Howl II

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So this is a kind-of poem I wrote after watching the film Howl. I have to be honest, I haven’t read the poem, but after we watched the film I sat down to write and this poured out. It’s a total copy of his style and language and was supposed to be a kind-of joke, channelling Allen Ginsburg. It wasn’t supposed to be about anything, but looking at it, it’s mostly about working in offices. It also inspired my song, The Window. It also makes me look kind-of bonkers.

You with your collars and your shirts and your pens that push and knives that stick into loaves of love of the bread of backs. You with your hair that flicks like your eyelids that blink at the things other people say like you know what they mean and you can hear in between and you know, you know, better than them the truth that lies behind the shutters that you close in the day when the sun is highest and it burns into the formica. You who march up seven floors in a lift with closed doors and stare at the other person in the mirror who stares at you in the mirror, through you, to the place that time used to know before it ran away with the life, the love, the hate, the fear, the anger, the pain. The pain. How you screamed when you found out, what no one told you, though they knew. You screamed, you cried, take me, pull me, lift me higher than greedy arms can reach, high, fast, by blades that rotate into my skull and say that fate will not hold me but let me be. Oh let me be. Let me be. What is there for me when there is nothing but a skin a shoe a heel a soft roll, snatched, that yields beneath my finger and thumb that oozes butter as thick as the lies you told though you didn’t mean to. The soft untruths that you didn’t know how to hide when your lips were moulded in to the shape that a sickness in a society wants you to believe and lets you carry until the burden becomes too great and you collapse under its horny weight onto the soft untrue ground. It rises to meet you as your face, your beautiful face, falls further, falls, further, closer, closer to lay a kiss on the flatness that rises to meet you and you fall, further and it rises up up.

Up until you and the greyness are, you are the grey, you’re beyond, broken, through, you’re beyond and no one can reach you. Not now, anymore. Not even the saints that hold your legs in their grip, or the teachers that want you to be what they want you to be but how can you know what they want you to be when you’ve never known how to be. How can you be when the heads of the young ones that chase you down leafy streets are inflating with each pulsing second, growing bigger, grotesque, with eyes that pop and tongues that roll, while you run down the concrete streets. Run as fast as legs that have been bound and freed can run but it’s never enough. For without the chance to run there is no chance to live, and you know this. And yet. It hurts, more than the drill, the chair, the hard, hard, oak shorn wood that surrounds you and the words that are chains that you can’t break no matter how hard you try with your hammers, cold as ice. You know this. It must be in the way that the birds must fly with broken wings and yet you sit there, square, and fight, a fight of a thousand fists, exploding onto tarmac that’s on fire with the morning sun, so they’re caught, sucked, swallowed whole. There’s a place where only brave men dare to dream, where the warmth of the evening sun warms the yawning earth, that feeds a tree with roots that reach, deep, into the soft tissue and hold, so, completely, still while it opens its arms to welcome the man who dares to dream. Where a flower grows tall and wide and proud in the blue, blue, empty streaked openness and hangs like a hammock, orange, taut, waiting to envelop the man who dares to dream. Only a dream. And you must, you know this.

You sit in the clutch of a black claw in the damp, the dark, the dank, the place where mosquitoes roam and coffee foams with green, tactile mould that you couldn’t clean because you were too weak to hold the cloth without weeping. The locks on the doors will lock themselves when your back is turned and the bars will keep you in past closing time while the walls breathe and whisper stories of people you don’t know and don’t care but you reply anyway. It’s a place with space for a hundred men or women but not children, never children. For children have hearts that know and a will that leads them, brightly, directly, together into the light. For they all know what’s right. All that’s to ask is not to forget them. Don’t lose them, please say you’ll hold them tight in your delicate fingers, curling around the summer, the autumn, and the winter, until the leaflike veins crumble into dust. Please keep, encased in a golden, silken web, the prayer that was born in the cathedral that you lived in when there was still time. The words that went skywards like a spiral, towards the stained glass, blown with the wind of fingertips that touch and yearn and want far more than anyone could ever give. There is a place. A place with more colours than have names. Without weeping or shame. Guilt or blame. Those worlds that create tight tight bones and muscles that crack under oceans of nails that wash over infinite rails with dark blue depths of things that aren’t known. There is a place. A lotus place. A dripping, molten, green, blue, orange, sand strewn, fruit boughing kind of place. Where animals can live.

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