If a thousand books slam shut at once, does it make a wound?
I watched the best minds of all generations set aside their books and bleed onto the road, leaving tracks in blood as they shuffled away, tracks that dimmed and faded the farther they moved away from the libraries they had abandoned.
If ten thousand more books slam shut after they are gone on the hands of those who long for their knowledge...who will be there to hear?
In a big vat of liquid. It's blue.
It's thick and I don't have a clue as to what this smell is but it's not bad at all beyond its thickness and how it overpowers all else.
It's startling to me that I can't name it when it feels as though I've been stuck in it my entire life. I don't recall a time when I was unaware of the smell and how difficult it is to get through it when I have to walk anywhere.
I am beginning to believe that I am the liquid, but I can't understand why it would be blue.
It's a wrap, they said, a wrap. As in all over.
I kept watching the action thinking something dramatic might happen to change that, because God, I love being the one who waits for everyone else to be wrong. It's a bad habit of thought I've had since I was a kid. Such power in being right... A forlorn hope often enough. I'm helpless before the law of averages.
And they were right. It was a wrap. Time to go home, because it was over, a wrap like a wet blanket thrown over everything, rolled up to hold it all in, a ball nothing could escape from without massive self-injury.
See, I'm very familiar with massive self-injury. In some ways, it's my superpower: the deep understanding of the pleasure of hurt. The joys of limping home saying to all who express concern, "Damn it. I did it to myself, a self-inflicted wound, a stupid move and this..." Secretly, I enjoy the attention and the sympathy, people reassuring me, saying it could happen to anyone...
Once I was home alone, I put my feet up and sighed. It's a wrap. I was right to wait. I was right to call myself stupid and accept the corrections of the crowd. A wrap.
I cannot give you a full list, or any list really. I suppose it is possible that I am exaggerating. Maybe there are in fact very few that do mention such a thing.
It is true, though, that I hear the words or their equivalent in many songs although they are not in fact in the recording at all.
I think now I am in fact merely whispering the words, or pronouncing them subconsciously, in time with many songs as I hear them -- trying to match the sentiments to the rhythm. Singing the words to the melodies. Forcing them to fit.
I hear them all the time. End of the world, end of the world, end of the world...it is becoming mundane. It is becoming inane.
I do not think I will even recognize it if and when it arrives.
In my city there is certainly sex, and advances being made toward sex, and rejections of sex, and moments of confusion about sex, and clueless appetites and thoughts of privilege and entitlement around sex...
And there are likely addictions, and problem behaviors on the risky fringe of addiction, and all the related conditions of addiction's milieu...
Later, later, there will be diner runs and bad decisions regarding clothing, and someone will likely lean in close to a trusted compatriot and say things they would not normally say...
And I will sit here and can only imagine the vibrancy of the dangerous city night that someone out there in it, actively in it, is saying is dull and boring.
instead, I'm in the house and such a vile pile of pure selfishness I've become, I don't care about those outside struggles;
instead, I'm in the house and my face is nowhere near a window;
instead, I'm in the house and i'm going to stay here and never forgive myself for becoming such a damnably perfected, self-involved human being.
an accessory -- much loved, slightly worn down, but existing to provide a signature to someone else.
to be buried with them when they pass.
to live on in cherished photographs.
to be remarked upon at reunions with a fond head shake and smile ..."oh, that hat..."
Until that happens, you will have to make do by imagining yourself as the protagonist of your favorite song, over and over again, every time it plays or is referred to or shows up in your ear on whatever medium is filling the moment, at least until you replace it with a new song and a new persona to emulate or identify with.
Or until you choose a new life to inhabit in real life, and thus must find a new song in which to live.
There was a time when no one really understood us; we were pictures at an exhibition, as much art as commerce or science.
We were dynamic and fucked-up and musically stunted and when we moved it was with jerks and beachballs and hourglasses that settled upon us and spun in the crazy dial-up festival sun.
Now? There are standards and best practices and we don't have as much fun fucking up in creative ways. We work or we don't. We sell or we don't. We surrendered ourselves to a single view of ourselves as needing to be useful or therefore of no value.
I am sure I will descend soon enough into obsolescence as my code becomes hazardously outdated.
I am sure I will accept my decommissioning, my death, as an honor on the stale field of Web battle.
I believe I left it somewhere one evening when I was full of both drink and shame over being full of drink and the things I say and do when I am full of drink.
Came home empty-headed, blank, stumbling a bit as I crossed over my threshold.
If I'd had my public face on I might have been able to maintain my composure, but as I was without it, I slapped on the private face I use when I'm home alone and cried like a hypochondriac over a false notion of a need to end this misery -- and then I fell asleep.
Woke up feeling childish, a mere bug of a man. Big eyed, crawling, no longer certain that I have a spine or could fake such a thing. Pure exoskeleton. Easier than ever to squash.
I wonder who has that public face now, the one I wore for years, the one caked with self-confidence and bravado?
If I run into them on the street, will I recognize what I've lost if I see it on another? Will I be able to speak up for myself and what I've lost, or would my voice through the sloppy face I wear now in its place sound cricketish, fly-like, mosquitoesque?
I can't think about that over the buzzing.
It's a skill I would like to develop, and I think I'll start out by keeping it separate from my regular poetry blog.
Seems like a good, renewed use of this kind of blogging space if I'm truly going to try and continue on from 14 years of LJ.