Nightshade

Oh mama

There are days

I am bent double

The stuffing of me kicked quite free

One side is fear that feels like unyielding felt, thick in my dry, slack mouth

Making me the puppet I never was, when good and whole

So is sickness for the soul

A sour well with brackish water and no yield

I long to be your child and retrace in time to your arms

Fantasies that never were, become, our lullaby

A palpable longing for comfort

Nourishment

To be saved against invisible foe

No

I did not invite you, fever dream

No

I did not beckon you visit me and stay, pinning my anxiety as colinder

Cast as we are, sluggish on fortunes wheel

Like chance, we ebb and flow

Moths without hardy wings

I desired wellness 

and while the summer river ran 

I believed it would never turn

Against me in undertow

Disease is a glutted wretch

A terrible betrayal

A war

You stand in rags fighting until your last

We all do 

But when the bees come and honey is glitter in the trees 

We forget our fear of unseen things

Believe ourselves immortal or at least

The sleek otter who can hold his breath

Longer than sense and her confine

For such a time I rested

Against this calm

Taking for granted what I did not own

And as winter will

Reveal herself bare and merciless

Soon those hours of peace lay behind me

Damp with regret and burned yet

To leave plumes of green smoke

Evoking Gods 

Who may be senseless to our call

For the comfort of our childhood

Curled inside a place

As yet unborn

Do not

Let me stay in this cold fear

Or stand alone 

With its frozen clasp about my heart

Squeezing hope til nothing pumps

But the ice of terror 

I am 

Just born

To this strange chill

The waking before dawn of prescient worry

Will I be well? Will I ever be without pain?

Oh mercy and her ink, clouding fortelling

The whine of our need to know, what Fates only jest

My gut is silent and 

Nothing but the fast snare of my pulse

Can be heard over lamment

I am

A statue of fear

Thinking back

To the Happy Prince

He felt pain

Of others

Taking the jewels that were his eyes

Sacrifice I do not have

A lesson

To think and care as we suffer

Of others and their

Equal walk 

In nightshade

Advertisements

Find me in cinder

777bbca7e13ef8f0b821cfb0c2ee3e63Press tighter

the ribbon too loose

the welt too shallow

press tighter

block out light

kneeling in our find

discovering strange arms

do not right the wrong

of absence

you lace your shoes all the way to the top hook

standing by the gutter watching imagination speed past

grab a cab, take a train, hail a bus

erase the deep scratch

take yourself as far as you are

find me

find me in cinder

I’m sweeping up my make-believe

ashes mark the brand with loving hand

I left myself on a train somewhere

heading past the blur

trees convening into walls and thorns

thorns

shaping my need

pricked back to defeat

raise your hands in prayer

watch them fall leaden

like pennies who deny wish to the carp who

listless grows fat on his doom

once you reach the bridge’s middle you will know

the circumference of your blank page

I am here split into footsteps

wet with their hasten

I am here giving birth to your disregard

bloodied in veined marble

it was always the fault of mine own flaw

I don’t have a skin like you do

this girl rends in spinning glass

pretending she is well enough

for this loud world

we who bruise on emotion

catch the lasting arrow

so fine they go, the ones who can

shine themselves well

boarding future with jagged step

watch them marvel at themselves

for six weeks and six years and six centuries

I buried feeling in soft velvet boxes

whispering to the fox

we who are timid

cannot stand the jolt

we who are fractured

do not wear pain for long

before relinquishing fight

deep in the rosebud

where the fold has yet to

come undone

they told her she was wasting her time

trying to be normal

give it up

you speak in imperfect step

from passive to shout and back again

you do not understand your tense or your verb

you were rejected by the snotty folk

who pinch their noses as they bustle past

in formula

and alacrity

bet you know all your grammatical rules like

a foreign language whilst

I paint in saline and muzzled howl

save this last lesson

when you shout

ensure the fields are on fire

and the birds indigo sky in their fright

you will never know what it is like to be

savaged in kind

is that the sound of my neck breaking?

over the ache?

reaching one last time

growing old in perpetuity like

light staying too long in the same place

turns listless and if you listen carefully

with young ears you can

hear the rustle of her gown

bitter with the after glow of grind

I know I’m wasting everything

except this last buried purse

of everything

if I let go now

the seeds will spill

out of me

and grow taller

than I ever

even on tiptoe

could be

Within the woods

thYou lost your grip on reality around the same time

my own dalliance with death disturbed the rafters

my shoulders of a man, yours of a sparrow

we danced around amber whiskey bottles

setting fire to tarmac

lifting our skirts before silver ash enveloped us

but maybe I didn’t clean my feet well enough

you began to tremble in the morning

and I found I could not move

it was as if a deer had been startled

standing quite still in dried grass

he was frozen in situ

for a time I wanted to break out

resume merriment and three penny carnival

until the feeling of falling inside

behind the bones of your face

where all emotion blanches and traces

secrets and lies

became my norm

I did not know anymore

how to stir cocktails of polite acquaintance

or make small talk trace like sleepy snails

I did not know anymore

what became of my social graces

pinned and folded beneath me like taffeta

it gave me comfort to

lose my art of conversation

the yawning maw of fraternization

I listened to words and they did not

beckon me come closer

I felt as strange as the outdoor moth

who half wishes he did not

slap against warm glass trying to

eat the light

for it is not you he seeks

but the burn and blitz of some fantastic

singeing his wings in tattoo

and I too

had always yearned for that feeling

never discovered among the feeding troughs

of social intercourse

and once or twice I left

a full and heaving party

to lift my legs for a stranger in

cramped confine

because the hard bang and knock of his

emptying wood was

more honest than all the winks and nods

whispering behind my back

words

I no longer needed to use

only three ever necessary

I love you

though now you are smudged out

by burn of cinders staining toes

gone as cold as foggy morning

selecting mute I retraced my arc

pushed myself back beneath my bones

within the temple

within the woods

where the deer finally moved

from her camouflage and

sprinted light as powder

into converging dark

There you are

15094981_1170125696413806_5262358430950260450_n

about one hundred years ago

or three years

or just yesterday

I lay in your bed

smelling the indent and the roll

of your dream life when I am not

trying to look through your eyes

into your soul

About one hundred years ago

or three years

or just yesterday

I stood over your bed

stripping the sheets

smelling where you lived and breathed

all those nights and days

we should have been making memories

now folded away

About one hundred years ago

or three years

or just yesterday

I smoothed the mattress clear

of the weight you inhabited and

little traces curled here and there

persisting to remind me

of the way the moon lit

your sleeping face

now you will always have your eyes closed

maybe now you can see

the shapes of angels

watching over you until

it is my turn and I come to find

if you have been waiting all this time

a year, a month, a day

one hour is too long

without looking into your eyes

to see what I love reflecting back

like dark diamonds capturing stars

will wink out

and there you are

Cannot breathe

12809596_1413579175413678_4036998646343994268_nGood bye. Two words. Easily said

impossible to mend a ravaged soul

take a photo of grief she may hide in plain sight

a snapshot in time does not a story tell

one great smile and everything is assumed well

even we, reminiscing glaze over story’s end

maybe it’s for the best …

making memories to endear rather than ravage

such the way of humanity and its glitter ball

yet

beneath the smile, as bright as ever was

more luminous and beautiful perhaps

for undercurrent of savage sorrow

you were crawling out of your mind

it seems an offense to forget

under widest grins we suffer in silence

touched by the same unspeakable sin

of feeling too much in a world favoring compartments

for on the appointed day the photographer says

cheese! and on auto pilot I grin with every ounce of fake

afterward he exclaims, you can see the joy in your heart

it radiates

and sure enough

look closely you cannot tell

I am falling apart

I am coming undone

beneath the layers of my glimmering

it is spoken, smile! and you will feel better!

would that were true

a smile when you are sorrowful

one that cannot be seen through

often the ruin behind the glue

for all the world is a stage

people believe what is easy to convey

they never stop to look beneath

it is not what they wish to keep

in their collective memory

let’s be cheerful! Dismiss regret!

the sorrow we feel

welling under surface

must stay as secret lake

never admit

when you are the only person in a room

crying inside whilst outside you bloom

hello it’s good to meet you

hi there, it’s nice to see you

everyone says wow don’t you look great!

not aware when you get home you will

pluck out your eyes

made of stone

pull off the mask

kick off the shoes

tear down the dress

all the artifice

with no-one to hear your cry

for sorrow is never shared

it is a lonely lonely journey

suffered behind waves of denial

and you wish so much

someone would call you up and say

you were smiling in your photo today

but I saw a sadness beneath

can I come round and help you?

can I hold you when you cannot

breathe?

Coupe

thAu moment de démêler mes cheveux

the day you cut yourself

you have to hurt

lose

some trace of past

much beloved

forming solace

the retreat within

only then, not even then

take one shuffled step forward

you are not yourself anymore

you are the one you became

when they ate your heart

licked the plate clean

no need to wash

 

it’s not true

you stay the same afterward

you do not

you are extinguished

half reborn

each time or only once

harder

a shell of former self

patting scars down

like fur

refusing to smooth

 

when I laid my head

on your lap

my hair spilled across your knees

down to the floor

just as my tears now

will fill me with the strength

to cut out the part of me

holding you

it is nearly all of my sum

 

so necessarily

I will start as nothing

build slowly into an approximation

something will be sacrificed

something will be lost

never to return

it is the part of me that could trust

it is the rope of my devourment

 

I will be shorn

of the muscles of my heart

for you took everything

leaving only

a pair of scissors

glinting on tabletop

if I stretch out

I can reach

their

steel

Honey

img_1118

You demanded

I consider Heaven

I thought of lasting beyond

after life

it made me feel tired

like the rosy apple

has its season

its brief glory

then falls to become earth

recycle itself in

spell of worms

I replied

there is nothing I need

in Heaven

once you have

bloomed and sent nectar

into the recess of time

you need then to sleep

your head heavy with pollen

until the bees come

and make ten fold

your apple blossom dream