driftwood III

the bream oscillate across my REM eyes,
seaweed brushing against me as a passing commuter
tends to with purely transcribed, false affection.
W h a t is my n a m e?8 // w h ere a m I 9 // w hati sthis 10

I realise I have never known the phenomenon of “surprise”

a pacemaker is passed on to me – a gift from the lungs of low-lying rock –
& keeps me steadily,
precisely alive


8 a land mass stuck in soup so longing for home that the croutons have sunken.

9 a bibliotheque of decrepit bones…spines

10 grey-green world of spores//the putrefied mortar//both bricks dear life//bricks are deep death.

Ben Armstrong


One thought on “driftwood III

  1. progiestben says:

    Writer’s Note:

    I can’t really remember how the ‘Driftwood’ sequence of poems came about but I wanted to tell a story with language becoming increasingly fractured. The sparse language in this and the following poem attempts to mirror the experience of drowning, the narrator’s peaceful but definitive end.

    I included footnotes again here to mirror the schizophrenia of a pre-death experience and to put the reader in a state of limbo, trapped as they scan up and down the page, to reflect the narrator’s own struggle in the poem.

    The line ‘steadily,// precisely alive’ resonates with me quite deeply. It is, in my experience, a way to articulate the feeling of living with depression; a purely analytical and physical outlook on a beautiful and organic life.

    ‘Driftwood’ is, in essence, about many things, so it’s up to you to decide how to go about reading it.


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