A selection of personal work from across the recents years.
Medea Cleans the Blade
Published in The Drunken Canal
You were born inside the knife
My heart walking,
Evidence of love made bone, hair, an appled cheek.
You were born inside the knife Carved rubies of a love, a lie A long stretch of losing,
A slow defeat.
You were born inside the knife
Only ever half mine and always
My biggest proof of what belonged to me.
There was never another way.
I would spit-shine the coronet again,
Place poison on the twisted metal again,
Jump scare the ram from the pot again,
Curl my hands into claws again,
Drag myself inside out, exile my mind,
turn it towards the green blue sea,
the white sun, the frothed water on the edge of the cliff.
Look how I have adorned you,
Everything he will never hold.
I was always the knife.
How to See
Witness all the movements of leaving,
how the body gives itself away.
Witness the breath of hunger,
how fingers tremble in search.
Witness the avalanche of return,
tumbling desire and restless motion.
The first thing to do is to open your eyes.
Witness water coming in from the window.
Witness water swallow itself,
that cannibal tide and wave after wave.
Witness death on the small scale,
worms on the sidewalk after the rain.
Seek out heat from the fire,
embers going upwards and the ash falling.
Tilt your head and squint.
The long sleep punctured by blinding light.
learn to bear it. Learn to bear it all.
In the breathing and ancient fog
Buildings hold themselves upright
Washed in lime and smelling of wet
Hay in rafters and a copper tub, somewhere, filling.
Barley, splitting itself through years
and fire, hopeless as ever, consuming itself.
This is the imperial eye, cast over itself and nodding,
flooding itself in rivers, arching itself in bridges.
White ceramic and a thick wall,
a thick wall and a layer of soot,
a layer of soot and an aching turret, reaching upward and casting down,
shadows laying all over themselves, puddles forming and draining like breath,
breath like fog holding itself, self like brown bread holding soup,
like brown bread in winter,
like brown bread forged in fire and running through sewers,
bread like the body of Christ, Christ like crows in a black tree,
trees like carpenters’ offal, offal like steam rising in the cold.
Cold like it’s nothing, staying in your hair and hands only,
driving clean the streets and giving them to you alone,
alone like breathing, like fog over bridges.
Thick plums holding sweetness through seasons,
Like clouded glass jars, stacked and clinking in a cellar,
Making your blood beat, running slowly through years into an open mouth.
Stooping through a doorway to discover the shape of your back, bringing your body down to itself, down again like falling and bowing, heads drooping on necks like water off a black tree.
And bells, swinging through the early and lasting dark,
calling in some unknown and lonely office,
a service towards colored light and scented smoke,
words over a grave, and two men, drinking wine over a wood table,
leaning close and whispering, speaking without moving,
eyes like water on a black tree.