Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A life stripped of illusions

What happens is this:
a wall suddenly becomes a wall:
white, clean, clinical. It has nothing to say.
People suddenly become people,
legs bared to the summer
are smoothly shaven but you can already see
the black pinpricks where hair will grow.

The colours fade and dry out
till all that is left is a brilliant white wall,
stripped of shadow and angle,
friends rest against it.
The colours fade:
the rich romanticism of old paintings
where women wear brocades and silks,
and candles glow dimly
straggle into the stark white of a clean blank wall.
The images are the one-dimensional monotone photos
of newsprint, single images
where one child cries, or a man limps alone,
or a woman wails in despair.
Till that splinters and erases itself
into millions of negatives,
brown, edged, fingered and glossy
but indecipherable.
You have to hold them to the light
to find out what they're saying.

What we have here
is the bared white reality
of nothingness.
What we have here is the
reality of ordinary, every-day objects
as ordinary every-day objects.
You can't put paint on them,
your conscience makes it slide off.
Can't prettify it,
it's all waterproof.
It slips and slides away and you're left:
weakened by the reality of a blank wall,
and the giving over to nothingness.

(Published in A life stripped of illusions)

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