Counting Leaves

by We Had A Deal

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Here’s to hesitating and shaking hands, To social angst and losing friends To staring at the sun wondering If the fact that it doesn’t circulate this earth Might just mean it only warms itself. And I don’t want to live my life that way. I’d rather stick to the moon, Sometimes more, sometimes less But always there no matter what No matter if the sunlight shapes the worst of it. Because I’m still in love with the idea That all our failures mount up to something beautiful in the end.
It began with an outrage Now it’s just a long line of accidents I witness Without reaching out my hand. It’s oh so quiet after the noise is all gone, It almost hurts Yet I’m the white sheep, gazing paralyzed, Witnessing. The monk by the sea. (At the same time this agglomeration of flesh, blood and dreams has never felt so tired.) At least it’s oh so quiet. So let me sleep until the calendar ends, Until the rites of spring are evoked by caring mothers shown on an art nouveau fine print (That’s) hung out to dry in a garden no one enters, Until we’re more than zeros and ones, Until then just let me sleep Because I did my research, I observed, I counted and then began again: There’s no harmony in anything, at the most there’s choreography of the smallest parts Summing up every now and then (to form something that’s breathing), To form someone who’s dancing to this misplaced rhythm, this binary code of growth and decay. “Oh, such a clever boy, figured it all out, now do your math”, The apocalypse in its smallest parts, an equation I never solved. Although I can’t stop to count the fallen leaves how could it feel right to say: “We’re all dead, we’re all doomed, we’re all damned etc. etc.” If tomorrow is surely coming and it’ll be just like today? Reenactments of a slow dance in between long lines of accidents, My head’s spinning (so please pardon my sarcasm), I danced with Lazarus for far too long.
It seems like we communicate through stories So I wrote a thousand essays about standing beside myself, all in my head, I counted every leave of a thousand trees, all in my sleep, Drew a thousand pictures of the whale inside my head that’s weighing me down, All in one blink, nothing changed. Halfway to depression I ran out of breath, opened up my ribcage And let Goya’s nightmares eat my insides out until they ate their fill Despite all I just couldn’t unravel this knot inside my chest. Licking wounds and trophy scars, useless idols, unemployed gods, All my pretentious and quite predictable wannabe-poetry won’t help me, Speechless, fumbling for words, to say what we mean and mean what we say. So keep your hands where I can see them (this is a robbery). This show of scars is over (don’t even try to call for help). Now empty your remote controls, I’m collecting batteries for my flashlight at the end of the tunnel. Hand them over, nice and slow, no use losing any sleep about it, Because rewind buttons don’t seem to work and “fast forward” is useless anyway (Don’t play the hero, keep your hands where I can see them and) count to 1983 and I’ll be gone.
Reprise 01:08
And when they’ll finally catch me I’ll be searching through piles of leaves, Searching for the right words I buried there, without the slightest chance to ever find them again Because these leaves, they’re just like us, once fallen down they all look the same.
With weak knees and shaking hands, Let them cry alone, sickness found its home. So this is how grief looks like, I had imagined it’d be less familiar. Although I should know by now that each person is a potential memory Each ringing of the phone gives me the creeps, Because the dying dances elegantly through the wire and gnaws right through my ear. (But if I don’t answer it,) if I just lay here (trying not to recognize the clear tone of Job’s message,) Will it be gone? (What I don’t know can’t hurt me, right?) The years are mocking us, singing their shrill song, it gets louder with each day, But I’m lacking sound vocal chords to scream louder than their rhapsody of fallen leaves: “We get born and then we end, get worn out and then we end, We count leaves and then we end, we crawl on and then we end.” A fair implication, I suggest. But without a heaven to spread its hands above my head, It’s the best advice to follow, though. I won’t admit my sins. What I won’t know can’t hurt me, right? (So) tell the white light I said “hi” for we have many mutual friends. Now hold me as tight as you can (Because I don’t want to be alone now) if in the end we’re on your own.
Constant subjects to change, that’s what we are, evolving and revolving, constantly Like changing dots on a segment afraid to lose touch So we build our own museums to keep track And I think it’s safe to say I’m way more afraid than brave, As a matter of fact I’m a (grumbling) coward And these occasions that will last in my memory are the things that frighten me the most. I was scared at my first funeral, I was frightened on my first day of school, (And when I kissed someone for the first time). I was scared on very birthday and at every celebration, All these moments to remember, they scare me to death, That’s when the wolves show their teeth. (Do you) remember that evening in the year your mother died? I just couldn’t find the right words, it was your birthday, (You) cried so hard, you couldn’t (even) make it up the stairs So we stayed right at the doorway, sat in the rain and drank up For we celebrate each year that passes, frame memories in photographs, Moments manufactured in-house, facts that we arrange beforehand, Anniversaries, endings and beginnings, hoping not to forget what’s already ended. Each of these photographs inhabits a small catastrophe, a death yet to come But we’re holding on to them so desperately, it’s almost beautiful.
Mind these words, can you hear me, mind these words They could have meant everything but now they’re failing me (it’s a goddamn mutiny). There’s only “Betrayal” in smeared letters all over these blank pages. All the “could have”s , “should have”s, “would have”s formed their own allegiance, They got organized and turned their backs on me while I was sleeping. Last night I crashed their weekly meeting of decisions I did wrong And now the river Styx is filled with cold sweat, it runs right through of my room And I can’t swim, I just can’t swim with these concrete shoes, this is mutiny, My dearest friend, Second Conditional plans to bury me at sea, The sparrows all flew south. There’s no joy in repetition but Phil Conners feels a lot like me, “Nevertheless there’s comfort in routine” I can almost hear him say Because integrity is on the last bus out of Coca-Cola-city and I bought its ticket. And while I’m answering the door, while I’m letting nostalgia right in I couldn’t be more jealous, though. My own words, they formed a rhetoric to empty all these pages, There’s no loyalty amongst thieves when the wolves show their teeth There’s only “Betrayal” in smeared letters allover these blank pages And I recognize the/my handwriting.


released March 28, 2015


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