TERMINABLE RECALL

1.
“Memory deceives,”
the bartender says
like some professor
at the bar table.”
“It often plays tricks
on us—
It can fade, shift
& distort over time.
To play safe,
he quotes
a neuro-expert
from UC, Irvine.”
The image of what was once
could be falsified,
new images could have sedimented
under layers
of fresh impressions
making as if
the old remembrances
were fixed, extant
upon recall.
O how old memories
cannot be trusted
by anyone, after all!
O she was not
the phantom of delight?
In the ocean of the mind
She’s lost
as if drowned in the deepest
abyss of the ocean floor
she must have placed him
in the backburner of her heart
even before he had encountered her
& he would pine
for that fantasy
as if it was real!
Didn’t it happen?
There was no witness
to affirm.
O like the light of a dead star
that has long vanished
in the black, black night

2.

It lies buried
in the crevices of his mind
embedded behind
the heavy layer of illusions
he mistook for the real
that image behind
the imagined smile…
Did she really exist?
An old dude could only
gesture with his arthritic fingers
but doctors around him
would stay silent, clinically distant—
an old man’s raving
they have to put up with…
Is this onrushing dementia?
Illusions can be symptomatic
of a truth
but no one would dare
confirm it—
like a child is he
that holds its invisible gun
claiming it to be some material
glock!
O, nothing lasts forever,
truth is an onion
in Dostoevsky’s fable
that is peeled over & over again
to reveal its white, white core
of nothingness
that signifies nothing at all.

3.

Who’s telling the truth?
Legal minds will claim
a method for ferreting out
the words that will reveal
the flaw of reason & alibi
that represents a lie…
But who will sit in judgment
to confirm the established
lie?
Everyone says it is the truth,
he can prove it
because his heart
says so?
His mind reasons out
he’s sure as hell
because it’s formulaic
& methodical?
That God is his witness
& he couldn’t lie
O are we all trapped
in the prison house of words…
Who can see what
separates the devil from
the angel of this divine squabble?

4.

So we guzzle
barrels of beer,
as if confused
by the shadowy enigma
why he lost her
who was real
but nonetheless bereft
of proof of her being
O, do we act as if in
repeated trance
beholden to memory
that fades & erodes
with time?
What after all,
is there to forget,
asks a stupid lover,
when memory itself
flies out of the heart.
All the pain and sorrow
is not worth remembering
weighed like air,
the ghost of gold?
This love & affection
that never was…

5.

“Let memory speak,”
says Vladimir Nabokov
but does he know
whose voice rises above
the tumult?
Whose voice would tell the truth?
Is there a truer truth?
& who will dare settle
the knife-edge contradiction?
One voice hovers over the noise,
in a domineering fashion,
another will be muted,
as if silenced by its angelic light.
But when he looked back
into his mind
of Space-Time,
the real with the imaginary,
something turns devil’s advocate—
you must be kidding,…..?
She has long vanished,
without a trace,
the rest could only be echoes
of derisive laughter.
She was never there
fixed like a bat
in the cavern of his mind.
Who would claim the spectral presence?
There will never be witnesses
to the sorcery of his heart…

6.

“Beware therefore
of autobiographical writers .
As if the id could
speak the truth,”
the bartender cautions.
“If it does speak,
It would be gibberish.
The unconscious is all chaos
& who could make out
all those dreams
condensed from
neural activities?
It is no-man’s land.
Can you place a timeline
on the pulsations
of the dream
culled from memory
that is always threatened
by the breakwaters of erosion.
Who therefore can verify
the fantasy?
They can only infer
a certain truth
which will never be
admitted by
observer and patient
alike?
Remembering is a
perilous voyage,
into the mind,
he friendly warns.
As he swipes back the
tumbler on the bar
for safekeeping.
The violet hour
is done
he must close for
the night…

7.

Memory is heavy with images
Bible-readers mistake
for dreams.
& dreams are deemed
message from the Almighty…
But how can we see
as a sign from the divine
if Freud would claim
It as a wish already fulfilled?
If memory is distorted
how can we trust
writers to draw from the mind
if nothing is itself sure,
something is amiss in the theory
of the subjective truth?
Is recollection
a scoundrel art?
So we go back to our selves
which would doubt itself
like a rat in a spinning cage
that isn’t going anywhere…

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One Response to TERMINABLE RECALL

  1. Yes, agree, recollection can be “a scoundrel art.” What a phrase!

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