Sunday, 2 November 2014

De Profundis: Part 1: An epistle James WF Roberts


This is the beginning to  a book length poem I have been working on since October last year. I have written this  poem in a blank/free verse main style that changes and moves with different voices throughout the length of the work. I guess this is my attempt at a Don Juan, or I guess De Profundis, which in the 19th century was a very common style of poem, Oscar Wilde’s being probably the most well known, the most important, the most  profound. De Profundis, translated means ‘from the depths’. I have begun this book with a mantra style piece that is obviously Buddhist and Eastern influenced. Very much looking forward to people’s critiques and ideas, analysis of this first section. The rest of the work is in varied lengths, styles, and motifs. The shortest piece in this collection is two lines and the longest is roughly two hundred lines.  Please enjoy and please be honest. De Profundis is going to be my think piece. My only true intellectual and philosophical work. So please read and tell me what you think. Oscar Wilde wrote his tragic work as a long, one page letter exploring the themes of isolation, desperation, infatuation..etc...being arrested for homosexuality, and in gaol for love and political reasons, etc...enjoy.

De Profundis:  An epistle
James WF Roberts

For Her and Oscar Wilde


Part 1:

With our thoughts we create the world,
 with our desires we create the vices,
that clamp hard down upon our souls.
With our thoughts we create the world.
I am the Buddha. You are the Buddha.
I am the darkness.
You are the dawn.
We are death.
Now we are reborn.
We are the universe.
We are all the Gods.

We are so much,
much more than all things we think we are…
All of us ebb and flow and change and dance and sing… Like the seasons we all are,
not bound to the dawn,
to the light, to the spring
or the night. The journey to the front garden,
to check the mail, to shoo away the neighbours fat and ugly cat,
to perv on the hot blonde, whose just moved next door, those half dozen little steps. 
the journey to the front step,
That is the journey of life. And, with our thoughts we create not just this world,
but all worlds; spinning and rotating, all the insects and the birds;
the great beasts that roam and the ones that had.

Life is nothing more than an ever changing tide. I am the Buddha—you are the Buddha; our lives nothing more than illusions. Seeing from our senses. our lives nothing more than flickering images, at the picture  show.
How do we know what we are,
when we all wear masks in the mirror?

I am the Buddha—you are the Buddha; no-one ever knows—even who they truly are. All those cracking, creaking, fading masks we wear. All those many names we have our selves, all those dozens of realities, those fragments of self—not selfies—that are hurtling around minds, constantly.
 Yet, we are lost.
Lost, deaf, dumb and blind, to the effect we have on others.
Because the world taunts us to dream,
because the world does not want us to dream.
Because we have based our lives on dreams,
on lust and pleasures of all kinds.
Because the world is forceful.
I am the Buddha—you are the Buddha
I am the Buddha—you are the Buddha;

Because the world has made us drift apart,
even before we truly had a start, to really bloom
upon this path. Silent words, frozen thoughts,
hidden desires. That’s all we are now. That’s all we can be.
What dream was I living in?

When I regarded you?
And, you told me that you loved me.
What a fool I was. But, that doesn’t matter…
Street sweepers, sucking up the waste, the rejects
of the city—and here we are now, being sucked up,
crushed and recycled.

I am the Buddha—you are the Buddha
I am the Buddha—you are the Buddha;

So, is all the rest. Lion-tamer poet, the ring master of all,
receding into the shadows. Cross-dressing security guards,
Adult-women stuck in wanna-be teenager, wanna-be Goth,
long to feel, but afraid of the touch…content to let perverted
Blue Beards control their destiny…the could’ve-beens, the has-beens,
the never-weres.


I am the Buddha—you are the Buddha I am the Buddha—you are the Buddha;  I am the night. You are the day. Even monsters fall in love, madmen have seconds of clarity that can last a lifetime.

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