Monday, November 15, 2010

We are intertextual.
Decisions I make have links to your pages.
Your brow and its furrows,
your ebb and my flow.

My narrative informs yours
and even if never we speak again
we're reacting to our intertextuality.

Your landscape of ice
laden lava fields are woven
by my fire that seared under
and still bubbles
underneath. The
flaws, he says,
provide context
for the bits you like.

So each cherry has a stone.

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Lost futures  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I had to break off a very new relationship recently. Considering what an abortion I have made of situations such as this in the past I approached the situation with logic. I did the honourable thing for one of the first times in my life; finished it early because it just wasn’t going to work. Watching the lines in his face crease up and hide his pain was hard, but won’t leave months of scarring and sleepless nights for me. He held his pain pretty well, and accepted my offer of dinner, which we ate in stilted silence. Why discuss feelings when they can be turned into facial topography? Who needs words when how we feel can be conveyed by passive aggressive slamming and avoidance of eye contact?

It occurred to me that at the end of a relationship the thing we mourn the most is the lost future; something which never really existed. It was constructed from words (those duplicitous bastards), hopes, and dreams. It was never tangible, and yet leaves a void that causes a physical pain. In short relationships these futures are almost exclusively made solely by the dumpee. The delusion of how well things are going informs their future.

In longer relationships the pain’s harder to bear as the lost future was shared in some way. The foundations were the shared hopes and dreams. The cement is the words spoken. Sometimes whispered, sometimes shouted, but always shared; even conflated. And the bricks were the shared experiences that began to mount up and make the future seem more real. For me, in the last year, the bricks have deconstructed the false future as they’ve fallen on my head; teaching me lessons as they tumble.
And some of the lessons I have learnt have been from mistakes I have made more than once. Hell, some of them I’ve made for 30 years, but finishing something that just wasn’t going to work in a mature way is the product of having learnt one of these lessons. The rest of my life is something of a derelict building site. There are days when excavations are revealing and days when the wind whistles through everything, whipping up a flurry of autumnal leaves which pirouette, curtsy and settle again around me; obscuring my way.

Sometimes we have to get lost to find ourselves.

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Travis and Fripp  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I was fortunate enough to be taken on a rare and wonderful date the other night to see Robert Fripp (King Crimson’s guitarist) and Theo Travis (Piper at the gates of...amongst others Porcupine Tree) play soundscapes in a church just around the corner from my new house. It’s uncommon for me to set foot in one of these places, much less enjoy the experience. I was scrawling whilst I was there...

Fingers weave journeys
as tired eyes are hypnotised by angels carved on the eyes.
Mitres point to music’s alphabet;
inscribed in arches.
Ribs of oak are framed by minarets
and I saw shadows waging war
with pirouetting ripples.
Flickering flames, conflate sinister and sane;
chorales decay in rich cascades.
His strings emulate seagulls
as they pick through
the bones of yesterday’s life.

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Self fulfilling prophecies explained  

Monday, November 1, 2010

I have a pain in my fingers. My skin is mottled under the crush of my cheap heavy wool knit cardigan. My thumb throbs from being temporarily squished under my anxious pressing. My joints are stiff and my eyes are wet. This evening I've been looking after my family; my sister and her girls. And I thank my uselessness at relationships, my fuck-ups and my pain for equipping me with the skills I need to offer her insight. I make mistakes so you don't have to...

She is falling apart. Her eyes are red and hollow, her throat crackling like the fire we used to polish brass beside when Mum was hysterical over a break-up with some unsuitable stepfather type. The children draw pictures of hearts ripped in two. They shouldn’t understand this pain at such a young age. Only... Well, only it prepares them for the world, right? They’ll know that nothing works out how you want it to. People leave and there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s no point in trusting people when people only let you down.

We were brought up believing this: Men will leave you. They will let you down. And we saw example after example of unsuitable characters making their grand exit. Leaving our mother depressed and in tears. We all sat by the fire and wrote poems of loss in an attempt to win affection from our broken mother. In her attempt to win them back with words: ‘Without you the stars are black’, ‘Without you dawn won’t rise’, ‘Without you I’m nothing.’

We became well versed at self-fulfilling prophecies because if the affirmation ‘they will leave you’ is repeated enough, it becomes the only way of life. A fissure so deeply carved into our own landscape that nothing can smooth it over.

So when someone comes and tries to love you wholly, see you for who you are and still stick around, the prophecy isn’t working. The fissure is hidden under a deep and complex ocean. And we panic. Everything we have ever known is beginning to come undone. We must stop this madness. So we push, and push them away until they must leave. They’d be stupid to stay. After all now we are breaking their heart. We have to; for their own protection. When they leave, the circle is complete. ‘They will leave you’ has become ‘they have left’ like it did so many times before and the only equilibrium we know is restored.

My only advice, then, is to try and break the cycle...

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