fiction, life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Blister

sihouette-image-naked-woman-silhouette-33325142

I will not be your blood blister

I will not be so abused I learn to like it and take it with a mouthful of sack cloth

I will not be your punching bag. Held by Devil for you to take your life’s frustrations out upon.

I am injured and talented at self-loathing but there is still fight left. The fight tells me not to submit to become, that smear of inconsequence you so desperately want.

Light is fading and we walk along rivers edge. You tell me to jump in, hand me the locks and chains, swallow the filagree key and cross your arms.

The river is swollen like an angry mother calling her children home. Trees weep into its corners like penitents and the sky drizzles its damp message through closed mouthed cloud cover.

I have lived 32 years and each one seems too long. The locks that separate parts of the river from each other, are black and painted with some type of waterproofing, I wish for a moment I had been waterproofed, painted shut and able to exist beneath, without air.

The dead watch with empty eye sockets from the other side of the river. They stand in unison, quiet and obedient to their demise. A flickering memory of times when they existed and tried to reach out, never quiet enough.

I am a child being baptized without a crowd.

A whore who has swallowed the semen of the river too many times and risen to the surface despite her tambourine sin.

I am someone’s daughter though they have long forgotten the birth and gone about their life. Wounds that do not exist cannot be licked, or didn’t you know?

I am the cross of a woman who alternately hates me, especially on Monday’s, when in her wrath she pitches me from her sight and turns to the wailing wall, the mumble of her faith, her ever succor.

I am your bit on the side. Eaten crumb by crumb, morsel after taste, tasty between mouthfuls. Always spat out.

I am untouched and lying in long grass in late summer and nobody walks past and nobody kneels down and performs the benediction over my sleeping form, and nobody takes their religion seriously, instead raping me there between the sun and the moon.

I am your mother. You hand me the green dress I wore on the night he beat me blue, and I watch my nipples pop through the thin fabric like expression marks, my long neck ringed in roses of hurt. He says he loves me, he says he wants me, he knows only how to harm. And when we fall, together, I hold you in, I stop breathing, thinking if I can press every muscle against you I will protect you from coming out, a long bloody trail across his perfect white tiles and his parents never knew, for crime is the easiest thing to hide.

I am a patient. My bed is starched and folded. I am broken and belittled. My tongue blistered from licking my own wounds. They said I wouldn’t make it. I hoped they were right. You stood at the doorway and clicked your fingers and something in me knew it wasn’t yet done.

I give birth. The child is still born on wasted sheets that must be burned. In the olden days they buried quiet dead beneath oak trees and they nourished the next generation. I breast feed the silence in my head and they all close in like crows, to shut my screaming mouth.

We lie in each other’s arms and you say; “I’m not like the rest” and I never believe that because I can’t believe anything anymore, but the sound you make when you say it and when I am inside you, stays like a long song in my fevered mind.

We visit the grave site and wild flowers bloom over where your bones lie. I push my hand into the fecund earth and think for a moment, you are there, reaching out.

The edge of love can be a broken glass in your jugular. The sin can be a salvation. We are riding buses to the end of the world and you only know how to paint because you have no time for effort.

How are you today? I am finding ways to end my life. I am counting pills in little bottles. I am watching stretch marks fade from pink to silver, each one a cry from you that was never sounded, across glassy water.

Dennis Hopper has a large gun, Keanu uses his hips, Ione only knows plaid and frigging. Lying beneath a wool blanket watching blow up dolls drown, they use their youth like elixir and it’s easy to believe then, it’s easy to wait and apply Chapstick when your lips feel numb.

I’m by the rivers edge and you are with someone else. I knew it ten years ago, I know it now. Instead of a knife I have a candle. It burns its hot wax on my useless fingers and they curl like paper boats when they hit water.

We start the car, the purr like a cat I once had, cleaning her kittens. I feel your hand pull up my skirt, it’s never smooth now, it’s always wrinkled and my hands look like shrieks against my numb skin. Nobody buys cigarettes from tobacconists anymore. We import our vice by the truck full.

I want someone to claim me, to reach in and save me, to eat me alive and spit me back into myself. I want you to fuck me with love and hope. But ghosts can’t smoke and they can’t perform cunnilingus and I am getting older now.

Too old to be your blood blister. We need to burst it and let it bleed, until I see, a way out.

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prosetry

Teeth

She looks down and sees her bottom jaw resting on the ground by her feet. Carefully, she picks it up to assess the extent of the ruin but it is clear: her mandible has entirely detached itself from her head and now sits quietly in the palms of her shaking hands. It half-smiles at her, just as it had done so many times before at handsome strangers and bad jokes.

As if newly erupted from the grip of the ivory bone, her teeth form a sparkling semi-circular row. She studies the teeth, noticing that, where they are not laced with blood and saliva, they are obscenely white, almost iridescent. With claret edges, her teeth look like menstruating pearls. They look delicate and indestructible.

She begins to run and so does the blood: it trickles through the gaps in her fingers, collecting in the crease of her elbow before dripping onto the pavement, leaving a trail behind her. The blood is gooey and viscous, and though it looks too dark to be fresh it keeps on flowing. A mess of bloody saliva pours from her jawless mouth, down her neck and settles in a sticky pool on her chest. When she tries to spit out the taste of rusty nails and panic, she discovers that she has no tongue.

The unfamiliar residential street is curiously busy for 3 a.m. and she knows a lot of the people that she passes. She stops to ask everyone she sees to help her to put her jaw back in place. She is met with bemused faces. She screams and shouts and begs but no sound emerges from her, just the occasional crimson gurgle. She looks pleadingly at the passers-by then looks down at the jaw in her hands, motions fitting the jaw back to her head and then looks back at her potential saviour, praying they’ll understand. They look at her with pity and faux-guilt, apologise and say things like, “Sorry, dear, I’m in a rush,” “I’m not a dentist, unfortunately,” and “Oh, I don’t really want to get involved.”

The fact that she can’t properly communicate to ask for help, or even find out what has happened to her, frightens her and causes her far more distress than the fact that her jaw has fallen off. She tries to communicate using her eyes; she is certain that her eyes must surely convey the horror, confusion and desperate need to be helped that she cannot speak aloud. But no: she is ignored and unsaved. Tears tumble down her cheeks, over her top lip and straight down to her chest to mingle with the rest of the mess of fluid. She tries to spit again and grows frustrated upon remembering that she can’t. She runs out of tears and sits under the glow of a streetlamp, with her bloody, perfect jaw beside her, and hopes for somebody to throw her a tissue at least.

Sometimes she wanders about the strange town for hours, begging for help through her eyes, frenzied, covered in blood and clutching her jaw in her hands, rocking it slightly as if it were an injured bird. Sometimes she gives up after a few minutes and resigns herself to living a life of silence, with only her bottom jaw for company. Sometimes she smashes her jaw against an orange brick wall, sometimes repeatedly, hundreds of times, but it always stays whole. Nobody ever helps. She no longer believes that someone will eventually come along and fix her because nobody ever has before, and she knows that if she expects nothing, she will never be disappointed, only ever pleasantly surprised. She remains mute and hungry and ugly and cries and cries and cries, but she never dies. She is, after all, built of the same matter as her jaw: she is delicate and indestructible.

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Of my chains and my need

chains

I am all those things your father warned you about

Possessive, I wrap around, not wishing to share, an inch

You are mine, I take you out, I stroke you, I put you back inside

If you feel comfortable dividing until we are absent

Then I fly

Out of the window

And away

 

I have never been able to share when I feel this much

Let others have a portion of

My heart is closed most of the time

Blocked from easy loving

Yet

You came and battered down the door

Tore open my secrets, marching into my throne

Here I lie hidden from everything

You observed and loved me despite

My flayed imperfection and demanding nature

Imploring the kind of devotion few can summon

 

Now if you take those ebony eyes

Giving them to everyone else

I may not be able to swallow that kind of pill

Because I was brought up with bitterness and ash

What’s mine is mine

Or I let go and walk

Straight out over cliffs edge

 

It’s not your fault

I’m a one-person lover

I can’t even divide cards

If I see you out in a party

Hoisted over others shoulders in social

Milieu

Don’t take it personally

When you come home

I won’t be there

 

If I were born to give abundantly

Then somehow that was lost

In translation I found

I could only give to one

The rest had to stay outside

Whilst I built my fire and kept

You warm

hoping you would never wish to

Be free

Of me

Of my chains and my

Need

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Statues in the dark

the scream

Where do depressed people go

When the entire world suddenly feels as they do?

Back to their room, where one voice says – take them up on their offer

make a phone call

but the other voice knows they will not because

when you feel that down the last thing you can do is talk.

Where do depressed people go

when the entire world suddenly feels as they do?

Outside to empty streets / not reminded of what they fail to achieve

the silence, a balm on fevered emotion

for everyone judges what they cannot see

as others watch Pandemic movies behind closed curtains

the sad roam in search of meaning.

Where do depressed people go

when the entire world suddenly feels as they do?

they’re told it’s a disease as much as a broken arm yet

judgement is always a cudgel just one step away

even lovers rebuke and ask; Why can’t you get out of your head?

Do something helpful for a change, instead of navel gazing?

or worse, say nothing, ignore, over it, worn out

few can handle a season with dysmorphia.

Where do depressed people go

when the entire world suddenly feels they do?

For a quarantined period, it can even feel like fun

nothing of the permanency, nothing of that locked in sensation

pervading senses, shutting down, until all the dreams you had

are dust and ash on floor, you can’t even get out of bed, to brush your hair

or walk the dog, this inertia isn’t laziness, it’s a switching off

of life’s impulse and so the bulb dims eternal.

Where do depressed people go

When the entire world suddenly feels as they do?

This is how it feels every day, you struggle to find a reason, to steady yourself

into faking it, and surely, the falsehood runs its course and you’re back

with naught and nothing comes from nothing we’ve been all taught

self loathing reflects back in the unwashed mirror, a hateful creature

your worst enemy is between your ears, you hear only

the rebuke and chastising of that part of you wishing to be free

break out, break out, crawl, stagger, run get away

from yourself you cannot.

Where do depressed people go

When the entire world suddenly feels as they do?

trapped in a brain that doesn’t sit up and beg when ordered

motivation a distant memory, as much as you want there are

no magic pills or electric impulses powerful enough

to restart what has lain dormant and half alive

we are quarantined by our own demons they

made prisoners of us long before Covid 19

even those who love us, wish we were different

self hate is a woman without rocks in her pocket

yet

she walks to the edge many times each day

her reflection cries even as she no longer does

for tears are wasted after a certain time

fixed in place by broken ways forward

she seeks to drown the madness with one jump

and they sit on their sofas talking about how it will be called

the great epidemic, where we all stayed in place

not realizing for some of us this is

our hell already created and nothing new

we have been here before, we shall again

it is the wordless, grieving place of those

locked down by their minds in situ

watching the world build around them

statues in the dark

to a pandemic long pre-existing

where screams are never heard.

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poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

The fight beneath

wheels and dollbaby

if the act is on, full wattage

everyone sees a together girl, straight backed by taut strings

oh the puppet master pulls

them tightly in compensation for internal sag

they see a girl who has checked all the boxes;

education, polish, spit and shine, big smile, combed hair, thighs together

they see what they want to see

just as we read the truth and speak a lie

who wants to know the inside? The fight beneath?

Maybe at 18. When we still have patience, and time, and youth and romance

thinking it lovely to talk of emotions and breakage and pain

the beauty of those things when safe from death

edging closer, every year, less tolerance

until even your therapist has a break-down and can’t listen anymore

Covid 19 keep your distance? Aren’t we already alienated and disregarded?

She wants someone to listen, she wants someone, she wants to stop

this hole within her from growing out of control and taking her over

she wants to speak her truth to someone who gives a damn

it’s almost like wishing to have perky tits again and a hymen

it’s almost like hoping at the dinner table for love instead of silence.

She used to fake it really well, used to know all the ways of getting clean and squeaky

People are kind to children and pretty youth

Unkind to those who are mentally ill and grow old in their despair

old before your time, before you stopped wanting to be wooed and still wanting to wear

tight clothes and push up bras, just because you can.

Now she understands why middle aged women read romance novels

or hate and never do

the combat of wanting to be desired and knowing it’s not going to

ever again, they only like those little girls in tiny clothes

whose bodies are barely formed

are you bitter? Are you scorned? The world belongs to men

because they stop loving at a certain age and women

hate each other especially the peachy ones, who remind them of

what they’ll never get back.

The fight beneath, the bitchy office manager who used to tut beneath her breath

every time she walked past in her best blue heals

she had a good heart then and it hurt to be treated so

now she knows the meaning of

the loss in their eyes

but she still wants to be desired

is she going to turn into one of those sad ole gals who keeps wearing too tight jeans

hanging out at less and less popular places in hope?

Or will her heart shrivel and dry like a match burning its sulfur

hardly holds its original form

just the dark wood left, stained by flame

never to be struck

again.

She would like to think someone would

love her at any time, for more than whether she has loosening skin or

sagging bits, she has heard this is something men point out unkindly in bed

she’d probably sock them if they did, and bite something off

who the fuck has the right?

It fills her with a fresh hell to imagine

how they think they’re entitled

but her young self will remind her; it’s we who let this happen

dear wolf

we lay ourselves down when they tell us we’re not worthy

and we either let ourselves vanish

or we stop believing we can be

desired for more than the price of our skin

imagine us hanging like pieces of meat

dear wolf

waiting for the flies to obviate our claim

to be equal or good enough

whilst they, rotund, graying, flacid

rule the world or pretend to

we give life, we carry the future

are we going to let this be or

become wild, something untamed and furious

with the thirst of a girl wanting to give her entire heart

and throw it into the furnace

watch it burn with all that you want

this love, this need, this impossible desire

even as your body dries and says; I am done

you’re never done, you bring life, you bring longing

within you is a timeless heart.

She wants you to know

she may seem withered to you or not

as once she was, but she needs as much as ever

that desire, so much so she may climb out of

of her falling skin and become

a butterfly in reverse, going underground

where in darkness nobody can tell

then it’s all about the beat of life

that eternal drum

and anyone can play

as long as they join

beating their need against stretched leather

in the ancient way before we invented

exclusion and condemnation

when those wisest and most sought

were not children

but their bright eyed elders

still with the pulse

of hunger inside them.

 

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fiction, photography

FRAGILE

Chris R-1-181 Image by Christine Renney

I still intend to keep walking but the road now is a distraction. It has become too much, the noise and the lights at night.
There is a bridge up ahead and I wonder about all the others just like it that I must have passed. But I haven’t noticed and I haven’t looked until now and I am walking towards this bridge rather than alongside the road.
It looks fragile, like something I might have built as a boy with Lego or Meccano or perhaps even both. Forcing the pieces together and making them fit.
It is thin and narrow, a walkway linking the footpath on either side of the carriageway. And from where I am standing I can see this path snaking away from the bridge on the other side.
Moving closer I gaze up at the underside. The paint is peeling on the girders. Each time a car thunders past the whole thing shakes a little and flakes fall. Stepping back I watch this confetti of rusty scabs.
The bank here is concrete and steep and if I am going to get up there I will need to double back. And turning myself around I feel giddy and disorientated.

I am walking away from the road at last. The footpath is leading me across a field and through waist high corn or is it wheat? Anyhow, it is a sea of something and in this dull light it isn’t golden but brown.
I resist the urge to stop and turn. I don’t want to know how far I have managed to stray from the road, and whether or not I can still make out the signpost at the edge of the path. Instead, I focus on the field, on the corn or the wheat or the barley or whatever it is. I am aggravated by the fact that I don’t know. It is a little thing and yet it feels important, something that not only I but everyone should know.
Reaching out I trail my hand through the crop as I walk. Just a few months ago I could have unearthed the answer, quickly and easily, the means to do so at no more than an arms length. Tapping a few keys I would have gathered up the information, conjured the facts and figures, photographs and statistics onto a screen.
Stopping I realise that I am delving into my empty pockets. First my jeans and now my coat. I am searching for my phone. It is futile, I know, a pointless act because I remember quite clearly destroying it, the pulling apart and rendering it useless. Yet I can’t stop myself from looking and, using the palms of my hands, I start to pat myself down.
In my confusion, I turn and in order to stop this, to still myself, I start to move again and I am walking back. Toward the road.

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poetry

Pretty Ugly (Sorry, Baby)

Most days I do not
paint it. It remains a
blank canvas, hollow

eyes upon cotton
white, pale lips that
breathe a thousand

sighs, the nose
destroyed by powder
white, flecked with

freckles, I had an
affair with the sun
behind the back of

the moon and look,
another Friday has
arrived too soon.

Tonight I might
paint my death mask:
the blackest eyes,

the reddest lips
savour sweet cider
beg to be kissed

and find myself

again

ignored

again

dismissed

again

alone

hiding in the bathroom
mopping up
the mascara’d mess

that has bled
down shamed cheeks
I tried to look pretty

for you but I know
that I’m just pretty ugly.
Sorry, baby.

The made-up mask
is unconvincing
but what’s beneath

belongs to me
and it will only be
looked at properly

considered finally
in its tragic entirety
in the days after I die

and all you’ll have are hazy
memories of me looking pretty / ugly
(you should’ve looked more closely, baby)

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poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

An imprint of harm

woman wrapped in plastic

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

glassy echo, reflecting

repulsion

There, at the turning of your lips

Words you want to say, willing still

Anger swirling behind dark eyes

They walk calmly

Anything but

Appearance is a veil

I saw you once

Unguarded

Without your battlement

The disguise lay strewn

With other stolen objects

Mere indents in a soft bed

Your madness at the surface

Like a Hydra you panted

For release and weapons

None heard this request

All of you is secreted within layers

No one can unravel

You divide and multiply in your apparent cruelty

There is a token of delight

A brand for some and your bequeathing

Some are not set on this Earth for kindness

They live by the stain left in their wake

An imprint of harm

Slow the leash trains unwilling

Gradual uncovering, sin takes her high chair

In the pit of things you writhe nude and tarnished

We make our own hell with toys of old

Those picture books of loss and shame, shackles for the weary

I could pick you now,

a yellow rose,

your nectar just on the verge.

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poetry, prosetry

Fruitcake

I don’t know if this ache is heartbreak (a) or cocaine (b) or my body physically manifesting all the mental pain (c) that my brain cannot contain & I am not the first poet to notice that these words rhyme & I won’t be the last fuckup to die of (a), (b), (c) or a combination of all three & I can’t keep doing this but of course I will because I’m  insane   a total fucking fruitcake   about to break  ill.

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