Look over your shoulder for the hustle of words.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ashes To Ashes

Summer careens with cicada trills
all 'round my thick head and heart.

Solitary on a fire trail,
a map and half a biscuit in my hands.
Just me, the sun leaping beneath my breasts,
the tankers on the sliver of horizon
(I can erase them with my thumb, I squint and say
to no-one and nothing)
I arrived here on feet, I will leave here on feet.
I'll take a leaf and a flower.
I toy with the flower, I twist it through my hair.


the flower is toxic
my heart shuts down
I crawl to the bathroom
and make desperate calls
to a husband at work
to a father screening calls
to a friend on a dancefloor

the chill of fingertips on the plastic keypad is too cold
like a spy's vodka
and cools even further, stills my face into a glue
into a taxidermy grimace.
The final leap of the sun under my breasts hangs,
hangs like a minor note strung between choruses.


They spread my ash
from a mediocre outcrop
thinking a sea bed will mean something

I burrow into their pores and make them each
a fine suit of armor.
I give them my blue lips, my hung heart
as a gift.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Village

Every foot shuffles slower with each turn of the curb;
there's much to know from feet. They tell us when we stop.

I look into the screen some call a mirror, some call a child,
and laugh myself away from death.
(but father, there's a fracture line around my scalp, and the skin is
peeling, the head no longer marries the hair, and I am ugly
in the village, with my slowing feet)

I have a pot of cream. The top is green, the sides are green, and
only a thousand babies must be crushed to have it.
Don't worry for their blood, they are like angels, they are like lotus:
they float into death with upturned bliss at the wonder
of giving me youth. Bless them, curse them, bless them.

(but father, the cream has melted in the sun and now my slip
is thick with it. The silk, the cream, the fucking green!
I'm not convinced, I'm covered in it, I'm caving in,
I'm in the village and now my ugly feet have stuck)

Old men spit and slur against the walls.
They smell like booze, they piss-reek and their mouths
are full of bullet holes.
But somehow, unlike me,
their clothes seem clean;
their feet are dancing.


I have you in my mouth
and I'd like to fit in more of
your little bones, your shining shoulders
your cocked head and thumbs up and tender laugh.

Oh, oh oh.
I am not a noir, I am not a shadow
in a doorway of a hotel room.
I don't pin up.

Yet, I'd like to eat you.
Your little bones, your casual nods,
your knuckle raps, your rhythm.

I'd like to snake up your hallway like a housefire
and roast you alive,
you little treat.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Two Women

In the woman there is not one, but two. Two women. Do not mistake this. Yes, ropes are around her, but they are only ropes. Look instead for the spectacle she is; the something-much-more-vivid they become as soon as she is in them. In a pile, the bonds are fibre. Fibre decays. But she won't wither - she is eternal, she is what fills the rigging and makes it live and s t r e t c h and strain. Her calls are deep as one bereaved and they give these ties purpose. In this woman, there is not one, but two. Do not mistake this. One is flesh, dispensable like ropes. One lives forever, her epic bonds delicious, snapped between the jaws of aperture.

The Lovers

A picked path home;
I see
framed amber in the jam
of the neighbours
tilting window.
They are arching like parabola.
their hefts of thigh are
a white gracelessness;
the covers tossed – thwump –
against the floorboards.
He is knotted, she is pressed.
her plaintive voice
is a small white bell,
a trembling note hanging
on the eaves of
the night.
I turn and blush
quicken my step
to push away
from a scene so naked
in ways
other than flesh.
I was cool
but now I am feverish with
the scarlet swoop
of the belly-burn.
I refuse tea
and he probes for the cause
of my suckering nature
and I say
the night, the night;
(just here, you see, I touch and show).

Saturday, January 13, 2007


It is the never ending God Problem that brings
the students to the classroom
in white and red and cotton shreds
and no-one knowing which is blood and which is bleach.
Whole families crush at the door, their mouths agog,
their fingers jamming into sockets
and the preacher telling them to fry, fry, fry

Someone's at the back playing discordantly;
their head is cocked, they're crooning
about Lord Lord Lord cometh, Maranatha.
One man stands atop a desk and sets himself on fire.
Well now, students, what shall we prescribe for him?
Third degree burns, a splintered heart, broken cogs
and there's too much grey between his ears
God's love? God's ire?

I'm taking notes, don't you see?
I have a thesis, a phil OH so? Fee.
And here it is, this once, for free:

perhaps we aren't dealing in madness
perhaps we aren't dealing in psychology

perhaps we are just dealing in weapons of mass distraction
from the Man Problem

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Along the Top of Hedges

She's a rougher touch than I am.
She talks with ease; her voice is
a hollow aching breeze you lean around
and listen for, screening associates for
deceit, screening us for lies or kindness.
Oh, you know, I can see her head and follow
along the tops of hedges, if I
stand on tiptoe, my tiny tiptoes, my
little calves straining, my heels arching,
my fingers pointing straighter, straighter,
straight at her earth.
She doesn't know how she owns
the whole holy world with each omission;
in the dry pauses, leaves hang in midair
and raindrops pause to collect their bustle.
And yes? yes? we hold our breath.
Only they and little lowly me know
that when she speaks again
it is as flint to flint, or bone on bone.
Sharp delightful life!

Mother, mother, in the snippets
of your mumbles or shouts
I see how you live.
You're both kinds of Mary.

The Persona

At my back I feel you grow,
your bristle changing speed from
fast to slow, slow to fast,
your hands quick to cast aside my
buckles and lace, my well-made face
full of false confidence I can't hope
you won't see through.

Tiny pins, miniscule needles,
my skin at your clench and rake
begins to smart, to start to take
the colour of your seamless move
from sweet to firm, from firm to
heated slamming
and a running of the octaves.

Please, please, please.
I have no words but these.


Fingertip to fingertip for a first course;
the general mumble of lips, a spin of your hair
around my knuckles.
I'm leaning, I'm doe-eyes, I'm sap in your hand.

Then twist! Grab! Pull!
We're laughing, we're reeling, we're
snatching at each other's feelings as they
fall from the air.

Call me from across the room;
I'm mocking you with my cocked hips,
so come on, come on! Come play.
Eat your fear and come.

A Meal At The Moon's Table

She saw her across the park at night
sitting underneath a half dead pine;
her tongue was flicking out and licking
the slim finger of her panatella.

Her skirt was navy, it looked like
a chemist-girl's uniform and she had
hiked it to her hips; she curled her legs
and sat like the lotus.

Later, when she had the girl's skirt
scrunched under her hands
she thought about the shapes the boughs
of that roiling old tree
had made against that skin, all thrilled shadows -
the moon pushing in, in, as though it too
wanted to dig fingernails across the girl's back
and take some of that common beauty
as a last meal.