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Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
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Monday, 5. August 2002

I Began to Hallucinate



I walked the streets
it would have been ok to do that
at times that are less lethal
but I chose the most dangerous time
to walk around, to laugh at myself,
an hour after midnight.

A car crept up to me from behind
like a cat or her, always like her.
My shadow grew in length, it became
huge, like a black black gaint.
My eyes darted around like the hunted,
there could be guns in that car
there could be that death, parts of me have
been seeking, a clean bullet through
the skull but instead I started to
run, as I turned my head and watched
behind myself from time to time.

Meanwhile my mind was busy composing
farewell letters,
farewell you, farwell friends, farewell
brothers, farewell sky, farwell electric
bulbs at the windows, farewell clear eyes
of babies,farewell dogs shitting in the grass.

My legs turned into a side street to escape.
Escape, they have become good at escaping,
escape from loneliness, escape from soundlessness,
escape from the desires of the skin to
sense, the lips to kiss, the arms to hold
and the face to feel the warmth of her palms.

The car turned, I saw it turn and lights bore
down the street, was that the moment of clarity
I had been seeking? Thoughts, a hundred thoughts
took off like gulls from cliffs, awesome
thundering and screeching and I couldn't
now, possibily seperate one from the other.

I ran across a chruch yard,
Jesus of Nazareth beyond those stained
windows, bleeding from his palms and feet,
I joined him in the bleeding with the drip drip
of blood of my heart. The car overtook me,
and I found myself alive,
but didn't I wanted to be dead in the first place?
Why this dilly dallying? Is it to write poems?
What is the use?
Who is going to read them anyway?
Whom can I read them to anyway?

The shops had signs outside, closed, closed,
I stopped before one to catch my breath,
I peered inside and saw upturned chairs
on tables, the show had ended for the day,
for the decade and perhaps for this life,
you can never tell these things, when they
begin and when they end and why?
Who cares?

Cars go up and down the street like tanks,
traffic lights blink, on off on off on off
I am going crazy looking at this on off
at all these things going on off,
open close. I want to scream stay open,
stay open, don't sleep, wake up wake up
Don't fuck behind those doors, those open
windows behind those curtains, come come
will someone join me in listening to the
woosh of water flowing in pipelines beneath
the roads over the interminable silence of the
night?

None answers, none even listens,
none wants to talk to me. I come home, covered with sweat and press play on the answering machine.
Old messages begin to play and her voice begins
to turn like a cockscrew into my veins as
tears that I held back all day start to flow
all over me like cheap wine.


2002:08:05 02:00 Atlanta

I survived, the plan is to survive from day to day till I begin to live once more.




My Poems

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