poetry, Prose

Instead of killing yourself

 

By Louise Anne Buchler

http://www.starfish-woman.blogspot.com/

 


 

Instead of killing yourself
You could make a cup of coffee, peel an orange, play a song you loved when you were thirteen, gangly, and coming undone.

You could paint your nails turquoise, lie in the sun, master Russian, watch Hitchcock films, read a classic novel, meditate on Kafka, and re-think existentialism, your life, your hair.
Watch trains, wave as they pass, stand on the bridge, feel small, feel big, take up space, walk, count every step, run, run faster, catch your breath, hold it, breathe out, let go, the universe as small as the palm of your hand, dispersed dandelion wishes, let go, let go and in letting go hold on
Say I love you, say I hate you, write a letter to your teenage bully, write a letter to someone you once loved, write a letter with all you wish to say and do not send it.

Lie on the grass, lie on the sand, plant something, keep it alive, feel the mulch under your nails, smell the wet breath of soil, pull out the weeds that choke and mar, make space for spring in your heart.

Tell a secret. Keep one. Fold an origami crane, unfold, fold an origami you, unfold. Listen to an aria, listen to Bach, listen to the symphony of voices in small spaces, pick out words, write them down. Observe everything.

Instead of killing yourself
Get a cat. Get 12 cats. Get one more. Feed yourself small spoons of kindness. Swallow. Repeat. Laugh at one thing, let the laughter engage your whole body; laugh at the madness, stupidity and beauty around you – your inner cynic may vomit (that’s ok). Remember your first race, remember the finish line. Remember yourself at 5,6,7 – remember yourself with love, the pictures you drew, the smell of sugar paper and oil crayons, Defend the scabby kneed, jewel of you, cast a line all the way back, champion that heart through the decades, wrap it in tissue paper, keep it safe in a cardboard box, champion all the incarnations of you. Remember how it felt when you understood that we will all die.

Try not to worry. Try to stay. Focus on sitting still. Focus on moving forward. Focus on the scudding clouds, the clarity of blue, September. Do not let the whim of others alter who you are. People come. They also go, they drown in puddles, they sail us over oceans of self-doubt. Sometimes they love us. Sometimes they understand. Sometimes they release us with a hook-wound back into the sea. Bid them well. Tread water, float, swim. Don’t stop swimming.

Brave explorer, I know you have climbed a hundred metaphorical mountains before breakfast – every damn one an Everest expedition, I know something of world weariness, the longing to be still and Novocain numb, here, where everything ceases to matter, that unbearable anaesthesia; it’s a quiet death and there is never a guarantee on the prescription pamphlet that you will thaw from this freeze – like a celebration roast on your birthday, or that change will come, running down the street with the laboured tinkling of a nostalgic ice cream truck or that you will wake a different person, who sucks positivity like a boiled sweet, a mantra of live! Live! LIVE, in your ears. I hear you, I see you, I send my love to you in droves of doves, a deep pelican beak abundant with fish, a handmade kite on a windy day, “a bright red sloop in the harbour” the suicide poets dancing mid air, their words like seagulls declaring their truth – statements are enough in broken climates. We are adorned in these miseries, the heart’s last vestige, it is a poor fit, we are all runway models with broken limbs, birds who forget their wings, we are stuttering like vintage cars, we are negotiating with our ancestors. We are not broken in need of repair, we never ignore the elephant in the room – instead we festoon it with marigolds, offer up a cup of tea. We know the impermanence of life; we consult with graves every day, toes dipping the surface, surveying the depth. We write our eulogies on the body, the staccato tattoo throbs the ending, we are anxious all the time.

I find a forced conclusion – writing it down I imagine we meet on an autumn day, the first leaves scatter like old news – our hands are cold. We sit in silence, the air perfumed with chimney smoke and the taste of green. We are held in the moment, a devastating despair, we face it together, we sound out sadness, mouthfuls of vowels swelling in gutfuls , escaping the gape, they flap and glide – our glossy winged birds, squawking and calling, diving like bombers, circling like vultures, spinning with sorrow. Perhaps we cry, perhaps we feed them bread crumbs and worms, perhaps we load slingshots with tiny stones and shoot into the void, perhaps we build an ornate birdcage, perhaps we become scarecrows, perhaps we release them, perhaps they return. “I am not ok” we say, “I don’t know if I ever will be” – for a moment the sky clears, we are a strange tragic chorus, we are a sad repetition. The birds abandon their squawking. We nod in recognition.

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poetry, Prose, Reviews

fences

Inspired by the 2016 film Fences (click here)
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spin the ball with me…hold that leather skull in your hand it’s just baseball

it could be rocket science ingredients leaping from tube to tube with the fear of fire and the desire to turn into something cold and remembered

in baseball folks are running from plate to plate sometimes you miss the ball like it’s a force you can’t see…an idea you can’t free…a divorce in your head maybe

an old man is out building a fence…he buys sturdy wood…he wears a smile and a stare that crawls into your bones

he churns up the naked loam with an old spade…his hands cling to the wooden neck the same way a jaded man fondles a bottle of something strong enough to wash emotions away

“one day I’ll finish this damn thing” he tells himself…earth, sweat and spray rinse dense memories he cannot leave behind unless he presses his lips to the gentle kiss of a gin bottle

old, polished, strong to the taste just like a boy he remembers and the man he forgets

 

 

PhilosopherPoet

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Philosophy, Prose

into the jungle

It was the first night. I was in a car with three three other men. We were greeted by a dark skinned, 6 foot tall behemoth. His beard hung from his face like a heavy scroll. He bent down. He peered into the car with abyss-black eyes. The first thing I noticed were the tight leather gloves cloaking his hands, ripe for a killing. Continue reading

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Articles, Prose

Monologue from Crave (written by Sarah Kane)

The following is a monologue I came across from (what is quickly becoming) my favorite playwright, Sarah Kane. How did I find her? Well, I was browsing a this link about the top playwrights.

It was about the top 10 famous – or terrifying, to be article specific – playwrights. Many of them were the ‘classics’ like Arthur Miller and Samuel Beckett, Jean Paul Sartre. Something that would cause (anyone with an iota of culture in them) to raise an eyebrow, or at the very least leave a footnote in the conversation.

Yes, conversations have footnotes. It’s those fragments that leave with you into the night when you’re having that last cigarette before bed, or you’re lying comatose steadily watching the spiral of the ceiling fan. So good these bits are, you hesitate when reaching for the toilet roll, after you’ve taken a meaningful shit.

This is what Sarah Kane leaves buried in the best (and sometimes the more troubled) of us.

PhilosopherPoet

“And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy’s and talk about the day and type your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don’t listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you’re sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the the programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your
and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you’re late and be amazed when you’re early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I’m black and be sorry when I’m wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I’d known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you’re angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you’re gorgeous and hug you when you’re anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I’m next to you and whimper when I’m not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don’t and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I’m rejecting you when I’m not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I’d ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don’t believe me and have a feeling so deep I can’t find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I’d get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don’t want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don’t mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it’s empty without you and want want you want and think I’m losing myself but know I’m safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don’t deserve any less and answer your questions when I’d rather not and tell you the truth when I really don’t want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it’s all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it’s a beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.”

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Prose

below

He moved in a sway of movement, half-rippled time flowed through his bones. He remembered being at the restaurant, the smell of cigarettes and the slow juice that crept out of his steak. He was there only for a moment. Everyone else was ready for the party, dressed in pressed shirts. He arrived there with sandals and the shirt he forgot to wash.

 

Now he sat alone in his bed. Lying in the ether of his blankets and watching the electronic images flow through the screen. Is it possible to feel unfinished with your own emotions? It was eleven o’clock and he could still feel the tipsy mist stroking his head with a strange hand. Pathos they call it. When a character is almost miserable. When you’re stuck between the fork prongs.

 

He cleared his throat with the mischief of a cough. His head buried into unconscious content of the duvet. He could start to dream, and smell the lacquer of the future. Because dreams were real. The slow effervescence of quiet waved away the ticking chaos. When you sleep you are no longer feeling. You are riding through dialogue, and counting the dog-eared pieces of color.

 

It is morning now. He sloughs off the creases in his head. He sits down and waits for the kettle to finish losing its temper. He dips his lip into the soft warmth of coffee. He can breathe again. The last drops gather together in a brown crown, circling the depth. It reminds him of the dream that lies at the bottom of everything. It watches the quiet voices start to murmur something about the underside of our minds. They are there in the bed with us, much like the static coffee droplets and our scrambled hair, for a little while.

 

 

PhilosopherPoet

 

 

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Prose, S.S.B

Chapter 20

This morning Gregory folded his clothes neatly in the basket. They were fresh off the line and he then decided to make sure that everything else that he did, that morning, involved some of sort of cleaning. If he were to be totally truthful…he hated cleaning up. It was a personal nightmare. It felt like he brain was slowly eroding away with each menial step he continued to take. Although he’d now learnt that phrase “Someone’s got to do it”. It rang in his head like an equally annoying alarm clock.

While cleaning up his radio blurted out Bon Jovi’s song, Living on a Prayer. Although whenever the chorus came he bellowed out “aaaah-ha living on my owe-hone”. It seemed to comfort him now that he was making his own way in the world. It wouldn’t have been his first choice, but he was starting to like some of the choices he was starting to make.

“Fuck you.”

The following song was a Katie Perry song, and a pet hate. He abruptly turned off the radio, and continued to shuffle through his pairs of socks. Since cleaning up and washing up after himself, he’d started becoming a lot more forgiving with certain knit-picks he’d had in the past. For example, he’d had an issue with socks. Gregory was by no means a perfectionist, although socks had started to wander into that category. Gregory had had the belief that socks had to match…no matter what If he ever saw some forgetful person wearing to different kinds; he’d mentally berate them for being so sloppy and untidy.

Since he’d moved out of the house, a lot of Mr. Tweedle’s opinions had begun to change. Unfortunately the subject of socks was one of them. This is because he simply couldn’t be arsed to fold them up so they would look pretty for a week or two. There wasn’t enjoy time in the day to spend an extra twenty minutes, going through the of sock folding. Instead Gregory he came up with a much better idea. The idea was to have a sock bucket. One little bin where you clean the clean little soldiers ready to be unleashed upon the world. It was far more creative, not to mention that everyday now had an element of surprise in it.

Gregory threw everything in his sock bucket, and left. He had business to do.

 

PhilosopherPoet

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