sister

V: The True Freedom – Material [Lull]

IV: The True Freedom – Care [Lull]

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.

– Democritus

 

I’ve already secured a vault in my mind,

To slowly clear out. Without her

Permission, of course, for she would only whine.

When she notices the absence,

Of the phonograph,

Or the bedside lamp,

Or the hairpins,

Or the doorhandles,

I’ll tell her. But not before. She deserves

her shred of glory now. To live in sunshine now.

Before the perishing explanation of peace I hope to

gift her passes my lips as I tell her

where her life has gone.

She’s higher than this now.

 

She can look around, sure, look around, sure,

For everything she hasn’t got. Or she could glance

at what she has.

O, glory one,

It’s standard. Purpose. Life. Driven. All of it,

Waylaid by the struggles of material. Cast it aside.

Or, stand aside as I do it for you. And cast off your

dress. Unhook your bra. Step out of your shoes.

Your stockings too. They’re what you don’t need.

You’re purer than this.

 

And I imagine her body. Celestial. Sweat of work glimmering

like stars on that pale figuresse, I caress the sweet silk of her

dress. Before disposing of it.

A tight pucker of a belly button. The centrepiece between the

curves of her waist, flowing down, opaque, to thighs, knees, calves,

And I would fall at her feet, as the whole world should, if I wasn’t

her brother. To pollute her with my touch is toxic, thought

or practice, as I feel her shoulder in my palm.

Her eyes remain open.

And she goes to speak. But I quieten her.

Everything you need to say has been heard. Before you even move

your tongue or your teeth, everyone hears you, everyone responds.

And I respond.

 

Bite your tongue! Do not ask me. Only listen. Would any goddess,

Living or dead, require anything you say you need? Would any goddess,

Need obsessions, possessions, fodder and filler? Would any goddess,

Oppose the stripping of these things?

To purify, to nourish and exploit,

You are free of all. Your needs are moot, your possessions are forgotten.

Memory is a concept, time is unprepared, will is heightened.

Nothing you need. You need nothing.

So don’t ask me why. Bite your tongue! And raise.

 

I glance at her again. Empty eyes and the contents of tears streaming from them.

I have wronged her. But care, I do not.

This is for the best. And raise.

I promise her, I swear to her.

My goddess sibling, I swear to you.

You are higher than this. You are a form greater than the solar

system. A curse lifted from the single spoken word of God.

You are the white of snow. I swear to you, even snow is less.

And raise.

Higher than this material Earth, where your

spirit will attach itself to the clouds. You are deserving.

Let them see you. Let your hair become darker than the night sky.

Let your eyes be the sun and moon, and your sweat be the stars.

Only have yourself. Everything else is polluting.

Tumble and sleep in the empty universe and fill it

with yourself. You are purer than nothing.

So raise yourself.

 

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IV: The True Freedom – Care [Lull]

III: The True Freedom – Need [Lull]

Caring – about people, about things, about life – is an act of maturity.
– Tracy McMillan

 

Truly passionate individual,

Whose own spirit drifts on unaccomplished,

By even the smallest of pinprick silences,

And whose eyes – forever glowing

from the heat of their unrewarded generosity and certainty –

will one day rot, just as all ours will, within the ground.

 

Just as mine will glaze with each step,

Concrete – to dirt – to concrete – to wasps’ nest –

Again and again –

Seeing the helpless and hungerful traveller,

His travel halted by the unquenchable hunger of starvation,

And I do not extend my hand,

My eyes will rot, just as all ours will, within the ground.

Just as the eyes with passion will.

 

So! -I hear. What, pray you tell, is the point?

To be so blunt and disfigured within yourself,

And to hold onto nothing more on your deathbed than the fact that

you were a Good Person on arrival. So

what? Go on your way, sitting patiently in the waiting room that is

Purgatory, a place you so drastically believed in, which,

of course,

is irrational.

I will continue on, isolated during my own tar-stricken death,

knowing I’ve done nothing but Ruin, and yet our fates are the same.

Cold, unflattering earth upon our round faces, bruised by death and patience.

 

So! -I hear. What, pray you tell, is the point?

Here is the point.

Be rid. I have spoken, often, to take away and never to give.

But to give is to do nothing. My sister is half of me.

To attempt, to even admit to trying to salvage some

goodness within herself, it is false. So, I urge her,

The words never leaving my head, never casting a bitter taste

to my grey tongue, Be rid. I’d whisper.

Follow your half. Learn to bask in yourself and to reject humility.

For no matter who winds up hating you

No one will hate you as much as yourself. And no

one will accept you as much as the earth to your body when you

inevitably fall from your rightful place in the Aurora and into

the fresh casket I will prepare for you. I will not die until you do.

 

Yes. I care, I care too much. Enough to destroy whole corners.

But you! -sweetness that you are, do not. Should not.

Begin when you awake. Cast yourself around the world

always stepping in the sunlight,

and never take your eyes off the moon. Beggars

will be invisible to you, corporations no more than

mere cancerous lumps as you sweep on by,

avoiding them. Like all. Twist yourself enough,

and leave me far below as you screw yourself in

like a jigsaw. This missing shade of navy,

Above,

Casting the most beautiful shadows on the hideous landscape

as you lie your serene head down on the velvet

not even whispering a good-night to your protector.

Then I will know I have succeeded.

 

Awake. Sister.

Cast yourself around the world.

Always stepping in the sunlight.

And never taking your eyes off the moon.

 

V: The True Freedom -Material [Lull]

III: The True Freedom – Need [Lull]

II: The True Freedom – Time [Lull]

 

They might not need me; but they might. I’ll let my head be just in sight;
a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.

-Emily Dickinson

 

Basic humanity –

Conservative, but,

Without the main heat of the warm and

Fulfilling gaze of the Needee,

the Needy pushes on.

Priceless. Always and forever,

Searching for that same strand, hopeless tempt-

-ation of spirit and fortune, candle

with frozen wick, waiting for the flame.

As are we. Just breathing hard enough to

keep our heads above the tide, the wall, even,

Just for a chance to be given unflattering attention.

Let us ignore this. I’ll make her sturdy.

Un-reliant. On anybody. Let us be rid,

Completely,

Of Need.

 

We exist, and exist together – me and her – and

never does the time pass. We – me and her-

Both young,

Both old, simultaneously, Remembering nothing

of the forgotten riches of agony of memory,

So much so I’ve forgotten what her shoulder-blades

Look like.

I do not need to know. I raise her chin

as she sleeps and cast her face, at peace,

Into my wet concrete mind. Preserved. Not

remembered. But preserved, certainly.

To leave her now would be insanity.

I will remove all needs from her,

She will become more by becoming less,

Such as ice fills the space water could

never reach. I remove the shoulder of

her nightdress. I can be slow. No heat,

No softness, coarseness, no Need for the

suffocating pinkness of the cotton skin.

I can be slow. In this.

 

Soon. I will create a new woman.

A new woman will be created. Soon.

She will be a duchess of the sky, cast naked,

Young as blossom but old as granite,

Suspended between the constellations of the

astrologers’ imaginations and the astronomers’ charts,

She will both create and aspire,

And walk her own way around the dark lilac sky,

A dancing camellia on the rippling aurora surface,

As the midnight waterfalls of thunder give her something

to dance to.

A marchioness, champion. Visible in the perpetual twinning

of Night and Day, above and below the sky, below and above the earth,

My creation. My sister, my ultimate, my polished stone. Who wants

for nothing. Who needs nothing. Who desires nothing. Whose

morals are straight as a helix, whose regards and

appreciation is aimed only inwards, no need for

approval, no more, not now she is and is not the sky.

No need for a name, no need for the gaze of strangers,

No need for the warmth of others. She is the ultimate,

The queen,

Head of my pride,

Below the skin,

Un-relenting, Un-reliant, Un-unreal,

Dearest naked cherub,

Splendid absolution of perfection,

Girl beneath my palm.

 

IV: The True Freedom – Care [Lull]

II: The True Freedom – Time [Lull]

I: The True Freedom – Memory [Lull]

 

The innocent and the beautiful
Have no enemy but time…

-W. B. Yeats

 

Terrible! – a terrible loss. Oh, each

passing day weighs down my figure,

And each falling grain from one teardrop of

the Hourglass to the other,

And each waltzing shadow distorting itself

on the face of the Sundail,

And each shallow breath she sighs that

counts the seconds out of reach,

All count – count towards our pure endlessness.

We must dispose of time.

 

This modern strictness, a concept intangible,

Is no more than a mere and incurable sickness,

Which no man tries to fight. Raising the

scalpel high, you remove the defective tissue,

But you do not move the defective time. This

walking corpse, this living carcass, do they

all fool themselves this way? Pretending that time,

In its terrible glory, is on their side, an ally.

Oh, rue this day, time. You shall not lay your gnarled

hand on my sister’s shoulder.

 

I lay mine.

Her breath is under my palm, and a singular second of

serenity enters. A calmness. A stillness. But not

for long. I will go, I will destroy time. No matter how

much I want time to catch me, for my sister, that elegance

hidden beneath the gas mask and funnel of hair,

Her face must remain china. Remain porcelain.

 

So tempt me. So hurt it. So hurt time, self, hurt it.

As it hurt me, as I destroyed all memory. Memory of her

little girl figure is merely an imagination. What colour

were her shoes? Memory – gone. Time – ruin it.

I travel within to the farthest reaches of the sun,

Over continents and oceans, never stepping through the shade,

Time must not pass. If I keep forcing myself, if I keep moving,

If I never stop and carry my sister though, we will never

change, she will never change, I will never

change. And serene blissful pastimes will be lost in imagination

as our memories fade every after-second. Without time, without

time, no seconds will pass.

Every stolen night will stand still.

Every figure,

Frozen,

In their own serene blissfulness, and perhaps,

When I ruin the destroyer of temples,

And burn the catcher of life,

And trap the conceited seasons behind,

I can smile, and smile genuinely,

when I look, for an unwritten eternity,

into my sister’s eyes.

 

III: The True Freedom – Need [Lull]

I: The True Freedom – Memory [Lull]

My sister’s phonograph lies in the corner,

Untouched. Unused, worthless, beyond repair,

Yet she will not part with it. If I could, to break

my sister’s heart, I would move the ‘graph.

Needless and worthless clutter, a life unknown.

How the suffocation becomes worthless if glance at it too long.

The phonograph does not play,

It will never play,

But the memories, they’re fresher.

I am ultimate, a memory within her own,

If I was to wreck the ‘graph,

I’d pass right through.

 

So let’s be rid of the memories first,

A harsh tie from the real world,

To keep the escapism real,

To keep the escapism breathing,

To silence the outside. Only living

on the inside – yet, without the memory

of her anchoring phonograph,

Who will she be?

To erase, to love, to even kill, I’d be rid of all memory.

Silence myself in the deep fug of thought,

But with no memories to penetrate my world.

We will be rid of memories first.

 

Grasping hold, taking the corner of a

blank white page, to turn it,

I grasp the phonograph’s edges.

This is the first place to begin, as this memory

means nothing to me.

I raise myself, and sounds fall,

Out of the broken phonograph snout,

To make noise on the brick floor.

Are these part of the memory? To pick up and erase,

A dark part of myself. It means nothing.

I raise my sister’s phonograph,

Up high, as if I will put it away,

Lay it on a shelf for the memory to fade,

But I carry it through. My mind –

Loosened by the choice –

Feels lighter every step.

 

My sister’s phonograph no longer will keep

her own spirit tied. I have freed her into life.

Disposing of the long-ago object,

The feeling of a previous existence,

Plays harsh upon my hands.

The phonograph is getting heavier.

How? – the sound fell from its base,

The sound was never heavy. Yet

each step sharpens my memory,

To the point of hurting me. But

I must grip the phonograph tighter. The loss

of a life for the thrill of a memory,

The dull watercolour sweep or thought,

It lasts for a few seconds. There’s not

a world in her head. There’s not a world

in mine. There is only a huge gap,

Where our lives stopped.

 

The phonograph is weighing me down,

Each pace a dark gasp,

An expulsion of putrid memory from my

own selfish head. Mercy.

Deflate and dispose, phonograph, I am the reality.

A small piece, a slick oil-paint at best,

Instead of this airy watercolour,

That your memory provides. Shift the weight.

One hand, pressed upon, the other, pain,

Twinned with my sharpening memory.

Twisted agony again. But – I could stop,

I could stop walking,

Give into the memories of my sister,

Give into the memories of me,

And stop walking –

But to stop, to give up my life,

I will not waste my sister’s life. I will

free her. Piece by piece, pull this reality

apart and free her. And I will follow,

The walls gone, the freedom unchained,

But it has to start somewhere.

I pick up the phonograph again.

 

II: The True Freedom – Time [Lull]