I think this is one of only a handful of poems I have written since moving to Exeter, to study. Somewhat influenced by Camus, his persuasive Absurdism, which to me has always been a methodology to encourage an acceptance of life as ultimately meaningless; this isn’t something to despair over. It is only meaningless in regards to a sense of teleological purpose. In other words, with the death of God, the spoiler alert is that the cosmos is in free fall of a sort, but that means it falls of its own accord, there is no umbrella parliament of destiny, or influence from omnipotence. There isn’t even a point to being here. So that the old defeating gesture of “what’s the point” really doesn’t have any point to it. Sort of. Meaning exists, but it is found through the peristaltic action-process of absurdism. Put simply, we must digest the absurd, because a meaningless cosmos is absurd. ,
Cosmos comes from the Greek kosmos meaning to ‘arrange’, or ‘order’, but it also has affinities with ‘cosmetic’, which means to ‘beautify’ & even ‘contemplate’. Therefore, the hostile cosmos, is actually something we are a part of & influence, even in a self-reflective mode of choosing to find meaning in meaninglessness. You can’t not be here if you are here & even when you leave life you remain as long as someone remembers you. After that, well you have nothing of a sort, but so what. Unless you squandered your life worrying about meaninglessness (& even if you did) you can’t escape the meaning of having just being here. We take existence for granted, as if it something easily produced, in cosmic abundance. It really isn’t. Stop for a second & think to yourselves how likely a chair is. Think about everything it took for nature, the cosmos to produce a being that could design & produce a chair. That is meaning. Camus connects purpose to acceptance of uncertainty, which provides us with a certainty: that we can cope with life, & enjoy it for the sheer unlikeliness of it, love it for its uncertainty.
Meaninglessness Out in the sticks, you can hear leaf-drop, the stink of cells, the footsteps of neurons. Below the window, New Bridge Street, the noise of snarling traffic, light aircraft, the sinewy peal of sirens, pell-mell of concentric, criss-cross-snippets of people-talk, church bell tintinnabulation —all welcome in my ears; telling world in its negotiation with itself. The ugly beauty of us, I shamelessly love : reading a thermometer is not like dithering. Stars dim, most nights the close light lamping the street curtains the stars entirely—still, their locomotion —stranded in the dark periphery, elasticated —still, they locomote here, for nobody to see. When the feet that we put wrong culminate they’ll batter down the dark, to anoint our bleached skulls with elder shine. Ourselves, for what we commit to : a python swallowing sheep.