you lit six of them.
one of them always tries to hypnotize you.
always the scented one.
its flame low, a pin-prick of fading fire.
I’m over-egging its worth. antifire, more like embers
if embers aren’t fire.
all night you tried to stay up and write an anti-fiction.
he gets up. he eats. he goes out.
he eats. he sees no one. he gets drunk. he sleeps.
there are buildings in Rome where you can
go to get hypnotized.
not in catacombs.
the houses of Etruscans. they can trace
their bloodlines back to before Rome. before stories.
before novel ideas. they eat chestnuts and don’t smoke.
they get up. they eat. they go out.
they eat. they see no one. they get drunk on Etruscan wine. they sleep.
they hypnotize travellers with candles.
none of this is true. you only lit five candles.
you didn’t make the flight. you didn’t
get over your fear of flights or chestnuts or Rome.
you stayed at home. you got up.
you ate. you saw no one. you got drunk on Dutch lager. you slept
intermittently, waking up every now and again
with this itching thought that you should be doing something
like writing a novel, that you should have been doing that for years.
you hypnotized yourself with what if and could have been. you slept.
you got up.
you get the picture.