Mourning Morning

 

jules-pascin-sleeping-woman

 

My mother’s house surrounds
me in a shroud: the tinkling
of the teaspoon as my father stirs
his tea, his tea; the chug of the washing machine
that never dies. The tubular wind chimes casting
their cool auric spell around us; the complaint
of the floorboards bearing up our lives.
And the busyness, of the birds in bush nearby… I

lie with eyes shucked open, not turning
to what waits to be let in.
I hear the phone shriek—and again—
then footsteps up the hall; the sound
of hesitation at the door—
as I elongate this moment,
try to dwell inside before.

 

*first published in Bluepepper

 

 

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A Sudden Absence

Vilhelm Hammershoi, femme dans un interieur, 1905
I have had a new poem, 
A Sudden Absence, published 
in Bluepepper. Read it below, 
or better still, read it online 
at Bluepepper, where you will find 
an array of fine poetry on offer.
This wonderful site, edited by 
Australian poet Justin Lowe, 
has recently been included in 
Pandora,the National Library of 
Australia's Web Archive — which is  
a testament to the high standard 
of poetry it publishes. Just sign 
up via email to receive a regular 
dose of good quality poems into 
your inbox. Enjoy!

A Sudden Absence

When a sudden absence opens
where before there was a lover, or a child,
(a child’s worse, we must all agree
a child’s loss is worst), the everyday
grows almost perverse.

Routine grinds around and round the lack
and identity, devoid of vital purpose
withers back…

Autumn’s raw draft rankles from her room —
but I don’t look; instead I close the door,
and try to cover up by loving
the others a little more.

 

 

 

 

Grand Mont

 

Leda-by-Emmanuel-Benner

 

I have had a poem, Grand Mont, published in Verity La, an online creative arts journal which publishes short fiction and poetry, cultural comment, photomedia, reviews, and interviews. I absolutely love Verity La, which prides itself on showcasing “writing that gets you in the head as well as the gut, that has a point, that isn’t afraid.” My kind of journal!

Grand Mont is a found poem – a poem created from other texts – in this case sourced from one of my favourite novellas, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept, by Elizabeth Smart. It’s a passionate account of the author’s tumultuous love affair with the already married English poet George Barker, with whom Smart had four children. The novel has been likened to Madame Bovary blasted by lightning”, and the poem I wrote based upon it is similarly dramatic.

You can read Grand Mont below, or click  here to read it — and many other wonderful things — at Verity La!

 

Grand Mont

A cat scrambles in the cave of my sex

my heart is infested by desire;

Jupiter has been with Leda

and this typewriter is guilty with love.

Electrified with memories of dangerous propinquity

(to my verboten lover, beautiful as allegory) I rise

from this jungled bed, virile as a cobra –

my obstreperous shape of shame a colossus

whose snowy thighs soar, obliviously, out of sorrow.

 

 

 

 

My Sicilian

My hot and spicy new poem “My Sicilian” has been published in PASH capsule! You can read it here, and check out all the other great poems at PASH here

Many thanks to the wonderful editor of PASH, @StuartABarnes.

And to my real-life Sicilian hubby (who sometimes gets a bad wrap, since I often write while sad or angry) – See, I do write nice things about you!

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Abandon

broken mirror reflection  

Strange
what happens
when you hear the news

and find yourself gazing
in underwater slow motion
at all that up to this point
was your life.

The verandah you spent the day
inexplicably painting green,
the doll's house
carefully constructed
in the childhood room,
the vase placed
just so
to welcome him home,
the treacherous photographs
lining the fairytale hall

all
roll gently
in waves
and send ripples out into the future
so that it instantly -
rearranges itself,
and what was to be
is now not.

Still. So still. Clear. Cruel. Dazzling.

All pierced by a
screaming voice (mine I think)
a crying child (ours).
She's tugging my leg trying
desperately to pull me
back
through the doorway
of her already fractured
childhood before it 
snaps shut.

(Oh sweetheart, I wish
if only for you,
that I could rewind
and keep playing my part,
but it's gone, you see,
there's nothing left to return to
because it was never there,
it was a lie.)

Then in the background I hear
a whimper (that's you)
the sound funneling me back into
the - now of your face -
pale and quivering,
like a mollusc without its shell.

Naked
you stand,
your truth pried open before me,
waiting for the knife of my rage to cut -
and in a moment of horrifying clarity
I realize that you have been shucked!

Your exposure is indecent
(and somehow brave)
you burn in the light of my gaze
and are finally free.
(It is only much later
I dare to consider
that perhaps,
so are we.)

Now,
carefully,
so as not to perpetuate harm,
I take her small hand
and we tip-toe away,
abandoning the spent husks
of past selves behind us,
trailing all our dark painful
roots along with us
like bloody testaments
to these stillborn lives
as we pull further,
further, further,
still pulling
today.

Contagion

"Anger" by  Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist

So now
after all your raging
you are
sweet again
meek again
wanting to reconcile
again
and I
am invaded
by your anger’s oily grey shadow,
which spread across the vast expanse of bed last night
and, ascending my carefully constructed
- cold shoulder -
seeped into my heart,
where it rose, like Judas
in the festy heat of my hurt,
cloning itself a dark likeness…
So that I
upon waking
felt uneasy inside
and, opening my cavernous, unconscious mouth
spat the poison like spit-fire
into the wide waiting eyes of our child
(oh my child!)
who could not absorb it
but spewed it back in a torrent
of hot tears and indignation
and then skirted me,
warily,
with surprised looking eyes,
sensing that something that would harm it
had inhabited its mother -
All day I struggled to reconcile
the purport of my love with its lack,
all day I wrestled treachery
to regain my kind self back,
and all day I failed
until finally,
the anger grew weary of its winning game
and I,
spent
cowed
vacated
lowered my head in shame
and, asking forgiveness for hosting that 
which I was not strong enough to contain
was,
through the grace of imperfection
and a child’s perfect, unearned love
absolved.