To Live

(written in 1996)


The drip, drip, dripping of time runs in rivulets down
the gaping wound on the side of the eternal boy.
The scabs continuously rub against themselves,
pouring forth new pain from the deep caverns within,
from the hungry depths of resentment and anger,
cutting away at the corpse of the man,
eating away at the decaying walls of the man,
the pain possesses, the snake entwines the host.

His bloody eye, ever roving for release,
settles upon a passing child, a little girl
who reminds him of a forgotten part of himself–
and the storm of suppressed feelings
rages into his mind, the winds blowing past
into his hands–beating, beating, remembering now
the anger, the hatred released upon his head–
he feeds upon the pain–hers–his. To make
another feel this pain, to release, to fill
the hollowness inside with another’s heart
stolen, ripped out with his bare hands–
he flies away crying hoarsely, a dying boy,
a living man.


I brush my hands–lightly
against my bruises,
feeling the vestiges
of another’s hurt–I
have always believed
in god until now–now
it is a hollow steel image
nailed above my bed.
I hate him.
I see strange things–
in my dreams–
barren landscapes,
charred by the fires
of wars, ruined
by the havoc of storms.
I hate myself.
Why do people turn
against themselves?
I rub my hands together,
feeling a warmth
only outside.


Time, the eternal lacerater, flows forever,
washing the wounds of the injured
in the blind waves of deceitful memory,
leaving restless scars in the belly
that must be stoked with the fiery touch of hope.

But what is the world without hope, where
does one fall to be saved, what is the world
without hope but emptiness and death
and pain and pain and endless pain?
Cut off from herself in the past,
she tries to reunite the shards, the pieces–
blood seeps out the cracks formed
by the forced union–never to be whole again.
There is no hope for one who has already died.
She casts her hands out into the dark space,
groping, and feels the cold rigidity of the crucifix
above her head–the hollow steel image that is him–her–
sparks fly and she wonders if there is a chance–
tobe reborn?.canI. canwe. . .
No–there is Nothing.

But a fire once started cannot be stopped
except by time and time and death.
She looks in the mirror and sees nothing–
and that is the world–everything, anything–
beautiful, the world is horrifyingly beautiful
and it was there all along, before and after
the snake–it takes death to know life–
a shattered image, broken to emptiness,
is life itself in truest form: piercingly aware
of death and its encompassing futility.


I am nothing, nothing,
but part of everything;
I am nothing, nothing,
but the world, the universe;
I am nothing, nothing,
but life and death–
I have tasted the blindness
and now I can see;
I have touched the judgment
and now I can sing–

I am nothing–
and I am beautiful.

Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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