attempts at living

to make a system out of delusions

Tag: poem

common jumping molecules

calm comes over

    i am a serenity
    a placid forcelessness
    a disolute identity

you are a dance

    a delirium space
    the body’s clear address
    to a lost still place

such abundance

    a suspended antechamber
    an annex to time
    recoiling from all danger
    of the original crime;
    living

    collisions can’t save us
    when whispers are metallic shrieks
    and love and labour have lost the shroud of mystique

    where are we
    that our organisms decline
    and our roots
    contort towards the sun’s glare
    while our flowers bury themselves
    in the deepest pits of stale despair?

where am i today
that i am so far from dancing?

mcmanus

we cling to the skin
of this earth
and look at the lack
of our magnificence

we met at a cafe
in the sun
and talked of the small
things that we become

the dead don’t stir
beneath us
inside of our skin,
lacking any forgiveness

i forget
how to live
to go on
living

 

 

 

Endless manifesto

In the Limpid Air

Some say, look at what’s happening backstage. How lovely, all that machinery working so smoothly! All these inhibitions and fantasies and desires, all reflected on their own history. The technology of sex appeal. How lovely!

Alas, I’m passionate and always have been about the moments in life when things stop working; when things globally fall apart, like an omen of things to come, not just in the present, but like glimpses of eternity suppressed by the system. The survival instinct on its way out.

I know it’s hard to base a code of conduct on such extraordinary suppositions. But that’s exactly what we’re here for, difficult things. Right now we’re suspended in life like on the Californian mesas, those platforms spiralling high over nothing. The nearest neighbour is a few hundred metres away but still in sight in the limpid air (and the impossibility of reunification is written on everyone’s face). Right now we’re in life like apes at the opera grunting and jumping in harmony. Up above, a melody floats by.

-Michel Houellebecq, The art of struggle 

Perhaps this is the clearest expression of what I have unnecessarily been calling catastrophia; a passion for when things globally fall apart.

an old poem

the debris

question rises no invitation to parties never thrown but strangle;
why propulsion instead of static? what obliterations will be marked?
terror takes cognition, a feckless wit braying to spectators
all marked faceless with private ecstacy of adrenal theatre of collapse.
selected tools, protective equipment riddled full of holes
burnt into fabric of the story established in advance.
to become hero bearing tragedy something missing must be found but
even then the weight of it would disappoint as helium and cloud.
to be single tonal nothing flatness always then, keeping beat
to sighing of dead moons displaying of self-inflicted wounding not
for sake of forsaking, saying what can’t be said.
there is a name for resonating with earthly grace found given gentle
coiled sleepful in passion’s breast; melody in birth contraction, born
and let into the world ill nourished and everything the wrong conditions;
a suffocation at the root causes inflammation
where the greatest becomes the horror and the horror speaks itself.
softest of collisions begged and lusted by man, woman, child
all those bearing witness fixed awe eyes upon the altar where
ichor flows from one unto the other as pure unselfish gift:
each one a sun upon planes of other, breeding complex forms and
colour. times of wealth on the nile never suffered, an innocence without
consciousness or regret.
but soon turning darker, brighter and derailed. what may light the way
may rob eyes of sight.
debris of nameless something only future forms that do not birth
but somehow all again forever;
cataclysms making fertile or simply more decay? we are such beautiful
debris.

and other vermin

like a dog
tied to a lamppost
i am shivering
in the light of such Conviction.
these fake limbs
and false movements,
articulations
through locked-jaws,
but i am holding on.
somehow recollected
on the backseat of
Saturday night taxis,
i’ve abandoned more beliefs
than you’ll ever hold
and all wrapped up as modern virtue,
and in promises of wonderful things
and other vermin.
flounder in the sunlight,
flounder in the darkness,
our grip itself prosthetic,
something useless
whispered in the universe’s ear.

a thing

Re-reading Morvern Callar,
I remember summers spent in Spain.
Re-painting the compound walls
and the horse having it’s throat cut open by the vet
after the lethal injection had gone in,
and the winch that raised it’s carcass from the sand
and lowering it into the truck’s open back,
the blood trickling across the arid earth
that would cake as red clay from all that unremitting sun;
and the smell of oranges
from the grove across the dirt track.
I let a finger trace the sinuous parts of my own throat,
wondering how similar all corpses look.

ceiling eyes

in the oases
of calm
we are like post-coital stoics;
able to indulge everything.
she thinks of an old love
and i tell her i wish i could write more simply,
more direct. but i think
what i really want
is something to say that needs such urgency
that even language isn’t direct enough.
i dream about days of anarchism
and how i lost my faith in
the possibilities of a new power,
of freedom.
was i ever so angry
that i could have torn the world in half?
it seems so distant, pointless
and lost.

feeding

little gestures/
raising a hand or trying/
to indicate a life
richer than the endless.
so tempting to call it
mere animality,
mere motor reflex but
who am i to call it that
who raves sometimes
about the inner world of
mitochondria and taxis.
of all our words
maybe ‘life’ is the emptiest,
a pretension that we reserve
for things that are a little
like ourselves.
this isn’t a vitalism,
it’s a howl let loose for things
that cannot speak.

Style

Sometimes it’s all really big and highbrow,
…and other times its all tiny
…and banal little details like which side someone’s hair is parted.
I can’t figure out which has more weight,
which voice is more commanding
or which one is really mine.

Hospital Road, walking home.

“Life is neither good or evil, but only a place for good and evil.”
– Marcus Aurelius.

Sometimes, very occasionally these days,
I feel as though I were an aristocrat whose title,
unpronounceable and subtle, was bestowed by no Authority.
On days like this I think of Stephen Pearl Andrews story,
that one called The Dinner Party, and I wonder about
Utopias based on children’s games, and about how
arriving an hour late to work or accidentally destroying Washington,
Beijing, New Delhi, or Tehran would make so little impact
on anything that actually mattered. Lives would be lost I suppose but,
and don’t think me callous, in those moments –

those moments when I feel the spontaneous descendent
of some pacifist military caste whose existence comes from nowhere –
in those moments of relaxed vertigo I am lulled into blissful indifference
by the notion that all lives are lost long before they breathe first breaths.

You’re on the outskirts of the city while I’m thinking this.
Here there are fields of an experimental type, a farm for researching…
what do can you research on a farm? And you’re walking along an empty road,
occasional cars pass as if trying not to wake a sleeping child.
The Sun is high. The air is pleasant. You don’t care much for anything
but it isn’t that you don’t care. It is something between these things that that word,
Indifference, can’t quite paint.

You think about Place, recalling fragments of the places
you have called home. Where is that now? Does it have dimension, extension,
and is it really a solid state mass? Yes, you’re sure it is
but the question of for how long tongues the lobes of your ears.
It’s a pleasing feeling and you close your eyes as you walk.

In the kitchen while you drank cheap coffee and talked uselessly,
after cleaning away the evidence of he body’s dis-integration from the brain,
you find yourself discussing possible Theologies; the futurity of a God
yet to come, and who may have already died.
The man behind the newspaper, glasses coming off as he looks up
from behind the headlines and the pictures, he leans over slightly and gives a prayer:
‘One day biotechnology will make all this redundant
and we’ll live like children whose bodies are toys to be picked up
and thrown merrily away’. You shudder at the thought,
you want to scream a mountainous jagged No
but instead just sip more coffee.

Later, in the small room where the dying huddle to fix their gazeless eyes
on some invisible repeat, you will take out a scrap of paper
and with the pen you stole from someone you’ve forgotten you will write these words:

Should I crumble and wither and shit myself all day,
with cups of tea being offered regardless of the absence of any thirst
except one that can’t be named or quenched,
don’t straighten my tie or comb my hair when visitors come,
or call me by my preferred name. When my eyes receive data and no magic,

when my ears hear only raw and  indistinct sounds,
give me a little dignity of the truer type, recognise and honour my descent,
my return to the simple animality I never knew
and make temples out of my unprovoked and pointless tears.

Sometimes you feel like nothing that doesn’t happen
on the scale of the cosmic is entirely irrelevant,
as if only the burning of stars and the orbits of gas giants,
the cradling nebulas giving birth to still massless galaxies, are the only moments
that Time really ever records. And sometimes you feel like
it is right that those who tend the dying, who provide their last comforts
and try to entertain their last slivers of hope, should have murder in their hearts.
And then I remember that I can’t even tie my own shoes,

that I’ve never before bathed another human being,
that I’ve never even once felt the heart beat of a tiny broken winged bird.
I remember that all the places I’ve called home are entangled
in a thousand other things, a thousand lost lives, a thousand unredeemed dreams.
I remember the vision of fists and soft faces and how it broke my tiny heart
a thousand nights in a thousand ways.
What is the Cost Principle of a black hole, the Labour Principle of a fledgling star?
Is this an element, a symbol, a fact, or a sign?

Everything is happening so fast, I’m not sure where I am;
ecstatic, you take off your uniform and sit on the steps of the square
outside the theatre. You have pressing concerns, things that must be done,
but you can’t help wonder if the sky was meant to be
and whether tranquillity’s allure was always a fraud. You are waiting
until you see her again, waiting with these light and frivolous thoughts,
skimmed like stones onto the surface of volcanic lake.

What am I trying to say?

You wait in the sunshine reading a book and deliberately,
but without working up a sweat, throw off pretensions to knowledge
or to truth. A swelling in the void, a skin irritation on the universe,
you mouth to yourself that any man who tries to convince another
of some Vital truth does so because he himself doesn’t and can’t believe;
missionaries produce the believers they wish themselves to be.
While you sit there waiting, feeling as vague and reluctant as
a summer cloud, you are convinced of the beauty and necessity
of everything and there is nothing you do not believe.

I feel like I could abolish obituaries, devour all places
and leave them intact.
I will form a new religion from this simple mantra:

I cannot even tie my own shoelaces.