what they say

by jdavidcharles

Something about an “event” causes some sort of rift, a break that, consciously or not, shifts or awakens us to something else, something emerging underneath (sinister? gracious?). Suffice to say a host of creative energy has sort of burst out of me given many shifting events–change of place, job, relationships, car, college, etc–and now I find myself rolling my own cigarettes and wearing burgundy skinny jeans. And I also find an insatiable love for new poets, new ideas. So I actually have quite a few poems I am working on at the moment, some perhaps not worthwhile, but hopefully this one is. I decided to take a step back and look at the passing of objects–relationships and abstractions being equally objects–and the “contingency” of death and touching, relating and mis-relating, these being two expressions of the phenomenon of passing itself. Hopefully this doesn’t come off as a relativistic read of death and birth being two sides of the same coin, but rather a more complex look at how these are the same coin when looking from the right angle–and how sometimes they aren’t. Or: things happen; sometimes they don’t.


what they say


It is true what they say

about dying, it’s always

happening, we envelop

ourselves in it like a big

warm blanket—keeps us

warm. I don’t think about

death so much, although

I’ve killed friendships and

certainly a plant or two in

the name of salads and

countless spring rolls; I’ve

killed silence and brought

certain death with chatter

and telephone rings to

climaxes of movies, plays,

discussions, acts of love;

and I have sprayed so

many ants dead dead

dead (killed mice too, lunging

from cupboards, bottoms

of kitchen sinks, and once

or twice a silverfish or two

on a couch or wet towel).

And, I suppose, I’ve even

died slowly as I killed the

punch-lines of terrible jokes,

each death tangent or cross

-ing or penetrating, each

thing in its place becoming

out of place, each in its time

out of time, asymmetric

disunities somehow clenched

hand in hand on their mutual

and isolate passing down

rivers of time, place, or

imagination. It is also true

though that things somehow

touch, shatter, elide, avoid

even and at times break or

make love; enough to know

things pass together; enough

to know we are one of these.