How many days did i pick apart meaning until meaning was drops escaping between...
This is the poem that opens the novel:
We live today under a new world order,
The web which weaves together all things envelops our bodies,
Bathes our limbs,
In a halo of joy.
A state to which men of old acceded only through music,
Greets us each morning as a commonplace.
What men considered a dream: perfect but remote,
We take for granted as the simplest of things.
But we are not contemptuous of these men;
We know how much we owe to their dreaming,
We know that without the web of suffering and joy which was their history, we would be nothing,
We know that they kept within them an image of us, through their fear and in their pain, as they hurtled into darkness,
As little by little, they wrote their history.
We know that they would not have survived, that they could not have survived, without that hope somewhere deep within,
They could not have survived without their dream.
Now that we who live in the light,
We who live in the presence of the light,
Which bathes our bodies,
In a halo of joy
Now that we have settled by the water’s edge,
And here live in perpetual afternoon
Now that the light which surrounds our bodies is palpable,
Now that we have come at last to our destination
Leaving behind a world of division,
The way of thinking that divided us,
Immersed in a serene, fertile delight
Of a new Law
For the first time,
We can retrace the end of the old order.
He still feels me, even with space and time; drove over an hour to give me a doll for my key chain. She is engraved with a promise, but not from him. He knows better than to try that again. This one is me, to myself. An “I think I can” for an engine that longs to be useful. I felt him tremble in my arms, but I was stronger. There is little left that he can break now. I am smaller than before, perhaps, condensed into my frame. On her dress is a lonely crane. They mate for life, symbolise eternal love. Well, the love is there. It jingles in my pocket now, metal against metal. I will ever wander in this impossible state, knowing this love is forever lost to me, yet is not dead.
My breath is white, my body curled inwards to contain the little remaining heat. My thoughts are filled with imaginary places, tendrils crawling in the mud of modern literature for scattered tickets to new lands. I add them to my itinerary, sleepless and close to tears. My own world is too vast, yet I am escaping. To places snuggled between beginnings and ends, not furled across a labyrinth of fear and regret. My reality sits outside of me yet it tugs at my flesh, burrowing into my bones like worms which cannot wait to feed me to the soil before my blood turns cold. A voice echoes, circling softly around my mind. Its words meaningless, but not letting me die.
Horrid book kept me up all night, reading to the last word. It’s 5.30 am and I don’t know whether to try and sleep or start making lunches. The children will be awake at 7 for school. Some days, reading is bad for you, even if the next line feels entirely necessary to one’s well-being. Today will hurt.
He lives in my skin in August
Is the heave in my breast
The heft of my sigh
Seven Augusts, on the eighth
No closer to goodbye
Love undeserved, still I try
To hold its lantern-light high
And not wilt in the weight
Of his memory, lived inside
Like another soul
He will not pass me by
He told me he was seeing someone new, and knowing who, I was happy for him. She is smart and sweet and shares his politics. His is the kind of heart that does not diminish with division. It was enough, from the start, that there was room for me. Our lives connect without one consuming the other. He comes when I call, and I do not feel alone. I did not foresee the growth of my heart this way, the peace it settles into, in loving for love’s sake rather than my own. I am glad.
So many fucks were given last night
Received and taken, given and had
Dividing like cells and multiplying
Till they faded into darkness
Morning cracking my head open
With a sleepy smile and the kind
Of kisses that promise, with a certain
Urgency; more to come
All soldiers are refugees, of a kind
There is no peace-time
On the roads they travel
They left that land so long ago
Whether on the winning, or the losing side
They know they have not saved
That town called home for themselves
Mutated killers, they belong elsewhere
On muddy battlefields that have gone to seed
In a place where a rifle is more ready
Than an open hand, and the hands that hold them
Are paid by the hour
They return, never to the land
They paid their honour for but one
New battlefield, where survival rests
On silence and forgetting:
That once there was hope
There was home