Monday, 14 February 2011

Feels Blind

The first thing I remember was the hunger.
Waking up and thinking is this natural? -
the way you fit your hands round my waist
and hold me like a doll, or toxic waste
from a post-nuclear family. - At arm's length.

You said the greed was my fault,
something to do with the biological seed
of what makes me woman. Makes me wrong.

I was told I don't belong here.
I was out of my depth, treading water
with all the other daughters who dared
to speak before they were spoken to;
those who woke and refused
to have the words choked out of them.

You said I was ugly, held down and half-drowned.
That I look best behind glass, or better still, beneath it.
Blow off the dust and learn to trust us, you said.

You tried to give me a new face, subservience,
but I couldn't fake it, couldn't take it - the silence
that lay behind. The binding of all those thou shalt knots.
You taught me my boundaries, gave me a baptism
in your fiction - made me the eve time forgot.

I watched your red tide rise before you pulled me under.
I told you this feels blind. Your words burned
like a lighthouse, guiding in the night:
Out of sight, out of mind.

* * *

With the last couple of poems, I wanted to take a break from all the narcissistic personal stuff I've been writing recently. So here we go, something more explicitly political than I've written in ages.

As always, the formatting's all out of whack, so please view this on my dA page for the proper version.

Inspired by the Bikini Kill song Feels Blind and, less obviously, I:Scintilla's Cursive Eve (although a lot of the original references to that were cut in the redraft). I'd really recommend listening to Feels Blind to fully understand where I'm coming from with this. It's also an epic song, so you're missing out if you haven't already heard it. (:


On nights like these
we like to call ourselves stargrazers,
deep sky tourists.

We head up to the headland,
where heaven grafts itself to earth,
stitching the breeze between
our cheekbones, our fingertips.
Below, the sea stretches out
with an endless hush. You tell me
we'll sit in the rift
of the tide's smile to keep in touch
with the muchness of being
and believing. But seeing

beyond that pale of blacklight
is another matter. You have a map,
so you take the back of my hand
and paint a picture in mime
and synaesthesiac rhyme:

Our sky is like cat's eyes
kaleidoscoping along a wide road,
a highway of air and neverending
distance, with stars that sink deep
into tar - or maybe sheets - like sleep.
Think of travelling by car, you say. Of flying
then falling.
My stars stutter
and flicker with motion sickness.

Our sky is like quicksilver,
mercury melting and jigsawing
across the universe. Sometimes,
metal seeps into the image
of a bird, a snake, a mask –
remnants of a late-forgotten past
and old light, slipping between
floorboards. You tell me to think
of a fence, of running my fingers
over the bars of metal, and feeling
distance, opening itself like an oracle
in the inbetween. All or nothing.

Our sky's a broken bone, home
of frostbitten toes, flyaway hair
and the way my cheeks chafe
against the wind. The sky splits
where the sunset sits on the horizon,
like an open door:

you say, and something more -
but you must be looking away
because your words are hushed, lost
in the anatomy of the Milky Way.

I understand,
I do.
I - I - stand
and shiver.

Your sky's a treasure trove:
a hoard of metaphors for
light, love, and the empty spaces
between the stars. It's your future,
your oracle opening onto the wide
unknown. It's matched to your map,
this place where the heavens
unhitch themselves from earth
and float from your throat
to where the moon is berthed
against a sea of sky. It's here, you escape
to Space, shuttling
on the back of the sea's
uneasy breath, her salted perfume.
While I sit and split; lose touch.

You tell me it's beautiful,
but I'm not sure I believe you, not yet.
You say to keep an open mind.

But how can I know what beauty is
when my sky, all I can see, is blind?

* * *

Written for the Spoken Word Poetry workshop hosted by The Writers'-Workshop.

This took so long to draft and re-draft, and I'm still not completely happy with it...
The formatting's not quite right here (as always). It's slightly better on my dA submission, but still not perfect there. Sometimes, the internet just hates my poetry. :P

Inspired by the lyrics to Stolen Babies' Mind Your Eyes:

Doors will scare me,
Windows leave me blind.

Friday, 4 February 2011


Something most people don't realise
is that coral splints, painted brown,
screwed into the skull and mounted
like a crown allow for a preternatural
reconstruction. A rebirth; to break free
and shed skin like tears. A kind of shipwreck
surgery that makes a child look like a deer.

* * *

This, it turns out, is what hypothermia does to my brain. >__<; Based on one of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts, as featured in the Nirvana song I Hate Myself and Want to Die:
"Most people don't realise that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer."

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

In The Dialect Of Insects

I hide in cupboards
and under the stairs,
underjoyed, black-eyed
and fossilised, over-aware
of the bitemarks forming
along my arms, my fingernails.

And thereby hangs a tale of
treacheries and transparencies.
I can't deny: I am gutterspined,
my own bone-laced anathema,
my own dead, buried face
to the ground. Lulled

and dumbfound by the clicks
and spit of this insect language,
I find safety in the rhymes
and rhythms of the cockroach waltz,
watching the flick and swish
of clockwork in motion.

Time, passing. The metaphors
latching their claws into my chest.
I'm running out of words to stave
off this drought. And all I know is
that this is lights out, the final rite,
and I will sleep hungry tonight.

* * *

Right now, it feels like insect speak is all I have left.


Yes, parts of this are heavily influenced by Jack Off Jill's Cockroach Waltz. It's one of my favourite songs and I've wanted to write a poem based on it for ages.

That said, I was seriously tempted to title this 'Ugly Bug Ball', but then sanity prevented me. xD
(If you don't get the reference, then I'm afraid you've had a deprived childhood).