A Deconstruction of Being

Sometime around early summer of last year, in the midst of when it seemed as if all around me was crumbling, I was talking with someone, and tried my best to describe what I was feeling. The best I could come up with was to liken it to chipping away at a piece of stone. It felt as if with each new hardship, with each new adversity, a piece of me was chipped away. Slowly, the man I saw myself to be was vanishing. Bit by bit there was less and less of whom I once was until, eventually, there would be nothing left.

Following the conversation, I decided to sit down and work my way through that metaphor by way of verse. It turned out to be much more difficult than I had expected. I wrote. I deleted. I wrote. I edited. I deleted. I’ve lost track of just how many versions of the work I have written and destroyed. Ultimately, I put it aside and didn’t touch it for months; if for no other reason than the fact that I was in a much better place mentally, and didn’t feel as though I was able to tap into the emotion I felt when I started.

This morning I came across the most recent version I still had on my device, and decided to give it a read. Be it because so much time had passed and I was able to see it with fresh eyes, or perhaps the fact that my new resolve has allowed me to get back in touch with the creativity with which the idea was first spawned…I was finally able to finish the poem. I hope you enjoy it, in spite of its dark origins. And if you have similar feelings, please know that someone understands.

A Deconstruction of Being – poem by Enrique Martinez

Hammer to chisel,
Chisel to stone.
Shards fall away
Like so much chaff.
Jagged fragments,
Once part of the whole,
Now discarded
Without a single thought.
Hammer to chisel,
Chisel to stone.
Each blow chimes out
Like some magnificent bell
Ringing forth.
Telling of the damage done,
And the fracturing yet to come.
Hammer to chisel,
Chisel to stone.
As time drones on,
More and more is ripped asunder.
With merciless resolve,
The tools cleave ever deeper.
Hammer to chisel,
Chisel to stone.
Layer after layer is hewn.
The initial form
Is a distant memory.
Its current state
Is far from the original.
Hammer to chisel,
Chisel to stone.
After what feels like eternity,
After what seems to be
An endless barrage of blows,
The final stroke lands true.
The air falls silent.
No resonant echoes.
Just a dread-inspiring stillness.
There is no hammer,
No chisel, no stone.
What remains is not David.
It is not Pieta.
Nor is it Venus de Milo.
All that remains…
Is a void.
A vacuum.
Where once stood proudly
A massive slab,
Repeated rending blows
Have left nothing behind.
Nothing to admire.
Nothing to treasure.
Alas, nothing more to destroy.

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