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26/F/Gurgaon    10987654321


Emma Johnson Jan 2013
The moths think they are butterflies. They have never seen themselves in a mirror; they fly around the room, their wings whispering “I am beautiful, look, look, I am gorgeous.”
I can feel the moths brush on my skin, I sense the slight dust left on me when they depart. I don’t mind. They don’t know. They land on my hands, holding them, they make themselves into necklaces for me, flitting about in a circle around my neck, they sit on my shoulders and tell me stories of beautiful things.
I wish I could see the beautiful things the moths see. Through kaleidoscoped eyes everything is a magnificent painting: colors dancing, real-life objects turned into waving patterns of fractals. Nothing is real to the moths. They don’t see things as concrete, there is nothing to be taken seriously as to them life is nothing but a game.
The moths are real. They understand more about the human’s world than we do ourselves. I think the moths like me, they seem to never stop grazing my goose-bump ridden skin. I feel like I am a lightbulb in a dark room to them. I can feel so much energy pulsating through me, I must be exhaling florescent lights in place of the words that I feel I should be speaking out loud. Any words at all, the flow of captivating conversation will never be less than blissful.
But the moths can’t speak to me. They can’t hear my voice. They don’t need to, they understand.
These petite, grey-shaded, winged insects understand more than most walking, talking human beings. I can feel my connection to them like a static in the air, raising the fine hairs on the back of my neck. They travel to the brightest of places, and mentally, I am flying with them. We bond, through pure understanding of the other, coexisting blissfully knowing we are in the company of creatures with whom we are guaranteed a buzzing sense of community. We are the same creatures; at this moment I cannot understand why human beings continue to take totalitarian power over all other living things. Don’t they see that they are not threatened?
It is astonishing how our species sits on a throne, screened to the one glaring advantage the rest of living beings have over us. Humans communicate greedily, so much more than is necessary, on a massive scale and with such complications that miscommunications occur frequently, evoking emotion-driven actions against others whom we feel have wronged us. The moths don’t take revenge, and the trees never would act out unreasonably.
The other creatures continue to be ever-more calm and rational than us, understanding how to remain content at all times. They only stand in the background watching patiently, leaving all others to their own peace, and giddily accepting those of us who decide to venture into the wood and lay with them. Beginning a journey into the woods means losing all faith we had in humankind. That is replaced with a comforting wholeness we feel in ourselves. We must offer ourselves up to the trees, the sun, the mammals, the amphibians, every last biological structure right down to the moths. They welcome us to their world because they know we are the few who understand, who are completely willing to become one with them.
It is a backwards world I am living in. The ones I cannot speak to understand me. Those who can, use their ill-learned language to criticize and resent me as I fly, mentally, away from the corruption that has become normal.
But I don’t care. I’m reaching into the depths of my mind and and learning to understand the human brain in every way it works. I am going on explorations more beautiful than ever perceived as possible by the outsiders. I have souvenirs by the handful: a constellation painted in my mind, a stray cloud I picked up on my way home, a *** leaf flower-pressed in an orange and blue book, a notebook filled with our own kind of knowledge, friends who have found me in these woods, with whom I possess a happy-go-lucky unity unscathed by normal human tendencies, and an alternate breed of knowledge that lives peacefully yet thirstily in every cell of my glowing body.
The moths feel all of this. We become one with each other because I have become content with myself; those who walk in the woods possess no intent to hurt and the moths feel safe. Those who walk in the woods do not walk; we fly.
16 hours later.
I awake and there are no moths. There is no trace of them. There are no trees, no flowers; the alternate world I imagined is mockingly false. The forest is no longer vivid, for it has been hidden behind clouds of smog. The vibrant lights I once saw coming from my mouth are no longer animating my words.
In the morning this society I exist in is still mind-numbingly dull. But mentally, I am perpetually flying.
One emotes when one evokes:
for all you know, mothballed reader,
I could have contraired & composted
the shell section of the 'Colour Library
Book of the Natural World' w/ A-level simples
& a fistful of moths who have met their
parrotsketch. In my wellredition, there's inscription
from hypocrite cheapskate poet I know not,
but they are after my own cordiform inkblot:

'I bought this Xmas '88
for both of you to share,
make sure you don't write on it
or the pages tear.'

Pages, pages tear poets apart again.

Did I inspect a dead moth
twixt thumb & forefinger?
As if about to pinchtoke,
tinchily poke a 1960s roach,
which is all dem hippies seemed to smoke?
Don't ask if I pinchfished a dead moth
outta ***** fangs outta the can
for a closer look.
You don't want to know how far I'll
debase, lay myself to waste for Art.
Until the selfimposed dignity of Man
is like Kryptonite carrotcake
to a sweettooth Superman
in a loser's cloak.
I permanently weaken my position
& spread dead moths
next to a pictorial spread of dead moths
to police the remoteness of my *******.

Shells can be conehead crashelmet
homes for whelks, barnacles' helterskelter,
bone spire to keep out the sea & the whelkers.
Shells can be ribbed, Tench Frickler
or smooth as babywipe breeze
upon an orphan's bottom.
Or shells can just be the soul's used booth.
I do attempt to pen my soul
in its booth,
& really am not so faremoved
from the selfcontained philosophy
of selfcontainment behind booves.
I believe in this abandoned booth,
this freedom cocoon inside a nuthouse
cocoon inside a dope cocoon inside a *****
cocoon inside the glistening unshed deadskin
of childhood. Insideout of the blackballed
rainyday cocoon where nothing everchanges
into a betterfly, implosive metamorphosis
into nothingness, blackbathroned noncocoon,
best womb return to when I hadn't been born
I could recreate on a budget.

But outside there's Death's Head moths alive
in the penguin curves of overwaitresses.
Every once & a short long while/long short while,
Death'a Head moths defile my wellbeing,
my 1/2 of a heart2heart will not come out
of its shelling (only statue chemistry remains).

Sarcophagus moths, tombrobber's butterflies
- you know you stone dead moths should
get out more, you'd love Ra the great lightbulb.
Death's Head where the good old bad moon rising
used to be, it fluttermutters its dark matter
which has cosmic knockon effects, tempest in all
24 corners of the timezone - Jolly Roger moths ahoy!
Sail in the face of reset wristwatches.

Raw shark moths, warmedup Death's Heads
in the shadows of the trouty jowls of
elder bloodrelatives, those gouty owls.
From each quivering, filtering
crysisalias, Death's Heads moths fly,
40 approx shock outta shipictured
box of matches.

We can't be what we were meant to be,
kings&queens of each other's moods
in shells or booves, on shelves,
behind screens or in blackbathroomed flats
where all the Alone One has to thinkabout is
the dead flat dead gnat on the ceiling,
straddling its own shadow,
phantom gnat autonecrophile
making an artex exhibition of itself.

Now some poeticlicenceabiding laureate
would nick ****** sprig of their muse's wig
to pick out the killing colour
they desire their arid garret,
but me & my dead moth lost boys
reckon Duluxmen should just bite
the bullet by the horns , slay the taboo
& describe their darkest shade,
'Death Unabashed'. Or 'Black Sheepdog'.

Shucks, I better get off the bathroomfloor
of my mind, this phonebox for the blues
(dial 100 for the motherator). Wash off
this black bathroom gloom, where it appears
the Battle of Britain of Moths was lost.

Shells, husks:
moths, lives, pistachios.
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