Bardo Pond

by Arran James

And having come this far we will carry on, rising ever higher in our own esteem, transmitting ever louder and ever more tangentially while the earth lies buried beneath our debris and the clouds grow denser with our cancers. A man will board a tube carriage and be taken miles away from where he cried, unseen by his colleagues, for reasons obscure to either himself or the nakedness of the photocopier against which he leant. A woman will dry herself down from stepping out of the shower and pad across a white tiled floor, her body shivering gently and miasmic amid steam, approaching the mirror she despises. Another imperfection on her skin. Still the sodden clump of hammered meat faces her, thinking herself fit only for the ceramic fit or for the butcher. Lives populate rural wastes. A husband clings to his wife’s breast, apologising from some misdeed that he knows he is ready to commit again. Storytellers spinning yarns, and all of us sophisticates who see through it all and have extinguished that ability called belief. Our desires are dark against the lighter shades of the illiterate; that mass we name as our last necessary illusion…the subject supposed to believe. I light another cigarette and adjust the light beside my bed, renouncing sleep. The long white stick is optimistic in my mouth; aglow, erect. I yearn for the collective confessions of other places, to go flagellating anonymously through streets populated now by the last revellers of the night. What phase of history is this? Stumbling on despite it all, enraptured with the emptiness of living; our despairs have amphetamine shimmering, our miseries a gossamer light, in ecstasy with destruction, in love with a glare that is the sun burning itself dead.