Flashing frames of vintage film reels
flickering mental images flit-flit hitting
retinas with memory segments accumulated
from years of flailing, self-flagellating behaviours.
Hitting one's self with word nails, steel sharp vowels
reneging rapidly on promises, retracting and withdrawing ideals
stamping out any sense of belonging, sabotaging any potential
back into the wardrobe where no one can see you.
Switch on the projector. Rustling film crawls through sharp mechanisms
mechanically extracted memories flushed out of bones.
Break open and siphon out the marrow.
There is always tomorrow.
Thankyou time, withdrawing all sensibility
blinking once or twice each flicker a week
spending fleeting slivers engrossed in depleted
freak shows, speaking meekly of intentions to
overthrow inertia like some laden-down snagged camel
dragging the corpse of a deposed master by the ankles.
Anvils attached to each leg, arm and one around the neck
Don't be upset by that vision, it isn't real.
Instead reflect upon the times when you crushed the
steel burdensome weights like cotton-candy snakes,
coiled at first around sinew and stringy tendons,
thrown off like confetti, abandoned and sniffed at
like some sorry imagined magnet mangled bracelet
abandoned on the boiling substrate.
Stuff this stupid feeling of going backwards.
Lean forwards, push your weight full force supine
into the manacle, feel the pressing choke of the
yolk yanking at your enfeebled vertebrae.
Yell tall obscenities until this blasted thing
begins to drag dumb angel shapes
in the scorched earth.
I'm sick of this figure-of-eight state of play,
praying for the day when the same shit retreats
from every act preordained by some ghostly male
progenitor, a pale general with no horse to ride to war on.
Running sideways with one arm tucked behind his back
hiding crossed fingers that reveal that this whole thing is some
massive cosmic error.
So lay back and stop worrying.
There's no reason to regret neglecting the pursuit of wealth
only to find yourself in a place where material things are immaterial.
Lie down like a cat and feel the vibration from a trillion
tonnes of pointless earth pressing against your body, tearing your
atoms into ever smaller particles. It doesn't matter.
Laying on the bottom of the well floor
dry dust like flour
white dot signifying a higher power
high above black tube walls
a disc above like an unidentified visitor
from another world.
So lying there face up
waterless tube dropped down into
lungless earth rock
low as to the centre of magma heart
this is a clear metaphor
for feeling an eternal distance from normal.
Close my eyes and feel
a third person
who is it?
an imposter or saviour?
It is me without the burdens, weights and saddles
of memory or dreary trauma.
I lay here contemplating, feeling numb
Is this tube a grave or a rifled gun?
Wrestle sage voice, wise kind words spat out,
sitting flat out on the ground surrounded by rats
acting on impulses projectile-vomit scraps scraped
from compliments uttered by strangers meaning well,
dwelling on the other side of the black coin, the dark Queen
a deep well of insults going back to time immemorial
kind words are molecules in the slick inky depths,
memories sink but feelings bubble to the surface
sage voice speaks on lowered notes, noting times
when things were better, softly spoken tones making it
through the rejection filter. A younger fitter body
long dangly legs and blonde locks shocked by the stunned silence
sliding in between violent scenes, crying out pointlessly
Scenery that was green, grey-tinged with fall-out dust
the fall-out from arguments, pitchy shouting voices
failing to make a mark on the scars already laid open,
barking mad dogs starkly marking territories
reach for something liquid to shut out the voices.
Come in now !
Gather all come and see!
One more time, one more time
queue myriad slights of thought
like caverns covered in bat droppings
upside-down ideas flapping in the blank,
banking on some emerging idea to
spark a light instead of yet more
sights and sounds
of even the smallest hint
of thought, cue mental break-downs
so keep your powder dry to unleash on
minion-clowns crowding cretinous caverns
all eyes fixed on the mottled underground,
all ears tuning into the slightest sounds
...don't give away your position
crawl back into the
dark calm of
Smile this end accepting social blending
stalked eyes crabbing sideways around crowds
creeping with guile trying not to be noticed
hiding in full view chest puffed out
deciding whether to run or stay put
doubt smothered by pretending dances
advance or reject advances
hide or run full tilt
into walls or the arms of your clown self
spy crowds, take flight into darkened
recesses push deeper into enveloping
arms except these are clawed spiky
nasty death embraces where strangers
Hide true faces.
Dead future lays trails away at snail pace
placed tiles array against dark walls crawling
Glazed porcelain bays bathed in blood
Yet amazed by resilient defiant eyes
face emblazoned with web mask hiding
not dead yet, emaciated
Retraced steps reverse into reverberating halls
no pain in the room
Only lonely space
In a never time and place
Sick waves wash through abdominal halls
floods carry carrion scars
embarking on long walks in parks
treading orange leaves rotting in sighing dark
Pull coat collar high, hug face with faux fur
warmth only in some parts, others cold
emotions stir, mistakes glaring haunted gaze
stupid things said and done, betrayed
regretful stinging wind whispering sorry gusts
reset start again,
enough is enough.
What's it like to have a mum and dad?
Warm hugs, hot Sunday dinners
parent smile, kind shroud wrapping around
homely things sounds of birds singing
not empty spaces instead, wearing
dad's old clothes, trying to feel his ghost
inside woolen sleeves
child reaches out, searching
for the gaps, spaces as Autumn leaves
swirl through avenues, golden
shapes vacating mother tree
uprooted family, five down to three
casts back cascading days like cards sprung
arcs of spades, queens, hearts, clubs
unsuited, reversing songs sung in mirrors
backwards flung into memories mouthing
words already spoken, yet unspoken..
lost chances call to memory like dead friends
beckoning in the wrong direction like time
shredded in the path of traffic filled smog highways
a thousand lanes all heading in the ways you can't imagine
back to those moments of lost chances, lost opportunities
children laugh at your hiding expression
hidden from view, hide from your own redemption.
by Paul Sinclair