My heart will never be ready for this
I borrowed a tape recorder today to interview an 80-year-old man. He is Hans Hillmann, German post-war designer, and he lives in Frankfurt. I had to charge the recorder on my laptop and I listened to all the strange sounds on it that dated back to 2011, even 2010 - people’s shoes going crunch crunch crunch across gravel, a man’s voice softly rumbling in Portuguese, wheels speeding by on a highway. Funny how these aural elements are still instantly recognisable when they become detached from other stimuli.
I want to lie in the darkness plugged in to this small rectangular object and press erase. I want to listen to static, the sound of canny discomfort. I want to need nothing but a pocked-sized grey recorder that reduces everything human about the world into trembling lines across the screen. I want so badly to punish myself for being me.
We leapt, willing mice into the waiting dark
python wrapping its merciful coolness
around our gleaming ribs. I could see my arms
run like ink into shadow. The Egyptians believed
that night and day were the cyclical birth and death
of Ra. The sun god, riding his flaming chariot
mortal at the end of the horizon. Here we are
at the hour of godlessness, where even
those beyond ourselves cannot strike a match
so we may see each other. I look into night
and see jet black, white nothing coloured to
black nothing, sky without stars, day without pretension
the false Messiah revealed. I look into night
and see what the gods cannot.
A space shuttle launching from my fingertips
would never reach you in our lifetimes.
Who have I become, monster
of decaying flesh, belly swollen
with the poison of the stillest waters?
I drift in the wake of your smell.
This is the smell that you pay me with, redolent
of easy contentment, different roses
in the vase every week. You do not see
the slowness of ebbing life, doused in
the sweetness of the great unknown and set aflame.
Pay me with the kindness of a pitying stranger
for keeping my station in life, grieving for those
who distance themselves from grief, swallowing
the untouchable dregs of the heart. Pay me with
your thoughtless love, and let me leave you
whole, wet and new like a child
emerging from one sea to plunge in another.
The Maury Show: More surreal than David Lynch on all of Kurt Cobain’s stash