mirrors and smoke

there’s always a latent disintegration of everything that seems solid in the world,

there’s a hidden sickness in every core of  purpose and goodness

infecting what we know and see and believe;

the very essence of whatever dream sustains us

is gradually falling apart - imperceptible landslide until the final quickening and collapse;

out there, beyond our knowledge, someone or something weaves dark shrouds

and one day, unexpectedly, 

beauty is wrapped up in their folds like a dead child.

we need to build something massive to shelter us from ourselves

from what we know deep inside, from what we are,

from the tattered nightmares that still hang on our eyelashes 

every silent morning, every new loop of struggle and hope -

in these great walls lies our only strength and chance of survival.

what was left after our worlds collided

in the corridor between two opposing mirrors?

all the things we wanted to say to each other

like magic spells of love and new beginnings - where are they now?

the longing, the lust, the loss - do they still hover,

ghostlike, in the empty space?

i still believe it was real;

the stage we imagined, the passion we conjured,

the scenes we rehearsed over and over

in the limelight of that madness,

before the absence fell with a thud

like a heavy theatre curtain.

positive thinking

the eye is a travelling window: it records the silent film about the passage

from darkness to another darkness - though some scenes are blurred, some obscured;

you cannot have both happiness and truth;

(if you must choose, choose happiness!)

good things happen to good people - believe it! everything I’ve been struggling with -

this emptiness inside - it’s gone! you see? no one can break me now;

we attract what we are, the life-coach keeps preaching. 

so many books have been written on the subject, so many dreams woven and torn.

she thinks she can dabble in darkness as long as no one sees the needle marks. 

but i know better. 

she is in my silent film too. i watched her from a distance and i can say:

what happened was her fault.

ophelia was a blank canvas - one could write anything on it:

a tragedy or a wife’s little life with brats tugging at her skirt;

but she suffered from an inability to be -

like most good daughters, she was a keeper of family secrets

in the rosewood cabinet of her eagerness to please;

she knew how much her daddy loved her smile -

that secret love seeped through her whole being - day after day,

until she got lost in a maze of nameless guilt -

or maybe a swamp of self-loathing;

only in madness she could feel whole again.

sans projet de vie

daily events fleetingly illuminated 

by a sunbeam reflected on the string of pearls

that I wear under my veil of darkness;

you have to work for a living, i tell myself in the mirror;

stern clouds stare at me through the window;

you need un projet de vie, a viable plan in the competitive job market.

there’s no fire in you - stop wasting your time daydreaming;

you’re just a thinking animal fighting for survival  - we all are.

the thinking part is seldom of any use:

it breeds sadness, disenchantment, screams stuck in your throat;

sometimes even madness - a kind of toxic excitement

that grows black roots in your mind;

hundreds of dead wings are buried

deeper and deeper in your dreams, choking reality;

a keen self-awareness may yet save you

but how can you lift the curtain of smoke and deceit?

oh, the squalor and suffering they have wrought:

those who knew nothing, those of little faith;

there was a time when gods were walking among us;

now we feed on their ashes.

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