After a propagating night
on the space ship, the undulate
light and ambient bleeps and bloops
punctuated by our moaning –
A faint smile came up behind me
I engaged my boosters. Fleeing,
but the smile was fast. It could swing
across clouds on its curved wing-span
I used all the scant resources
of my mind to avoid it, first
thinking of everything I’d done
and nebulas of betterness
Then, just dwelling with the panic.
It wasn’t enough. The smile hit
and my dark vessel exploded
with an unassuming shockwave
and a cloud of steam and glitter
(gold glitter, with small silver hearts)
erupted, and I was falling –
the landscape of the alien
calmness reached across horizons
as the smile consumed me, fodder
for the ancient and bitter god
that wants me to be happy. damn
Consuming isn’t easy, sometimes. It can be a form of emotional labour. Though series and films can play themselves out in front of us, we don’t just sit and absorb their images. Or at least, not by default. In this way, A Clockwork Orange has a quasi-fallacy in it – that being forced to watch something would change us, simply by being made spectator. Of course this is the case for certain experiences, that we are particularly receptive to, but the active spectator can critique whilst in the process of watching (hopefully not out loud though.)
This idea has an interesting expression in the world of music – are there not songs that you love, whilst being almost completely ignorant of the lyrics, or cognisant of them only in a vague, catchphrase fashion. Consuming music like this is simply allowing it to bounce off us, alter our rhythms. But to consume the whole is to process the message of the song, and to come to a conclusion regarding its sense. I do this rarely. It’s a lot of work.
Sometimes I come across people like this. I ask – do you love books? They say – Yes, I love 1984.
Nationalism is the symptom of a badly functioning state.
“Become who you are!” Careful not to read this as an spur to selfishness. For who you are can obviously include others.
In looking for happiness right where you are
or farthest-star following –
what if you find that happiness requires
the acquisition of skeletons?
What if the last leap turns into a fall?
And you hit the golden rocks by the sea
or are dragged down into it
by the weight of all these childish things.
What if to be happy, you must
take someone else’s happiness without hesitation?
What if I am not strong enough to harm
in the end the one whom I love
who is stopping me from being happy?
No new island without castaways;
Oh I know who I am, And I hope it’s good!
++So you talk to me of comfort/my friend
and darkness/well I’ve this- –
if the endlessness of our darksky
were placed against them/I
would mark it as a grain of dust
hanging in their beam of sunlight
on a summerday’s comfort/
gleaming ironmetal to its rust++
They are as darkness to me/how it flies
curving out at equal speed to my light
as we lie together sweating sparks of touch- –
they are my eclipse/my thunderstorm
my oceandeep gloom, my envelope++
They are the stranger standing in the room
who disappears on waking++
They are my dark/they are my gloaming ++
They are not sound/but silence/after chatter
shook violentwise the eardrum and composed
a mindset to accept the wind and void++
They are not caress/ but lack of touch
on a breathless day under unfeeling sun
when all the cares of our space burn into my skin
in noise and fury++You see/Gomez/
You grade things wrong when you throw this out::
We measure all things, and give them measure++
It might be right to prefer the finale/and doom
To the end of the connection/holding in storm
The weatherfronts of myself and them++
They are my welcome gloom++