Posts tagged ‘Death’

February 12, 2017

Suck Sorrow

suck-sorrow_new

Yes, my dear, we have each other:
that’s what worries me.
I wouldn’t focus on your flaws
if you did not call yourself mine;
you are the living embodiment of my failure,
another symptom of my decline.
But, darling, please don’t let our love ever die.
Because if it does, I’ll be shattered
by all the time I’ve wasted
keeping it alive.

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October 22, 2016

Counterfeit Immortality

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Gissing, Orwell, Kafka, Lawrence: What do these distinguished authors have in common? They all produced a lot of great work, certainly, but surely their most important unifying quality is that they were all younger than me when they died. I have now lived longer than a lot of people who achieved a lot more than I am ever going to achieve. Taking into consideration how much time I have already wasted and how much time realistically remains – and how much of that remaining time is likely to be wasted – then that situation is unlikely to change. Even if I devoted every available remaining hour in unswerving devotion to this unrequired and rewardless task, it would still be impossible to ease the margin of defeat and offset the overwhelming backlog of lost time. It is no longer possible to measure my own lack of progress by that of other authors who started ‘late’. I have now surpassed them all. When ‘they’ talk about an author’s career taking off, and their ‘finally’ producing the work for which they are rightly revered, the author is always at least ten years younger than I am at time of said ‘take-off’. There are others who seemed old when I was young, who started to produce work at a sensible age and have continued to produce it; they have been old for a long time, whereas I have been young for a long time, because I haven’t started yet. I have spent twenty-five years preparing to start. And it’s not as if I haven’t spent all this time struggling with literary endeavor; it’s just that I haven’t finished anything. Well, that’s something: a point from which to recede.

April 14, 2016

The Death that won’t Die

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http://artillerymag.com/death-wont-die/

March 6, 2015

Realistic Remains

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Shakespeare, Proust, Kafka, Camus, Orwell, Gissing: What do each of these distinguished authors have in common? They all produced a lot of great work, but surely their most important unifying quality is that they were all younger than me when they died. I have outlived Keats by a quarter of a century: that’s a morbidly sobering thought. But let’s leave poets out of this. In the time it took Balzac to write 91 novels, covering every aspect of the human condition in its myriad complexity, I have produced two very slender volumes of poetry, addressing a rather more limited sphere of activity… or rather inactivity.

November 11, 2014

Drain the Remains

Drain_0001

Darling, don’t let our love ever die.
Because if it does, I’ll be shattered
by all the time I’ve wasted
keeping it alive.

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July 3, 2014

Suicide by Kickstarter

tin-cup

http://artillerymag.com/pricks-kicks/

February 12, 2014

Moved

I Love You

This death, as opposed to my other deaths,
feels dangerously like spring.
A catastrophic waste of time,
but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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November 8, 2013

Improvidence

Improvidence

The other lives I might have led
all now might as well be
dead. Survived by no one.
Barren, without issue of  any sort:
this withered bud, failed
in art and love. With no time left
to change my course. But time enough
for infinite remorse.

July 5, 2013

Before the Fact

Last Resort

I have mixed feelings about death.
It seems like the sensible option,
and it would certainly make a nice change.
On the other hand, I have some concerns
about incompetence and pain…

June 10, 2013

Woodshedding

Kill off

Grooming myself for a career in failure,
I studied with masters.
Then I realized: they were successful.
For how would they otherwise be known?
There is a difference between the failures
of the successful and the failure of true failures.
A matter of sliding scale:
The failures of the successful are celebrated,
broadcast far and wide;
while the failures of failures are obscure,
buried with them when they die.