I know my corner well, where the darkness veils just enough to make it welcoming but not isolated. Yet you have tainted this dreamspace, my abode of late. You came in with your dirty feet and tarnished my minute trappings, ripping my small works of art into shreds, demanding I confess to my wrongdoing. I have done no wrong except in acknowledging you for who you were not. I have known much misery by you, have known sadnesses a thousand feet deep in the blackness of the ocean. My melancholy siphons from one vein to another, flowing through the circuitry of my being, molding what I have become. I wish these sentiments on no one, as none deserves such wretchedness, such tightening of happiness. You are a cruel and dirisive being. May you find chaos in your hubris. There is no love left to share with you, for you have misused me too many times to bear. My heart has run dry, and I wish nothing but turmoil in your shortfalls. Perhaps somewhere at the end of your time you may find the acute and immeasurable pangs of self awareness dawn on every reprehensible fiber of your existence and only then may you go in a silent but fleeting moment of quietus. May your trappings haunt you like a disinterested ghost. You have no home here. Be gone before I set the wolves on you once more.
I wonder stupidly if you’d still love me after my run around the world and back to you, at the end of the line. If because of my innate selfishness I shied away from sharing myself with you, I backed out and away to work on other things and realized that I liked being alone, that despite my capacity to love, I have a greater capacity to suffer. That no matter how many times you show up I want to give you the universe and yet show nothing for it because I’m the end result of subtle mistreatment, of pervasive dysfunction. I’ve resided there long, I’ve seen the world to know what the reality is and here I am preserving my sanity. You’re the casualty. I don’t want to give you the universe because I want it for myself. I wonder how you could love these heavy bones when there is so much suffering in the world. How could you concentrate on us when there are others. All this noise and nothing but the pain of distance and withdrawal, of slow heartbreak. I wonder of the ease of waiting for the plane to bring me up into the clouds and over the grid and back to this soothing and dark pool of illusion, of my continuing delusion. Somewhere in the distance, you’re waiting for me but if I look back, I’m lost.
I revv down the winding mountainside as my machine’s purposefully crafted chassis compliments the sharp turns and alternating speeds. The noon winds ride beside me as they take me into their soft and strong arms, like a companion in the ring, light as the clouds but hefty like velvet. I breathe in deep lungfuls of air as I pick up speed. I’m spiraling down the path, each turn more treacherous than the last, but I’m in control and anticipate every move. There is no one ahead or behind me. The way is mine.
Somewhere in the distance, I know you’re there, watching as I wind down the side of the mountain. I catch the faintest hint of cologne in the air, it smells like deep waters, like the dark ocean ahead. I smell mint and sea water. You beckon for me, smoky ghost hands outstretched in the clear cerulean sky above, certain and inevitable.
I’ve been hard on myself. I’ve bypassed my choices with fleeting glances. I’ve refused myself. I want to be free. I should let you love me.
Wide as the ring of a bell,
gone all star white,
small as a wish in a well.
Iron & Wine | Sodom, South Georgia
Will you sing to me when I’m gone?
The moon gathers those wispy clouds around her tonight. She might be cold. She could be lonely. Probably in need of company. Her fleeting friends dance around her in slow motion, the delicate and fickle creatures.
My days have been warm and anxious, my nights cool and fulfilling. I’ve let things go, let them fly up and into the dark skies, spreading through all the pines. I’m here in my body at last, in agreement with my thoughts.
Wednesday marks the 18th year since you died. I’ll be at the manse on the hill to whisper simple words to your memory and bid you another peaceful year of happiness, wherever you are. I’ll walk through the grand entrance with a straight back, into the hall of candles and statues, up the hill to your place of rest and there I’ll shrink back into my 13-year-old self.
It’s fine. Tomorrow is a new day.
The leading lights of the age all wondered amongst
Themselves what I would do next
After all that I’d found in my travels around
The World was there anything left?
“Gentlemen”, I said, “I’ve studied the maps”
“And if what I’m thinking is right”
“There’s Another New World at the top of the World”
“For whoever can break through the ice”
I looked round the room in that way I once had
And I saw that they wanted belief
So I said “All I’ve got are my guts and my God”
Then I paused, “and the Annabelle Lee”
Oh the Annabelle Lee, I saw their eyes shine
The most beautiful ship in the sea
My Nina, my Pinta, my Santa Maria
My beautiful Annabelle Lee
That spring we set sail as the crowd waved from shore
And on board the crew waved their hats
But I never had family just the Annabelle Lee
So didn’t have cause to look back
I just set the course North and I studied the charts
And towards dark I drifted towards sleep
And I dreamed of the fine deep harbor I’d find
Past the ice for my Annabelle Lee
After that it got colder the world got quiet
It was never quite day or quite night
And the sea turned the color of sky turned the color
Of sea turned the color of ice
‘Til at last all around us was fastness
One vast glassy desert of arsenic white
And the waves that once lifted us
Sifted instead into drifts against Annabelle’s sides
The crew gathered closer at first for the comfort
But each morning would bring a new set
Of tracks in the snow leading over the edge
Of the world ‘til I was the only one left
After that it gets cloudy but it feels like I lay there
For days and maybe for months
But Annabelle held me the two of us happy
Just to think back on all we had done
We talked of the Other New World’s we’d discover
As she gave up her body to me
And as I chopped up her mainsail for timber
I told her of all that we still had to see
As the frost turned her moorings to nine-tail
And the wind lashed her sides in the cold
I burned her to keep me alive every night
In the lovers embrace of her hold
I won’t call it rescue what brought me here back to
The Old World to drink and decline
And pretend that the quest for Another New World
Was well-worth the burning of mine
But sometimes at night in my dreams comes the singing
Of some known tropical bird
And I smile in my sleep thinking Annabelle Lee
Has finally made it to Another New World