The present absence

A present absence expands & contracts,
hollow at the core as
                    thin thoughts
convinced that words
can poison internal organs
                    collapse
into a pool of stagnant water
where no light survives.

The days
                    fold & fall away
leaving only the faintest trace
of what once
existed…

                grotesque
& never-ending,
a thing somehow still alive, like
                a zombie
convulsing on the floor
in a room
with an unlockable door;
the Will conflicted, torn
between hatred
of daylight & fear of the night
bringing tapeworms beneath the skin:

rip them out, one by one
until the arms are nothing more
than wet ribbons of red;
            tattered remains of flesh
draped across bone.

Then wake up
                    alone
without hope
that this will end the way it always does:

new meds, new promises

& the slow return of memories that always
break your fall;

                    the pale shimmer
of phosphorescent ghosts.

Evergreen

With all the inevitability
& perfect frailty
of autumn’s final fallen leaf

the secret violence of our silence,
stands exposed;
a distance so vast in a space so small.

Every word we once shared
now hides, & the meaning
of their patterns

The summer is turning it’s back;
darker mornings,
colder evenings.

Will the winter destroy the warmth we need,
or will we find a way to keep our dreams
from fading?

Can we still cling to the belief,
that there is some hope remaining,
of reclaiming

what once was, because, after all,
not every leaf will fall:

some trees are evergreen…

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:

no longer threatening to 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,
it changes 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;
                            different desperate measures,
a new insanity
to replace the one you gave us.

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…

 

#First World Problems

Swept along by the causal tide,
riding the waves of time

or

if the numbers cease to speak
& the edifice crumbles,
revealing only a single peace-
full temporal ontology,

what then?

How do we end
or continue, or begin to
make sense of it all without stories we
can now only read
            but never believe?

I think a 12-hour shift
constantly on your feet,
making pointless shit for foreigners you
will never meet

could answer that question:

“I don’t care anymore.
All I want is to feed my family
& sleep beneath a roof & between 4 walls…”

Do’s & Don’ts

Pay no attention to the world outside of your city,
or the sunlight bleeding across the sky.

Don’t look at the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson,
or allow yourself to cry.

Do not listen to the Gymnopédies everyday for a month,
while taking commuter trains;

don’t look at single-platform stations as you pass them by,
or aimlessly observe the detritus trying to hide
 
in the fringes of everything. Never create, only consume
but don’t drink alone so much that you

begin to loose your mind…

***

Listen to teachers & parents & always do as you’re told,
exercise regularly & deny you’re growing old.

Listen to Spotify playlists & buy the latest clothes,
have faith in reason & that technology will save us all.

Always assume a community is just a collection of potential enemies
waiting to steal everything that you own.

Believe that you are where you are through merit alone,
& drink only in moderation.

Ignore the homeless, have faith in the government
& believe that you are free.

Teach your children to respect authority
& do the same yourself.

Use razor-blades only to remove hair,
not to mutilate yourself.

Learn to accept your place…

***

Choose pleasure over meaning, close
your eyes & let advertising
do your dreaming for you.

Ask no questions, you’ll hear no lies:

it’s the only way to survive.