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Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Iliad of the Free

Broken Chain


I can only be what I can be.
I guess it was Time -- that stoic barometer --
which reminded me. I never realised
that leaving such thoughts
behind silences future telemetry --
the same as writing words
on a dirty page, or not knowing
what you'd come to mean to me.

I can only be what I can be.
That was what I had said, before
I stripped the flesh of this meagre
existence, and walked out of the door
to search for the bones of something more.
That I mumbled something to the effect
I was less, you were more, did nothing
to ease or equal the score.

I can only be what I can be --
a corny line, told a thousand times
to help charter the waters
for those wanting to be free,
but freedom can tarry too long,
like a homeless man that labours on
and on in foreign fields --
arms heavy with harvested beauty.


You were still a girl -- I was a child,
a foolish boy in wonderment
of every frilly accoutrement, playing
hide and seek in deep pitches
of women's intimacy, lost, indulgent to
every crevice of their skin,
instances of high life blurred in
sounds of quick fulfilment.

But when the dreamer woke suddenly,
it was to be cheated by the discovery
that he had never really been free --
after having so many loves pushing
it so far, still all I could see
were your eyes in the last frame,
watching me play a losing hand
in a winning game.

I can only be what I can be.
And I wanted to be free, but became
a constant slap in the face
to love's ways -- for it wasn't existence
but I that was meagrely -- a defining heat
of a sun without a day to its core --
I was so right to say
I was less and you were more.


If only I could have known
that in a world where love is grown
I'd be staring at stretches
of unsown earth instead, would I
have left us for dead? -- To wander through
simply unwrapping this gift of air
with no care, taking this veneer
and burying the rest with me or you --

while still feeling your love push
through the very plug of me, deep to
that clot in the lower vertebrae
of my soul's mobility, paralysed
against the doors I hide behind
whenever some memory knocks for you
to come out to play -- and I
can't ask them to come in to stay.

I can only be what I can be --
not free any more, but wandering lost
in my original war, an insignificant
star shooting itself out
in the dark or slowly falling
in his self-made sky -- or a new
dead metaphor, used by love for so long
my only meaning is an idiom for you and I.

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