Lost Futures

For S

Today gave me a vision
of what could have been; I saw
between all the mistakes
I’ve made,
there in your home where
you & your children live:

an echo of
hauntology;
the lost future that could have been
if only

life had treated us differently,
if only

we’d received

what we really wanted.

Pause, & add your own intentions…

You found me at the worst possible time,
but only in the sense in which a dog-walker finds
a corpse in the woods:

        It wasn’t your fault.

The words in this verse are replacing
the excuses I’d prepared for presentation:
words about falling, & nihilism &
other self-pitying bullshit trying
        to play tragic…
but the truth
        is never quite so ornate
as I’d like to make it…

I told you that I’d become a mistake.

But that doesn’t make it ok…

I remember you as
vulnerable insolence &
timorous intelligence but
I was too selfish to realise how
much attention you gave to my words &
how little you understood about my
actions:

        your skin
compelled me to write a poem across
the inside of your left thigh
            & I think
you found it charming.

That poem had been written for someone else…

Attention is the rarest & purest
form of generosity*: you
    gave it to me
        & what did I
give back to you?

Nothing:

it wasn’t that I didn’t care
it was just that I hated everything…

So this
is an attempt to apologise
        for the ugliness
by replacing it
        with a failed attempt at elegance.

& that still doesn’t make it ok…

* Simone Weil

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.