Move

SHOULD I
allow whatever I must give myself to fall in the slowest possible way
to the tiled floor beneath the infinite landscape of the universe
and should I
try to beat the falling objects to the floor only to watch them
shatter completely into nothing?

Because,
And I may have held them five seconds ago,
They were worth something then
but they are worth nothing now. So should I
let them go with unflinching and uncaring eyes
as I, too, lean backwards over the dark blue infinite?

Just like
The curtains above my head when I stand on the far wall
with the floor on my left shoulder,
I fall the wrong way every way completely.
I want to beat what I drop to the tiled floor, and yet I
only feel myself falling upwards.

But here
in this uncertainty that the people with the minds call the universe,
But what I will always continue to know as simply, Nothing,
I doubt it matters which direction things fall in. Because
all of us, whether we have our feet on this blue earth spinning faster than water every second,
or whether we fall the wrong way in this vast Nothing,
None of us move anyway.

As It Moves Itself

At last, at last, at last.

I can hear Silence.

It buzzes inside my cranium

and the lack of noise is nothing short of terrifying.

It slowly shifts through me,

Robbing me of my remaining senses.

Sight. gone. Ocular windows open but

dead. Touch. Gone. The tingling of deprivation is gone too.

Taste. Gone. The roof of my mouth is empty of taste.

Smell. Gone. And my head fills with a cold

freshness. Like a wave of spiralling

hands, the deadness moves through me,

mixing into my body and killing it slowly

and I decay like a weed free from soil,

And my soul is released into an

endless black void.

Where it, I, lies softly and silently,

Humming faintly with heat and inaudible sound,

But it, I, will not be alone for long.

For I shall take others with me with my mind’s spiralling

wave-hands that move like worms through the smallest cracks in others

and up, up, into their minds where they begin to unhinge as it,

I, covers the internal oval windows in their brains,

So they, too, feel the

buzzing of

complete Silence.

 

And when their soul becomes an it,

them, my own will grasp it softly, hands touching

without sense on either of their, our, souls.

Come with me.

And be free.

At last, you can know what it is to live forever,

At last, you can feel the deistic bliss only reserved for Gods,

At last, you can be sure that there is land

beyond this senseless and tingling wall of Death.

II: Human Carriage

I: Human Carriage

 

Emptiness leaves, replaced by a vague feeling of comfort. For, see, I have inserted things into space. And that leaves me happy.
Six of them, well, five and a child in their mother’s arms – I am even worse at judging a baby’s sex – fill up the space and I climb into the carriage behind the last man to enter.
Here we are.
All full in here. I am happy with this.
So I lock the doors as I do every time.
Can’t have that kid leaping off to his life. That would be backwards.
Oh no!
Can’t have that.
So I lock them tight.
-If you’re comfortable? I say. I speak in short sentences. Like I do every time. Simple. Short. Disconnected. Easy.
-If you’re comfortable? repeat I, just to ask again. But their eyes are still the same. So I give a hollow smile with full cheeks. -Alright. Sit loose. I will leave you now. A few minutes. To tell the Driver to go.
So I leave, just like that. I tell the Driver to go.
Or, I find my way to the Driver. It’s not an easy feat sometimes. He tends to leave empty coke bottles lying around. He seems fond of the stuff.
Only in glass bottles though.
Never plastic ones.
I hear he collects the caps. The metal caps you could cut yourself on. Maybe
his scars on his knuckles are there for a reason?
Because obsession is painful. Right?

Still.
I steal my way through the forest of upwards snouts.
Bottles, three here, five over there, all huddled like penguins.
Or… sardines, I suppose.
Hah!
What.
-Evening, I say to our Driver.
-Awright? he says to me. Not drinking a coke. Surprisingly. Maybe he doesn’t need the sugar boost just yet.
-Alright? I say back. I didn’t mean to.
He has a smile, just a little few seconds of a smile to ease me. He’s been around me long enough to
know my foibles. Know what I can be like sometimes. Echoing things. Screaming things. Repeating things. Copying things.
-Awright? he says again, but I keep mute this time.
Don’t want to make a fool
of myself.
Do I?
-We off? he says.
I tell him, -Yes. Everyone’s on. Settled. Sat. Comfortable.
-Everyone’s fine.
-Yeh. ‘Kay. Go sit. I’m moving.
-Alright, I look around as he swings to face the forwards direction. I don’t know how he Drives the train.
I suppose he presses forward.
I stare on the floor, at all the empty bottles, I ask if I can take one.
-Go mad.
Does he mean it literally?
I do not ask, merely pluck one off the floor. By the neck.
I don’t want to touch what has the Driver’s spit on it.
-I’ll sit.
-Yeh.
-Okay.
I leave him. No matter how awkward the conversation sounds-
or ‘convo’ as he’d say-
I never really come away rolling my eyes at myself.

So I find my way to my own seat with the bottle.
I want to wipe the opening. Quite
badly.
I don’t want to know where it’s been.
Really.
It might be dusty. But.
There isn’t much to wipe the snout with here.
So I have to use my glove. Very disgusting, especially when I imagine it all.
Oh.
No.

I rest the bottle between my knees and look over my shoulder. I cannot see the people.
There is a wall between us.
But somehow, looking their way is a comfort. For some reason.
I look their way. Are they alright?
My people?
My six?
My five and a child? They’re alright?
They’re awright?
I look back to the bottle. Just resting there as the train begins to shift a little. Like a living thing. It shrugs this way… and that way… before picking up speed it never seems to possess.
To me, to the me who has ridden the train the amount of times as unbent metal bottle tops in the world, it shouldn’t be surprising – should it – the speed the train has. But it is, every time it is.
Just starts off so slow… so slow indeed.
But then.
Two seconds.
Sixty- seventy- eighty!
Fairly skipping along the sleepers.
At least, I think there are sleepers.
On this track?
I actually cannot remember.
But.
Not important.
We are skipping though. And I look at my bottle for a few minutes.
Look at its emptiness.
I should do something about that.

I: Human Carriage

Always several unreal things cross my mind when I encounter empty things.
Be them… muraled bottles… or cans…
Theatres… cars… terminals…
Train carriages? Train cars?
We tend to call this type of thing a carriage. Though it is, technically, a car. Not a carriage.
But everyone calls them carriages.
Just makes it… easier. Carriages carry. Except
they don’t when they’re empty.
Do they?

That is what I mean. Unreal things – like the unrealness of the whispers of people who have sat there and who will – cross my mind when I encounter empty things. I have great desires to fill the space.
But that’s another thing, I can fill this space. In this carriage, I can fill it.
Make the collateral whispers into screams as physicalities take form.
And I can serve them their lukewarm waters, point them in the direction of the on-board shoddy bathroom.
While they wait and stew in the Human Carriage.
Because! -you see, you see!
I am the Human Carriage Maestro.
They bow by my hand, holding the unprestigious door open for them.
I guide them with a flourish of gloved fingers to their direction of seat.
And I tell them to have a pleasant trip.

I get the most gruesome duty of all though, too, which is picking up after the people. And that’s less mundane than it sounds, especially once you consider the emptiness. Because the carriage can be full but the emptiness can be more vivid than ever at that point too.
The contrast, see. So difficult to see through. It’s like a fog.
But.
But! Come and view my Human Carriage. Look at the colours if you’d like, the red
handles on the doors. I re-painted them with my own hand the other week.
And the paint’s already flaking.
Dreadful shame.
Did I just waste
my
time?

Well. That answer looks to be a stout but firm yes from the audience. The crowd. The gameshow contestant. None of which exist anyway. But. Either way.
Leave the handles here, the red will flake off on my gloves if I should touch them anymore.
God.
I’ll touch them up when I stop being depressed about how I wasted my time.
But with better paint.
Certainly, definitely, better paint.
I sigh as I walk.

Rounding the edge of the platform – or rather, going through the rusted chainlink fence to the corner and leaping off with a little shriek of enjoyment on my part – I begin to notice the breathy huddle I have come to be familiar with.
They’re mostly the same this season. About five to eight potential passengers, always huddled together like sardines. Or is it penguins that huddle?
Both perhaps. One in the ocean. The other, terra firma.
Before I make my prescence known – they’re slightly raised above where I stand, they’re on the first, second, third and fourth steps up to the platform real, whilst I am beside it near all the nettles and mulberries and goarses – I have a quick look at them all.
Mother and child, that’s two of the six I have this eve.
Then we have two men, wearing similar shirts.
But they’re standing apart from each other. Either they are strangers – probably – or they are…
Enemies?
Possibly.
Both in sort of pinkish-red plaid. I’m not sure I like it.
Who are the others, a young man – not in plaid – with sandy hair. And a girl.
Who seems to have a suspicious moustache-like thing. Dark hair.
She looks very odd. I cannot take my eyes off her lip. Her upper lip.
Very strange.
But nevertheless! These people are my people for now. All mine.
And soon they’ll be my carriage’s people.
And I’ll be their Maestro.
I do love being the Maestro.
Despite the cleaning up after them.

I know already these people have been briefed for the journey. Not too long, at least, they won’t know it is. For me, the journey seems to lengthen each time.
Or sometimes it shortens… maybe sometimes I get used to it and sometimes I am tired.
But for them it lasts no longer than half an hour to forty-five minutes. Usually.
Well. It depends how quickly they all go. Or how quickly I get around them all.
After all.
I am their Maestro.

I make myself known to the stupendous six, adding myself into their midst to bring the total headcount to seven.
If the child can be counted as a head. It’s very small.
Six months? Less? More? I’ve never been good at estimating age with babies.
Or did I call it a child?
It matters not.
I sidle up to them either way, pulling at my wrists. Where my gloves come down.
The white palms so pure.
But slightly stained with palm-sweat of the months.
Very much in my size.

I draw their gazes with a slight –ahem and by throwing my arms wide.
Six pairs of eyes on me.
I am their Maestro.
-Good evening.
-I am your Maestro for the next few hours.
I offer them a bow, very sleek and elegant. As I return their transfixed gazes slowly, I see how they all possess the same watery-looking sleep in the corners of their eyes. All breathing slowly, all calm, all with hair slightly out of place.
I smile, -Welcome to the Human Carriage. We are set to board. So. Do follow me, say I, before turning with yet more intense flourishes. I hop-skip-jump up the stairs, landing on my toes, all too happy to lead yet another group into my carriages.
It’ll be nice to take the journey again, I always think that.
Even if it does become lonely after a little while.
After about half an hour to forty-five minutes.

 

II: Human Carriage

 

I’m Allowed To Be

IF
And I repeat, IF
I’ve been to the depths, I can
judge for myself the highs
and the lowest
darkest
hidden realities and turnaround cul-de-sacs of endless light for myself.
I am not a blind bat in the darkness, I have two eyes that work less-than-perfectly,
And
even if I’m not the most
well
if I’ll look behind and see someone –
And I saw them once before –
recognition of them is minimal by my eye. So
I’ll probably overlook some more vital infor
mation, maybe the importance. Of it all.
But-

Either way.
I am not a blind bat in the darkness, I have two eyes that work less-than-perfectly,
And
even if I’m not the most
watchful – perhaps? – I can still
notice enough to make up my mind.
I can still see enough down here in the depth to cover myself completely.
I will learn all even if I want to know none of it.
I will watch and listen and try to smile despite the writhing I feel inside myself.

Imagine a projector screen with
me in front of it
ebbing black pixels. Ebbing. Pushing, throbbing, pulsating. Any of the words that might de
scribe the action of the screen behind me – and my shadow,
Not obstructing anything,
Yet, but
then from the corners
fuchsia spikes. Because I know
genuinely
that pain and pleasure are one and the same.
Despite the opposite realities of each one.
Fuchsia spikes closing in
and I merely stand
and watch
and listen
and learn.
While the screen attacks me from behind and I close my eyes as the screen shines
pink into them, all into them, behind them and through them.
But they don’t kill me.

My shadow, down here, blocks them. My back is defended. And, if I
turn to face the screen,
My front will be defended also.

Do you see yet?
I don’t
I don’t
I don’t

need

anything. Not your eyes, not your skin not your
words in my ears, not your arteries, not
your praises, not anything. I just need myself.
To be,
To learn,
To grow.

I am deeper than you think. Every silence is wrought with
pain and all I want is someone to shine a torch in
to the dark and look after me.
But I am turning my back on that. Rely on no one, no one
will shine as well as I do.
I know where I hurt.
I know where to put the bandages.
I know where the edges are.
How they fall.
How they blunt every issue I have.
And how,
With a single moment,
I can ignore them all and heal myself.
I am deeper

so much deeper

than you think.

And wiser, I am wiser than you think. Find my number and remove all the numbers and replace them with letters, I will
Tell you the colours of them,
One
by
one. Because
I know more. I know so much more. I know myself and
I know everyone else. There is a reason for what I’ve
been called. And what people see me as,
And that I can be taken,
So easily,
As a fool. Because I am a fool.

Despite my wisdom.

I am a
fool. And even
if I think I am
strong, even
if
I think I can
lift something
either
Physical
or
Mental
I am most times wrong.

So.

IF. You think I’m happy,
I’m most not.
IF. You think I’m easy,
I’m most not.

BUT. I am deeper than
you might care to think about.
BUT. I am wiser than
you might care to think about.

That’s the issue.
Read me.
Ignore me.
Face me.
Block me.
Stab me.
Say things you know will hurt me.
I am more than that if I can turn my back,
Shine my own light onto the places that hurt,
Because I know that even if…
Even IF
I’m sad, I’m allowed to be.
I’m happy, I’m allowed to be.
I’m furious, I’m allowed to be.
I’m ill, I’m allowed to be.
I’m scarring, I’m allowed to be.
I’m different, I’m allowed to be.
I’m naked, I’m allowed to be.
I’m cast, I’m allowed to be.
I’m…

I’m allowed to be.

Always.

Always allowed to be.

Skullplay

Could I

collect up the

remnants of

perhaps

a few scattered

and empty shells

of animal

existance and

by sheer and

frightnening luck

have some rope or string

either will do

nearby?

But why

but why

you’d like to know?

Here’s why.

I would

with the string,

attach each skull I discover

on my short treks out

into the

cold

and

frosty winterness

maybe a hare’s skull

complete with teeth

or a crow’s beak

with plucked feather

still stuck to the carrion?

into a long

and stony

bony

rope.

With each interval of

admittedly rotting

bone, it would feel marvelous

absolutely

to have them concealed for a time

not too long

just enough so don’t become…

uncomfortable

up inside myself.

Each skull

scratching away with its

rotting canine teeth or

even

a beak?

at my colon. But don’t

make too much

fuss. After all

they’ll be tugged out after a little while.

To bring me to ecstasy.

As if at pistol-point.

And I’ll shriek my way through hell and back.

With the blood and the leaking.

And the bodily cursing.

As my eyes water.

As my lungs contract.

As my stomach turns over.

And I pull them out.

Each skull

readily

ruined but

completely

fulfilled in its

their

job.

And next time

when I’m more

aware

of my ablutions

I’ll keep the child-skulls.

I’ll keep them.

Clean.

Gather more rope.

And enjoy myself

once more

just entirely once more

despite the blood

they have less teeth

again.

Badge-Men

I’ll raise that single sleeve again, soaked in the
taste and stink of my whiskey and gin,
And stagger out into the copses of
honeysuckle and rosebushes
To vomit.

Never stray too far from the track though, no
matter how far from sober I may feel I
am. Because, armed with bronze and brass
badge in hand, my favourite party-crasher
will find my misfortune in all its glory.

Tell him nothing, give him only head-
shakes and lies. Because,
If after tonight, I was sent back where I just
emerged from, I’d have more to fear than just that
bronze and brass he holds up.

You must listen to me. Because
with that small item sitting in his palm,
He is all-powerful. May it say his
name or his number, it does not matter. His
badge is plain death for us, straight and true.

Where should we run to, to drink next?
Hush-hush tavern or head-shake house of
sins? I’ll add an extra to your drink tonight, just
to see how you are. Just to make sure I can
push you to the badge-man and run.

I am not a loyal companion when raised
up behind the bar. Because, like any good
enemy would, I’d consider myself before I’d
ever think of you. But don’t worry.
We’re friends now.

Laid down as your eyes begin to turn
fuzzy, I ask the nearest playgirl to help me
lift you. I’ll play the role of your concerned
and anxious best friend. Too tied up in my
own worry to wonder if my arms will break.

Her strength is a minor addition and I push you
at the feet of the awaiting badge-man who,
As I said he would,
Lifts from his pocket his accursed bronze
and brass. So I push and run. Push and run.

In due time, I’ll receive a call from you when
I’m out of breath and out of money,
Curled up in some copse somewhere as
I struggle not to let my unconsciousness
become flat and miserable death.

The true me has appeared. I would not
blame you for being scared. I told you the
very first time we met. Rub your back
I never did, lift you free of the fence I
never did. So maybe it was there all along.

Bloody me and bloody trust, I hear
your voice from down the line already. I am
no longer struck by ethanol, that passed a
while ago. So I lie on my side with hardly
the strength to keep your voice in my ear.

Field after field they search for me. The
scary badge-men and accomplices. To think that
the people I sacrificed you to to save myself from
would be the ones I wish I could cry for
as I lie in my own vomit. Dying.

 

 

Thanks, Levi.

Epistle 1

Simple little discontented heart,

I desire a meeting with you. Not a long one, mind, just a few minutes. A quiet nod on a street corner, a stranger-turned-acquaintance, talking it up with the other. Feel free to study my palms as you do so, to try and read between each crease. But meet with you I must.

 

To attempt a meeting place would be slanderous and unrealistic. So let us just… arrive together. Every Next Time and Last Time, the coincidence will be where we make our location. Be it on that aforementioned street corner or perhaps in the middle of the busy street. I will shake your gloved hand with my own gloved hand, and we shall walk, you lighting a pipe and me struggling to keep the biting cold off my wet lips.

As for the time, let us make that in similar with the place – coincidence. No longer will we have to worry and stress about seeing each other, let us just have it… happen. Six with the dawn, as you head out to fetch your morning paper and I am there walking on my slow way to work. I can spare the minutes I need with you. A few minutes late will be worth my words, a few minutes to let the ink dry on the paper for you. We can spare the time. Or maybe we’ll meet late at night, I outside shaking the dust off an old coat, you, in the middle of a procession of friends walking down my street. I’ll step out and call your name, don the coat, lock my door and perhaps join you. My words can be said in front of all others.

 

But, as I mentioned, let us not make assumptions as to Whens or Wheres. Or even Hows or Whys. Leave all I’ve said to imagination and don’t expect anything. After all, you may walk past my house and notice that I am home. But if you do, don’t knock.

 

Walk on. See to your business. Just as I see to mine inside, you will see to yours wherever it may be. Through the sleet, I might see your retreating back as you refrained from knocking on my door, as I come to it to let the cat out for the evening. But you’re on your way. I’ll not call you now.

 

These are my requests. So, if I was to leave my meeting and words up to chance, why, you must be begging me to tell you, am I sending you a letter to request your presence? Well, simply; it is a politeness. A gesture, an opportunity to call you friend. An open hand for you to take when the time comes.

 

But come looking for me and I will not say anything.

 

Nor will I say anything if we meet planned. At some social gathering we know we’re both invited to. Or a wedding of my best friend and your cousin. We will not speak regarding this issue then. Not until we bump into each other at the weekly market where you purchase your poppy seed bread and I sample the delights of oils.

I’m sure by now you have agreed to our lack of plan. However, if you have any issues, I will not hear them unless these conditions are met, by which time I will have expressed my news to you. I’m afraid there is no way to dodge this meeting. But I promise you, you do not want to.

 

Yours,

Hieronymus

The Last Return

Take, within one hand, the bone of your being. Halve the marrow and cast aside the sinew, because that’s not needed. Take, within the other, the blood of your being. All the red, none of the white.

Let’s get there. First. Unzip the holding on your front, remove the head and the brain from your soul, undo the strings holding your ribs inside. Let it all fall, roll and spill out. We’ll make beautiful art out of this,  I swear it to you.

Your sternum, it’s smaller than you might imagine. So break it between four fingers, throw it around yourself, your skinless self as confetti. Throw it and let it clatter as you breathe out your last. Because it’s your lungs next.

What is oxygen to you but filtered mess to keep you living. Living is over-exaggerated, filled with First Times and Last Times, the First Words, the Last Words, the First Clothes, the Last Clothes. You were born into this world naked, and you’ll go out skinless.

With your ribs gone, your heart and lungs are supported only by the invisibly weak flesh around. Below, stomach. You don’t need this. You need your bones and your blood. All else is trivial.

See the one thing you wanted just behind you. The bone. Remove your right arm, reach into it and remove the bones. All twenty-seven of the hand and wrist. Small fragments will do. The others you can forget. Here we go.

You do the same with your other arm. Then your ankles and feet. Everything’s coming together.

Sweep your blood together. Sweep it together and–

 

Grip.

 

Your breathless self, as gorgeous as all this might be, needs to dance now. With one translucent hand holding cracked bones, the other slick and flowing with your blood. Leave your empty and crumpled suit of a body and let your tall and sweeping form pirouette, sighing as you revolve in place. Bring your arms up, then down slowly. Form the essence of you around yourself.

 

Let go.

 

I am breathless. I am heavenly. I am bliss. Offering, ritual or example, all maybe. But yes. I accept your bone. I accept your blood. It’s all I need. Organs melt and die, skin creases, hair greys. I need none. I am fine with bone and blood.

Turn yourself around, your invisible soul-self. Greet me with a warm smile. Like you’ve seen me before. And tell me, with your not-tongue:

“Welcome back.”

Synaesthesia

When the deep red world forgets who you are,
And the singular slip petals are enough to send you down,
And the cast iron smiles are enough to send you down,
To the very base – the last of which I never even laid my orbs upon –
in the wettest and cosiest hell,
Perhaps you’ve lost sight of what it was you wanted,
After all,
You fell so easily.

But saviour yet. Because
given the single cell gasps I’ve seen throughout
my colour life,
I’ve never heard one like yours.

You see. When I speak and see the words invisible before me,
They are coloured. And somehow everything loses itself when
I notice. How may I describe it to you before I let you safe?
Or climb on my back. We’ll talk as we fly.

Climb on my back. We’ll talk as we fly.

Gentress of the most fine and glorious nature,
Been ripping in my psyche longer than I ever felt it,
Which was from birth,
And the Gentress wont stay but for now,
For almost twenty years,
My Gentress has cast this curse upon me.

Forever in colour but never blind to it. Do you see?
And when you start to notice,
And when you want everything lined up,
You fall down again.

Hang on tighter. Amazing how you fell into a place so blue
Yet a word so red. Blue and grey. But yet,
Red. You know. Red and red and red.
Fall into a place that I understand next time.

Next time, fall not into the sea.