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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Touchscreen Graffiti

1- I'm away from you,
and then the blank page is a stone

I have to chip away at--
just have to-- like graffiti
drawn on a virgin wall

I'm drawing you, and it used to be
the pen was our chisel,

now it's some touchscreen pad
that I'm hammering away at,
but the blank easel is the same,

and I talk to you through
these spaces inside of us:

do I touch you at all? But that's
the doubt talking,
the doubt that creeps in guiltily
like some faithless lover
into the distances at night,

and I talk to these brick walls
as though I'm talking to you,
imagine your voice, as it sounded
in our most recent phone call,
whispering in my ear

2- as I write of you: I ask
is it you? Or something else

that tells me we humans
are but words on a page
hollered out in thought and phrase,

irreducible prose, natural or staged,
some striking a poetical pose,

some talking to blank walls
we deface with the tags of time,
that speaks of us as lines

and marks we cipher
into meanings that are all

but the beat of one drum,
a nameless hum of energy
between you and me,
that joins the invisible,
to speak of your light;

is it you, or just my memories
that make me think
when you turn a certain way
you catch the light to make me
blink-- or am I just dreaming it?

3- Oh, I'd felt you often enough
before, caught sneaky glimpses

in the eyes of those
I thought were a chosen few,
but how does a man sleeping rough

know the shape of walls,
with no home to go to at night?

Until the arms are suddenly there,
and they open up: questions
stripping you bare,

thoughts running gleefully
like naked children:

What decorates your interior?
Do curtains hang from your windows,
or is it true you open all shutters
to the light in you? Love,
of you they say, you glow,

but how would we mortals know?
Having never seen, only breathed
you like air, hungered in the belly
to share your sustenance
with no thought or care?

4- For you are food that is the product
of providence, and so we starve

to catch your light
that eludes, or diffuses
in the palm of the hand--

for we are physical words
and you are sight,

we read ourselves by your light,
so how can we capture you
when we need form? Words need description,

at least some turn of legitimisation,
and light needs none; it burns

like the chisel in hand
yearning to touch stone,
its deepest cut is never given alone,
and so we try to catch the light
like one who catches a cold,

we sniff at you, put a body on you,
and try to wear you out,
kill your fever with a fever,
until we die young, or get too old
to figure you out.

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