Friday, 20 January 2017

poetry 2017 / 016

A Letter to My Living Self from the Memory of My Ghost.

Worry less about your bank balance,
about how well you are respected
or loved.
Don't fret that no-one wants your paintings
or your stupid little sculptures;
that your books are worth more
than the fifty cents a quarter you publisher sends
(and why would anyone want Lucifer's Gospel, anyway?)

Those shelves of books on art
and Christianity and techniques of writing
haven't been referred to in years
and your copy of Strunk & White
is digital.

Your family don't play boardgames
so why do you keep them?
Why are there crates of art materials in the loft
when everything you need is right here.
Why keep the boxes of oil paint
when you've no studio to use them?
And why are there a dozen swords
when you practice jiu-jitsu?

In the end there is nothing
no-one will care your copy of Faust dates from 1860
of that drawer of computer components
“Might come in useful some day”
or the book on Nazi Sterilization techniques
is worth two hundred quid
if only someone would buy it.

Live your life free of possessions
you're leaving a houseful of junk
for descendants who don't want them
and care less. Nostalgia is better in the mind
than gathering dust on a shelf.

Burn your paintings, your books;
you boxes of might-be-useful.
Hide it for a year then throw it away
You can always get another
if the need is great.

Rid yourself of the shackles of possessions
and I promise you
You live a fuller life.

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