Two

We were standing on a precipice,

the edge of something beautiful,

with our hands

together.

I convinced them to let go,

push me off,

step away.

So I was falling down

and there was nothing I could say,

nothing to raise me

back through the air.

My plea

made it worse instead.

I tried too late

to make them see

I wasn’t dead.

*

I had failed to see the crumbled sandstone

lip of the cliff,

could not feel my own ragged fragments

tearing away like a ship spar,

my soul has never found a place to rest.

The salt on the air was not visible

but I could taste it, sour in my stomach,

flavoured glass ripping insides out.

Maybe it wasn’t that, maybe it was the

words I heard

and the ones I could not say,

a flood slammed against a dam wall,

until I had to scream them as it broke.

A vicious uproar,

the tide scared away any that would listen.

There was a desperation to the flow

and desperation stinks.

The good thing is

once the rush has subsided

and all the sticks

have settled again, there won’t be another flood for a long time,

no more risk of being cut

or broken,

at least until a new version of you

is sucked into an atmosphere

full of stormy tendencies

and unforgiving conclusions.

But if you survive the first time,

you will always stay alive.

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I Am Termites, I Am Wood

There is no sleeping now.

There is a thing

called a self-destructor.

I am one.

I am a big one.

I will spend all night

in the sand,

looking at my hands.

Thinking

I should have put them

on my mouth

before my voice

sent things

heading south.

Freud

and death-drives,

have they chased me

my entire life?

I want…

I want…

I want…

but I stop myself

and I kill my health.

And I don’t want wealth.

I wish I was kelp.

I could drift,

I could drink,

I would not sink.

Self-sabotage

is my skill.

It stands large.

If you tell me to fold,

I will.

I know

where peace is,

peace just doesn’t want

any of my business.

 

I am sorry for me.

I am sorry to you.

 

The Lizard

Once, there was lizard. He was cold, a little dark, and slightly empty inside. Not evil, in fact he was kind of heart, but perhaps somewhat lost and lonely. He was lacking motivation, or at least he was lacking positive motivation. All his tasks he completed without a clear sense of why he was doing these things. He knew there was something missing. The world confused him and he did not know his place in it. How could he meet others that were so different to him? It was hard to comprehend. So many lizards exactly like him, and yet they were not. Nor he like them. They looked the same and they spoke the same but their minds were foreign.

A man in a suit whose sole defining feature was arrogance. I am not a violent person. I am kind, so why am I looking at you with dead eyes, hoping for your blood to be spilled? How do you see the world? How do you view those around you, if you acknowledge them at all? When the day arrives and you understand your grandeur is a mirage, my lips will move skyward.

One day, he met the sun. And it was light and it was warmth, it was everything the lizard had been looking for. The sun was joy, it filled the gaps within the lizard, filled the holes with a positivity the lizard had not felt before. He had more energy now. To the skies for all to hear he proclaimed that the benevolence of the sun could not be emphasized enough. It was brilliance and it was heat and it was illumination. The sun showed him that others could be just as good but different, and he was glad to have realized it.

He’d never seen a smile that looked so alive, and he’d only said something stupid. A smile you wished could linger longer, before you tried to raise it once more. It was nice to take time out from thinking of all the people in the world and discover only one. To wonder and learn about just one, instead of the infinite curiosity that had plagued him before. One proved to be fuller, more complicated and intriguing than many. He started to see complexity was not something he had known within himself. He was linear, they were made up of tendrils.

The sun could not always be there however. There were times when the lizard’s world would be dark again and he understood this. With the promise that the sun would return he could negotiate the quiet moments alone without losing vitality. But sometimes the absences of the sun stretched out for too long and the lizard couldn’t help but become slow, stagnant, and muddled.

Back to day-dreaming of Valhalla and red paintings on the wall. Back to examining profundity in the smallest of things. While it fascinated him it did not sustain him. Watching life taught him much, the most of which was that he wasn’t living it. So he slept as little as possible, believing quantity would catch up to quality eventually.

The lizard did not like it when the sun was distant. For him, the sun was life and the dark was not. If he spent too long in the dark and the cold, he was afraid he would fade beyond revival. He was convinced the strange things he thought about on his own were not the right things to contemplate so he chased the sun, for it was always shining somewhere. To bring it closer and move himself closer became a focus of his endeavours.

When they were near, when they touched, he was sure that moment would hold. Were his eyes saying what he wanted them to? He did not like speaking but was always told it was necessary, so now he spoke too much.

Every now and then the lizard would come across other pockets of light and warmth. They were not the sun and he was confused they held the same qualities as the sun but in smaller doses. They promised the same cures it seemed but they were not the sun and he always pushed on.

Again, he looked upon other interesting faces. Again, started musing of when their stories began but quickly lost his grip on attention when he asked, when they started telling him. He was thinking, you are human. You are wonderful. You are alien to me.

Sometimes he saw others who were totally devoid of light. They were struggling beyond what he had the capacity to imagine. He wanted to help them did not have anything to offer them. Moving within the confines of their pain seemed dangerous considering his own fragility.

Of course, each time the lizard found the sun, the sun was busy and the lizard knew this. Still, he hoped to prove a distraction, make the sun glow more brightly on him so he could grow to be something more than he was.

Locking the essence of himself away to remain accessible. Talking too much, always talking too much. Not smiling, not looking enough. There was a soul in him. There was a soul in her. How could they meet? What circumstances would bridge such a divide, when both were guarded by the head?

Eventually the sun had to intervene, telling the lizard “I cannot shine only on you, there are other things I must do. I cannot ignore my own heart’s warning.”

So the lizard was left floating in the dark wondering what he could possibly do. Was it the end of days? Was it not possible to be sunny all the time? Surely it was, if it was possible to be dark all the time?

He planned all the things they would do; the words he would say. Maybe he thought about the future too much and did not focus now? Could he have spent too little time in reality as he grew. Was his life permanently askew? He knew what he wanted but did not know how to get it. So he said he did not know, to those who asked.

Could it be that there was more than one sun in the world? He was convinced not but then he pondered those other lights. Perhaps they were suns that had not evolved yet. He was certain he did not feel comfortable with them, not like he had with the sun but if the sun was truly disconnected from him, what choice did he have but to source his survival elsewhere?

He had never bothered to search for the sun before so when he decided to he thought he’d found it the first time. He should have known you can’t be that lucky.

Acknowledging such a point was easier than accepting it but he would try.

Moving towards what society wanted felt like swimming against the flow. He did not want to be that man in the suit. He wanted to be organic and more and more it was becoming impossible to avoid being constructed and driven for someone else’s purpose.

Mood Music – Episode 3

This one comes from my favourite band ever, The Red Paintings. They’re an experimental rock band that put on amazing stage shows that combine music with art and performance. The amount of effort they put into their music and performances and to overcome enormous adversity to keep the band alive is breath-taking. Frontman Trash McSweeney is truly an amazing human being.

The diversity in their music never fails to provide some kind of inspiration, even if you don’t know what direction it will take you.

I don’t always understand their music but it speaks to me just the same. This particular song, ‘We Belong In The Sea’ is not necessarily typical of their sound but it’s one of my favourites anyway. Some of the lyrics really hit home, and it’s quite a haunting listen.

Occurences

Part 1

Spin your lucky coin

Spin it seven times if you think it makes a difference.

Spin it until it’s cork-screwed

into the table.

Spitting out woodchips,

superstitious shrapnel.

That’s what people do,

even me and you.

 

I’ve always found luck

to be a curious thing.

You never feel it coming

and you never feel it going

and you never see it

happen.

You just put it down to luck

but what if it doesn’t exist?

What if events and instances are just a matter of our choices

and we make all the wrong ones?

Well I suppose I believe in that more

because I know that I’ve done it

many times before.

 

Bad luck

is just a combination

of a lot of bad thoughts and a lot of wrong decisions,

and good luck

is the just the result of a positive mind

and a positive mind is the best thing

you can have

but it’s not so easy to find.

 

Part 2

The answer won’t change

if the question stays the same

and dust will quickly make hay

if the cloth is put away.

I pulled the phone off the hook

but then hoped you wouldn’t answer,

released the change,

pocketed it for a rainy day.

 

I remember

the time

I was on the other end of the line

to hear your hysterical account.

I whispered back

that it probably wouldn’t work out.

 

In my minds eye

I saw you wilt,

a spent force as the postman passed me by.

He was always smiling

like he believed

he never delivered bad news.

He asked what happened

and with nothing to say,

I shook my head as the ambulance left

and wished for the wind to blow him away.

 

The phone to my ear again

I knew you’d come

and I knew what I’d say.

What better way

to say thank you

than to tell someone

they owe you something.

 

Part 3

Scatter-gun crunch on the road,

crystals splattered all blood-red.

Asking what’s your name?

I stopped next to the dying man’s head.