diamond

27 10 17

I wonder what they think I am
do they think I am
a hard diamond orb of a woman?
it is what I try to
make them see
(it is a lie)

I line my shortcomings
up neatly on the mantelpiece
stacked on each side of the
ticking clock,
so I can see every one.

the orb you see is not real
but a perfectly crafted vision
a trick for your eyes
I am trying to be vulnerable
I am trying to be the best.
the two are
mutually exclusive

the clock keeps ticking
but it makes no sense to me
and I keep on in a story –
like I am the master of time –
but the numbers slide off
the face,
and maybe I really
understand what Dali meant

orbs are nothing but a ghost story.
I may as well speak in the voice of
a television medium.
watch this show with caution
as everything within it
exists only for your entertainment

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sockets

plugging the fingertips
into
sockets of suffering
sends an electric current straight
into the heart
pain into the palms and soles
and cynicism into the brain
you could ask
how do I solve the global problem?
not only now
do the eyes see,
but the heart feels
and where do we draw the line
between selfish ignorance
and hopeless engulfment?
thinking positively
does not stop
children being abused
or wars from breaking out
but neither does
drinking the mercury of suffering
what do you do with the anger of injustice
when you see it everywhere?
cut it off, the discarded stem of a vegetable?
become the righteous adjudicator
of opinions?

neither
do much to
keep the homeless warm
or the vulnerable safe

mostly
I wish I could eat the pain
of others
mostly
I wish I could
disappear my own

perhaps the best thing I can do
is turn it into compost

the dirt

women, the balm
balm for my wounds
seamstresses of my heart
blood in my blood
those men never related to me
they just wanted my eyes wide
and my mouth wide
maybe I wanted their eyes wide too
or maybe I just wanted a new father
but they are not in my blood,
like you women are in my blood.
come, warriors
on the other side
of the world
inside a phone screen
or ten tube stops away
come,
over bread and oil,
or cigarettes
or creating –
you warriors,
you make my bones strong
and my mind agile.
let me do the same for you
and let me stop apologising
for needing you
you pearls,
you islands,
you sisters.
cry,
and I will cry too
and we will
lock our fingers together
and keep growing out of the dirt.

snow

little moon baby
eyes like mine
deeper than black holes
telling tales of destruction
her hand rests on my hip
and I would never compare her to
a doll, but
the words to describe someone so
precious and delicate escape me
her skin is snow
so how do I melt when
it’s mine that is warm?
we will never understand us or them
those beasts of brawn and hair
they fill the holes but don’t heal
I wonder if I want to love her
as I wish I loved myself

sick

sick
sick
sick
for years, I couldn’t even type that word
let alone say vomit out loud
I trawled endless forums
full of people like me
so terrified of the power of it
that they replaced the latter half of the word
with an asterisk.
v*
like Voldemort
the bodily function that must not be named
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
and still now,
fifteen years after I hid in the living room
behind the itchy green sofa
listening to you moan as
mother and sister heaved you up
out of a stinking pool of chemo-puke
the smell permeating through the wall,
I am still sitting and fucking shivering
at the mention of a stomach ache
fear is my fucking problem
I don’t want to let it steal
any more hours from my life
I don’t want to spend hours cycling
through every single thing I’ve touched in
the last forty-eight hours
I don’t want to lie awake with
poisonous adrenaline pumping through my blood
I don’t want to.
I don’t want to.
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
I don’t want to lie awake
convincing myself that my
obsessive handwashing will save me
I don’t want to
explain to him why I stay up for hours
paralysed with fear
I don’t want to
explain to him that there have been times
I thought I’d rather die
than spend a minute with my head in a toilet
I don’t want to anymore
I don’t
fucking want to.
vomit is not my fucking problem
fear is my fucking problem
and I don’t want it
anymore.

prince

I used to think he was a prince,
and I wrote about him with diamonds
flowing from my pen.

I stared at him in wide eyed
wonder whilst he slept
in my bed, and I so wanted to
plant myself in his soil
and grow my smothering bindweed
around him.

I let the waves of
obsession and lust
wash over my heart,

and oh,
those waves were so
lovely for a time

(until they came crashing down
and I screamed for three
whole hours when I realised
he did not plan on falling in
love with me).

then he was gone and
I was powerless and
angry and consumed by
my need for his
royal validation.

“I hate you!
come back,”
I whispered into our letters,

and my pen flowed
not with diamonds but
poisoned well-water.

then time passed
and I grew and
flowered and blossomed and
shed my buds and became
an oak.

and
when he came back
(because that is what
always seems to happen),

he wasn’t a prince and
his hair wasn’t spun gold anymore.
he was just a man.

I wasn’t his arrow
and my burns had healed

no longer so susceptible to
drops of water and kisses.

I revelled in our connection
and nothing more.
I looked at him and he at me.

uncomplicated and free
and true in our humanity and our
normalcy and our faultery
and our fuck ups.

maybe now that I am a tree
and not a twining unwanted stem
I can be like this
and feel joy for its simplicity
instead of dissecting its
fragile meaning.

or maybe I will muse and see
that my desire for his turrets and towers
ebbs away with the moonlight
trickling down my thighs as
the lap of the warmest tide
goes out. 

we shall see, little prince.

virtue

she extolled unto me these virtues of purity
jesus’s little namesake, the girl who carried
all of the world on her tiny shoulders
she fell in love with my father because he
took care of himself and loved his own company
she created me and poured me into her mould
of self-flagellation and crucifixed guilt
I take responsibility for my childhood actions
somehow still believing I could have
controlled what I understood at the tenderest age
be merciful and meek, Jesus said
lie down in the dirt and open your heart for
those who scorn and deride you
be quiet, content and suffer, he said to the child
with the imagination gifted from heaven
or risk burning and writhing in the pit of agony
for all eternity and more, sin sinner.
well all children’s stories have a moral to keep
I suppose I kept those ones especially close to my
little heart and kind, and let them reave me deeply
all of us are bad by nature of existence, my Sunday fathers told me
only the good Lord can save your sinner’s soul, little beauty.
meanwhile, my father stayed in his shed, dying
of cancerous ravages, tinkering with boiler parts
fixing his stereo, and considering the Kew steam
engines that came on every second Sunday.
God, what have you done?
what tortured women are you trying to create?
I escaped out of that adult world I inhabited
that world of emotional torment and suffering and fear
into my own internalised mind fantasy clutches
swirling and whirling on the badness of my character
well
at least I had my dolls and their hundreds of outfits
there were no adults in their world to fuck things up