The Ever-Processing Machine

I can’t find my incense. I don’t want to write. I desperately want nothing more than to write. For ever. So then, perhaps I’m just a stymied masochist at heart(less), doomed to miserable inaction for the rest of my days.

I do not dedicate myself as I should, as I need. . .

There’s a llama on my printer. A small one. A wedding gift, eight years and counting, staring me blackly in the eye. It knows. Trying to escape, my eye rests upon a small picture sat beneath my computer. It is my own babyface peering out with merrily blank baby eyes. The photo is overlaid with the thick shadow of a chain-link fence. This is me. Trapped by a shadow. Waiting for the world to do something. Trying to grasp the significance of the strange, cold eye that trains itself on me so often and aloofly clicks.


There’s so much crammed into this tiny office I could cry. I used to think I would write always and anywhere — give me a closet and a cardboard box, set me free with charcoal under a bridge and I would be unable to refrain from wordplay, perpetual swordplay with man and nature alike, taking the measure of everything by means of soul, squished then through a kind of linguistic strainer until all I had left was the juice, the essence, the concentrated taste of experience in this undeniably awkward universe.

Now that belief has shattered. It may have been true once, but I have lived into a future where I hide from myself — and everyone else — quite effectively. So here is a journal that is lacking all pretence, simply my words, simply me, all my flaws on my sleeve.


Can you see the chainlink fence?

I can. It’s all the mouldering critique in my soul. Surely if I put organic stuff in there it would become mulch instead of poison. Perhaps I am now more than part machine, and the organic materials cannot breathe. If I lived for aeons, my mouldering mulch would become the solid stuff of the planet, sandstone, limestone, volcanic rock jutting out of soft soil at awkward angles, baring its bones to escape unfathomable pressure. But I don’t want to be the solid stuff of earth, I want to grow. Become green in the sunlight, swing in gusts of wind, evaporate through expanding skin and rise to join the clouds, journeying towards a body of water and aching for the ocean deeps. Even the rocky shore submits to the tireless ministrations of moisture.


The cold, cyclopian eye is back. I think it wants to eat me. It’s everywhere, and I fear if I pay too much attention to it it might just absorb my essence. Like native people distrust photos, I distrust the all-seeing Eye with a maggoty, crawling kind of fear. I am sure it can erase my life, my futures, my Being in a moment’s time. How does one go about retrieving one’s essence from the maw of the beast? Can it ever regain its form? Its motivation? Its mind? I am not sure, but I will fight.



Idiolalia Poetry Collection Now Available!

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(Rhode, long lost, reaches open Ocean)

rocks, roaring on the rough-beaten coast
and i, atop the highest possible point
— gazing down.

a low, roiling roll drags
at my ears, my mind my
throat — over
and over and over
and over
; the silence rings
audibly, my gut stretched taut
as the substance of which I’m made
plucks at me, softly
lapping, saying

then ebbing —
backing away slowly,
washing out (wave by wave)
the defined feet
of criss-crossing birds and beasts —
]hu[man’s best friend,
four-legged, and the rays of He]lios[
who ought to have been my own companion…

now smoothed:
At Peace.

. . . again, that long, low voice
crashes round me – plays
my heart strings with
Unutterably deep knowledge –
you. Belong. here. . . creature of the Sea.’

c. Mary Kathryn Gough
10/27/05 5.02 pm
edit: 2/14/06 12.40 pm
edit: 5/11/06 3.22 pm london
edit: 2/17/12 9.24 pm wales


. how could i love the sea,
its change, its flow, its crash and lash,
the way it meets the sky and
dances beneath boats, uplifting
if i did not know its weight, how
difficult it is to move
at all, and how infinitely much
of its life is still beyond my reach?
how could i love its motion
when forgetting the immensity
of its lovely

. a body of water is a body indeed,
and she does not dance in the night for
just anyone. one must listen
to the sea, caress her wavelets with joy, and
imprint within one’s heart
with hopeless, fascinated failure
her ever-changing surfaces, like an artist
love her shape, the notes she sounds
in caverns and the deliberate way she
pulls the moon about her with low-lashed

. beginning to move with her strange changings, unthinking, a slow smile
spreads in the dark as a cool silver moon-veil touches my cheek; a dance
reveals itself with mysterious comfort, uncovering itself to admit me
and sweep me away,

c. Mary Kathryn Gough, 2010

cummings on love

this is one of my favorite poems about love. there are more,
but this one always comes to mind, and it makes me happy.
last thursday was our wedding anniversary, and it has been a
beautiful and cherishing one, so i wanted to dedicate this
post to tim. 🙂

all my heart & love to the best husband there ever was! xxx


love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

~ e.e. cummings

Liquid Language

two o’clock in the morning, dull and grey outside with the soft sound of (hundreds of thousands of) millions of raindrops
springing out of the air and coming softly to rest on gravel, grass, snow, leaves, dirt, and rocks.

Pitter-patterput-put-put, splish-splashand dripdrip-drop.


from a distance, the sounds run together and the resultant river sounds like
the spirits of gathering waves on a blue and misty ocean.

its rolling sound curls. curves. undulates, as though lady wind were struggling to find
words, but instead voicing pure emotion embossed with silver mist.

c. Mary Kathryn Gough
approx. 2002