Poem #11: Dilettante


You buy the used books to treasure what others could not,
but scavenge for the comfort fumbling away, as if
on a fishing pole, or the newspaper read by the whirlwind.
Bite your fingertips, go ahead—you cannot gnaw away all
the years your palms have wrought, the indented
circles like tree stumps. How can you tire of drink that you
cannot touch to your lips and still blame the glass?
A heart, christened it your own, probably with a pen and
signature, in your shirtsleeves—that heart, impending
upon a string, taut to the door so none may enter—
how can you yourself flee your very heart’s domain?
Pull the earth away from beneath you, yet not where
the Vox appears from: certainly not much there.
But never you mind, give it time and
all those collective carpets beneath your feet will
be all the earth you recognise. There is an unearthly
sound as a constant, pronouncing words of shelter,
though you cannot witness them at play.
Candidly, of petrified apologies, you enchant apathy
with the lack of tongues, stomping out the
rhododendron ringing. Men were not sustained
to swallow the seas, but greed is the discreet
wallowing, rolling in your aloof grounds. Gaudy hands
reclaim the January sparks, new days that were
never new before, given a time and place
you could never present. Pallor, what a beautiful
colour, matches your eyes, gashing the primroses
with nothing but a hateful gaze.
Hope for nothing in return, that is the greatest
reception. The irretrievable light on a player piano
coated with dust; you never learned its sound, its performance.
The air will not breath for you, flannel shirts
and open country where the emptiness was
your elementary acknowledgement.
Articulated upon that fruitless academia, beads of
tears lost, your shards of selfish vengeance struggle.
Every time you remembered, you would say you hated
the world for every time you once loved it,
all those childish years ago.
Incidentally, the cost was not yours to decide nor
yours to exchange from the bank. You would ask,
Why isn’t my suffering on my hands?
Why would the sky have you here if it were not inevitable?
Honest to heart, if you could give anything in the world,
would you have anything to give or take
since it’s all clogged and collapsible, clouding your mind?
Normality is not a charming place to call home, and the
blisters are but brittles boundaries; beyond the bivouacked
Firmament, confluence became your scapegrace.
Like a thieving wind, evasion a poor addiction,
you are the season of tangled webs woven,
cathartic today, nostalgic tomorrow. Those November bruises
are not annual; to ease the pain, you say: Hand me down that
solace from the top shelf, I can never reach it.
You should not have to concentrate joy, let it come.
Beyond a resilient doubt, condemning your memories is
the truant shape of melancholia. Thai candy, simply sweet—
just the hope within calls salt to your eyes.
You buy the used items to collect the hate of others,
and replace it with something new, though it is
rife with abandoned patience. The penance composed upon
the haven of your home, hold it above your head,
let the wind compel it from your grasp. Let go—
those pacific eyes were musing in the mirror for a reason.
Stand your knees from your coiling in the corner,
the room for improvement is next door, and it has
endless space for you to use. The dilettante,
viewed as the unstable, unchanging fool,
it is you who is always changing, but not for the world.

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