tim-burton-bakerRing, Ring, Ring,

Except it’s 2017 your phone is set on silent you do not own an answering machine

from the nineties, accidentally recording overheard conversations

little tape cassettes, the mechanics listening, catch you shouting

the message goes ‘don’t leave a message’ followed by alliteration

doe ray me fa la tee

people dial-in, listen, to cacophony

whose house is this? what party line? her voice can you hear

it’s someone singing in the background

taping over

you quote the silence with your abstract

lying like a fallen star on the kilim rug

the cat nudges your head he knows you are not dead

would that you could warm yourself up like leftovers

swallow whole emptiness, banish that gut of bile

back then I recorded myself, how stupid it seems now, a voice in the comforter

what did I impart? love makes us opaque, lust even more so

you used to play my voice backward and say

that sounds like Bob in Twin Peaks

Fire walk with me would look good in ink

before tattoos were mainstream, we had no money for luxury

our pockets calcified and taut turned inside out like jagged tongues

of want and want not

in the smothering green light of your bedroom

I hid the places I didn’t want you to go

pre-wax, pre-tan, prematurely ejaculate

don’t call me I won’t answer my phone

Ring, Ring, Ring,

what chime, what sound, what soundtrack

do you carry?

mine is set on mute

if you asked to speak to me I could not

form sound

would you really want to hear my truth?

every step forward chalk on my shoes

hop skip jump throw the stone

leave a message after the bleep

after the fall

I’m leaving myself a message

get up now

get out of this house

climb from the windows if you must

do it fast before you grow into a place

you cannot claw your way through

nobody knows that neighbor, the mother of four

lies prone from 9am to 3pm whilst her kids

drink milk out of small glass bottles

in her bare feet and unwashed hair

garish scarlet lipstick sliced on limp wrists

how deftly you can cover your crimes with dry shampoo and

a dusting of perfume

wiping your mouth on the back of your horror

nobody knows how long you lived

not breathing

counting pills on the convex of your emptiness

and if they came

hauled you away, locked you in a padded room

filled your arm with urinal liquid, your mouth stuffed with ‘medicine’

you’d soon find an open door, fling yourself

glorious from fifth floor like a Rorschach crow

not all are made for asylum-life

feral animals cannot endure cages

the fax machine of the past, showed us our shadow

interpreting our malady as Jung

prophesied in his hunting vest

Ring, Ring, Ring,

Schroeder and Skinner take bets

packing tape wound round their vivisection

no-one is home please leave a brief message and we’ll

lose your distinctiveness in the rollerdex

you gave me yours in a wet crumpled ball

call ME! Blondie sung

in a snug t-shirt with her head larger than her body

this year I noticed my finger tips desiccating

despite warm temperature and heirloom seeds

the doctor said

this is the first sign of albinism

drink the days to your unnatural end

of your shrinking bones witherment

breasts diminishing like deflated ardor

bellies sag,Β  lost balloons caught in oaks

and what stood proud wilts

like tulips left too long in burned afternoon sun

Ring, Ring, Ring,

I am not a girl in ballet shoes

my feet are wrinkled and cracked like a beggar

who has walked too long for his supper

I do not want to eat the fat of the land

or the dish served cold

warmed with your insincere scold

for my weakness is abundant and I

lose moisture like a white fish licking brail

dries on Greek dock where you can if you squint

almost make out the shoreline of Italy

watching boats take others far and yonder

leaving crusts of their sandwiches for birds

the fish only seeks to return

to the deep still of ocean

(what would I say if)

my doppelgΓ€nger pushed me aside and ran to answer your insistence

hello it’s awfully good to hear from you, how am I? well …

I’m fair to middling for someone with a dagger in her back

depends on your definition of

walking underwater with undertow heavy beneath feet

cue the camera, take a shot, bang, bang!

the roaming dogs pee against your leg

on the shallow side of consciousness drift in and out

my pipe is smoky and hot with chastised resin

fingers dirty, the refuge of digging for my soul

you don’t want to hear that though … do you?

no question mark intended

I know your breed your pedigree your label

just as I gnawed mine apart

wove the strands into a length of yarn

tied it around my neck and vaulted

because I am the black dog we all avoid

who shakes her wet coat over dry make-believe

the echo behind the broken cup

one piece beneath furniture, the other

still containing a leached circumstance of water

we do not sup, you and I who have sober fists

I tried, I really tried, then the day went on without me

clocks winding themselves

girls pulling up their underwear in some basement flat

overlooking a river

men taking a piss in bushes, usually reserved for perverts

watching women jog in tight shorts, bounce, bounce, bounce

Ring, Ring, Ring,

is anybody there? What do you say?

are you home? Are you sleeping?

no and no

anything but the shape of arms

making circles against bare wall

here is my crucifixion


words we never tell

are pigment

and egg yolk

and torn hose


43 thoughts on “Telephonic

  1. It’s intimidating to comment on your poetry, Candice. Not because it’s not wonderful. On the contrary – it’s magnificent and my comment will only be dull in comparison. If I may ask, where did you find a 50’s stereotype woman with an alien facehugger on her? It’s brilliant as well.

  2. ha ha ha ha! I loved that too! I think I’m getting so excited about the upcoming alien films I just had to! I found one of an alien blowing out a birthday cake too πŸ˜‰ thank you – I appreciate you writing anything. I feel very put down today as I heard from an old friend who said some things that hurt my heart about how I should not write everything and I wasn’t a good writer I know they were meant to hurt and they succeeded and I know logically I will move beyond them but hearing what you said just know also helped because like I said I was feeling pretty discouraged. So thank you

  3. I don’t know what they’re reading, but I find you to be an amazing writer. And it’s not just me – check out the comments. Some outstanding bloggers have left you some very nice comments. I get it, though. A very good friend basically said that my songs were horrid, as was my voice. It’s cuts deepest when the blade comes from a friend.

  4. A good friend really said that? See here’s where I come from. I am like most of us, a flawed person, I’d say more than most in terms of mental disease, less so in terms of bitchiness, and games. That’s my take on ‘me’ and as such, I think it’s our individual duty to act as we believe. If we think others should not treat us like shit we should not treat others like shit and so-forth. Yet despite this and despite a clear conscious by way of not treating people en mass or individually like shit, I have experienced the cruelty of friends (never strangers, telling isn’t it?) and am left with one question .. why? I was even told I was a narcissist and making it all about myself to ask why? But it’s not narcissistic to query why someone/anyone would attack someone else for no apparent reason or even, for a reason providing the other person did not cause the reason (as many times they have no idea what’s going on in other’s minds and their expectations of them). It’s the one down-side to socializing and friendships for sure. That said, I find WP to be above average in serious writers and really gifted inspiring people so I can’t complain (FB being an entirely different matter!). Thanks for saying that because today was rough, I don’t need to know I’m amazing just worth continuing and not wasting my time, mostly I need to know cruelty hasn’t become the standard! That really would sadden me. Just as your ‘friend’ telling you that, I mean there is truth and then there is spite, the two have no comparison.

  5. Very powerful and within the power is the beauty of your work. Timeless, in the sense you take us back in time, forward in time and then back to the present where we can soak in what you created and where we have been. You possess a younique mystical vision, gifted to very few. Thank you, as always!

  6. It is INSANE how much I freaking love what you write! It totally spooks me as I rollercoast through. I’m rubbernecking back to the car crash of piled up words yet still chortling along with the eeerie sound of your voice and distant lonely ringing … I read nothing like this, I didn’t know there was a ‘this’ but thank you, thank you for creating something so different, so inspiring and so You!

  7. Wow, wow, wow,… Absolutely amazing, so freaking brilliant!… I just noticed everyone else is using similar adjectives. Love this! πŸ™‚

  8. I started reading the first sentence and I couldn’t still until I breathlessly mouthed the last word in my mind. Absolutely flawlessly superb this read.

  9. How do you do this! Yes, its long. But it doesn’t matter as long as it is so amazing. This is first class poetry. Please keep writing πŸ™‚

  10. I sometimes find myself agreeing with the first comment here. There are times when I feel intimidated trying to convey what I feel about your work…but only for a brief second. Because then I remember that you are who you are and you love me for who I am and we get along brilliantly….I feel, “I love this!” isn’t enough. I feel like I need to come up with something way more impressive to say about what I’ve just read.
    But then I remember that, You know a bit more about me than the average person..and I know you can understand that “I love this” says way more to you than it does to most people I speak it to.

    ❀ You are magnificent and I am so glad to know you! ❀

  11. You know what – attacks like that are usually triggered because the person is projecting their own stuff onto you. Point a finger at someone else and three of them point back at you ! Send it back to whoever said it – you don’t have to own it xxx

  12. Obviously I like this a lot. The thing that is most striking is the poetics β€” it’s actually quite an aural masterpiece on top of being a thematic juggernaut. Welldone β€” you know that but I’m just saying i know it too.

  13. Wow this is super praise! I’m really glad you liked it as it sort of meant something to me and it feels good that someone I know can write well appreciates what I was conveying. (Thank you)

  14. πŸ™‚ you’re so outrageous. I feel like someone should spank you until you realize how good you are.

  15. Who isn’t? Maybe some heathen barbarian primitive β€” but assuredly not someone so posh as you.

  16. Im with that person who feels intimidated to comment. But i feel i must. This writing is differeng from others but fascinating! Its great.
    Love that line about the star on the Kilim rug. And dont listen to that person thst said you should not write. They know nothin & probably do nothing. Never stop.

  17. Shall I tell you a secret? When you say you like my work you make me so happy as I see you say it of others I think I try to make my work good enough always to pass muster! No idea why! You are my judge! Or rather, benchmark, probably because you have good taste in writing (like Christine)

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