Henry is a writer, poet and mental health essayist based in Somerset in the UK. He has a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Birmingham. His poetic novella, ‘Notes from the State of OMNESIA’ was published by Impspired Press.
A Long Time
Being stuck in an existential prism seems like an awful long time but I am told it is the mediator that splits the light of being and creates a simulacrum of sanity so my scar-ridden soul is no longer exposed like a badly peeled potato.
Cento (from the work of Luke Kennard)
I ‘You have reneged on your promise,’ he says. ‘I’m so sorry you’re hurting,’ I say. (It is like the thwarted sound a siren makes as it rushes away from us.) ‘I’m the last one to judge someone for being judgemental,’ he says, ‘I’m not about to start getting on my high horse here.’ ‘Well, many of us have our own version of events,’ I say. I walk very slowly towards the window and look at the clouds. I heard a note that carried my will away. I thought about dignity. ‘Someone tricked you into taking yourself seriously,’ he says. ‘But you’ve got to stand out from the crowd, right?’ ‘Depends on who you’re trying to impress,’ I say. II ‘Should anybody ask me how we met,’ I say, ‘I’d write something nice.’ My clothes feel tight under my armpits. I’m not really comfortable in his presence now. ‘Those nights we stayed up worrying we were frauds,’ he sniffs. He tells me he wants to blow his nose. ‘I knew ultimately, you would want to get rid of me,’ he says. All is born of boredom. At this point, what choice do I have? He left and never painted the triptych he was supposed to. III I am alone in the house as fireworks burst over the city. Everyone’s cigarette has gone out, everyone’s pilot light has gone out. I can hear him saying ‘I assumed he would take me back.’ I go to the fridge. I take out a bottle of Sancerre, a hard cheese. The piano tuner arrives to tune my piano. I don’t have a piano. ‘The world is not built on metaphors,’ I hear him say.
Imagine if you could make a soup of floating letters, like that time when you got drunk and shredded the pages of your favourite books and added them to your Saturday lunchtime salad in the hope it would make you creatively fluent.