Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sans liens

Je suis libre, comme un montgolfière seule.
Flottant, léger, sans un pays, sans abri, sans destination.

Où j'habite, là est mon foyer.
J'existe partout et nulle part au même temps.
Je n'ai pas de liens à un endroit particulier, à les gens particulier, même pas à mon famille.
Je n'ai pas une famille. Je suis un produit de l'air.

Mais, quelquefois, quand il pleut dans la ville
et quand je suis amoureuse,
je suis déboussolé. Je ne sais plus rien.

Quelquefois, j'ai peur. Quelquefois, je ne suis pas sûr.

Mon cœur, c'est une chambre vide.
Et moi, une carcasse vive.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sanctuary hours.

Sometimes I see people, too. They bask in the glowing, orange lamplight. Sometimes I make eye contact with them. Sometimes they talk. "Good evening," they say politely.

Erudite-looking people. Bright eyes, black shoes. I give them a smile and nod. There are some times of night when it just doesn't feel right to talk. There's something sacred about the few hours suspended hazily between night and day.

I wonder what they think, these wanderers of the night, of my scraggly hair and bleary eyes and ashes I tap out from half-lit stubs. Maybe they think I'm a nutcase, mental... or maybe they're out for the same reasons I am. Probably not.

But I can pretend that all these listless vagabonds, insomniacs, wanderlust-inflicted people, can hear the misfit birds chirping, too, singing many hours before the rest will. The birds that missed the trip southward, or perhaps came back a little early just to keep me company.
Just so they could break the chilled silence of my walk back, reminding me that not all is numbed like my fingertips, that there's still something to say even when I forget how to speak.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquakes and floods

"The nuclear plant might explode - what are we to do?"
Well, maybe we'll watch the news on our flatscreen TVs
from our dens, mugs of coffee in our hands,
praying. For the victims, yes.
The ones clinging to the rungs of palm trees
or the ones turning up large rocks to look for
lost sisters,
dead children.

We'll pray fervently. Dear God,
save them.
And then we'll smile secretly and whisper,
though we won't admit it, not even to ourselves,
Poor bastards. Thank goodness I'm not there.

Because the couch is warm, and the coffee is hot,
and we gaze at swirling waters and floating carnage
through bars,
like we would exotic animals in a cage,
knowing that it is only safe to do so because there are
hundreds of miles of stormy oceans
and strange lands and vast continents
between us and them,
the ones we send haphazard prayers to.
We're safe.

Sideline spectators.
There's a name for our role. We look upon disaster
with the same half-interested bemusement
as if we were watching a mildly interesting movie
narrated by whitened teeth and straightened hair,
knowing that in a few days,
we won't be grieving for people we don't know,
we won't be praying over foreign corpses,
and when we've seen waves snap bridges and wash over cars
for the tenth time, we'll stop watching
because it won't be so interesting anymore.

We'll make toast for breakfast
and think about the weather
and how much gas costs
and hope that they can clean up debris
in time for our next vacation.

Because when it all comes down to it,
we, the living, know nothing of death.

3/12/11- A graphical illustration done by my dear friend, N.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

a hypnic jerk

"stay. stay. the night is cold."
"i'm a beast, my dear. why do you not understand?"
"it's so cold."
"but you're so bright. your skin. like the moon."
"where is your bathroom?"
"it is there, my dear. at the end of the Euphrades. do you see it?"
"i cannot swim. what am i to do?"
"i'll give you a push and you can float to it."
"it burns, it burns. please make it stop."
"just focus on this. my touch."
"why is this echoing? i'm not in a cave."
"what color is the grass?"
"the grass is black."
"you sacrilegious filth. you have no faith."
"rome. london. berlin. amsterdam."
"you are forgetting one. there is one more. what is it?"
"i might have to crawl on my knees to get there."
"you certainly can't afford a ticket. not with libya like it is."
"maybe i wouldn't have left if you didn't call me by her name."
"but i'm a beast, my dear. why don't you understand?"
"I can't hear you. the wind is screaming tonight."
"hurry up, we have no time."
"why is my telephone ringing? no no no no..."
"all i have is coal. but i can feed it to you slowly."
"not this again. not you again."

"please. leave me alone."

"just for tonight."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Phantom Pains

I sawed it off in the middle of the night. Abruptly, because I didn't know what else to do.
Abruptly, because it was hurting my shoulder, and my head, and my chest.
All it took was one swift cut, one smooth motion.

And maybe when I wake up tomorrow, I'll stop trying to use it, stop trying to reach with it,
stop trying to eat with it, stop trying to dry my eyes on the back of a missing arm.

I'm holding an empty shoulder socket and rocking it to sleep,

cigarettes to take the place of painkillers,
cigarettes to take me to Lethe.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Martyrs for Nothing

People like us are everywhere, just in different forms.

There are those who are half-orphaned and dripping in wealth, soaking the wounds of deep, psychological scars in painkillers and pricey gin in European bars, while absent guardians neither inquire of their whereabouts nor their existence.

And there are the others who are caged misfits, knitted woolen gloves worn in the desert. Stuffed hurriedly into small towns and ordinary suburbs here and there, chained to duty at a young age and stifled by company for their entire lives. Those for whom the ordinary cannot satiate, but can find no easy way out.

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." There are those who are accepting of their desperation. There are those do not know of their desperation.

And there are those who are desperate enough to self-destruct.

Desperate for that dreamlike sort of parallel existence they've slowly crafted for themselves, but now cannot access. They see it every second of every day, like a reflection in a long, endless mirror that follows their every step.

It's behind the glass door they're gripping at, on which their fingertips leave oily streaks.
They sit on one side of the door gazing into the other, imagining, going mad with their delusions, the delirium their inventions have caused them. Going mad because they cannot get through.

So they throw to break the glass. First everything around them, then everyone around them, and then, when what is in the real world is left in pieces of shattered glass and debris and the wall stands unmoved and resolute,
they throw themselves.
Scratching, then pounding, then kicking, then slamming. Until they're nothing but pulped flesh and liquified bone.

And it's only then, if they're conscious enough to be aware of it, that they can seep under the cracks to the other side.
But in most cases, they're not conscious enough. Because at that point, they've already lost sight of what is real and what is not.

At that point, their imaginations are the only reality left, the reality they're left to die in.

At that point, they've succeeded,
succeeded in living a transcendant life that few others can fathom, succeeded in fulfilling some grandiose idea of the ultimate end result of passion, of insanity.

Martyrs. Society gives them all sorts of names and then locks them up, maybe medicates them, maybe ostracizes them.
Suicidal, schizophrenic, depressed, crazy, strange.
But perhaps they are the only ones left who know how to fight.

Perhaps, ironically, they are the only ones left who know how to live.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Snow White. Sleeping beauty.
Rip van Winkle.
Why do they get it, cold, still repose? My body aches for deep sleep. My mind is throbbing. It's been about five days.
What I wouldn't give for just a few hours of death-like slumber.

To not see pictures in my eyelids every time I close them, unsettling dreams rattling my bones, jolting my brain waves from REM.
Up, down, up, down. Like a seismograph in an earthquake, the shaking ground after an explosion.

I must find a bomb shelter soon.

Maybe it's a week for a disturbed subconscious. Or maybe it's because it's the beginning of a month.
Maybe I read too much or think too much or indulge too much in Scriabin. Maybe this is the result of spending too much time in an alternate universe.
Maybe this is what happens when you shirk reality. It seeks revenge.

Or maybe it's just because the weather's getting warmer, because all that died in the winter is coming back to life.