NEW SITE, NEW WORK

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From now on I’m moving to a WIX site, Stephen Jackson: Digital Arts, which seems easier to manage.  My imagery is on there already, but from today there’ll be much of my writing as well.  I hope that you’ll come back to this much bigger verbal archive, though, for a good browse? It’s where my books and poetry, to date, will stay.

By the way: you can contact me directly on stephen_jacks58@hotmail.com, and I should welcome your message dearly.  Easier for me to reply to, than messages on here.

I seem to produce less poetry – at least, at the moment – than I did.  I’m writing prose again, which is something; but for poetry I need to find a new tack, a new stance, a new faith in myself and the range of my voice.  It’s not my wish to become one of those media hacks whose salary depends on repeating the same handful of themes over and again for the course of a career.  The other night I saw a strange film about the dead not knowing that they were dead.  Perhaps that’s me.  I’m a ghost wandering amongst crowds of meat.  Let that be my epitaph on the wasteland tract in East London in which I must now perforce live.  I wish I could meet the dear people, so many of them from the USA, who go out of their way to compliment me or congratulate me on what I do here. That seems destined never to happen.  But before my au revoir to poetry (let’s call it that?) I knocked out a couple of new pieces, odder and less disciplined in form, than ever. For what poetic discipline is worth:

 

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

The Memoir of a Hallucination

 

He was no stranger from an antique land. There were no strangers here. The rain slatted. The lights of the Promenade melted in tears. The sea convulsed like fatted, mottled, undulating meat.  The rocks of a twilight shoreline shone, as if with slime. He veered towards me, askance: an electric Will-o-the Wisp, a phantom in a television frame, as if drawn by magnetic resonance to the lip of the incoming tide.

He sidled up and said, “You won’t believe this. A message in a bottle. It’s true. Five minutes ago, by a rock pool.  Do you have a torch?”

The wind tugged at us both.  Yes, I had something. Our backs to the spitting spume, the virulent spume, the surf like battery acid, we peered and sniffed.  The scribble read,

 

My name is Legion, for I am many.

I hate being awake.

I hate being alive.

I wish I could sleep forever and not wake up.

Welcome to my world.

Beneath, a nervy portrait in ballpoint. Adding pretension to impertinence, appended from Kiekegaard in quotes:

 

Don’t you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with?  Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?

 

The message persisted:

 

There is no God to forgive me. If only there were that.

The cold and dark do not forgive. 

My life is forfeit. Dispersing sand does not know forgiveness.

We see the lights in space, yet not the dark; and the faces I knew

Have rotted around me.

 

My confederate said, “This is the silliest thing I’ve heard”. The words rose from him in a light buzz. My companion clung by me like a shadow, or like a blackly fizzing bloom of iron filings.  From curiosity I looked through him to his atoms – diffuse, friable, threatening to dissipate in this moribund light – and I saw that they were helpless.

 

3 March 2015

173 Battersea Twilight

THE BLIND SWIMMER

 

Enfold yourself in Night

A seed that has forgotten how to bloom

That has lost hope – knowing that joy and jeopardy

Are closely, dangerously aligned; and safety

Clings too tight for you to move, and chance imperils.

Your lost years are a nimbus, a daydream mislaid.

And Youth is distanced; an exotic country

Whose air is filled with spices, or the shrieks of monkeys.

Age brings the mantle of a wistful midnight land

And it is poison: poison fingers,

Their saprophytic smear.

 

No words, now.  Each book is now a glass book,

A book of glass, yet lit too darkly to remember,

A library as if beneath the sea.

 

A child, whose warmth must not be breached

Whose skin must not be violated

Seeks out stasis, at all costs.

And so it is with me.

To me the night is sombre silt.

It is the comfort of the grave,

Without needing first to die.

 

Winter 2012

 141 Tidal Twilight

THE MAN WHO PAINTED SILENCE

 

Pain is nature, the foetal worm.

Considered pain is nature murdered by a smile:

The false smile of a man, his maggot song.

The time before Time was eternal.

The space before Space was infinite.

Mortal forms came and slipped away,

As age followed age, without age, and stone

Convulsed.  For such was the nature of consequence.

The cleaved cliffs moved, and people (meaning nothing)

Gave their mayfly lives.  Before knowledge, there was

Truth.  Before sound: grey mountains slept, unborn.

 

There came a man who painted silence,

And light where none was known to fall.

The world failed to fill him, and it was all there was –

Nor was it his to own.  He came to map the bog of

Unrecorded time: of lives that knew no context,

Were limitless and short, piled up like shale.

 

Beguiled by the beauty of pendulums and thunder (and

Lazuli, and other forms of make-believe), he had not

Grasped that nature is, and does, because it can.

Notepad in hand, he slipped – of course – on seaweed

His cries were lost in one amorphous, resonant note.

 

He sensed that human dissolution rises from defeat.

Not so in nature.  Necessity, by nature, is indifferent.

There was no malediction from the sea, as then he drowned.

No embrace in the tide, as he succumbed.

The waves lapped; the ripped clouds fled:

The sun was a sickly pearlescence.

He was there. He was not there.

His spine cracked on loveless rocks.

The gulls were gulls.

 

 

May-June 2014

204 Walton-on-the-Naze60 Banned

P.S. If you’d like us to get to know each other on  Steve’s Profile on LINKED IN, do get in touch. I promise I won’t bite, and neither do I for friendly or constructive comments. So don’t be shy!

And now, may I tempt you to read on, for some juicy blogs below?

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~ by Stephen Jackson on October 15, 2015.

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