Too Quiet For Words
It's that place where you've been sent for being
where teachers permanently moan,
where knives squeal against metal,
where morning fights with father become ritual,
where everyone blames you -
the place where you do monumentally stupid things
without knowing why or meaning to,
where unsaid words shout at you
for being quiet, for being clumsy.
Here you're an interactive exhibit,
a cling-wrapped model vandalised by youths
with a psychotic sense of the macabre.
Here you're fear-frozen before a gang of hyperactive
primary school children
wielding blades, unsupervised and overdosed
on cartoon violence and Christmas parties.
If you look around, you'll find a confessional in
an earnest young man confesses sordid sins, while,
behind the curtain, an obese monstrosity masturbates,
jerking with sick pleasure at the sound of each
Listen carefully to the sound: it will become your
in this silence, this place you've been sent for being
where the words I'm sorry have been trampled
by reasons not to worry, and they in turn,
drowned by the deafening moans of inevitable victims -
here, this silence, if left intact, will gorge itself
will fester with the rest of the ghouls.
You watch him packing his bags,
watch him trying not to catch your eye,
watch his silence bulge with gift-wrapped poignancy -
watch him, knowing a few words from you
will make him stay,
will make the demons go away.
You keep quiet.
If you think your silence will save you,
listen for the goblins whispering welcome,
hear their slobbering infesting the stillness.
in the wee hours, my
words don't come. Traffic
distant on The Drive still
hums & just
outside, cicadas buzz; cool breeze & below
me streetlights the only lights. half-past
one, words don't come. "write through," they said
in school -- I do -- but words
don't come. lover shifts soundly
sleeping now & words don't come. no muse
could help me - they really don't exist, just
humbug & in hours I'm off to work, but words don't
come. I'll pay for this
then, but that's still
future. for now, stare at my
notebook, no ink, hear a leak drop
from the sink & words don't come & all old tricks
of "writing through"
are mere excuse, just things to do until
words come. to wit, this line
should be a start - huh-uh - the words, they up
& didn't come. Perhaps to sip fruited herbal
tea - it seemed to help
McGrath that once - but I'm not about
that new-age crap, just
stuck here empty, insomniac
& jonesing, Jack. C'mon. Give
my words back.