Come on Elaine … this is how it would go
you’d get the email about your son, either dead, or gone, or famous
extremes of an only child, spoiled by two successful parents
likely famous, as he was in childhood, yeah … fat and famous
so now, he’s still not tall and he’s still not thin but he might be
unwrinkled and have lots of kids or … Venereal Disease
he might hate me, i suspect he would
why? Why do i think he’d hate me?
When he was the one who threatened me with a sword
when he was the one who broke the Lalique vase
i suppose because breaking hearts is worse than betrothed glass
though someone, with his desire for the world
i doubt anyone had the power to break his, because words
written by 18-year-old boys on the inside of cassettes of
music for my girl, rarely mean what they say and speak
with their hermaphroditic pricks.
i was older than him in lots of ways
i would have told you Elaine, it wasn’t my intention and yes
you remember us arguing but it wasn’t all me
when he was high, he was really high and
when he was low, he was really low
a sundial beneath the earth
i stayed witnessing, smoking chain after chain
his taking of porn, watching nude and slobbering
as i clamored in my shared insanity, letting him
have his hunger sated in my emptiness.
Well … depravity is depravity and girls who hate themselves
they’re really good at running with that and boys who
like to torture cats
did you know what he did behind that red door Elaine?
did you know what he was really like or just your little boy?
i remember his father once visiting and how
estranged they seemed and he hollered at you like he’d
never stopped not for one minute
and you screamed and screamed and screamed
i remember it because i witnessed it, see i’m not the bad penny
you assumed, but he might think i am, that’s how our memory works
put her in this box, label it wrong; She’s the reason i got a Second at University
she’s why i didn’t fuck enough, she’s why i fell out with my really good friends
(who weren’t so really good, if they had those seducing intentions)
and she? Sure, she let his friends do her, like she sold her soul for lasagna
or a slice of wholesome bread with Ganja
God she was always hungry, or purging
and the drugs he gave her, sometimes with prescriptions, sometimes with sweaty palms
sometimes naked on his stomach where his scar, shone like a dalmatian on a fire truck
she half-liked his brown skin and his imperfections, the matted hair, green eyes, short squat pudgy thighs and tiny cock
they didn’t threaten her, they reminded her of a girl
she felt safe even when she felt scared, his hormone injections, wild untamed stare
he said she made him calm, especially when sucking him off to a good record
yeah I bet. Swallowing is harder for those who give head, to narcissistic boys with pretty
Though it’s been so long, she can’t be sure, of what cut what and who bled and who left the door, slightly ajar,
because that was the year she found out she was mad
and he was too, so they sort of worked
though he wasn’t her boyfriend, though he wasn’t her brother, he was a lot of things under the covers
places where they could escape themselves and that eventual horror of knowing
you haven’t got any hinges and the world’s gonna spit you out into the gutter.
Elaine, she could tell you that your son, was actually a surprisingly good lover after she got through showing him how
or she could lie and say; We just watched horror movies, sometimes he posed me
and pricked me, and played, games, with paint and swords
which was also true, because it was all true.
We gorged ourselves, only children without parents who were home
and when you were, you chain smoked too, behind your dust and your exhausted slump
we all did, drinking your wine, eating delivered organic food, such irony Elaine
you think i was just some dumb girl with thin hips and a small brain?
You used to look at me like; Who the fuck do you think you are? And I’d look right back because I wasn’t wearing my glasses and I was fucking the world with my sadness and it really didn’t matter what you thought or what anyone thought, because i’d already decided to jump
and i was watching all the time i was standing there, in my short skirt and my bare legs and my impossible tight breasts and my impossible tight cunt, all of which you hated, because your husband had left you for one
but one isn’t me, and i wasn’t her and she wasn’t it, and you weren’t alone, you were free of him, and he was the reason your son hated you, not me.
I watched through the floor boards, through holes in the ceiling, to your life unpeeling
for your short stubby hands revealing, to the kisses you gave the picture by your reading glasses, to the wine you drank and stained your hands with, before you passed them over yourself in genuflection like a good Catholic and reached for the vibrator
to your son hating you, as he may have loved you also, why we never quite knew, does anyone? Hate being so close to love, as sex is to horror and horror is to desire.
Elaine, you summoned like a Magi, some kind of anger in him, at a strong mother or women in general, he was a sexist asshole, who liked men who hated women and women who let men hate them and I was a great substitute for Robert Crumbs little busty girls who bent over and let anger take them right up the ass
but he thought anorexic actresses with dark nipples were beautiful and one time i visited his office in Greek Street Soho WI and he was talking to a Jewish actress who i also thought was hot
Rachel Weisz you still are …
and she walked away with her five-inch heels and his eyes up her skirt
i wanted to say what about me? But i was just ordinary despite being an eight to his one, and she was a handsome, famous, adored shiny girl with a full rolodex and you were a tit man
who because you were a man, (though you’d never be a real man and that made you crazy) thought you could, (fuck Rachel Weisz? Seriously?) and you never would, but it was funny imagining, especially when you already had more than you ever would
(with me, the girl of cinders and soot)
so i watched you watching her and later on when you pretended it was her you took
i pretended right back because i wouldn’t mind being her or being you
and if i were her I’d let you split me open four ways like star of anise and divide me back because it’s a soulless game and I’m your whore and i’m your mother and i’m your bloody crack.
I’m sure now you have a young wife and four chubby kids with green eyes
or you might have died, by plunging into a canal, or cutting your throat with a blunt razor
if you’d started to shave after you starred aged ten in Ms Marple as the fat cheeked boy with shorts on and a smart mouth (yeah that was about right)
but either way, i hope you will let me know Elaine, what happened to your son
because i didn’t burn his house down, he did, he struck a match and he lit us both
on fire, until we stopped being repulsive and we stood charred and broken
in Camden Town, not being able to afford to drink, at The Elephant
or fuck each other in your bed, or die standing up right then and there
because burned people are shadows, they persist
I think of him regularly, whilst I’m sure, he has long forgotten me, which isn’t fair and is ironic and really typical, because men operate on a different time and hour. They think of the girl who is bending over now and not the one who did when they first learned to use their magic wand
unless she was obedient at all times and acted the part, in which case they will brag at 45 of the one they did in St. James’s park, who hitched up her skirt and got on all fours, and she was a “right go-er that one,”
Yeah I gave it to her so many times, she couldn’t walk and yeah, yeah, yeah, builders salivating in a pub talk, I guess you had me enough you could, but you’re probably an attorney and that means you like being tied up and debased, and it’s bad taste to talk about women who left you
because you’re in control, you’re the passive one with the fat wallet and the penchant for sex in the afternoon in a diaper, or with a plastic mask over your hair, that you cut when you became serious, so you could hide the scream and the mess of your desperation.
Sometimes I check online to see, if you posted the naked pictures you took when I wasn’t even legal, in your bathroom, where your mom had lots of soap in fancy bottles
because we both have ruin in our DNA, and Elaine, if you’d asked, I might have slept with you both, your eyes were so lonely and I liked how ruined they were
the extending, unending madness of your family of animals
it comforted me, slowly dawning, I was mad also, I really didn’t know it, until
(First published in Ascendum Magazine 2016).