A brief history of failing to pay attention…

After these two years I have learnt

how to follow every step across each

floor; every right angle of every wall,

to walk toward the shower/shitter

in darkness: I could make the walk

with my eyes closed.

 

Two years ago – February 

14th – such a lovely Valentine gift! –

I moved in to this house of unloved things

& became one of them.

Until gold & blue colours, like

bright sunlight meeting an ocean,

appeared at my door.

 

Soon, every week we broke the law,

as society locked-down I crossed town

so we could spend days & nights

drinking together, fucking each other

as if there would be no tomorrow

& not caring either way.

Then the weeks

became months; the winter

 

crawled through spring & became summer.

All the while I pined for another: my

wildflower amour, my amante, the one

who sent me into exile & into

this house with its smell of neglect,

self-pity & cigarette smoke…until

their moonlight eyes returned from dreams

to begin a day where we could satiate

our longing for sweet nostalgia.

 

So I unfurled & left behind

everything I found in those Ocean Eyes.

I followed the path back toward  

life before exile but

of course, it couldn’t last:

it was doomed from the start & that

is when I met the raven with the soul

of a van Gough landscape,

but by then it was too late & escape

was all I craved…

 

Through it all I let my attention drift

into filthy depths of desecration. 

 

Until raven hair, sunset lips,

sibylline eyes & such slender fingertips

 

fell from the sky to find 

release

in a blue so ugly when compared to

 

the sky in which they used to fly.

For the one I hardly knew. Forgive me, I don’t know what else to do…

 

Today I read the last words you ever wrote:

it was a diary of your feelings

& your last poem…

 

You wrote so beautifully about the sky between

sentences expressing a tiredness so deep

you just wanted to die.


Knowing I failed to help you lift your head

more often; to help ease your burden;

to love you as you deserved to be.

 

Now there is no way to say sorry

& stay with you in that other world

you wrote of in you last poem,


one you wrote for me…

despite being only another drunk,

an idiot, rare & wild only to you,


yet even I could see with these

eyes of “ever changing colour”

how delicately, intricately woven you were

before your threads

fell away.

on the wind

 

The Funeral

I tried smiling at your funeral,

to avoid the choking weeds of grief.


Breathing trees

no longer naked,

their limbs veiling then revealing 

a diamond-clear sky,

stood beside the road leading

to the building where your family was mourning.

  

(When she asked me where you’d gone, 

I told your daughter you had

become one with nature;


every flower,

the lambent limbs of sunlight

& all those dignified trees, 

believing

you would like that answer.


I hope I wasn’t wrong.)


A vodka (double vodka) before

the eulogy, 

& another 

(& another) after

it was over.


Then, outside: cold bright sunlight,

dreaming of you dancing; 


the prosody of your body,

singing,

as roses red & white

flowed from your hips,

replacing the weeds &

loosening their grip,

 

just long enough to bring 

some small relief


from the reality of your absence.


Yet there was nothing except

 

the brutal eloquence


of silence.

Fatal dreams

At 2 a.m in the morning the thoughts became starlings;

dispersing, flying & reforming again,

afraid a cage & the end of all freedom

lay hidden, patiently waiting.

 

Yet other nights they would fly above

evergreen trees, winding paths &

fresh clean streams.

 

Some nights the trees became

something they could never be, &

the water turned to perfect mirrors

flowing towards an endless sea. 

 

Now

the starlings are starved & dying,

motionless on blackened trees 

above a burnt & barren ground

 

where there is nothing so beautiful as you,

or birds flying through 

the clearest

blue sky.

Tonight I can write such derivative lines

For S (again)

Tonight I can write such derivative lines.

Lines such as:
“The moon is cold & beautiful, but so far away from me, just like you”.

The sun shines yet the trees are barren of their leaves.

Tonight I can write such derivative lines.

I love her, & she once loved me too.

Through days such as this I longed for her kisses.

She smiled at me again & again far from noises of the city.

I love her. Yet perhaps now I hate her, after those bitter parting words.

How not to love (still) her gentle green eyes.

Tonight I am writing derivative lines.

Thinking of how often I wronged her. Remembering how I lied so many times.

Listening to the old songs, so different now without her.
& the music fades into the ether, like vapour to the sky.

What does it matter that I destroyed her love for me.
I am alone & deserve to be.

That is all.

From my laptop speakers someone is singing. From a shitty laptop.

The night feels empty, & I am alone.

My mind repeats every mistake as if to atone for my sins.
My mind will not forgive me.

The sun shines on the same trees we walked between

So often. We are no longer the same.

She has another; a new amour more authentic than I; one

closer by birth & blood to the sea touched by three continents.

She loved me. Yet perhaps now we hate each other, 

after those bitter parting words. I have never known a love that did not hurt.

Without me she now speaks with the prosody of contentment,

writes poetry of new elegance, & my body aches for her.

Though I am not bitter. I will never want her to suffer,
& this will be my last attempt to speak to her.