Saturday, 24 October 2015

For Now I Stand Upon the Threshold

The rhythms of a broken mind
A poem

23rd October 2015

Many were the dreams
Dreams of the world this could have been
The world this should have been.
Dreams of love.

How much of what I did was good?

We are humans. We love. Upon our love we build society. Social animals. Interdependent. We need one another. We build one another. Love sustains us.
All of us can know this. You too.
People matter.
But the failures of love – wars, atrocities, exploitations, the nasty:
Those were mistakes.
Mistakes to put right.

A better world. A world that left no-one behind.
A world where the joy of love reached everyone.
A world with no place for oppression, coercion, exclusion, reduction and arrogance.
Not a perfect world – what is perfection when all are unique, diversity good in itself?
But at least, a decent world. A respectable world.
A world that cares.
Was that too much to ask?
Such were the dreams.

How to make it better?
How to help people?
Start a revolution in China. A peaceful one – but no, I see, the problems are deeper.
A world revolution, change the governance, the ideologies, the institutions – no, no! The problems are deeper by far: here, they are right here, the blades, the blades!
Why? Why! Not love!
They don't want my love! They just want me to be Normal!
Not Normal! Not Normal!
Torture, torture, torture. Torture, torture, torture.
Stop, no, stop, no, why, please stop –
The voices.
The voices judge. Always judge, all times, all places, new mouths but the same voices:
Tough. Shit happens. Life's unfair. We all have problems. Stop complaining.
You're making it bigger than anyone wants it to be.
You hurt if you let yourself get hurt. Your strength is determined by you.
Not trying! It's because you're not trying!
Pain because you choose to focus on the pain.
Get over it. Move on.
Pretending. Exaggerating. Melodramatic.
Drama queen.
Taking without giving, always taking without giving.
It WAS your fault. It WAS your fault. It WAS your fault.
Oh, will you just LISTEN!

The drums of hell, they timed the thrusts and twists of their blades to their beat
Till blood itself bled, tears wept tears, life itself extinguished.

And so I fled, sought exile in the land where all are equal.
I reached its border – the Thames. There I shook hands with Death. He is not so bad.
He did not call me an economic migrant.
Freedom in his realm. My claim accepted. An end to the madness. An end to the pain at last.
I could have gone in. A home, at last, a home.
And yet my task was not yet done.
Ripped a thousand ways by pain, still I loved. Still human. Still human?
So I turned. Came back to the world that was wrong.

The world was wrong.
How could we do it? How was it possible? For are we not humans? Do we not love?
Some things should not exist. Cannot exist.
(Gender, for one.)
They existed.
And then we called them reality.
We liked them.
We wanted them.
Human nature, we said. The way life is, we said.
The real world, we said.
Accept it.
Otherwise you are going to find life very difficult.

It was wrong. The world had all gone wrong.
It could not go on the way it was. It had to be fixed. We had to be humans again.

For years I wandered. Sought to learn, to understand:
What was wrong? To know the meaning of sanity in a world gone mad;
To find a cure for the madness of humankind.

How much of what I did was good?

Over the years, it ate away within:
The pain that gnashed the heart, that gnawed the nerves.
Social with no society:
A stranger. Strange everywhere.
Dreams of love. Dreams, dreams, dreams. Cold and dark were the nights, darker the days.
A world where all are aliens to all
Where love is only for those who change their thoughts to accept that this is good;
To be happy with it – no love for those not happy.
(Though then, was that love at all?)

At last I left the Western Hell for the Eastern Hell.
Maybe it would not be hell.
The mountains, the forests, the fuzzy bears, the trains that worked;
A place of rest.
Recover, improve, find a way to do good again.
Alien among aliens and thus no longer alien, for when all are aliens all belong.

No. Still alien.
Still the world was mad. No, all our worlds were mad.
Still that world's rewards were for participants in madness;
For those who questioned, coldness and contempt.
Accept it. Life's unfair. Shit happens. No-one cares.
What is, is right – there is no should. Say “should” and you are weak.
Do what others do, think like others think
Be strong in the ways we want, not the ways you want
Be a nationalist. Make money. Be masculine or feminine.
Dance the gender dance
Strange that you can't
Well then, love is not for you.

[Gaman], they call it here.
Endure. Endure. For I could not love; I could not love; my love brings disaster.
Endure the unendurable. The rift grew ever wider, a hole inside that nothing else would fill
Not the mountains, not the forests, not the trains that worked, not even the fuzzy bears
And which, so long as it was there, made nothing happy, nothing fun.
How are you? they ask. How are you?
Suppress the pain: “Fine,” you say. It is a lie. So is your smile. They believe it.
Or, “Actually, not so fine. You see....”
Burning eyes of laser judgement. What? they gasp. You're not supposed to say that!
Nobody's actually fine, you know that, we know that, but if you say it out loud we might have to think about it!
Shun. Shun.

Too painful to live – but then, why live?
To spare distress in those who wished I live.
To change the world, that none need know this pain again
For did you think death is the worst that happens in this world?
He is not so bad. Some of you are worse.
Too painful to live. I never wanted to live.
Lucky, they say. Lucky. Lucky. You do not see how lucky you are.
I wished those words were bullets through the head.
Yet still I lived.
Everyone goes through it, they say.

That is not life. NONE should go through it. WE created it.
If we are to call ourselves human, we must unmake it.

Too wide the rift became. It seethed and burned, the centre could not hold.
Year after year, seeing, all around, always seeing, always hearing
Never touching
Never touched.
Walls and walls, walls and walls, always walls
Walls I watched them enter, leave at will
Across the walls came laughter
But I never could find the doors.

Oh, the laughter
The laughter through the walls
Aahh, aahh,
Too much
Now traumatic
Every laugh, a corkscrew through the heart.

How much of what I did was good?

Never enough. Never enough.
Human – a social animal. Alone. Alone. A robot. Part of the scenery.
No affection for scenery. No interest. No time. Hello. How are you? See you later.
No hugs for scenery.
Except from fuzzy bears.
Bears by the pillow. Bears at the table. Bears like hugs. Bears go rawr rawr.
But humans: cold, hard walls. Walls so high they do not even see them.
Never a respite. The pain never leaves. No such thing as rest.
Life is tough, they say. Don't complain. You aren't trying hard enough. Sacrifice. Life is about sacrifice. I sacrifice. You do not. You: luxury. Easy life. So lucky.
Everyone goes through it. Think of those who have it worse.
But that was because we did that to them. We did it so we could tell each other: others have it worse, your pain is nothing, so go on, just endure like everyone else.
And when those who have it worse because of the IMF protest in turn, we tell them the same thing.
Your pain does not matter. If you fall, it is because you are weak.
You. You. You.
No-one cares. Why should they?
They world is fine. We are fine. Do not even mention us. Mention you.
The problem is You. You are wrong. You are ill. You are mad. You are weak. You. You. You.
You. You. You. You – look at you! Only thinking about yourself, everything you say is you you you!
And then I knew that these trains, these working trains, had bones for rails
The bones of ten thousand souls we tortured, tortured till they shrieked for release, nowhere to go but down, to splatter to freedom beneath our rattling coffins of progress and prosperity.

In the bleak mid-summer, a miracle
A hug.
Neither greeting nor commodity – unsolicited, unexpected.
At last, at long long last, a glimpse of warmth, a break from the endless void. The first.
Had the world begun to change at last?
The first.
The only.

For then was the unravelling.
Too much seeing. Too much hearing. All around, so close, so near – yet only walls. No doors.
The laughter through the walls.
I could not love. My love brings disaster.
The laughter through the walls.
The laughter through the walls.
So close. So near.
The laughter through the walls.

I loved.

No. Love is not for you. Only the laughter through the walls is for you.

Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain!
Nerves fry to ashes, blood explodes, scream, scream, but no-one hears –
The anguish of the Western Hell – but this was the Eastern Hell!
Nothing left inside but the rift, total now, pain pain pain pain pain pain pain –
Is that all? they scoffed. Everyone goes through it.
Endurance fails, help, somebody help
Something kind, something compassionate, something, anything-
No. Everybody goes through it.
No. I don't have time. I have to work, you know?
No. It's all in your head. Why do you choose to think that way? Be more positive!
No. You just need to change the way you think. Just change!
No. Be flexible. Strong people are flexible!
What? “Integrity”? What is that? No. Wrong. Shun. Shun.
All around, the laughter through the walls.
You are responsible. Choose to be happy. Choose to be happy. Happy happy happy!
Why aren't you listening? You don't listen! I'm trying to help you but you just don't listen!

Blasted, battered, bombed, besieged for thirty years
An invisible fortress disintegrated to dust
Towers and turrets razed too fast to repair.
Remoreseless the artillery upon the bourgeois hill, fanatical its reinforcements;
From hopelessness, life, hope, one world's canals, another's golden plains, glimpses, such glimpses – annihilated by the malice of a Dutchman;
Rebuild, rebuild, year on year, stone on stone,
Till all fell down once more as silence filled the blue forest.
And all the while, the voices, the voices, corrosive rains, rains which seep between the cracks –
Everyone goes through it
Don't complain.
Forever fall the rains.

Something kind, something, anything –
No. Why are you always so negative?
Rejection. Indifference. Condemnation. Sudden attacks. Happy happy happy – I make my own happiness! You can't? Shun. Shun. No nice things for you.
The scroll of years unfurled, the struggles, the trials, the horrors, the endurance to get to this day – Nothing. Worthless. Not useful. Unwanted.
Hurtling for the abyss, sanity flaking off, combusting in the darkness
There, the abyss, it is there, can't stop
Help! Please, help!
Even a hug, for goodness's sake
A hug, a hug, my kingdom for a hug!
No. Not for you. Nice things are not for you.
You are outside the walls.

At the edge, the abyss stared back
And I fell.

Not wanted. Not needed. Not by the nations. Not by the systems. Not by the humans.
Not by you humans.
Wanting things. Expecting things. Never enough. Never enough. And in return: Walls. Walls. Walls.
The laughter through the walls – the screaming blades;
You took from me. Everything, you took.
How much of what I did was good? Perhaps, one day, something
Some contribution, if only for that ounce of warmth my engine needs to run
(For it could not run on illusions, like yours)
Because I could not change my engine to be like yours
Because I could not always laugh in a world which abandons its weak
Because I could not dance the gender dance
Because I could not just shut up and accept
Because I insisted on being human: flawed, just as you are flawed, but not at ease with a broken reality. Was that so wrong?
It was to you.
Worthless. Weird. Weak. Obsessive. Taking without giving. Mentally ill.
Ill, yes, now, ill – but that is the symptom, not the cause.
The cause is clear now. Everything is clear now.
You are the cause.

You, humanity, were of love. Yet now you are of greed for things and more things, interdependent people for whom people mattered now reduced to faceles atoms, viruses, each alone, a war of all against all. It always was and always will be, you said.
You built a fantasy and called it reality.
Your world was, and is, of abundance. Even now, abundance. Yet you made up this thing called scarcity, because you wanted not the best for each other but infinite things for yourselves. There's not enough! you tell those you leave behind.
You built a fantasy and called it reality.
And then you turned on love itself, a bringer of joy to all it touches. You violate, trivialise, withhold, reject, forsake, that instead you might bend each other nine ways in agony – and then you changed the meaning of love to denote your failure at love, and so you feared it, laughed at it, believed it was weak, and denied its very existence.
You chose this.
No. It was not the world around you. It was the way you think.
No, you chose.
No, not nature.
You chose.
You chose to break reality. And on its ruins, you built a prison of nothing and nastiness – a reality that never, never could have been.

The path is clear now. Everything is clear now.

You cannot go on the way you are.
You, the human race, are enemies of love.
It was your nature to be a race of love. You chose to not be. You, yes you, are responsible.
You, who made a good world unfair then called it life, and did so with a smile.
You, who had it in you to care, but made a world which does not care then called it reality.
No: you broke reality.
You shame the caring.
You massacre kindness.
You call compassion a crime.
Industrially efficient, artistically cruel, you leave your vulnerable and unfortunate behind in their millions.
You cut up one race, with love in common, into meaningless categories, you rip out each other's guts because you fit in those categories or not.
And then you insist that they suffer because they are weak, they are bad or they do not understand reality – but it is not reality, it is your illusion. You, yes you, are the breakers of reality.
You, you human, you have abolished love.
You, for whom arrogance and ignorance are virtues, but you do not even know it, for you know nothing while convinced you know everything.
You, who ruin all that you touch.
You, betrayer of all you could and ought to have been.
You, a mockery of the universe.
For a world of love, one path remains.
The human race must burn.

There is no love so long as there is you.
Your socities have failed, are not societies at all
And you at last shall know the price.
That smile you said you so enjoyed
Is gone. You will never see it again.
Gifts, great intellect, you said I had (you said, not I);
Now their power shall feed destruction.

How much of what I did was good?
At least I can do this.
Deliver you all.
Never again your lies, your sanctimonious ideological lectures on how misery is a choice, how you are experienced so your way is right and all alternative thoughts are immature
Never again shall you leave your people behind, laugh while they cry, then throw them to the rails and shame them as they fall beneath the trains
Social cleansing: extermination of those your world left out
Everyone goes through it, you say. Everyone manages, you say.
No, they do not.
Their ghosts shall rise from the tracks
They shall soar from the field of blue trees
They remember well your indifference, your disdain.
And so shall their anguish be yours sevenfold: you,
Who sent them to their deaths then sullied their names in bile
By their pain and rage, your cities in dust
Not even your bones shall remain.

You, for whom people don't matter
Destroy people, destroy them for profit, for power, for growth, for the deficit, for the gods, for the national penis – anything matters but people
Your nations, all your nations, shall be drowned in the loathsome pus of their national egos
For where did you find your preposterous folly? How dare you believe that millions you never met are superior to other millions you never met? How dare you believe in such a thing as race?
Now look up, and see your armies melt to piles of blood and bone: yes, your troops, your brave lads, yours, support our lads you say, yours you believe are heroic and glorious but everyone else's nameless murderous thugs – yes, those piles of smoking flesh are yours.
(But I hold a Master's degree in Peace, you know?)
Your lads, their lads, all screamed the same.
But your economies, those will not need destroying, for when all else is in flames you will finally realize economies do not exist, and remember at last what humans, social animals, value.
You, who made life unfair, the assholes through whom shit happens: I shall skewer you, drive a drill through your hearts and wring out the callous mass that remains
For what right have you to a heart if you are not going to use it?
What? Are you begging me to care?
But you said no-one cares. You said we couldn't, we shouldn't. You sounded so certain.
Surely I can't deny you the right to die by your own principles.

Everyone goes through it, you say. Everyone manages, you say.
No, they do not.
All your oppressors: you made them, didn't you?
Your tyrants, butchers, fanatics, warmongers, bigots and gender monsters
They did not spawn from the void as you claim in your history textbooks.
They were not born evil, did not complete their bloody work alone.
You made them.
They were humans once
Then you broke them, as you break us all – no, do not bother objecting, you already confessed:
All people go through it, don't they? You said so.
They go through it because you put them through it, or leave them in it shrieking for release
You soak them in pain till it rips apart their hearts, their nerves, their brains
Till in their madness they loose their hate on you in turn
And bring with them your cursed majorities, who also know the pain.
You accept a world like that
You are happy to be happy in a world like that
“Everyone goes through it. Stop complaining.”
It is how you want it
So you are responsible.
All the wars, all the genocides, all the suicides, all the tortured souls who only wanted love whom you tore to chunks in nameless herds in your prisons, your so-called hospitals, your schools, your businesses, your torture centres
While you looked the other way, pretended they did not exist, because if you looked you might remember you were human, and that would make it harder to be happy happy happy
Becaue if you looked, you might remember it wasn't your nature
You chose it
It was your fault, and you are in denial.
There. You see? Always in denial. You'll never learn.

And so as the last of you writhe in the ruins
I shall stand upon you, raise my blade to finish you, and to your pitiful wails for mercy, kindness, something gentle, something good, I shall reply:
No. You chose it. You are suffering because you want to suffer.
No. It is all in your head. Just change the way you think.
No. I do not have time. I have to work, you know? I have to finish killing you all for love's return.
No. You all go through it. Everyone else manages. Stop thinking only about you you you. Stop being so selfish.
No.Think how much worse other people have it. There was someone in that country there who died slowly and horribly because my equipment there is not so good. You, however, will merely be impaled. Where is your gratitude? Don't you understand how lucky you are?
But I will give you a hug if you really need it.

It is so clear now.

The pain. The pain.
The voices: it is choice. It's all in your head.
I am the flaming annihilator of a thousand worlds. Creation is flawed, it must be undone.
I am the count with the cape of stars who calls the void. A world where love is forbidden must end.
I am the monstrous caterpillar lords of the green armada. Enslave all life, and never be slaves again.
I am the seething slime, the colony of a thousand souls. You corrupted our homes, you all must die.
For you, too, your evils defy the universe.
For you, too, are enemies of love.
For you, too, roar with laughter at the cries of those whose faces you grind beneath your boots.
For you, too, poison the very fount of life on which you stand, and close your ears to the cries of a world in pain, though they implore you to get that you cannot stand on nothing.
For now I stand upon the threshold. I turn and look upon you and see only pain, pain triumphant. You would not change it, so you must end.
The cosmos must be spared the threat you have become.

May this yet go as your stories go?
At the edge of oblivion, the very end
A touch
Pulled back from the edge
At last, at long long last, a touch.
Not words on a screen. Not “we're worried” or “are you alright?”
Words, words, words. No more words.
(Tears; only tears.)
A voice from behind the wall:
It is okay
It will all be okay
And then falls the wall
At long long last falls the wall
And in its place
A tenderness
It melts the madness before it
It will all be okay
Yes, the world is wrong
Yes, it cannot go on as it is
But yes: we can change it.
Let us rest now
And then we ride together and change it
Change the world
Make reality real again
And so the world becomes a good place, where love spreads joy to all who love and none are left behind.
A decent world. A respectable world.
A world that cares.

For those are fantasies, you say. Reality does not work like that, you say.
Reality is nasty, you say. Isn't that fun?
Everybody struggles. Yes! We are fine with that! you say. Let it stay as it is!
Why do you want to change it? What is wrong with you?
For miracles do not happen in your reality
You have made sure of that
Why even hope? What is hope but pain pain pain when brutally crushed by you?
However loud their screams, their wretched cries, none shall hear. I get that now.
No hearts, no arms, shall open to console them.
The corridor is silent. The knights of love shall never ride – you poisoned them at birth.
In your world of illusions and falsehoods, to care is weakness, to be broken by pain is criminal.
Punish the criminals! They chose to be miserable! Leave them to die!
Oh, but you had your chance.
I shall not die now – that freedom was not to be mine.
Instead the world shall be free of you
So to become a world of love again
(For when you are gone, the fuzzy bears remain).

This world will burn.

How much of what I did was good?
Ten thousand days and ten thousand nights: that each should be filled with the hard and the cold, not one the soft and the warm?
They did not want my ears, for they said they did not listen
They did not want my love, for it only made them hurt because it was not Normal
So I gave with my hand, and wrote: words, words and more words, the only thing my writer's bones could give
Something, surely, somewhere, somehow something
Deep in the mountains of text
Words too long, too deep, too furious, too flawed – but nothing? Nothing at all?
The corridor is silent.

The laughter through the walls
Aahh, aahh

This world will burn

This world will burn.

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