Conceptual symptoms

 

Konica12548

 

Lostness   (68)

 

 

I seem to be reinfected by philosophy

 

and hope this relapse proves temporary

though thoughts
(some off-topic)
soon erupt like symptoms
through my head…

 

 

1

That single acts hold meaning
lacked in a totality

As each sentence, not whole language, makes its sense

So life could have many meanings
bound to separate events
rather than reflected overall.

Hence micromeanings
without a macromeaning.

 

2

If character results from experience plus memory
living fully in the present
might depersonalise.

 

3

Are death-instincts glimpsed via powers of shame
akin to programmed cell-death (apoptosis)
scaled up on social levels?

Feedback from others keeping us alive
while prolonged isolation fuels rumination,
even entropy.

 

4

Potential instability in those whose hatred of authority
masks desire
for its love.

 

5

People quoting “God is dead” as atheism:
neglecting metaphysical
bereavement.

 

6

Religion also stuck at the denial stage of grief.
For millennia.

 

7

Pride in our originality
aided with ignorance of history.

 

8

Ends corrupted by means.
An ethical sentiment.

 

9

Consciousness distributed
letting organisms tap into it
at a neural interface.

 

10

Screens replace ancestral campfires
gaining an attention primed across evolution
to motion
indicating agency…

 

 

 

Here occurred my own distraction.

 

Once hail began
tapping
upon the windowpane

beneath deep grey skies
of an England
where summer
may not quite
arrive

 

yet somehow
autumn

always does.

 

 

 

 

(2000)


(Artwork on the blog is mine: I hope you like it!)

(art/atheism/blogging/drawing/ideas/lostness/mental health/opinions/poetry/thoughts)

 

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Konica12557

 

Lostness   (64)

 

 

Unshared experience is lost to the world.

 

During struggles with oblivion
might fatalism offer solace
for a botched existence
by transcending the indignity
of randomness?

 

Infinity, god, and zero

 

flash across my mind
as if not quite understood
like signs in search of full meaning…

 

A sudden racket, from outside, interrupted these thoughts.

 

Noise invades private space
against our will.
Triggering vigilance.
Becoming harder to ignore
or endure.

 

I reached for distraction
via a bedside newspaper…

 

Reading, first,
that psychopaths share great success
at producing children.

(Possibly a better evolutionary strategy
than writing poems?
Though not the best advertisement
for female mate-choice.)

 

Next, an article on cryogenics.

Thus some rich Americans aspired to avoid
life’s traditional twin certainties:
death and taxes.

(“Truths are not self-evident,” I mumbled,
“Men being made unequal.
Rights find wishes, recast as law.”)

 

A headline mentions “Community care”.

Yet cities lack community,
and nobody cares.

(Presumably
“Neglect in the community”
sounded less appealing?)

 

A reader’s letter, praising divine creation,
bemoaned devilish influences.

(Why god created Satan
went unconsidered.)

 

A book review questioned fiction
spanning barriers of class and gender.

(Autobiography
should be a safer option;
given approved opinions?)

 

A survey revealed
celibates suffer twice the mortality rate
of men getting regular, weekly, sex.

“My situation is one long touch deprivation,”
I mutter, gloomily.

Having gone without such pleasure for years
perhaps there could be more
than mere hyperbole
to an admission that,

yes,

“I’m dying for it.”

 

 

 

(1996)

 

(anxiety/art/blogging/depression/drawing/ideas/illness/life/mental health/poetry)

 

 

 

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)

 

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)

 

Illumination’s alchemy

 

konica12504.jpg

Lostness   (54)

 

I fret upon the rubble of stories my ancestors fought over.

 

Should I turn from masochistic truth
toward lies to live by?

 

Once reality seems unbearable, faith may appear essential.

 

Yet, what if current religions fail to inspire?
Despite unwanted needs for community and authority
festering beneath victorious individualism.

Where a sacred vocabulary reveals hierarchy…
does holiness subvert equality?

 

 


 

 

Which path to follow?

 

Some decisions expose reason’s insufficiency.

 

Doubts are so fertile.

Not merely when facts can be cited on opposing sides,
or that assertions occur within time,
and memory is fallible…
but, since being taught to speak by others,
can one even be sure about the meaning of words
used to describe inner experience?

Moving away from philosophy
a personal question arises:
do I lack metaphysical capacities?
Am I simply deficient in certain feelings,
required for belief…

Like those associated with beauty:
as yearning lights up the beloved
in an aura of attraction
while strangers fall outside
illumination’s alchemy.

 

 


 

 

I consider my empty life…

 

If everything desired becomes unattainable, why continue to strive?

 

 


 

 

Now
amid enduring isolation
and illness
any rare examples
of female conversation
involving myself
tend to resemble an interview
concerning a job
for which
I am unqualified.

 

Though
occasionally
I meet women
who are indecisive
about their passion

they always know

it isn’t
me.

 

 

 

 

(1990-92)

 

(aphorisms/blogging/depression/ideas/mental health/opinions/poetry/thoughts/writing )

 

 

 

Jangled inertia

 

Konica12554

 

 

Lostness   (53)

 

In an indifferent universe, not loving oneself invites adversity.

 

I am also wary of conditional self-esteem:
which only accepts a “special” existence,
being intolerant toward the ordinary.

 

Could self-hatred make us incapable of a happy relationship…
even with ourselves?

 

Inner severity undermines attempts at kindness.

 

Abuse lives on through psychic forces.
Internal voices.
Always ready to attack.

 

I remember the child, looking to its mother for protection,
not realising she was a source of his father’s power.

 

Against injustice, hatred may feel like strength.

 

Prejudice as a default condition.
Ethics to rationalise aesthetics.

 

I was trapped behind this face.
Rejected for lacking beauty.

 

Could these perceptions be fought?

 

Many things might jangle the inertia of beliefs
but resistance needs overcoming for them to change.

 

I recall meeting people whose desire for control led to a doctrine
of personal invulnerability.
Claiming nothing happened without their assent.

As if illness and death were for wimps.

Unfortunately, they all had at least one
unpleasant surprise due
in old age.

 

 

Sensing my mind wander
after philosophy
then
a question loomed…

 

Am I still romantic enough
to imagine that some verbal answer
for the problems of life
will banish
despair?

 

 

 

 

(1990)

(psychology/mental health/depression/thoughts/ideas/opinions/aphorisms/poetry/writing/blogging)

 

 

 

 

Peripherality

 

Konica12549-1

 

 

Lostness   (52)

 

I had an idea for a story
about being always in the wrong place.

Just missing events that could lead to love,
beauty,
purpose.
By rounding a corner,
crossing a street,
moments too early
or too late.

I was going to call it “peripherality”.

But inspiration faded
through my lostness.

I never wrote it.

 

Unable to step twice into the same stream of consciousness.

 

Currently I lack energy for basic activities, let alone literary ones.
Once exhaustion strikes, mitochondria become as important as the muse.

I suppose it might be useful to train for leisure, like a job.
Yet illness ruins free time, along with working ability.

People retreat from me.
Perhaps they find even the thought of suffering unpleasant,
or threatening.

 

I especially regret not having friends,
now I’m too unwell to make any.

 

Does “Know thyself,” imply access to a library?
How about gaining knowledge in relation to others?

 

 


 

 

Lying here, isolated,
mind wandering,
imagining what is elsewhere…
am I truly present?

 

 

Dozing a little
I envisage
one day emerging
from this labyrinth
of unhappiness
via some dream-gate
blinking
in a radiant
new life.

Instead
pain has colonised
my body
which wakes
cramped
with emptiness
where bones ache
from the pounding
of nightmares.

 

 

 

(1989-90)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/depression/thoughts/ideas/poetry/writing/blogging)

 

 

Merciless neutrality

 

 

Konica12552

 

 

Lostness  (51)

 

 

Biological prisons can obscure their bars with love.

 

Marriage may reduce some potential chaos unleashed via active sexuality.

One hopes future generations will learn from our mistakes.

However, if children copy parents, adults need to embody
any change they wish to see.

 


 

 

Demanding coherence might encourage comforting illusions.

 

In a scientific age it appears more respectable to blame unspecified genes
for misfortunes, once perceived as arising from curses.

Even guilt has been preferred over the acceptance of helplessness;
or an uncaring universe, with its merciless neutrality.

 

 


 

 

Beliefs perpetuate themselves by becoming psychologically indispensable.

 

Despite many advantages, modernity leaves unsatisfied desires toward transcendence, which tempt reversion.

Spiritual frustration extends into art.

At a recent exhibition came the remark: “But anyone could do this!”
Meaning: “Where are those profound and beautiful works we yearn after: to move us?
Things requiring special abilities, beyond our capacity…”

 

 


 

 

In my own case, continual restlessness led me away from whatever I became tolerably good at.

Having wandered and dreamed through existence, I wake, unknown by the world, into a void of personal insignificance.

 

 


 

 

Now illness is closing
the doorway to life
in my face

mortality haunts me

across vague
nostalgia
for improbable faith

and ancestral perception

cyclic being
or  continuum

reincarnation…

Imagining
how different
it would feel
viewing death
as little more than
an inconvenient
change of trains
on eternity’s
timetable.

 

 

 

(1989-90)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/ideas/aphorisms/art/beauty/poetry)

 

 

 

 

Mortal graffiti

 

Konica12546

 

Lostness   (50)

 

 

Another flagellation by remorse stings my conscience…

 

From failure to continue the family line.
Generations of care, toil, and suffering:
ending with me.

 

Have I conspired at my own futility?

 

Did I avoid decisions that led toward adulthood?

What to do next?

Where to look for answers except inside myself.

And if I find nothing there?

Who could help someone wanting only
to want something?

 

Once practical difficulties recede, personality problems can dominate.

 

Would I try so hard at expressing contentment?
Will lines of happiness remain unwritten?

I think about playing guitar,
how even writing may get lured by the blues.

I scan, without focussing, across myriad ink marks in notebooks:
like graffiti on walls of mortality.

 

Am I alienated from myself, not just society?

 

Efforts at self-analysis indicate a desire to help.
Yet illness seems stronger than health.
Or beauty.

Perhaps this lostness is quite gratifying
for hostile psychic elements?

 

 


 

 

Later
alone
in the empty house
noticing a slight glow
from another room
where an old TV set
has been left on
with sound muted

There
caged by glass
blizzards of electronic particles
surge
ceaselessly
against the screen

Calming
such pointless agitation
I click
the off switch
and trapped light
implodes

to darkness.

 

 

 

 

(1989-90)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thought/ideas/opinions/writing/lostness/poetry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A demon of weakness

 

Konica12553

 

 

Lostness   (49)

 

 

Perhaps pain only tends to ennoble those already possessing nobility?

I experience my own suffering as rather disgusting.

Then notice, automatically judging myself harshly.

It seems so easy, believing bad things said about me.
Yet very difficult to accept any praise.

I  was taught such severity, before I could form a defence.

We cannot atone for the offence of existing
to someone who finds our existence offensive.

 


 

How to gain self-esteem without currently having it?
Breaking circles of negation…

Should I begin by directing inward, sorts of kindness I might like to receive from others?

 


 

 

When loss is unperceived, grief may be misunderstood.

 

 


 

 

In forced rest
sensing slow atrophy

drifting farther
from a once fit person
returning through dreams

where he moves
effortlessly
along streets unseen for years
while I struggle
to accept
never walking them again

lying alone
with fear
that some demon
of weakness
drags me toward
strange realms
better unvisited
which become harder to leave
the longer one stays

as a door closes
upon me
here
lacking strength
to hold it open
this exit
from my past
wished left
ajar

now
losing
what I had not realised
was even loved

my own
old life.

 

 

(1989)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/illness/loneliness/thoughts/ideas/opinions/poetry/writing)