Saturday, February 03, 2007

Forever Nothing

From time to time I go back to the well to sip the bitter waters of my past. I don’t know why I do this. I usually come away feeling worse – poisoned again, if just for a moment – but oh, so gloriously alive! Perhaps it’s similar to an addict’s relapse. A bite of the apple from the forbidden tree. A pinch after an impossible kiss. The thrill of a near death experience.

I’m talking about the poetry I wrote before I woke up – before the healing started. I go back and read it again and again. I just have to. It’s like a dead body in the woods behind my house. You know it's out there - rotting - calling you to examine the business of decay. In the middle of the night I put on my coat and creep outside, navigate the tangle of my past, and find the dead corpse of my former life and poke it with a stick. I stare at it agape - at its lifeless form. You would think after all this time, rigor mortis would have set in. I mean, my god, rehab was almost ten years ago! But the body yields to the pressure of the stick – still supple - so much so that I more than half-expect it to rise up and engage me in conversation – I fear it may hug me and tell me how it longs to come back inside my house, for old-time's sake – that it was the only one who ever truly loved me or can.

I read my poem. In my head I hear, “This was you asshole – you pathetic piece of shit! You’re a maniacal, self-loathing, self-centered, ego-maniac, and above all else, you’re incapable of love! You can’t even love!”

And then I read my poem again. I stare at the corpse, watching it convulse and twitch with what little life is left. I place my foot across its neck and try to press its head into the dirt. It's mouth moving now, jaws working - fish-like - in silent protest. My stick finds a soft spot between its ribs and I shove through the heart until I feel the stick pass completely through. I crouch down to its ear and whisper, “You’re forgiven.” I take the hand of the small boy standing next to me – my ever-present companion, and whisk him back to bed. Tucking him in, I bring my face close to his, smelling his innocence and whisper in his ear, “I love you.”

This is my poem - it haunts me still

Forever Nothing ~

A resonance born of existential urgency vibrates deep within me. Each successive wave building upon the next. In crescendo, its biting sting tolls against the walls of my inner-self, revealing in its pure tone an emptiness nourished on a banquet of isolation. A feast of famine fit for the king of nothing. My unsatiated hunger to be un-unique feeds in maddening desperation on my sanity, devouring my desire to be. It consumes my hiding place and all my secrets.

The moments comprising my existence hang in a loosely strung succession like beads on an infinite twine, threading it's way backwards, forever into a shadowy place bordering a magnificently splendid nothing. There, non-existent willows sway in an ethereal breeze, weeping infinity into an empty black pool. At its bank, reflections of what never was stare back at what is not. Emptiness sings its silent hollow song, richly devoid of words and tone, in meter without measure. In a moment, nothingness becomes nothing. Its transitory non-existence was ephemeral after all, as was the moment in which it was perceived.

Perception defines reality, yet mine is unique to my minds eye. Seeing what I see, sets me farther apart from those who share in each other’s comfort, those who are bound together in a common perception forged not of their own experience. Theirs is one passed down to them clandestinely; a bitter pill tucked inside of sweets and washed down with mother’s milk. Independent thought, originality, awareness, present moment mindedness - the blacksmith’s forging tools. Experience, the iron of which my reality was struck.

Moments pass, each folding over upon themselves, doubling and redoubling in length and insignificance, strung in their eternal place on the twine. Frenetic monotony ushers in each moment yet to be wasted. Through my active pursuit of incessant idleness each moment’s infinite potential is squandered. A shrill wail is faintly perceived as I give birth to yet another crippled companion, each the progeny of unexpressed hopes and dreams, the sum of my desire.

This anecdote devoid of prose has offered me a brief repose, from tolling tones which sting and bite, disturb my sleep and lengthen night. Through idleness did I give birth to this account of my self-worth, which as you see indeed is low, the scar of trauma long ago. A gentle child, perfect, kind, long-forgotten, left behind, my life a worthless piece of twine, threading its way backwards forever into nothing.

By dennis tkon copyright 2007


beLLe said...

~so intense~

thanks for sharing this~


Dennis said...

Thanks Belle. I had to.

superstar said...

life just good

Rethabile said...

Have to come back read again. Understand all the angles and possible meanings. Cheers.

Alex aka Gypsy Girl said...

Dennis, You have such brightness inside your heart. You have infinite potential and life force! You've bounced back! That is quiet something! Doing the Sunday Scribblings shook something in me about my past too. I let it in and then OUT with a heartfelt goodbye. Feel better :)

I love the poem too. If it wasn't for the back story here, I'd look at it as an intriguing mystery... All experiences count!

Isn't there a saying about how the grief only carves space in your heart so it can double it's potential for love and goodness?!

Dennis said...

Alex – thanks for stopping by and posting. I had never heard that before about grief. It’s an interesting concept and certainly rings true! Thanks so much for enriching me with that. Much thanks!

Poet with a Day Job said...

Dennis - (sigh) to say nice work, which is what I want to say, isn't quite right. But this poem, even as, or apart from, the story/description that precedes it is intense, and moving, and thought provoking - and caring. There's a voice inside this poem trying to speak through the voice that's writing this poem - and it does come through in so many ways. I am particularly fond of the last "paragraph" which is the sweetest lullaby to self - it's just so exposed and vulnerable, it demands respect, sort of in the way a hatchling does.

As for the "going back for one last sip of the cup eternal" or whatever you want to call it - I do it too. I do it almost on a regular basis, depending. I mean, I don't do it with drink anymore, but I still search for anything that could give me the comfort of the familiar. That's why I always go back: I am looking for a place so familiar to me, I can just let everything else go. But the nature of growth does not allow for that kind of familiarity necessarily, as growth sort of invites/incites change. We're just human, and I'm glad I found you here. We have PT to thank for that!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing this, Dennis. I really needed to read it. I've been feeling overwhelmed and this is so soothing, reminding me to be gentle with my inner self. Your words are powerful and thought-provoking. Hope you're feeling better.

--Robin (formerly R's Musings)

dennis said...

Thanks Robin! Hope you're feeling better too! We all miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regina Clare Jane said...

I am honored that you would share such an intense time in your life with us... with the back story and the poem, you have taken me into a world that I know very little about, that's scary to me... I may have one of those bodies laying back behind my house , too, but I don't even want to go there. You are very courageous, Dennis.
Thank you...

Poet with a Day Job said...

Sigh. I love it the second time around too, my friend. I think this is one of those stories that will be new again to you whenever you come back to it.

twilightspider said...

This is amazing Dennis. Though it's painful to look back, I hope that you can find some comfort in knowing that this power you have with words has been with you all along.

I'm not sure if you noticed, but the last paragraph of your introduction is a prose poem in and of itself. What talent you have.

Pauline said...

"A gentle child, perfect,"

This is the real you. The rest is ephemeral, as you suggest.

Dennis said...

Regina – Thanks for the kind words. I think you’re right, we all have our ghosts! Jung calls it the Shadow. It’s very much real and the question is how much consciousness do we bring? How much light do we shine in its direction?

PWADJ – I love that you suffered this twice and commented twice! What can I say but thanks? Hey! Your contribution today was just amazing. I think a bunch of people really had their hair blown back. I know I did!

Twilight – you’re very kind! I take comfort in a lot of things these days – but mostly from experiencing love. Thanks for stopping by!

Pauline – I’ll agree with you, but only if you’ll agree with me that we’re all that same child. It took me several lifetimes to learn that.

gautami tripathy said...

Intense build up. I can feel your pain. Very good writing.

Writing takes so much from our own lives and gives us as much too. Do chk my Sunday scribbling post...Finally along with prose poetry.

The link: Ambrosial

Glad to be here on your blog. I will be back.