polymyalgia rheumatica (mother’s side.)
the door’s caught somewhere between here and there,
caught in amongst debris of oft-forgotten vices,
habits stripped and consoled, afterwards.
dementia, rheumatism, cerebral ataxia,
acronyms, initials that spell a.c.d.i. | A.D.
(afterwards) caught in amongst
lolling, gagged, drawn,
sought after. the door still caught, you can’t open it.
whether it matters or not what’s on the other side.
the phrase, ‘P.T.G.’ — months’ worth.//
six minutes in. seven years prior.
it doesn’t reflect like it did. less a mirror
than acting mud.
your hand rests on the burnished glass
of the door handle. you’ll only wake up again anyway.
seven years, now. how many times will we say that until it becomes clear? still can’t bring yourself to kick it ajar. nothing so simple. murmuring static and voices on the other side. six minutes in. she’d gone deaf. seven years prior. couldn’t hear a thing. close the door on another slumping year. leaning on all fours against the wall, blood trickles down from the hole in the side of your head. something’s growing down there.
no surprise when the screaming starts.
you’d said not to look. you can’t be the only one responsible.
now she’s caught somewhere between the door
and the colossus of wrapping paper, soup cans,
beer cans, bottles, and cardboard boxes.
presents. check your watch. neither hand signs out.
the feeling recedes. you jump back into your body.
it’s not so hard now. in fact, it’s all so easy.
the knife is still stuck in there, somewhat deep.
not so hard. flashback. a memory. seven years prior.
still the door won’t open. caught between.
in amongst. then, more acronyms. check them off the list.
|o.c.d.// a.d.d.// a.s.d.|
|a.c.d.i.// A.D. (father’s side.)|
just another minute; convergence.
year when#, check it off the list,
along with other nonsense rhymes and dots, loops.
it hardly reflects at all. you’re growing. it all came so easy.
stroke the key backwards. retardation: stalled; atrophic,
and the like. note: polymyalgia rheumatica (mother’s side.)
sift through the glass hilltops, your hand still caught,
little gifts placed under a certain tree, the night before.
there she is, groping through the darkness,
only the blue light flicker that claims ownership
over the scattered vocal intonations and incessant hum
to guide her step, but unlike you she isn’t caught
on the threshold. her burgeoning body casts a shadow
somewhere between your own learnt present
and her disrobing present — your future—
naked in the eye of ever-after, and the like.
your hand still grasping that burnished glass,
no reflection, consideration.
screaming stops. no sound now. deafened.
then, two simultaneous thuds, her knees on the plain wood;
might leave a bruise.
and there you are, as usual:
on all fours, hands in the dirt and glass shards,
caught at the barrier, crawling to the threshold.
but to get there, you have to reach halfway first.
no chance. you’ll be there forever.
Note: This MAY be the last poem I publish for a while, as I am starting to send my work to indie lit journals. I will continue to post any poems I think are best suited to this blog, as some I write with Scribbles in mind. Many thanks for all the support!
why do they leave?
her eyes are drawn.away when.
they drift close.and shift as if
they never once beheld.your
own.and why?(a simple
for each will.leave.yes.gone
[why do they leave?]
did i at once conjure.a.
n.illusion?“those years before,
when we were young, or thought
we were, when eyes amet upon
the grass, and shared in we were
rumoured wrongs, a conundrum
too simple for one like”
“i know you not,” she says.
her.eyes ar;e drawn away; when
they drift too close on.a gentle
breese.wind.in my greyish hair:
“no, i know not you nyther,” i say,
“and i am not sure i ever did.”
afforded inside my venge.ful skull’s hole
that from ’leaks grey.oozing;brain.
down my lapel.
your eyes. why do they leave?
why do they always leave?
and were they ever there to begin?
When you are lost, do not think of me
for I do not exist. Perhaps once
there was a semblance, what we regrettably
call a ‘likeness,’
but this has long since left,
and all you know of me
is an image long passed.
I have turned over to a realm of nothing,
simply by closing my eyes once too many times.
When you are needing, think not of me
for I am not here. And besides
loneliness is just
an illusion we show ourselves
when we are too bored
by our individual nothings.
We turn over to a realm of objects,
awash in a shallow stream of antiworlds.
We go spinning through this constructed silence.
Change O’ the Seasons
The change o’ the seasons brings with it
A crushing weight: as if the descent
Into darkness mirrors the soul’s aspect
And speaks to the shadows that linger
In the brighter days.
It is in these short eras of wracked sleep
That the mind considers the limits
Of the lurid, and wonders what worth
The summer sun even holds in truth;
Thank God it is gone.
What is temp’rance in these blackened months,
When the sun does not rise at all?—
The weakened spirit is justified
In rejecting night’s cold embrace
And morning’s delirium.
When all is wrapped in Stygian dusk
It reminds the crippled soul of life’s
Purest character: that of nature’s
Indifference to stuff’ring in its realm;
Its ambivalent shrug to the wan
Countenance of man.
The Fragile Shade
If I were to treat with such a myth
as that which drives your soul, what
would I find?
Only I see that tenderness, only I
see the way you breathe.
But an honest one.
If I were to shelter the tragic shade
within my corset’s bounds, what
would I feel?
Yes, it is only I that gives life
to such a fragile shadow of man.
Yet not sincere.
Echo far, my lonely little life:
Echo far, my sweetest;
Echo far, my truest care—
And go beyond what I could
achieve on my hollow own.
Belief between us is shared,
but it is as if my prayers are not heard.
There is nothing left to claim nor declare;
We have said it all through-n’ again.
Each passing hour, day: a signifier of distance.
Yet I speak, praying e’er for connection,
A reignition of the warmth that reigned,
And a call against rising resentment.
I speak, and yet there are no ears left
To hear. There is nothing but distance.
There is nothing left to touch nor gain;
Can you, too, not sense this disintegration?
Soon they will become years: a pinch of salt
Cast into dispersal. What has been achieved—
What were these hours spent for—but tempering
Your spirit, to steel it from catastrophe?
I reach out, and yet there is no flesh left
To feel. There is nothing but distance.
I am weary of this night;
Yet I shall keep such strain to myself,
And treat upon the circumstance of the soul.
Encased in a boundless tomb, solitude
Once dearly wish’d now becomes a prison
To contain the greatest physical pain:
The endless crying void of distance.
Like a step taken too soon, and cold
hard concrete meets the teeth: flowing
iron-taste fills the mouth;
now you cannot
Nor should you: you betray
a true intention falsely fulfilled.
Keeper of lore unsuited to man’s mind,
Enough to send a common fool screaming
Mad into the bleary drunken night.
and a symbol of passion’s play
dances elfin ’cross your sight
as you speak the damnèd word:
Crippled chaos unleashed
in private display of indignation.
Now you can’t believe your eyes, this cold
blue light that meets your sight: realisation
that lines wrought in innocence
brought you to
the bloody brink.
So close your tome of falsehood,
and let the sweet madness still.
An Exercise in Restraint
Love lost to Chronos, sweetness gained
whilst trepidation holds back the hand of care:
to touch is to lie; yet I hear your voice,
I cannot tell how distant it is.
A rounded care, an ear attent for your word,
simple and stranded, waiting.
There is no greater smile, no more cherished
amongst all dreams of form and poise.
An exercise in restraint, holding back
once again, and kinder all the so; and yet love
is not lost, and yet, still, love is no further gained:
could anyone say this is cruel?
Nay, when you shine so bright, walking in company,
and ’tis all I wished for, ’tis all I looked towards.
Cherished indeed. Tho time may sweep away
the love born to be lost, this matters not;
all that matters in this very life
is for you to smile in your choice, cherished form.
This Nightmare of Skin
There is no escape from this skin, she said;
No slightest moment to forget about the shape of things.
This blasphemy is wrought from on high,
To mock the sensitive mind even in his sleep.
A dream of flesh is an unbearable thing.
And a dream of unflesh?— well (she said)
Even that is predicated upon flesh; there is no escape
From this nightmare of skin. It hangs so heavy
On your bones, replenishing itself as if
We should be impressed; I am not amazed
By rotting meat, nor slit-cut carcasses, nor
The pulpy curves of these vile fibres.
The shape of things is anathema: and it cannot be forgotten,
For there it is at all times; sagging, wrinkled,
Awash with scars, spots, blemishes and unsightly hair;
No, there is no escape from this nightmare of skin.
I have proposed an alternative, she said:
A process of uncreation. Not death—for death is slave
To flesh: to think of death, all of that screaming, sliced tendons;
Guts on show and skull shattered, prolapsing veins;
The wretched shrieks and screams of one
Confronted by the inevitabile end of fleshy form;
And once dead, the spoiled muck of skin
Degrades further, yet another mockery
And yet another symbol of the absolute decay inherent in the shape of things;
And after death, our pitiful cadaver
Returns its lumpy mass to the endless cycle of shit-birth and shit-death,
Until entropy collides and bears us once again unasked
Into this nightmare of skin.
Nay, not death, then, but uncreation;
Because think of all of the sins of the existence of flesh:
The open sores, the bubbling pus and mucus, the translucent corpse of abortion
And miscarriage; not to mention semen and the like; vile, profane membrana!—
To return to and remain a pure lack of very atoms and atmosphere
Is the most rational solution.
Cursèd parents! she cried: what greater crime
Is there than putrid conception? Murder?—Nay.
The crime of parenthood is not to be forgiven.
To dream a babe into this everthrashing meld
Of bones and brains and fetid yellow sweat
Through the filth of procreation—all of that horrid grunting
And lurching movement, the heresy of sex,
Then the swollen burgeoning of womb and belly
As the miserable clump of living cells within bloats
Into a nefandous and inevitable potential for evermore suffering;
All gifted to us by a spiteful or moronic demiurge—
Not to mention the abomination of puberty,
In which our final vestiges of purity are swamped by acne,
Night-terrors, grotesquely angled limbs all stretching away;
No wonder folklore dreamt the werewolf—
It is simply the honest horror of existence,
Although fiction can never compare to the relentless onslaught
Of putrid, febrile reality.
We must stand against this living Hell, this infernal heritage
And absurd destiny (to die!) and discover the path to uncreation.
Where no more will our livers bulge and fail, our fragile hearts
Rupture, our limbs o’ertaken by arthritis and various breakages;
Where no more will our sickly lips spread lies and nonsense,
Nor our ears be subjected to the lies and nonsense of others;
Where the True Good resides, away from
The manipulating, creating Hand of God—
No eyes to see with, no hands to touch: this is the truest blessing!
For death cannot bring us there; death is only the final stage
Of the humiliation of life, she said, grinding her teeth,
One near shattering in her mouth. She spat out the fragments.
How do we take it back? How do we undo this nasty business?
This absurdity of scraping nails, gnashing, weeping,
This positively idiotic nightmare of skin—
How can we escape?
She sighed, and collapsed to the filth-ridden floor,
Which was covered in piss and shit. I knelt down to take
Her pale, diaphanous hand. She snapped it away and spat on my shoe.
There is no escape! No escape from this damned dream! she screamed,
Her throat ripping and choking with strained blood.
My wish is futile; each of us is trapped here until at last it comes:
Annihilation: the black beast; with demented claw and jagged fang
It will rip us to strands without a shred of fabled dignity.
Our piece in this ‘universe’ is a bulging polyp, a swollen tumour;
Nothing is impressive about this endless chaos of nastiness,
And nothing can set us free. To dream of uncreation is to torture oneself.
I look at my own form and weep. O, the pain! The pain!
The pain of flesh! The torment of the flayed soul,
Trapped within this stretched masque of absurd horror!
Each day passes in even more astoundingly monotonous catastrophe
As we wither away and develop yetmore ailments and curses;
There is no escaping the hellish contemplation of this noisome shape of things,
No escape, no escape from this eternal cycle of deranged pandaemonium,
No escape from the constant degradation and humiliation of flesh,
No escape from this odious, insidious, and unfair nightmare of skin!