All I Can Give You

All I Can Give You

A Chapter by TLK
"

This has not happened yet, but it might.

"

All I Can Give You

 

I know you'll tell me
straight,
and she looks at me for assurance.
You always tell people
straight
right-side-up
exactly what you're thinking.

I just let her talk.

Well,
the sigh comes out like she's been punched in the belly,
I've been thinking about killing myself.
Not in a big way,
hands outstretched, face wide,
I don't want to die,
like,
tomorrow.

She looks at me.
She wants me to say,
"You're not crazy.  It's normal to feel like this.  To feel the steady drip drip drip of life wear you down.  To want to avoid it.  To make little decisions that shield you from the drips.  Numb you.  'Turn on, tune in, drop out.'"

I just let her talk.

Just small things,
she reiterates,
for example:
I've started to eat meat again.
One day,
boom,
clogged arteries.
Because,
part of me wants to die.
I'm stealing my mum's cigarettes.
One day,
boom,
lung cancer.
Same thing.

 

She shrugs,
Hands, elbows, shoulders undulating like a sea serpent.

I am unperturbed.
We live in a universe of humanity
and
there are so many galaxies hurtling towards
and away from
each other that all things have been done before.
Each galaxy screams with conflicting needs
solar systems tearing themselves apart
planets and moons swirling towards each other
to burn and burst into hateful dust.

One person can want to live
and want to die,
can want to say sorry
even as their hand makes a fist.
You don't need to know about Freud,
Thanatos,
Eros,
or all the grand words that litter the street of fake comprehension
to see
that
this
is
true.

Her eyes narrow.
She can see I am not impressed.
She is not stupid, at least not about others.
But we can all be stupid about ourselves,


no,


we all must be stupid about ourselves.
Life is not for the strong,
or the fast,
or the clever,
life is for the stupid.
Why play a game you cannot win?
How can you enjoy it without embracing your own recklessness?
I don't pity her,
not how she wants.
I am happy for her.
This discontent is
the s**t
which might fertilise her life.

You don't understand,
she alleges
as if my listening has a different quality to it now.

A bewildered quality.
As if my ears are cocked at a different angle
eyes at a different brightness
breathing less or more in time with my heartbeat.

You don't understand,
she is sure of this.
I want to ruin myself.
I am applying for courses that I could never hope to be eligible for or
courses that I would never enjoy.
I am not doing what I am best at to make sure I never succeed at it.
I turn away my friends and loved ones with spitefulness.

I want to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that
and
never
be
anything
else.



Now it is her turn
to
listen.

Death is a private business,
I declare,
as you have already found.
It is hard to talk about,
hard to reveal,
it is between yourself and nothing else.
You could strangle all opportunities out of
fear
spite
self-loathing.
And as much as others complained,
it would be your choice.

Life,
though,
Life,
is a public business.
To live is to walk past and through other people.
Where they've been, where they are, where they are going.
If you want to live,
you have to negotiate it.
We are all hostages for each other,
we are all human shields,
we bear the brunt of each other's sorrow, sometimes,
or else we turn our backs to avoid it and so exclude ourselves.
We limit ourselves and each other.

You have been honest to me about your feelings,
and I am honoured,
but you must talk to the people who hold you
and to who you hold
nested in each other's pockets like Russian dolls.

All I can give you is this.
Here it is.
Here is my human sympathy.
You will pass it on to others,
one day.




© 2012 TLK



My Review

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Featured Review

You have created an epic piece here. The verse flows not just freely but purely too. This feels like an art house film, a really good one. This reads to me like a break-up story between two philosophy professors. I may be wrong but that's I think when I read this.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

TLK

5 Years Ago

Wow, that's rather strong praise. It's a good thing I use my computer while sitting down.
read more



Reviews

how in creation did I miss this one? oh my, i want to walk beside it, i have nothing dazzling to say, i just want to walk and nod my head, because i understand

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

TLK

4 Years Ago

Everyone would understand if they could only listen.
This is an exquisite read, on so many levels. I agree with everyone's comments - and they're all over the place. It works for me on multiple layers. A word-lasagna of sorts. Cheesy metaphoric goodness and layers of well-seasoned sentiment sprinkled with the human perception of truth. To all future readers, "Bon appetite!"

Posted 5 Years Ago


TLK

5 Years Ago

I hope Garfield doesn't eat my poem.
UfoAuthor

5 Years Ago

ya never know... but that would surely bring fame & fortune ...um, and litter box curiosities... umm.. read more
Love it. the voice is so strong, so clear in this. i am getting acquainted with your writing and like your style and level of skill very much.

Posted 5 Years Ago


You seem to have crafted a real poetic and life altering piece. Your writing kind of reminds me of Paulo Coelho in the sense that it penetrates beneath a superficial barrier without sounding arrogant or spiteful towards humankind. Very thoughtful and well written piece you've got here. Loved the concept and message behind it, wise words.

Posted 5 Years Ago


TLK

5 Years Ago

I reserve the right to be arrogant and/or spiteful about humankind in future works ;-). Thank you f.. read more
Absolutely love this.
It's not flowery in speech but it blossoms in truth and understanding.
So much, so much.

Love this bit,
"I don't pity her,
not how she wants.
I am happy for her.
This discontent is
the s**t
which might fertilise her life,"

for several different reasons and so many small moments in word choice/combination that reveal worlds of more truth - and all so simple.

Fantastic.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Elephants & Coyotes

5 Years Ago

Time travel is a not so secret, HUGE obsession of mine. =p
Time, in general, really.
TLK

5 Years Ago

I think I will write it when it is time to write it. Like a rich, yeasty brew, I will let it fermen.. read more
Elephants & Coyotes

5 Years Ago

http://hellopoetry.com/poem/havent-fancied-time-in-a-long-time-now/
Two valid perspectives really, and it seems like that's what this is about. The poem itself embodies the universal conflict you've talked about. Always good when a thing wraps up in itself.

I'm not so sure that life is intended for a specific kind of person though. I think it's beyond those clean categories, whether stupid or any other. It's one of those damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't sort of things - it simply is, previous to our experience of it.

But regardless the poem's good.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

TLK

5 Years Ago

"Life is never intended, it just is."

(I put that in quote marks so it sounded cleverer.. read more
Woah. This was amazing. Very true aswell. It got me thinking. I like when that happens. Great job

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You have created an epic piece here. The verse flows not just freely but purely too. This feels like an art house film, a really good one. This reads to me like a break-up story between two philosophy professors. I may be wrong but that's I think when I read this.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

TLK

5 Years Ago

Wow, that's rather strong praise. It's a good thing I use my computer while sitting down.
read more

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Added on August 6, 2012
Last Updated on September 9, 2012
Tags: sympathy


Author

TLK
TLK

Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom



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Signed up to the Pledge to Civil Conduct in Discourse on Writer's Cafe: please challenge me if you think I am breaking either the letter or the spirit of the rules. I try to review well myself (see.. more..

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