This poem appeared in the November 2014 issue of parenthetical zine, put out by the words(on)pages press: http://www.wordsonpagespress.com/parenthetical/issue-four-november-2014/
fly like cathedrals
to love myself:
i guess that means camaraderie with shot sphincters, a certain grace involved in wincing so entirely i think i might have an aneurysm. a certain whispering in the dark not-exactly-silence of deafness. (no, deafness isn’t just about the ears…) i wish i could write to you. i’m a fucked up ketchup smeared plastic bag without you. but put me on and i’m suffocation incarnate. you’re somewhere else, somehow else. i don’t know what makes a body drown anymore. i can’t get the dirt off pennies, i never could. or the emotion in anime characters’ eyes, i can’t see it, did you ever see it? can you sequester your fingers into twos? is there a place where time still runs treadmills to violent bagpipes? i can’t ask for a sandbag to fall onto me can i? did you know there’s a house somewhere where all the leaves are just waiting for a bed to come crash the foundation. did you know that was our house, and i doted on your kisses and we could’ve just… just lain there draped sunk with potato leek soup. doesn’t matter if things get in our ears anymore, yours that work and mine that… nerves tell mine not to work. a body can die in so many ways, but i’ve forgotten how to drown. you don’t need gold to make me envious anymore. you don’t need anything. diplomas are fucked anyway. i’m listening to murmurations. i want to make playlists that drip blood again. you’re the fire, you were never ever water so i guess you have to be fire. i’ll never look anymore, just come back to me…
….and say we don’t need pearls to come alive.
i just wanted to make mountains crash with you.
an emulsifier: your fingernail detritus dug into the squeamy mess that was
purple-toned glue on clean floors,
the closeted smooth of keyboards
rupturing under safewords
(there was no safeword, not really, not when you could waltz on in and light up the MRI machine full of gunpowder emeralds…)
i just wanted a yellow day, you know, and the clash of claws and crunch could have still contained me, but why wouldn’t you let me explode when all i ever wanted was musical chairs that ended someday, fuck these chairs, fuck the music, just fuck me
if you leap-land into a crystal wreath of stalagmites do they wrap your hands with ice will they let you speak soft lullabies— awkward words, these are all such awkward words. i might as well have painted with all the techniques. fingers blue and pink, it doesn’t matter when there is no house anymore, no marriage, no fucking wedding down the block, no metal to cream your lipstick, no flyers trod up in the mud, no cinch to call this— this— a certain ending
endings come to you and i might as well be the pied piper
in the cave where you met me, we were the same colour. or maybe we weren’t, but we were a collage and we were dancing… sometimes a little slovenly in mannerism, sometimes more graceful. but it was like the pirouette that breaks into a tightrope extravaganza. you’re not the princess and nor am i. we’re not waiting for the towers to shower ceramic kisses upon us. there is no prince and there is no goddamn stepmother. in the cave, you are me and i am you. there’s a fountain where we get to drench ourselves in ultraviolet goo. nobody can see us anymore because nobody can see ultraviolet. we leave our glasses and my hearing aids to freeze in the heart of the monster. you get to drive spears through my body, and they all come out clean because blood doesn’t respond to excalibur. kill me, dear— i’ve only ever wanted a sunshine that sparkled mitochondrial fissure.
my mother couldn’t beat me to a pulp. sometimes sand gets in the way, starts to disintegrate the white-hot power. the limos are rushing away before you can grab weapons. so really i need you to beat me to a pulp. i need you to come here with fucking electric wire, do you understand, i need you to blow dry me into a mannequin in the shower. i need you to cut me out of the walls, i need those prints to dry. i need my blood on your hands so you remember what it feels like to come alive. this is the orgasm, really, this is where you get to say i love you and it’s closer to its truth: i will kill you. i will flay you and string you striped so thin across a forest fire. your cells will still be pumping frantically when i douse the whole planet with kool-aid. everyone’s already drunk it and it’s just us left now, so what are you going to do? i’ll drink the kool-aid again and again, darling, i really will. you don’t get it. i’m a cheesecake fantasy. you wanted platelets but the drugs are stealing them away. you don’t get to whip up the colourful potions because the forest is here and the lab is closed and there’s no keys or ID cards this late. there are moth balls underneath our tongues and we can’t talk, we can’t talk. all the activists are angry and they want to kill me, will you come and take me to the river where the mer-monsters pull us under with spindly gleamy tendrils searing iron hot demonic glee into our bones? under the sea there is actually only more fire. we are not going to escape this fire. not tonight, and i get that that’s why you turned off the stars and told me i would die if i licked the rust off your fingernails. and i did anyway and that’s how i figured out the lie: you were in ruffly dresses and i gave you my high heels but you were not a sailor girl, and i was not a purple fairy. that is how i realized we were damned to the glow where jesus comes in and says hello all sarcastically and you think this is a story but it’s actually a new sitcom and we’re wandering around trying to find our props but baby— this is it, this is what heaven really is, a television set where eyeliner tattoos are mandatory.
i don’t think we understood the gravity of death then—
—and i don’t think we do now, either
you are the only one i would let slide needles into every pore of my skin. the others may drill all they want, but you are the siren and i am your willing sacrosanct man of the hour.
did they tell you about the clocks that invert colours on the hour? like everywhere you look suddenly it’s neon and black for a moment. you think it was some kind of temporal lobe seizure but it was actually the way things are here in the winds of venus. did you think we could come out into space and not suffer for it? did you think spaceships would contain our diseases and keep the aliens out? i know you’re fucking otherworldly creatures. i know you’re shedding skin and the next thing i know you’ll be a reptile ripping out my throat. i don’t really care about that, but you can’t just expect the interplanetary winds to stop trying to change our genomes. no bargain comes without a cost. you wanted out of the white stratospheres so here we are, here we are. don’t complain anymore, don’t, please don’t, i’m here and i love you and damn it all soup is not the fucking answer, no i cannot shut up anymore, i cannot stop screaming. everything is not nice and pretty and there are androids coming to kill us with scythes. did you really think the empires were all dead? they were just waiting to tell us the real time. we thought we were so advanced, all those computers, all that code. it was just a nightmare, this is the dream. this is the dream where you erase me rudimentarily. the sketchbook is really old and yellowing— aren’t you going to do something about that. i’m good to center protractors on; after all, this flesh has got to be useful for something. i’m not a corner table though. no, if you’ve got to advertise the furniture of my body, at least make me a toilet paper holder with curlicues.
paint the clown out of me, i need to learn how to sing
need to learn to hear your music
love you like a landslide
come back to me.