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)

 

 

 

 

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Anything realised

 

Konica12508

 

Lostness   (48)

 

 

Though it may be enjoyable, sneering is hardly a superior use of intelligence.

 

Cultural snobbery, for example, aimed at cliched reactions to art from those stuck in their visual taxonomies.

 

(Which I associate with reviews leaving the question:”Did you like it?” unresolved.)

 

 


 

 

Vagueness forms a refuge, where precision seems threatening.

 

Situations requiring the supression of hostility.

When, if we cannot make people good, we try to make them behave well.

(As politics or law tend to result in an imposition of will, by some upon others.)

 


 

Whatever arises acts to constrain perception.

 

Anything realised involves options closed.
Perhaps constituting a burden of finitude.
Thus we could imagine that inertia preserves more possibility than action.
Yet, in actuality, a small task done outranks our big fantasy.

 


 

 

Feeling oppressed by a sense of insignificance.

 

While my certainties take negative form.
(Age, loss, illness, rejection, death.)

 

Hope no longer shields me from the truth that I am unfit to marry.

 

I tell myself sex would only leave me unfulfilled.
I mingle pity with desire
allow beauty its sadness
even admit love may reveal
what it was supposed to overcome:
a victorious loneliness…

But women remain icons
for an impenetrability
of existence.

And I end up making jokes
because life
is so serious.

 

 

(1989)

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

 

 

 

 

Impaired affirmation

 

Konica12522

 

Lostness   (47)

 

Am I addicted to thought?

How does a mind cure itself of thinking?

Idea as symptom, or as cause?

Is this melancholy an emotional disorder
clothed by reason?

I turn to writing for my coping strategy.

 


 

At least despair offers a kind of certainty.

 

Affirmation requires greater faith than negation.

Should I just try what resembles
lying to myself?

I sit with eyes closed, repeating:
“Today, I am getting better.”

An inner voice says: “Why spout such drivel, when feeling so ill?”

“OK then,” I reply, “How about: ‘I am going to die alone, and unloved’?”

“That’s the spirit!” Approves the voice, “Now you’re speaking my language.”

 

Authenticity conditional upon hopelessness.

 

 


 

 

I took shame, from being an unwanted child, into my own heart.

Told how “no good” would come of me.
Each failed attempt at normality reinforced the verdict.
Did I need therapy, or exorcism?

In any case, if I knew there were no light
I could cease striving
to claw my way out of the darkness.

 

Looking for a loophole. Finding a blank wall.

 

Seeing the past with regret
and present through misery
toward some future anxiety

 

Like water undermining stone
I sense my slow erosion
by unhappiness.

 

 

 

(July-Aug 1989)

 

(philosophy/psychology/poetry/blog/thoughts/questions/ideas/depression/mental health)

 

Bright improbability

Konica12505

 

 

 

Lostness   (45)

 

It helps to begin by wanting something.

Why strive, with nothing to strive toward?

 

Existence might be easier in a system that made provision for those wishing to live outside it.

 

I remember questions from a career advisor to our class at school. And noticed few others found difficulty responding…

“What do you want to be?”

I hoped adulthood would see an answer emerge.
But it never has.

“What do you want to do with your life?”

There was an idea of “finding who I am”, before returning to visual art.
Though I failed to find who I was.
Or the way back to art.

 

Should I have masked disappointment in fake smiles,
tried to keep too busy for worrying about my soul…
and any capacity to believe I still had one?

 

Perhaps needing love is a design flaw:
without which I could even feel free
in my isolation?

 

Biology triumphs over truth.
Intellect may want an end;
while body says “no”.

Its basic component, the cell, also names a place of confinement.

 


 

 

My mind wandered, next,
through dreams of textual beauty
where polished sentences
shine
in bright improbability.

Hence frustrating attempts
at cleaning previous lines
made soon to realise
how words
are no mirror.

 

 

 

(April 1989)

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/writing/poetry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seedbed of regrets

IMG_20171126_205954086-1

 

Lostness   (44)

 

The sensation of a room as empty
once alone inside it
akin to psychic negative space.

 

Here I sought to transmute my pain into art.
Though, recently, there is so much more pain than art.
And even that seems insignificant.
Must I also lose an alienated hubris?

 

Questions without answers, again…

 

I knock at a door, which remains closed.
After the problem of what to do
or the lethargy of unable to do
lies the remorse of “if only”.
While, in my head, a silent voice hates me.
Requiring someone to blame.
Can I stop hearing a tape, if my brain keeps playing it?

 

I search for the roots of unhappiness.
And find more unhappiness.

 

Is it woven into my being, or DNA?
How to picture life beyond such a state?
I write: aiming toward freedom, yet create only
variations upon darkness.
Could one construct some aesthetics of suffering,
mined for its beauty or poetry,
redeemed in creation?

 

But I weary of chronic illness:
and am taking it badly
lacking great heart
like those cheerful victims
beloved by media
who face up to
all privations
bravely.

 

Sickness sows a seedbed of regrets.

 

Where I languish
finding alternate descriptions
for inertia
but still strive to imagine
being at spiritual peace
from despair
in its closed
circle.

 

 

(Mar-April 1989)

(philosophy/psychology/depression/mental health/thoughts/writing)

 

Forlorn lucidity

IMG_20171119_215216899

 

 

Lostness   (41)

 

 

At times I feel so unformed.

My “becoming” experienced as drifting.

Perhaps such shapelessness constitutes a price of freedom?
Hence, while freedom is curtailed by the liberty of others, or biology: I wrestle, in addition, with lack of direction.
How to advocate a lifestyle even I may not enjoy?

For me, any hopes to produce something worthwhile carry a suspicion of fantasy.
Whatever I concentrate upon leads to an imaginary complaint from neglected possibilities. Thus my shifting between art, poetry, prose, music and philosophy.
Yet these urges to “keep options open” might work against the commitment required for achievement in each area.

 

What I do, today, is more important than what I intend to do, tomorrow.

 

Writing can be lured toward an ideal:
a certain beauty, via vivid sentences, lit by clarity, evocative as distant incense, hinting at transcendence, through the web of art.

Or, in the present case, while living isolated and unknown:
a dream that people I cannot meet might still be touched by my words.

 


 

 

Forlorn lucidity

After the telephone call
turning
into that gloomy front room
lit by a single electric button, glowing
red and insistent,
under its display panel,
though daylight’s blade
slicing between almost-closed curtains
smears one white fleck
across darkened glass

I stand
perceiving some discomfort
in the head
from neurons alert
with forlorn lucidity
while self, sensed
spirit-like, lingers
where conflict had been,
on the site
of my defeat.

 

 

(1986)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/thoughts/ideas/poem)

 

 

Psychic residues

Lostness  (40)

 

 

IMG_20171112_153648737_HDR

 

 

Might we somehow partake in immortality?

Consider the atoms from which we are made, old as stars, though
apparently lacking that crucial element: consciousness.

I still enjoy my meal while nearing the last mouthful; yet life may feel
marred because it has an end.

 

Disillusion as a price of knowledge?

If an optimist finds a doughnut and a pessimist finds a hole: the optimist is more liable to end-up with indigestion.

Will our extended sensibilities one day reach to technological offspring?
(Perhaps leading to an “Android Liberation Front”?)

Should we perceive a certain narcissism in attempts to control creation, and where reproduction, which once required contact, now also results from masturbation?

 

Other levels of disenchantment:

Things I never found at parties…
interesting conversation; new friends; going home without disappointment.

Even while asleep, traversing many dreams the way I pass through life: as a bemused spectator, I seem barred from any wisdom of experience.

Forgetting, too, has benefits. When we struggle to regain our innocence.

Recently I woke telling imaginary listeners: “Orgasm clears the psychic residues.”

If dreams were meant to be remembered, would nature have made it so difficult?

 

Next morning

Surprised again, by daylight,
I lie leaden with drowsiness
faintly sensing a barrier slid
across an exit
as the cavern
of my unconscious
seals itself behind me

What happened to inspiration?
How little was dredged-up
from all those feverish nights.
Now just questions remain…

Will I ever
be cured
of poetry?

 

 

(1985-6)

 

(philosophy/psychology/mental health/writing/thoughts/opinions)

 

 

Paranoid virtue

Lostness   (39)

 

People who condemn power are rarely referring to their own.

 

If power corrupts: how would deities avoid corruption?

Even urges for truth and justice have led to evil, as well as good.

Idealisation of the oppressed might permit excess.

Identity itself becomes divisive.

 

Extremism grants paranoia the status of a virtue.

Intolerance within belief can make it toxic to its own culture.

 

Desire for authority is sometimes matched by our resentment toward it.

Whether externally based, in law; or internal, via morality.

Where divine images carry influences from parental example: a victim of childhood abuse could find them tainted by negativity.

Inner harshness perpetuates punishment.
Addiction to suffering: rather than relief.
Obedience approaching some quality of sin?

 

Being able to forgive anyone except oneself is also an injustice.

Do we feed faith with alienated self-love, or self-hate?
Projected and personified?

Will others help, when we remain convinced of our worthlessness?

Clean revenge upon one that harmed us arrives through attaining happiness.

Yet this glad emotion is what such past actions made so fragile.

 

And beauty
may still shine
like a reproach
on those who feel
forever excluded
from its light.

 

 

 

(1985-6)

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

 

The profundity gap

Lostness   (38)

 

Asymmetries of passion disrupt equanimity.

In couples: regarding proportions of love.

Anxiety around a profundity gap, overshadowing romantic encounters.

Questions arising later: “Did our time together mean as much to her, as to me?”
“Am I feeling too strongly, or too soon?”

Presumably, those with higher expectations from relationships might experience greater dissatisfaction?
Though exclusivity excludes: looking for potential mates does not always cease after one has been found.

Certain people, by their inconsistency, refuse to make appraisal easy on us.

For the truly insensitive most behaviours become possible.

 

What aids perception may also blind.

The lens of a world-view.

Hence ways of living, fashioned from misery, yet still clung to, until something better arrives. In failure: victimhood as a sop to self-esteem.
Or ridicule and laughter, without understanding, defending ignorance.

 

All positions seem questionable.
Including the position that all positions seem questionable.

Who gets through existence with clean hands?
Even walking on grass normally kills something.

Once the soul revolts against injustice, an unhappy life is usually available.

 

So here I am. Alone with books. Having no friends.
Sexless in a barren limbo.
At arousing women I fear ranking second
to a slightly mouldy courgette.
I frown before the bedroom mirror
from behind this predicament of a face
stressed about appearance
and how I will be judged.
If only by myself.

 

 

(1984-5)

(philosophy/psychology/poetry/mental health/thoughts/opinions)

 

 

Apocalyptic gratifications

Lostness   (37)

 

There can be situations so far from beauty they give apocalyptic fantasy an air of gratification.

 

How to know whether I am moving on the path of light or darkness?

 

Are divinities merely hidden; or absent from this world?
Studying nature does little to reassure us about any supposed creator’s kindness.
Would as many desire to worship a transcendent cruelty?
Might higher beings care for us much more than we care for insects?
Imagine our planet a now discarded toy from god’s nursery…

Sceptics could take the view that millennia of effort have failed to produce a fully convincing religion; while disasters are as liable to spring from excessive belief as from doubt.
Certain cults poison perceptions of external society: to ensure that leaving the collective becomes unthinkable. In such ways it is possible to be stunted by faith.

 

Yet will we ever permit deities not to exist?

 

One part of us may mock what another part yearns for.

 

Thus I cultivate my emptiness
while, across fuzzy boundaries
of feeling and recollection,
writing makes play
ideas flap around
seeking coherence
I hold up sentences
by their ragged ends
toward philosophy
in its abattoir of words.

 

 

(1984)

(thoughts/questions/opinions/psychology/lostness/mental health/poetry)