Seven Words

It was quite an absurd occurrencedownload.jpg
which gave rise to reason for
seven words of swift deterrence
Which I’ll now relate through more

The first word can be used to shout
and identify who is who
The word we would be lost without
It allows me to talk to you

The second word was my weapon of choice
Inverse osmosis, so give a bored blink
But it’s meaning should be given voice
What worth is the the chance to think

The third word was the same as the first
And this time with less glee
The subject couldn’t be any worse
If I know you’re talking about me.

The fourth word was almost a pet hate
To me it’s all a show
So throw me maths and throw me fate
I’ll believe, but never know

The fifth word was a name actually
The glowing opposite of death
Someone who I love to see
She is addressed as Beth

The sixth word was the same as the third
But following the other five
Apprehension flies high with the birds
Pointing my heart toward knives

The seventh word was a final blow
Of what I want and won’t
See it only went to show
What you can do but don’t

Alex Herlihy – 2010

Random Poetry Fragment

Try all you want to provide consolation.
It won’t do any good, for the only comfort I need
Is that this is what it means to be human.
To experience the full emotional spectrum,
This is what it is to be alive

Try to provide consolation and kill me.
The words of wisdom I ignore; they specify suicide.
The only comfort I need, is that I am human.
This is what it means to be alive
Kill me?
Brush away the grief? Repress my creativity? Suppress my humanity?
Replace the power, strength, life of an emotion
With the weak, silent, death of acceptance?
Kill my emotions and kill me!
Kill me when I am most alive!
Embrace the anger! Give in to the grief!
And right as they smile to evil victory,
I turn around, and take control;
Anger embraces me, grief gives in to me,
and I make them work. Work words.

Alex Herlihy – 2010

The Ace of Hearts

I have before me a card. It is Jumbo sized Art. ace-of-heartsmassive
It has a story, this card. It is the Ace of Hearts.
I found it, or stole it, one black day
With the sky from the clouds raining grey.
“Missions” he called it, laughing with glee
and flickering eyes that betrayed his honesty.
I had naught to juggle, and nothing to squeeze
but then someone out there warmed to my pleas;
Two jumbo sized packs, one of red, one of blue.
I silently start shuffling, and watch as I do.
He bounces up and down all around the room,
Cramped as it is, there’s not the slightest boom
The cards I am shuffling are now being sorted.
The blue pack is missing the cards most important.
This fiend before me protects his best
Breaking the rules? nothing to contest
The four aces he keeps close to his heart,
But I know where they are, at least in part.
I look up from my royal flush,
My poker face doesn’t betray as much
and see this monster calling for help
But with a mad grin, not a loud yelp.
“Missions” he calls it, laughing viciously
The angel in the room jumps up immediately.
Well there you go, that seals my fate
Again into darkness to head a clean plate
I stand up and prepare to brave the rain
and I laugh at the other’s looks of pain.
As the cards go smack down upon the table,
The demon rushes out the door with my angel
I’m ready to run, pursue, protect and die
But something has stopped me, caught my eye
His four aces are there and so heavily exposed
lust for an angel; As a hole in defence, it shows.
There is only one card that I care to take
One of four aspects that I intend to break
The club is his skills, his practice and trade
The genius to which that combines is his Spade
The diamond is his luck and face but in part,
it is his amazing ability to abuse the heart.
I grabbed the card, the organ throbbing in fright
I Stuffed it in my pocket and clenched it tight.
Run out the door into the rain,
past the overflowing storm drain.
The water coming down as a wall
I run and slip and avoid a fall
There’s always the light of the angel before
Beautiful hair showing me through the downpour
All the while I clenched the card, I never let go
Despite it’s burning black blood ruining the show
But I got through to the end of the night
When I got home I knew I had won the fight
The demon failed again, as the angel survived
His heart is disfigured and no longer alive
It’ll grow back, such an ungodly sight
To him the loss of a heart is slight.
But it will never be the same one, and that’s fine
Because this is no longer his heart, it’s mine.
This is a symbol for the angel; I have her not him
But I vow I will not abuse her under light dim.
I’ll not rip it in half, I’ll never set it on fire
But I’ll never ever use it like that horrible liar.
And now I sit here, with Heart’s Ace before me
The crease through the middle should tell you its’ story.

Alex Herlihy – 2010

A Dance

rsz_a1-5-740x555[1].jpg

Walking, talking,
Rushing off in excitement and me not pursuing.
A cross between a train station, my year nine camp accommodation sleeping quarters, and the bubblers outside at my primary school.
I let you go,
Head inside to the hall, meet people,
Talk to a troll for some reason that escapes me.
The troll provides some bogan philosophy,
I head back out,
try to find you,
looking through walls windows and mirrors,
they’re all the same anyway,
find you,
your face is just as happy as before,
but it has a falseness about it which I don’t know if it was there the whole time and I just didn’t notice or it is a new development.
I ask what is wrong, you say “nothing” and are so sincere.
You aren’t even acting; you ARE sincere,
and yet I know you are false.
“Alright… but just in case, I want to hug you to make sure”.
She does and falls asleep;

You slept with your head on my shoulder and your arms and legs wrapped around me.
As tall as me, and only a little younger, yet you were lighter than a feather,
and I held you as I would hold my one year old sister.

I walked and the world moved around us in a way that didn’t match up with how my legs were telling it to move.
Down the middle of a busy street,
across crossings that were lacking lights and painted stripes,
one second, or five, or a minute no cars, the next one hundred.
I moved out of their way, understanding the danger, but not feeling it.
Too calm, and you slept as if nothing at all were happening.

The scene changed to become more grassy,
and you flickered in and out of existence on my shoulder.
I carried you across the suburban Noork’s elbow.
Street, turned to bridge,
bridge over train tracks,
and before I had even stepped onto the bend, you had disappeared,
I forgot all about you, and the dream flowed on into the morning.

Only when my eyes open did I remember that,
and realise what a strange,
amazing dance we had just performed.

But you’ll never remember it.

The last message I received from you was sent before our dance, but only received after;
Dream about cruise ships and ball pit rooms.
Usually you are there, always there in case I need you. But not today.
I don’t remember my dance involving any juggling.
It wasn’t a dance of love, sadness, joy, happiness. It wasn’t a dance of the night, it wasn’t a dance of the morning, it wasn’t a dance of light, or of the moon falling. No guns were firing no swords were drawn, it wasn’t a dance of bullets or skin torn.
No words were said, but it was no dance of silence.
In simplicity lies beauty and perfection.
It was a pure dance, no more.
I dreamt of the cruise ship, but not the ball pit.
I dreamt a dance, we danced a dance,
And you’ll never remember it.
In simplicity lies beauty and perfection.
To walk while the world runs?
It was a pure dance, no more.
And you’ll never remember it.

Alex Herlihy – 2010 (Mildly edited)

Hugs

Ahh but you see,
hugs are not something
I give out for free

And quite smilarly
I do not accept them
Merely as charity

I’ve always been told that I’m rather cold, prefering my own company.
Only ever see a hug, as something of a bug, I’m not touch and feely

Whatever a hug means to you, I’ll respect
A hug that is free is not wasted on me.
I love a good hug, I love to keep snug,
Yet you’ll get no hugs from thee.
For I don’t agree with the philosophy
That a hug should be a mere charity.
I see a hug as something special,
I do not treat them as trivial.
So you can hug me but if I hug you,
See the situation differently;
Don’t feel my arms, don’t feel “me”.
No… Feel safe, Feel happy.
Feel loved.

Alex Herlihy – 2009

Maths

image-20160927-14593-1rf92dt[1]

/* Bad poetry alert */

I hate maths it turns mind into brain
Intelligent thought lost like tears in the rain
Equations functions, graphs I’ve had enough,
If this is all there is to life then I give up.
I was not born for a life that means
I need to crunch numbers like machines
I spy a paradox! How about you?
How can a machine be alive too?
And that is exactly how I feel
With every equation I become less real.

Every X, every Y, I feel my heart flutter,
Oh god, who would have guessed? Death by Algebra!
Every point plotted produces pain I must hide
Every new question kills me from inside
Every new topic I die a little more
The amount of horror makes up for the gore

Maths is stupid maths is lame
Maths is death by another name
In maths death is a game, Just a statistic to take the blame.

Alex Herlihy – 2009

You must specialise in broken hearts

eyesarewonderful6.png“You must specialise in broken hearts”
That’s a line I’ve always had in mind
Knowing where to put it is a fine art
Skill and mastery to which I was blind

Ever since the last word was said
These words have lingered behind
For I failed to hold a redhead
Those words were not mine to find

No one spoke them, they were not written
These words are the product of silence;
Delicious, but not my words to be eaten
Beautiful, and yet for me far too tense

So whom is the elusive subject of my quote?
At first I thought it was my Ranga rejector
The one who left two broken boys on a boat
The memory that will never shut it’s door

But no matter how hard I tried
Sixty stanzas couldn’t fit it in
To force any phrase I would have died
Because I knew it wasn’t her within

After a few months of regression
I decided to learn from a mistake
Very soon it came to my attention
That I had a uni course to take

Who should happen to be attending?
Another redhead, another chance
A few long weeks of pretending
Previous mistake made my luck enhance

But all of a sudden again it’s occurred
I don’t want to lose another friend
Another audition for my great words
Let’s see this through to the end

Irony, I managed to win this time
But not before falling apart anyway
It was almost like the perfect crime
That quote I almost had cause to say

Once again, the words don’t work
Why on earth can’t I fit them in?
It makes me cringe and smirk
All those guys hearts are her epic win

If anyone were to receive the phrase
It would absolutely have to be her
But no, even after hours and days
How to use the words is a blur.

I have tried and tried and tried
And many have stepped up to fill the spot
My efforts are nothing, I’ve only cried
It’s only recently that the answer was caught

Someone lusts and rages and wants
I stopped him quite immediately
Another heart broken behind the taunts
And so it hit me almost evilly

There could only be one who fills the mould
Could shred that organ into a million parts
With a grin and glinting eye, I’ve been told
“You must specialise in broken hearts”

Alex Herlihy – 2010

Not Again

I always thought he was the enemyThe-Girl-in-the-Spiders-Web-Movie-Wallpapers-9[1]
In that simple – not quite love – triangle.
“We’re still learners” was forever in mind
Mistakes of the past never left behind.
I regret nothing. I would do it all…
again? Yes. In exactly the same way;
No difference to my actions, because
The past is only a chain of events
That have led me to where I am right now.
To break that chain, is to commit murder –
Bloody murder, murder, murder most foul.
I am not who I was an hour ago,
That hour was but another link of chain
And I sit now in the present, gazing,
back at the links of my amazing chain.
Some of the links are stronger and harder
to imagine the chain lacking; the past,
The events, the links and the memories
without which we are nothing of ourselves.
If you break a single link in a chain
You break the chain, you kill the present: You.

This was one of those events, tragedy
I could never be here without knowing.
And so I look back and laugh at the fool
that used to be me, his stupid mistakes.
And I learn. That triangle, was not won.
Events from that triangle are again
like bad omens, jumping up on my chain;
A redhead. A good friend. And a formal.
I can see a new triangle forming
Again I must run the hypotenuse
But experience and foresight are mine
I have the advantage of time, and space –
yes, I live closer then him on a map.
But he already knows her, not as I
would come to. But they were on friendly terms.
Funny how futile this was, everything
I was doing, only set up more pain.
I did not want to lose a friend again.

Shakespeare was right you know, with Othello;
Suspicion and Jealousy can drive you,
usually mad, but sometimes to success
and quite rare when it happens to be both.
This triangle never was one of love
I always thought he was the enemy
And in doing so only made him one.
Mistakes only seemed to be repeating
themselves, and I was ready to cry, die.
“I give up”; Those words which I never say
passed by my lips that day in ignorance
of the victory that I had achieved.
Despite all the evidence; I had won!
But the announcement had to come too late
The triangle had grown more than three sides.
It was a web, horrible and tangled.
I escaped to one side and hung over
the edge, holding on by a thread – not red
No, this was not a redhead. An old friend
who delivered me my true victory;
An invitation, the sweetest success.
Everything would have been perfect but no,
She had to be stuck in the webs center.
The spider in this web had lost it’s prey;
“She couldn’t come today” and retreated
to the center of this web it had spun.
He was the real enemy from the start
Always there, but that’s not the scary part,
He thinks like me. That sparkle in his eye
Same as the smile that I tend to wear
His thoughts, to me, were déja vu. No more.
So I am competing with me, myself
and almost I. Rodriego wants to try
for the part. He tries to be like me more
then he realises. The tangled web
got infinitely more tangled for me
When Rodriego tried to become master.

A web is not like a chain – break as much
as you want and a web will still remain.
But if I killed the spider… no more web,
only a simple triangle again.

Alex Herlihy – 2009

The Shadow

Do you know what it’s like to have a shadow?
If you think it is so… well I’ll have you know;
That’s not the shadow of which I speak.

I know of a shadow so skinny and narrow,
Can’t have been cast by me, it’s far too shallow.
It has no eyes it has no head,
If it weren’t for the talking I’d think it were dead.
It’s definitely blind if I needed more proof
No eyes, and even less perception of the truth
It frankly fails to fit the mould,
Trying as hard as it might to hold
On to both feet where a shadow should connect,
It only touches my right and grasps for my left.

Shadows are not meant to be alive.
What on earth was I thinking?
To whisper in a shadows ear the words that it can never hear
Just to give it an illusion of life
And hope it would find another body.
But no, I have to put up with this shadow
It’s more rooted in reality than the dark twilight
where it should be.
And the appearance of mind?
No more than a philosophical zombie.
But still… Can it hurt me…?

This shadow imitates more than my actions;
Actions don’t hurt me, no no…
This shadow is more of a reflection;
Actions with signs of emotion, oh no…
It plagiarises my actions, It steals my words,
It adopts my taste in music, It deifies my ideal girls.

I wonder when this shadow will realise
The fact that it has it’s own pair of eyes
And stop trying to reconnect with mine.
I wonder if that will be a good thing
A clone of me being set free and going on it’s way
Not mature enough to handle what it holds in it’s head
It may very well know all that I know some day
But I’ve got experience on my side instead

Will it be good? To be me competing with myself and I.
My Shadow may not want to let go
Might make life a deadlier show.
I keep my actions and thoughts closer now;
The shadow trying hard to reflect
That which I came to expect
And planned all along.

“I am stubbornly me”
Oh really?
The evidence to the contrary
And the absolute irony
Can be seen by everyone,
Everyone, but you,
You, my shadow;
You. Roderigo.

Alex Herlihy – December 2009

IMG_0908

“Why Don’t You Have Facebook?”

Business-Does-Not-Need-Facebook-Page[1]Would you like to know the real reason why
I don’t have a smart phone,
I don’t use facebook,
I rarely send emails,
I avoid internet communication almost entirely?

It’s because everyone is talking to everyone else at once.
And no-one knows who anyone else is talking to.
And no-one knows what anyone else is talking about.

I can be having different, separate, deep, meaningful conversations with many people on many topics at the same time.
There is no commitment online: It is possible to jump from one chat to the next so easily.

If there is a pause in your typing… are you talking to someone else?
I have to tell myself “You’re just thinking” or “You’re just feeling overwhelmed”
But I have no way of knowing this to be true!
I can’t see your body language
I can’t read your facial expressions
I can’t connect with the soul reflected in your eyes.
This makes it harder for me to trust.
A digital wall between us
This plants seeds of suspicion and jealousy.
Thorns that grow up and choke my heart

But real life communication is not like this.
In the real world, when there is a pause in the conversation I can easily tell whether the other person is thinking carefully or if they are distracted by something else.
In the real world, if the person I’m talking to walks away to talk to someone else, I know, and I can walk away and talk to someone else too.
In the real world, it isn’t possible to become emotionally invested in a conversation which has already evaporated.

So now I go back and look over the whole Discussion.
Suddenly it looks very different.
Those moments where you weren’t saying anything begin to seem incredibly ambiguous:
What were you really doing while I poured my heart out into that chatbox?
Were you thinking about how to respond?
Were you struck down by emotion?
Or were you just talking to someone else,
and reading a random internet article…

I’m not saying give up technology for my sake.
The fact that I feel jealous and suspicious is not your fault.
My emotional responses are my own problem to deal with.
But I refuse to suck it up, desensitize, stop caring or push my feelings down.
So how do I deal with them?

Life is better offline

Alex Herlihy – 2014