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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Uncategorized

There are no rehearsals left, only curtain fall

As it grows dark

As the corners of today’s page furl

Empty rooms, homes without windows, drugs without users, a body untouchable, growing cold

As if alight sparing flame

Never to relive

Nor consume nor nourish

This terrible emptiness

As she feels the pain that comes afterward

Inevitable. Old. Crushing. Familiar.

She wants to run to you

But you’re long gone, if ever present

Diminished and relinquished

Pouring medicine down the drain, till needful of no refreshment

Even beauty turns to stone

Even love robs itself destitute

As lovers hate the very thing that made them burn

The taste in her mouth of ashes

Written across her brow in heavy stroke

The cross, the lentern, the falsehood

This room loses light as she gradually declines

On her knees, so many years without touch; lies in place of comfort

Words growing smaller and smaller

A shadow book within a grace freshly dug, till she can see no more but the internal crush of loss

She was an addictive personality who couldn’t get out of her mould, it stuck like gelo, that tendency toward

Melancholy and suicide

If you find her dead you can bet one of her vices is responsible

When she meets people who have not soaked their souls in cigarettes and vodka

Feeling more in the daytime bar than ever something clean and starched

Broken girl parts

Snapped in half before they knew how to stand up

Hers is a sickness, dances in pearls around her neck till pulled tight

Wanting the abyss of psychedelic music and dream of hashish

Intoxicate the pain, numb further urge to destroy what’s left

And push yourself inside me, join the sorrow dot by dot till we both burst

Such is the loveliness of sex in the fulment of grief

Replacing one pain with another small death

The telephone doesn’t ring

She doesn’t call or receive these days

The silence as palpable as the knife she carves her arms into ribbons with

They’ve danced this dance before

There are no rehearsals left, just curtain fall

Think of how it felt, long ago

Before the end, in the middle, lost now

The heaviness of her wanting is blunted by knowing

These people have only their irrevocable actions

Sparring with one another, the blood of first strike hitting white snow in masterpiece

Crimson against a hundred promises, a new form of murder

Sitting, watching herself go through the motions

Good girl who kisses her loved one, tucks in the bed sheets tight

Dreaming of broken glass down her throat, three grey birds and a fingerful of coke

The rage of impotence across flayed landscapes

That flesh and sinew long hung to cure, speaks nothing

Doesn’t forget the rebuke, even as forgiveness is yoked, chain on soft skin

To every ending

Time ticks down without mercy, and if she lives to your age

Just like you, setting the tableaux of your life, there’ll be nothing to say

But the horror of silence before deafening rain

Then she picks up her existing and leaves

Soon it seems, she was never there, just a handful of misspoken words and rage

Drinking clouds, the truth, spares the speaker

She has a generation of distillers and eyes that carry pain as if it were their child

Tonight she won’t be meeting you, she’ll keep on driving

There’s a drop off somewhere, she knows, a fateful road where the turn is sharp

And unexpected

Even for the most familiar driver

It takes a kind of control

She never ever possessed.

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