after she fell

a crinkle
in the earth’s cheek
caught her –
windswept, limp,
and ribbon-stripped
from every
angle.
so many angles!
earth cried,
so many cracks!
and cricks!
so many irretrievable
ticks –
denuded girl
strewn about
like images
like smells
on the pavement
hills and hills and hills
obscure her
grubs of feet
and twelvefold fury
every mouth
has its music
but every girl
has her routes
her particular drifts
she longed to be fluidic
a sort of purée
to be daubed
all over the earth –
the kindly, crinkly skin.
But Mademoiselle, I implore you –
Do not soften. Stay with us.
It’s far
too soon
for you
to melt.
Stay solid.

trance

In gloves made of shadow,
I would slink,
undiscerned,
through the gauze, enter
the sultry, lemon-swept
death-scent
of her deranged imagination.

I would brush
each eggplant-violet lip.
I would peel
her from
her viscous nightmares –

where sad sequences seep
graceful and paralytic

from the cracks
in her hands
made by the day.

The blueblack
light
strains against
her brow, even now.

Ella & Ellenore : Pt I

Ellenore: Isn’t this, like, a personality disorder?

Ella: What is?

Ellenore: Envisioning yourself as two different people? Assigning names to those people – writing scripts about their interactions – that’s a surefire sign of insanity.

Ella: Probably. In someone’s books, yes.

Ellenore: Don’t you care?!!

Ella: *shrug*

Ellenore: ????!!!!

Ella: It’s, like, an ontological metaphor.

Ellenore: ??????!!!!!!

Ella: It helps me to conceptualise my rational and irrational faculties in terms of human traits and motivations —

Ellenore: Sounds like insanity to me.

Ella: I guess.

Ellenore: Don’t you care? About people thinking you’re weird?

Ella: Not really.

Ellenore: Oh, please. Pull the other one.

Ella: Seriously.

Ellenore: You have always worried about what other people think of you.

Ella: Actually, that was you.

Ellenore: Um, sorry to have to inform you, but I AM you, babe.

Ella: …

Ellenore: …

Ella: Yeah. I guess so. Ugh.

Ellenore: “Ugh”??!

Ella: Sorry. It’s just, I don’t really enjoy your company very much.

Ellenore: Why not??

Ella: I just think I’m like, a really chill person…or I would be, if it wasn’t for you.

Ellenore: CHILL? Why would you want to be CHILL???

Ella: *shrugs*

Ellenore: CHILL people are MORONS.

Ella: If you say so.

Ellenore: They’re only CHILL because they’re completely blind to all of the ATROCITIES in the world. And all of the things that are WRONG with them. All of the things that could go WRONG in their life.

Ella: Ugh, can you please leave?

Ellenore: Oh, so you can “chill”?? You’re a fucking MORON.

Ella: k.

Ellenore: I’m always giving you good advice, suggesting things to worry about when you’re stuck — giving you the inspiration you need when things are going well —

Ella: Yeah, but —

Ellenore: Helping you see a different perspective —

Ella: Well, you see, that’s the thing —

Ellenore: I’m so good to you, and all I get in return is “ugh”??!

Ella: You make my life pretty miserable is all.

Ellenore: Me?? I’m trying to stop you from becoming even MORE miserable.

Ella: Right.

Ellenore: Because things can ALWAYS be worse.

Ella: Sure, but I mean —

Ellenore: You can’t just stop and enjoy the little things. That’s dumb. Because the next thing you know —

Ella: God, I wish you would go away.

Ellenore: Why, Ella??? Why do you hate me so much??

Ella: It’s just, you’re like, the quintessential essence, the very prototype of that thing my dad calls The Female Brain™.

Ellenore: So???

Ella: So, uhhh, we’ve been trying to persuade men for thousands of years that women have brains, that we are rational beings – and we are – I am – but you’re always there – smothering me with your hysteria –

Ellenore: Sorry? I don’t see what the problem is here?

Ella: The problem is, I’m just trying to be the best version of myself, the smart, laid back version —

Ellenore: That’s so dumb. Listen  —

Ella: I’m just trying to –

Ellenore: WAIT. WAIT. You need to listen to me!

Ella: Look, no offence, but you’re completely out of your mind.

Ellenore: What??!

Ella: You’re hysterical.

Ellenore: I’m hysterical???? I’m just prompting you to consider all of the possibilities!

Ella: …

Ellenore: All of the horrible, horrible possibilities, that you, under regular circumstances, would never even notice

Ella: I just don’t think I need you in my life. I’d really be fine without you.

Ellenore: LOL.

Ella: I can think. I have a brain.

Ellenore: Okay, insane girl.

Ella: Okay?

Ellenore: Okay. Whatever.

Ella: …

Ellenore: …

Ella: …

Ellenore: …

Ella: Cool. I’m going for a run.

Ellenore: You can’t run away from me.

Ella: …

Ellenore: I’ll always be here.

Ella: …

Ellenore: I’ll never leave you.

Ella: k.

Ellenore: I love you.

Ella: I…can’t say the feeling’s mutual.

Ellenore: Here for you always, babe.

Ella: …

Ellenore: *blows kiss*

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.