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,
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.
Hospital Trolls IIWhen Silly Schlompo had gone I couldn't speak. I looked at Jeannie, and I could see that she was afraid too.Hospital Trolls II by rober2
"What did he say to you?" I asked her, and she turned her head and looked at me.
"Did you see it too?" she asked, and I nodded and she said "I had hoped it was in my head."
"What are we going to do?"
"I don't know. What are trolls afraid of?"
I didn't say anything. But I thought of sunshine.
I had to go to a CAT-scan the next day. I didn't like leaving Jeannie, but I had no choice. I mean, you can't tell grown-ups that you can't go to an MRI-scan because trolls are going to eat your best friend. They don't understand things like that. They'll believe in wars and politics and cancer, but not in trolls, not even when the trolls are standing right next to them.
There was a new doctor there, a young one. She looked very nice, and she had long, blonde hair that made me think of a cornfield.
Hospital TrollsMy room smells of antiseptics and flowers and crayons. Mom says she doesn't like the smell, and maybe that's why she always wears too much perfume when she comes to visit and I almost drown in it when she leans over to kiss me on the forehead. Sometimes I can see that she has been crying, so I try to look happy so she will be happy too.Hospital Trolls by rober2
The other kids are nice, though. They call me Harry Potter because of the scar on my head from when they operated on the tumor.
Sometimes in the evening we lie awake and tell each other jokes and draw pictures of each other. Jeannie drew one of me with a wizard hat on with a big heart around me and it said J + P. I hung it over my bed and it makes me smile when I'm scared.
There are trolls down in the basement, you see. They hide from the doctors and the nurses and they live in those scary halls that we go through on the way to the CAT-scan. I saw one of them once! It looked a like a man, but it had grey, wrinkly skin and fangs
|-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