Loading...
Menu
Ebooks   ➡  Fiction  ➡  Poetry  ➡  Science fiction  ➡  Apocalyptic  ➡  Themes & motifs

A Means to an Ens

A Means to an Ens

 

by

 

David J. Lovato

 

 

For an alternate means of reading this book (text imposed on photographs), please visit http://davidjlovato.com/a-means-to-an-ens/

 

Copyright © 2016 David J. Lovato

Cover copyright © 2016 David J. Lovato

Table of Contents

 

The Largest Grain of Salt

Motley Melodies

Find the Light

Naught Alone

The Scream of Rusted Hinges

A Cloudy Sky In Sepia

When I Meant the World

The Benefit of Doubt

dullsummer

Someone, Anyone

the bird at the top of the post

Beneath the Sun

A Means to an Ens

Where the Salt Meets the Sand

 

Afterword

About the Author

 

The Largest Grain of Salt

There is a town beneath a lake

Only the steeple of the church can reach above the surface

And when the light hits it just right

Its shadow looks like a man trying to claw his way to shore

 

And here I stand upon the sand

If I reach out to take his hand

My fingers only ripple through the water

 

I am the last man in the world

What I’d give to hear a knock upon my door

I used to think that there was more to everything,

But when you’re all that’s left there’s no such thing as more

Don’t put your faith in anything.

 

There is a road that leads nowhere

The asphalt’s cracked, its lines are faded badly

Like the words upon the page

But if I walked that road I’d be better off than I am now

 

If I should move to get my shoes

I’d tie my laces like a noose

As there’s no turning back along this path

 

I am the last man in the world

What I’d give to hear a knock upon my door

I used to think that there was more to everything

But when you’re all that’s left there’s no such thing as more

Don’t put your faith in anything.

 

Sometimes I think about the things

That might have played out differently

If I had stopped to think and not believe

I put so much trust in you

Forgot what it was like to lose

Until there was nothing left for me

At all to keep me holding on

So looking back, yeah I was wrong

Well lesson learned, I do believe

I won’t put my faith in anything or anyone but me.

Motley Melodies

 

What’s a step to the beat?

When I skip with my feet

On the path down the street

By the river on a rainy afternoon

 

What’s a house to a home?

When you live all alone

But I still left a note

Said “I’ll never be back soon”

 

And these songs

In my head

Aren’t just things

I have said

But they don’t

Come out right

Too far gone

Out of sight

And these motley melodies

Are always haunting me

 

What’s a fish to the stream?

What’s a thought to a dream?

When I just want to scream

I am never coming back again

 

There’s a road on a map

I am walking this path

And there’s no turning back

I will walk it to the end

 

And these thoughts

In my head

Race around

Me again

And they won’t

Say I’m right

Am I wrong?

Have I lost sight?

And these motley melodies

Are always taunting me

 

What’s a day to a year?

What’s a shiver to a fear?

The road ahead is unclear,

But I’m never coming back here.

Find the Light

I take my glasses off when I’ve seen enough of the world for a while

And all of my thoughts are on trial

Because there’s nothing new

Beneath the sun

Not since I gave up on everyone

 

And if the universe contracts

Will we live our lives in reverse?

Will I slowly stop remembering her?

And all the saddest memories

Work back until we both are happy

But just keep on going until we never meet at all

 

With a match in hand I gargled gasoline

But then I spat it out and watched it gleam

In the warm sunshine til it got dark

In the empty lot where the car once parked

Then I left to find the light

 

And when the universe contracts

Will we live our lives in reverse?

Will I slowly stop remembering her?

And all the happy memories

Work back until before we meet

Then just keep on going so I never get a chance to make them

 

And then the rain began to rise

From the grass into the skies

Rewinding our goodbye

 

And the tears began to rise

From the lashes of your eyes

Like unsaying all those lies

 

And when the universe contracts

Will we

Live our lives in reverse

Will I

Slowly stop remembering her

And every single memory

Works back until we both are happy

But just keeps on going

I just keep on going

Until we never meet at all

Naught Alone

 

I took a nap

On the highway

In the fast lane

On a Sunday

 

Can I really be the only one left here?

And where did everybody go?

And will I ever know

 

I watched the clouds

Passing over for hours

A toppled cell phone tower

Grown over by flowers

 

Am I really all alone here?

Why didn’t anybody stay?

Does it matter anyway

 

I took a nap

On the highway

In the fast lane

On a sunny day

 

Felt the miles beneath my feet begin to slip away

Once I nearly looked over my shoulder

But I realized there was no point, it’s over.

The Scream of Rusted Hinges

 

Here’s the house where I grew up

I climb the steps, look in through shattered windows

The door is rusted shut

I stand here as the wind blows

And maybe I should go back

Just keep going down this road

Walk until I reach the coast

 

But I look over my shoulder

And maybe I should look inside

There’s the chair I used to sit in

And pretend that I was listening

 

And here’s a shadow fleeting

Did something move inside?

Like a heart that won’t stop beating

Cup my hands around my eyes

It had to be a trick of light

 

Still I pull the door apart

The scream of rusted hinges

Shivers down my spine

And then I step inside

 

Here’s the cup I used to drink from

Every time you brought it to me

The bathroom carpet that would fill with wood lice

Now it’s void of anything

There is nothing left to remind me

How you died and made me king

 

But there’s a sound from the front room

Where we used to spend our days

I make my way down darkened hallways

And there I see with my own eyes

 

A blue bird

On the window sill

Staring out with empty eyes

It turns its head and flies

 

There’s the porch swing where I used to sit alone

And pretend I was alone

But I never was alone, only now I am alone

 

But for that blue bird

Softly taking to the sky

As I take to the highway

It flaps its wings

I move my legs

It stops to sing

I didn’t even say goodbye

A Cloudy Sky in Sepia

 

A ray of red sun reaches down

Touches a fence of golden wood

Grass still sprouts

Through cracks in grout

Now look around,

The sky is yellow but the wind’s still blue

The winds still blew

And I’m still here

Thinking about you

 

I watch as the clouds

Close and swallow up the sun

I sit in an empty house

Wait for the rain to die down

So I can keep walking on

Until I find someone

 

Someone out there

Is sitting in a house like me

And waiting for the rain to fade

So they can find their way

I feel it in my heart

Though we are far apart

There’s someone out there

 

I dreamed I was tearing a house apart

Brick by brick by brick

Until there was nothing left of the house or my hands

And then I turned and headed back

But if I give up

A slim chance turns into no chance at all

 

Someone out there

Is walking down the street

They’re looking out for me

So we can finally see

I feel it in my bones

Though there’s no way to know

There’s someone out there

 

Somewhere

The blue sky is still there

Somewhere

Above those clouds of grey

When I Meant the World

And to think we could have never even met

Just as easily

And to think we could have split apart

And been happy

 

I could’ve been someone in another car just passing by,

Instead I meant the world

 

People walked along these streets

Stumbled through the rain lashed down in whips and sheets

They held each other’s hands

And I had always been content

To sit on my back porch and watch the world

…Had I ever been content?

 

If I hadn’t seen you before

Would it still hurt to never see you in the after?

Because I don’t think it should,

But it’s too sharp to ignore.

 

And to think we could have only been just friends

So casually

And to think we could have had a falling out

Or split amicably

 

Now I will walk until the end of days alone and remember

When I meant the world

 

People slept inside these sheets

Mumbled in their beds so soft through lips and sleep

They held each other close

And I had always been okay

To lie awake at night and wonder why

Will I ever be okay?

 

If I hadn’t known you before

Would it still hurt to never know you in the after?

Because all I know is hurt

And I don’t want it anymore.

 

And to think we could have only been acquainted

Nothing more

And to think I could have been a stranger

A closed but unlocked door

 

We could’ve been two people tied only by proximity,

Instead you were my world.

The Benefit of Doubt

These days are fleeting

Soon I won’t be here anymore

And I can’t say I don’t want to go

But I’ll miss you more than you could know

 

You can’t remember fondly what you had

Until it’s no longer in your hands

I’m not leaving you behind

I’m just moving on while you’re staying here

 

Those days repeating

Until they became a dream

I felt like I wasn’t living enough

And it was time for me to wake up

 

If I cannot return

There’s one thing I have learned

No matter where I run and hide

I always have you here inside

 

You can’t remember fondly what you had

Until it’s no longer in your hands

I’m not giving up on you

I’m just trying to face the truth

 

And you said

“Don’t lose your faith in everything

You see the world as one good dream

I don’t blame you for trying to write a happy ending.”

And I’m sorry that you’re not a part of this story

But I have to turn the page

She said “Just do one thing for me,

Don’t lose your faith in anything.”

dullsummer

Looking back I

Never realized

I was running from the things I always had and I

Convinced myself that

I had it so bad

When all I wanted was someone to hold my hand, and

 

I couldn’t know then

What it really meant

Every time I said that I was all alone, so

 

I spent the summer

By myself with no one else

Like they’d already disappeared

Stared at the sun

Until my eyes were numb

And blind to the fact that everyone I ever loved

Was always right here

 

And looking back at

What I really had

All I needed was so damn close but I

Thought I needed more

So I left the door

Open when I left it all broken on the floor

 

I spent the summer

By myself with no one else

Like they’re the ones who left me

Stared at the sun

Until my eyes went numb

And blind to the fact that everyone I ever loved

Had left the door unlocked for me

Someone, Anyone

 

My heart is broken

My head is underground

Sometimes all you want

Is to see the clouds

Sometimes all you need

Is to be a cloud

 

And I float on by

Waiting for someone, anyone

I saw a man in the sky

He was waving goodbye

 

My heart is heavy

My head is in the clouds

Sometimes all you need

Is your feet on the ground

 

And I walk on

Looking for someone, anyone

I saw a man in the mirror

He said “they were already here.”

the bird at the top of the post

 

Finally

Beneath a cloudless sky

I am weightless

I am drifting by

And I find

A bird at the top of a post

So I climb

And he waits for me

Up and up, above the trees

Above the seas

Above the sky

I reach up and clench my hand

But there’s nothing there to grab

 

That blue bird isn’t real.

Beneath the Sun

 

Because I need it

Can’t you just give me this?

Isn’t it enough

That I lost everything beneath the sun

 

I wanted everything

But I was too afraid to extend a hand and reach

Until I wanted anything

And still found myself six feet beneath

 

And you can’t lose something that you don’t even have

You can’t leave behind what isn’t holding you back

You can’t walk away from what left you years ago

Or try to forget the things you don’t really know

You can’t forget the things that you didn’t ever know

And now I see it.

A Means to an Ens

 

I took a trip to the edge of the water

Collected all my thoughts inside a paper bag

Don’t think that I am ever coming back here

That’s a thought you’ll just have to get used to

 

I tried to sleep to the end of the summer

Thought all I wanted was to be left alone

I woke up and everyone was missing

And for once I got just what I asked for

 

The day

Found me

Afraid

And asleep

A dream and questioning

What it means to be

 

I tried to run just to reach the horizon

Collected all my thoughts until they became a bird

Watched as all I loved flew right from my fingers

…It feels like I don’t exist without you.

 

The day

Found me

Unable

To speak

Awake and wondering

What it means to be

 

The night

Found me

Awake

And wandering

To another place

That never could be part of me

So I would never have to leave

But it became all of me

 

The day

Found me

Awake

And listening

How you were part of what it means

What it means to be me.

Where the Salt Meets the Sand

Anything that can be done can be undone

Anything that can be made can be unmade

And it probably will.

Does that include my mistakes?

 

I just walked a thousand miles

To where the salt meets the sand

And there was nothing there

So I turned and headed back

 

And now I realize

I was wrong again

We never said goodbye

It never was the end

 

Because you’re here with me inside

We never are alone

There’s always someone else

In here or out there, doesn’t matter

I am going home

 

Anyone who can be right can be wrong

Anything that can be sung can be sung along

No one has to walk this earth alone

 

And now I realize

This is what it means to be alive

It’s not about being here,

It’s about being here with you.

 

Because you’re here with me inside

I am not alone

I’m never by myself

In here, out there, doesn’t matter

I’ve always been home.

 

…knock knock knock.

Afterword

 

My first poetry collection, Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages, was a book of poetry that I wanted to turn into a concept album. A Means to an Ens is the opposite; it was written as a concept album, then turned into a book of poetry. Hopefully nothing too important got lost in the translation.

The whole thing goes back to Fredric Brown’s flash fiction story “Knock”:

 

The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door…

 

From that came the lines from what would’ve been the chorus in “The Largest Grain of Salt.” After that came several pieces of these different poems, and some came only as titles, like “The Bird at the Top of the Post” or “The Scream of Rusted Hinges” or “A Stab in the Dark,” most of which would grow into full poems, although that last one was omitted from this collection. (It just didn’t fit.)

The closing line of Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages is the most utterly hopeless thing I’ve ever written. I don’t often re-read my own writing once it’s been edited and bound, but I read that collection from time to time. It’s a good way to see where I was, where I am, and how far I’ve come. That final line always gets me; it’s a simple little thing and maybe it doesn’t carry the same weight for other readers, but it always washes over me like a wave of helplessness, like a sigh of resignation.

It’s an interesting thing to put these two collections side by side. That one is mostly autobiographical, while this one is almost entirely fictional, and that sense of utter hopelessness is something I actually wanted to convey here, for our main character, who happens to be the last man in the world. I don’t think I came anywhere close.

This one, at least, has a happy ending. There’s hope there. This isn’t to say my life is hopeless, but that hope isn’t conveyed on the last page of Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages.

So let this afterword be my apology for bumming you out. My next collection, currently called Build Yourself Better, should end this little trilogy of poetry collections on a high note. Maybe it’ll brighten your mood after reading these two.

In the meantime, here’s a little joke:

 

Knock knock.

“Who’s there?”

Doesn’t matter. You’re not alone.

 

David J. Lovato

December 2015

About the Author

 

David J. Lovato was born in California in 1988. He spent his life moving around the United States, and currently resides in Gladstone, Missouri.

 

Also by David J. Lovato:

 

“Hole”, a short story, available for free through most eBook retailers.

Dark Things, a collection of four short stories, available through most eBook retailers.

Six and Seven, a novella, available through most eBook retailers.

After the Bite, a collection, available in print and through most eBook retailers. (Co-Authored with Seth Thomas.)

In the Lone and Level Sands, a novel, available in print and through most eBook retailers. (Co-Authored with Seth Thomas.)

The Ones Who Follow the Water, a novel, available in print and through most eBook retailers.

In the Year of Our Death, a novel, available in print and through most eBook retailers.

 

Also in This Series:

Permanent Ink on Temporary Pages, available in print and through most eBook retailers.

A Means to an Ens, available online.

Build Yourself Better, coming soon.

 

Pen and Paper, Wood and Nails, a collection of the above three works, coming soon in print and eBook formats.

 

A Note About Reviews

 

Thank you for reading this book. Please consider leaving a review of it on Goodreads and/or the store where it was purchased. Reviews are crucial for authors, and a few moments of your time can go a long way. Thanks again for reading!


A Means to an Ens

  • Author: David J. Lovato
  • Published: 2016-01-20 03:50:10
  • Words: 3302
A Means to an Ens A Means to an Ens