'and if i push my fingers into the unscarred face of your pillow/ and if i press the ball of my heel into these sostenuto sheets...'femme run

It seems almost daunting that these last lingering days of the Christmas vacation fall so stubbornly on the feverish first days of the new year: this dizzying period of regret and remorse concerning the lack of work we have completed in our break is sullied even further by that external pressure to live up to the age-old maxim ‘New Year, New Me’. Our prospects in the next year thus begin with sheer panic; it seems that as soon as the Big Ben strikes its solemn refrain, all thoughts turn to the possibilities the next 365 days might hold if we could just perhaps be a different version of ourselves than the one which existed merely seconds before. The brimming potentiality of outdoing our past in comparative adjectives is, in fact, an intense weight of expectation for any individual to bear, despite how we may clothe this wolf in a plethora of motivational mantras and inspirational images. These poems express my hopes that regardless of what aims, large or small, that you have for 2017, you will also focus on your own, personal development; you have a potential, in this new year, to make yourself a more contented being and that, certainly, is a resolution worth fighting to complete.

Lacuna

what say we start again?

smoking cigarettes, duvet-clad, until morning’s end,

“i have never met a one like you”

(never did)

but – yet – let’s try and see –

what’s happening? who are we?

 

*

 

i have smothered you in togs of a meninges duvet,

and i have forged this gentle hand, then that, from cerebrospinal clay,

and i have sculpted your face across the grey matter of my headland,

(my very own neuronal mount rushmore man) –

 

but i cannot remember the smell of your lips,

or the taste of your hair,

or how peaceful your rotten face looked, lying there

 

and it seems i have never heard your melodious voice:

not even in monochromatically tragic archival static

not even in a half-shot of a brief breath of family film

not even laden with crackles and whittled by shellac

 

*

 

you see, dearest, despite it all,

i do not see you

 

(and yet i know you)

 

and if i push my fingers into the unscarred face of your pillow

and if i press the ball of my heel into these sostenuto sheets

and if i recall the notes of our solemn eiderdown concerto,

suddenly again i am breathing the wisps of my scent, your scent

and i am remembering what i cannot forget

 

 

Solitude

The golden rule of solitude is silence;

Absence of sound, absence of life,

Futile even to try co-existing with isolation;

Where loneliness reigns, all else is null and void

 

The dawn has captured you in its hands,

Burst of colour, burning away the grey,

Mother’s arms; your shield,

The quiet before the storm

 

Sun glinting off the waves, the jewels of yesterday are drowned;

Your smile is back to baseline,

Your counter of disappointments has reset itself to zero;

You know what they say about the dawn:

‘Everything is better the morning after’

 

With a burst of light, the sky has awoken,

And the boat wakes too; it cuts across the lake,

Creating a halo from the blinding mirror of the sun,

Like an anthropomorphic Moses crossing the Red Sea

 

But unlike the Prophet,

You know there is no escape

 

The solitude will always have a hold on you,

Maybe not touching,

Maybe not grasping

But you can feel its claws, wispy, brush against your gabardine anorak

 

And no matter how hard you scream,

Or how fast you run,

You know you will live and die

By the laws of loneliness

 

It is 41 minutes past 4 ante meridiem,

And you are trying to learn to pronounce silence

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