Unmeaning Flattery

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Thursday 06/26/2008 10:26 AM

I used to write poetry so long ago that now it seems like a different life or an old dream. For no good reason whatsoever, this morning I've dug up some of my scrawling from that old me and decided to share one with you:

I was thought asleep
When I thought I heard them creak
Outside my door I heard their steps of soft, not loud
Then I tried to cry,
With covered eyes they made me fly
Through the room, against the walls and all about.
Ochre dreams of saneless seams
It almost seems my self-esteem
Has slipped away and now I scream
Screams of self-delight.

What was that I thought I said?
Have I been hit upon the head?
Have these dead men painted red, blood-red,
Reversed my eyes of sight?
Then they gathered close,
Like drunk men 'bout to boast
They spoke to me with words I could not hear.
Images collected
In my brain I felt infected,
But I saw place of love I could not fear.

Like falling sand or moving hands
Those spirits from that distant land
Of a broken stick, a painted man
Taught me the signature of time.
A wolf howling on a rock
Becomes a fur held up in hock
Myself laid out in shock
Can't understand these...
These words they've made me rhyme.

I know not what they thought me
Or barely what they taught me,
But now I see in me these things that make us free.
And these dreams that point the blame
I know not whence they came,
But now I know the way, and that's enough for me.

I guess time was running short
For these teachings from this court
That came too fast for me to sort
Because the ghosts began to fade.
With the fading spell that they had cast
I thought hard, I thought fast
I wanted them to grasp
The fact their words were not in vain.

So I broke and split my thumb,
While tatoos burned in my tongue,
Spoke the words I could not bring myself to say.
Then the ghosts turned back to look,
As if they might've just mistook,
The rules the gods had forced them to obey.

Yes, I cried to them to shout
What my heart was all about
But they only smiled at me, laughing all the more.
The words I could not find
To explain what's in my mind
Cheated me my chance I now abhor.

The ghosts are gone but the songs they sung
Hang heavy in my heart.
And maybe there, someday, somewhere
I'll understand what they're about.

File Under: Poetry
Music: Nine Inch Nails "Ghosts I-IV"

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