On display

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I have my father’s feet

they are ugly I think

manly, wildebeest, sinew and bone

elongated toe as if saying

I am to be placed

deformed and bunion-esque

in shoes that will never fit

much like life, much like life

my father was considered a handsome man

many years women worked themselves into a hot

lather over his ways

perhaps it was a study in contrast

most men his age had already

mortal guts overhanging and could not

string a good sentence together

my father was verbose just as he was

shy and his hair was thick and hung

just so across his scarred brow

it seemed to galvanize the heterosexual piper call

women wanted or maybe they simply

didn’t want to have nothing and he

was nimble with his word play

indeed they forgave him for being

a redhead and if you think that is cruel

you’ve never known one or been one

they are the vilified among our kind

for their pallor and their color

an exotic relegated to rotten

less so in America

there is perhaps still

progression

yet my father, despite his flaming stamp

seemed to cut through the chaff

always though directed toward brunette, for a

blonde would be scared of the redhead

gene

and it is true they have begun to turn away

russet colored men from sperm banks

so my father had a chip on his shoulder

for being red when his father was

dark and swarthy

how then the man who is neither?

I inherited the pallor but not the color

nor the freckles I have some

of my mother in me though

she would say not

now I see it more and more

as she is less and less

snipping me out like

a bad paper doll who has

transgressed

I miss her even in preparation

for our dissolution

we are quite similar

and just as different

but when I see her eyes in

the mirror I ask

wasn’t I worth trying for?

It is futile to query

the reasons for disinterest

when studying psychology I learned

as only children never understand

the myriad ways we misinterpret

ten people in a room who all see

a different thing

perception then, is a liar and a clown

we should stick to loyalty

but that has fallen out of vogue

I thought being pale I would

age better than my contemporaries

who tanned themselves into oblivion

how I envied their brown

it’s enough to drive you crazy

wanting what you are never

but I am ageing faster

maybe it’s the mercury in my blood

or the grief I don’t seem to be able

to set aside

perhaps I have forgotten what it is like

to be cherished or how to dream

I do not know

but I dyed my hair when the grey came

taunting with its white brush as if to say

here you go, have a sprinkling

you’ve earned it

now my body begins the fiendish process

of cutting off

its estrogen and skin

starts to dull and lose its shine

almost enough to wish for

the discontented pale girl once

lucky I have no lover to

impress

for there is nothing

to brag in my loss of elastic

and sad dumpy thighs

they say you

do not need to have children

to sag

and I can attest

to no live birth

and much gravity

what was once popular in youth

the cleavage

the early fruit

becomes an enemy to

the middle-aged

am I that already? I seem

still to feel like the dancer on stage

earning her moves

taking love between her chest bone

squeezing it of juice

I visited my old studio when I went ‘home’

saw young girls with

long necks and flat chests

I wanted to be them

and also I did not

for it would be tiring to

start over again

with all the expectations and all the demands

there is something

still and good about

less

but I may have taken it to an extreme

with the quiet of my life

the emptiness of my eyes

if you see me

forgetful and slow

and then to dance

in a fleeting moment

you will understand

it is not easy to accept change

when you have not yet had your time

but forgive me my ugly feet

and look into my eyes

that is where I can still be found

searching for you

among the debris

and the loose ribbons

we kept so perfect

pinned tightly

on display

 

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Imperfect paradise

Today baby, everyone is pert and beautiful

Photoshopped at perfect angle

Swollen lips, weak jaw, 2000 friends with guitars

Can’t keep up, even if I were two and twenty

Better my generation-X lost our film

Before developing

Didn’t keep a record, of that mistake, or this bad day

We pretend and forget, imprecision a comfort blanket

Not wanting to keep in touch, why force natural closure with technology?

We lost your digits and never knew your surname

A blurry mystery of poor memories

Was it that candlelit poet’s bar now closed?

No proof, no evidence, if a tree falls, does anyone know, if it’s not on Instagram?

I liked your home dyed hair, we shared night under looming sky in damp sleeping bag

You fucked my ideals of love when you slept with her

Sent me on my way with a trash bag of belongings

A dead squirrel slothing skin, lay ackwardly beneath your window

Its stink remaining when I was gone

Rumor had it you used her hose as contraceptive

I never french kissed again, or wore tights

Her name was Bo, there’s only my recollection to endear spite

If I saw her today, she’d be married, still tan and leggy

I’d be tempted to gaze up, crack a joke about what denier she preferred

Glad I don’t have a Facebook post about him

Or the other errors, or the other sins

We ran without skin, coats, phones, without GPS location

A bum camera slung on collarbone, for special occasion

Your grimy hands entwined in mine

We knocked our shins on tree stumps

You don’t need Technicolor to be lovers

You took a photo of me nude against the bed

When we argued I tore it up and now it’s zero

Thankful, as I hadn’t used a razor in too long

Along with you and your cigarette butts making daisy wheels of carpet fiber

We smoked when we knew it would kill us

We didn’t floss

Those were the days of ugliness, sloth and 3am torn condoms

I loved your 90s dirty hair and sunburnt cheeks

Keanu in The Rivers Edge, chasing Dennis Hopper and his blow up doll Mary through pine forest

Lying in dead grass in the park, watching topless girls dance with loops of fire

You pressed into my hips, we made out and I can’t remember much besides, the way your fingers felt inside

Perhaps I left early and rode the bus back through dark city, head leaning against grimy glass

Maybe we slept all night and I gave birth

To the ecclipse of time

Shifting and changing

No evidence of

Similarity to now

An imperfect

Paradise

Of horror & humor

kitsune_noh_mask_by_tiggytuppence-d5zp6nb.pngI lied and the lie was more honest than the truth

I’m not bitter I said

and it rolled off my tongue like peppermint lip gloss

I’m not bitter about anything

my nails digging deep into my palm do not

give me away

my grotesque sham

remember that ardent denials are always the ones

keeping disgraced secrets in over-size boxes

those who protest the loudest

usually guilt-ridden

I was guilty of detesting myself

and wearing too much make-up to show my artifice

I was guilty of saying I felt nothing

when it crawled up my neck like a necklace of shame

branding me queen of fibs

you see, it’s easier to be a boy

you can talk dirty, masturbate on trains, act like an asshole

and forgiveness will find you Joel

but a girl is supposed to be on a higher plain

we’re not expected to be so filthy minded or prone

to indolence

one mistake and you’re out

easier to call a girl a slut

than a boy the equivalent

what is the equivalent?

I regretted the day I chose you over the others

we unfolded our crosses and plugged ourselves in

you gauged me most likely to say yes to sin

enshrining stereotypes with the spit of scorned teens

I’m not bitter I said

if you choose her over me I understand

she’s got nice tits and a pretty strong right-hand

tormenting slanted Hannya masks coo

making faces, eating my scabs as they formed their tasty crust

give up your delusion Juno

as a girl your time of freedom is half as much

so bitter I spent so long on my knees sucking you off

again childish hope it would sate spilt outcome

pouring out of black taxis in crotchless hose

did I hesitate when I heard the echo of the earthbound train?

shaking myself free of girdles and suppositories

did the short-lived titilator

licking his plumaged groin

leave cleaner finger prints?

grinding into each other

purgered halves

reckless in gyration

rejoice

I’m not bitter I said

I just want to kick in your fucking head

lay on top the carnage, a maraschino cherry

well masticated and raw

a girl’s muscular jaw

opening to grudgingly reveal

her true Noh expression

of horror and humor

 

Lust

3Tish-SnookyHe made up his mind quick as

crumpling a wet tissue with his release dripping

damn you can wipe and wipe

the stain remains

garish on her clean dark sheets

he puts his weight on the damp spot

later she will lift her eyes upwards, maybe a wry smile too

if he’s made her see stars

which depends on the drugs they consume

much as he denies it

sober sex doesn’t move him

to eat pussy for an hour

his body reminds him he is getting old

the crook in his neck

oral isn’t kind on ageing cartilage

but she’s more obliging

purrs like a cat in his deaf left ear enough that he can

almost hear

like a shell echoing the sound of the sea

her gasps make him shoot his wad into the sheets

and then they’re wet again and he’s lying on the damp spot

uncomfortable and trying to deflect

when it’s obvious

morning light reveals the day after

his crags and sagging scrotum

her torn panties and jiggly thighs

the white smears on aubergine sheets

like lines on a chalk board run through with finger tips

revolting in regret how soon we cool and shed

the urge for momentary perversion

a turn of passion clips away reality

sealing it briefly in scrapbook

the time when all people become blind fondlers

begging for favors like love struck teens

losing their composure

in the face of lust

Children with no reflection

girl-fishingMy feet were always too big for vintage shoes

granny said

girl you’re outgrowing your ancestors

measured my 1980’s girth with pokered face

disgracing corselet historians with modern gait

I never was the black-eyed-girl of my father’s heart

his own ungainly DNA bore him a chip off the old block

who knew his self-loathing would rub free like lint

on the broad shoulders of imperfect kin

you’ve no delicacy in your frame girl

your hands are too wide for these kid gloves

you cannot fit into the stays and confines of the past

where did you come from? changeling?

half and half in one world and the next

part girl part boy part aberration an inverse

it was easier to steal a pair of dungarees

climb the old knobbly willow tree

dropping apple pips in indigo pond

a disappointing girl with one eye patched lest it wander

I saw my delicate mother and her child’s form

rush like a dancer into applauding future

gone from those who would love her best

she left a horse hair brush that smelt of her skin

and I did not know what to be

standing there with my unliked shell of pallor

a mockery of fallen relations between two lovers

retreating to the verge of attention their child

I waited until nobody expected me home

muddied, stained and bramble scratched

children with no reflection

if you asked me then whom I loved the most

I would have pointed to the owl

grand in his luminous white feathers

for he saw the little girl’s disappointment

and together they sang

low into night

to beckon timorous vole

closer