Posts Tagged ‘rebellion’

in old age

a man’s teenage pain
returns by devious paths
to haunt him — just one
final rebellion left
— the act of remembering!

A week ago I had my sixtieth birthday. Ageing seems to be a constant theme of this blog. Employing a title like this, ‘in old age’, does seem a bit melodramatic of me. I dreamed last night I stood accused of being able to alter someone else’s reality just by the act of remembering. I felt innocent. But at the same time, I did in fact feel as though I had engaged in some kind of subversive act, simply by allowing a certain thought into my head — which was the memory of someone named Howard Pollock, whom I knew for a couple of years in the mid-seventies.

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ferment

I’d no idea
there was still so much anger
waiting to explode —
our chemistry possesses
more intelligence than us

Last night’s dream was a festival of anger and rebellion. Possibly triggered by a brief and apparently trivial conversation with Liz yesterday, about the current Celebrity Big Brother series, where she reported that one of the contestants had had a theatrical tantrum and ‘gone ballistic’. In my dream, I was shooting my mouth off all over the place at work, giving vent to, apparently, a lifetime’s worth of frustration and rebellion against authority. Also, in real life yesterday, Liz had her own explosion of temper, accusing me (in effect) of infantalizing her with baby talk. So it isn’t entirely clear whose anger is the issue, and I think my poem does capture that ambiguity, although it’s quite poor, as a poem. It’s anticlimactic, the way the reflection of the last two lines is just tagged onto the strong opening statement.

ambiguous

much that is evil
can be beautiful — witness
the sound of the name
— music as it rolls off the
tongue — Judas Iscariot

In my dreams last night, I seemed to be some kind of naughty child, creating chaos, and desperate to exert my will no matter what. It was a horrible feeling, knowing myself excluded from the social bonds of love which I was deliberately kicking and rebelling against. Christian theology contains the idea of hell as a state of exclusion from God’s love. And it was a bit like that. I’m not sure where or why I started thinking about the beauty of evil. It was always going to be a poem about evil in some shape or form. The idea that evil has some kind of value to be sought out and cherished, runs so deep in my thinking, this is just one instance of it.