Silence

Michael,

    You never ever comment on my stuff.  Sometimes I think it is quite good.  Satisfactory.  What is it with you, does it go in one ear and out the other?  Or eye?  Is your eye connected to your brain, thence to your tongue?  Do words ever form in that brain of yours?  Do I make any impression whatever?

    When I die, in many years time, should you visit me on my deathbed, maybe in a euthanasia clinic if such have been legalised here by then by referendum or otherwise, what will you say, if anything?  It was nice knowing you, or some other pleasantry?  I cannot ask you to be nicer than you are because that would not make sense.  Considering I dislike nice people.  Far be it from me to be nice.  Ugh, revolting!

    After my death, a solemn occasion, it will be too late except through the medium of a seance.  Will I care then, when I am eating pie in the sky?  I realise that while you have not spoken positively of my work, neither have you spoken negatively.  That is something for me to console myself with.  Is your stance a neutral one?  Are you a don’t know or a don’t care?  Or have you not made up your mind?  Whatever you say, if you said something, you could always issue a retraction.  I know words are open to misinterpretation.  For that reason you may have decided to say nothing.  I respect your decision.

    Therefore, why do I bellyache?  So you may ask yourself.  If this is bellyaching.  Is it?  That is a matter of opinion.  To me it is a statement of fact.  Facts don’t lie.  Neither, I suppose, do people who say nothing.  You say nothing very well.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  If our positions were reversed they would be the other way around.  Vice versa.  I would say the same as you if I was you because I would be you.  So no change there.

    Is the only good poet a dead one?  Poets worth calling poets are good, alive or dead.  As far as their work is concerned at least.  Their morals may be open to question, but who are we to judge?  I am an undead poet, not to be mistaken for a zombie.  Sometimes I stray into prose.  What is prose, a barman asked?  Anything that isn’t poetry, I said.  That was telling him.

    I expect no reply before or after I die.  If you attempt to contact me after my death I will refuse to answer.  I will be as silent as the grave.  As you now.  Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.  Am I?  No.  Must all my questions be rhetorical?  What if I choose not to answer?  Do I give up asking?  That day, night or evening has not yet arrived.  I ask unanswered questions.  Otherwise, there’s no point in asking.  Not if the answer is known already.  I may be a fool, but I am not that big a fool.

    How big a fool I am remains to be determined.  On that question I prefer you to keep your mouth shut.  As usual.

    I thought my last poem, Dream, was rather good.  But who am I to talk?

    Hoping this communication contains no errors of fact I remain,

Tich Ennis

6th June, 2016