Posted by: David Harley | April 5, 2013

Perfect Tense

My life is bound by – I’m sorry, I forget… blank rectangles of layered brick. Sometimes I find an opening, but dare not pass through, for fear of losing my way back. Those I live with – their faces are clear today, though sometimes each greeting is a new and frightening encounter, and their names come and go like a mental extraction, fugitive caterpillars in word salad – I’m sorry, where are we going?

The moments of lucidiity are worst: you babytalk to me, telling me patiently what I know perfect well today, though yesterday and tomorrow may be jam-less – have we had tea yet? – and try to teach me new ways of suck… those things you tap with teaspoons?

But I remember you: we built sandcastles at Camber – no, I’m wrong, you were someone else’s child.

My life is bounded by – yes, of course, walls, I know – and sometimes I long to pass through an opening and rest there, at peace in my yesterdays.

I debated with myself for some time as to whether this is a prose-poem or miscellaneous prose, but I sometimes do it at poetry readings and no-one has objected yet. Actually written as a writing exercise in 2006 – as was Teleworker – when for some reason the NHS offered some of the people it was about to discard the opportunity to take part in an online writing workshop. I guess my mind turned for some reason to something a lot more frightening than redundancy.

Copyright David Harley, 2006

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