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As the World Forgets My Existence

A scorching summer’s sun
making way for
pale pink ribbons
into inky bluish black –

We stood here once
your back not turned –

Do you remember
who I am?
Did that memory
or does a trace –
at least –

A faint ribbon
vaguely through your brain –
to fade.

I feel myself fade –
I dissolve
swirling into the pink
that vanishes
with the sun
as the world
my existence.

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There’s a Tree Left Behind in the Rubble Piles

There’s a tree left behind
in the rubble piles –
its branches wind upwards
among the bricks and tiles.

I remember it clearly
from childhood days
where it stood so proudly
during breaks

right in the centre
of the playground –
brooding quietly,
steady and strong

and now it still stands
when all else is gone.
Humans come and go
but Nature carries on.

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And So He Died

And so he died
who, having lived so long,
had buried so many others
and never cried.

And so we stood there
powerless for words.
A person lost, indeed,
but memories and stories
so much more importantly
that day as well were buried.

And so we wept – some of us –
puny humans with no powers
to stop this erosion
of collective memory –

And so we buried him
who had outlived so many
but who was recalled in the end
all the same.

He never told us of his thoughts
so they have all been lost.

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Poetry Is Contrary To Nature

Poetry is contrary to nature
in the sense that it is meant
(or at least by its poet dreamt)
to stand apart and last
when all else follows its natural cause
and ends up becoming the past.

But what is the point
of a poem that were to endure
when its context, its world,
its poet and attending words
have disappeared
and nobody understands it for sure?

What value is there really
in a text stuck in limbo
unless the future be convinced
that it contains some rare,
antiquated truth
that may be lost tomorrow?

Perhaps it’s simply better
after all
to be forgotten
rather than allow
the misinterpretation
that is sure to befall.

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Art and Memory

Art is a creation that is based on human memory, which is, as you already know, imperfect and highly selective. Why claim that artists “lie”? They can’t wring more out of themselves than what they are given to work with. Our memories are selective, and so art becomes selective. Our memories do not always preserve all details, and so art leaves out things as well. Our memories may trick us – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It might cause us to see things in a different light, and that might turn out to be exactly the light we need in order to understand something.

Continue reading Art and Memory

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Understanding Others

The centrifugal force of words washed over her, swirled around her, made her dizzy. ‘But that’s what shrinks do’, she figured, watching with increasing numbness as the man’s lips kept moving, making words that increasingly seemed to dissipate and dissolve as they emerged into sound, ‘they talk and they talk and they talk until you barely know your own name anymore, and then they demand answers that you never had in the first place. And when you fail to answer, they’ll force an answer upon you, believing that they know all there is to know about you after reading a textbook. And at that point you’ve become too weakened by the sheer force of their words to even bother protesting.’

She thought of her childhood, as she was asked to do. But she didn’t see the connections she was told to look for. Rather, she saw glimpses of a world she could hardly believe had ever existed and didn’t feel like it held much connection to the present at all.
Sweet glimpses of herself gathering seashells, watering plants, jumping in rain puddles. Singing.
Sad glimpses of herself running away from the tears and the screaming, her mother’s furious face and foaming mouth that she didn’t understand what had caused – only knowing that she somehow got the blame.
Bittersweet glimpses of herself learning to pretend and lie since nobody cared anyway. The bottles she hid in her home. The scars she hid under her sleeves. The soothing calm of a whole bottle after work – the feeling of weightlessness. Not having to care anymore.

She thought of it all and understood less and less as she did so. But telling that to a complete stranger who seemed to have made up his conclusions in advance didn’t seem to make much sense.

She thought of all the people she thought was her friends, or hoped might become her friends. The people she grew up with. Today they were in the midst of careers and babies and living lives she didn’t understand while she felt like dissolving. She didn’t understand other people. She didn’t feel like pretending to understand them anymore. Illogical creatures, the lot of them. But what did logical thinking ever bring her, besides a free ticket to the torture that was this room, and this talking machine sitting across from her, still moving his lips.

‘Did you have a good childhood?’
‘Sometimes, I guess.’

‘Did you have friends in school?’
‘Some, I guess.’

‘How do you feel about your family?’
‘That’s difficult to say.’

‘What do you want in life?’
‘A life?’

A life. A goal. Meaning. Help. Guidance.

But since nobody ever offers me that…

Peace. To close my eyes and never open them again. To sleep and never wake up.

But you were offered help?
No, I was only offered words.

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Dansen i ruinerne

Fortidens slør
smyger sig om min krop
ved hvert trin
jeg tager gennem ruinerne –
hvert trin et dansetrin
og fortidens slør
gør de døde levende
omkring mig –
jeg ser dem omkring mig
alle optagne
af det liv de tror de har –
døgnfluer som os
må klamre sig til hvad de kender
men det nytter ikke
noget –
til sidst er alt kun
fortid –
smuldrende sten der var et slot,
vrag der var skibe,
skeletter der var mennesker;
forfædre til dem
der endnu ikke
kun er skeletter –
jeg hører et brus af kjoler
og stemmer der taler
i brudstykker
på et sprog jeg kun delvis forstår
at jeg ikke forstår –
et sprog der i dag ikke er –
men dog er –
var –
mit sprog.

Fortidens slør
smyger sig tit og ofte
omkring os når vi taler –
særligt med folk fra andre lande;
pludselig er vi ikke
Pludselig er vi
dristige erobrere,

Der var engang et land
der drømte…
Nu er der et folk
der ikke vil vågne
og kun ser sig selv
gennem fortidens slør
der klæber til dem,
langsomt kvæler dem
mens de selv ser de lysende balsale
omkring dem
og danser gennem ruinerne
uden at vide
at intet står tilbage –
nej, ikke noget lidt fernis ikke kan fiske –
nej, ikke noget lidt maling ikke kan tage –

Jeg vågner træt og øm
på et hårdt stengulv
under åben himmel –
jeg ser de andre danse
omkring mig,
ulyksalige væsner.
De kan ikke se mig
eller høre min stemme
med sløret over ansigtet –

Jeg går stille bort

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Ghost From My Childhood

Memories I’d forgotten
surge forward
to beleaguer my brain
when I see your face again

Forever ago we lay in the grass
in my parents yard after class
looking up into the branches
of the old beech tree,
wondering how to achieve
reaching its top
and what we would see
if we managed getting up

It makes me feel
so old today to see
your face in front of me;
this mirror image I can’t deny
you’ve grown – and so have I

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I Remember

Yes, I remember
but if nothing had hurt
there would’ve been nothing to remember –
just the same
dreary, empty days I forget –
repetitive chores I forget –
an endless cycle of regret

If nothing had hurt
I wouldn’t have remembered
the day you left –
but it disturbed the pattern
of the eternal cycle
so for a moment
I awoke to find myself

If it hadn’t hurt
I would’ve remembered nothing
except the same old
daily humdrum –
which I don’t remember
but rather reconstruct
since I remember nothing

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My memories escape my brain
invading my surroundings
I can remember what remains
of thousands of ventures
however incomplete they are alluring anyway
do you remember too, and will you listen?
Will you stay?

Do you remember afternoons
with ice cream cones in hand?
Do you remember later on
the lights under which we danced?
Do you remember early morns
rushing out of bed?
And do you remember later on
time suddenly rushing ahead?

My memories cannot be locked
away inside a shrine
somewhere behind my eyesockets
and far less can you ween
me away from their alluring imagery
for they’re the only remains of happiness
with you – a fantasy.

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The Presence

You’re present here beside me
you speak within my dream,
you stir around me in the air
like vapour in the steam

Your voice I’ve known forever
as much as I recall,
and though I do not want you
you stay here after all

You aren’t in the mirror –
you haven’t been for years –
nobody else can see you,
you’re in my hopes and fears

You’re present here beside me –
faint child of memory –
you stir around me in the air
you are – yet aren’t – me

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The Memory of Music

Don’t play it – no more melody
reminding me of you –
don’t play the song we used to sing,
don’t sing it like you do –
no sound to ruin what my heart
is hoarding, true and pure;
there is no singing that today
is better or more sure.

Don’t play those notes of piano chimes
I used to play for you –
I will no more be reminded of times
we spent on those, me and you.
Whereto you have gone and wherefrom returned
since we last played this song
I do not care – I do not want to know –
by leaving me you did wrong!

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When It Was

When it was, it all was real,
today it is a shadow –
the lush green grass, a lonely cloud,
the daisies on the meadow –

When it was, it all was real,
but felt unreal to me –
then how much more unreal today
when I’m across the sea?

When it was, it was: It was!
Today it is a dream.
A dream that sweetens present days
with its soft, warming gleam

A welcome, numbing dream I dream
when the present seems too real;
when it was, it all was real –
today it’s just a dream.

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Flashback to Elementary School

In rainy weather I remember
how she pulled over her head
the wide hood of her black coat
to protect her straightened hair
so that she wouldn’t take
the injury of curls
undone by rain and falling
to the wind in joyous whirls –

And whatever else she said
about the curse of curly hair,
I disagreed, but silently,
since I knew she wouldn’t hear
my words, if I were to say
that she was beautiful some day

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In the Rain

I want to see the raindrops in your hair,
after a summer shower, warmly refreshing,
resembling the pearl necklace which you bear,
(the one he bought you),
shimmering white and fair
as beautiful as your shining eyes and ivory skin

I want to see the rain run down your face
as tiny translucent streams, clouding your beauty
so I can pause adoration, and avert my gaze
from the celestial refined beauty I see through a haze
and return to the present moment, though reluctantly

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My Hands Inwoven In Your Hair

My hand was once inwoven in your hair –
I feel it still.
My thoughts rely thereon when through the air
I sense – oh, thrill! –
a smell like your perfume – I couldn’t bear
to carry on
without my hands – my thoughts – inwoven in your hair
whenever someone
reminds me of you – and I remember the truth –
the truth of these sensations that I’ll never
get to feel again;
my hands inwoven in your hair –
as memory they must remain

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New Poem: “A Pocket Full of Empty Space”

somewhere between brevity and perpetuality
there is an empty space
where our shared memories rest together –
never lost and never severed –
somewhere between change and constancy,
a state beyond expression
and beyond the limits of thinking,
there is a pocket full of knowledge –
and between present and past
somewhere in-between all the known and un-known
there is a place
where we know each other still, and always have