o cold concrete,
a corner beneath my frostbit toes,
bare and curled over this cracked boundary,
a cliff's edge and decision point
before the shiny steel train tracks
that go to the ends in either direction.

but if the winds could be so bounded!
at least i'd know when to jump.

the air is chilled,
and if i were naked perhaps i might feel
the realness of the dungeon ceiling of the sky.
but hath reality such wheels as a train
made for nought but sensical motion?
perhaps it too resides on wings in the directionless air.

am i a hellish force
sent message from below to poison the blind?
my madness is quite enjoyable, in fact,
and if i be mischeivous devil and the rest be angels
then they be blissfully ignorant,
and at least i get a suntan.

why must man exist so?
split as body and spectre,
like a star in space dust
or a fish in a puddle,
knowing not which one is the right.

what is the world known only by its outline,
rimmed in talk and laughter,
a vacant space surounded on all sides
yet in itself no matter,
even if all details exist
as if created by a series of stamps,
press out from inside the sphere,
quick to then be discredited and reabsorbed,
but leaving soft traces which may melt in the sun.

and what are we,
if but shadows in an empty setting,
why not such stuff as the heavens are made of?
we give them more force than what we can hold in our hands
when we are lost
in the darkness we create.

but no, we are matter,
(worm food waiting to happen,)
and there is meaning in our madness.


i wrote the second part of this after coming back from watching the movie of r+g'r'd, quite a crazy movie, and i was still reeling from the vertigo of logic and philosophy and wit. i was also taken by the madness, so i decided it was one of the stronger forces in the story. so the last three stanzas preceded the rest... do they fit together? i felt the scene of a man standing precipitously over train tracks is good for hamlet's existencial philosophizing, working out what we should listen to, the concerns of the world (politics) or of the soul (revenge, honor), as well as a general disgust with the world and the falsehoods that frame it. i tried to capture some of hamlet's madness (which is hard unless you give youself to experimenting with madness yourself)... should it resolve itself more strongly in the end? i use the modern setting because i think hamlet could very easily be someone in highschool or college right now, dealing with modern existential angst and anger at the strange, often non-sensical world we live in.


dedicated to manab pakrashi, 1978 - 98.

grendel's workshop