Monday, 30 April 2018

20. CUTUP

A pulse is a man’s inner mouth. No, it’s important
to contain the rocker. It’s an inside clump of birches
and a box hedge. Most of the time a scare will appear
as a ripple at the precise instant of India’s breathing tube.
Audrey Hepburn seemed a lucky thing. She’s only like that
for about an hour, a barefoot doll in the lobby of the Overlook.
A doll in a doll’s house, blandly saluting clocks. She’s just
having a bad slender, like the city of Bombay. Perhaps
a coarse blanket fell from a small head to cause multiple agonies.
But what if a monk?


Saturday, 21 April 2018

19. THE GLASSBLOWN HEART

After the feast I found a glassblower in the woods to craft me a new heart. You should have seen it. The glass was made of sugar and she told me I ought to be careful with it in my chest. Steer clear of sticky fingered children; try not to sneeze until the heart has settled. It was strange to be so beholden to the vessel of my chest. I walked delicate as a full cup deep into the trees. Twigs snapped beneath me. When I got to the clearing I placed my old heart upon the ground. It was rancid and leaking but looked quite natural amongst the leaves. Soon the boar would come, I knew; soon my old heart would return to the forest. By the time they snarled into the meat I was already gone. I am heading north. I am taking my faint crystal heart to the tundra. The snow is lovely this time of year.

Friday, 20 April 2018

17. BANNIK BURN

The creature in the sauna tells the future
even though we all know there is none.

It is a comfort to play pretend. Bare
your back to the bannik and wait

for a stroke or a strike. All I want
is to believe in divination because

if the book is already written then no
ghosts have torn out the pages. My favourite

time of day is the one we don’t have clothes
for. I will strip myself to skin if it means

a second helping. In the sauna we are all
on the spectrum—on the one side

it’s past and paster but in the future
I’m hoping cake to the ceiling. I want to be

told I sweat so fancily. Can you whisper
a history as thick as thigh bones?

I’ll show up again playing the breakfast violin.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

16. LEAKED

My body is a thing that leaks. I didn’t train it
this way. In the lesson I said hold it together
but my body heard hole. I wake with a stain
in the sheets exactly like the pool that claimed
Narcissus. What a live and shimmering thing.
I fold the stain into a perfect rectangle
and tuck it in my underwear
and all day long my own self is amplified.
When my lover arrives they tell me the stairwell
is ripe with barbecue and tropical flowers gone to rot.
I do not explain. I take my lover in my arms
and our underwear falls to the ground.
The stain spills across the floor like mercury.
Another tinfoil puddle. Our reflection is someone
beneath the surface screaming. When I pull my lover
to the edge of the lake, I am laughing.
They are not afraid. I clench my arms to push them
but they have already dived inside.


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

15. DRESS UP

we played dress up as boys who went mad

I tried to, anyway    he was better at it than me
he was Syd in eyeliner    Syd, too, in the small

& smuggled hours    all it took was a bicycle bell
Jack Daniels    all it took was a chemical experiment

there is nothing more romantic than a brain’s
unhemmed edges    I used to think

there is a game in the soft-smudge hallucination
that remains    when the psilocybin’s gone

we played life’s cassette backwards    for a while
dredging for the delusion that would prove us real

he kept the socks on in the morning    he looked good
in madness    he wore it like a suit coat

with all the pockets sewn shut    it hung well
on his ribs but there was nowhere to keep anything

he told me it didn’t matter    & we rewound the tape
we sat tight around the player        we listened again

Monday, 16 April 2018

14. PARIS SYNDROME

Paris syndrome (French: Syndrome de Paris, Japanese: パリ症候群, Pari shōkōgun) is a transient mental disorder exhibited by some individuals when visiting or going on vacation to Paris, as a result of extreme shock derived from their discovery that Paris is not what they had expected it to be.

Paris wasn’t how we expected it to be. I’m not talking
about weather. I am talking about the promise of Paris:
a thing beyond red shoes and butter. The promise of Paris
was broken / we developed a schizophrenia of the tourist.
One of us was a black and white postcard of a wrought gate.
That one was posted to our married lover: the breakfast architect.
One of us had a vision of Mary, the tears on her cheeks
as thin and brittle as sliced almonds. That one woke in the night
a mouth full of hailstones. In Paris we were conjoined twins
flung in the boot of a red car. The car got traffic snagged
by the Moulin Rouge. Three people died
when the fire engine couldn’t get through. Paris said
it would have everything our hearts anticipated
and this is the problem with breath behind an iron grate.
We thought we could cure ourselves by talking to cathedrals
but there is a madness in not getting what you thought
you would get. Still, there was something in that expectation
before the trip—a hot, live thing that tasted
of mercury on the tongue.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

12. HOW TO START AGAIN

Place all your trust in the garlic bulbs
of the kitchen drawer. They are spouted.

Sharp green paws of immortal beings.
They are reaching for the light like saints.

If you like, you may pin one clove to a tweed lapel
and enjoy protection against necromancy.

The dead may still come in the night
but they will be turned off. Like puritans

the dead know garlic makes a body hot.
The monks say it is an earthy pleasure.

It is up to you. You can forsake the bulb
& treat your gangrene with maggots this time.

You can chop it off. Who needs toes
when we have Lifetime TV specials?

But in Korea a bear became a woman
in 100 days of garlic and I prefer this myth

to the one about solitude. Bad breath
is a lie told by the ones with cold bodies.

I reach the hot cave of your mouth
& knock three times with small green paws.