‘Small Memory’ – A Poetic Continuance


[Image sourced from selftransformation.org]

I hadn’t actually intended to undertake another ‘continuance’ so soon after the last, but in an available slot of a quarter of an hour this evening I had pause to jot – in some manner or other – a passing idea.  Paperwork strewn around, I was scribbling away (old style, pen in hand), when I realised I was listening to the following song, had explored the following thoughts while it played on.

Hopefully the freedom of the form remains within the realms of categorical acceptability.

[Inspired by Jon Hopkins’ “Small Memory”:]

Surrounded by words, but not one

forthcoming from his own mind.

Of course, could be it was overfilled

with languages – the open phrasebooks all calling

“Konnichiwa!”, “Salam!” – and the discursive

narratives of others chattering in the background,

their heads blown up

with knowledge; no, wisdom

he could never hope to gain.

He aspired to greatness

(but how many before have claimed the same?),

still hoped for resemblance of a small glory,

modest fame come from him, his works.

Was that conceited?  Was ambition a sin?

No response could come from an empty brain.

In one ear and out the…

Where had it all gone

wrong?  He felt no calm, rather

an obliged meditation

on his own inadequacy.

[Copyright © N R Nolan 2016]