Our Silences

For S

“The moment exists only in silence…” – Søren Kierkegaard

I like our silences,
        those shared moments
beyond the hungry gaze, into
a simple but absolute
                    attention.

I like it when we’re quiet
        because then, when
our eyes meet & I see you seeing me,
I can believe
        in the existence
            of what you see.

Your silence is still & speaks to me
like star-light speaks of intense heat;
defined by distance & perspective,
        a secret
            revealed in concealment,
traverses immense distance
to bring warmth,
        colour
            & life.

In silence, as in soil,
slow roots grow strong,
& the dilation of every second
            endures beyond
the depraved authority of time: we
cease to be a complex pattern
            woven from
                a fabric of neurons
& electrostatic dreaming,
                    
to become

something more,
something I am only sure exists when
we twist together beneath the sheets,
sharing our body heat,
giving the prayer of our attention*
seeing beyond the iris reflection,
to where it lays waiting

                in the silence.

* Attention and Will – Simone Weil

The Self

“We possess nothing in this world […] except the power to say ‘I’.
That is what we have to give to God – in other words, to destroy.
There is absolutely no free act which it is given us to accomplish
– only the destruction of the ‘I’.” – Simone Weil

Our concrete existence
must suffer; though it gives pleasure
the flesh decays,
the mind feels pain
           & must endure
thoughts that crawl like worms through the dirt
        of the mind,

to where the “I” resides
& rejects its transience,
    insisting
on a permanence
that could only become
a state of affliction
    without hope
        of redemption.
       
Everything of value,
    without exception,
doesn’t derive from the “I” but arrives from
outside,
    as a gift
        in the form of
            pure & perfect
                attention.

We posses nothing else except the “I”
& the one who writes this
    wants to give you
        something better
            as compensation for
every twisted time it relents
        to temptation & attempts
to see you suffer,
which is really only a hand trying to cover
the mouth that wants to cry:

        “Why have you not forsaken me?”

because the “I” knows it is undeserving,
when it is only self-serving:

        we cannot live alone.
        
So
to destroy the “I” we must release it;
allowing
    the evanescence
        of instinct
to detach itself & so accept death
    as a gentle friend,
wanting only to welcome us
at the end that comes to catch us all,
        as we fall.

& this is why we must
        destroy the “I”:

So that we can leave behind deception,
        believe in impossible perfection,

& finally become human.
 

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
        & I 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 failed attempt at elegance.

& that still doesn’t make it ok…

* Simone Weil

The thoughts that follow…

Crossing the unfeeling surface of this
                        ugly city,
lost in broken reveries &
                        the sophistry
of melancholy without origin,

thought begins
to blend into visceral abstraction:

the nausea of a simple creature
wanting only to know why it knows it
                        must suffer.

Wouldn’t it be better
not to think at all,
    to be
        
innocent & free

from the thoughts that follow
    the hollow feeling
        that everything

is meaningless?

                        …but meaning is a concept,

one of thought's
        many children,
so without thought
            there would be no concept
                of meaning to be lost…

through a clumsy succession of steps I
                        try to accept
that the words bring this suffering & yet
are the only source of my salvation:

no affirmation without negation;

                        nothing is something,
            & something
                is nothing
without opposition…

this is what brings me back to a fleeting
            consolation,
        my one broken prize;
a thought
        that isn't mine:

the tree is really rooted in the sky*;
    it is the light
falling continually from above
that provides
        the energy
needed
    to defy gravity,

by finding it's way upwards while
sending roots
    deep into
        the earth.

* Human Personality – Simone Weil