Haunted

Bite off your tongue,
                spit out the blood
& say something more than
                any word ever could.

Seal the wound with white-hot metal
& stuff with wire wool, stifle
a scream & feel a weak
edge where laughter descends
into desperation or cruelty;

                ignore
the words that form & try to force
open your mouth.

Let no sound out.

& in silence
find the patience to discover
an unspoken secret;
the obscene foundation
of everything keeping us safe
                from what awaits within.

Waits like a swallowed stone
to kill or be expelled
from these bodies haunted
                by language:

a ritual sacrifice;
                necessary
price to be paid, ridiculous
offering made
to satiate the infinite
                & the horror it brings…

Open your mouth,
                let it all out:
without a tongue
                all sounds are one.

Dancing

Insistent whispers from distant places,
tease & menace;

the hold is held*,
coils then melds, melts & is gone forever.

Solid & insubstantial, all objects
whole & partial
resist or yield,
or stubbornly reveal futility

to be both the cause & death of meaning:

every answer
a more graceful dancer than the question;

                            never ending
tension between existence & being.

It slips away,
                            eternally
within the reach,
of a grip that cannot keep what it holds:

grains of sand in the hands of a creature

who doesn't understand
either…

*Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Rain

“I love the sensation of shelter from
the storm.
I like it when it rains outside,
how it makes me feel warm.”
she said.

“I used to feel like that.”
I said back. “It’s a safety thing, I think”.

You said “Maybe…”

& I replied:

“It doesn’t happen now though, now the sound
just makes me sad.”

“Why?” you asked

“I can’t say I think about it
all that much any more…I just
don’t care.

It isn’t worth a waste of words.”

Then we were silent:

I was evading the question

again.

****

Created from a structure of complex
cells & cells we find ourselves in,

always questioning more than answering;
lost in
the distance between who we are & what we love;
the difference
between what we do &
what we dream:

both subject & object,
language & animal playing games in the cave…

We’re the process of knowing that
we’re reading this poem;

body & mind,
trapped between time & the view from nowhere*;

double-helix dance of meaning.

****

Security is the supremacy
of survival.

To survive is a zero-sum gamed played
against the Universe,

ritual is the same old tool we always use
to defend against improbable odds:

compulsions of culture, nature
& the vagaries of contingency
create a worship of the Self,

but worship has always been dangerous:

people do not treat their gods well.

If they did
there’d be less fear of Hell,

or banishment.

****

“I wish I could feel content again, like
when we were young,
but I’m trapped by everything I
have and haven’t done”

I said.

“But you are content” you
said back. “You told me once,
that only the moments of fleeting, true
feelings mean anything to you”.

“I say a lot of things my love..
& I talk far too much”.

The our eyes found each other &

you smiled
as I fell silent.

* Sub specie aeternitatis

What we cannot talk about…

“Was sich überhaupt sagen lässt, lässt sich klar sagen; und wovon man nicht reden kann, darüber muss man schweigen.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Words as thoughts,
as the libidinal urge
of consciousness.

Words as the sound of thoughts that drown
trying to escape the cave,
through the mouth.

Words as inert, lifeless objects
that become the conduit
for what I want to believe:

that thought is feeling, & feeling
has meaning beyond the context of this
place where we must exist;

that we can learn to live in peace
with the silence that speaks from beyond the symbol;

that brushing my fingers along your cheek
            down to your collarbone,
                without ever needing to speak,

you know what I'm trying to say…