18 Aug 2010

1 piece written 3 ways.

So as an experiment, I took 1 subject and tried to write it in 3 forms: a series of 3 Kigo Haiku's, a kind of formatted poem and sort of free prose over a few paragraphs.


Summer’s last day
Exactly as summer’s first
A sinking feeling.


September’s shadow
A black cloud that follows me
The sun still hiding.


New love and new life
Create warmth within my chest
Breath becomes steady.


It’s not as cut-and-dried as it sounds
You have a bad experience as a kid
And mental scars remain
That take a long time to heal and need help in
Doing so.

A common problem, I know
But it’s not as simple as ‘cause and effect’ or
You have a problem - you solve it
Our minds don’t work that way
You only have so much control over instinct.

The animal
The protector
The human in you
Can keep a strong hold on your gut
On your heart and lungs.

It can overpower whenever you need to retreat
Strike out or just close down
Those days or weeks when contact with others
Feels like a heart attack -
All of that can be the echo of one quiet wound.

And it took some time to realise that my own cycle
Was only beyond my control
Because I hadn’t sat down
Taken a breath
And tried to remember everything.

To take every single image
Every single Monday morning when I was
Sick to my stomach
And analyse it to death
To suck all the air out of those memories.

I finally got it down to the number 13
And the beginning of autumn.
My 13th year was pretty much a teenage nightmare from beginning
To end
And the lead-up to the start of a new school year, well.

It lasted almost 20 years
And that number alone would make most people think of it as
‘a serious problem’
But there are things now – things, people
That walk with me, all over that time of my life.

And now, brown leaves lay underfoot
The air becomes cool in your throat
People don scarves and hats
Cheeks red, cigarette smoke taken by the new season’s breeze
And I begin to feel my chest rise and fall again.

The adrenaline is less
Anger remains, but is mostly tempered now
I use it for better things
To create
To write.

Every mirror.

I’ve no idea why, but I can remember looking at my face in the bathroom mirror of every job I’ve worked at. Generally I can’t recall a single other moment of employment – good days, bad days, bosses names – nothing. But I have a back catalogue of faces staring back at me from over the sinks, fluro lights above and that swimming pool smell in your nostrils. Except the Government job, that was more often than not, your everyday ‘old man’s turd’ smell.

And each time I see that face, tired and bored and lazy and frustrated – I can see the history that lead me there. To have pissed in so many different bathrooms, working for people who forgot my name after I left, the same way I can’t remember theirs now. They were busy and focussed and couldn’t care less and nor could I. Even though most of the time - at interviews and first days, I really did want to care. But damn – there goes what little confidence I did have, out the window.

Those bosses, they liked being there. They loved their jobs and I never got that. I tried – I did. I even stopped lying to myself for a while and bought all their bullshit to see if I could reprogram my default setting. But nothing ever stuck.

I’d always look back after it was too late to do anything about it, and think; where did they get all this self-belief from? How do they maintain that without constantly questioning every move they make? I still do that I suppose, less so as I get older, but inside I’m still a little kid thinking he’s snuck himself into a position above his ability and is always on the verge of being found out.

So here I am again today; hands washed, dark circles contradicting the fact I had a full 9 hours last night, same lights above me. A different room and more pleasant smell but really – who gives a fuck. I still don’t know if I belong here – actually belong here. These places all remain the same, in that after all these years, and even considering how much more secure I feel, I still can’t run home fast enough at the end of the day.