Fatal Detachment

I stood in the light with a thorn
behind my ear

tongue fat with the effort
of pronouncing
its name:

Marilyn
with her black eye
Jesus
with his knocking knees

Every mouth in the world
dogged their movements

Every man, woman, and child knows
their pain.

It makes a poignant tableau:

a pretty pixel
to roll distractedly
between your fingers.

I stood in the light
with a thorn behind my ear

watching
with thin fascination

and Salvation bloomed
on both their lips.

the day my sister threw up a cathedral

[A Narrative Poem]

I was already mad, and sad,
because everyone hated me
because I was the reason
nobody was allowed to play
with skipping ropes at break time
all because of that one time
I tried to strangle
a girl with them.

Now I had bigger problems.
My sister was heaving
with the effort of
regurgitating
an ecclesiastical structure

And I was holding her hair back
while a congregational basilica
gagged her –
The spires, too, were especially vexing.

But what on earth
did you eat it for?
I fumed. Stupid girl.

Someone said I should, she mumbled,
while prayers peeled from her stomach
and bile dribbled
down her chin.
I don’t remember who.

I groaned, resigned,
and hugged her tight.
At least now we’re both
outcasts, I said,
and stroked her feverish head.

Poem: The Hole

Last night I dreamt
I had a hole in my hand.
Not a small hole
as though made
by a hole-punch
or a kitten’s claw in your tights
but a dark, cavernous pit
that I could look into and see
trapeze artists
and sea monsters
and sheep
and oily, disembodied smiles –

I told my dad about it but he just
said not to worry. Everyone
gets them from time to time. These holes.
What do you see in yours? I asked –

But he is spontaneously
replaced by a kraken.

The hole is me. I am the hole and
I am in the hole. There’s gum
stuck to my shoe –
can’t move –

the kraken roars –

A row of belching grandmas, watching
the show. Pink and orange
up in the air. Glitter. Terror.

Dad? I call out to the darkness.
There are echoes
and the cries
of a man
selling popcorn.

I stroke my palm to see
if that will make the hole go away.
My hand slips in, is bitten,
comes back
full of static.

I hope this is only temporary.

poetry: if it’s nonsense? does it matter?

If you want to tell the truth, nonsense is your best bet.

Truth is impossible, truly. Even a child could tell you this. But if you really, really, really, want to tell the truth – nonsense is the place to go. I tell you, nonsense is the most honest you can be.

Nonsense is the most beautiful, primal, sub-conscious, sub-sub-conscious, soul-scooping, skull-squeezing, star-searching stuff.

Meaning can wait. Method can take a back seat. There’s no need to think. You just need to breathe, and reach down. As deep as you can go.

You must dance on the blade-edge of sanity – sorry, language –

Put the pen to the paper, and let the sounds in your head, the stars squalling for attention, turn to shapes on the page. Have a little trust in fairy dust.

Write.

 

Flash Fiction: Blizzard

He is a blizzard of a boy. A nuisance, a whipping cold nuisance, who does naught but make my eyes sting and my ears insentient. When I pass him on the pavement, I steel my breath so I’m not lung-robbed, tugging my shawls closer. In my clustering apricot mind, I don’t mind. I take the blanching mouthfuls, take the thousand bitter snowspits like the good masochistic girl that I am. When they ask me, I tell them that it tastes like ice cream.