In N. I lost
what had been dear to me.
I searched high and low
wondering where I'd left it
and gave up hope of finding it
and the fear of never finding it again.
I puzzled with downcast eyes,
forgot which way I had come
and then the smell of wood and tar, the color
and I forgot a year and a day,
sat on a bench in the park
for as long as I could remember,
could no longer find time,
no longer knew who I was, that man
sitting there so thoughtfully
as if he were thinking of something dear to him.
-Toon Tellegen, "I" from In N.
First it starts with the eyes to spare the man from witnessing his own vanishing. He would not believe it if he saw it. Then the hearing goes. This ensures that he does not hear his own groans, the complaint of the loved one telling him he’s left his foot by the door. Then the memory recedes. The man cannot remember his foot or ever having a foot. The man does not remember seeing it attached, despite the failure of his vision. The man cannot recall hearing the floorboards creak beneath his weight. This makes the man sad, though he can’t remember the cause of his sorrow. And so it goes… and so it goes.
-Oliver de la Paz, "How Domingo Disappears"
"to go without
comes naturally to me now, it costs me
almost nothing anymore.
I have let them go for so long,
and so profoundly,
that if you asked me about it I couldn't say
exactly what they were
and if I really wanted them. Their place
inside my head is empty.
Even the sense of missing them
has left no trace."
-Umberto Flori, from "Face"
5 notes "Once more an idler, now he smothers
The emptiness that plagues his soul
By making his the thoughts of others—
A laudable and worth goal.
He crammed his bookshelf overflowing,
Then read and read—frustration growing:
Some raved or lied, and some were dense;
Some lack all conscience; some, all sense;
Each with a different dogma girded;
The old was dated through and through,
While nothing new was in the new;
So books, like women, he deserted,
And over all that dusty crowd
He draped a linen mourning shroud."
— Alexander Puskin, from Eugene Onegin tr. James E. Falen