THE UNKNOWABLE

 

They wanted to study me,

 

So

 

They entertained me

With needles,

 

Sifting my blood for desire

Distilling my fear,to a stain.

All in the hope that would find

The foundation beneath every freckle,

Or learn from the lesson a hair makes

When it attaches itself to the ground.

 

They enveloped my muscle with fluff,

And papered my mouth for saliva.

Measured my heart and proceedures

As they harvested the hairs from my chest.

Or on the knuckles,or toes

Or those that often stand to attention

Once the thrill is caught,

in the nostril

 

Or at the very base of the spine.

 

On my nipples I felt the electric dance

Of stunned moment,

On the lobes of my ears,

And my scrotum,

Which was successfully squeezed,

Then inscribed. In fact,my ball-sack blushed round

Became a nut,or as shell like

As the murdered snail curled in

The stuttering egg yolk of home.

 

They asked me questions.

They read the racket and rules of the riot.

Showed me films of old people

Indulging in acts since described.

They showed me that calm traitor,flesh

Who always deceives,never pleases

Revealing in a flash such defilement

That no-one of faith could conceive.

There were men there who swore,

Often at me,

Men who asked me

Men with long faces,

With hairier friends, who were round.

 

 

 

 

Police, overweight,

Already middle aged, middle England,

Who sat in rooms with me,

Blowing

Their wretched smoke

Into mine.

 

I gave them all nothing.

I stared.

I will never give into defilement.

What I believe inside has been tested

On every mile I walk

On this road,

Along every path,

In every tree

In each passage,

Beside Canals which flex, eager

For the kiss of boats to intrude.

 

They plucked my feathers.

They kicked.

They brought me a Priest in a bottle.

I sat in rooms with grown women

Who had met people like me as a child.

I witnessed their coffee and tears,

Their tea and years of abasement,

And yet inside I felt nothing,

Prefering to stay

 

Here,within.

 

Instead,

I flew,

 

As they glared

And cornered the dust on the ceiling

I was a moth lost to feeling

As the God in the filament burns.

I witnessed the clench

As a bone is locked into crisis,

And soon found myself,drowning

In a swollen ocean of clothes.

I was the name they gave me,

 

And more,

 

The Knight it seems of no table,

The one for whom honour

Is there in it’s taking away.

Instead, they removed it, like blood

By siphoning off every moment;

The level set,soon diminished

By the greedy guts, boiled from fact.

 

 

 

Hours passed. Days.

And yet I would always turn,

Into silence,

 

Just like a Chrysalis,

Folding,

In a final twist,

On itself.

 

I became an idea,

Or perhaps to them, an example

Of the way to be Satan

In the Agnostic heart of most men.

I was a Church to myself and beside myself

Smelt the Graveyard,

The dead grown like roses

From their permanent

Flowers of stone.

 

I felt the Dead come to be,

Meeting my gaze,like eye water.

The way that a tear forms,

Or Poem,

Or first word

On a date.

 

When you meet people, it’s hard

To distinguish yourself, or to witness

What makes the man somehow better

Than the insect caught in the field.

 

For we all trudging away

Across a terrain unencountered,

It is for each of us to discover

The particular ways we might be.

 

They found nothing.

I left.

Catching a bus

To my Village,

Stopping at once at the Butchers

For a pound of fresh

Sausage meat.

 

And then, to the Pub

Where I ordered myself

Half a Guinness,

Savouring the taste of adulthood

As a fly might bob around shit.

 

The drink seemed to fill me far more

Than any other drink of that nature,

Or of that size, half a Guinness

Could as well have been

Half the world.

Or perhaps the storm found in tea

When old women huddle at tea cups

Or when the rain falls in daggers

To puncture their plump cottages.

 

Guiness, like oil

And Alcohol, to remind me

Of Oh so many changes

That nobody warned me of.

 

The curse of drink’s not the drunk

But the way it removes you from sweetness,

The trouble is drinks’ sad replacement

For a universe of spilt milk.

 

From the clouds which once came

And from the early tastes I remember,

From the swill and swirl

And foundation

That comes before pleasure starts.

Before consequence, blame

And the basic distance of people,

Before knowledge blossoms

And you are still innocent.

 

The state of blankness.

The claim of both the numb

And the Neutral,

The work of the

Unknowable,knowing

Just what it wants you to be.

 

Beside infirmity,

Age,

And the song of blood, never ending

Which often sings badly

Once the true words are lost.

 

Near to my house is a train

That runs all the way

To a river

 

When my journey ends I will tell them

What this life is like between tides

 

For what water divides

Is what runs between people

Diving the truth and false reason

As easily as the right.

 

What is left separates the treasured darkness

In people,

The reasons for war,spite,and Envy,

And our final cause

To return.

It is how we will die,spitting or snagged

In our fashion,

Clutching without breath at targets

Never attempted before.

 

All that I do becomes brave

If I consider at hand

This last torment

 

And the pain I feel achieves

Pleasure

 

As soon as your gaze turns away.

 

In the silence which comes

I will have made for myself a new language

Which I can divulge in sparse whispers

To someone like you,in a chain.

 

I am everything

I am the capturer, and the Castle

Which the forces storm first

And conquer,

Finding that

I will have fled.

 

I will be one with the wind,
Or the patch of sky, moving slyly

Seeking the sun before fading

In the hunger advance of the moon.

 

I will become unknowable,

I, alone with the cloud, will soon blister,

And circulate,to strike quickly

Separating like rain.

 

I am the weather. The force.

The way that the world begins turning.

We are all of us people

Capable of anything.

 

Attuned to darkness,we rise

Just like the hopes held in fire.

 

I will buffet storms.

You will feel me

 

Stealing it all, with a smile.

 

 

David Erdos
Illustration Elena Caldera

 


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