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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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)

 

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)

 

 

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)

 

 

Time-stained

Lostness   (36)

 

How do believers in an afterlife know they are not already dead?

I gaze at time-stained photographs of those long deceased: Victorians remain posed forever, lips still wet with saliva.

Through memory we may even come to haunt ourselves.

Moments when I feel ghostly in a self-haunted existence.

Returning to these images: how many are judged instantly, from a look or stance?
In the same way, something about us gets liked or disliked, and rationalisations follow.

Aesthetics precedes ethics.

 


 

Other, unrelated, questions came to mind:

Would saints deserve more praise than divinities whose perfection is unlaboured?

Virtue without power might be mocked, yet can virtue survive power?

Should we close our eyes because others are blind?

Equality is not always justice.

 


 

 

An elementary example of inexperienced youth speaking at cross purposes:

“Let’s not get serious.”
“OK. Shall we just go to bed?”
“I see you as a friend.”
“Good! I want to sleep with you, as a friend.”

Living the material of a joke need not appear funny.

For those managing only platonic relationships, a sexual one can seem to approach the form of an unattainable idea.

I hope to avoid: “He was really nice, but…” as a suitable epitaph.

Perhaps life has said “no” to me, more than I have said “no” to life?

 

 

 

(1983-1984)

(philosophy/psychology/sexuality/writing/thoughts/ideas)

 

Ethics to abuse

Lostness   (35)

 

Those who generate strife may be unlucky enough to tire of it.

 

Disillusioned idealism can end as nihilism.

 

While “examine your motives” serves for a principle: evolution trades in survival, not truth. Lies that aid existence might also grow to dominance.
(Given biological drives underpin activity, where will androids find artificial motivation?)
Even following our desires need not appear selfish, if we have altruistic desires.
Others tend to judge us on our actions toward them: in rejecting or responding to a request, for example.

 

What level of determinism is allowable in ethics, before it becomes debased?
How much control do we have over our moral sensibilities?
If I was taught to see a behaviour as bad, am I able to simply alter that perception?

 

In certain situations I have found, once a person has turned against me, whatever I do is liable to be viewed negatively. Attempting to converse has resulted in self-disclosures getting dismissed as narcissism, questions as prying, and silence as vacuity.

Now, after childhood abuse, raised to dislike what I am: I still carry an internal version of this, via endless looped condemnations. Auto-injustice.
Trapped in a toxic relationship with myself.

 

If I don’t like me, who else will?

 

Being homeless in the country of the heart: one can be homeless anywhere.

 

 

 

(Feb-Jul 1983)

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

 

 

Muted insurrection

Lostness   (33)

 

I talk to a reader I do not have.

 

Feeling an urge to transcend words through writing, a desire periodically chronic in my poetry: as certain types of prayer resemble a demand that God exist.
Expressing a spirit of insurrection against language from within. Or was it closer to some hermaphroditic quest for union?
Thus silence, as darkness to the light of words, is broken by its own negation.
While, if signs function in relation to others, separation will not reveal their true nature.
Once structure is missing, criteria of evaluation may likewise be lost.
In a behavioural frame, one could compare the way we call an act “free” that is self-caused, not uncaused.
Yet, rather than resolve, my thought switches from free will to the idea of eternal recurrence: how this might contain traces of a nihilism it purports to overcome. In toiling on treadmills of eternity, akin to a Sisyphus, repetition can devalue existence as it does time. Though the “once only” of mortality could seem as hard to bear as the “once again” of an absurd forever.

 

I talk to a reader I do not have.

 

About whether what matters for our future is not how intelligent we are, but how intelligent we can become?

Wondering if we could have a non-specific capability for love: only accidentally fixed onto certain objects?

Or if humans also need to be polite because we are warlike?

Then, perhaps I should avoid mentioning that my heart feels like an open wound?

And how, after falling asleep hoping to experience significant dreams,
I spent my latest one searching for a towel.

 

 

(Feb-July 1982}

(philosophy/psychology/thoughts/questions/ideas/opinions)