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New Poem: “feelings defy description”

feelings defy description yet must be put in words in order to be heard – family defy words, their actions wound, their words hurt – thinking makes everything worse but the mind wanders all the same – that’s the game –

no way of not playing – i can’t right any wrongs, they and I sing the same songs – write and let live – i gave what i had to give, and it just did not suffice – i realize that’s how it is, and how it must me –

yet – how i wish i wasn’t me –

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New Poem: “death threat response letter”

thank you
for the death threat
proving your desperate need
to be feared –
why? i don’t know,
but you must be despairing
that i know
that if you had planned to kill me
you wouldn’t have warned me –
after all
that would have been either
bad strategy
or utter idiocy
on your part –
dear lunatic,
something tells me
that you are more afraid
(of what?)
than you could ever make me –

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New Poem: “expected unexpected poetry -“

third of august
shit hit a fan
in my head, in my heart
and poetry
started to spout
out of every thought i had
and every word i heard –
my anger
no longer dormant
demanded it
be given word –

one month collection –
unexpected expected –
built-up anger, confusion, hurt = pain –
pain = poetry –

it was always that way,
i was simply not expecting it
right now, in this particular way –

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New Poem: “were i alone tonight”

were i alone tonight
i’d drown my sorrows one by one
and cry out what was left
until there wasn’t
any left of me –
i’d let myself feel free
for a few short hours
until the sickness set in
again –

were i alone tonight
i’d dive into the past and
i’d dissolve in tears and alcohol –
i’d swim back in time
and revisit a childhood
i’d rather forget
though it never forgot –

i’ll act adult and do
what i must do
to maintain a semblance
of normalcy –
the tears are always there to cry
it needn’t be tonight –

at least i’ll try –

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New Poem: “drunk thoughts in the dead of the night -“

sleep eludes me –
night’s no pleasantry –
night holds dangers
to the mind
that can be avoided
during the day –
night brings things to light
that are better left in shadow –

three o’clock, morning light
creeps through blinds and wakes me
from the waking sleep –
tomorrow ruined in advance
and who’s to blame?
everyone’s to say it’s me
regardless of my reasons.

but sleep eludes me
and in its place
is an endless abyss of loss
and human misery –
memories i cannot shake
and feelings i wish i never felt
and never knew the cost of –

morning will come and
i will still be here –
with dark rings under my eyes
and a smile ready as disguise
as frail as always –
but always in place
regardless –

the whole world is only about
staying alive and keeping face –
whatever it takes –

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New Poem: “tripping over world”

tripping over world that drip with words that have no meaning –
a creation through a voice – creating more than noise –
visions of the world they make, unthinkingly,
word-flowers shoot up everywhere they go, unwittingly –
and soon their dew will drench the world we know –
we all will drown in words allowed too long to grow –

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New Poem: “where is my father?”

where is my father? hiding behind mother –
never seen – never heard –

what is a man? i don’t know if i ever saw one –
i see ghosts in armour –

an invisible screen separates genders
no one understands but everyone
perpetuates –

with every word we draw up new boundaries
new separations of concerns –
with the opposite intentions –

where is my father? waiting for my mother
to decide whether he can speak to me –
or expecting her to do it?

what am i to him?
an extension of him and mother –
not a living thing with a history of her own
separate from his and hers –

what am i?
not an addendum to someone else’s history –
it is a preposterous thought –
i am a woman – perhaps that is why
my father is such a vague figure –
rarely there – and never really there –

what am i to him?
a creature he will never really understand –
perhaps he expects mother to impart wisdom,
and if that is so
that is why he never understood anything –

i stare across time and place –
i neither can nor will see his face –
he chose to leave my life,
now i choose to leave him be –

where is my father?
hiding in the corner of a memory,
behind my mother –

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New Poem: “trinity: a family”

one: light spilling through the golden curtains
into prison living room – of choice –
the playing cards placed carefully,
dirty, torn and used –
clock ticking off a time unknown within –
a person brooding over memories –
not living – withering –

two: a circle that once was vast has narrowed
to a single house –
a mind in tarnished boxes, carefully set apart –
words on electronic paper
the connection to the world she cannot face –
not living – festering –

three: a voice without a body that has only
now discovered that the body does exist –
a life begun at 25 – a late escape –
now what? who knows? not i. but i know
that i’m exploring new directions –
and that is all i want to know –

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New Poem: “40 years – a family – apart”

we speak about the same thing, and the thing is not the same –
we call it the same name, but proportions and perspective
lie 40 years apart – in a world apart –
she thinks she knows the answers to every question i ask myself,
and she thinks the questions are really aimed at her –
in both things she is wrong –
she launches herself into winded stories about her youth,
expecting everything to be the same now –
she speaks of how she found a life partner at 14,
and of how they bought a house together at 20
and of how they both got apprenticeships and jobs
straight away, more or less –
she will not, cannot understand that people
don’t live like that today –
she will not understand that it isn’t a viable option,
that it isn’t just a matter of choice –
she cannot, will not understand that society is so different
that nothing she says makes any sense –
her mind blanks at the thought, and then i am accused
of simply being “wrong” together with my entire generation –
and that although we didn’t create the system that led to this,
to the problems we have now – that was actually them
and we just pay the price for their mistakes –
the worst of all though – worse than all the rest –
is when she assumes that i am just a clone of her
because she insists on only seeing similarities
and ignores all the differences – that might interfere
and make her uncomfortable – and at the end of the day
her comfort is all that matters
and my personality just gets in the way –

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New Poem: “portrait 12”

I’m tired of my IT job –
I’m going to make it big! –
so I’m co-founding this start-up
with branded coffee cups
and an idea that’ll stick!

No boss to push me around –
no schedule to follow!
I’ll do whatever I please
starting from tomorrow!

I’m so proud of what I do!
I believe in it! Everything!
From the launch that we went through
to the posters I designed
and the visiting cards too!
And the website – which is great –
the future looks so bright!
This is what I was meant to do!

The bills didn’t pay themselves
so I had to take in a few
clients whose projects I didn’t
really want to do –
and some wouldn’t pay
and some complained
and I work much more
than I did before –

but I shouldn’t complain
since I asked for this, right?
I’m still my own boss
and that’s got to be right…

I am not my own boss.
I had one boss before –
now I can hardly keep score –

Why did I ever
try this again?
It’s just so hard
to comprehend.

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New Poem: “portrait 10”

we could go to this fastfood place
if you’re hungry (or anyway)!
look – cheap burgers! –

oh, I see the sign,
walk 1 mile that way
to get a tiny piece
of unidentifiable meat,
paper-like cheese
and soggy bread
in order not
to feel full
afterwards –
and you even have
to pay – if a little –
for the privilege
of going hungry –

what a bargain!

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New Poem: “portrait 9”

outraged teenagers
discuss personal matters
on a bus –
perhaps not caring
and perhaps deliberately
wanting us to hear
their smut –

“my friend broke up
with her boyfriend
through two years
a whole month ago
and hasn’t yet
had sex
with another!”

“a whole month!
isn’t that unnatural?” –

I feel like screaming
how about five years?
out loud
right now –
but they would think
I’m a fossil at 27
so I don’t –
I know I’m an outlier to want
intimacy in a relationship
of random physical
encounters with strangers –
so I maintain
silence –
quietly feeling sick and dirty
over here
in my own seat –

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New Poem: “portrait 8”

not even looking
since looks could deceive
the fact that she
used to know
someone like me –
not fashionably dressed,
not from the city –
any traces of roots
relating her to me
were to be cut
if she could –
how she must have fought
and lied and tried
to hide her dialect
in order to fit in
to a place
that never liked her
to begin with –
you know,
I always thought myself
her friend –
now I know
that my time was wasted –
she never wanted
acceptance –
she wanted annihilation
and she got it –
there’s nothing left of her
except this shell
that passes me
not even looking –

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New Poem: “portrait 7”

in the thick-rimmed
titanium glasses –
square jaw held high –
sure of himself –
sure of his field
and that he knew all of it
though fallen ten years behind –
why care to learn?
better pretend
and stay within the limits
once chosen –
wing the rest –
if you look assured enough
you’ll make it anyway –
this world revolves around talking –
content is secondary,
context no longer necessary –
and he had the glasses
and the computer
to prove his worth
if words failed –

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New Poem: “portrait 6 – self-portrait”

for the digital age –
I don’t want
to brand myself –
i am human,
i am no product –
it does not come naturally.
I am a poet
not a screamer –
I hate having photos taken –
I hate videos all the more –
I am a poet
not a poster figure
for anything –
a disgruntled
wannaby revolutionary
who has resigned –
for the 21st century,
and for the future
I can no longer hope
will improve –
what voice do I have
that I can brand
among the young crowd
who love showing
themselves? –
who love stating truths
without thinking
and who may even
be convinced
they are right? –
I am not convinced
of anything anymore –
I just ride the waves
of this life
and write –
but who will read me
if I don’t try
to be young with the young
and try to scream
as loud – at least –
as the crowd? –
and perhaps that’s best
since I so rarely meet
a person
who understands
my point of view.
perhaps I am an extinct
species? –
perhaps I am the last
one left?
well, in that case
I am obliged to write
in any case
whether read or not –
am I not?

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New Poem: “portrait 5”

so, you said you have
a company? –
I am a social media influencer, yes! –
what does that
consist of? –
updating profiles,
testing products
that I get
and explaining
their usage –
so, basically
getting free stuff
and advertising –
no, no – that cannot
be compared!
see, I run a business! –
no – you expect others
to give you free stuff
because you don’t want
to work
to earn money
to pay for it –

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New Poem: “portrait 4”

teenage drama,
perfectly orchestrated
to generate attention
on a crowded bus
while seeming
to want to avoid
same attention –
I’ll never get to make
any money, will I?
it’s never gonna
happen to me! –
well, what would you
like to do? –
I don’t know…
maybe coaching,
or I could write a blog?
I have an Instagram account
I’m working on too –

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New Poem: “portrait 3”

she has no money –
she said so –
frowning with
carefully plucked
and dyed eyebrows
and carefully
shaded eyelids –
re-arranging a fold
in the sleeve
of a designer jacket –
it’s so tough
to find the “right” job
that makes her feel
that she contributes –
so she doesn’t
really try anymore –
maybe go back to school?
maybe go travelling?
(if her parents…) –

how long did you stay
in the job you quit?
three months!
and I didn’t get
to make any decisions
on my own!
it was stifling
and I felt like
I wasn’t really
like they didn’t think
I knew what I did.
but there must be
something worthwhile
I can do instead.
a place where I feel
I can really
make a difference! –

if you work for it.

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New Poem: “portrait 2”

designed specifically
to look special –
because what else
could bring sense
to her life?
how could she function
any common ground
with others?
how allow herself
under such circumstances?
she needs be
the artistic one,
the snowflake –
the one who needs nothing
besides attention –
she designs herself
like her clothes
and her furniture
(second-hand, of course)
and brands herself
like a product –
then complains
(when it is fashionable)
about being objectified –

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New Poem: “portrait 1”

finely knitted
toughness –
expensive taste –
she regards
the rest of us
from the pedestal
of youth –
sure we are fossils
and she a teacher –
carefully chosen
clothes, makeup –
carefully over-wrought
about insignificant
details –
since real problems
would require
too careful attention
she can’t muster –
finely dealt
fill up
about nothing –
does she think
this is worthwhile?
I don’t.

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New Poem: “no balm for solitude”

creeps into every crevice
of the room
as soon as night sets in –
the sheen of light
from distant windows
with promises
of what others have –
the muffled
next-door noises
hurt –
the internet
scars –
the wine promises
than it delivers –
there is no balm
for solitude –
its infective nature
be cured
one way –

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New Poem: “modern life floundering”

motivation flounders gone
with brain that pounds
the hours down –
a blood that boils
in veins of ash
beneath a face –
silence lurks without a trace
in crevices that time create,
existence foiled –
no trace of happiness be found
with careless people all around,
all in the mess embroiled –

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New Poem: “i die in silence while she lives noisily -“

asked for recognition for artwork by someone who never bothered recognizing mine.
what a feeling.
not a big enough person
to not feel anger
and detach her from my heart for now.
not worth the effort –

i die in silence while she lives noisily –
why should i give any more of myself
when i have so little left of me
and she already has so much
of herself and others to live on?

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New Poem: “labelled”

healthy separation of form and function,
feelings, thoughts –
you were a friend
until i turned you inside out
and examined you –
which i should have done before –
now you stand bared
in your humanity
with no better label
than “human” –

i guess it counts for something too
but never quite enough
since the rest of us are just as human
as you –

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New Poem: “I reason – with myself -“

I reason – with myself –
where reason – may hide –
I seek out – an answer –
but answer – with pride –
and I see – no remedy –
for what’s now – a fight –
but I did not – want this –
I wanted – what’s right –

A human – I’m human –
and I make – mistakes –
but who cares – it’s gonna –
unfold – anyway –
I won’t be – forgiven –
remembered – with spite –
humans – forget all else –
after – one fight –

I can’t make – amends –
I will fail – if I try –
since now – you remember –
just this – just the fight –
so after – all else –
what remains? – just goodbye… –

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New Poem: “introspection”

chaos in and out of everything –
cringe my way out of my skin –
turn it inside out to hide
behind the way i feel inside –

squiggle into my cavern of truth
examine the scars others left me –
leaving the gore for the world to see
as i wait for rebirth and youth –

vomiting out of my shell again
when safety prevails – so never –
a womb of quiet and contemplation –
a world lost – for now – forever –

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New Poem: “delayed outburst results in -“

i understand
an outburst from me
must seem unfair to you –
it’s like training a cat
not to pee on the floor,
if it happens long after
it happened
the cat gets mad at you
and learns nothing at all –
perhaps i should’ve said
how i feel
when i actually felt it
and everything was real
instead of waiting
ten years and boil over
when you least expect it –
but that’s what happened
and that’s what happens –
i kept it in and kept quiet
for too long
out of mistaken family feeling
that now feel wasted –
perhaps because it was –
so i might as well waste it
or what’s left of it
by not apologizing
for not doing wrong
but simply voicing my feelings
after too long –
if you can’t or won’t understand
it proves that you never knew me –
which is exactly what
i protested against –
you’ve proven it to me –
blame me all you want,
the original fault was with you
although you’ll never see it
no matter what i do –

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New Poem: “divisive / dismissive / missive”

divisive / dismissive / missive
echo chamber of TRUTH –
enabling / enacting / actions
that never occur –
loudly clouded minds
unfolding / emboldening / dissolving
in wastes of words –
what really happens
is an open question
since everything
can and will be questioned
incessantly / unnecessarily / defiantly –
a filter for the noise
no longer a possibility –

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New Poem: “distraction sought -“

urgent matter – idle chatter – heart with aches – app updates – poignant thought – distraction sought – deadline close – close to doze – friends in need – gone with speed – feeling alone – stares at phone – wanting more – storm out the door – leave all behind – so too your mind – searching for something – you’ll never find – without hard work – and lots of thought… – distraction sought –

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  This collection willed itself into being at a time when I was planning an entirely different writing project, and stayed strong throughout the changes and/or demise of that and other projects I was doing on the side. I never planned it. It willed itself into being.

  I won’t deny that it is essentially one long ode to depression. That should be fairly obvious to you if you made it this far. It reflects my state of mind fairly well I’d say. And that should kind of also explain why the writing of the collection became such a pressing matter that it pushed all other things aside.

  So, well, here it is! An intermission of a poetry collection. Written over a six month period of recuperation and recharging. The first poems (not counting the older ones that snuck their way in) were written in the immediate aftermath of my grandfather’s death, but didn’t fit into my last poetry collection which I were publishing at the time. The newest poems are rounding up everything, just barely making it over the finishing line at the eleventh hour. And now I can write no more of it. The theme is exhausted. Not because there is nothing more to say. Just because my situation has changed, and the sadness and loneliness that fueled the poems no longer extant in my life. Thus, it is done.

  The timing – with regards to this collection – could not be better. It closes a chapter for me, so that I can now allow myself to face squarely forwards.


  This is the end. I hope you got something out of the reading – at least remotely resembling how much I got out of the writing.


  Thank you for staying on.

– K-M Skalkenæs

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What is the greatest source of inspiration?
What can really make you contemplate
and urge you forward to complete something?

Well, if you’re happy and content
you might never see the point
of changing anything,

You cannot know the light
if that is all you’ve ever seen –
you will not understand it
or appreciate it’s there
until you have lived through a night –

  And what a night. I don’t plan to moralize, but I do plan to speak my mind. I lived through a night like I hope you’ll never have to. And you probably won’t have to. Most people don’t. I was just the one out of thousands who drew the shortest straw. And then I was stuck in a nightmare that lasted 25 years. A long, drawn-out sleep that left me with nothing in store and everything to rebuild.

  But I did have one thing through that time. One thing that carried and supported me. And that was poetry. If I had lived a happy life, I don’t think I’d ever have started to write. I don’t think I would’ve seen the point, since I would’ve lacked nothing.

  As it was, I lacked – not only material things – I lacked a voice and words to express my thoughts. I lacked expression. And humans are social beings. We have an innate need for words and speech, but I had no words and weren’t heard when I tried to speak. So I wrote. Everything I couldn’t say out loud I wrote – poem after poem, essay after essay – and found a voice along the way that seeped out into my everyday existence and coloured what I’d do and say.

  It’s been an amazing journey, but if I’d never had problems, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to move along the way – I’d probably just have wanted to stay where I was at the beginning. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?

  I have no regrets – I chose a path that advanced me, however slowly, towards an understanding of my abilities, and what I truly wanted at heart. It just so happens, that at the end of the road, what I wanted was to continue writing, since I had not yet nearly told everything I had to tell. And since I had come to be able to write fairly well, there seemed to be no reason to stop at all.

What is this stupid construct
the world calls happiness?
A soothing balm
to keep you in your place.

I’d rather feel the pain,
the sadness and the cold
the world too has to offer
instead of growing old
to see that I learned nothing
because I was content –
who on this Earth would truly
want that to be their end?

  Whenever I was at my lowest, no matter the circumstances, I always felt the urge to write. Mostly because no other solution was in sight. But that was what kept me going, and it was a sure and reliable guide to have at hand throughout that long and lonely night that was the uncertain stumbling steps I took towards the light.

  And the worse I felt, the better I wrote. Paradoxically. That’s how it goes.

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New Poem: “i would dance if i could”

i would dance if i could and the earth never shook
and the future never failed and became the past –
i would dance, but i can’t
since tomorrow’s unsure, and today won’t really begin –

i would dance if i thought that i could and i ought
and i had all the options i thought i should have –
i would dance but i can’t
since the world weighs down and kills all attempts at song –

i would dance if the world and i was young
but we’ve both petrified in our ways –
the days go by – they pale and die
and i can’t lift a foot – so i stay –

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Where Are My Sunsets?

Where are my sunrises?
Where are my sunsets?
Where are my days?
An endless night
has taken their place.

Where are my colours?
Where is the music?
Colourless it fades.
A blurry image of a world
now passes by – abates.

Where are my sunsets?
There’s no sun to make them.
A distant globe up high
whose light retreats
remains cold in the sky.

Where did you go?
Why did you go?
Now what of me?
What do I do?

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Doppelgänger – The Poet About the Woman

She speaks through me,
she looks like me
but I don’t want to know her –
and if she was able
to hear my voice
or heed my advice
there’s much I’d like to show her.

But turning gently
in her own sphere
she is here
but she’s not here –
No words can move
her shrunken heart
that beats a tune

And I presume
to know her mind
but I don’t understand
her kind.
And what she says
provides no clue
since nothing stays –
I guess because
nothing was true.

She confuses me –
her nonsensical speak –
her vague existence
yet more real than me.
I wish that I could do
without her altogether –
but that I cannot do
since we are bound together.

And since she does provide me
at least with inspiration
I try to be patient
I try to contain
her baser moods –
for a fashion –
and tolerate
her existence.

But how I wish that she
was more like me.

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The Poet Encounters the Prosaic

Someone once said to me: “Not all of your poems have to be good. After all, when you need to fill out a whole book, some of the material will inevitably just have to be fillers.”

Just no.

A chance meeting between a poet and the most prosaic person to ever live, possibly.

Undoubtedly a person who hasn’t written a single word that wasn’t a school assignment or a text message.

A person who doesn’t have much to say and insists on saying it loudly and with as many words as possible nevertheless.

Whereas I have spent years trying to say as much as I can with as few words as possible. Cutting to the bone and distilling the essence of a message.

Boiling it, tending the fire beneath it until it was time to retrieve it – the few select cuts of words returned to me.

Go back and recreate the unnecessary left-overs?

Just no.

You can’t add fillers without destroying the picture. Who cares if the eyes are well drawn if the rest of the face is a cartoon?

Just no.

But then again – a person who would say such a thing in the first place is probably not likely to be either willing or able to read a poem in the first place.

That kind of people just want their heads filled with noise so that they don’t have to think.

The antithesis of my mission.

The beauty of such people lies only in the fact that their prosaic nature makes the poetic stand out in contrast all the starker and more visible – even to those with less discerning eyes.

I praise the prosaic. Without it, there would be no reason for poetry.

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The Endless Question

The question never ceases to surprise me –
the only one most men have wits to think of
when they hear that I write poetry.

“So, you write love poems, don’t you?”
over and over – always the same –
never anything smarter – nothing new.

I’m tired of having to answer: “No”
but since I do not write of things
I don’t have knowledge of, it must be so!

Granted, in youthful folly, I once tried –
but that endlessly repeated question saw to it
that the impulse very quickly died…

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I Can Resist This! –

Tenuous grip on sanity –
that scent of man –
tendons on a turned neck –
the gesture of a hand –

Flex of muscles on a leg –
– I can resist this! –
To long – it’s been too long –
– I don’t need this! –

A hand is raked through hair –
a thought, a hope, a wish –
wispy clouds of breath
in winter air; mine, his –

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Idealism In Hindsight

Though said that I have principles, ideals
and dreams of better futures worth the building,
is the truth not rather, somehow still,
that no thought of mine ever soared so high
that I didn’t, beneath it, secretly yearn
to shear my roots and shake off destiny
rather than transform society?

How easy to be free
when nothing holds you back.
How easy to reject the norms
when no-one cares
or perceives it as a lack –
except oneself.

So easy
except for yourself.

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There’s a Nightmare Afoot

There’s a nightmare afoot
and I cannot tell if it is a dream
or reality rearing its ugly head
intent on breaking the spell –

Something dropped and then picked up
only to be dropped again –
play that on repeat for eight hours of sleep
and you’ll be wishing for the end –

Only to wake up for work – REPEAT –
like yesterday and the day before;
nothing new to do, nothing new to see
and no chance to really plan for more –

Only sleep to remind you,
honestly at least,
that there is a part of you
that always yearns for more –

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Whatever Comes Of It, At Least I Tried, I Did

I would write,
I would write but I am tired and the words don’t come –
perhaps tomorrow
or any other day but today.
But if I say that every day
I may never get to write again
and that thought is so scary
that I try – at least try –

Because what else would I do?
How else would I express myself?
I would explode eventually
with all those words inside me
that cannot make their way out
unless I write them down
and hand them to you.

So I write –
so I try to write
and whatever comes of it
at least I tried,
I did.

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What I Am

I am a stray cat nobody wants to feed –
I am an echo in the silence you create
with all the noise you make –

I am a shadow in the darkness of the night –
I am a planet knocked off course
and hidden from the light –

I am an epiphyte high on a branch, alone –
I am disguised to look like my surroundings,
so you pass me by, unknown –

I am an eye that follows you around –
I am a presence that you barely can detect,
a movement; subtle, slight

I am a shade dissolving in your light –
I am an echo in the silence you create
with all the noise you make –

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The Restless Darkness

I am a civilized woman, am I not?
A product of a state who never lets me go.
A product of millennia of development,
and paths that others had to go.

Then why does the darkness within remain?
The drive that makes me restless,
angry, fearful of myself
time and again?

Is this the best that I can be?

A clenching fist that never gets release –
a thousand angry thoughts
that no amount of words can ease –

A core of smoldering darkness
unseen within –
a hand stained red
with paint
from a canvas torn in anger
at my failure as a human being –

Why is that I can’t get to express
anything worthwhile to anyone –
the silence, the civility
it only feeds the darkness
it festers deep within
yet still remains unseen by everyone –

The breaking point –
I don’t know where it is
since I am weighed down by society –
all I do know
is that there is
such a thing as too much civility –

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What Is the Value of Life If This Is All It Is Reduced To?

A quiet but merciless
centrifugal force
of inarticulate gibberish
burst from people’s lips
around me.
There is no respite
from the meaning
I fail to discern
in their murmurings.
There is no peace
to be had from moving lips
and flailing hands
that corner me.
There is no life
that doesn’t include
this meaningless
Then what’s the value
of a life
if this is all
it is reduced to?

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The Moth Inside

The moth inside me yearns
towards the people in the crowd
with their invisible light –
the aura of their company invisible by sight –
although each contact only causes me to burn.

Yet still I find myself
dwell on their presence by me
though from a safe, slight distance –
their presence cast the only light in sight
and so I must return – if only once again to burn.