A story in many unequal parts, some missing – 40

A solitary goat herder and his flock and near-perfect views of the sweeping hillscape and the Dead Sea: we were climbing up to the ruins of the fortress of Machaerus — ancient…

Part 40 of the series “A story in many unequal parts, some missing” is a switch-back prose-poem. Read it here.

The box. The other side.

Put me also in a box, label me. Lead me to the grass. There must be safety in herds. I once saw wildebeest line up for miles to cross the Mara. A group devices the geometry of survival.

All Groups. Bastards. Lovers. Those with the universe strapped to their thighs. Breath and voice and visage fading into one. Jumping into the river. One by one. Together.

But you leave me unnamed. Leave me alone in the rain. My skin drinking sky after sky till it is neither me nor cloud nor rain.

This is what you mean. The not fitting. The not belonging. The not standing in line. The not jumping together. But the outside is cold. I ask you again. AGAIN.

You unwrinkle me on a table and try to understand the words but the ink is smudged into a language you cannot read. This is what you mean. The calligraphy of incomprehension. Meterless. Wordless. Endless.

A grave is a box. Death, a label. We must ultimately be nothing and everything and be labelled when we are not left to call. The herd of the dead in rows for the final migration.

This is what you mean. The inevitability of sameness. The primal stereotype. Beyond the pretence of resistance. The line. The blue river. The danger. The other side.


A sudden urge to write prose-poetry. Do share links to prose-poetry you have written. Would love to read your work. 


and suddenly the universe collapses into your eyes and you wonder not how it came to be but why

then you either find the revelation of your own inconsequence and know you are just random matter, trapped in a trick of consciousness, that will be destroyed just as it will be recreated in another swirl of time

or you find a spark of faith that will grow until it reaches beyond the edges of what you can imagine and you know you are time and sky and everything within and without and that all you see is just your mirror

either we are nothing or everything

he paused in that moment, waiting for an answer, wanting to be sure

a tired moon yawned and stretched, night was breaking up into smudges of light

i could leave or i could stay

there were muffled voices in the stairwell and laughter, louder

i could speak or let the words slip away

where there had been stars in that square of window, there was a silent wind

i could be everything or i could be nothing

i could pretend i had a choice