The End of Nothing

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Tonight I tried to amnesiac unwind,
An unkind memory wipe.
Death without actively dying,
To survive a life without life.

I tried to make sense without sentience,
To honour my thoughts when I’d spoken.
I can’t say I trancended my transience
Hungover, by daylight awoken.

I don’t feel grateful, just humbled,
I don’t feel connected, content.
I don’t think I’ll fear when I stumble
I don’t think I’ll care to resent.

Why walk when we can fall and keep falling?
Why get up if not to fall and fall again?
When I write I know that I’m actually drawing,
Forcing my thoughts through the pen.

Forcing my thoughts through the pen.
A last gasp in the shambles.
It’s over, or not over then?
Just watching the coin as it tumbles.

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Does Anyone Ever Leave?

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Even long after I thought I’d forgotten her I knew she was appearing in my dreams.  I had a sense of having been watched- as if somebody had been whispering tender deceptions in my ear just as I was thawing from the frost of sleep.

I would throw the curtains open and sit with the quilt about my shoulders, smoking and trying to keep my fringe out of my face where it risked getting singed.  When I shaved I’d sometimes stop abruptly, turn off the tap, and suspiciously cock my head to one side, straining for the echo of those whispers.  Funny how alike a razor blade cutting through three days of stubble can resemble the sound of something like whispered words…Like handfuls of grass being pulled up whilst trying one’s best not to fall further down the riverbank.

I would clatter my spoon loudly in the coffee, stirring for little more reason than pure habit; no longer having the funds to cover the decadent purchase of sugar.  I knew there was still some on the corner of the linoleum by the mildew-riddled washing machine but I hoped to hell that things could never get that bad.  Before the coffee had finished its swirling I’d perch over it and see if I could catch a glimpse of a face not quite my own.

On my way to work I’d see how many people I could see all at once.  So far the record was three.  If someone wasn’t familiar to me I’d wonder where they were going; maybe to the flat I’d just left empty, sort of like swapping shifts.  I’d always wondered who it was who left the showerhead so high up so that every morning I had to reach up and lower it.

Long after she’d forgotten me I wondered if she too felt haunted in some way.  Why could I not be my own ghost, or her her own?  It would bring me some joy at least for either case to be the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe I’m back

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It’s been a while.  My mind has been stuck within a shrinking loop.
Didn’t know if I could offer something remotely new.
When I’m not drinking my thinking’s mostly midnight blue.
Scratching away at unsettling truths that creep across me like lice would.

I’m a little more than halfway through my quota of unhappiness,
I tried to quell my emotions and ended up increasing the length and breadth of my pre-existing existential dread.
Struggling ahead, catching my breath for long enough to second guess,
How’m I still living life when I’m now twice as lifeless

Boiling may Impair the Flavour

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There’s a fire in the trees.  Smoke makes my eyes stream.  Looking up at the black sky intermittently making itself visible between the spark-filled billows, makes me feel like I am falling.  I hear her shouting.  Coughing.  Choking?

Where are you?  What are you choking for?

I smile a little, bemused.

Listening above the roar of the flames reaps no new sounds from the source I’m hoping for.  I get up.  A loud crackling sends another curtain of yellow sparks.  I wrap my t-shirt about my face.  My vision blurs anyway.

It’s hot.  It’s cold.

A sound like the crack of a whip comes from far away.  The ground rumbles like whale-song.  I remember seeing the horizon peeling upwards like damp wallpaper.

A pair of shoes by the lake.  Simple, eggshell-pink, glowing in between the long shadows of the trees that aren’t lights themselves.  The water lapping the pebbled beach is steaming and bubbles like soup; the soup I make when I ignore the instructions on the label.

The house is impaled by a frozen bolt of lightening.  Each person inside, trapped, threaded through by offshoots from the main bolt.  Killer light.

My door to my room is open.  I check inside to see if the dog’s still curled up in the corner.  He must have run.

She’s at the window.  I climb out.

Did you see the dog out there?

She didn’t.

Why are you still walking?  Take my hand.

We don’t need to walk when we can drift.  We drift.

There’s got to be a place that isn’t being destroyed.  She looks at me with big eyes.

Don’t give me those big eyes.  I’m already forgetting what you look like as it is.

Well don’t.  I hear her say.

Turned Back, Back Turned

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What will it be to know your love?
Our kind shall inherit this decrepit earth.
And dream of the past, as a heaven above,
Not thinking about
Its dwindling worth.

What will it be to see you blaze?
Cold, goose-pimpled, rain as well.
A collection of things I’ll never face,
Huddled in the crater
Formed when you fell.

What will it be to let you go?
Alas, it’s a fact I already have.
But some facts will never quite feel so,
Till my eyes cease to see,
And my mouth to laugh.

A Room That’s Always Darkened

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Your love’s so bright, so misty dim
Like Scandinavian midnight, a void to shimmer in.

Even particles in space, cling to each other,
I long for nothing less.  It’s in my atoms to coalesce.

But I am a child who grew old,
And life’s journey takes place on a turnpike.
When the sunlight doesn’t shift the cold
I see beneath and it’s all doom-like.
Longing for the mindless life of a stone
A warm place in the earth’s mantle to call my own.

My origins, fascination with destination,
Mixing mirth with detestation,
What sort of man have I become?
Matter spat out from an infant sun.
At an instant one,  but that’s no fun!
You see the trick’s in reaching one plus one!

Intent is Nothing

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Most of the time I ask for things nicely.  I say “Please may I borrow your car?” and I’ll even say “Thank you very much, I’ll have it back by Thursday.”  I won’t even drive off really fast leaving behind the smell of burning rubber and a cloud of dust; I have the decency to wait till I’ve driven on a bit and round a few corners.

I often slow down near schools, because, the way I look at it is that if I’m in and out of there quicker, less people will be in danger.  Who wants to survive getting hit by a car?  I mean I could drive slower, but not slowly enough that anyone’d live a normal life afterwards.  Perhaps it’s for the best that I speed up.  What am I even saying?  The whole point I’m trying to make is that it is better to speed up, and that’s why I speed up.  If you’re thinking of it, then don’t think- have some conviction and put your foot to the floor.  Follow your gut.

Speaking of guts:  when I’m in a restaurant I’m often very polite and nice.  I’ll even strike up small talk and sometimes, if I’m getting the right signals, I’ll create inside jokes and tip quite generously.  Then next time I’m in I’ll wave hello, order my food, basically follow the same routine, except afterwards I’ll leave a very small tip, usually just the smallest coin I can find in my coin pouch.  A coin caked in mud or that I used to scratch a profanity onto the roof of one of the cars I borrowed.  Then I’ll have a word with the manager and complain to high heaven about the service and the horrendous meal I had just endured.  I’d say that it pained me greatly to say it because I’d really had such a lovely time before.  I don’t need to see the looks on their faces after I leave.  I just imagine it and it cracks me up.  Cracks. Me. Up.

You might wonder who’d be stupid enough to give me their car?  The answer to your question is either someone who is absolutely rock stupid, or who is genuinely afraid for their lives, or the lives of their loved ones.  These days you’d be surprised how untrusting people are, even if they are thick as crap.  I’m not going to tell you everything that I do though because I might need to borrow a car from you one day and I’d like that element of surprise, you know?

You’ll only know it’s me when days later, perhaps weeks later, maybe never though, you’re taking the kayak off the roof or you’re trying to clean the moss off the sun roof and there it is, a word, glinting silver-metalic at you from beneath lipstick red paint:

“SHITHEAD”

I get annoyed when the postman delivers mail to my address and it’s for anyone else but me.  When there’s enough of a build up I’ll go out to a different neighbourhood and post it all at roughly the same time as one’d expect a post run.  There are a number of occasions I’ve been questioned but I claim to either be with some company that does that sort of thing, or, if there’s no one else around, I smile, ask a question like “Isn’t this 139 Fenton View?  The sat-nav has never let me down yet.” and close the distance.

I sometimes read about a maniac in the local papers but it never gets any further than that.  I polish my shoes, read the papers and consume bowl after bowl of cereal.  It keeps things regular.  Otherwise I get bunged up and that’s not good.  Last time that happened I nearly got fired.  The toilet got all blocked up and there wasn’t much I could do about it.  In an unusual fit of frustration (unusual because I often feel euphoric after a good dump) I stomped the toilet bowl until it came apart like a chocolate orange.  It was horrendous.  I managed to get out without being seen, but the manhunt that ensued in the following weeks was particularly thorough and I had to lay low for a much longer time than I was accustomed to.

Sometimes I light a fire in the back garden to burn clothes with suspicious stains and items which don’t belong to anyone, but most importantly don’t belong to me.  I can’t really get away with doing this sort of thing in my own back garden so I wait tilll very late at night and it has to be a petrol fire unfortunately.  No time to collect kindling.  Just enough time to drop my bundle of goods and splash some fuel on it and leg it to the nearest taxi rank.  I get back to my place with the scent of petrol still strong on me, and a sweat on my forehead like double glazing, it’s fantastic.  A quick shower and brush of the nashers and I’m ready to sleep.  After one of those nights I’ll typically get myself a pair of new clothes the next day.  Nothing too fancy, but distinct enough to stand out on its own as something I’ve never worn before.

I try to be good, but life goes on.  Life goes on and I try, to be so good, at what I do.