|—||Étienne Pivert de Senancour (via human-voices)|
Fishing for people
In water for hours
Lures aren’t correct
Face turns to prune
Nose and mouth fall off
Eyes still work okay
Still there are no people
and, so, no dinner
But no mouth
So no dinner is fine
For a while
Until the stomach complains
and they will carve a stone
Unknown, in Year unknown
Didn’t have a mouth
Very unknown, Rest in peace
Pained people on screen.
Remains and crushed bones and screams.
Red ground, red sight.
"Humans really love this stuff," he said, unimpressed.
"I guess it’s exciting to us," I replied, sounding bored.
I became distracted. I remembered a few years ago when I sat in that poor apartment I had. I was on a pile of blankets, using them as a cushion of some sort, because I had no couch and no chair. I watched some sci fi horror film on my laptop. As I watched people being torn apart by some extraterrestrial force, I thought of how my life mirrored the struggle in the film. Only, instead, it was a horribly extended and boring version.
I still see it. Everyone being taken out, one by one. The horror, the horror. In slow motion.
Motion so slow…I pour syrup over my pancakes and wonder if the syrup might kill me someday.
"It’s okay," he said and his touch on my shoulder brought me back to the present moment.
He said again, “It’s going to be okay”.
Meanwhile, people on the screen continued to scream in agony.
And I bit my lip.
There’s a park where we often went walking.
Sometimes he tried to hold my hand. His was ice cold. We would stop. I’d look into his eyes. He had three of them.
Whenever my face got close to his, I’d start seeing his thoughts, visions. It was always confusing. Mixed up.
It seemed like human films always bored him.
Sometimes he watched them with me anyway.
I always wondered how he could stand to be around me. Wasn’t I too simple? Sometimes I’d get scared. Sometimes I worried he had some plan, maybe they all had some plan. Maybe they wanted to eat us all and take over the planet. I couldn’t figure out what he saw in me…or any other human. Why were they helping us?
I mentioned to him how hideous my skin is in comparison to his, how sad our plastic is, everything.
He said our imperfections are refreshing, interesting. Then he said, “Actually, they aren’t really imperfections. That’s not the right word. No one is imperfect. But whatever you consider imperfections to be…ultimately, they’re interesting.”
He only needed about one hour of sleep. Sometimes, when I felt scared of him for no obvious reason - maybe it was just my anxiety - I didn’t want to sleep because I knew he’d be there…awake.
He knew…I bet he knew.
But I never told him of my fear. And he never confronted me about it.
There were times when I watched him sitting at the desk as I clinged to my blanket with half closed eyes.
At times, I said I had to go outside. I’d go outside just to get away from him, to be away from him for a while. To feel safe.
When I’d come back, he’d be there..just acting normal, maybe, but I could see his eyes were suddenly more averted, his head turned downwards, some sort of a sadness. Or it seemed as sadness to me. I could sense it even if he tried not to show it. Or it felt like sadness to me even if it wasn’t. Because I’m a silly human prone to interpreting things in human ways.
But, if I tried to come closer to him in those moments, he’d have something else he had to do - he had to move across the room - had to keep busy.
He didn’t want me to see his thoughts.
Sometimes that made me more scared, more suspicious and then secretly more accusative. Accusing him in my mind when he wasn’t around.
Other times I worried I had hurt him and I felt a soreness deep in my chest from it. A soreness that didn’t seem entirely mine. Maybe he had some power he hadn’t told me about. Maybe he was punishing me.
But it was his beauty and his mystery that kept me. And his random acts of kindness. A part of me wanted to believe that he was as innocent as he claimed. A part of me never wanted to let his beauty go. It was sickeningly hypnotizing.
A gigantic part of me wanted him to remain unexplained.
The truth about him…unknowable…indefinitely. I wanted to believe rather than know, as humans often do.
"Some of us think
we’re so advanced.
We delude ourselves
we’ve moved on,
we’re beyond. Beyond where? Who?
No, we’re in the same place as you
and you’re in the same place as the ants and the bees.
Actually, I think…the more you can see, the more confusing it is and you realize more and more
that you are standing in the same exact place
Only you have
Good vision in your possession, sure,
and a good filter for that vision and something to catch and hold what has been filtered but - even with all the contraptions you possess -
you’re there right along with them.
And the light - it hits your body
and the bacteria - they multiply on you or in you or around you
whenever they have the chance, whenever
and the bees take from your garden
and the ants - they eat your food
we want to believe so badly
that we’ve gone somewhere beyond but
we’re still here.
And I am here
and the bees
and the trees.”
I didn’t like when he spoke about how little he knew, how vast everything is, how even his people were incapable of grasping the universe, nobody can fit all that there is into their pockets, and nobody can throw the universe into a blender or a processor, it’s all so overwhelming, even to him. I couldn’t cope with that.
"You just stepped on an ant," he said
"I did?" I looked down, searched…and there it was.
"Look where you’re going" He was so serious about it.
"Well, they’re really small…it’s hard to make sure I never step on one," I didn’t care much.
This turned into some mini argument where, in the end, he moved across the room, told me not to come near him, and started making ridiculous statements such as, “I’m becoming more human” and he seemed to shudder at the thought.
My voice began to shake, “But I thought we were not imperfect…I thought we were refreshing,” I said to him with my face contorted into something wretched.
And then he completely turned away from me. I could feel the soreness in my chest.
When he got so concerned about stuff like the ants, I wondered how I was ever so scared of him. How could I be? But the suspicion always came back to me…there was nothing he could do to convince me of his innocence. It was unknowable.
is not the reality
it is a wish.
if we zoom out
We are all the same.
If we zoom in,
We are all different.
All the same
but never simply.
The human brain
Where you find the bad
lurks in responses
must be dealt with.
Apple with hole
of so many worms
beating to pretend
it’s my heart
I can see
I can adjust the size
Don’t let them eat
all of my apple
I need just enough
to wiggle, thump
not too much
I must not go.
"you are only tied up in ribbon," he said.
criss crossed, pink and shiny, wrapped around
hands and feet and waist.
I went to a college covered in glass.
Outside a busy street
and I went to cross.
Something strange was there.
Some man - strange expression
And then I saw
the rifle in his hand.
He wasn’t shooting yet.
The crowd didn’t know yet.
And then he raised his hand, smiled.
I ran back inside.
Covered in glass.
A lock behind.
But adrenaline remained.
Elevator didn’t work.
Cold buttons pressed.
A man in plaid with bowtie
“it’s not working for me either,” he admitted.
Man with rifle still so far away
but the anxiety remained
I couldn’t get to my room
So I went to my car and sat.
Then, my nonexistent sister,
I didn’t want her to feel…
We sat and wait.
Visions of being buried.
Saliva drifting across the cheek.
The feeling of a cold and allergies.
Arms around the waist.
Wrapped in ribbon.
locked in glass.
People at the store were talking about
in the history of communication
my friend had a pager
i thought it was cool
is this even for real
no it’s 12:41 and I’m kind of bored
call me back
do you have a capri sun
all the flavors taste the same
what is this
it’s already in the trash
well, i’ve heard that before
"They can’t comprehend"
"Birth, death, loss, having children"
"The human life cycle"
"What it means to be human"
She says it’s heartbreaking
That the elderly would find comfort
And maybe she’d say
to me, “You’re human.
You’re much better for them.”
I know I am - human
But I swear
I could only pretend to care.
1) Start with a cliche: My girlfriend was pale as a ghost
2) Use simile with popular culture reference: Like Joey from Friends
3) Make a shocking statement: I hate everything American, including apple fucking pie.
4) Make reference to something intellectual: Sartre farted, then darted.
5) Follow this with nonsense: In the moonlit bungalow of her eyes, I lost my virginity.
6) Bring it all together for a big ending: She was like Joey from friends, only smarter, and more American, unlike Sartre who farted, then darted back to France, to live in the moonlit bungalow of her eyes, where I lost my virginity, and ate apple fucking pie.
Stick a fork in her, she is done!
but this is a beautiful poem.