even if we cannot yet see it.
Here are two poems by Kei Miller. Both are taken from his collection, A Light Song of Light (Carcanet, 2010). I have attached two recordings in case you’d like to hear them!
Call this apocalyptic propaganda if you must
Call this apocalyptic propaganda if you must:
The World Ended in the Spring of 2006.
But how much you are willing to accept this story
depends on how far your mind can stretch,
if you believe, quite frankly, in parallel universes,
the one thousand lives we lived simultaneously
and which could only be glimpsed through magic
mirrors or déjà vu. Well, what we most feared
would happen has happened. America, Iraq, Korea;
the pressing of buttons; the detonation of bombs
from one pole to the next; the grand explosion
of people who didn’t even follow newspapers
or give a damn, because we were in the middle
of simple things like eating spaghetti or sneezing.
But here is the fantastic point: the fact that you
are now reading these lines, means you belong
to the only world that did not go bang, a world in which
some uncelebrated hero snipped a green wire
before the clock drained itself to zero; it means
you were destined to survive; were more special
than your 999 alternate selves; that your prayer
was heard above theirs. And what this poem will now say
on behalf of your saved ass is, how fucking cool is that!
Until you too have journeyed
Until you too have journeyed through caves,
through miles of damp and bats, the cool
of all that is not living; until your one torch
has flickered out and you have found yourself
in a dark so dark you forget your eyes
or if they are opened; until you’ve had to find
a way, inch by careful inch, stopping to invent
an arrow out of wind; until you discover
how the feel and sound of stone or pebble
can exist without an image, the very thought
of colour competing for the air; until you too
have lost the day and the day has lost you
and it dawns on you, how foolish to have come
willingly to where the dead are put – until then
do not scoff at what has become our common
language for tomorrow and hope, this bright opening,
this end of dark, this light at the end of the tunnel.
A small note to say I will be taking a break
from this blog for a short while. Thank you so much
for your emails every week! I read every one
of them, even if I’m not able to reply. There is light
at the end of this tunnel: may we reach it together.
All my love,