Monday, December 14, 2009

The Witching Hour

It's been a while
Since four a.m.
Things have happened
While you slept soundly

At four a.m.
I'm still not sleepy
Where do I go, now?

Have you been to Lothlorien?
I could give you
The full guided tour
It is never four a.m. there
Or it always is
I can't quite tell

Once at four a.m.
I journeyed to Oxford
And sought after Truth
From a silver tongue
And truly, I found It
It was not to my liking

Do you remember
That time at four a.m.
We were on the fourth round
Of long island iced teas
And all laughing
And I wished I didn't know the punchline
We drowned our mirth
But I walked on water
You couldn't see it
I'd walk to Andromeda
Fence singularities
Ascend the arithmetic hierarchy
And then some
Would you have followed
If I'd have asked?
Then again, I don't ask

A little while later
And it's still four a.m.
It's funny like that
No one has been here
I can smell their footprints
They didn't linger
I can see why
I could tell the ones left
I could answer their questions
I'm not yet that cruel

I dragged you to four a.m.
On a rip tide of conciousness
What were we still doing
On that bench in that place
At that time in that dream?
We should know better
By now, you would think
We'd have learned not to think, there
Where the wild shining notions
Haunt the lives we can't reach

What have I been up to
All this time that has passed?
That's a very good question
I've been asked it, before
I have stared long
At the burning gates of heaven
And listened, close, and deep,
To the seductive song of hell
Things I've learned
That I'd never tell you
And if I told you
You'd never believe me
And if you believed me
You'd scream yourself silent
And under diamonds you'd dance naked on a hill
And not care
As much as you'd never cared before
But you wouldn't want that
And neither would I

I keep coming back here
I play tricks with clocks
I'm drawn by the beauty
So says my attorney

How long since you wandered
Through the streets at four a.m.
And how long since you've wondered
What waits round the corner
You never realised
No one ever does
Where that terror abides
To roam unafraid
It was not worth the price

At four a.m., for a drunken hour or so
I'd say more than you'd hear
In a lifetime
If only
You'd catch me

Its four a.m.
Dawn will be here soon


With Respect to X said...

N.B. Poetry probably won't be make a regular appearance on this blog, despite recent trends. I don't write poetry often, and when I do I don't feel that confident with it, and it's usually of a rather private nature.

Nonetheless someone recently entreated me to write and publish more poetry, and as it happened I was inspired to compose this a few nights ago.


Lothlorien is Rozelle psychiatric hospital. The people who know why - if they remember - don't read this, I think.

"You" is you, for several values of you (not, necessarily, you).

The scientist is Dan. Or so I've been told.

The rest is for me to know, and you to probably not figure out.

Anais said...

Well, thankyou... I suppose you have to do what you feel confident doing, but I still love your poetry nevertheless.

I find it very difficult to write madness into poetry. I can never capture the obscure way that the most bizarre things make absolute sense when you 'aren't right.' I think perhaps it still frightens me. So I love your honesty, and your ability to write madness the way it is, without embellishing more than is natural.

I have never been good at giving criticism - can I just say that it is very, very good?

With Respect to X said...

Thank you, very kind words indeed.

I love writing madness into poetry - it seems the most appropriate form with which to express that state of mind, other than perhaps parables.

When relatively sane, I'm not always happy with the end results, or at least not happy to the point where I think "Lots of people should read this, it will give them insight."

I agree that trying to confront or convey these things can be frightening.

Alexey said...

I want to be mad for a night.

With Respect to X said...

Going mad is like losing your virginity - the nature of the act precludes it from it happening "just for one night."

But I'll optimistically choose to take your comment as a compliment on the poem. Thanks!