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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poetry

Feels

Feeling nothing is still a feeling
so is feeling numb (i.e. feeling unable to feel anything)
I have a hard enough time trying to survive with feeling tangible feelings,
let alone non-feeling feelings that make me feel as if I can’t feel anything at all
and ‘feel’ does not look like a real word anymore
but it must be real as I feel its definition swimming in my brain
(an organ which, actually, cannot physically feel)
and I feel sick of feeling all the feelings
I am sick of feeling sick
Fuck feeling feelings
I don’t want any
I don’t want a single one

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Uncategorized

Did you?

Do you see her?

She is buried by her own regard beneath Stolichnaya soaked tree out back

fingers bound with whispering, her mouth artless in its appetite for deception

she’s yours if you’ll have her, the gaudy paint washed off, she’s quite the peach

stretching her capacities like yawning olive tree, aching to unburden heavy fruit

Do you see her?

Or just her famine, dripping from exposure?

To sore things and empty eyes, voting their dislike in shards

She hasn’t the mercy of your mother nor the muscles of your brother

Hers is a hungry abstaining of will and transfer

If she could she’d eat the pink

But illusion renders her welcome and like the rest

She settles in for the long haul, a bag of peanuts and a fat lip

You promised her sanctuary, a place that has never existed

Except in gilded books and crevices of time

Where he left her be and she grew into something golden

Even as the light didn’t get in.

Do you see her?

She is shining until it’s all used up

Then someone else will take over

And the lint of her swept up

Will be recycled for another audience, another era

Thinking they’re the first

To witness such a thing.

(Photo by Ruth Marie Westwood, 2020.)

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prosetry

Life As We Know It (Now)

Fortnightly overdoses and falling asleep in the bath

Ridiculous wine descriptions and tattooed knuckles

Antiseptic and anticipation

Disappearing acts and swapping house keys

Superglue and frozen teeth

A stolen bottle of mustard and an Irish funeral

Forgetting and failing and faking and Fuck Forever-ing

Rusty kisses and missing the last bus

Betting slips and 56 missed calls

Vanilla vodka and the First Casualty of The War

Coffin shopping and cryptic crosswords

LSD and the ghost of Keats on Hampstead Heath

Tampon strings and sewing machines

Vaping and scaffolding

Tinned peaches and bascule bridges

Hugo Boss shirts and serial killers

A shelf-less bookshelf and ignoring aeroplane safety demos

Swimming to Mexico and believing in angels

3-day stubble, you’re bang in trouble, double up for £1

Pinching each other because we aren’t entirely convinced that we’re alive

Marriage proposals and morphine dreams

Rhetorical questions and infinite eggshells

Spying on the neighbours and eating jam doughnuts with a knife and fork

Lordship Lane and waking up with two black eyes

The United States of Shock and Dismay

Blonde on Blonde and accidental asphyxiation

A pint of daffodils and the view from the bell tower

Blood tests and a ouija board

Perjury and the 4-hour Happy Hour

Grey hairs and burnt toast and wondering what the hell it’s all about


Originally published 24th February 2017

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poetry

Elizabeth

she looked like a girl I knew
but stranger
a creature
dental-floss hair
ice in her eyes
tattoos on her toes
tequila on the tip of her tongue
where did she come from?
that whole afternoon
we told stories by the pool
about parents and books
and drugs and the moon
and smoked cigarettes on the beach
with the sea up to our knees
and shared hugs and kisses
and promises and secrets
and I told her
that I’d rather be happy and never write again
than feel this sad/bad/mad forever and have poetry in me
and she said no no no
you must love your pain, your sadness is you
and I told her
that I wished more than anything
that I had nothing to write about
that my notebook was empty
that my heart was good and full
that my life was simple and easy
that my brain was quiet and dull
and she said no, no way,
no way, that’s not true
oh Elizabeth,
my darling girl,
you have no fucking clue.

 

Originally published at Treacle Heart.

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Mahogany

The train to my heart is very slow

Stopping at many stations

On the crowded platform a young girl watches her mother go

She never turns around, the mahogany of her hair becoming indistinguishable against fading day

A girl who since loses sight

Listening rather than seeing

Smelling the impression of movement

Folded like a Spanish rose on my chest, I breathe you in

How you form words with your quick violinist arms

Taut tense musculature, willing air demons

Those same arms clutching me to you, heart beating, no words

It rained that day all day from morning to night

“That never happens here” you said, mouth full of plum

“The desert doesn’t like to give up its ghosts. Come here to me, come back to bed”

And I

In my shedding evening dress, trailing thought

Confessed my sum;

The train to my heart is very slow

Stopping at many stations

None to embark

Stay the course

In our chalked circle

Tracing abbreviated land with invisible hands

Till cactus give wild her bloom and color reborn

Your eyes in darkness, catching light, like wine beneath glass

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Ransom

black and white body dark feet

Photo by John Rocha on Pexels.com

she’s ransomed for chunk change

by the betrayal of her inward gaze

pain and her varied pins

the reddened lips of an untruth

poised to strike

she stopped writing then as if

they etched her into stone and left her to moss

and rain

fall.

As a child she was told again and again

you will fail

she, being headstrong and determined

never did.

They said she wasn’t clever enough so she

left the first place prize on their desk with the words

don’t destroy futures

carved into the wood just like

her tomb.

As an adult she decided

there is no fate, you make of life what you will

by never giving up

and that worked well until the illness

turned her into a wraith and sucked the life force

out

leaving emptiness within.

No matter how hard she tried,

living

and its delights

did no longer appeal

she had a vested interest in

letting go.

God

did not speak to her

she tried calling but

the line was busy

all she could hear

voices under water murmuring

prayer, curses, little confessions

wrapped in violet leaves and cast

from sight.

Her blind faith

had improved

in the darkness she stumbled

alone because when you hit the bottom

there is rarely anyone there to pick you up

those people who pretend to giveashit really

don’t

they only suck the same air as you

noisily like cattle at trough

it is rare to find loyalty or even true depth

especially in people made of

empty promises.

So easy you see, to say, yes you mean the world to me

in fact if you did not exist, I would die surely

my life depends upon yours and I am unable

to imagine a day without you.

Such little words, running like little ink

spreading like little lies, falling like

little shoes thrown into lakes

before the drowning.

See here? Your smile and the benificence of

your factor? I could measure

the extent of your professed heart ache

in jelly beans and find

sugar is too sweet

truth has a bitter taste

especially when it lies

dormant and wilted beneath your tongue

a key without opening.

your falsehood, like an actress pealing her stockings down

slow and smooth

I think of the times I wanted to believe badly enough

I swallowed the whole cocktail

syrup and all

just to feel for one moment

something was real

and we all descend

like discarded play things

compelled to stay beneath the surface

lower in gravity we sink

until air is a daydream

until breath a distant memory.

Your loyalty had a hole in it

the size of your folded lies

and in darkness we find all things

reveal themselves

including the tarnish sitting just beneath

glittering promise.

So then, what of the day above? And its

mercy

radiating like hands

pulling us up through weeds

long have we been submerged

in the weight of betrayal

there in, our sickness no end

just the owl leaving treeline for his prey

sharp eyes scouring landscape

just the lost embrace before you

punched your ticket and entered

the void.

Here I am swaddled in

soyousaids

and words do not hold much

resonance with me anymore

I am a creature of pain and unsettling

rinsed in regret, I find no place

to feel certain

only that time will continue to count down

toward something eventual and quiet

like the sound of a clock that persists

after the end of the world

has bid her leave

to tick.

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