At the top / Failure is hard to survive

At the top of the list

are the missed ops made out there

unmade and confused with

other women and men,



sized; like little [thimble-

{ful]l of desires} and


popsicled thrones which do

drone through the airs

and graces of you: oh, and how

they do go on and on.


I would love not to have

a thought in my head

which was not loving

you, or loving

your better side.

And loving your every

side would be

the very best of all:

the very best moment of

my life.


Am tired now of thinking:

would far prefer

drinking or winking or


or simply that being

where hand touches hand.

And you do know the only

person who refuses to

touch me

is the person I once


out of hand …

… but now do I


no longer at all:

and process has

brutalised me;

and process ain’t a

ball – except where

such steel has a

bearing on me:

I am nothing but

numbers; I am lost to

free will; and the illness

they say I suffer from

daily is no more than

me sensing the numbers

made up of data somehow

captured out there:

the content I’ve produced;

the being I’ve uploaded;

the lifetimes I’ve dusted off

and done with such



and at the very top of

my list of wishing and

washing and reading

and writing, and daily activity,

and that practical registry

that unmaketh the man –

in this case the man; maybe

all cases the

men – is the wants

that I have: the simple

wants of life: to be

laughing and smiling

and kindly with others;

to be gentle and funny;

to be unhurt and rummy;

to be curious and unbound;

to be confidently




to all that which is one,

and to those who are two;


and so finally

at the very

top of the list I have

made, and which has un

made me for decades now,

and which refuses to let that

me grow as it might

have, could do, should

be, ought to remain

sane, is the fact

that I no longer can

love my strife with the

gusto and pretence,

and the tension of the

inner, and the outer

that is out there, unmaking

me, infirming

me – simply

dismantling me:

I have failed at my lifework*:

I have failed at my job:

I have failed at my responsibility

to service your needs:

I have failed at my commitment

to make of our marriage a

thing our dear children

could one day look back

on and say – with respect

to at least

these old codgers,

to at least

these old fogies,

to at least

these old crumblies –

they had won

out against that terribly common trail;

and they would say they’d won

out against these

all-too-wailing failures

of this all-too-common man:

the man who

could do no good; the man who’d

fuck up; the man who’d

make dumb; the man who’d

just simply run out of ideas.


And no ideas any more to save this

marriage; no strategy, no tactics, no

way of convincing other party of

the need to come to table and

talk things kinda over, or just remember

certain days, and the sound of the trees

on open verandah; and the sound of the

knife-grinder; and the sound of the melon

man; and the sound of the vegetable van

hooting car horn.


And so it’s all collapsed in terrifying failure:

all collapsed in awful disintegration:

all collapsed in painful desegregation:

all collapsed:

all collapsed:

all collapsed.


And so ultimately he flew

and became the free

man he never was;

but in doing so he destroyed

the family appearance

of love enshrined.

And the family who wished to

destroy itself was not them at all.

The family who wished to

destroy itself was his.

And neither was he member of this

family or that; and neither in any

way available to him; for the only thing he

ever wanted was to be

wanted by

good people back.

The only thing he ever wanted

was to be wanted

by his strife.



* I have failed at my lifework: I have failed at my marriage: I have failed to bring the two warring parties together so adult conversation can ensue.

Failure is hard to survive.

And I want more of my life: I want to thrive.

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