Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A poem by Chris Martin

Check out this lovely poem by Chris Martin, from a forthcoming book called Every Time I Decided Not to Set Myself on Fire

So what if these were notes not
for something more
finished, but for something more
like ruins, not Gothic
Revival Horace
Walpole fakes, not stonewashed
jeans, but real ruins, lived-in
to death, a little ruin
of a typewriter that bit
ribbon after ribbon
until every blackened tooth
smashed, guiding a whole polis
of letters into the skies
and trucks and boxes? Say
these ruins were like no
other ruins in
that they were (not actually)
invisible, as in invisible
to commodity, like no one
would ever stand in front of them
in a photograph, or rub one
of their crumbly faces, or point
at a cluster of dots
on some cheap map, but ruins one
could only stumble
upon like it was someone else’s
life left between a stand
of hairy pines, and no one thought
to walk there again, it wasn’t
a way anyone going
somewhere would go, a huge fucking
mess, not left to someone
to deal with, but devastating
in its beauty
because it’s someone else’s so
gone you just know
you’ll never know anything
factual about it, or the person
whose life it was and now
only is, this gorgeous
nothing pointing
everywhere but at itself, this event
you (now) and only now (you)
are allowed to see, an event
that barely even unfolds, but just sits
there in all its inaccessibility
like a flood that isn’t
a real flood because it never moves
and it can’t be a real event
because there aren’t any streets
to walk home on, or string
to unravel, there is only this ruin
running in place, that no
one else will ever happen
across, that absolutely everyone
will miss, just as you have
missed everything else, some fat
animal staring at a reason, some bear
furrowing, so that
soon even
you will miss it, this ruin, this impossible
strip of “life” that will
drift with other endless parts
of you you lost
along the way, over all
this time, will shift
like another gleaming doorknob
in Brigadoon, so as always
to stay where you are
not, a great big floating thrift store
of late appendages
like a fool fingering walnut shells
to remember the meat.

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