sales sans-serif;”>The Tragedy of Youth
I know how the cynic is born.
She is born on a snowy April day,
The hopes of light and life perpetually postponed.
The means are never adequate to reach the ends.
She carried the burden of hope for twenty two years,
Only to feel the mirage
Melt and Drip through the cracks of her open palms.
Her hands were open, waiting, ready to receive.
She did not turn cynic over night, but slowly
Her hands began to shrivel and curl back into fists.
Hands do that when they have nothing to hold on to.
Her nation declared Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
So she pursued,
But while looking for the fountain, lost her youth.
Spectators yelled from the sidelines:
If you just Work Harder!
If you just Believe!
If you just Dream!
Ha. Dreams are all teases. You can look but you can’t touch.
Yet she kept running, even though the machine that once
Pumped hot blood through her veins
Had long since stopped working, rusted with tears.
She ran to please the spectators.
Always meant to be a pillar of strength,
A woman of faith. How long must she wait?
Oh, if they only knew.
A cynic was born at twenty two.
– MacKenzie Hayes
So it goes.
An attack of fierce kisses
amidst a frenzy of discarded garments.
naked to our souls.
A moment in each other’s skins
to be a negligible chapter in the stories of our lives.
A kiss unshared, a heartbeat that never skips;
a moment in the future that goes untouched
My boarding pass said Gate 32. After a night of drinking my mouth was dust, so I bought some orange juice, airport price. It was too sour anyway and I threw it all away.
Then I went into W H Smith and read the front pages. Something about burning flesh in Palestine. I got a book called The Catcher in the Rye. I think it was Ariane’s favourite book, so I should have known better. I put my eye on the first page and looked out the window. The morning sky yawning.
I never sleep on planes even when I have to. There was an inflight magazine full of ads in the seat pocket. That, and the women’s magazine Elle. No pathetic thanks. I opened the book again, but I couldn’t make it to the first full stop. I don’t see how she could have read this. I don’t see how she could have finished it.
A pretty young air hostess, college age, came wheeling a trolley down. I asked for a gin and tonic.
-Anything else? she said after leaning over me and fixing the cocktail. She smelled like brie.
-Are we over France yet?
-No. Still England.
She seemed confused.
-Well. If you wouldn’t mind, miss, please come back and tell me when we’re passing over France. If you wouldn’t mind.
She smiled at me and said not at all. I winked.
I tried to read that book. So artificial. So fucking full of issues, calling everything a phoney but its own evil self. This man Salinger was a fool who thought the world owed him something, I’m sure. Probably had affairs.
But I didn’t care, I drank my drink. Gin and tonic is like a perfume on the nape of a neck. I’d leave the book at the end of the flight. Hopefully someone else will enjoy it because it wasn’t for me.
She came back.
-Sir. We’re just across the channel now and over northern France. Callais.
I got up and went into the bathroom while we were flying over France and urinated.
– Colm Sewell
KINGSTOWN 1922 (fragment)
Days blend into one and you do not count them as they pass some are sunny and some windy and rainy but you do not count them and you don’t even dream because how could you? You live and smoke and drink and sit outside this pub and you listen to the waves in the company of seagulls and think of neither past nor future and you do not count the days as they pass but you drink tea and good stout and good whiskey smoking drinking and sitting outside pubs bearing witness to fights between the sailors and the soldiers and the fishermen who live and drink and smoke too much and do things such as counting the days as they pass but not you you think of neither past nor future just sit and smoke and drink and feel the sun heating the bench on which you sit until it blisters your skin but you do not count the days as they pass for they pass slowly and lazily and you do not measure them in the beating of the waves against the shore you live and sit and smoke and drink doing things such as not counting the days as they pass because counting is a waste and you cannot get those days back and the soldiers and the sailors and the fishermen and the whores know it but they cannot help it but you can as long as you do not count the days as they pass. Until you cannot help it any longer. And you still live, sit, smoke, drink, but now you count each drink, each cigarette and each crashing wave. And then there is just a week left, and tomorrow two more days left and sixty, fifty-nine, fifty-eight cigarettes left and you do what you do but it is no longer the same because there is only one more day left and you buy tea in the morning, Guinness in the afternoon but you skip the whiskey because they don’t take drunks on board.
You say goodbye.
You get up and walk slowly to the port.
You leave your bag behind.
You don’t need a bag where you’re going, Charles.
– Amadeusz Kepinski
back home before your window
and now that
for sending poems
the time for
and there’s all the ink
in the world
and it flows
you only wish
with your mouth
with your fingers
that it could stop
A Woman by the river
All the love in the world is but a drop in the ocean,
When one already has a river in mind.
She moved with such grace and beauty,
Can angels be as kind?
She sat by the river,
Lying in the sun.
I wished to join her,
But Courage, I had none.
Her hazel hair shone like the water,
Glistening like gold.
She walked through the wood,
Eternally beautiful, strong and bold.
Her lips so soft, her eyes so gentle,
Few men are lucky to taste her kiss.
She sang softly by the river bank,
Her sweet sound is what I most miss.
For she has my heart, But I not her’s,
She moves as the river flows.
But I will stay here and wait,
Where the memory of her never goes.
– Scott Calvin