One Plus One Equals…

Pathos In The Park
I step outside of me.
I am two.
The backwards bassline and
Insistent horns play out the
Joyful music of all that is best in life.
Me one, the actor who doesn’t know
He’s on stage, is spellbound as the
Song changes, the drums pound, then
Ten thousand people, maybe more,
Fall to an awed hush and reverent murmur.
But me two is torn.
Torn from the first me,
Torn from the real me,
Torn from his friends,
Torn from the world.
He cannot bear to look around,
But dare not turn his gaze inwards.
Triumph and disaster wrestle for
Control of their unwilling host.
Neither can win, neither dare lose.
Mutually assured destruction,
To say nothing of the fallout.

Nine months later, I am almost whole,
And I sit down to write.

——-

“There is no hour that has not its births of gladness and despair, no morning brightness that does not bring new sickness to desolation as well as new forces to genius and love. There are so many of us, and our lots are so different, what wonder that Nature’s mood is often in harsh contrast with the great crisis of our lives?” – George Eliot, Adam Bede

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What’s So Unpleasant About Being Drunk?

The Red, White, or Rosé God
The first glass helps him sleep.
The second glass makes him dream.
The third glass turns his dreams
To nightmares, his loves to hates
And his every thought to a drop
Of slow-acting deep-burning poison.

He hates the glasses as viciously
As they love him; they hover close
To him, as moths to a flamethrower.
in vino veritas, but truth is not beauty;
He seeks beauty in fictions, half-truths
And elegantly crafted lies; his only
Truth is the bottom of the fourth glass.
He does not fear the reaper;
He fears the held-up mirror.

——-

‘And if we sip the wine, we find dreams coming upon us / Out of the imminent night.’ – D.H. Lawrence, Grapes from Birds, Beasts and Flowers

Not With A Bang

The Sky Is Dark
The sky is dark; the once wide vistas are
Cloaked and cloaked with the smoke of a
Thousand burned cities. The stench and
Rotten reek of these infernos is inescapable,
It penetrates, perverts, poisons the memory
Of everything that once was lovely: fresh
Bread, soft and warm, yearning for a drizzle
Of oil or knob of butter; a new-mown cricket
Pitch under an unexpected April sun; the
Glorious heady sweat of their entangled sheets after.

Now all is fire.
Now all is charred putrescence.
Now all is screams.

They are fainter now, fainter every
Too, too slow-passing hour.
Their hillside cave may be
Sanctuary enough for now,
But they know it will not be long.

The bottle is untouched;
The smell of the bonfire is too
Strong, too omnipresent.She
Tries again that little trick that
Made him fall in love with her,
But expecting a response from
Him now is too much to ask.

At last they hear it. Destruction borne on flaming
Wings, like Milton’s fallen angels risen anew,
Mushroom clouds of fury and untamed malice.
They look. They stand. They turn. They kiss.
It comes so quickly there is no time for pain.

The sky is dark.

——-

‘Out of sight and shot they flew, and yet were ever present, and their deadly voices rent the air. More unbearable they became, not less, at each new cry. At length even the stout-hearted would fling themselves to the ground as the hidden menace passed over them, or they would stand, letting their weapons fall from nerveless hands while into their minds a blackness came, and they thought no more of war, but only of hiding and of crawling, and of death.’ – J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King