That I could walk in peace, though past sins grieved,
Or look upon the morning sun with relative ease.
My path is writ in time sharpened stones, and
I cannot find my way back home; indeed found
Lost amidst the bitter fog of yesterday’s deeds.
I cried out loud, will forgiveness descend, or strike
Me now my bitter end, and none did hear but the
Raven’s caw; portend my shame and final fall.
Oh, that I could rewind and once again live as though
Merciful God would kindly give; but He would not,
And time is waning. My downward spiral is near complete
And draws now deep and final sleep. I shall not waken to
Tomorrow’s light, I cannot make what’s wrong now right.
And so my words, as sure they must
Eulogize me as they would the falling dust.
For better or for worse, I am a dark writer.
It isn’t something I wanted to be as I grew up…it is more something that had to be done to give my inner grief a voice so that the pain and suffering did not consume me. The events of my life have consumed me like maggots feasting on the carcass of a dead child. Have you ever wondered why the best of Irish writers are so dark and depressing? It is because they were consumed and compelled by lives lived in abject poverty, disease and general disrepair and despair. Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Frank McCourt, …all suffered from severe moral disintegration, from morbid ideations brought about by the unrelenting ugliness that this so called “good life” thrust upon them.
The French poéts maudits; François Villon, Baudelaire and Rimbaud? These were simple men forced to live their lives outside or against society, awash in the abuse of drugs and alcohol, insanity, crime, and violence. They all died pitiful, painful deaths. Or how about the Americans? Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Bukowski…each caught up in what life does best…grinding their souls to dust in the absence of any lasting hope until the merciful fist of death grabbed each by the ankle and pulled them under.
You may think I’m just cynical and indulgent…but I tell you, for every ray of sunshine you can conjure, I can show you ten bolts of lightning that rip and destroy. I am glad others have happiness….but I myself was pushed through this veil of insidious despair without my consent, and I’ve learned to navigate life in the absence of hope. And yes, I find some comfort there. It’s what I know.
People are always saying, “try and look on the bright side,” and to them I say, “ Look around you, for fuck’s sake!” There is an ocean of pain, agony, and suffering washing over the majority of the earth’s population…and you think platitudes and sweet rejoinders make a difference when the crows peck the eyes from a dead child who has starved in the Sudan? Or when 20 beautiful innocent children in Sandy Hook have their precious lives snuffed out, or when entire populations are being systematically wiped off the face of the earth for political expediency? Get real. Take off your rose-colored specs and take a deep look around you! Evil flourishes upon a people’s unwillingness to see. They are blinded by their blazing sunshine and forced optimism.
Yes, we live in the same world, but I see the shadows where you see the light. I don’t write this kind of crap because I have something to say…I write it because something which must be said has me to write it. My apologies for the rant…but I get so ill in my gut when people say, “there, there…the world is a beautiful place. Just try harder to be happy.”
The world is obscene and delusional. And it hurts.
You laid your plaited skirt
on the foot of my bed,
neatly folded as though
in doing so you could somehow
retain your virtue.
In the midst of our fleshy thrashing,
I kicked it to the floor, and you began
to cry, deep sobs that rattled
the mattress springs.
I moved, too reluctantly, to retrieve it
but you said, “Why bother? You’ve ruined it.
You’ve ruined me. You’ve ruined everything!”
Making love doesn’t always
mean making sense,
and so I threw my feet to the floor,
pulled on my jeans, and looked back,
although I would never be able to see.
“So that’s it?” you sobbed.
I smiled In affirmation, buttoned my shirt,
and turned toward the door,
and as an afterthought, picked up
your once plaited skirt, tossed it
carelessly over my shoulder,