This poem sits in an odd place for me, right between sense and sensibility, I suppose. Throughout my teen years, I was one of those unbearable people who was anti-drug, anti-booze, anti-sex... all for the sake, in truth, of being different and refusing to relax and have fun for a second. Any time I did indulge in some kind of mental alteration, I was more likely to be paranoid and upset with myself than to relax and enjoy the ride. Because I don't like to fail at much, even at having a good time, I decided to see instead just how far I could travel down a very strange path...
The first place I feel it is the knees Then the back of my neck swells until like a balloon it splatters Earwax all over the inside of my brain My jaw swells till I look like a Chunky caveman My body swells till I can no longer stand to be inside
We ran into the night My wise pathfinder and me, the timid elk to whom the road had always seemed just another road until the night when the bright lights and horribly squealy scream bore down on it and it learned We ran into the night My feet had wings and the pavement jarred what was left of my mundane form without Ever Touching me. We sat on the banks of the Rhine, while soldiers marched and the lights of the occupation blazed And when we slipped back into the shadow the haunted face of my guide told a sad tale of another flight of another night spent in the dark of the woods We sat by the river the occupying army a distant drum tap the water rolled up a rapid all the while remaining stagnant and still We climbed a giant of metal erected by some careless long-ago builder and forgotten, And hung in the air over the water as the white manes of horses tossed below our feet Their proud heads invisible but (I knew) still contorted in the agony of drowning
Then we paused unseen as a young boy held a young girl in the passion of a stolen moment away from the concrete and the street and the noise And moved on as the cannons came closer The sky flung webs spun by my spider mother down on our heads but as he held my hand I could see Beyond to the ship of the heavens to the flashes of light and colour And we fell together in the mud at the exact center of the field where some ancient burning had scorched circles of pain into the very fibre of the tough weeds And I looked up until the webs had covered my eyes and I looked at him and his face had changed and he was gone - as I was gone And the world spun until I knew I was insane The center of the field, the center of the path the center of my mind are my domain Don't hold my hand don't touch me If all goes well and the soldiers don't find me and he doesn't find me and if I return to my own center I will survive till morning I will survive to sleep again