I’m sharing these for perspective’s sake: soon, I am going to start releasing my more serious attempts at poetry, and these prose-poem pieces were my first real attempts to move away from straight prose. They read a bit like Snowing lyrics at times, in a way, and were probably written for the same reason: to expel demons. They also seem to form some kind of a vague narrative. Maybe you’ll like them, maybe you’ll find them too self-conscious or clunky; either way, I feel like they belong here, although since these were written I have made a concerted attempt to be less self-obsessed in my writing. On the loose topic of self-reflexivity: this will likely be my last opening note for a while, as I’d rather just let my work speak for itself for a while.

 

 

Four Walls: Selected

Prose Poetry (2015—2016)

 

 

I

My voice strains as I reach the high note. The music is not regularly voiced, and the quality of the note feels dissonant in my throat. You should not sing from your throat. It is bad practice.

     I’m a late starter. I have lost things. I have lost a sense of purpose, and my multiple identities are starting to revolt. They crave for a unified whole, but I tell them: you search for something that cannot be found, something that does not exist. They do not believe me. They barely even listen.

     Nobody listens. My voice is croaky and weak. The words die even as they leave my mouth, and they fall from my lips unheard, like gum on the floor, waiting to be cleaned up, like dog shit that has not been picked up, like gum on a city street, like shit. When I dream, I dream alone.

 

 

II

Sleep never comes easy; you know that. There’s something to take for that; I know, but I don’t want it. I’m too tired for drugs. I’m tired with the relief of knowing what could come tomorrow. I’m tired of predictability, but I’m also tired with mystery. I’d like to know what my next move is, but I keep it hidden; I know myself, but that does not mean I can understand myself.

      I read culture, I read self, but these two things don’t seem to add up. I dress to the norm, but not for the norm. I don’t know what fashion is. I’ve never seen a well-dressed man. That’s not true — but when I look at myself, it sure seems to be. Stability is never fitting in, at least for me, and many others. I am not alone.

      I can sink if I want to. I can lose control, I can revel in pain, I can succeed, I can choke on the air around me, I can excel. These have been proven; so what should I do today? Can today be the day that I break the cycle, or will it be another day of sitting, and sweating, and boredom, and relief (or lack thereof), and uselessness spent alone, alone in duplicity, alone in plurality, alone (so alone)?

     You can hear me. You understand me. You always have, even when you thought otherwise. You know I will continue. You know I would never be so stupid to fumble for an exit until I knew damn sure that I’d reached the end of my road. You give me hope, even when you spurn me. Everybody needs that light.

 

 

III

I want to repent, rapturously, horribly, embarrassingly. I want to scream at the rain. I want the quiet of a confession booth. I want people to understand, but I don’t want anyone to know. I want everything at once, I want to be loved, I want people to ignore me. I want to exist, vitally, in other people’s lives. I want to matter. I want to be invisible.

     I’ve lost more friends than, maybe, I’ll ever have again. It isn’t an easy process. But I can do it in an instant. I can cut the cord, sever the connection and watch as something turns to nothing. As if it never happened. I’m happy this way, I say. It’s easier this way. But it never gets any easier.

     I could repent, I could apologise, I could scream until I bleed, I could forgive. But I don’t want to. I don’t want it all on me, I want a bridge. Something or somewhere I can speak in honesty and without impunity. I want to break these barriers.

       Either way, this is on me now. I have to keep this to myself.

 

 

IV

Take yourself seriously, and don’t hide. Forgive small infractions, and even let big ones slide. Don’t spend your life wishing you’d never learned to love.

 

 

V

Hide your wit, hide your beauty. Keep it simple, keep it curt. I could never see you the same way after you defaced your name and made those threats, living with you was living with shame, but maybe let’s try again.

     I’ll always try again; it’s all I have left here at the end.

 

 

VI

I’m a big proponent of simplicity. Words are important; don’t obfuscate your meaning. Hit hard, and keep your target always in sight. Let people know what you mean. Don’t hide behind a persona. Let everything in. Be ready to confess. Allow honesty into your life. Let everything in, even pain and shame, and always be ready, no matter what.

 

 

VII

     What would be best would be to nullify the emotion at the root.

     What is best for everyone has to exclude somebody.

     What would be most effective would be to strangle the saint inside.

     Call it: your first choice would be correct, don’t double guess yourself, you know what’s true and you know what’s killing you. It’s a search mission, sound the alarms. You’ve been missing for a year now. I don’t think you’ll ever be found.

     Let slide the empathy, free the violence. Become aware. Evolve.

   Change. Change again. Revert. Start again. This time, you’ll know. You’ll remember every mistake you made, and you will do no different. Haven’t we been here before?

     This feels familiar. Everything feels familiar. Everything points to you.

     Everybody knows that you’re done.

     So, fuck it: evolve. And give no quarter.

 

 

VIII

Soliloquy by a Supporting Role

I lose the gift of foresight easily; equally so, hindsight never enables me. My failings seen in retrospect only, lost to the gales, to the rain. I stand, I fall. I stand again, but no, it means nothing: I have failed once more. Towards the end I limp and falter, towards despair I ever proceed. And to those around me, a joke: a limp stereotype, so full of myself and so sure of myself, so overly sure that I can cast judgment, can decide their fates. How inevitable it is to fail, when one is adequately prepared to; how easy it is to watch fate play that game, and you fold in accordance; how necessary it is to let this ocean wash over you, and fail in your own time, fail to connect. The love felt in the moments that allow it, the hatred that waits ever to unfold, the violence in the immediacy of one’s own moment of breaking. I laugh at myself now, so bared to the world I am, so honest that I become an embarrassment to all of those around me — once heartfelt but now rude, and this moment included, nay, highlighted: happiness shall evade because of this, through this. I shall forever watch all of those who love me disappear, all of those close to me leave, an action born of their own choice. This I shall reap, as I have sown; this I shall receive, as I deserve. There is no pity left for the pitiful here.

 

 

IX

I’m three years younger than Nick Drake will ever be. I’m staring forward into nothing. I’m walking the streets of the city and feeling the impact of the disconnect. Total disconnect, removed from the meat that passes by, that laughs, that staggers, that stumbles, that walks hand in hand, that smiles, that shouts, that passes me by.

     I don’t have a direction, only a time. My breath can only carry me so far, and my feet begin to hurt. My anxiety is gone, a constant hatred in its wake. I’ve been left behind. Love haunts every page I write — and in my failings it stands right beside me.

 

 

X

Let it in, let it all in. All it takes is one moment to free you. One moment to break you, yes, that’s true, and it works both ways, but for once the wind has changed, for once you’re breathing free. It’s been a long time since you felt this good, so let it in, let it all in.

 

2 thoughts on “Four Walls: Selected Prose Poetry (2015—2016)

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