Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Patrick's Revenge

There is no other person
to save me from my frame
just terse misunderstanding
and the hunger to be right.

Friends are to be ignored,
jeered and spat upon,
and people you don't even know
turned into heroes,

for feelings are not relevant,
and thoughts should not be clear
and spirit is a hammer when you lack it.
I did not need to be listened to,

although I listened hard,
I did not need response of any kind,
though I responded kindly and in kind
at every opportunity for love.

I held back what I knew
from ears too sensitive for truth,
and breathed three times
when lies were freshly planted

for that is how it often is
with children, 'cos I knew
there was agreement in the richnesses
of words, the generosity of the soil -

not you, you bitter parasite,
it was not for you I made you great,
that I answered half-formed cries,
but because you had such dire need of faith

and I had some to give - it seemed
a fair exchange, at the time,
that you might, if not reciprocate,
at least allow for truth,

in the hope that one day you might
track it down, with reporter's hat
and detective's cape, in some dusty
library at the end of the world -

but life cracks even through those stacks,
projects a shameful monster shadow
over every word you read
til the world becomes so narrow

so full of threat and evil,
that you can only criticize
whatever aspect of yourself you can find
in books, the only real life you have left.

I'd say goodbye, but I'm not really sure
if hello was not all in my mind from the first,
and the truth and beauty recognized
was only ever all my own.

I wanted to believe each day
in a shaped world of apt quotation,
but it only was me finding it
in the end, despite it all

and finally the contradiction
could no longer be hidden...
what works for you, without exclusion,
excludes the rest of us without exception.

2 comments:

Rusty Kjarvik said...

I am taken by this piece, utterly inspired to respond with my two cents. I want to say again and again how I appreciate your recent comments. I feel I've finally started to make headway on my own development/craft of prose. I watched a documentary on WS Merwin once where at 18 he announced to an elder, professional author that he would be a poet, to which his elder responded with something to the effect, "at 18, you think you have something to write, but you don't, so, for practice, do translation" for me, dream description is a kind of translation, where with greater accuracy I find ever more "incantatory prose" as you wonderfully put it. Is this piece a translation of memory? I think you hit the nail on the head with your attitude towards faith and human relationship. As always a visit to your writing here is full of sheet calm and witty enlightenments. Be well.

Rusty Kjarvik said...

*sheer calm