Editing poetry: Despair Prevails

I am trying to place my song references here… the first two lines of the second section come from Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Go or Go Ahead’. For me at least, the third section is the most meaningful. I remember reading somewhere that you could take apart every muscle and bone in the body and grind them down to a powder and sieve the powder through the finest mesh and never find one particle of life. Actually I think in the book it was justice, but the same applies. And I remember watching people dance, and it seemed to me that was what they were doing too. And the way that they were so unselfconsciously able to do this and touch each other seemed so utterly outside my comprehension. The line ‘turn aside for envy’ is based on Milton’s ‘Aside the devil turned for envy’ on seeing Adam and Eve.
Strike the day
From the list by the bed
Despair prevails
Solid as a switchblade
Writing thin red scrawl
Musings, simply musings
Nothing so coherent
As a stream of consciousness
The pages all torn out
Wrapped in wire and ribbons, dark under my skin

It seems you have opted
For vanity fairgrounds
And golden cups
I am behind the blackout curtain
I think it may be daylight outside
All that grows on this side
Are the uncurling tealeaves
And discarded films
Spiraling mazes left unsolved

There is little time left now
We pull apart the muscles
Try to find that divine spark
Like making fire
By rubbing skin on skin
Turn aside for envy
Press out the light against the wall
Every just-glimpsed tress
The only desire left
For a rhyming couplet
Despair prevails

via Editing poetry: Despair Prevails.


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