I mean…

By Anthony Anaxagorou

It wasn’t always like this
I mean
I didn’t have to be the man
to be the man in a world that loses touch
with its fingers just so it can boast about having bigger hands
I mean

there was a time where you could hold me
and not be conscious about the size of my muscles
or the speed of my car or how well I could fight
but rather your concern was with how long I’d lay beside you
just to tell you things my mouth
was still trying to learn the language to
because just having you there
whilst the rain gave its silver sheen to all things dry
and the couple upstairs
were still afraid to understand one another
when your skin kissed mine in a dark room
held together by candles illuminating the worry
that made my eyes look rich and I would stare
with too much hair on my face into the walls as if waiting for them to tell me the secret to win back the world
I had lost
I mean

it won’t always be like this
I won’t always be struggling and our love won’t always be lost
inside the pennies of tomorrow’s lucky dip
because hope sustains the soul and everything I’ve ever done
I’ve done under the influence of dreams
like that night when I whispered into your sleeping ear
that life isn’t always about following your heart
and not everyone we meet is good in a world where love
is the only war we’ve yet to wage

and just then, at that point
I think I fell asleep inside you
because you smiled with those unturned eyes
like all things that have ever been loved smile
and I closed the lights holding your hand
in mine hoping that somehow I could take it with me
when I pass so as to have it build the heaven I would
sleep in forever
I mean

I know I’m not an easy man to be with
and I know I’m hard in places where other men are easy
and I’m quiet when really I should be loud like at a party
where everyone looks like an emancipated photograph
and handshakes are strong and plenty
along with the, ‘how you doing?’
‘What you working as now and have you gained weight?’
I mean

I’ve tried it all
I’ve been that guy at 3am talking circles with the last drunk
trying to help him find his addiction’s weary purpose,
and I’ve stood with empty vodka bottles
waiting in their glasses for a lost bus that gave up on its route.
I’ve spoken with ignorance, I’ve got angry at the injustices
I have read until my mind has become a blister
filled with all the world’s poison
yet when the politics gets too much
and the racism tests my faith in humanity I lean back into myself
and I say
see everything as art, hear everything as music
and feel everything as love
I mean

when I come through the door
like a bitter draft
that fell out the back of winter’s long coat
and I see you standing there with a benevolence common
only in things without a self
then I start to finally understand what I mean,
falling asleep inside the streams of your hair
I breathe the ocean again,
I feel my heart beat and sway to the music of an orchestra
conducted by peace
and I remember my name.

I mean
I could write forever, but most of my words
fall on water
I mean

I got the chance to see the mesmerising Anthony Anaxagorou perform at an event organised by Booked Literary Events this evening and I was blown away. Humility, honesty and magic become that man. Here are the other pieces he performed.

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