Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Young Night – by Kyle Kaczmarick

Young Night


It is more so the fear of it than it, so on,
he keeps talking about this great portrait
in his soul’s sky that is more storm now
          than anything;
the atmosphere holds her image
and everything she ever did,
and above where the sky fades, its fringe
against a black starred onslaught
is not even a barrier,
nothing can protect against what never happens,
he says this with his palms pressed into his eyes
and the glass on the table is still wet inside and
          I can see him, I can finally see what he is.

His voice in the dark trails after him, he walks
in circles around his house, he’s been saying
that saturn wobbles in his eye’s telescope,
gods are falling into a thin piece of universe;
do you read anything, he asks inside while outside
the fresh night is still weak in the west.
I can see the ragged outline of treetops,
and in the parkinglot across the street
cars still circle about with their headlights off.
If I can listen I can hear what he is really saying.

There will be a night worse than this one
and at best this is a wager against myself,
          in hoping for the greater misfortunes
to disperse these simple nightlong ones.
There are caves that have no light, no mouths, so they have no exits,
but this is no matter because they have no entrances either,
          you cannot enter what you cannot leave,
his voice as he says this, his smiling:
            We live to die! It is so simple!
            I am happy I am sad because I’ll never be sad that I am happy!
            When you are empty you have room for more!
            Misfortune breeds sensitivity and perspective!
            I will be fueled forever by this! all of this!

He is still a child, I am just back here listening.
He is still living in a constant stream of epiphanies,
still thinks the world is only indifferent and
that this needs combating and the only way
to combat this is to
          be different, to be abstract, an abstract soul,
to crusade the ambiguous sky
with shapes other than those above;
he cloudwatches because he saw it in a movie,
and I don’t know whether to take such a confession
as modesty or another intricate piece of affirmation.

He is somewhat clever, much more than I remember.


Have you truly loved something only for itself? he asks.
Or is she only the center where a thousand things you love happen to meet?

I think about the question, where he had heard it from.
But I am truly stumped; the question is genuine.
And now he is smiling, because he knows it.

There is a bit of hesitation, not because I don’t know the answer
but because the words I choose, he’ll run with them, shout them in the street,
follow them into another lonely night. He’ll live them.

I don’t need to look at him for this part:
She is the thousand things I love,
not where they meet but where they are from.

What’s her name? he asks.

I can’t tell you that. You’ll look for her.

The laugh on him. Tell me a name, he says.

I joke; I say his name and halfheart a smile for him.

He laughs and says his name out loud, yells it, again,
and when he calls his name a last time there is somewhere
someone calling it back. That’s who I want to be, he says.
The voice is so distant, gibbering, futuristic.
It is a false voice, purely made by him;
something heavy with shallow hope, perhaps desire more so.
He goes on about it, the hope it relays back to him,
about how I should talk to him like that,
you are the goddamn writer, use it for good,
help my heart from this place, so on.

I tell him I can only talk to him in hindsight,
you will mature just fine, you are young,
you will learn of a greater love that will
          come to your greater self.

I thought you were modest, he says,
searching the kitchen now for a knife.
I don’t stop him, and just say that I am
telling him the truth.

I thought you’d be a better herald,
and he does not even flinch,
it all looks so ritualistic from here.
Silently I am proud of him;
this is a different view.
The night outside is full now and
it could possibly be raining;
I’ve been avoiding the window,
watching him closely.

I thought you’d understand, I say.

The laugh on him.

I don’t have to be here.

The laugh on him.

I don’t have to seek answers back here.

The laugh on him.

I don’t need to listen to these things again, relive them again.

The laugh on him.

Don’t use masking tape as an adhesive for those surgical pads, they’ll cause rashes.

The laugh on him.

I’m here for you. I’m doing this for you.

The laugh on him.

You don’t have to be like this. This isn’t necessary.

The laugh on him.

Will you fucking listen to me. I’m writing this for you.

He keeps laughing, he thinks he knows something,
          you don’t know why you are writing this, he says,
you don’t know why you are here, this is all just literary:
          the lost soul sitting in his lonesome floating house,
listening to the river pass outside after tragedies, talking to himself,
asking questions no one will ever ask him,
trolling the soul for some answer yet in the end you’ll flee,
you’ll outrun every inquiry hoping that you’ll reach
a throne whereon you can sit and ask questions and take answers
and be that final arbiter, have that power, take prayers
and sacrifices and absolutions, you’ll just be another god,
this is the easiest want the world ever had;
          you are nothing new.

Literature isn’t a part of the world like us, I say.
If you can find shortcuts, take them.
No one will think less of you.
In fact, we are all too busy trying to find our own.
There are beautiful ways to talk about sadness.
But because you think the world is teeming with it
does not mean you have to contribute to it;
it is possible to think that such things only happen,
are not devildriven, are not dark certainties
but rather they just simply happen
just as easily as happiness can happen;
if you are certain about something,
I’d venture that you are wrong about something, somewhere.
And perhaps the sought after certainty may not be wrong,
          people are certain about what they want, are faithful in this way,
but rather more rightly so that some part of the formula that led to this strict conclusion
has been altered, changed, biased, perhaps even ignored,
just to more easily get to where we want to be.

We always chose what we want to ignore, he says.

I agree with him completely.
This is why we need to be responsible in our certainties.
You say that I am nothing new,
call it out as if you are bringing this to my light for the first time.
I have thought about this and you are somewhat right;
I have tried to be new,
I have tried to change myself because I did not like myself,
I have tried to make things better that perhaps could not be,
I have tried the sometimes impossible task of comforting one’s self alone,
I do try new things, say new things, hope to feel new things;
but all of these, these attempts, they are for me, for us, for who we love,
this is not for the world outside but the one inside,
the one I want to share, not the one I have to.


          He leaves the kitchen and comes over to the window
and looks out into the night, at the traffic on the street below.
The median that separates the ways of traffic
is full of people carrying grocery bags waiting to cross.
Some look trapped, glancing both ways constantly.
They are all in some sort of jacket or sweater;
it grew cold quick these past few nights.
And when passing headlights shine on them
some raise their grocery bags in one hand to shield their eyes.
I can see their breath in the ruddy orange light
from all the tall lamps in the surrounding parkinglots.

          I know what he thinks of this image.
The words he will choose in the next years.

I don’t want to be this, he finally says.
I can’t look at myself.
I want to be different.

It is my turn to laugh so I laugh carefully.
I cannot crush him.
Only he can do that.
You will learn the merit of being true over being different
just as you will learn that loving someone
is perhaps the only way to see yourself.

We are silent for a bit.
He looks down at his arms.
How then can you see me? he asks.

Because I love you, I say.

We are silent for some time;
the traffic thins away outside.

You are going to love,
and it is going to be difficult
and I just want you to know that you’ll be fine.
I love you and I am proud of us both.
She is a beautiful person that will make you feel
beautiful next to her.
You will share things with her
you’ve always thought were unsharable.
You’ll use the word soul everyday.
          And honestly, I am not sure how things
are going to turn out, but I am here to say that
she is worth it, you are worth it.
I want to tell you all about her
but I can’t.
I want to draw out your life ahead of you
these next years and prepare you for everything
but I can’t.
I want you to never doubt me
but I understand that you don’t know me like I know you,
so I’ll have to be the one that doesn’t doubt you;
          I believe you and I always will.
I trust you.

I want you to wake in the morning
and remember that you existed before I did,
that I came from you;
that this means everything to me.



Kyle Kaczmarick has poems featured in River Poets Journal, Edison Literary Review, Metazen and elsewhere. He lives in Houston, where he spends his time with loved ones while pursuing writing and music.


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