poetry, trails of thought

Needs / Wants / Freedoms / Endings

I always did use to argue

that needs were more important than wants;

that wants were a luxury; that needs were

a necessity; that your needs should outweigh

my wants.

 

In a sense, however, I now realise I was wrong:

I was wrong as soundly as the sound of a

gong, ringing out brightly above latterday

music, composed to ennoble the streets and the

cities.

 

In terms of physical needs, and survival at the

limit, your needs at first must have priority

over luxury chocolate; my dark and

mysterious liquids; my desire for the unusual,

the unexpected and the de-

natural.

 

But in terms of other emotional realities, if you

are to burningly need me as in romantic

love, the attachment you profess is not a choice

you make but an action you feel violently bounden

to follow; and whilst this is grand, and

whilst this makes love a wonderful unthinking

act of generosity, since tidal wave of emotion

does drive it all, we cannot say you’re

loving me simply because you have chosen

such

a way.

 

And if you are to love me as I would have

you love me, and if I were to love you

as I would have me love you,

then in such a world of ideal circum-

stance, we would want each other always –

never need.

 

There will come a day, a day of helpless

sadness, when the job of a lover will not

be to love with ease, but rather

to spend their significant time, caring for

another who no longer can jump and dive into

love with the grandiose joy of unbridled

life, a reigning over of senses –

a reining in of opportunities –

in a way we never

knew and can no longer recall.

And that day of sad forgetfulness will

pursue us all quite gravely; and the aim of any

love right then will be to assert its sacrifice,

so bravely.

 

But until such a day arrives – if for you and me

arrival doesn’t already begin to present itself –

let us enjoy if not the practice at least the memory

of loves, physically exchanged through touch and

mind, reminding us courageously

of what might once have been.

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short short story

Sacrifice

 

He’d spent his life trying to understand the world.  And the truth was he still was unable to.  But the nearest he ever got to understanding it better was writing it down on a page.  It wasn’t enough that the page be on computer, either: if that had been the case, the quandary would’ve been non-existent.  No.  The real issue was that he needed to feel that – in however a limited way – at least some people would stumble across and connect with what he said – all the things he said; that at least some people might even reply.

But he was also aware, all too fully aware, that on starting out on the project which had then helped him survive, his survival was going to be at the expense of other people, whose memories and beings were frankly theirs, and whose permission had not been obtained.

To what extent, then, was his survival quite wrong?  If this was the only means he had to recover from fairly mad actions the year before, was the alternative simply not to survive – to continue to fall into the sin of wasted practice, and co-exist until the end arrived, sooner or later, to the lives he did experience?

He guessed there was little he could say any more on the matter.  He had not proceeded justly; he had not proceeded fairly; instead of writing his love and real affection for the people who had touched him through private acts of joy so great just his writing about them had cured him of so much pain, he should’ve had the balls to call them up one by one, and tell them equally privately the impact they had retained on him.

And maybe it’d be crazy, and perhaps they’d have considered him crazy – but crazier still was to think that art in itself could save the day where discretion clearly had not.

The discretion of family can be a terrible thing, of course: the private forums that involve family debate on many occasions lead to hateful pursuit of weakest member.  But the private forums are private either way, and a persecuted member does always have the opportunity to get away.

In a world where government now watched our every move, he was still a little curious as to how this might pan out.

But if the reality was actually that he’d wronged the people in his thoughts, perhaps the ultimate sacrifice did have to be contemplated: perhaps the art of thoughts – the art primarily of writing – demanded he no longer had or communicated them.

 

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poetry

Le[aving]

Why do they always say have your cake and eat it?

Shouldn’t it be a case of have your cake or eat it?

Or, on the other silver platter, eat your cake and have it –

where have means eat rather than possess it?

 

Life, in a way, is very like that cake.

Multiple options which confuse and bemuse.

Even the syntax of such multiple options doesn’t half

flatly refuse to lay itself out clear.

 

And I no longer want to square circles as before;

as once I might have needed to grandly proclaim;

as once I clearly needed to.

But listen, dear universe – listen and advise:

 

is my art worth any sacrifice – or am I mediocre

beyond trivial measure?  Or can the sacrifice, even now,

if worthy of art I mean, still be made in a squaring of wagon-trailed

circles, which command pioneering movement?

 

I’d love to know not where to go, nor who might be

waiting, nor even if no one rightly cares any more

for what are ridiculous thoughts at nineteen to a dozen (although I do

have to say I prefer twenty …).

 

I’d far rather love to know if anyone really thinks

it’d be better for me to give up what I’m doing, because

in simple artistic terms of critical bent, I’m halfway round a curve

looking for idiocy all the time.

 

And talking about oneself, and talking about others,

has helped me recover – I think – a semblance of myself

but I realise, right now, I can’t do this art stuff without talking about

others who might sensibly object.

 

And if talking about others who might sensibly object

is all I know how to do in the art that I do, and this is

quite wrong, and I am out of work, like coffee machine in corporate

pecking order, maybe the art that’s been lost

 

all these years I’m alone, and without beloved contact

with the muse of my life, must continue to be unmade

as much as it can.  For what right do I have to uncover the sadness

that drove me to madness and the cell I am in?

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