MammothYou're on the lawn, pickledMammoth by salshep
as a paper-bag philosopher, mouth full
of copper and oxidised vinegar
eyes oystering ant-sand and your cheeks wet
as the tracks of unhappy snails.
It's almost dawn, it's cold. The bastard
left you, and you've fallen over
in the garden coming up the path to home.
By morning, frost crackles
across the black hump of your back -
soon you'll be glaciered to the grass,
face iced to your coat-sleeve,
and the great, frozen spectacle
of you will grind its way, ten inches a year,
toward the porch. Some day
they'll discover you, the remains
of dandelions stuck in your teeth, fresh
as ten thousand years ago.
HomesickDo not let them see you blink,Homesick by salshep
Mother said, so I am careful to turn
away when my eyes dry out. My grip
on the brush is clumsy. Colours speck
and dazzle, slop like foam on rocks;
the teacher dabs their brilliance
from my flaking arms. Children whisper
behind starfish hands; they go to play
in the bright, hot yard but I stay in,
as Mother told me. Below the window
theres a tank of golden fish that circle,
circle, following their own reflections.
I dip my fingers in to scoop one up,
watch it flip and shine, cool in my palm,
and press my face deep into the water.
Membranes slide across my thirsty eyes.
I breathe, and breathe, and breathe.
WitchesWitchesWitches by salshep
Perhaps you thought we were gone
when the puddles of fat and ash congealed,
and our stink unstuck from the back
of your throat. When you exhale
into the face of your wife, does she smell us?
Lately at night, familiar as cats,
we've taken to creeping into your room,
reeking of bonfires, empty-headed
pumpkins, poppets of wormwood and rue.
In your sleep, you eat our bodies
and brag come morning, you dare not
pass a hedge for fear of whispers
nor linger where three roads meet.
We are slowly collecting your fluids,
your fallen hair; we hide in your socks
like foxtail, we diffuse our dust
into all your meals. Soon we'll leach
as salt from your skin, fly like spittle
out of your gaping mouth. We are the hook
and the bait. We are always to blame.
Field Notes.Field Notes by salshep
I snap: a sling-shot
of sinew, tendons whipped
to joints that buckle in lines as cleanly creased
as an origami crane. Poised on a tripod of paper tips,
I anticipate the wind but there is only steel
shearing bone and then it all unfolds
with a scritch-scratch and tickle
of segmented limbs sprouting,
barbed as berry-canes.
once fed on your skin;
sipped at honeyed pores
with a thousand tiny, hollow tongues
and those words you said, the ones that closed
like fists to cinch me mute but for this
thin-bodied whine: please
don't ever speak
They're predicting swarms
this summer: better batten down the hatches,
|-WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING LATELY-|
Avoiding sinkholes, mostly.
-WHAT I'VE BEEN READING LATELY-
Only Forward - Michael Marshall Smith
I love a book in which you cannot guess the next twist. And love better the book wherein you shouldn't, but do, and then the narrator calls you a 'smartarse' for having done so. Best narrator ever. Genre-defying, exciting, freaky, esoteric, brutal, horrifying, true, fantastical - loved this to bits.
Ring - Koji Suzuki
Compared (unjustly) to Murakami, the book makes the film look better (the Japanese version, I mean; the USA film isn't nearly as good). Still, a decently creepy read if you can get past the appalling translation (or wooden writing, I'm not really sure which it is.)
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Chick lit for morbid people. Beautiful, strange, uplifting. I also find myself suddenly obsessed with sinkholes.
The Riders - Tim Winton
This book gutted me. Gorgeous. Sad. Funny. Read it.
The Invisibles - Grant Morrison
Makes Gaiman look like kindergarten.
Focault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
Dan Brown, for people who don't breathe through their mouths.
Some Poetry-Related Journals:
Derek Walcott Walt McDonald
Lord George Gordon Byron William Blake
Christopher Smart Maya Angelou
Richard Wilbur Robert Frost
I'll cut the hearts from pharaohs
I pull the road off of the rise
Tear the memories from my eyes
I drink a thousand shipwrecks
Tonight I'll steal your paychecks
I paint the sheets across my bed
The birds will all fly from my head
Take every dream that's breathing
Find every boot that's leaving
Shoot all the lights in the cafe
And in the morning I'll be gone