Midnight Pub



While going for a slow walk down Writer's Lane, on this fine Sunday, I suddenly remembered the first free verse poem I ever wrote, back in the mid 90s (later published as the leading poem in my first book of poetry in 2015).

My father had died the year before, in 1994, and I was utterly lost. He was my mentor, my introduction into the arts, into literature and specifically poetry (he was an aspiring poet back in the early 1940s, but got desillusioned [to say the least] by the war, stationed on the Swedish-Norwegian border all through-out his active service, and started drinking at an early age, found his "safe place", his own steady pace in life – a periodic abuse of alcohol, a slowly progressing disease that eventually took his life at the age of 74). The overwhelming grief I felt was double-edged. I had been there myself, drank far too much in my early twenties, later went into a self-imposed exile in the U.S. and Mexico and fell into an addictive world of mescaline, DMT and psilocybin. I came out of it, in the early 90s, and never went back. My father stood by me. And my mother, of course. Without them, I wouldn't be here. And that's that. Illuminations. And anxiety, passion, fright, darkness, pain, sorrow, love and hope.

Here is an English translation (a draft) of that first poem. It is dedicated to my father. Thought I'd share it with you good people. If I can get through to one single person I can get through to everyone. I truly believe that.

We prefer death
to a life on the blade,
we are frightened smiles,
we prefer death
to the blue winter of screamers,
we might just be a violent suicide
left by somebody in the snow,
we prefer death
to slowly having to be stifled
by our own foolish laughters,
we exist there at the end of boredom,
we prefer death
to having our little pain forced out
in hunger, in hunger
we imagine that everything else is starving,
we prefer death
to the hard prayers of God-fearers,
we eat the fruit we ourselves
would never pick,
do not understand that it is rotting,
we prefer death
to the dare of shaking ourselves out alone,
we make the same existence immortal,
we prefer death
to life
but nevertheless choose to be born.

It's a good place to be in, I think, this little low-key town, where the lights go out when I want them to, the rain falls when I'm too hot, the faces look familiar when I smile at them, the moon follows my steps when it's too dark to see… Nightfall City, can it be that I fall prey to my own self-pity, as I ramble on about everything and nothing, about this and that, to myself, and to everyone else visiting this fine establishment?

Well, eventually my writing endeavours resulted in three published books of poetry, a trilogy, that ended in 2020, and now lives its own life in the shadows of mainstream media, in the annals of "poetry not accessible to everyone", hidden away from the Watching Literary Eye, the elite and the fucking Swedish Nobel Academy, the prophets of commercialism and egotism, not read by many, but hopefully giving them plenty, those who, like Dante, want to return from the Underworld and not perish in its eternal fires.

Think I'll take my old Harley for spin around town tomorrow. Maybe pay the strange old AI lady at Dusk's End a visit. The rumour has it that she keeps an old Indian Chief stucked away in her back shed. That would be something. A marvel to look upon, and maybe ride, if she'll let me. And yeah, all the old fossil fuel-driven vehicles in this heavenly place runs on air, not on gas. Isn't that swell? A fucking sensation, indeed!

Keep your ears to the ground. You'll hear me coming, for sure.

Bid you all Goodnight!

Frank's Wild Years


Love the poem, especially the last three lines (which, looking back over it again, actually seems a great summary).

I think "choosing to be born" happens every time the notion of "I" somehow rises again from previous ashes to wandering down obsessive paths in delusional coma until crashing all the cymbals down off the shelf once again.




Thanks a million, man, for your feedback!

Means a lot.

You know, in Nahuatl (the language of the Nahua tribes [Aztec, Toltec and so on]), poetry is referred to as the Flower and the Song (In Xóchitl In Cuícatl). That says it all for me.

Our song is a bird calling out like a jingle: how beautiful you make it sound! Here, among flowers that enclose us, among flowery boughs you are singing. – Nezahualcoyotl

Nezahualcoyotl (1402–1472) was a philosopher, warrior, architect, poet and ruler (tlatoani) of the city-state of Texcoco in pre-Columbian Mexico.



Sounds like way more than this increasingly feeble mind could convince itself would be worth more than the trouble to remember it.

But the poem itself? Mmmm!