life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Untitled #39

I forget

What I lived for back then

Maybe just hope

That indefinable future stretching unknown

It always baffled me how the young

Could give up and try to die

When there was always hope

And some sympathy for their tender years

I want to say to them

Wait until you get here

Then the going gets quiet

People don’t check on you

There is no sympathy for your failing

We’re supposed to be stronger

What doesn’t kill us, right?

Not true

Everything that’s destroyed me did not

Make me more resilient

That’s a lie we tell ourselves and our friends

Or maybe for some it’s a truth

Not for me

I feel with every battering less and less

Less willing to stand and fight

For why?

The illusion things will change?

The care that rarely solidifies

I am so good at lifting others up

So poor at building my house

Because I gave my faith to them

And made nothing for myself

Instead I hear, the voices of the past

Telling me why I’m worthless

And it isn’t just the past

It’s recent and the scar

Never heals

I am

Broken

I survived only to

Fall

I am hurt beyond description

I ache and feel pain every hour

Nothing I do seems to change

The sorrow of every day

It’s too easy to dismiss it away as

Clinical depression

It is not

I simply wish I could safely die

I wouldn’t even feel guilty anymore

I’m too tired to care

Maybe when you’re not cared about that’s what happens

I find it hard to understand why more don’t share my sentiment

I don’t enjoy life

I have no purpose

I have been left by those I loved

I stand alone

Not blaming anyone

Just seeing through

The bullshit

I wish right now

Life were a dream and death reality

An external sleep

No trespass no hope

It has long been gone

And I have tried for ages to hide my belief

There is no point

For whom?

There is a crack in my heart that runs so deep

Maybe it was all a mistake

I wish I could rewind until

I ceased and never had been

It is hard to want to undo yourself

As you continue to flourish

I am tired of trying

I feel that’s all I’ve ever done

It’s a bit of a delusion

Trying and being in pain

Why try? For whom?

If there is no one

I hear the bus

Letting off children

I remember

Being a child

I wasn’t happy then

It’s not who I am

My mother was right though she was wrong

Maybe I’m a lesson from which others learn

There isn’t as much meaning in everything

As we are told

Sometimes we just exist without meaning

And it’s ugly and long

Too long

I wish I didn’t know

How most books

End

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Unaided by light

I was not born for loving

doctor said; It’s a girl

nurse thought; What a shame, life is harder on them

psychiatrist thought; She doesn’t want to be a mother, but let’s not tell her

grandfather thought; Another generation to abuse, watch her grow, but not too much

grandmother thought; Turn your face away. Do not witness, then it never happens

mother thought; I never wanted you.

when I carried you

you reminded me of a rock

I wanted us both to drown

except I would lie and float above

whilst you gulped salty brine

and free of your clutch, hail a boat

take myself somewhere, far from children

I never wanted

trapped by circumstances

anything to escape the confines of my day

but how?

I told this story many years later

by then I was

much older than my mother had been

when she gave birth

and in that jaundice saw

her lot

and shook it off

as any woman escaping shackle would

I do not blame her a bit

nor for her inability to love

me

though others she loves quite well

like folding napkins can be

an art

I do not feel anger toward her

even when she turned her voice from

human to machine

told me to go hang myself when I was ill

“you are too dramatic and I am not

going to take any of your soap opera anymore”

I should have tattooed those words and others

that cut deep and left a permanance

all over my body

because I hear them in my sleep

but the needle was blunt and my favorite song

played in someone else’s room

and the breeze was fresh and I wanted to

like my mother

run away from pain

so I did not hate her because

she is as much survivor as I

just doing what she has to

to maintain some semblance of

denial

it is not the fault of the broken

they cannot perform on cue or

find ways to put back together

shattered trust

though why she picked me of all the people in the world

to loathe

that I shall never understand

I can imagine she would respond, given the chance

oh but darling it’s because you are not worth loving

you are a disappointment and a liar and all things foul

she thinks I don’t know

she is wrong for once or twice or always

such is the calamity of overestimating intelligence

I did no such thing; keeping my mistakes out like a flag

when she left me to drown I only partly did

then and now

just as others have also taken their leave

it is a bloodied procession of grief

she would say it is evidence of

my UN-likability and a pattern is a sign

I’m the issue, I’m the cause, common denominator

does she think I don’t hear those thoughts?

especially from myself

though in truth and without the need

for shrinks to proclaim

I know it’s neither

but some kind of family recipe

repeating itself in clumsy tragedy

I tried to stop it

but some things were in place before I got there

lucky really for bad luck

I wanted a baby of my own

she lays now in formaldehyde

along with my womb

the scar shines in the sun when I

walk to the kitchen in my turquoise panties

I think then of you my darling

the contrast of death and life

your flawless skin against mine

mottled with shorter time and longer

suffering

we were like two cats

let out to search for cream

except I fell in love

even as the rule book dictated

haven’t you learned anything?

I was not born for loving

though love was all I sought

it is the whimsy of the neglected and unwanted

such a cliché, such a burning shame

to follow a trajectory set before you knew

this is the path for idiots, follow carefully until

you too, fulfill the prophecy of fools

I think too often still

of the past, though it will never

save me and only devour

any compunction for peace

I dream of her telling me, she hates me

it feels like petals upon my rotten cheeks

I see her dark eyes retreat and in sleep

reach for her, like somehow

all the scars can be healed, though

nothing I say will ever make her believe

the truth she insists, is a lie

in fact she says;

I am one giant lie

from my name to my ethnicity and birthright

and maybe she is telling the truth

for I have lost myself in make-believe

and catching butterflies

since very young retreating to

what I could pretend and not what was

real and crawling toward me

with the unwavering tenacity of

cruelty

if I could I’d rewrite the future

as I know what it portends

one or other of us shall die

the rest will grieve eternal in fractured silence

such as its always been

generation after generation

losing before truly lost

nothing repairs a pattern sewn

before you were born

and I, as I’ve told you

was not born for loving

though it consumes me still

especially when I am weak

which is often as

the sunlight will predispose me

to fantasy

thinking I see you reaching for me

taking all the pain back

returning your heart to where

as a child I placed it

high and gleaming

the greatest illusion of all

warding off my fear that

reality was

real

so

whitewash the sky my love

paint the steps

polish the lamps

this evening we will watch

the night flowers perfume

and bloom

unaided by

light

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life, poetry, prosetry, Uncategorized

Going home

Old and new

Play

Like friends who never liked each other

Standing here, I could be there

Laughing, lolling about Route 66

Your hair wax stained cowboy hat on the table

The clink of sweating beer bottles

I always did better striving than living

Being a pretend person, now . . don’t knock it

Has some draw

We laughed out of fear and the fear felt good

Like real life and grabbing things by beaded throat

We roared our mirth like tigers, at the absurdity and the sorrowful

It reminded me of my grandmother’s funeral

My dad and I weeping with hot besmerched giggles

She would have understood, she would have joined in

that Katherine Hepburn smile, and the outline of something sad

That’s just how this family rolls

We laugh when tragedy feels crushing and put reality on hold

A frozen picture on TV, static and unspoken

When the wake is over and everyone has left their condolences

In a nice row

Searching for your people

Coming up empty handed

Just as I thought I couldn’t give more away

You call me out of the blue

A stranger sharing my last name

Funny how life takes and takes

And then it gives

Like a hand on your shoulder

When you’re thinking of jumping

The both of you grew thin

I put on all your weight, inherited the space

Given away by years and wrinkles

You said; Now heed me young lady

You’re standing in for us now

Do a fine job and I saw in the line and curve of your jaw

The man you were, the man you were not anymore

Strangers and bloodlines, all running together

Now you’re both gone

I’m relieved and itchy under the skin with the lie

Pretended so long

I don’t know how to be, whatever I am

We were a tribe the three of us

Now I’m starting over

In my own land again

A stranger

Of familiar, unknown places wearing unreadable clothes

Sharing my bed with regrets and hope

Like nothing and everything has changed

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fiction, life

WORD FROM THE WORKING MEN’S CLUB

chris-r-0334 Image by Christine Renney

The day after his eldest brother had taken his own life the boy’s dad drove into work. The boy was eighteen, a man but watching his dad from the passenger seat he felt like a child. His dad, braving it in the faces of the speechless, made no demands that day. And the boy did what he did, which was nothing.
Over the next few days the boy’s dad heard from the others. They all said that nobody would have, that nobody could have, known.

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art, fiction, life, prosetry

Such is the inequality of them

egon-schiele-the-family

Night before

his letter landed on the hall way mat like a whisper

she was in the top bathroom, where the wicker shades made everything warm and orange, taking a hot bath, a purge of sorts

her bags packed, she bathed, no urge to touch the frozen parts of her, threatening to disrupt her plans, outside was monochrome, the dullness of impending Winter shifting itself stiffly in chair

still and far from her, he knew he had the power

the letter read ten pages, one message, come out into the night and sit with me I have to win you back before you leave

if she could go back now in time she would say to herself sitting in hot bath, wiping the condensation and seeing her youth

don’t

instead she went, hearing his call like the sound of blood, she went and she opened a vein and he drank deeply

they had nowhere to be alone so they climbed over the gates of the bowling park and he pressed her against the cherry trees in his departing lust

then she ached, between her and for her, knowing by saying yes, she was creating an impossible journey

Day of

Her father’s car stolen they drove a large rental van with her futon and toys in the back she left most of her books and hardly had any music, though she packed frugally she took with her the biggest thing, that stone wrapped in twine threatening to drown her

he watched her as she turned the road and the white van recedes like a winter bird

he felt he had captured the bird again and for this, he was glad

arriving she saw the sterile room, the bed punched to the wall hardly large enough for even anorexia, like a shelf bidding her to climb down and sleep in trees

her father tried not to cry so much his face turned to chalk and they walked down by the lake and watched the birds shimmer on the cold surface without seeing their reflections

when he left she tried not to howl, retreating to her room she hid like she knew to do so well and soon the others in the dormitory thought the room was uninhabited and they were partially correct

The day after

She called him from the pay phone, she wanted to say, come up, come up and wipe away my emptiness

instead she said it was okay and talked about the rabbits and the birds and the classes she had written down on a long list next to her books and her packs of cigarettes and her emptied stomach

he felt content knowing she was on a shelf waiting for him to pluck her in dissection

The week after

It isn’t hard she thought, to leave this world and inhabit another

by day she walked the concrete catwalk of the college, watching fat cheeked children, doused in piss and vinegar, play at maturity

by night the children of mirth drank themselves into glasses, and she who could not afford to eat, sat outside her room on the balcony and wanted to jump

The month after

The counselors proclaimed her fit to continue, she knew how to out fox any psychological tests, her eyes did not give her away but had they looked underneath her sleeves maybe then she would have been packed on a train and sent to a calm room with a larger bed

he visited briefly, enjoying the unfurling countryside whisked past on train, and the feeling of being out of the city, as much as his devour of her and her increasing thinning skin, illuminated by moonlight

they lay together, smoking and reading, he took frequent sips of her until she ran dry and then he took another long draught, ensuring she knew who marked her for possession

when he left, she cycled back from town, wobbly from not eating, light-headed in a dreamy way that made it easier and switched to sleeping on the floor

The second month after

Starvation is an art, rarely employed willingly she knew those who did, were certain of their actions, whilst she, only knew what she did not want and she did not want to be aware of herself

the instructors noticed the girl in the back of the room wrote thoughtful essays if a little disordered, and she did not seem to talk to anyone else

she saw his absence, the welt on her ribs, and knew if she had not accepted him again she would now be feeling nothing of his rejection, it was only her and her alone who was at fault for being weak enough to believe stone changes from stone to water

the boy without eyes scratching surfaces, turned to her with his savage instrument pointing her way, and with his mouth spoke entreaty and she felt sorry for him and let him into her small room and her tiny bed on the floor and they broke themselves into pieces trying to burn each other out

afterward a life flickered dimly, hardly holding on in the shrinking of her, it clutched at her resource like a rabbit seeking burrow at night fall

he did not visit because he had found that other flowers grew by the side of the road and one in particular, a night rose, had petals he was addicted to

Three months after

She bore with all her energy, the watery rose-tinted creation who without breathing, moved and then died in a grave of her tears

she buried her grandparent and her child on the same hill overlooking the lake, in her heart, and stood still enough for birds to feel safe and land nearby to search for worms beneath the frosty grass

he came once more, enveloped by the smell of others, curious more than longing, and this time he was not kind and his eyes looked away when she bled and hurt for his return tore her open, when she had been deliberately folding herself like a stained sheet back into perfect square

leaving the school she walked up to the furthest point of the hills above the lake and lay down, a blanket of wool and some pills the doctor mistakenly trusted her with, a quart of something that would drowse regret

the boy without eyes did not know she was fading, he was writing songs about his conquests and his heart was full of excitement because he now knew his own power and the taste of a girls acquiescence

it was never told that she carried a part of him within her, and had he been aware, it is doubtful at that time he would have cared. Twenty years later it was a distant regret and no more, he didn’t even spend time wondering what became of her, or consider the soil beneath which, his flame slept

he grew rich because he believed in himself and his infallibility, and the women who passed through his bed, they confirmed this, with their nodding heads and compliant thighs parting to show him where he could plunder

such is the inequality of them

Twenty years later

She lies still for the surgeon, he cuts and perforates whilst listening to Chopin

soon a part of her that made life, is dull and suspended in formaldehyde

she has empty arms

his arms encircle her waist

imagine seeing you here in the city again after so long!

she is still as slender as a reed, he has a little balding but has the same sharp teeth and black eyes

are these your children? she asks nodding at the little hands clasping his trouser legs

yes this is Amy she’s ten, Mark is seven, Sylvia is five and my wife is holding Jo he’s only fourteen months

you have a beautiful family

thank you it’s so good to see you again you’ve hardly changed

as they part ways, she feels the heaviness of his hand around her, and the flicker of interest on his lips wet with speech

A week later

I thought I would call and see if you’d like to go to lunch?

I would love to

they meet in a place they used to go, his suggestion and that’s how she knows

that evening

your company gave you this apartment in the center of town?

yes for late nights, it’s easier than commuting to the suburbs, my family understands

he lays her down by the fire-place on the rug, and the years between them are no longer

where did you get this scar? he points to the thin silver crossing her pubic bone

it was an accident

he takes off her clothes, she is still concave and white like a pearl in the reddened darkness of the room, he has a slight paunch and several strains of bacteria picked up from riding horses until they dropped

you’re the same slip of a girl you were when I first met you, your hair is still red, and you still smell like autumn

as he lowers himself onto her, he feels her mouth on his neck, a whisper, like an envelope falling onto mat

i loved you so much

then a stinging feeling, light-headed, almost pleasurable, he doesn’t understand why everything is slightly tilted

now he is lying on the rug, looking up at her, she is dressing, she doesn’t bother with her buttons and throws her coat over her cold breasts and shivering

he cannot form the words, if he knew what they were, he would like to say, as edges begin to finger indistinct he might say you are still so beautiful, he might say, I never loved you, I planted an abomination in you and I left, glad for my freedom and your neglect

and she would say, before closing the door quietly, no I am not beautiful I am dammed, and I am empty, and I have drunk my fill of you and this has set me free and now I will run with the wind until it gathers me up into pieces and flings me every which way, so that I do not exist and you do not exist and this, this we made, sleeping in earth, can be still at last

such is the equality of them

 

 

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