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Epilogue

  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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Catalyst

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,
right?

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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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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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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The Words Don’t Wait

The words don’t come
when I want them to –
they drift through my mind
there, then gone.

I can’t remember them
as soon as they’ve moved on –
a spark of inspiration
there, then gone.

Then one drifts slowly by,
slow enough for me to grasp
and examine, and the words
materialize at last –

and the very first sentence
has made its way to paper
when somebody knocks the door…
And then I stand here later

Looking at that paper –
but the words couldn’t wait,
they’ve moved beyond my reach
and again it is too late.

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One Could Write of the Future

One could write of the future.
It’s just so hard.
Because you then accept in advance
that everything you write
has a built-in expiration date.
Since the date of your choice one day
will no longer be in the future.

One could also write of the past.
That’s even harder.
How much hasn’t been forgotten or altered
and how much isn’t altered
further
with every weighted word
written or spoken of times we haven’t lived through
and therefore don’t understand.

One could also write of the present.
But what is the present?
Isn’t it past already
once the reader picks up your book?
And how much do we actually notice
while it happens
rather than through
later reflections?

One could also just stop caring
about time.
Just write the time off.
Literally.
It passes anyway
no matter what.

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How About Writing About Something I Know?

How about writing about something I know?
Something I care about?
How about not caring in advance whether the reader understands
or wants to understand
or whether or not it even matters?
How about settling for the idea
that everything matters
and that if I write about something that is
meaningful to me, heartfelt and genuine
that will shine through
and make every word count all the more?
What if I’m wrong…?
But what if I’m right!

How about writing about Lolland.
That’s the island I come from.
Why have I never written about it before?
Well, I have,
but never mentioned the name.
What if giving it its proper name
alienates certain readers
or makes the text less universal
(as if a text ever can be universal)
or makes it more difficult to relate to
or something like that?
But what if it doesn’t!

What if you try to write something universal
and end up with something insipid and vague
that nobody could possibly care for.
Why not write something personal?
Why not write of my home?
As if other people don’t have a home
and wouldn’t understand what it feels like
to long back to it.

Why even pretend that there is a difference
between the personal and the universal –

I want to write about Lolland.
It is an island in the south of Denmark.
It has 60.000 inhabitants.
It is very flat and fertile.

It is my home.

I don’t live there.
I haven’t lived there for ten years now.
It changes nothing.

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I Want to Write About Lolland

I want to write something beautiful.
I want to write something meaningful.
And perhaps that’s the entire problem.
Perhaps that’s why I never get to write
nearly as much as I think about writing.
Reality is just not that pretty.
And why write something
that doesn’t either reflect reality
or could become reality?

Perhaps keeping it real isn’t as boring as I used to think –
perhaps it’s the only way to get to say something
that is truly worthwhile
and could possibly stand the test of time.

I want to write about Lolland
because that’s where my heart is on most days.
Not about the beaches,
the dikes and the hills
or the lakes and the fjords.
Not per se at least.
But about the feeling of complete disconnect
from the rest of the world
caused by intense connection
with one single place
that assaults me
whenever I go there.

I will not use the phrase “go home”
because that’s too emotional
even for me.
I “go there” every once in awhile
to visit my family
and breathe that air
and walk that earth
for no particular reason.
At least no logical reason.
And so I cannot really describe it
because my mind is so
terribly logical
that it wants a logical reason
and balks at the lack of one.

I just “go there”, ok?

Every once in awhile
drawn
beyond reason.

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I Want To Believe

I want to believe
that I could create something
that could last beyond my years.
I know however
how unlikely
that would be.

I “go there” every once in awhile
and the streets remain the same
but the houses change
or disappear entirely
and people come and go,
locations change names –
the only constant there is
that I can always find
is the brooding barrows,
ruins, stones
that reminisce a past
we don’t even remember;
something gone,
something didn’t last
again.
And here I am,
presumptuously,
whining about the human want
to last – and last – and last –
to leave a mark,
to make a mark,
to be remembered…
As if it matters in the long run
who reads me once I’m gone.

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I Have a Crippling Fear of Writing

My biggest wish for the future
is that everybody would stop
pretending that they are perfect
when they all know they’re not.

My perfect scenario being
universal honesty
about our faults and fears
and vulnerability.

But since everybody else
seem too afraid to do it,
I’ll set an example myself;
just this to get started with:

I have a crippling fear of writing.
Say what?
Yes, I do!
Actually, it doesn’t have much to do with writing
but a lot to do with finding the right words to speak my mind
so that others can understand it –
now, that’s a challenge!

And it’s not that I ought to care if I get it wrong
since I don’t know the reader –
but if they were to misunderstand
and comment on it –
now, that’s where the fear comes in
since I don’t have the energy
for arguments
or even just
for civil discussions –
really, I don’t have much energy for talking
at all.

My energy needs to be carefully doled out on
worthy pursuits
rather than wasted on random things.
(Other people could benefit from the same
approach
but lack the benefit of an enlightening diagnosis
to help them on their way) –
I cannot afford to waste energy on people
and their opinions
except those of a very select few individuals
who have proven themselves worthy of my
attention.

So I have a distinct fear of writing.
Because I have little energy for talking
and therefore little experience
in expressing my thoughts.
Because I have no education besides
programming, where you only learn
to communicate with a computer
rather than with people.
Because I have no conception of what other people might think
when they read what I write
and only vague ideas about
what other people think at all.

But perhaps that is predominantly a good thing.
I have no conception of the ridiculous prejudice
I see other people express,
or of ingrained social practices
that are outright meaningless,
or of wasting my time talking to people I don’t know
of things which I have no knowledge of
just to pass my time,
or of passing off my limited knowledge
of anything
as an absolute truth
to anyone –
on the other hand I have a crippling fear
of other people misreading me
as if the latter was the case
and no way of knowing whether or not there is a risk
that they might do so.

Above all I have a crippling fear
of being talked down to
and being talked over
because that’s comprised 90%
of all my social encounters
so far.

And so I write instead of talking
since I don’t have a voice that anybody can hear anyway
and chastise myself all the while
for not standing up, screaming,
even though I know it wouldn’t solve anything at all
if I did.

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I Wonder

I wonder if I am
the only thinking person in the world –
or if perhaps
the world itself consists of nothing but a thought –
I wonder if
these people passing me with endless words
are capable of thoughts
that aren’t stray or passing –
I wonder if the act of talking
doesn’t dim the mind eventually,
if all the noise obstructs the thoughts
that might expand one’s understanding of the world –
I wonder if
other people were to remain quiet
how much would they get to think?
How likely is it that they would
begin to write?

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If I Lack Words, I Must Make Them

There… there…
no, I failed to grasp it again
but I was close this time…
That word just keeps eluding me…
I have it… I have had it… I had it…
It’s gone…
I speak the things out loud
inside my head
I would have liked to have said
out loud
but even then that word
eludes me…
What was it now again?

I lack that word to describe myself
and what I am…
I have a handful of clichés
and even they don’t even
approximate
what I am…
What am I?
Something indescribable
apparently…

I am a finger hovering over a keyboard for a
missing key…

I am a note lingering in the air after the music has ended…
I am the anticipation before the music has started to play…

I am a synthesis – but of what? Of past and
future making present? Of art and technology making a future I’m not sure I even wish to live in? But would I rather live in the past?

Where in the world do I belong? In the physical world where I am technically situated I might as well not exist, but I cannot really exist in the
virtual world I inhabit. My words come out as nothing but the clatter of a keyboard. As if I was only speaking to myself. I look up and around and think that I might as well be.

But I chose this for myself didn’t I? How can I complain that I am lonely and that nobody understands me when I chose this? I had alternatives. They were worse. I chose this. I chose the
keyboard. I chose the clatter. I chose the silence. Because the price of speaking is so damn high.
I chose the computer over the people. Because the computer is logical and follows instructions. It understands the code I write. Humans cannot be relied upon to understand the words I say. They do not always. They do not – mostly. But the
computer I can talk to. And it doesn’t suddenly decide that it would rather have its software
written by someone more attractive or less needy or less socially awkward or less quiet. It just
accepts me. It’s just there when I need it. And I never have to struggle to express myself to it like I have to when around people.
That was my choice. But it was never an easy one.

But maybe it doesn’t all have to be as black and white as I have made it out to be. Maybe I can combine everything. Maybe I can speak to people through the computer. For lack of better options. And maybe they would actually hear me.

If I lack words I must make them. I must re-program the language to fit me if it doesn’t. And it doesn’t. I must reshape my language in my own image and hope that somebody will understand what I mean anyway.

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I Have Been Torn

I have been torn
between the world and writing –
writing is demanding,
leaving little to the world
once it has been written.

But the world, moreover,
continues to enrage,
disappoint and sadden me,
so I have surrendered
at least momentarily –

I write my poetry –
all is back to normal.
This is constancy,
rhyme and meter,
thoughts and words
that I can speak with my fingers
though never with my mouth.

— |

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Writing vs Programming

SInce I wrote my first line of code I have been torn between writing and programming. Torn between the code and the fiction. Felt that if I spent more time on one, the other would suffer. Desperately tried to balance them out, and felt exhausted and confused at the end of the day because I wanted to do both but just didn’t have enough hours in the day.
But in reality, that was a meaningless confusion. Staring myself blind at a distinction that doesn’t really exist, or need to exist.
What I initially failed to realize, is that programming is also very creative. And the process behind writing a program and – say – a poem, is actually very similar.

Continue reading Writing vs Programming

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The Word “Why”

When hearing that I write poetry, most people immediate degrade it to a “hobby”, or ask whether I have been published, or whether I am studying literature.

Why instead not ask what I write? Why I write? What I get out of writing? Whether writing has enriched my life? Whether I feel that I get something out of writing that no other thing on Earth could give me – money included?

Why not rather ask whether I am writing because I like writing, instead of immediately assuming that I write to be published?

Continue reading The Word “Why”

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On My Progress As A Poet

I set myself up to the task of writing this essay in 2013 after spending two days editing my earliest poems and being deeply disappointed by them. I thought them genius when I wrote them (which is also why I published them of course), but in 2013 I found most of them just barely passable. That was when I realized that I needed to assess how I have developed as a poet over the years in order to determine what I have actually gotten out of the process of writing. I returned and re-wrote this essay in 2017 to include the “conclusion” that was my newer works and the return to writing in my own language rather than English.

Continue reading On My Progress As A Poet

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Of My “Fiction”

I am basically not as imaginative as people might think when reading my fiction. I do not “invent” fiction – I only fictionalize reality.

I think the biggest barrier I had to overcome when I started writing prose fiction rather than pure poetry, was that I had the ideal of thinking up fiction, which was something I never succeeded at. It wasn’t till I realized that the best pieces of fiction ever written are based on real events (however fictionally coated afterwards) that I actually managed to write anything worthwhile. My short stories have come into being based on this principle: Real events, coated with fiction to a smaller or larger extent depending on their individual nature.

Continue reading Of My “Fiction”

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Reminder

Confusion is a fact of life, and when my mind forgets,
my dreams continue to remind me of the life I had;
I see you, see your smile again, and hear your voice again,
I feel you touch me, feel your skin. I love you yet again.

And when I went to sleep last night I was supposed to dream
but I gained no such thing; I went to work within my sleep;
I wrote and wrote about you and I meant each word I wrote,
but everything was washed away the moment I awoke.

I know I love you, even though I don’t know how or why;
I can’t remember if I know; forget it when I try –
I’d like to just erase you, to move on and to forget,
but every time I sleep you still return to fill my head.

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The Changeling

When I was born, I guess nobody knew
that I was born to be an artist too –
for when it was announced much later on
my parents answered little else than scorn –

I stretch the boundaries I am confined in –
I have to, if I’m even to begin
expressing what I sense around me – I am free
from expectations born by anyone but me –

However nice it would be once to hear
appreciation from my source of being, it is clear
that what I am I have become alone
and what I do I must do on my own –

So here I am – a changeling I guess,
who didn’t quite fulfill my parents’ wish
(whatever else they wished their only child),
a failure, such I guess they’ve got me filed –

Yet who are they to blame or who to cry;
I cannot be another than this “I” –
whatever else they may have wished of me,
delusions were on them, never on me

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So Tired

I am tired of searching
for something I’m not sure to find.
I am tired of writing
words I am not sure I even understand.
I am tired of editing
poems written years ago and try to make amends
for visions I once had
that I barely remember, and much less comprehend.

I am tired of attempting
to believe that my writings have meaning –
but what else is worth believing in?
I’d drop the pen and do something better,
more meaningful and worthwhile
if I thought that it existed – I am dreaming
of a contrubution of some sorts
beyond writing.
But I fail at visualizing
what they might entail
when everything besides my words
seem out of sorts.

I am tired of searching
for meaning that I’m certain I will never find,
I am tired of dreaming

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A Writer’s Plight – Preface

I will attempt to tell you all
and will attempt to tell it right
the story of the secret Fall
and of a writer’s hidden plight.

These stories I am to unwind
are alien to you I guess
and ignorance of them, you’ll find,
was once my biggest wish.

But as a writer nonetheless
to this task I feel obliged;
to bear unto you all witness
and on these secrets shed some light.

So listen please and listen well
as I will bring these things to light
and as I will attempt to tell
the stories of a writer’s plight.

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A Writer’s Plight – 2

I climbed a narrow staircase
winding upwards without end.
I climbed towards a foreign place
where someone had me sent.

I rose up, clinging to the wall,
in darkness I stumbled ahead,
and through the dark a voice would call
my name; and this it said:

”Approach, I’ve sent for you,
I have been waiting patiently
– I have a task for you, so
come and listen carefully.”

And out the darkness I then came
to the light on top of the stair
and the voice who’d spoken my name
was waiting for me there.

An old man was his guise,
he bade me enter and sit down,
stern then became his voice,
he gazed down at me with a frown.

”I sent for you purposefully,
for you have just been chosen
to aid me, it’s a necessity
and you can not be woken –

not till you have completed this;
the task I am to give you.
So have a seat, the past is whisked
away, you start anew.”

He handed me an open book –
its pages were all empty.
I trembled as I took the book
and held my destiny.

”It’s not been written yet,”
he said, with solemnity of voice;
”that is your task – now go ahead
you do not have a choice.”

I stared down at the pages
as I leafed through the volume.
I might’ve sat there ages
before filling out a column.

His eyes were resting at my face
as I sharpened a pencil.
I felt shattered by his gaze;
bent entirely to his will.

I started writing, hesitantly
and words came out of nowhere.
My hands, mere tools of literacy,
worked steadily to share…

To share the message I had been
Somehow picked out to pen down.
I didn’t know what was therein
before the page was shown.

Column up and down I wrote
as slowly dawn drew nearer
and the horizon lightened, wrote
exhausted, struck with fear.

Words fell out, on the page strewn
from my hands without my knowing.
Through the pencil they were blown –
a river – with no ending.

Then upwards I looked, and behold
the old man had disappeared.
The sun had risen, streams of gold
flowed through the windows sheer.

And I no longer sat in the small
dark room above the stairway.
Rather out of bed I crawled;
my own room on display.

For a brief second all I felt
was overwhelming relief –
until my eyes on my desk fell
and the sight I couldn’t believe:

There lay the book, open at the page
I’d reached before the morning.
I felt the weight of that man’s gaze,
sank to my feet in mourning.

It hadn’t been a dream then –
I was now all at a loss.
All I could do was grab a pen;
continue from where I left off.

Word after word kept materializing
as I went back to my work.
They mixed with tears of the exhausting
imagery that over me surged.

I realized that day – too late –
I’d given myself away.
That I’d entirely sealed my fate;
To books the best of days.

My life had taken a drastic turn
and now it’s still the same:
While down my candle slowly burns
I keep this curious name:

“Writer” is the name, and that
condemns to live forever
in print, and through all else that
through time I shall bring to paper.

No peaceful sleep inside a tomb
will be my destiny.
Rather will I be forced to haunt
any number of libraries.

No freedom and no peace was I
allotted in this life –
and even after the day I die
I’ll carry on my strife.

Hear my advice – the lot of you
who dream of a writer’s creed:
Keep off in awareness of the truth;
it’s slavery indeed!

I may lay down the pencil now
and stretch my tired limbs
but the writing is never over
and the future I can glimpse;

For it’s been written over me:
“The day I can’t write when I try
I will never again feel joyous or free;
this will be the day I die.”

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A Writer’s Plight – 1

I do not know until this day
whether I was awake or dreamt
and never before did I say
these things; for I was too ashamed

What happened was that once I went
through cooling air an early morn
out with the trivial intent
to visit someone I hadn’t seen for long

I reached his door and then I’d ring
the bell, but I got no response
I waited long but for nothing
and then I had this dreadful hunch

I opened the door, called out his name
but the house remained in silence.
I searched the rooms, it was in vain –
then I sensed somebody’s presence

Into the living room I saw
and this moment I shall never forget
for as I opened up the door
I saw a sight of awful dread

He was at home, but he was not
within his usual human shape
what I beheld that day, with shock,
had over it a table cover draped

Somehow he was turned to a rock
of massive granite, to this day
I cannot say through all my shock
how I approached the sad display

I rested my hands upon the stone
and yet again called out his name
never have I felt so alone
never did my voice seem so in vain

But then the stone began to speak
to me, and yes, it had his voice
although the tone had become bleak
to match the terrible words of choice:

”This is a curse”, he said to me,
rock trembling beneath my hand,
”but there is a way you can set me free,
please help me return to the shape of man.”

I asked him what it was that I
could do to help him out of there
and once again come back to live
to breathe again the refreshing air

He guided me, and all I did
was following his instructions
I merely did whatever he said in,
I thought, an act of compassion

First I removed the table cover
and beheld the rock in entirety
then I took a pencil, and all over
the surface I wrote repeatedly –

his name, again and again and again
repeated all over the rock surface
and as I wrote I saw, first faint,
how the shape began to be replaced

But not with flesh and blood, oh no,
something must’ve gone wrong for me
for what I now began to see
was nothing like what I’d expected to:

His voice went silent and the rock
with strong and powerful tremors shook
began transforming, and with shock
I now held in my hands a book

The title was his name I saw
and when I dared to open it
I startled then i shock and awe
when seeing what it did emit

It was the story of his life,
his face hovered over the pages
I had not turned him back to life
but made him undead for ages

I held the book, cried out my pain
but no-one heard and no-one cared
my howling disappeared in vain
and since that time I haven’t dared

to shed a tear for him or me
for any way I turn the subject
it’s all my fault, for it was me
who made him an inanimate object

Maybe it wasn’t my intent
but it doesn’t matter anymore
as over my old desk I’m bent
I ponder wounds remaining sore

Was it a blessing or a curse
what happened to him on that day?
I carried him home in my purse
and on my shelf he’s on display

I could not bear to leave him be
(though it might have seemed right to do)
in some cold, distant library
cold-hearted people passes through

I keep him on my shelf to see
I keep him as a stark reminder
that though my intent was him to free
rather I became a murderer

He’s still alive and present here
but only in bookform today
and in due time I suppose and fear
that he too will succumb to decay

But until that day he has an existence
beyond the borders of life and death
where, even though I feel his presence
I can’t feel Him, and to his voice I’m deaf

Undead, forgotten and locked inside
a book cabinet drenched in tears
is now the person who once inspired
such great hopes and such great fears

Not dead but certainly not alive
not lost but long forgotten
the fault wasn’t his, it is all mine,
and alone now I carry its burden

Be careful of what you write, and of
when and where you use your pen
writing is remarkably tough
and you might very well regret your end

Be careful whose name you put to print
and of whose voice you should detail;
you might do harm without intent
so do be careful to prevail

My friend now rests not in a grave
but high upon my cabinet’s shelf
if you don’t want yours to share his fate
then keep your writings to yourself

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Song of the Intermediaries

The experts tuning the instruments
have all been deceived
into thinking that we intermediaries
are inherently weak

They displace our words and derive
thereby a different air,
this alone would be enough to drive
the strongest to despair

The experts love the fine-tuned sounds
of fancier instruments,
but our sounds will exceed the bounds
of all they can invent

We will sing it out, intermediaries,
from the highest top;
the secrets kept in secret diaries
till They beg us to stop

The fine-tuned sounds of emptiness
will then finally cease
and we’ll replace them with the bliss
of words resting in peace

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The Old Man

I keep you in a tower in my head,
I know you’re always there, that I can get
advice from you whenever needed…

All I need to do is climb the stair,
the winding stair up to your lair
and end up in the library…

The place where you first handed me my fate;
a book with empty pages and a pen…
And told me to write…

Sometimes I walk the stair and feel
the walls are closing in,
but I always see the light at the other end,
above my head you light the candle
that I walk towards
ever upwards, upwards, up to you…
Up where the candles burn.

“Fill the book and then you may return.”

The day the book is full the candle burns out too.

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It’s This Simple

To those who have felt entitled to assume that the primary reason I write poetry should be that I happen to be a woman – rather than because I had anything to say or any need to express it.

No, I don’t write poems because I’m a woman;
I write poems because I’m a poet!

No, I don’t write love poems because I’m a woman;
I write love poems because I love!

If you don’t understand what I’m trying to say
I suggest you stop reading right away –
with your lack of intelligence
you would misunderstand
every poem anyway.