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A Few Wise WordsTo love someone who loves you
is a charming want and need;
To love someone who doesn't
is a foolish thing indeed.
Nowhere Is SafeIn time, you will realise that nowhere is safe.
When the memory buries away in you, those
vanished lurks of your childhood dreams
the small nooks you clambered, hid as a kid;
a cavernous tree, the nebular playhouse,
a snuggled bed with an endless quilt;
you would be a dancer, then a pirate, a soldier,
while dreaming you slept, thumb safe in your mouth,
and you realised your personal Nowhere was safe.
And when this fairy-land dies years later
not with quiet dignity,
but wrenched and smashed by unknown forces,
by mad-men, deadly as bulls;
a bomb will strike, instantly crushing those
places, those dreams, those memories,
stripping the flesh from a hollow bone,
and you will realise that nowhere is safe.
Scrambling through ash, you may find someone's memory.
An high-heeled shoe, the sole cracked. A singed book,
A child's pink plimpsole.
Sifting through sand like a God, passing blurred judgement
on objects at the mercy of dust,
at the mercy some man's delusional taste, bitter a
A Piece of NiceWe conquered a beach in faraway France
on that postcard picnic of a day.
Making marks in photographs,
and washing our faces in continental waves:
Baking bread, cheddar cheese, and deftly yells in the market-place.
We frog-marched cobbled streets of blushing pastel colours,
lead by a sergeant with a lollipop stick,
and though dad took our mugshots facing the sun
We decided we liked it,
and decided to take a chunk of Nice.
simple as a sigh
gaped at the rolling blue like an ignorant fish,
that snatched foamy fingers at shimmering shingle
and the tourists lolled like jolly, plump seals
as I tried to write a poem in my head.
Marc the conqueror,
in his sandal-sock boots, shorts and shirt,
prowled in the sights like a proud English beast,
and stamped to the shore with daring feet,
to wet the tips of his toes in a cool French breeze.
The dreamer and the darer became one thought:
synchronized, we stooped at the shore,
bowed to th
HumanI can string a few words to pull you along,
maybe create a concoction to turn your head.
But I do not own the ways or the means
to make you look
and keep looking.
And these hands are merely hopeless hands:
the paper your fingers hold is less feeble.
My words are grey splodges, a child's waterpicture. But
tear the page's edge, and a cascade of bright paint would spill on your palm,
and you could trace your fingertips through the colours,
and watch them whirl on your skin.
And my eyes are a cavernous window-pane.
Look close and it is bluey-green-grey,
tinted and squinted, far from beautiful.
Not an interesting painting to marvel at,
but an obvious photograph of thought. Glanced over with a
tentative pass, rather than admired with interested brow.
And my body was never sculpted from timeless marble
but mortified mortal clay I am marked, and bent,
and if you were ever to touch me at all,
I would hold it to my bones like a shockwave.
It would leave a print, a mould of you
Plath or HughesThey vandalised your stone, you know.
Scraped his name from its grey façade
and left you lying as you were. Not disrupting the dead,
per se, but I think they were only mildly content
that he had to pay for the damages.
Now, a copy of you lives on my shelf,
and your husband hides there too.
Sometimes, unconsciously, I might push you both apart
shove a book between you two
to make an unhappy sandwich.
Or, when I am feeling thoughtful,
I might place you two together and stand you tall,
both published under the same symbol:
one black and white; one blue and red,
and I wonder if it's cruel
if you might spin a scream in your sleep,
rage; wonder, wail and weep,
or simply sigh, and shake your head.
The Sylvia Plath EffectYou're up there, you know, with the Brontës and Poe.
I wonder what you would think,
if a woman who likes to paint words as you did
though, with a crude, abominable hand
that colours feeble words grey
would dare pen lines of you as I do now.
Would you drone at me in droves?
I have listened to your work;
heard you call beyond the void over a modern medium,
and heard your small, powerful voice crack
through a raw, wrenched earthquake.
If I want to read a poem I listen to you:
hear your faltering call say daddy, daddy,
and feel a clamber up my skin like a spectral hand,
and a little voice saying listen and repeat,
this is how you do it; you've a lot to learn.
And the 'effect' is not death but finding words through death.
You were too blue, true; your palette of pastels
brimming with black-ink, watercolour grey
like the photographs of you
are placid ghosts on a web, looking out for a listener.
But I see the simple grief in a word,
Fast Flying Train TracksThere is a secret in the corner of my mouth.
Look: the world has changed colour overnight,
flourishing in the midst of a sleeping sun.
And since when did train tracks fly so fast?
Fields blur, becoming tossing green sprays,
and flowers merge into vibrant hues:
splashes of reds, yellows, clear blues.
You are under my nails, caught up in my hair.
Your conjurer's fingers are sweeping the land,
filling every nook. No space for a thought.
And I am spinning starlight from my memories,
capturing sounds in a jar. Already, our meeting
is a handprint on mine, cupped carefully in my grasp.
And do the people in the carriage know?
See my reflex smile, the wild glint in my eye?
Are their noses too buried in papers and books?
Listen, sad strangers, I will show you a trick:
Breathe, sigh soft on a window pane. Trace the contours
of their name like slight silk under fingertips,
feel their face, their upturned mouth, their very mind
through the curve of a vowel, the tip of a letter.
And here is the magi
The Ghost of HerWe drank stiff drinks, our toast to the ghost.
We have sent her away. She haunts not within
our cumbersome house. All is quiet and sound.
My wife gulps water, pretending it's gin.
She did not put up fights when we called in for help,
nothing shrill like before with her echoing wail,
she did not take flight, smash a glass as the wall,
but accepted the end of her miserable tale.
It rattled us all. Before her exile,
she joined poltergeists of the highest degree,
made phantom-limbs lob white dinner plates
she gave us for our anniversary.
She hurled abuse at us both. Bit my wife on the wrist.
Kept us always awake with her child-scream choir,
would endlessly moan, and raise her voice
to the shrill siren screech of a banshee on fire.
We were patient with her, knew it was not real.
She encompassed her wrath onto those she loved best;
the fury for leaving her old human form:
we have put her away, in a place she can rest.
We picked from the brochure a quaint quiet home:
it cost thousands, but gu
Still-Life SetsThe tip of your tongue is tangible. I recall
your heady scent, clambering under my skin to stick.
Your still-lifes stay secure in time, vivid colours, a certainty.
I pull them out when I get the chance, lick my thumb and flick through.
When no one is here, I get the gruff catch of your voice.
I see the way your throat moves to accommodate sound:
Your eyes hide light. A hint of a corner of an upturned mouth
like a well-turned page of a well-loved book.
Here is my favourite. You are laughing in this one,
your head tossed back in a glorious arc, eyelids genuinely scrunched.
An honest-to-God-all-out belly-laugh: something tickled you. Not me.
But I smiled all the same, feeling toasty, complete.
And all those years spent sleepwalking When we first met
you didn't move sat still like a pond at sunrise.
But you picked me up by the shoulders and shook;
The first thing my opening senses saw were two blue headlights, comforting.
You flew away. Never said goodbye. I was hop
eight ways you've made me small1. I wish
this was for you.
2. my journal pages - the
brown one with all our monologues -
were jarred with hollow vows of
last poems of
letting you slip into a coma
of bad memories, watching you
fall to your death off
a cascading cliff of disease
and dis ease.
it was never
easy for me
3. there's a reason I ask
whether you're grey
(dark white, elusively black, in between)
or blue (behind the clouds, under wave-foam,
whateverthefuck runs through the back of my
palms); I'd rather have
than the arms
that once held you half-
heartedly. you had always been
my harmony and I
would have killed
to have been yours.
4. it could never have been just me, the way
it could never have been just
5. disasters are not beautiful,
but how is it that you
managed to make my inner linings
converge into bows
and explode into wings the very
night you decided to rebuild your walls
to a lower height?
6. I wish
diaryi thinned recall,
strangled memory until she screamed black
or blue, strung her source of voice along
the willowed incline of vein to wrist and down
let the curl thirstily imply
just how cut it is to pain in numbers:
one scar for extravagant wine dates, three
for the number of times we fucked crying,
eight for forgotten promises of ever after
i heard a sordid song in your tallied matchstick
bones, victorian in beauty & proper repression
of the bloody details like a bruise we push beneath
our hollow skin with dirty fingernails
see, the past is not a headless infant with knives for
playful fingers, though it is not to say
that cribs or birdcages hold anything more than
what we leave them to engulf
i swallowed you whole, ocean— basked by the enchantments
of soft-spoken life, bathed by neurotic erosion.
they taught me that the cleansing of your body now
fades the transient you of yesteryear, speak in familiar tongue:
bathroom stall mirages of rounds, clocks, convey
Whenever I hurt myselfI have a feeling
Someone is watching
So I look around
But there's no one to be found
ExpirationWith you I always feel like I’m
to break in the wrong size of shoes.
Sometimes I sit and stew
over how you’re seventeen and
you think I’m a princess
the trapped-in-a-tower kind
and how you wear suits and talk about politics
and think you know the world.
My throat interrupts with an affronted gurgling sound
sometimes when I think about you,
you deal out advice where it just isn’t called for
you quote science-fiction to justify war
and you’re seventeen years old and you think I’m a princess
and you just have no blooming idea.
Darling, one of these days I will tell you my mind
But until then we’ll never fit
I’m afraid –
that even after that day
you’ll still be trimmed hedges and
Makers Of The Cage. Holders Of The Key.Our eyes are the closest thing we have to freedom.
We see endless blue sky, and the stars beyond.
We see the beauty of the world.
We see our reflection in the mirror;
the reality, and the fantasy.
Our eyes see far and great.
But the rest of us cannot follow.
Our hands probe the steel bars around us.
Fumbling in the dark.
Cut by the sharp edges.
The bleeding never stops.
Our feet shuffle around.
Trying to go places.
But we walk in circles.
Our emotions go from red to blue;
orange to green;
yellow to purple,
mixing in a haze.
Our mind goes to dark places,
and only wanders deeper.
Oblivious to the place right next door.
It knows the freedom,
it knows the pit.
There are endless paths to take.
There's a cage we need to break.
There is a key ourselves create.
In our hands, it's never too late.
a cherry pit dog heart.she holds a cherry pit dog heart in her hand, arrhythmic
beats like children playing pots and pans in kitchens
mother builds from scratch, black bean soup prepared
for dinner by a creased artist; wisps of white
upon a grandfather's head remind his daughter's child
of winter as he talks of horses in cuba who scratch
their backs on wooden posts; the first time she eats
ox tail is at an uncle's funeral, sitting in the basement,
surrounded by her surname, wondering why everyone
seems so happy; her grandmother keeps having
that dream where she's cooking and pours hot oil
on the animal in the kitchen, singeing his skin—
she cries out at midnight, sobbing for her daughter;
black eyes watch as her child keeps growing,
inspecting her process for future improvements,
while she takes pride in getting her sleeve caught
on twigs as she runs through the forest; motherhood
enters her every so often, at times uninvited, but
never for her prince in white, the bundle curled up
on her bed, floating
Change this lifeHiding in the shadows
Resisting in secrecy
Trying to find a way
To change this life of misery
The future is unknown
The past is to forget
The present is dull and boring
Is this what life has to offer?
I want to change
And I keep trying
Only to fail miserabily
Every single time
on bradbury and table dancingYou are not a wordsmith
whatever you might like to think. ('Smith'
indicates precision and coldness and fire:
words are softer than that unless you mold them strong.)
It's a difficult road to follow, and not many
make it past the fork. Choose a path,
Janus says, whirligig keys spinning on his shoulders:
I am a wordworker, with my tools too crude, forming
rough-edged carvings painted with pretty imagery.
Notebooks scattered across the landscape
of a child's room, to be stumbled across,
read, red-penned, in the thick and choking breath of night.
When the bough breaks
a hanged man laughs. He carries typewriters
in his pockets, and cigarettes in the soles of his shoes.
I will never be a word mistress,
whoring myself to the speech of people I do not know and will never know me.
The oven is set to Fahrenheit 452, but the words were already aflame
before they ever took shape under your tongue.
You love everything they've ever written, and carry
unabashed loathing for every syllabl
What Scares Me MostI've heard that vampires bite and gnaw,
I've heard that werewolves moan,
I've heard that ghosts, vengent and cursed,
haunt all with a rattling groan,
I've heard that monsters bump in the night
and creep and curse and crawl:
Yet it's human nature, careless and cruel,
that scares me most of all.
Keep in Touch!
^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much saught after model. ^... Read More