Laniakea

I am the world on a stick,
nose a fuzzy
blot on the landscape,
an emptiness where the neck stops,
filled with everything there is to fill it.
No guillotine
but the lack of a head
puts a crack in the mirror
and eventually, the reflection
disappears.

I am the spotlight on the stage
and the stage spot-lit,
illuminating the
illusion.
No bullet, no blood,
but a hole
where I used to point to myself,
a wormhole in a birdbath
sank by a sinking
stone.

I am a wave on laniakea,
forever
beachbound;
once the trench is dug
experience rushes in, torrents
flooding the mind,
currents crumbling the sides.
No amount of reason
can save you
now.

Not Quite

Our canvas haven,
candlelit by screens
shining
in the electric blackness,
betrayal on your lips,
lust dripping
from your eyes,
but
not quite.

As vibrations
spaced so as to
discern as sound
ripple
tinnily into the inky night,
you burrow through
my topsoil,
coming close
but
not enough.

My voice sends you
away, red hands
soaked
in your gauze
as other voices approach,
muffled,
come clearer as the
zip cuts
and my icy exhalations
entertain an
almost.

Tomorrow,
safe
and warm
and tattooed in shadows,
I feel a form against my own;
your mirage shimmers,
stares into me,
breathes, comes
closer than the others,
at least.

And later,
left alone, I speak the
unspeakable
in the eye of the
storm, weeping,
made by magnet pull;
marionette strings held taut,
dancing by default,
I almost
believed in fate.

Our canvas coven,
lit by screens
shedding
light on tortured features
barely registered in the
blackness,
regret on your lips,
desire dripping
from your eyes,
but
not quite.

How Long Will It Be?

How long will it be?
The problem is not knowing:
it could be any moment
but it could be never.
Too much time alone
leads to loops,
leads to questions
like:

How long will it be?
When I travel forward in time
I see the past recede and shrink
into something so small
it barely exists.
It makes things easier,
but when I lose faith
I ask:

How long will it be?
and for whom do I build this
structure
if not only for myself?
I had imagined
the foundations strong enough to let
someone share this castle
with me.

So
how long will it be?
I stand amongst the debris
and try to fit the pieces together;
shake a fist at the sky;
and still the hope
of an unearned happy ending,
bought by a miracle,
persists.

Lone

Poeticising autobiographies,
vicarious thrills felt
through old-shoe eyelids
as I drift ghostlike
over tarmac hills;
lone wanderer on the range,
beating records and climbing
ever upwards
away,
white wraiths racing
across the plains;
drowning out feelings
with full-body sounds
and guttural car engine
growls.

Cascading down
and dipping a toe
in barely thawed
heartbreak blue waters,
prodding from a distance –
and tire squeal and off again into
darkening sunset skies,
homebound headed
in the direction of order;
exalting the sad
glamour of the
damaged;
melting into the seat,
feeling the bumps:
numb.

Juxtaposing photographs
in rear view,
brushing cobwebs off beauty
and reframing the present,
with its unticked boxes;
thoughts streaking by in headlight beams
painted across dim-lit nocturnes
blended into blackness
and disappearing into anaesthetic
nothingness:
wheels turning,
brakes screeching,
roads sprinting,
soul hurtling
into the night.

Don’t

Don’t
want to
want you,
want you to
end the torment
of wanting:
the enemy
of peace.

Don’t
long to
long for
your presence
but
to feel
the calm of
the deceased.

Don’t
crave the
cravings of
an irrational mind,
or desire that
which will
never be
mine.

Don’t
need you,
need you to
to fill the gap
and leave it filled,
scratch the itch
and leave it
scratched.

Ritual

Supergluing my hair shut,
so the wind don’t
blow it
away.

Squeezing on
drainpipes,
so my legs don’t
escape.

Plastic-bagging
my mouth,
so it don’t get
dry.

Wrapping my wrist
in steel,
so my veins don’t
cry.

Covering my back
in camo,
so the sun don’t
see.

Fabricating my soul,
so the ground don’t
feel my
feet.

Scanning the circle
to see what
the future
brings.

Twisting the keyhole,
so brahman
don’t steal my
things.

Lost

I’m up in the woods.
I’m down on my mind.
I’m building a still
to slow down the time.
–  Bon Iver

I’m lost in the woods,
velvet trees with
orange leaves
and armies of feet
percussing the turf.
A universe within a
universe:
waste away a day
to soak up the sun
till the creatures emerge,
ready to do it all
all over again.

I’m lost in the forest,
warm myself on the
feeling,
sweet melancholia;
breathe out the tension,
see how it parts the air,
soft to touch;
tear down the breakwaters,
let the waves rush in,
cleansing my being,
washing away
imperfection.

Exhale.
(I remember this).
We rediscovered the magic.
(Endless joy).
This is what we fell in love with.
(Until it ends).
I know you feel it, too.
(Faith restored).

I’m up in the woods:
a return to childhood,
or what we think
childhood was
like.

Now that it’s over,
how can anything else compare?

Sawdust

You never forget the feeling:
slats of sunshine through the bars,
a world outside four walls,
just like freedom
after all.

It’s hard to sit still
once you know it’s there,
out of your cell,
over that fence
and
out of yourself.

You’ll be chasing, always,
once you glimpse it
glinting
on the blade of that horizon,
and soon,
you’ll be out of breath,
panting, itching, fiending, scratching,
dying
just to cross the line
over to the other side.

(You tell yourself:
the next one should do the trick,
then you can go back home.)

It’s hard to stay still
once you’ve had a taste,
even though it will abrade you
and shave away your edges
until just your sawdust core
remains.

A channel opened irrevocably,
sometimes beautiful,
always dangerous,
never dull.
It doesn’t fill the space
but it helps you forget
it’s there.

You’ve never known a love like this
all your life
and love is pain
but love is purpose
and love does not discriminate.

But there is a place reserved for you
where the only sound is stillness
and the stiffening of limbs
as fading warmth flickers
and your heart falters
and the remaining
sinews of your
strength
snap,

finally,

and you think to yourself:
this is

okay.