art, fiction, life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Pure & broken

Emily-DiDonato-Nude-Narcisse-Magazine-Spring-Summer-2017-Cover-Editorial03Lie in bed


Lest what stands beyond threshold

Threatens calm

Waking to the sound of winter silence

Clutching at inanimate objects

The seen friends who do not reply

Delve deeper into the mind

Where disturbance is held away

By merciful imagination

How long can a child


And make-believe?

The sounds of fighting through the walls

Even the deaf hear

The crack in plaster grows wider

Each day carpet higher

Till jungle swallows child


Her own words ingrowing

Dance when no one is looking

For nobody did

Turned faces absentees

Hunger for attention

At first an annoying shame-faced thing

Then the end of longing


You placed me in a room of my own and said


I did not


Half of me turned into plaster and chipboard and carpet fibers

And half climbed out windows and got lost

Letting her feathers be plucked early

By stranger fondling hands and false words

Prophet’s without prophecy

Girls born without reason

Growing in one ache

The silence their lover and their torment

Sliced in half

One, a creature straining to survive herself

One the albatross of finely dressed humans

Absenting themselves from responsibility

She says

You damned me

You shut me up

You expected me to thrive and grow in darkness and coal

As you closed the door and said entertain yourself

She switched the camera on and let them come one by one

Watch her fall beneath the lights

Mayhap dancer, mayhap pornographer

No words escape her

She moves her pain

Above you like light streaming down

Pure and broken into prisms

fiction, life


Chris R-0763 Image by Christine Renney

We are both eloquent when cruel and each determined to undermine the other. But my drinking has begun to take its toll and I am now at a disadvantage. We have been like this for hours and it is still early, just seven in the evening.
Clara shows no sign of flagging. In a loose fitting and shapeless cotton dress, her skinny frame almost entirely engulfed, she rages. Bloated from the beer and in my too tight trousers I feel naked, exposed. I close my eyes and try to concentrate on the words she hurls so effortlessly, time and again hitting the mark and, although I am unable to respond, I am impressed with Clara’s performance.
Her dialogue is worthy of Cassavetes or Carver, sparse yet unsparing. If only I could rise to the challenge but what would be the point? In the morning I won’t remember. All bitter recriminations will be reduced at best to a simple list, each in its designated column.

Despite the fact that I haven’t read as much as a sentence in more than a year, I have a selection of novels stacked on the coffee table beside me. Clara now draws my attention to this neglected heap, this testament to my lethargy and indifference. She lifts a book from on top and studies its cover. I watch her intently, readying for her next line.
‘I remember once you were going to write one of these but now – well, you can’t even be bothered to read one,’ she spoke softly, the wrath in her voice has now been replaced by something else, something I want to confront even less and I hope not to remember.
Mustering for all I am worth, I shrug my shoulders. Clara throws the paperback. It hits me on the shin, bouncing onto the rug at my feet. I pick it up and, steeling myself, determined not to glance in her direction, I start to rip out its pages, letting them drop, uncrumpled, on the floor.

It is always at midnight or thereabouts, a few minutes before or after that I am able to conjure the right words. Clara has long since taken to her bed and it is too late. I could wake her of course, and often I have come close. But I can’t help but feel a line has been clearly drawn underneath all she has said. And it only seems fitting that I should be forced to play out my part alone, that this unwanted clarity of mind should be painfully wasted.


Medicate (be Happy or Else)

To prevent heartache do not breathe when ejected from the birth canal.

Better still, get born a lemon. No heart. No lungs. No feels or anything. Lemons don’t scream when they’re getting their insides screwed out by the twisty turny hand of fate.

Such a pity that you won’t even make for a cool, refreshing beverage. Your insides are, at best, an unpalatable mush. Emotions make you weak – you know that, don’t you? You’re unfit to whet the supping lips of beings more deserving of life than you.

Oozing failure as soon as squeeze you. No, it’s better if you weren’t a lemon at all. Be stillborn instead. You’d be good at that.

There was such joy when you came into the world. Look how you’ve let everyone down. Now, tell me again how you’re not going to swallow those pills. You should be ashamed.