Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.
And I've developed coping mechanisms.
Like me, you could move knurled steel 'til anxiety's ground to chalk for
You could crawl to the crack between bed & wall to feel weight against
If you're in to self-pity, echo Prince's lines as a meditative object—
in this life,
you're on your own.
What does it mean to live a life? For insight, I recommend residence above
and a new language—since words are so tied up in assumptions about the world;
and, free of solid ground,
you can establish your own orbit. If you manage to settle among satellites, you'll find
left & right relative
only to you. But this won't help you endure a life viewed as an A–to–B endeavor.
So, I recommend
extreme isolation. You could live as far out as the Kuiper Belt, among matter
that refused to coalesce.
When eons without light opacify vision and magnetize your blood's iron, allow
yourself to drift
toward some fertile body waiting for the spark of life. One concept you should develop
is that of yourself
as a physical object occupying space. By which I mean: Get the fuck outta the way.
If none of this is clear—
if you need some terse mantra to cling to—I’d refer you, without context, to Tim,
who told me:
It's not that there's necessarily something at the end. I just gotta get somewhere.
And I'm going.
- Both Prince quotes in the first stanza come from Let's Go Crazy, the first track on Purple Rain.
- Here's the context the poem says it's not going to provide: Tim & I were talking about The Goat Rodeo Sessions. I remarked that it would be good background music for a journey; Tim responded with something close to the final lines of the poem.
- This poem was first published in Connotation Press.