I found this self-help text stored on a mini SD card, the memory I removed from a dead smartphone. Its screen bore a thin spiderweb of cracks spreading from a central point, as if it had been hit with an emergency hammer, one you might find on a bus in a small red box. Once hidden in the bottom drawer of waste phones at my local dump, it is now listed here due to elements of internal interest, but in the end perhaps it should have been left to transfer to a landfill site and decay, six feet down, among the plastic bags, the compact discs, and trays of silver-plated cutlery – is there a difference?
[…] – a grave marker indicates corrupted text.
[…] to cope with the private nocturnal terrors I began to revel in them, to smile. To clasp my hands as if in prayer, in a simulation of an older time. I mean, it gave me something to do, which helped. And many years afterwards I began to design graves, in another way of coping with certain facts of living. But then, what counts as coping?
That we are not here on a certain future date, does not mean we have no stake in what goes on with the remains of us. Of course there are many views on the function of grief and mourning and their socially emergent ceremonies. This isn’t the place for that. And don’t talk to me about grandiosity – that we are here at all is grandiose enough.
In the beginning, something was destroyed
at least it seems that way
and something else rose outwards.
Sky-sized waves follow the instant
an ocean meteor impacts, and ricochet –
the planet at great speed becomes
Something Else – because all ends
are also beginnings, no law is more
certain. What more do things have to say
about destruction – all else is lists
of the long fall of the satellite from orbit
and the short cracks as the overhang weakens
the instant a fish first knows the harsh net.
In my end is my beginning
Is false because the I must end
For something else to begin – materials
work upon themselves some magic
which brings others to the house party
where green glass contains rotten liquids!
Our whole civilisation is a harvest
of destruction, even in its peace, when
blackbirds sing the lay of the worm’s
redescription in branches in the sun.
And nature also, this vast restructuring
where some shapes lose what others
gain – a magpie flies as the sun dips
its smooth light onto the striated oak
and on and again until the end of this
and the beginning of something else
and we can’t often tell the difference
Considered with reference to bodies
Standing water, in the cold night
reflects the crisp moon,
thin stars in the eye’s quiet corner
In its shallows the dark leaves rot
starving greens and wriggling things
’til stillness reigns
There is only so much you can get
from a reflection –
just ask these dying flowers on the shore
But a river – god damn it
just look – look at that flow
It goes where it wants to
But slip up, take a photo
and there! It’s a pool again.
For gods’ sake delete it
Let us leave all our still disasters
a night of stars, devastated
without their flutter, their refocus and shift
and lay paper puppets, torn and sullied
by the fire which crackles with time
and burns with everything you needed
crystal latticed books
interface in halls
so vast the humans
have been lost, always.
Every sentence starts
and ends with a whole
life, a human life,
and in the centre
the books turn about
a spine – which is real
human spinechord cut
and spun from the tears
of ancient servers.
You do not ‘read’ books –
you must choose but one,
and it only seems
that way – in cold fact
it was built for you.
So tear your heart out
at the plug – thousand
eras dawn and die
to build its climax;
it is perfect life.
“If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches” – Rilke
There’s nothing really wrong now, per say.
The day was good – disjunct as often
with the day I thought that it might be.
As I wait for the bath to fill up
the room fills with warmer, wetter air.
Not to begin on the day hoped for.
There is just a lightness missing – mist
takes the windows. Kingdoms have been razed
and lost because of this wistfulness
My body floats ever so slightly.
The deep element we were borne from
laps my chin as if to say nothing –
is enough, and indeed it is, better, yes.
The sweat beads run out to meet it here
they orbit my body, salts dancing.
Is that enough? To attempt to think
in the calmest way. The figure: still
sea glitters in the sun’s soft twilight.
Now – a new series of figures pass;
the wind blowing of trees in dusk dark –
the grey boiling of a deep sea vent –
small blank fish in Mariana black –
a blinding light as torn blinds open –
an ache in the neck which fades slowly –
a small smile quickly dances outward –
A last hope was that bath – just know it.