Song From the Burn-Out Gulf (A Psalm For Modern Times)

I have exhausted myself
There is no place left for me to tap into.
Things to do have taken hold on me
From dawn until dusk, mainly from dusk until dawn
They’re yelling so close to my ears
In my veins, they’re injecting the substance
Pushing me to pushing, that mental thrust
Wide-eyed staring, clenched fingers clasping.

That drive compressing two working time slots in one,
Oppressing what’s left of interstitial contemplation
To the edge of suffocation.

That momentum must never wear away :
The mission injection keeps me up, and maintains
My head out of water
My head out of the depths.

Morbid addiction
Producer, seller, buyer, doctor, supplier,
Junkie : the whole cycle by myself.

Who’s to get me off
Before the final explosion ?
Who’s to extract me
From the production lines
While I still can ?

Factories, employees, contractors
Without me, that old industry would collapse.

I’ve allowed myself aboard
On the wild ride of on the verb ‘to do’
I’m not bold enough to jump off
The back of the horse of fear
For where would I go then ?

Fear of having nothing to place in the column
Of the accountant’s table and disrupt the sullen balance.

Liabilities : getting old, relentlessly
The process subtracts every single thing.
One wrinkle after the other,
Not a smile, not a square centimeter
To spare on back of my the hand,
Old age takes no prisoner.

Assets : Hyper-action, and even more,
I get written off, to no avail, I keep trying
To compensate, adding everything
That’s passing through my skull —
Objectives, targets, trainings, networks
Each canceling from the other column,
I try to offset with a new perspective, a project.

I further feed the fireplace of fantasies.
And If I ever stop, and if ever sit, I see
The bottom line is not balanced :
I’m losing the fight, whether I combat or not.
As long as I strength in muscles and attitudes
I can’t hear what the death column whispers
On mindfulness, slowness, fragility.

Those few decades of flowing oil,

Still laying in front of me
What am I going to use them for,
If in my compensatory fevers,
I’ve already burnt them all
Out of unspeakable rage ?

Stretching forward, bent by the rush of projects
I’m jumping on trodden rocks, surface stones

And never see the flower, the bird, the child.

Franck Joseph

©FJ Oct. 2020 – All rights reserved.
Articles are available in book and e-book formats here : RECUEILS
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