There are these things like strings
that bring themselves into effort
and consort with no one.
Take my shaking hands for example,
always hanging there,
holding things I cant even see, but feel
where memories conceal a better version of the story.
I cant help but wonder what connects me
when my emotions project me into the person I am,
always this nervous when you, of all people, look me in the eye.
I have weight.
Take the weight of a string that’s weighed down, guilt.
Guilt is the quilt that smothers and blinds
with the designs of its intentions.
Guilt weighs ships down into oceans
where waves rise and clouds hover
and the swimmers despise that the predators still linger.
My guilt is a long string that preaches and reaches
back past distance and pretense
where the lessons are rarely forgotten
and still has enough left at the end
to fill the cavern of inches
that we’ve let grow between us.
Now all this represents is the tail-end
of the way things used to be,
but I’ve carried it, like it’s never stopped growing,
like it’s never known knowing life without my hands holding it,
but these days it’s like samples have control
over the price of tolls
and your entire life can go on living without you.

This is the string of guilt and the longer it gets
the more of it rests
on this earth and from birth
we’re gaining tangled-up feet
and knotted-up fingers
just holding up our own ends
and pretending that it all makes perfect sense
in the absence of an argument.
But these words,
they’re only the pieces of my thoughts that you can hear,
but let them do something.
Let them push doubt into leaps,
let them hit your ears like free-weights falling from the clouds
because this is the plea that combats rage,
these are the thoughts that stain the page,
this is the feeling that’s known a cage
and this is the fight where wars are waged, listen,
I’m starting to disappear, listen.

Where friends now look like strangers
and I can still get to a point,
but it’s like an ointment on a burn that only gets things infected, listen.
Because this is the feeling of knowing too much,
these are the days that I rarely get to touch,
these are the dreams
that weave what seems
like oceans of collected memory.
This is the contrast of desires and repetitions
where those who conspire
still gain recognition for the things they’ve never done
and I want to race burning cars down crowded highways
with just enough leeway to be skinned alive. Listen.
This is the string that spins spools,
wrapped over, under, around and through.
It ties us up like our parent’s intentions,
but these are fresh eyes looking for old car keys
where the strings we carry need to be treated differently
in a world where any tool can be a weapon.
Treat them like the telephones we used to make when we were kids,
poking holes in the bottom of paper cups
and lift them to our lips to speak.
Or swing that string around so our friends can skip
the dull moments between the time it takes to play
and the time it takes to grow-up.

Because we’re all at risk here.
We’ve become the kind of people who don’t read manuals,
we just manually push the buttons to see what they do.
But here’s the risk where sick wrists slit themselves,
because when you’re the only one hanging on,
you’re the only one who can let go.
Because this it for better, or worse.
This is to cure that curse of better,
because the only ones we’re better than
are the people we were yesterday
and those we run the risk of becoming tomorrow.


About Sean O'Gorman

Spoken Word poet from Ottawa. View all posts by Sean O'Gorman

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