Her kind

ccccWhom she learned the art or dissonance of protest from

Whether it was ingrained or born on hot kitchen towel like fresh bread

Rising, the irresistible urge to devour all whilst fresh

She couldn’t say

But catching herself

Playing little shadow games

It became clear

Like the women before her she was not

A straight talker

For she was unable to speak plainly

She hurt all over

Her whole self would have confessed

Oh timorous Lord

I don’t seem capable of much

It is enough to keep my head on my shoulders?

The ache the screw the twist

I am tired before I have woken

Because truth be told

Humanity sickens my soul

And when you hate your own

There’s nowhere to go

 

They tried

Oh they tried

To interest her in their tête à tête

And she grew sickly

And incomplete

Only the circulated vowels of earth

Could ease her need

To be freed

Of her kind

Is this you?

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Portrait of man and two women in orchard --- Image by © Robert Recker/Corbis

Is it you?

the girl who knows lustful eyes are on her back

is it you?

talking to your female friends

when a man enters

you reveal your choice every time

the man comes first

women only afterward

is it you?

thinking they don’t notice

when your eyes drift

from female conversation

to a man’s deeper tone

as if attention were garnered toward

the male of the species alone

don’t you see? you put down women

with every favor you give a man over

she

and whilst you may say

no that’s not true I am an equal opportunist

an observer will note

the change and variance of your attention 

you are a creature of men

owned by their regard

choosing them first in every scenario

sadly undermining

the worth of women

it is surely what lets us down most

the value we place on each other

being less than the other gender

call me an old embittered dyke

biased in her choice

if you need to

but truth speaks

louder than worship

and I must ask

is this you?

Fond of ghosts

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I am thankful

that I am not

you

you are what I could not be and partly remain

If I hadn’t fled and turned my back to

the inevitable crush of destiny, spinning on roulette table

the soft nape of cloth worn by dice

 

For years I regretted leaving myself behind

and those few memories not slicing

at my veins

but your life

engenders mindfulness

and I am

so relieved

 

This feels good

the city of our frying was so hungry

It wanted to devour youth

to sake itself on the fervor of the anointed needy

how anyone has the endurance?

how you do?

I have no idea

 

As I scaled my escape with trapeze skin shoes

the Harlequin came back from her exile in the countryside

the sequined one didn’t see how the city ate us up in little spoonful

she whose cheeks were red with fresh air, wanted so badly to return, throw her hunger at the crowd in fistfuls

and that’s why we crossed wires, finally hanging-up our respective ends

 

But you

puzzle me like the last page of a much creased book

I relate to your merciless sober tilt

a shared connection that runs the length of our separation

how the rest of your life will bid

how

you are when we’re not talking

how the world sounds through your ears or looks through your eyes

 

I feel you must have

chains

on

your

wrists

you must be a new

in a large loud give

and that frightens me more than it should

considering once

I almost walked in the same buckled shoes

 

What made you stay?

and I leave?

what helps you imprint this life and nourishes the void I feel

imagining I had never left and still to turn the page

such terrors seem to separate us

beyond what could reconnect

proof perhaps

of the strength of the heart

to defy

logic

and

grow fond of

ghosts

One shall remain unseen

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The owl

left gouges to your scalp

without a mouth

you spoke

do not go my way child

learn from error the better path

where? where granny?

behind you

where? where granny?

in front of you

where? where granny?

beside you

where? where granny?

she stood in formation an army of past

familiar eyes different words

don’t go my way, forge your own

inherit nothing of madness left to roam

your genes like spirits grown too wild

avoid the drink it gives you ghosts

spare the rod, saturate desire

lust for obliteration and self immolation

my reality makes shoes disappear under beds

the ache of springs unused to their test

it is our code to set fire to the best of ourselves

stay your hand as it passes

the naked flame

see into my cinders

another method for staying sane

when you itch … when you wish

to fling yourself into oblivion

think of me

cold and dead

this is not your future yet

you have pockets heavy with planting

get to it, press deeper the iron into soil

until you pull out the old roots taking space

make room for new

it is the labor of the faithful

tiring and requiring patience

do not forget to reach in deep

for just when you think you’ve got the last

one shall remain

unseen

The shivering of sound

hope-deferred-and-hope-and-fears-that-kindle-hope-by-charles-west-cope-n-d-via-touchstones-rochdale-arts-heritage-centre-ukHope

took my hand

gentle the lash of sorrow

hung so long by peg

from back of door

becoming cloak

before long, unable to discern color

this monochrome grief bird

pecking holes in resolve

walk a mile in anyone’s shoes

feel their ache dye the price

the shivering of sound

bricks cast in tears

yellow is today

the door stands open

what of it?

outside first oleander fall

petals mixed with grass

studying full sky

swollen in accumulation

as we smile unbidden

collapsing our pinned ideals

inside our skirts

as we hike them higher

to avoid water mark

Full tilt

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There was a woman who had five children

a thriving career and a clean house

who could cook for fifty guests and still

find time to drink wine by the pool

she earned her life as fishermen

pull their catch from the ocean

twitching in multicolored lust

reluctant to be garnered

it took a great effort to be everything to everyone

and so she stayed until disease grew like a weed

within her chest and despite fighting

she lost

I wondered afterward

standing by her memory like a mirror

etching granite thought

why life was so unyielding in its give and take?

like a cruelty

reducing effort to ash and rewarding

the indolent cat who purchases laziness

I could never have been

as full as her nor fought as long

I did not have her endurance, strength and will

to conquer life

flaming from her nostrils and burning desire

and yet it is she who dies

prematurely, leaving behind grieving hearts

when I would hardly stir a sail with my absence

in the grand scheme of a world that is

not grand but fond of scheming

something doesn’t seem right about the way things play out

randomness cannot answer injustice or

why some are able to live with so much

while others struggle to wake up and touch the floor of day

perhaps in that singularity and opposition

lies the answer

she lived more in fifty years than I

ever could, reaching vainly

even if I tried every day like an acrobat

desirous to spin above the void

which I do, falling short

not the girl who slurps ice cream to its stick with lavish noise

any wonder why then, some

consider Gods mighty chess players

merciless in their sport

of our small and absurd selves

floundering beneath with taut marionette strings

blown by a strange wind

percolating from unseen place

Jamais vu

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You were born without a name

clothes handed down with sweat stains

not your own imposter

never seen

by false doubles who called you their child

you were nothing and you were everything

an unglued magic lifting off an empty table

set for nobody

you slept in the rafters of your ancestors

unable to articulate their absence

I recall the jars you had by your bedside

each one contained a scream

you stoppered and kept private

at night’s fall as we lay

watching bare branches flick in and out of

wan street light

illuminated shadows dancing

like anorexic girls inspecting themselves

this way and that, before elongated mirror

you would breathe out

and with your breath came a color

violet and sorrowful

like an instrument kept in velvet case

presses just enough to leave a trace

of the sheen in its wood

no matter how deeply I moved in you

lighting your emptiness with whispers

your anchor never reached the bottom

choosing instead oblivion

not staying long enough for choice

as cast off children know only too well

the fragment of life

spilt before their awareness matured

sitting in a full room alone

rubbing the soft worn cotton of a shirt

bought for someone else