I’ve had two poems published in the wonderful Tincture Journal – ‘Epistle to my Paedophile’ and ‘Dear Ottla’. You can read the first of these below, but if you want to read the second (which is a found poem sourced from the letters of Franz Kakfa), you’ll have to buy a Tincture. Tincture is a quarterly e-book of fine writing from Australia and around the world, and it will only cost you $8! In this issue (nine), I’ve also been interviewed by Tincture’s poetry editor, Stuart Barnes, and you can read that interview as part of their free content. If you like what you read, please support them!
Epistle To My Paedophile
Doubtless you won’t comprehend
my writing you this way;
for you are harmless
in laboured rasps, your body
by the karmic stroke
of luck which all the girls
you might have met
don’t even know
they should be glad of.
I was not so fortunate.
I knew you when your limbs
still had the power to insinuate
themselves into Christmas lunch
and re-calibrate the trajectory
of uneventful lives.
(Strange, I never thought to tell,
the chest of smut beneath your bed,
the dancing doll’s skirt, lifted to reveal —
Or your pudgy hands which turned like moles
in the incestuous burrows of their pockets,
jingling coins that lured, and repelled…)
What a relief it was today to find them stilled.
Pale members, no longer in the service
of the perverse familial compulsion
which thwarted me, as it did you.
Instead, you have become the baby
you once must have been:
helpless (hapless?) in your cot,
as I was, legs akimbo;
and this is perfect, a perfect way of seeing
because the unsullied space of your mute
presence allows me to impute
whatever version of this I want to —
from your side, recognition, remorse;
from mine, forgiveness, love.
But I don’t need that now.
We are at peace, you and I,
our transaction complete.
There is no more fear.
Only wonder, at how one clot of blood
lodged within a flawed man’s brain
can assuage so much suffering:
what a wise solution, so elegant,
the vessels swollen to bursting
with compassion for us all —
surely that drop was placed, just so,
by the delicate hand of God.