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

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Just when she thought she was complying, she raged and broke apart

Things at a distance …

The child learns

Not to burn herself on cooker top

Not to hold someone to their word

People don’t always return

Love

Things learned at a distance

Words do not describe reality

Reality is not as they say

Life is funny and tastes of rain

One moment it flows then everything stops

Changes course

And you

Child

Sometimes you are forgotten

For adults

Don’t always recall

The necessity of keeping their word

 

And that child

Grew with restraint and without rule

Clad in scraps of query and uncertainty

Unobserved, she learned not to learn

She didn’t sharpen her pencil and master how to take orders

Her mind they thought gifted but her’s was just a glib mouth with fast words

Sounding beneath the press of water, betraying its weight

Underneath she had no end to her dislike of being told what to do

And they told her

You’ll regret the way you are

Discipline helps breed patience

Patience is honed a virtue

She had none

Never learning her multiplication tables or grammar

She slipped as she ran

Away from the rod

He’d hit her you see, too much, and caused a break

Until she didn’t know how to mend her cracks

Only fury lay

Between her fingers spread against the sun

Silly frivolous fury, the kind girls are mocked for

Usually they are scolded, Child don’t you know? Real suffering exists! True pain! And you have so much and you dare say you are discontent?

Even the shame of knowing on the outside she was a white parody of excess and indulgence

With her predictable dysfunctions all signs of a weakness of spirit

Delving into emptying with hands tied by nurture and the unbearable shake of seeing

If you just got up every morning and jogged, if you just put that cigarette down

You save yourself you know

Of course she knew and like a woman weighted with stones she wanted to walk deeper into the water because every scratch of her fabric was flawed

Why did you let me be born?

Why not give my time to a marvelous well-adjusted mind who will study science and never play hooky?

She played it all the time and had nothing to prove nor music within her movement

No piano to learn

As long as someone

Who wanted to learn

Would

 

And she

Wished to walk in olive groves hurting her bare feet with dry shrub

As the Corfu sun burned her scratched arms

Creating ugly stains for how she felt inside

Marks of time mottling her skin

Brands of all the times she tried not to be

Herself

And invariably

Returning to the mirror time and again, a looking-glass behind her eyes

There was her father’s jaw and elongated forehead

His thin red weathered skin tried by the hour

When they found out some DNA was stronger and certain people were genetically likely to outlast others

She laughed

Because she’d known that for years

You only had to taste the quality of their time

and in the future

They ran dry like a Texan Arroyo long baked by merciless sun

 

Her father once said

You reap what you sew

and she has thrown herself into air

With no seeds and no design

Just the bare howl of being aware

Knowing the grief she was ashamed and compelled by

Ticking in her imperfect hiccup of a soul

Unable to avoid the error of her need

To rebel against the majority who never seem to mind

But plod perfectly in time to some hidden chant

While she spun, losing ground, hurting and grasping

Never ready to fit herself into a shape commensurate with moving forward

If there were an edge to the world she’d be the one to push herself

Off

Shards

dscn1772-2There is an edge

ever-changing, indescribable

and as you turn your shoulder

thinking the sun has only burnt

one side

the other is latticed

in marks of your exposure

as things of darkness will crawl

deep inside you like a well without end

and build with whitened fingers

their hungry descent

until you are changed

even as you taste the salt of your tears

staining your face like damage

blackening light into rotten parts

tearing your wings to pieces

it’s been so long you forgot

once you were able to climb

high into sky and feel something

unknown now like a lover

who has turned to enemy and stranger

instead without warning

the edge presents itself

in terrible hour like a sharp knife

one moment you are clinking glasses

smiling into the camera

and others remark

goodness she’s aged well

look how happy she looks

the next you are ripping the lies

from your arms, all that glitters

tearing into shreds artifice

tying together knots in hope

they can end

the sudden terror inhabiting you

always cruelest when it shows

just as you believe you might

have escaped

yoking you back

get on your knees

here you are, here you are

your toes grip the edge

you see the emptiness below

much like what lies inside

untethered, unnamed

for who can put a word

to terror? to hopelessness?

who can place a finger on the place

the rot set in and began

to devour the person you once were?

leaving a scarecrow

others do not see inside

the stuffing ready to ignite

they only see the perfect smile

accoutrements without truth

glittering like shards of glass

scattered in the night

Anti Club

6569729_origWho is that girl?

standing polishing her shoes

surely it is not me

who will mount the steps

open her mouth

speak the words

I am not afraid of commitment

I simply do not seek it

which could be selfish or disinterested

not all wish to affix

nor the involvement of cliques

groups and movements

especially trends

a month of this a month of that

they rush like birds caught in a net

to the sound of the next buzz

no original thought

whosoever a tide must push

nearer nearer to becoming as

everyone else strings a merging

I wish not

to join in

become part of

subscribe

affix membership

lead or equally

devalue

humanities need to run in pairs

groups and marathons

crowd fund the day

and I

who matter nothing in any way

irrespective of in distinction

long to hear the turning tide speak

go your own way

and if that way is opposite

to the herd

so be it

you will find the going

tough

sometimes empty

but for some

this is the taste they need

to keep purpose or

sanity

afloat in

the debris

of afterward

 

(This is an internal debate, highly subjective, that I often have with myself. The irony of posting on social media that I find social media unhealthy for the majority. Yet I stand by it. I am only on FB to increase book sales, FB stands for everything I don’t relate to. I am not judging anyone else, but sometimes I look around and wonder, how many people don’t want to socialize versus those who seem to need it like a drug. It makes me feel like I am not normal because I see my closest friends literally jump out of their skin unless they feel validated by others, affirmed by socializing, and as I get older I need it less and less and never ever “need” to go out and socialize. Then again, if we are social animals, is this natural? If it isn’t, why does it feel natural? As for ‘joining in’ that has been an anathema my entire life, I can’t stand the ‘club’ mentality though it is so pervading especially in the US. I find it an interesting subject especially as those who are less social are very condemned by the majority as having something wrong with them).

B side

franccca7oise-dorleac-photo_03One

There you play your favorite B side and drive in your mind

fermenting beyond chicory

no-one else knows

basking in old songs

she finds the segment of Clementine

hidden from view in liquor box

melting resistance

as nationalists surge in Catholic crimson

could be now or a light house seeking ship

printed beneath creamy lost voices

 

Two

She could propel herself with saline drying her toes white

transfixed on survival as

Boudicca led bronze and stone fighters

daubed azure over thorny field

if she lived today she’d share a Menthol Salem Light with Stevie Nicks

warning women against Xanax

in Miu Miu sunglasses

capturing the drum-beat of her many-armed dervish

as a little girl learned to spell

sounding out her letters

heroine in slow motion

A

B

C

fire

walk

with

me

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