                            the cause,

just take what you’re given & be grateful
someone is pretending to listen.

This is how our problems are solved now…

                ****

Pull out the roots & the flower wont grow,
just like weeds won’t;
                            to consider
weeds to be as beautiful as flowers,
is to consider the power of words
to change the world
                            which is to say,
to change your perspective;

to hold contradictory thoughts,
                            is to survive
& thrive, like weeds & not flowers.

                ****

To speak of flowers is to dissapear
into the ideas of others but this
is consistent with the insistence that
                            nothing is new
until it’s too late:

words no longer matter on the page.

Now only screens change the world
& dreams become as tacky as a pearl necklace,
draped around the neck

                ****

So now of, course, we want not just answers
but solutions;
                            desperate measures:
give us insanity & you can have it back.

Don’t think that we lack the courage needed:

we know what must be done,

we just don’t know how to do it…

                ****

They say that thinking of these things
will only make matters worse;

those of us for whom the drugs don’t work are told
                           to focus on the small things
& ignore the dying world,

drowning us all.

So:

crouch down to a round, purple flower,
notice the green-tipped wing of a butterfly
upon it.

                            Reach for the phone as a reflex
to take a photograph, &

watch as the butterfly flickers away…

 

Here in the Light

Here in the light
that forever fights the darkness,
we exist. Incomplete
                    objects;

nothing more than sentient flesh, yet
there’s always a surplus,
haunting us &
always finding ways to evade our gaze.

We call this thing our Self.

We can never have it; never know it,
not by demanding
                    or calmly asking

but we can see it,
                    sometimes,
in other eyes.

A New Year: Part i

This year gently ending,
            with your eyelids
                closing;

        falling asleep,
we’re lost at sea, each
        swell of the surface
            is a pull
from the deep
                    & each
second is threatened
by a silence waiting
to claim the music
        lingering,
            in shivering
                vibrations…

                    …light
plays games with sound-waves;
        a spiderweb
            stretches
                across the darkness
as we segue into dreams.

For hours we remain there
        but such time
has no significance
            where we are.

In the morning, when the mind emerges
        – a butterfly crawling
            from its chrysalis,
                given the gift
                    of one day to live –
you will tell me your dreams.

They are sometimes mundane,
but often they are strange
            & beautiful:

a flock of birds somehow derail the train
taking you to an unknown destination,
but you escape disaster
by leaping from a window
        & land softly
            in a meadow
                of wildflowers.

I don’t speak about my dreams,
because, it seems,
I only ever remember those most
        disturbing:

            chewing
shards of glass
as a crowd attacks &
        tears the flesh from my bones
            with their hands.

This doesn’t make me fear sleep;
there is
        something laying deeper,
            dormant,
within me
that I really fear.

I don’t think I want to know what that is.

But
        the year has ended:

                maybe
as the new one begins, what we
are waking to will be something
            different, &
                perhaps
this year
        our dreams
            will no longer be
                so divergent.

Dreaming of You*

When the world reclaims you,
& I am left alone again
in my bedroom,

I will take the bloodstains
from the bedsheets & turn them
into roses…

Later, as I sleep surrounded
by the threads that fell from your skin,
I will dream

that each thread is a feather
    of white,
        impossible
            iridescence

& a breeze,
heavy with heat
        will breathe
from the window,
as one
        by one,
            your feathers
    
                fill my lungs…

*Dreaming of You – Cigarettes After Sex