Monthly Archives: April 2008

I stood as one in a maze

 I stood as one in a maze. My only chance was to open my eyes and let the confusion in. One day I gave it all up and the path opened up for me. I saw laughter from every blade of grass. I had a day’s walk on all sides. I walked till I got tired then realised I didn’t know where I was going.

This ripe fruit is bitter to the taste

It seems like a lifetime since we lost our love in the rough. I still go to the chapel of partial remembrance now and then, when I’ve got nothing better to do. I don’t come out light on my feet and all that, just empty and needing a drink. It’s not like it’s going to bring you back, and in any case I doubt that’s what I really want.

The record

When I first met you, you were going nowhere fast. You looked up at me with puffy eyes and said you thought you knew what you needed but weren’t ready to start looking for it; you’d tried, but always fell back to the bottom of the ladder. To me it looked like you were sticking your head in the sand so your black dogs wouldn’t find you. You were digging for freedom, but with truth nowhere to be seen. Sometime afterwards you told me I wouldn’t see you for a while, that you were going away to get clean and thin. When I saw you a month later, you were even more bloated with booze and antidepressants. There was an inbuilt saboteur in you. You’d have said you knew all that, and maybe you did. The last time I saw you I didn’t recognise you at first. You’d been up all night and were talking too fast, but you were thin and happy. You said you’d finally got your orders and were going away for good now, but didn’t say where. You told me you’d found a way to live for next to nothing, that everyone had their own desert and you’d found yours. You were finally ready to patch things up between the soul and the world. It was all a question of finding a place with the right temperature. Walking backwards, you shouted that you’d keep a record and send it to me, a magical distillation of your trip that would help me with my own, that would help everyone. But you never did.

A hand from your past

I’ve spent seasons praying you to a place where your dreams are freer than when you slept under my breath. I’m still here, going nowhere fast — nothing special in dark glasses, the golden boy in the mirror defeated at last. Think of me if you ever sense the freedom that mocked me. Think of me as a hand from your past that I hereby give you licence to cut off.

The last link

Some time after you were diagnosed, I took a photo of you. Your gaunt face was like an omen, or a beacon: I couldn’t decide. When they took you in for good – the end game you called it – I kept it with me. The more I looked at it, the less it gave me. One day a gust of wind blew it out of my hands into some thistle; as I bent down to pick it up it blew away. I sat for hours looking at you propped up in that stiff alien gown, a glass of stale water on your bedside table. You’d look at me with a remote smile. Your skin was yellow and gave off a chemical odour. I thought, It’s spinning its cocoon around you, you’re shrivelling; or maybe falling through the veil at last, breathing yourself out and away. When the end game had been played out, I stole the glass and brought it home. I watched it grow grimy and studied the fading marks of your fingers and lips. Until it became just another object, it was saturated with your presence, the last link.