The Sound of Silence

The Greeks used to start
their poems with prayer
but I haven’t seen my muse
for longer than I care
to remember,
even though her hair
wraps my mind in confusion
every night
the moment my head hits the pillow.

So what will you do,
will you say a prayer too?

I could try,
if you insist on seeing through
realities
that ought to be –
the catalysts and symbology –
the way we understand what we would see
even though gods don’t hang from trees

anymore

than we bother to light votive candles
amongst the stones of the ancient beliefs.

O, Muse!

These words are ordinary,
they seem so far
from the Bard’s eloquence
or the psalms of Man…

Sometimes I wonder if you understand who I really am…

You?

You’re just some kind of I am Sam.
The simplest kind of Sam I Am,
who does not like green eggs and ham
more or less
than other things that are given to us
by other people who tell us to love
them even though the stars above,
on the topic of their content,

are silent –

All things are the same…

What, is that a question?

No, a statement.
Or perhaps a Schrodinger’s statement,
because it is both void and meaning,
it’s just another stupid maxim teaming
like fish that hold memories
worse
than
some kind of Sam I Am –

But Sam,
I am,

and none of this makes any sense,
can’t you see the way I hope,

sort of,

for some kind of
Connection?
Sometimes it feels like I am becoming

less because of other people;

and so,
I will eat green eggs and ham
if you’ll
just speak to me
Sam I Am.

I Wonder

Sometimes I wonder
if Achilles stood on his heels
at the doorstep of divinity
and wished he had digressed
to spend the rest
of his life with a kid and a wife,
fading into the obscure
background of a retrospectively halcyon world
instead of being destiny’s child…

But Achilles isn’t real,
his choice is a myth –

the truth is the vale of tears
where they make you suspend those fears
that are erected by women with painted faces.

Besides,
there are no Veronicas here.

But two becomes one
becomes something beautiful.
I donno, how’s that even possible?
It’s conjugal.
No. Comical!
Fill in the blanks….

But I can’t bring myself to finish
those lines that diminish myself.
Because aloneness
is hardly something to worry about.
Unfortunate for you
charity takes two,
or something else new.
A me and you too?

Or a you and you
without a me to be something in the way
of things that you can’t get for free.

But, can’t it just be the trinity?
That opposite of enmity,
tickled ivories and melodies
that aren’t from me,
but made by two,

maybe me and maybe you
to make a new end only through
merging melodies.

Sometime I wonder
if Achilles (who stood on his heels
at the doorstep of divinity)
had met the right one who’d have made him undone,
would he have stayed
till his very last day
in Grecian bliss
rather than sink into that immortal abyss?

Ask Paris.

Hypnagogia

Timothy Carter was not the sort of man anyone would call remarkable. In fact, it was only the presence of his imperfections and oddities, which elevated him beyond a bland mediocrity of appearance and character that made everything else hardly worth mentioning. Even his morning routine, like everything else about him, seemed like a deck short of a few cards.

Every morning he would wake, alone, promptly at 6:30, and he would descend the stairs at exactly 6:35. He would consume exactly one and a half cups of black coffee with his breakfast which consisted of three scrambled eggs, two, three or four slices of toast which were numerically dependent on a complicated calculation whose variables included his emotional well being, the day of the week, and his horoscope from exactly a week prior. After breakfast he would partake in his daily devotions: a strange concoction of yoga, mixed with Himalayan throat singing and christian ecstatic experience – as one might expect, Timothy was noticeably absent from God’s life. With the closing of matins he would remove his two piece pyjamas and enter the shower to scrub his back and rid his body of impurities. Ten minutes later he would emerge from the steam chamber pink and raw, at which point he would delicately towel off his delicates, put his thrift store suit on over his second hand silk underwear, and walk out the front door.

From his house he would travel three blocks north, eight blocks west, and one block south in order to avoid the juxtaposed streets of Farthington and Oak on which lived each of his legally separated parents.They were both profoundly lonely individuals and while his father experienced his loneliness through genuine solitude, his mother experienced hers through her new lover, Claus. Unbeknownst to him, Timothy also experienced this loneliness – primarily through his goldfish, Leonard, but also through the birds which prefer the feeder in his neighbour’s yard to the small painted birdhouse he hung from the wilted pine tree located in the exact center of his back yard. 

As a brief aside, it can be said that Timothy pretended not to care about his parents; that he was content to believe they were both decrepit individualists, deserved of every moment of loneliness they encountered, but this was a farce. His heart was only somewhat closed, and he visited each of his progenitors precisely one and a half times a month – three if it was a month containing a holiday.

The circumvention of this problematic geography would signal the return to his daily monotony, and Timothy would then travel by bus to his downtown office job, where he would walk past the secretary who watched him cross from the elevator to his office door. To her he would speak a combination of the words “morning,” “mumble,” and “good.” She was a peculiar kind of pretty and they might have fallen in love if it were not for the speed with which he would transverse the front office, as well as her inability to make eye contact.

His job warranted little description and it will suffice to say that it involved the filing and categorising of paper, the pushing of keys on a computer, and an intricate avoidance of any and all phone calls. It is a testament to his character that Timothy enjoyed his work immensely and it was usual for him to put in a significant amount of overtime. Once his work was finished he would leave by the same door he entered, take the same bus to the same bus stop, and walk the same route back to his house.

After entering his house he would feed Leonard while believing that the goldfish felt gratitude for his gift of sustenance. Reality was somewhat at odds with this assessment, as Leonard was so bored with his unfortunate circumstances that he had been thinking of retiring from his bowl for quite some time. In addition, the goldfish regarded Timothy with a convoluted mixture of apathy and hatred, which, as any apathetic person can attest to, is a remarkable feat because it is difficult to feel both of these things simultaneously – and harder still to harbour suicidal tendencies while maintaining a calm and rational perspective on life. In short, Leonard was a remarkable creature, and it should be noted that he far exceeded his owner in complexity and emotional depth. Timothy was completely unaware of any of this, however, and still believed in his own singular uniqueness, as well as his evolutionary superiority to his carassian charge.   

After this dabbling in philanthropy, Timothy would settle into his evening, and a cup of tepid tea, a single graham cracker, and ten pages of the most recent New York Times bestseller would signal the close of his day, and as he settled into bed he would come to expect the beginning of the next day…

In this moment Timothy would transcend his essence with a surprising combination of anticipation and indifference. To him, it was as if the coming day was nothing more nor less than the current day, and as if the coming act of sleep was just a wall between identical fields of human experience. The present and the future would meld together until the world would begin to silently slip away.

As he drifted from consciousness into that vast, unknown, quiescent ocean, his mind would fill itself with images of vigorous life and passion. He would follow the dreamful currents to a wonderland of colour and sound, where conversion and variation swirled like storm clouds on a painters canvas. Time would pass like thunder and space would stand fixed to the very pillars of creation. In sleep he would experience a remarkable unreality, unfixed by routine or character in which his only limitations came from the monsters that dwelt along borderlands of his imagination.

As morning approached Timothy would remain in that place,

he would forget,

he would wake alone promptly at 6:30, and he would descend the stairs at exactly 6:35…

Getting Over it

One becomes two
becomes one
becomes none
without knowing –

I guess I didn’t know her.

Hell,
she didn’t know herself,

but that’s hardly the point.

Now distance is measured in sundials and shot glasses:

One
          Two
                    Tie your shoe.

Three
          Four
                    Shut the door.

Five
          Six…
Thankfully I never made it to six.

Six cigarettes maybe.

One for each mistake.

Maybe,
now I can rest

my eyes.
But rest will never really happen.
Not for you.
There will always be another pair
of eyes,

or legs.
The trick,

is to keep your eyes
aside,

isolated,

away from the in-betweens,

because catharsis resides
outside…

Coffee

Once upon a time.
princesses wore white,
not tight
black skin over skin.

You know,
exposure does the opposite –
it’s just hiding in plain view.

This shit doesn’t make a man
A man –

Becoming is more difficult
than a few seconds; minutes; moments.

Suddenly, it’s coffee cups
and forced conversation.
Passion
used to cost an arm and a leg,

but now, now it’s nothing but
arms
and
legs;

or perhaps just the spaces in between.

Towards the night,
towards the end of everything that makes a man a man,

shape takes precedence over sound.

What about silence,
what about the in between,

the transitory moment betwixt
then and now,
the rise and fall,
the doorstep and the bedroom?

I can’t answer that –
my breath got stuck in someone else’s chest –
in doorways,
on the stairs,
along a worn out path;
but not so worn:
the dirt still clung to my back.

A Church: Drunk Observations of

1.

Drink-

Church tower:
To be frank, they kept the ugliest part

of the old building.
Who is Frank?
That’s a terrible joke: too old.

Stained glass

won’t

change the past.

Ugly building, ugly faith –
What is truth?
Hardly a question worth asking-
Look at the ugly tower!

Sing a new song unto… myself?
After all, wasn’t that the point?

Sing an old song.

I sing of myself
Because
Other-selfs:
Not my self.

2.

I am found when I am lost.

For one saved, the choirs of Heaven rejoice;
But I have never bleated like a sheep,
And I will never be buried

(I was found under a couch.)

in a field.

3.

Did Adam
ever graze
in green pastures
with the lions?

Vegetarian lions –
That’s a good question.

4.

Because I do not hope to turn again
     Because I do not hope…

Pray for us, O banished children…
          of Eve?

Save me from the fires of Hell

Save

us
me

ugly
churches

Eve
Adam
save
sin

from

turning

questions

banished

:-Fade to black

By: Nicholas Elbers

Bold italics are quotations, for anyone who is a little confused. 

Right Poetry and Self Loathing

Semiotic representations of reality stunted by literal examinations of physical phenomenon…

Wait, wait, wait.
That’s terrible….
That’s not poetry….

Fine.

In truth,

my eyes feel most
useful when they are closed

backwards

piercing
the shabby chain mail of
a person
      so conscious of himself

he writes poetry to communicate…

Nope.

Stop talking about yourself.

Try talking about God…

I went in search of God on the banks of the River Nile…

What? Why the Nile? You’ve never even been to Egypt…
And that’s still about you.

I had to start somewhere, it’s romantic.
Besides, God has to be in one place or another,
I think.
Why not

start where man sails towards his own divinity?
Anyways, it’s poetic.

huh. Even God is lost in your ego.

Your search is meaningless… try again.

The daffodils bloom in the park;
      The fragrant breeze contains memories of
            Childhood mingled with the erotic hope of springtime.

Birdsong mingles with the hushed romance
      Of the cotton trees releasing their gifts to the earth.

Romantic drivel.

*silence*

That’s probably for the best…

 

          By: Nicholas Elbers