Muse

Closeness

We were distant any way, even before all this.

Even when we were sitting across from one another at a small, intimate table; how much were we really willing to give out?  How much were we ready to take in?

We were always wearing masks and carrying shields.

The only things a real connection needs are honesty and willingness; proximity is optional.

Picture: Claude Cahun, 1928, Self portrait. Pantin, France.

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Verse

Listen 

Listen to the quiet, and you will hear the enormity of this all. 
Remember, embedded in the sound of silence, is the knowledge of everything. 

Image: Kadiya Qasem, 2011, The art of dying, http://www.kadiya-qasem.com

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Verse

House 

I live in a house,

that I’ve never left.

I don’t know how many rooms it has.

Every day, I open a new door, 

and in the dark, 

feel the things inside.
 
 
 

Photograph: Giovanni Ozzola, 2015, ‘Verderti e perderti’. Galleria Continua, San Gimignano SI, Italy.

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Verse

Colombo looks like a bride tonight

Colombo looks like a bride tonight;

lovely, wet,

born in the morning,

heart racing, jewels burning;

here for tomorrow,

sweet, gratifying—like fresh milk rolling down your throat.

 

Colombo looks like a bride tonight,

whose girlhood dreams were subject to the earth’s gravitational pull

—a practical brown, boxy and tied down.

A girl whose thoughts were borrowed from the eight-thirty show.

but perfectly nice and with a secret alleyway between her breasts.

 

She’ll cry on her wedding night.

 

Colombo looks like a bride tonight

—a woman who knows better than to question happiness.

She knows that the moment joy touches your fingers

is when you hear that distant thunder.

Her best secrets—like dirty, old men—

left homeless, roaming loose and unloved

like cheap asbestos roofs quietly disintegrating

poison-proofing hearts that sleep underneath them.

 

Colombo looks like a bride tonight.

A woman cut open and left awake at 2am

as the lonely train runs down Marine drive,

for nothing—driving no one.

 

Colombo looks like a bride tonight-

lovely, pious, shiny and alone,

because it’s a long weekend and

everyone left for home

—never more empty and never more beautiful.
 

Photograph: Max Murrell, 2017, ‘Trees in the dark’, http://www.twitter.com/maxmurrell_42, Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Verse

I remember mother

I remember mother, 

a memory; a dream

of a long grey-green plain flowing into the sea,

and the feel of grass peeling on the hairs of my skin.

I could run, 

but I walked

because my legs were tired from the hunt; 

and I had nowhere to be;

nothing to be,

but a rock with the world behind me.

Y. Yongliang, 2015, Fall into oblivion, Yang Yongliang Studios, http://www.yangyongliang.com

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Verse

Enormity

When something little crawls on your skin,

it somehow threatens your everything within

because you realise that you’re nothing and everything, all at once

—like the dirt we walk upon

—like the great big Earth we live and die on

—like grass blades

—like the vast plains

—like the one breathing open enormity that we won’t make.
 

When something little crawls on your skin,

pressing its alien intention against your being;

your whole rounded entirety begins to shake with questions

—like how the Earth must feel

—like how a whole other world could exist right in our view

—like the reality of reality.

It’s terrifying.

And, that’s why we scream.

Picture by Madhavan Palanisamy from the series Appa and other animals

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Verse

What can you do when you like pain?

It’s a bad thing when you like pain,

because then you practice the art of incising your skin 

in ways that leave paper thin cuts that only ever hurt 

but never draw blood;

kind of wounds that only sting, but can never kill a thing.
 

It’s a good thing when you like pain,

because it’s the thread that runs through our everyday, 

woven into our very grains.

Pain is that unbearably soft thing that holds 

happiness’ frame of reference in place. 

It’s a good thing to know,

on first-name basis, 

it’s a good thing to get comfortable with;

as long as you stay kind to everyone else

and, in the eyes of the world, to yourself.

Photo—Piet Biniek, fotografie.pietbiniek.de and http://www.artdoxa.com

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