variousglimpses

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Tick

A second can seem interminable

It can swell gruesome and full

Draining blood from the host

Leaving something pallid and lifeless

Despairing in the certainty

That when this second bursts open

Another latches in its place

 

No-one has life enough for time

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Ambition

My heart holds a pantheon

Of mythic figures

Who threw their lightening

Into my soul

And whose thunder echoes

In my voice

 

In my most sacred moments

Free of my own scorn

I am mad enough to think

I could stand among them

 

Love Without Risk

Of all the reasons

That have occurred

To not flinch from love

Even though nothing is sure

This rings clearest

 

Love without risk

Is possession

Dark Waters

I will always return

Like a drop of water to the ocean

 

Sometimes I forget the tides

Until my sorrow condenses

And I plunge back to the depths

 

I’m not sure if that is a mercy

Gordion Nightmare

It’s like untying a knot

A piece of myself

That lay neglected too long

And became snarled

Near irretrievably

 

I pick at a thread

Til I’ve broken every nail

And finally,  some give

A fractional loosening

An easier breath

 

And then all at once

A rush of momentum

As I pull the thread through

Only to be confronted

With further constriction

 

“Cut the cord,” some say

“Let the pieces fall, turn your back”

These wannabe Alexanders

With their brutally neat solutions

Never understand

 

If I did that, I’d have nothing left

To pull myself back together

 

Should I Have Said?

What passed between us belonged to the night, and that is where I left it. Twice we collided, and I felt privileged for what was offered, though at the last I could not accept. And there it stayed. All I really know of you is your privacy. So I afforded you what respect I could, and invaded no further.

But I still wonder: what, exactly did that touch in the dark mean to you? Desire, clear enough. Affection? I would hope. Intimacy? Unlikely. Vulnerability? That one I fear. I know nothing of how to avoid wounding you. And behind your privacy, I sense you have been wounded enough. Better you felt nothing beyond lust. Better I found myself in some cookie-cutter role, the nearest warm body of acceptable shape. Everyone has needs beyond the flesh. I hope those were not what drove you to me. Because if so I failed you. If so, my respectful distance may be exactly what you were trying to bridge. Such a thing as I might do, when intoxicated by loneliness, reaching out for someone to feel close to. But you are not me, and I know nothing beyond that.

Confusion aside, only two things are important.

I hope you weren’t hurt.

And

I remain your friend.

Excavation

I stumbled upon life

As a rock in the desert

Jutting out from shifting sands

 

It injured me

And crying out, I fell

But then, curious, I dug

Wanting to take the measure

Of this new thing

 

Of what I discovered, there was no hint

On the dead topsoil

A multifaceted surface, shot through

With veins, flecks and abrasions

Here glittering, here dull

Here translucent, here opaque

Every imaginable colour

Shifting under my gaze

Indistinct shape, hulking mass

Plunging ever deeper

 

I have dug since that day

Though my fingers are ragged stumps

The smeared blood merely adds

To the thing’s complexity

I hope that near the end

Another wanderer comes across my find

With their rags and their thirst

And I will say to them:

“See! This much I can reveal to you,

And no more.”

 

A Small Piece of Advice

Seek out the smiles of strangers

Masquerade

We could know each other’s hearts

Everyone

I am enough the idealist to believe that

 

But clichés exist because they hold truth

Knowledge

Is of course power, and power corrupts

 

We are perverse enough as people

To rend

The hearts of others, given the chance

 

For no reason other than to reiterate

Our pain

I am enough the cynic to see that

 

Therefore we front, we evade, we conceal

Ourselves

From the deadly other, whom we fear

 

We fashion our faces like guests to a ball

Masquerading

As revelers, dancing round the artifice

 

And perpetually hidden, we crave

The reveal

The lively flesh of a true human being

 

Who Your Best Friends Are

When I was younger, I didn’t have friends, I just had tormentors I’d keep coming back to. Kids who were just as fucked up and lost as I was. But hard kids, who didn’t hesitate to be cruel. They laughed at me constantly, and always made it clear that my rules were different to theirs. Fairness didn’t enter into it. Kindness was alien. I kept going back, because without them I had no-one.

One day we played hide and seek at the local school. We were almost too old for a kid’s game to be entertaining anymore. But that’s ok, because I was there. When I hid, no-one looked for me. I happened to hide under a wooden deck. They happened to gather and sit there. They talked about me. About how much of a loser I was. Pathetically amusing things I had done. Things I had told one or the other of them in confidence. How they thought I had a crush on the only girl member of the group. I did. She laughed with them and said I was gross. They wandered off and I crawled out. I let myself be found, then it was my turn to seek. They all went home. I wandered the school for a long time looking for friends who were not there.

When I was a bit older, I had friends. They laughed with me. They shared music with me. They asked me things. We played hackey sack together every lunchtime. We drank and smoked weed together on weekends and after school, and sometimes during school. If someone got too fucked up, we looked after them. One day we got caught heading out of school to get stoned. We told them we were going to the dairy. The assistant principal looked at me, a good student, and said “I think you need to take a good hard look at who your best friends are.” I tried hard not to laugh in her face.