art, poetry

Cross Words

Across

1. You’ve got all of the clues

2. I’ve even filled in

3. Some of the answers for you

4. And yet you still

5. Can’t work me out

Down

1. For the most part, I remain blank

2. The truth is hidden behind black boxes

3. Perhaps the riddle of this soul will never be solved?

4. The heart has one piece missing

5. You will never complete me

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Uncategorized

Ode to E

people at concert

Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Pexels.com

I used to turn down drugs with frequent kiss of teeth from 13 years old when they came in the sticky palms of acne faced kids at parties all twinkly and bold, I said I didn’t need them, my teddy and my hope were salvage enough from any monsters, what need had I of medicated foothold?

In the first year away at University, all full chested with the promise of chances, a sudden breakdown crept up like thick mist across campus lake, unpredicted and blinding like filling your mouth with cement and trying to explain why then

I said yes to you

not the kinds doctors prescribed, we all knew Prozac was bad and Valium worse

people can’t diagnose what they don’t begin to understand and the school doctor liked to look down young girls shirts far more than dispense anything wise, his solution was masturbatory and sometimes a bottle of pills with a Big Parma label he’d forgotten to tear off in his penchant for kick-backs and blow-jobs

but in the sweaty clubs, underneath hot strobe

where the unwashed multitudes came together like freak storm and rinsed themselves clean of hate and fear

free of tomorrow’s consequence

I swallowed you down little blue pill you

looking almost as sad as me with your down curled mouth

all made up with the chaff of kissing people who didn’t get

hell can be among us as we walk and even as we dance

you made me sick, I heaved in a corner, my pulse raced, and then

loved-up entered the room, all false and real and teenager heaven

all those years of feeling bent and misshapen, crowded with pain

irrelevant, mistrustful, empty nights burning parts away to reveal

a shadow, a flicker, a dying ember of what you thought existed

on the other side of the red velvet curtain

they were just shades of light against temporal darkness

moments to be passed on and governed and given back incomplete and shaken

luxuriate in a pretend world like you did as a kid

feeling fur and smelling strawberries, seeing stars, hearing

the pulse contain hope like an internal drum

they told us afterwards drugs were bad and kids who

use end up multiplying the error over and over again

maybe if I were my own parent I wouldn’t have signed off

but if I were my own parent I wouldn’t have wound up

needing an end to grief so bad

it got me through the first year and afterwards

I’d tell people I wish I had a t-shirt made that said

E helped me graduate

because it had

 

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poetry, prosetry

This Time

We’ve said it seriously a few times before we really need to stop we cannot possibly carry on like this we can’t keep doing this shit anymore this is getting out of hand we’ve got to calm down we’ve got to stop and this time this time we really truly mean it

so we pledge and sit indoors on a Friday night sober and tired shaking and wired phones buzzing ignore ignore ignoring wake up Saturday morning wow how good it feels to have slept to feel clear in the head to have spent nothing no fights no sex no shame no regret

so let’s celebrate with a bottle of wine and some shots and a few lines because now we know that we can do it or rather do without it so we’re fine and we deserve it because we’ve worked so hard all week and we’re young and it’s fun so why should we impose these crazy rules on ourselves life is for living drugs are for taking drinks are for drinking music is for dancing so fuck it let’s live it let’s do it let’s do this

and then in a couple of days when you’re sick and skint and I’m a depressed mess we can have our little chat again and pledge again and

this time

we

really

fucking

mean it

right?

no seriously
I mean it this time
I know
we’ve got to stop
yes I agree
so do I
right then
that’s good
that’s fine
we can do this
yes
we don’t need any of it
no
everything is gonna be just fine
yes

 

 

 

is it really though?
what?
is everything gonna be fine?
yes

 

 

 

silence

 

 

 

 

 

I could really do with a line
same

 

 
one last line
for the last time
the last line for the last time
yes

 

 

 

 

I really fucking mean it this time
so do I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(’til next time)

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Possession

bonfire burning camp campfire

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

A house without visitor

a life without notice

the invisible among us

silent behind their walls

we think nothing of

in our hour of mirth

trying instead to catch the tailcoats

of that good feeling as long as it lasts.

For some of us, if we are lucky

we never run out

of brightly colored days and regard

for others, life is a jigsaw of incomplete moments

too much spent unnoticed and forgotten

behind structures that do not speak

the words too hard to say.

We are not selfish for wanting to stay

free of sadness, and shrugging it off when seen

though it compounds those many weary souls

alone so often it begins to feel

like a waking death.

I used to wonder at their fortitude, why

they continued on, what kept them going

if anyone ever gave them a thought

never imagining I could become myself

their neighbor in isolation.

There is nothing to be done for it

some of us are by our natures and fate

passed over, left behind, forgotten

no pity required, we sustain ourselves

on the very grief felt, sitting at single tables

trying to open our mouth to sustaining.

Sometimes, even breathing is

an effort

perhaps, when we die early

and unremarkably

this is why

for the body responds to sadness

shutting down, closing off

turning out the last light.

I think of childhood and how I should have known

it was a preparation, or a warning, depending

but then I had hope

and now you cut me off

with not so much as a whisper

and I see my own reflection fade

from all memories and all common ground

to become what maybe it always was

before I ever existed, before

time itself, counted down

loss

though loss is not the right word

for you cannot lose what you

never possessed

 

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poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

This is dying / This is living

grayscale photography of two woman kissing

Photo by Fernando Favero on Pexels.com

Don’t say / that word

case we defame / or endanger

this moment / and the next

cresting night waves against recumbent shore

your arms molded from sand rise and fall

to my perpetuate weave

and we are

like flowers awaiting sufficient light

to open fully

a miracle each time the pallet of

senses born over with each song

held in my chest like women who wet their lips with the sore

chaff of flax before threading it into life

we make our reality

each elbow gracing air with untrained response

ballerinas finding satin undercoat

beneath dance

if leaves covered us, they’d say

Fall never ran out of color

your diminishing form as you lean away

gasping for air and back again into

perfect vision

there are only circles, nothing is

straight lined nor willing to beg for its supper

we two have earned our share of peace

many years of violence

the thrum and rub of pain is an ever

present crystal, hung against day

a kaleidoscope of far away places

we both realized that ache lying

just one layer beneath fevered skin

for you are

this enchanted place within me

a mirror of sea water washing over

the hardness I tried to place in armor

in lieu of a heart

your beneficence and the

arch of your neck bent in sleep

a field mouse of russet and dream

I would gather everything holy

pour the past down trilling drain

vanish with you into wings of night

two stars indivisible, our energy tracing

electric center of the other

this is dying and this is living

neither of us can mouth the enchantment

no longer necessary to verbalize motion

as birds gather their passage to dusk

swooping like dancers ushered from stage

and after everyone is gone

our love shall endure

a hidden thing

blazing brightly

in memoriam

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fiction, life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

her inferno

suicide-in-art-rosie--high

a voice

something still alive

someone trying not to scream

they make a sound that could only be described as an

oral ache

stretch of sinew, wide mouth, no noise, neighbors hear

nothing

there has been too much pain for sound

still tears come, when you think there could be no more

nobody knows, nobody knows, nobody knows

behind well constructed facade, beneath masks

the woman with her head in the oven

probably wrote a decent poem before she expired

smoothed her apron down, sent her kids to school

before turning the dial high

her own sounds of anguish and the hiss of gas

a sigh of sighs

the postman can knock on the door and you can open with a bright

false smile and he will think to himself as he departs, she is such a happy

woman always with a nice thing to say and a bright grin, I wish my wife were

half as content

close the door, gather the rope, sling it securely

the same woman who turns the dial high

prepares her demise with thoughtfulness

she is tutored at deceiving

sickness overwhelms her and she is on the floor tearing at herself

watching from ceiling, a woman unravel and be unable to re-knit

she feels in her solar plexus, in her very marrow, the scourge of loss

she can’t stand it, she can’t stand it, she can’t stand it

the idea time assuages pain, is a falsehood

hers is a road that will always be wet with tears

her eyes are closed and she is imagining how it is some of us

never stop hurting and others can brush off betrayal like lint

walk on unperturbed.

in the silence of her house, the clock in the hallway unwound

she feels the walls closing in, the very sky descend

all her madness like balls of yarn, have no where to pretend

they are okay

she is demented with hurt

voiceless, personless, no-one to reach out to

her arms are cut again and again with the switch of abandonment

she was once someone’s baby

she was once someone’s love

lapsing into unconsciousness in hot overflowing bath

crimson for her unshed horrors, streaking clean floor

did not need to use her own hands in sterile afternoon

washing line blowing emptiness like fallen maps

now she is dirt and dust and a woman without bones

she is sinking into the soft hiss of gas escaping gratefully

if she had the courage she’d light a match to guarantee

her inferno

she left one last message on one last machine

lost in time and the rolling hours curling their faces to the wall

her tinny voice breaking and crackling over distance

saying goodbye without saying goodbye

for even in death she pretends

everything is okay

and when you come home at 6

the table will be laid, your shirt for tomorrow pressed

hanging like a specter

its loose arms waving

in mute appeal

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