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,
Better To Be HorsesShe pretends to be horses. Not one,Better To Be Horses by salshep
but a herd hurtling breakneck
past homes where other children sleep.
Better to be horses
than flattened under sheets,
to run until her body breaks:
Mustang, Arabian, Pinto, her tails
pluming as she streams
through the dark. Hooves flashing
on pavement, their thunder
proof against silhouette and silence,
she strains to be free of earth
until she comes to the edge
of the world and the horses, panting,
drop their heads
to catch their breath
before the long walk home.
SloughIt starts with a metronomicSlough by salshep
drip-splat, each drop a bastinado
blow on the feet of sleep.
Floundering from our half-
cold bed, I navigate the room
like a blind albatross until the bitch
of a stubbed toe stops me.
deep in the house. Rust runnels
down walls we painted ivory.
I find the sink choking,
the refrigerator dead, puddles
rising, like stigmata, on the lino.
The kettle boils itself.
It's been three weeks since you left
this house. I thought by now
it would have stopped grieving.
|-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