Morse Code Directions

If I search I’m sure I’ll find an answer, maybe even the answer.

It might be hidden in the spray created by splattering drops on roads,

Or in the morse code of the sun coming in and out of fast-moving clouds,

Perhaps in the lonely of a supermarket parking lot at 4 am.

 

If I search, I am sure to find the question to fit the answer as well,

It might be a matter of discovering silence in a fish market,

Or dancing with the soaring, swirling blue tongues of a sulphur fire.

Perhaps at the core of a supercell, in the juggernaut churn of its violence.

 

Maybe it lies in the life and times of the shifty, sub-atomic character: Muon,

That attends no social gathering or event for more than 2.2 microseconds,

Or in the infinite schemes and plans spinning in the round eyes of a two year old,

Whose pupils are always dilated to swallow the world whole.

 

Somewhere beneath this copper sulphate blue tent lie both parts:

The perfect duet of the right question and the right answer, waltzing away,

And I’d want to sit and watch their performance from beyond the rink,

If only someone would give me directions to the damn ticket counter.

Calling The Cat Back.

Let’s set the AC at a temperature that freezes my soul. To preserve it from the canker spreading across my organs like pus-oozing sores. What is this pus made of, you ask? Nothing. It is the gagging vomit that heaves up nothing while twisting the stomach inside out.

Turn green, turn green, red of my fucking life, for once turn green.

Everyone wants a piece of control but there is none left to steal.

The larder runs dry. From the cobwebs lining its shelves I sew a dress and then, as an afterthought, cut it up into ribbons. These ribbons I leave in the scorching sun so they turn to dust. The greedy wind takes this dust away to a land of no consequence. Then I start all over again.

Thank God for Mondays!

Did I chase peace out the door like a stray cat? It doesn’t come around anymore. I keep a bowl of milk on the window sill each day, but still no cat, and all I get is spoilt milk.

Tomorrow Will Be A Better day?

There it is. Brewing in the corner of my eye: darkness that eats light whole. How long could it stay away? I light lamps everywhere, that’s what I’ve taught myself to do. It’s the only way I survive. But the dark always watches from beyond the boundary of my light, sitting at the edge of my laughter, waiting. It is a shrieking gale that comes time and again to blow the flames out. And at times I’m too tired to light the lamps all over again.

I’ve been enchanted by a magician’s trick, too focused on the diversion, on the distraction to see through the illusion. Now the trick becomes clearer, and I wake up from this drugged stupor I’ve been in, happy and high in my head. The withdrawal is acid. In my heart, in my gut, in my windpipe and in my sight.

If I am one of the lost, floating on these dark placid waters in my little dingy with the rest of these adrift souls, then I see more than I should to remain calm. I taste my purpose and don’t understand its flavour: like seeing a person you have loved your whole life and being unable to conjure up a drop of love for them. You know you should love them because you always have, and yet one day the love is dead and it has been dead so long, you didn’t even notice when it turned to dust and vanished.

I am appalled at how comfortable I am in the jaws of this staid, numb life. Afraid to rock the dingy, afraid to follow through on what I know makes me happy. Always the fear. Be brave, the magician told me once, as he pulled out the rabbit from his hat and handed it to me. I thought he intended it as a gift solely for me. But the rabbit was the diversion: a side road into the pretty countryside when the moon was at its beautiful best. For that one night, the world was lit silver and blue and my mind knew no other colour. But then came morning, bright and blazing and yellow, and I was suddenly reacquainted with the sun and how little I had done to reduce the distance between us. The sun no longer questioned me, I had silenced him long ago. He had been my dream and now he asked me for the first time in years, “What happened to you?”

When I whisper about this darkness to other lost souls they shush me. With fluttering hands and soothing murmurs they stroke my bruises. “Don’t think too much, here drink.” “Don’t worry too much, here smoke.” “Don’t be too much, here eat.” “Don’t say too much, here sleep.” For them tomorrow is a land of perpetual comfort. Today is just an off day, tomorrow will be good. But today, in this pain, I feel more awake, more alive than I have been in a long time. I don’t want pipe dreams. I want the jagged truth. Even if I cut myself holding it to my chest. I don’t want to wake up to a tomorrow that numbs me, that allows my mind to anaesthetise itself so I can go through the day without screaming out loud. I don’t want a tomorrow as much as I want a today.

And I don’t want a today as much as I want a now.

The Dish

I simmer on a low flame. The chef has already given me a dose of the high flame when I was put in the pan. Perhaps he was in a bad mood, perhaps he didn’t pay attention and left the flame on high for the oil, but I am a little burnt. Now I must cook slowly, evenly, my surface needs to be crisp. The chef is on a call, extremely busy, as the oil and the herbs seep through my skin and the heat hurts me at a steady level. I wonder about what life was before this pan. But there are no memories of before, I just am. In the pan. Like always.

Now the chef hurries over squints down at me, makes a ‘tut-tut-tut’ sound and rummages through his plastic containers of ingredients. He adds some garlic and onion. The pungence of garlic assaults my senses and the onions scream each time. I hate those little melodramatic buggers. Aren’t we all here suffering and dying and burning? Aren’t we all keeping our screams within?

Anyway, I tune them out as they cook, worrying about the fat vegetables that are definitely going to be added on top. Good god, they walk all over the rest of us like they own us. Just because they take so long to cook with their thick skins! Sure enough the chef, muttering dark things, sidles over and callously throws the chopped carrots and beans onto us. I hold my breath as two carrot pieces land on top of me. With a wooden spatula (a grumpy fellow) the chef tosses and mixes us all up. He peers in and then disappears for a bit. Half a cup of water later I am swimming in a stew as much my own as the others. The heat dissipates some for a little while. But the relief is fleeting. The chef begins to whirl us in the pan with a jarring, disorienting frenzy. I scream out loud, even though the onions have long fallen silent. No one hears me, no one can hear me. The chef now covers the pan and everything goes dark.

The heat begins to rise. The water so welcome as a relief, begins to bubble ominously. Slowly and slowly, piercingly we cook, surrounded by the heat, unable to see, unable to speak. I wonder what I’m being made into. Am I part of a continental dish? Or Chinese? Or Indian? Or Thai? I wish I could know what was happening to me.

The water now drips down onto us from above where it condenses on the cover of the pan. It is too dark to tell who is cooking beside me. There are only the sounds of the sluggish boil of water, and the hiss of the flame beneath us. I cry now, not because it relieves me, but because it is the only thing I can do.

Suddenly the cover is lifted and all of us shriek at the stabbing light that falls upon us. The chef grunts and shakes the pan and then flips us in the air. For a moment there, I am in the cool air, free from my indifferent, bovine food mates, and I am…happy. Once, twice, thrice…I shout out in glee! These are the best moments of my life. And so of course they end.

We are then put into a fancy china bowl. Suddenly I’m looking at a beautiful thing with lights suspended from the ceiling, and then woops! I am scooped out and placed upon a plate. A low murmur rises from everywhere around me. Then I feel the cool tip of a spoon swoop down and claim me. I am rising, rising, gloriously rising and the gates of heaven open, all round and moist and dark. I feel empty as everything goes pitch black and I cease to exist.