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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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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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Pas de capital

On monmouth street, the devil lingers

smells the blood of things to come

fingers dipped in black magic

cigarettes and hashish on a double decker bus at midnight

feeling muscles pulled tight from dancing for hours

they left their bloody conscience by the door, it stuck, it did not close

well at all

wanting sex and drugs and and end of time

condom wrappers litter festival floor like signets

her father invited different women each weekend to sample

his sorrow and she

climbed down drain pipes to go where all

kids without structure hang

an empty playground with burnt spoons and plastic needles

the boys there, let her be, they liked their meat less

tenderized

one year she read eighteen plays of marlow and

three anais nin, the latter had her wet and thirsting

but the bathroom door possessed no lock

wax your legs, but not your crotch, the feminists at

night-school implored, she was one of them but not

able to summon the desire to behave well

where do night birds go when they want to devour?

Different to everyone here and the same

a pulse urging movement, willing escape

fucking strangers without pronounceable names

tight buttocks, red hose, patent shoes, broken heals

against radiators leaving stripes down her thighs

such is the transpose and yield of hormones

one day you’ll look back & regret will not be what you see

sleeping on fur coats in the dressing room at 23.00pm

platinum hair on your lapel, can you survive her

blistering disregard or is it what you want?

Sitting cross legged eating tinned asparagus as he

jacks off to henry & june, the part where uma thurman

and her incredible triangular breasts, reach

lighting up blunts on promenade des anglais

grinding hips in la croix des gardes after the gates are locked

no protection, you’re already ruined thrice over

with someone who leaves you before they’ve begun

your grandmother is jarring jam from fallen fruit and she accuses you

of stealing her cigarette money which you did not do

you were out in the garden playing in the faraway tree

eating scabs and letting the neighbor undo your shoes

they fall like birds wings without bird into pond

once you drove your bike into that water and leaches

left their love kisses on your arms

like that boy who fed you clafoutis, calisson and cough candy

when you ran a fever and he sucked on your flat bosom

like starving tight rope walker

running down le suquet in search of brown eyed kids

to buy alcohol and pastille du mineur, danging white legs

and tanned toes into dirty water

one said; You are too flat chested I like them bustier

you smiled in relief, punched their thin arms and ran off

secretly desiring the older sister who stood silhouetted against

setting sun, darkness of her skin reflecting thrashing waves

like she had been born from the urgent depths

her lips large and angry with her age, gauloises yellowing

hardly smoked just flung from painted finger to finger

you longed to reach underneath her blouse, to

black lace, brown skin, white lines

on her dressing table, saints, glaring disapproval

she liked boys with mopeds, tight jeans, long hair

no matter how hard you tried you could not

interest her apathique boredom into desire

instead punishing yourself, with last minute trains to other cities

necking at le grand rex, with sour tasting boys

who supplied black smokes and soft necks

in the darkness of raspoutine snorting on her thigh

leading to empty windows and

the feel of late summer on clammy nude skin

he tells you to close the curtains, watching as you

turn, slender and warm, toward him and away

mother at la main bleue, her own lithe figure

sharpening history, walking into rooms without

locks, a family legacy.

In tenerrife they say without a tan, stand outside

too young for adults, too mature for boys

an urgent pulse, the stage a bouquet of bodies

a turkish man gives me a rose, says I remind him of

sissy spacek, I lend

a blushing danish girl my last pesos, she

returns an hour later and shares a lemon ice

her long tongue licking it between smiles

it’s midnight and the buses run by the half

in earls court where whores and rich men

laugh, knives on board better to walk

he’s holding me up, he’s holding me down

we create a child, we lose ourselves in curling throng

when I see him again, it’s ten years later

his black eyes have bags underneath, he looks like he’s

been carrying grief for the children of pont des invalides

to battersea bridge with green birds no longer there when

it was cold and her art in the water lost

nobody but I believed it happened

je n’ai jamais voulu être blessé. Je voulais être aimé. Violemment.

now she has a child and I ache to hold

onto that time with

both hands.

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