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.
Help WantedHelp WantedHelp Wanted by TheHungerArtist
There's a man on my roof.
Perhaps a boy, the angle is strange,
the light bends like a gymnast.
But I can see in the curve
he's curled up against the chimney,
crying? He's so still he must be
listening to the wind twisting
and polishing the edges of shingles.
He crawled up the lattice slowly
like ivy, so I took no notice
until I glanced through the hidden path
in the hedge. I borrow the neighbor's pool
when they leave
it lying around their backyard.
You don't see me lounging about on my roof.
I'm thankful that someone is.
A freelance chimney sweep?
Maybe he'll clean the gutters.
All I know is that I can't go to sleep
in my own bed tonight
because there are two people in it,
and from the sound of things
they aren't sleeping. Instead,
I pull my knees to my chest
and curl up on the couch,
dormant like a cave,
listening to his heartbeat through
and I know I'm still alive.
And I know they'll all still be here
when I'm gone.
New Orleans MinuteNew Orleans Minute by qed
Time sashays like a creole strumpet,
barefoot and brown down Rue Madeleine
past this window, this table,
where gumbo steams and shrimp tails
clutter my plate.
A molasses haze fogs the lamplight.
A young man too full of libation
succumbs to this damp heat,
bent nearly double,
splatters his feet.
A coasting cabbie slows to say,
Laissez le bon temps rouler
and laughs until his brakelights fade.
can't help taking your lifecan't help taking your life by alexcross
There is this hall I walk down almost every day. The walls are white-washed brick, the carpet the kind of overly busy checker pattern that is supposed to keep your eyes off of it and forward. A week ago I saw some girls had set up a little table there on behalf of the American Red Cross with a little banner saying so and that there was to be a blood drive the following Friday. I slowed down to look just long enough.
"You thinking of donating blood?" asked one of the girls smiling at me from across a pile of registration forms. From the red in her cheeks I could tell she still had all her own. But, I was thinking about it, thinking about the needle, the drained feeling, the little sugar cookie and wax paper cup of grape juice, the Snoopy Band-Aid.
I noticed the girl that wasn't smiling so much. I had had a class with her a year ago in high school. Her name was Samantha, though anyone who called her called her Sam. I remembered she was always very quiet, but then so was
CompositionCompositionComposition by anarchypress
There is almost nothing of life left
in me. I spasm
like a broken wasp, like a headless
As openings go, I could do worse.
You respond, tell me
about someone we knew from high school,
how you write him
letters in longhand, the way you once
wrote to me. You converse
about your shared love
And I know. I conceive
of how I could still play your piano
how I could make your guts
I could find the key.
I have spent so long
Theory is not enough. I tune
and bang out a few notes.
|-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