Monday, November 4, 2013

Three Poems (Hugh Behm-Steinberg)


For ghosts, time stops; they just have a single now all to themselves. Sometime you see them, but they never see you, they only see themselves. There’s a lot of them, and their purchasing power is immense. But marketing to them is tricky. Only by making ads ubiquitous among the living makes it likely newborn ghosts will see them. Even then they’ll only see the ad in front of them. Their wanting will want forever if the campaign is successful. “Coke adds life” says the ad, but my mother’s ghost drinks vodka out of spite. She will buy the same thing over and over, and her compulsion will become my longing.

On the Angelic

An angel appears and he makes you choose, or he asks you a question you hoped never to have to answer, and your choices are always terrible, and your answers even worse. And though you’re supposed to feel blessed seeing one, because he confirms everything, you hate him on sight because he looks so joyous as he tortures you. Never alone, he says, laughing, never alone.

So despite their ubiquity, no one consults them anymore, their solutions go unrecognized, as unconsidered as the sky when a man encounters obstacles. The angels continue to meet, draft papers, march, judge, delegate. I think we should move to an atheistic country, he says to you, in glorious light, where we will at least be admired or persecuted.

Ascetic Acid

The effects are disappointing, you get some hallucinations but they’re so restrained. You remember that you’re naturally transparent, that if you just relaxed in your trip you could be fully invisible. Nothing is worth seeing anyway says the drug, and because it’s inside you you find it very convincing. When you come down you’re naked and you’ve given away all your possessions, weeping with joy. You feel light and happy to feel that way. The hangover will last for years. 

These pieces originated in a daybook project in which I recorded my first thought each day after waking up in the morning. I took the raw pieces that seemed like narratives and polished/tightened them up a little. Spiritual concerns brought across from liminal space.

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