Today was a tough day. Long tiring. I have at least a dozen titles/ideas for love poems about my most recent experience of same that I thought I might write this month that I never got around to. Titles I jotted down included: fairy tale love, five answers to the same question, how we got to this point: part 1, invested, MSG, questions i now know i’ll never ask, reconnection, rid, soul mates, tainted, the moment of hindsight, the spare, to those who wait among others. I guess some of those might get written one day. Just not today. Nor tomorrow neither.
Other topics I consider were: love of books, love of planet, love of land & billionaires — their love of money versus their non-love of humanity. All of which might well have produced some interesting explorations. Yet the one I went with came to me quite quickly through the flittering eyelids of halfsleep.
from a foreign field
end of an exhausting day : babblebox on in background : company as i chairdoze : when my fave Escape begins : & i am reenergised
whether it be — golden farmland : mist-ridden valleys : lumpy mountains : windswept seas : hemlike hedgerows : aching lakes : weeping brooks : ancient sprites : wildflower fields : one hundred types of rain : or chocbox houses : in tiny hamlets : with absurdly wonderful : gobstopping names
no matter which area — Cornwall : Cotswolds : Cumbria — Devon : the Downs : Lake District — Shropshire : Warwickshire : the Shire — New Forest : Sherwood Forest — the moors : the fenlands : the locations list nearly endless
cannot help myself : though often wish i could : feel inexplicably torn : that some small part : of my traitorous soul : is & always will be : for ever England
Northing much needs to be said about today’s poem.
the distance between us
when you fly over it : really is extreme : but we’re talking : more : than mere geography : more than : dry flood plains : & barren dirt : for despite the multitude : of commonalities : we gleefully discovered : initially : it seems : different :: lifestyles : environments : modes of communication : (one of us : is loquacious : overshares ; one only gives : information : when crowbarred out) : risk-taking : bravery quotients : willingness to dream : desires for happiness : even : love levels itself
: mean :
since this morning : our souls tread softly : on the shells of grey : shrike-thrush eggs : crushing all song
Visits to my parents’ farm during New Moons have always been mystical. I like walking over land I cannot quite see. Beautiful blackness in all directions. Only the frail light of starlight millions of years old to guide my way (hell, that’s good, why isn’t that in the pome? haha).
I’m not satisfied with the last lines, but as I only started this an hour or so ago, I’m running out of time & will just have to let it stay as is for now.
i believe very little
but i truly believe
every human soul
true country dark
every 100 days, minimum
somewhere far from
a light polluted city
when the moon is in
recovery mode, & the earth
reflects back the black
birth of the universe
only alone in the vast absence
& endlessly reverberating silence
we find how much dark matters
Last night, dear friend & wonderful poet, Louise Nicholas, launched her first, very beautiful, full-length collection of poems, The List of Last Remaining through 5 Islands Press. It was a fabulous warm funny (mildly drunken) night.
Today, after dipping my way in & out of the collection, I have taken the last line of her poem, “How to scale a fish” & tweaked it to use as the title of today’s poem.
& so it’s come : to that time : of life : to once again : take out the tools of excavation : to dust off : my brooms & tiny brushes : sharpen my trowels : put pads on my ageing knees : & get down in the pit : in the dirt : dig down through the layers : the strata of my happiness : & my grief : to uncover the bones : & broken pottery : & terracotta floors : of true love : lost : of childhood : lost : of embryos : washed down drains : blood on thighs, over tiles, over everything : & to keep digging : until all that’s left to see : is an empty grave : a soul shaped hole : a silver wash : of moon : light : & salt
Some months ago, one of the finest actors of our/any generation died after an incident with drugs went wrong. At the time there was much speculation about what caused it. There was also an abundance of slightly sickly, sentimentalising of “the soul of the tortured artist”.
Back then, I PDFed a few of the finer examples I read. Today I tweaked & played with some of the more sick & sycophantic phrases, shaping them into a homage to suffering. (I have not acknowledged my sources, for fear of embarrassing them.)
I ran out of time to finish it, but there’s something there I like.
addiction haunts every artist
barely disciplined helplessness
we’re all familiar with darknesses force
if we keep the poison away, the elixir is lost
if we had everything there would be love, no desire
art mends what life shatters, so escape into our creations
torment & talent are inseparable
all the d words appear
drugs, done in a dark places in despair?
artists who’ve done deals with their demons
or rather rock star hubris, deliberately courting death
an arrogant doubtlessness they’re above the rules, above odds
the Faustian pact where only utter self-annihilation suffices
hostage possession obsession carnage
the price of prodigious creative vitality is premature & public mortality
fleeing from pain, transfigurance enables endurance of suffering
solitude & uncertainty are part & parcel of artistic expression.