WARNING: SENSITIVE THEME AND CONCEPTS. READER DISCRETION ADVISED.
Notes: I’m starting this post with my notes, instead of finishing with them, because of the tone and nature of this particular poem. This is the darkest poem I’ve written to date. The odd thing is that I have no memory of what I was feeling, nor why I was inspired to write such a dark mood. My journals from this time indicate I was very much enjoying life in Madrid as a teacher and hanging around several storytellers at a local pub. My best guess is that on one particularly drunken night our discussion turned to literature and a challenge was issued to write something very dark. Since my writing compatriots at this time were an Irish social anthropologist, a Spaniard who longed to be a character in Don Quixote, and a whiskey sodden Welshman given to telling very tall tales, I’m not sure if I won the contest… this time.
Also, note that I have chosen this morbid poem to be my first of the new year out of a belief that all that was, is past and the death or passing of it indicates the start of new blessings. May 2018 be the magical birth of life from the seeds sown in 2017.
The loner checks his supplies: rope, the note, a plastic bag, one condom (bought in a nearby restaurant) and a pack of grape flavoured bubble gum.
He says “PERFECT” to no one in particular.
He observes the view and tells it “you’re serene and beautiful” then laughs out a loud “PERFECT”.
The waves are noisily crashing against the cliff below.
The seagulls fly around him crying their plaintiff, almost human cry.
Wales swim by, spraying their mist upward as he shouts at them “PERFECT”!
He pushes forward and leans on the overhanging tree, testing the supporting branch for strength, breathes in deeply and sighs out a lonely relief… smiling in secure knowledge.
He tosses the rope out to secure it to the overreaching appendage, pauses knots his morbid swing. He mumbles a wonder to the rope: “will they re-use you?”
He looks up at the sky and in prayer visualizes his intended scenario, thinking “Be perfect, be perfect…please.”
He closes his eyes tightly and with open hands lifted heavenward he says in his quiet voice: ” I willingly accept this last gift of darkness as my way to perfect light.”
Excited, he places his note in the plastic bag and explains to it: “in case it rains…”
He slips on the condom and whispers “for posterity”
He swallows the gum and climbs into his swing.
He inhales deeply and jumps.
He forces his eyes open to watch the whales and asks in his mind: “Can they see me?”
He feels warmth run down his leg and complains to himself: “cheap condom… a Mandrake will grow below me now…”
As the light fades from his eyes he wonders: “Will they find me before the moss grows over me?”
The gulls continue to fly by, repeating their inhuman cries.
The waves continue to crash far below his feet.
The whales move on.
The rope tightens.
The pain fades.
originally written on October 21st, 1997 by M. Perron