There are a million lives

There are a million lives within the small confines of this grotesque heart, 
And the sticky eye dust-
The corneas morning drool-
Of historical cyclops’,
Cakes the plush walls of my lungs.

Why else is it, 
That I would weep the baptist waters of 
Some artistic camaraderie? 
Why else is it, 
That I would feel the pinch of 
The artistic colours of terror?

There is a club 
Of those who prick their fingertips on the sharp 
Ends of paintbrush and pen tip. 
Corporally we have never 
Felt mutual 
Breath or lost disloyal skin cell to one another’s shoulder. 
And yet somehow, 
Our engorged pains of ill-fated esteem
Are well-known kin. 

We are sufferers of nothingness,
Because somehow creation becomes 
Bred from an uninspired 
Addicted and emptied,
We crawl after this oily terrorism 
That our neurons inflict;
They are drenched in saliva and snot,
Regretful for the time wasted.
It fuels appraisal,
This torture,
And fertilises the tulips of some gory truths. 
Fluent in the language of human flesh 
And yet speaking some ancient dialect.

Others do not ache in their heels or clench their jaw so tight 
That their teeth pop through their upper lip,
All because of some silent ties to Vincent’s ear,
Or some tearful song to Dylan’s gospel. 

Because it is we 
Who see absolute beauty in abominable being,
It is we 
Who see gorgeousness in aplomb gore.

All of life is 


And birth

And death 

And suffering 

And the strangling of somber silences that interject the carelessness of broken sobriety. 

The insecurity of 
That unpleasant 
Spoiled and privileged 
(As it paints your chest blue) 
Feeds the art
And starves it slowly. 

I feed myself. 

And starve myself slowly. 

I gaze down the hallway of framed figure and gilded portrait 
To see the faces of 
27 years 
Lived in this same skeleton of iron. 
Behind the bars of the kindred acknowledged
And kindly hated acknowledgement of self. 

We are such children. 
Throwing tantrums with fistfuls of privilege 
And stomping our feet-
Screaming our demands to return from this grocery store century 
To some imagined eon that 
We have never existed within. 
Longing to go home to some 
Tranquility of not-being. 

We are never not-being, 
Unless we are making. 

And there it is. 
The true thorn in vein- 
The swelling source of yearning- 
Never to be, 
Only to create. 

But we are nothing,
we make nothing,
Without the flame:
The inexplicable pain 
Of simply being. 

Art by Quinn Fagersten

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