I I’m chained I feel to my will, my flesh and
bone; the pen in my hand follows the lines
of my command. But it’s you, is it
not, tapping the nerves and the veins
along my arm; fiddling my words, my will.
II What do the poets talk about in their
heavens, what plot, scheme? Sculptors,
their plot swept clean, but stare at their own
bare hands, with the eyes of the blind.
I feel like a Shade sometimes, pure being.
III I’m not free, walking the rounds, an abstract
head in the crowd. I mean nothing until
taken from context. I think, Man:
one small step, an accident perhaps, and
the crowd is wild with ideas, and people die.
IV I’m surprised that there isn’t more death
on the street. How orderly life seems!
and how disciplined everyone is!
in line. The system I admit works well;
not quite the machine, but still…
V Sometimes our system goes askew because
Man has fallen short of the Ideal
Platonic Man; is mere shadow, imprint.
When man or animal, say, is tortured,
I too would say, Fuck you fuck you.
VI I disagree with legal murder and feel
the most disdain for those bitter souls
chilled with that fearful, inarticulate
loathing. Killing someone with your bare
hands, however, is another matter.
VII I’m bitter. But for what? I know
what I would say, what I would do,
but can’t fathom it. I near hysteria,
only this morning, laughing, a madman,
in water my feet never touch the ground.
VIII I shall drown or hang or bleed or die
naturally some day. Do you say, So what!
I’m now as my father was, years ago;
before Fortune spun her careless wheel;
struck him down, for absolutely nothing.
IX I dare not rebel against God’s Law.
I’d die a thousand deaths, mortified
by each one; and, at best, humbled, my head
bowed, trembling before final severance;
then damned to the depths by my master.
X I mourn for the light that was snuffed
from my heart; and if tonight I still lie
alone, quiet, all night, and tomorrow
night, ad infinitum; if so,
it’s because I’ve nothing more to give.
XI I want to remember my dead friends,
light candles again; which will mean
nothing to them, but to me, everything:
I challenge you all to the death; take on
your smug common sense, your realism.
XII In two days I light a candle for one
I loved. Not a good person, granted;
but what does the heart know about that;
right and wrong? I have never been
a disinterested party, in love.
XIII The Suicides should be spared God’s wrath,
certainly. My friends were good men;
one took more heroin than necessary,
and the other choked because he was scared.
But who can penetrate the mysteries of Justice?
XIV My nerves are shot. The horror never stops.
As I sleep, I’m scared the worms that curl
about my skull send messages; speak in
esoteric tongues no-one understands.
What has this to do with me? My nerves.
XV Indeed, people die, are killed when ideas
dictate; when individuals are subsumed
by the abstract mass; the clean-cut
faces, uniformed; a featureless
sea; dead calm; a desert sea.
XVI Is it better to have been born? Can a slit
throat undo the good that was thought
and done by one man; happiness like blood
spilled upon the sand? Viewed like that,
murder is an act of purification.
XVII I could become pure nothing in seconds.
Tie the knot; score the skin, slow, and quick
deliverance. I have snuffed the candle
which I had lit to commemorate
the sixth anniversary of your death.
XVIII The fact that others once lived as I
now live, with slow regular breaths;
stood where I now stand; is, I think,
remarkable. Although there are those
who have said: Death is as common as muck.
XIX Death is solemn because life is beautiful.
When life is not worth living, death is
squalid, a grave of mass butchery;
individuals once, now nothing more than
vile bodies; grimaces and shattered limbs.
XX My acts of profanity are, perversely,
ironic. A Satanic reverence,
when tears turn to laughter; no.
Yes, I’m still dying to lie with you
happily; and I refuse to get over it.
XXI Sadness to me is a luxury I afford
easily. It’s nothing to me, emptiness.
I walk the long street in the long
evening, and back along the park; I hear
the birds sing to the dying light of evening.
XXII How can I put this? I’m trying to break
down the door. To talk to the dead.
The departed. To those I have left, dead
inside. Yesterday I lit the candle
that had lain unspent in her drawer.
XXIII I approach the age of meditation,
admiring the girls. An Aschenbach; a man
that haunts the swings, looking for love;
offering rides, slides; anything
you want. Refined. A gentleman, really.
XXIV As a child I had an inkling of being,
strange. Even then I thought it all
queer. I lived innumerable hours
in a single room, staring at the houses
across the street, which moved when I moved.
XXV It’s queer being a child; everything’s
on the outside of the skin; a pair of eyes
sees the trees waving at the sky, shoes
across the street, but knows nothing
of itself. My head felt like a shell.
XXVI Those big boys on the bus are up
to no-good. I’m two years-old by the time
I feel fear and understand what self-
consciousness is. That is to say:
that other people exist, for real.
XXVII I recall crawling along the nursery
floor, shitting myself, and feeling
something akin to disappointment.
I had felt content, and that incident
soiled it. Like a dirty wet blanket.
XXVIII I learnt to swim in the long canal
that ran parallel to the river. I was
- My cousins and the other locals
shone with brown skin and big genitals
that blossomed in white underwear.
XXIX I had to look as the girl undressed
behind the bush, one hand on my cock,
which throbbed all the way to the lump
at the back of my throat. It burned
so good, and I didn’t care who looked.
XXX My coming feels like flowers blooming.
I’m enamoured; half conscious of bees
drunk in the trees, and the wind
caressing the long weeds, and me
faint. My head feels like a balloon.
XXXI The moon and the stars are with me this night;
follow me home. These dirty streets, grey
in daylight, are blue and gold; glittering under
the amber streetlights that light the way,
home. Magical night. Walk me home.
XXXII My life is wonderful through the veil:
I love the sea and the mist on the mountain
in the morning, walking through the vales.
Fabulous is the myth of Eden. I want
a garden just like it, and good companions.
XXXIII We might live in that thornless garden
watered by a stream that flows from a spring
in the cool mountains, glittering with fish
in the shallows, golden: the Arian
morning, first of the glorious new year.
XXXIV In my mind the garden is real beautiful.
Fear drove us; fierce animals, neighbours.
We sought what is good in itself, and were
punished for it, which set us apart,
like the first Jews, from the animals.