My mirror is an enemy

 

Konica12545

 

Lostness   (63)

 

 

My mirror is an enemy…

A zone of continual dissatisfaction
for someone humiliated by their own appearance.

In maleness
I already sensed myself
on eternal probation
under wary female scrutiny.

While, by beauty’s natural aristocracy,
fated to remain
hopelessly lower class.

 


 

 

Scanning a newspaper
next to the bed
it struck me how modern liberalism
looked aberrant amid history’s cruelty

(where “forgive, but remember”
seemed more prudent
than “forgive and forget”)

Much politics involved an imposition of will
by one group upon another
via law or force
as media stirred up complacency,
anger,
and impotence.

 

 


 

 

 

In illness-prone lives
biology
may assume greater interest
than missions to the stars.

Given my current
exhausted state
going out has a value
above staying put;
like hunting over gathering
(though these days women also get to hunt,
men stuck at home might still
lose status and esteem).

Here I cope with exclusion
from normality
but since sexuality
refuses to die
peace
proves elusive.

When loneliness drives me,
pushing through symptoms,
to social events
at times I experience an inkling
of being selected against
by evolution.

 

 

One recent challenge
to say something positive
about my life
almost provoked this reply:

“However submerged with uselessness
I have not entirely spared myself the effort
of attempting to think.”

 

Yet, that sounded a little too grand
so, instead,
changing the subject
by counter-question

I obtained a refuge
in silence.

 

 

 

(1993-1996)

 

(art/beauty/blogging/depression/drawing/illness/mental health/poetry/thoughts/writing)

 

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Breaking a spell

 

Konica12547

 

Lostness   (62)

 

 

 

Chess often resembled my life:
an unsuccessful search
for a mate.

 

I grew slowly possessed by the game.

On empty days it was simply too interesting;
mesmeric with alien beauty.

What began as something to exercise the mind
could gradually take it over.

I had made a bad choice
since laborious progress in this skill
meant little to others;
whereas similar efforts at art, writing, or music,
might attract some attention;
reducing isolation.

Better, then, to reverse course,
giving up an unproductive pursuit…

But I seemed unable to break the spell
or rekindle dormant passions
(though still frustrated by their loss).

Creativity had been eroded
through illness and depression
plus, a more disturbing possibility:
self-sabotage.

 

 


 

 

Later, I considered why these opinions felt compelling.

 

In a sense, we are also victims of our beliefs.

They may make us defensive, predictable, rigid.

(As extreme doctrines mould extreme followers.)

Should one expect people to criticise what they find essential?
Surely, too much is at stake?

A humble incentive for faith could be
being weary of thinking
and wanting another to do it.

Yet would pride admit such a reason?

 

 


 

 

Suddenly
a sunbeam
touched my arm

I thought of a particular girl
for the first time in years
which felt slightly odd
though
as I never ended a relationship
they all seem somehow unfinished
to me.

 

Perhaps only love
redeems
an existence like mine.

 

Will it ever

arrive?

 

 

 

(1994-1996)

(beauty/blogging/chess/lostness/mental health/poetry/thoughts/writing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like the blues

 

 

Konica12507

 

 

 

Lostness   (61)

 

 

Flamenco speaks into my wounds
like the blues…

Sounding through
this lost life
that may soon go unmourned

Vibrating
across these empty hands
no child will ever reach for
as I stay unmarried
and unloved.

 

Coping
with so much darkness
absorbs spiritual resources

mine feel almost
used up.

An existence of mainly
lying around
exhausted by illness
trying passive activities
which fail at masking grief
while missing creativity

Unable to enjoy
what little I can do
or fully escape inside
some heartless cocoon
of the cerebral.

 

Struggling again
with self acceptance
and embracing imperfection
I ponder
how easily hate arrives
once we interpret action
in negative ways
how hostility takes offence
where not intended
(justifying
preformed antipathy)
eroding consideration
or even the social lubricant
of manners.

 

I muse over advice for happiness
listing:
purpose, relationship, variety, attitude, health,
inner peace.
My score is zero, out of six:
aimless, alone, in monotony,
misery, sickness and turmoil.

But does seeing my plight
in tragic terms
shield me
from its paltriness?

 

I might need a decent fuel
of lies
to push aside depression

Since recent dreams fill
with the dead
a situation
unexpected
before middle age.

I have merely learned
helplessness
facing slow destruction
by inexorable forces
in crushing
isolation.

 

And it occurs to me that

among other things

love
is also
not always wanting
to be somewhere else.

 

 

 

(1993-1994)

 

(art/beauty/blogging/drawing/mental health/music/poetry/thoughts/writing)

 

 

Underlain by sex

 

Konica12511

 

Lostness   (60)

 

 

I need a metaphysical vacuum cleaner
for the soiled carpet of my soul.

 

Where are higher powers
when you want them?

 

“No lie in the sky!”  sounded one atheist slogan
during unbelieving rage
days upon which, looking at our planet, it seemed
maybe gods should also ask forgiveness
from creatures suffering
subject
to such creation

Here happiness appeared an irrational state
with misery and anger
taking typical positions
behind morality
against onrushing evil tides

Refusing contentment
until situations were put right
thus assuring vexation

(As argument demanding agreement
ensures its own frustration)

Perfectionism
defers living
to search after unreachables

Trying too hard
denying animality
buffoon versus baboon
or remembered child
that messed his pants
shamed before a looming parent
when my arse followed me
like a judgement.

 

There
beneath ethics
lurks aesthetics.
Beauty
underlain by sex
fired through hormones
hence desire overcomes distaste
then other bodies turn
ingestible.

 

 

In the end
at two extremes
we find
those seeing all
as evidence of divine presence
opposing those seeing the same
as showing only
divine absence.

 

Yet
if people who abhor reality
require religion more

what about this particular
isolation…

Might it grow so intense
I’d begin mumbling at deities
(while lacking faith in their actuality)
merely from an urge to complain?

Perhaps
even confessing
I need
a metaphysical vacuum cleaner
for the soiled carpet
of my soul.

 

 

 

(1993)

 

(art/atheism/blogging/drawing/life/lostness/mental health/poetry/thoughts/writing)

 

Thinking about women

 

Konica12528

 

Lostness   (59)

 

 

Entangled by illness, yet still thinking about women…

 

If only I didn’t adore them so much.

 

I am mired here
amid lingering discontents
of the unloved

Alone
in a city filled with strangers
its female population
imagined
uttering many thousand variations
on “No”.

Recollecting times
women have given me a challenging look
and feeling uncertain whether it meant
“Don’t you dare speak to me!”
or
“Speak to me: I dare you!”

Then breaking eye-contact
over fear of offence.

 

Even beauty
can intimidate.

 

Recalling
when well enough for travel by bus
occasionally seated next to women
like a hungry man ignoring food
faking nonchalance
avoiding her gaze
or potential discomfort
should any trace of desire
leak from this empty chamber
called a heart.

 

Suffering an invisible disability
enables my passing as “normal”
although it shows no reason
to be lacking status

That happens once maleness
(valued through doing
rather than being)
becomes too sick for achievement
hence seen as socially useless.

 

Just fantasies persist
around she who might love me
as I would love her

Which never occurs.

 

How difficult
transcending pain
where it clings to us
like slime.

 

Now I visualise myself
sitting outside
on the doorstep of life
hoping someone turns up with a key

Passing couples laugh
but nobody wants me
in their world

So I rest there
smiling
across despair

while the portal
remains

closed.

 

 

 

 

(1993-1994)

 

(art/blogging/depression/loneliness/lostness/mental health/poetry/thoughts/writing)

 

 

 

Slowly deleted

Konica12550

 

 

Lostness   (58)

 

 

Writing, because I cannot live…

 

Impatient from excess rest.
Thirsting for experience…

Physical problems reveal thought’s futility;
its empty hands.

Mind, fails to help: adding suffering.
Reflections undermining will.

 

Illness constrains activity…

 

Intensifying an unhappiness which going out might reduce,
at least, via diversion.

I remember once giving things up prematurely.
Now, persistence increases pain.

 

A phrase haunts me:

“You always love your second talent best.”

In my case, dropping art for music, and these struggles
to fit words together.

Occasional reveries still arise, about unexpected skill,
being found by experiment.

Though women and chess soon exposed my limitations
at new kinds of challenge.

 

Reality can become a stage for humiliation.

 

There are nights when even my dreams resemble third-rate TV:
inconsequential, or showing repeats.

Perhaps sickness also diminishes the unconscious?
Some inner shrivelling
as I endure this lasting absence of human warmth
across continued solitude
carrying an unwelcome burden
that is my sexuality.

Isolation tightens a cold embrace
while my genes get slowly deleted
from the database of existence.

I contrast the glamorous dead,
whose images stir passion beyond their graves,
with my own disappearance
seen as aesthetic cleansing.

 

The longer I remain alone, the uglier I feel.

 

Hence those fantasies of transformation
envisaging exile’s distressed profundity, yielding,
amid a comforting, attractive,
shallowness.

 

Beauty may only be “skin deep”
but that is as deep
as many want to go.

 

 

 

(1993)

 

(beauty/blogging/depression/ideas/loneliness/mental health/poetry/thoughts/writing)

 

Beloved other

 

Konica12509

 

Lostness   (57)

 

 

In art, I seek a beauty denied me by reality.

 

My current creative sterility prompts the question…

Having stopped making art I wish to see, why expect strangers to produce it?

Should we anticipate satisfaction from those who do not share our needs?

 

In any case, art leaves untouched longings
for human presence…

 

Some single
beloved other
so far unfound.

 

Can I even picture her
while lying here
lovelorn and useless,
unable to heal
my own wounds?

An existence less about freedom
than rendering confinement bearable
when trapped by invisible bonds of sickness
which frustrate escape
through worsening symptoms
until prostration results.

Constant pain and fatigue grow familiar
yet loneliness remains harsh.

Being submerged under nature’s injustice
physically and aesthetically challenged

 

Life becomes a grey trudge of disappointment
marred by desire.

 

The city turns into a more exhausting place
for feeling isolated.

Staying in saves energy
and self-esteem.

Irrational hopes occasionally propel me toward social situations
but efforts go predictably unrewarded.

I remember my father’s voice, saying,
“What woman in her right mind, would want to go out with you?”

Unfortunately, he had a point.

My relationship prospects seem dismal
across this health divide.

 

Each time I come home alone, marks another failure.

And I always come home alone.

 

 

Caged by illness
like punishment
without a crime

 

My body
is my fate.

 

 

 

(1991-1993)

(beauty/blogging/drawing/depression/mental health/poetry/portrait/thoughts/writing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tormented by blue sky

 

konica12502-e1521394589531.jpg

 

Lostness   (56)

 

 

Craving touch, in a rather un-English way…

 

At times, feeling like some warm person, misplaced,
amid cold cultures…

I still have romantic dreams about unapproachable women,
who might sneer, behind tinted glass, as they pass me:
sitting by the bus stop
with library books and photocopied poetry,
in a carrier bag.

Then, while lifting my telephone
(which, being very long silent, I check remains working)
there comes an autobiographical idea for a story, called
“Not having friends”.

But was that situation entirely my fault?
People could have made attempts to befriend me.

I remember little interest, toward myself, emerging from anyone.

 


 

 

Impressions

 

 

Impressions move
among solitude
and disappear.

 

Mornings
waking too far under
for faith I shall rise

Illness
taking so much away

Alone on a bed
sensing things fade

Forced letting-go
yet wanting return.

 

 

Around open windows
curtains wave softly

Light
bouncing off leaves.

Tormented by blue sky
this body
hungry to respond

Against existence, slipping
through
these unheld fingers

Where each day sees an absence
of grace
love
or beauty
from my world.

 

Later
with evening closing in
I noticed a faint shadow
resembling smeared pencil-marks
across the white wall.

It evaporated, gently,
as the sun
went down.

 

 

And
I wondered
how many others
now wane
neglected
in their rooms?

 

 

 

(1992)

 

(beauty/blogging/depression/ideas/loneliness/mental health/poem/thoughts/writing)

 

Fragile immunity

Konica12551

 

Lostness   (55)

 

 

For living each day as if it were my last,
I need to be fitter than this.

 

Not spending the time exhausted, housebound, and alone.
With a sensation of wearing an invisible, full-body,
pain suit.

 

Fewer things connect me to life, now.

 

I recall certain people reacting to my distress like a threat,
directed at the fragile immunity of their optimism.

 

Yet perhaps it could seem less oppressive to see suffering as meaningless,
rather than stemming from a higher power intending destruction?

 

 


 

 

I turn, clutching my pillow.
Falling, briefly, into a dream about absurd music theory:
describing relations between dominant and submissive,
then its perversion, via the demented fourth.

 

 


 

 
I wake, aching thoroughly…

As though beaten by unknown assailants
during sleep.

After forcing myself to wash and dress,
comes a need for more rest.

Energy winding down
across wasted hours
spanned by emptiness
where nothing is resolved.

While I lie, pressed with visions
of oblivion:

one that leaves no legacy
or love
only flawed attempts at beauty
amid some art and thoughts
which remain
unread.

 

Soon it grows dark, again
as, silently, I whine
against such fading
into night.

Any efforts to move forward
still find me squirming
around the hook
of fate.

 

How useless knowledge can feel
when we are unable
to act
upon it.

 

 

 

(1991-92)

 

(blogging/writing/philosophy/poetry/mental health/illness/depression/loneliness)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First blogiversary!

Konica12499

Purple phase

 

As a teenager I attempted to visually evoke sensations of energy and beauty,
stirred in me by music.

(I include some pen images, done at age 16.)

Later, taking up guitar, Hendrix was a major influence.

Even now, after 30 years of being too unwell to play,
I remember wonderful feelings during improvisation,
ascending on a solo,
ideas flowing from my fingers.

Not realising how short this phase would be, I made no recordings.
Nothing remains of those musician days.

Art, poetry, music, philosophy, chess…
multiple interests eroded by illness.

Reading or writing are left to me.
And the struggle to put words here;
while I still can.

 

 

Konica12498

 

 

One year ago, today, I posted my first poem.

No-one noticed.

118 posts later I almost reached 100 followers,
but have got stuck for several weeks,
like a runner unable to step across the line…
at 99.

Growing an audience is difficult for me.
Due to poor health I lack stamina for social media, networking,
or spending much longer on other blogs.

Hence I gain new visitors by chance: via the WordPress reader.
A rather slow process.

 

On the positive side:
I managed to maintain a regular weekend blogging schedule despite many problems;
and “likes” are up in recent months.

 

So, to all my readers…

 

Thank you!

 

Konica12500

(I hope you will return next week for…

Lostness  (55))

 

 

 

 

(Mental health/drawing/art/music/beauty/blog/blogging/poetry/writing)