Monthly Archives: February 2014

Forty-Eight.

17/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

I’m just trying to keep it real
at the same time as holding this feeling
that I haven’t got words for
I thought of a metaphor about feeling like
there was one of those giant glass bottles they have in seaman’s bars,
glass centimetres thick
and green and hollow and huge,
like I have one of those inside my chest,
the neck of the bottle resting in the base of my throat.
what does it mean to have a giant beautiful glass bottle inside of you?
crushing all the air in your lungs
and kind of heavy but catching all the light
and still with the scent of brine and booze in it
what does that even mean

*

Sarah circle

sarah

such fearsome promises i have made to you, my father
who announced that you would tolerate no coffin in death
but wished to be wrapped in a plastic bag, tossed off a cliff
and who one night, whiskyed like a sponge cake,
took my shoulders and made me swear
that if dementia took you, i would hold a pillow over your face
and see you softly into the dark
‘promise you’ll kill me’, you whispered, and i shook.
you, my bear of a father, with arrows a-quiver
my twinkle-eyed captain, my deadly pun-slinger
apologising wetly for the tears tracking your cheeks
holding your breath to stop from sobbing
so full up with love and sorrow that to speak was to burst
i will not conceive of you made small
i will not concede to inevitable time
i will not imagine your loss, lest i cause it
but i will keep my oaths, unto the end

*

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Forty-Seven.

16/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

Because we live in the future, here is Izzy’s real life voice
talking directly to you via the internet.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Fifteen kids circling a tawny young policeman
Cutting off the exits, they’ve got him surrounded
He’s kneeling to fold the sock of the smallest one
And they’re all patting his shoulders, like the family dog
A boy in white reaches out to touch his gun
And he darts his hand back like a gasp to his hip
As a six-year-old throws up his chubby right hand
Makes a gun with his fingers, yells ‘DO YOU SHOOT THE ROBBERS?’
The kids laugh like firecrackers, fingerguns cocked
The cop strides to his car and they swarm in his stead
Someone’s mother photographs them standing there
A lanky policeman with a sweet soft father’s smile
And the army of hard-faced children with pistols of flesh
Staring dead-eyed and stony as the phone shutter fires.

*

Forty-Six.

15/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

my body is a temple, but
my form of worship is sometimes crude
roughing up these holy insides

burning out adrenaline stores
mind chanting body on, through the wall
of no sleep to find ascension

remembering these fingers, these toes
climbing into sleep exhausted, remembering
this temple is a real, fallible human body too.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

There is something humbling in knowing that I will never know the answers to all the questions in life
Like: why can’t I brush my teeth without covering my whole chin in a beard of toothpaste foam?
Truly, the lord works in mysterious ways.

*

Forty-Five.

14/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

this is one of those days where I’m standing here,
holding my life in little pieces in my hands
looking down at it and wondering
what is this – is it mine?

and David Bowie’s swinging on the chandelier
it’s snowing outside, fire tickling my neck
glasses chiming another hour, another hour
living with my breath punching the air

high-fiving just the thought of you,
saluting the stars, even though
they’re lost in the clouds
writing love letters to all my friends –

hold yourself like a lover, like china,
like you would a hammer that is just about to strike
spin around one more time and remember to
remember this is how Valentine’s should be

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Tonight is a wolf moon
So I stand in the garden, smelling of beer and dirt
And spare a starry thought
For all the lovers tangled in each others’ hair
With their spit-slicked kisses
And bloodlust fucking
Tearing into miles of overripe flesh
Sucking each other like mandarins
Pith and piss and poetry.
Valentine’s Day is a day for people to say
‘I love you’, instead of ‘I want to devour you.’

*

Forty-Four.

13/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

even if I end up just another one of your train wrecks
I promise to be the most spectacular one

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Note to self on getting old:
The more you sneer
The more you pout
The more you purse your lips in disdain
The more you tut and tetch
The sadder you will be.
The smaller you make your mouth,
The smaller you make your heart.
The years are not kind to the jaw.
The lips sew themselves shut
The teeth clamp together
The voice dries to a reedy harrumph
The shoulders curl upwards
The chest caves in
The pelvis folds up
The body collapses
And your bright, strong face full of laughter and love
Becomes a briny old ball of lemon-juice misery.
Let that not be your fate.
Let your lips be elastic and your eyes be bright
Let your cheeks be as buoyant as helium balloons
Let your arms be ever lifted and your voice be a shout
Crying ‘Let today be forever and the night be my lover
And the world full of nonsense and joy.’

*

Forty-Three.

12/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

I spilt milk down my neck –
that’s what you get for drinking from the carton
owl-eyed and tongue-tied at 4am
breathing smoke out the window
sausage-rolled in the covers for warmth.

I spent a good part of today thinking about apocalypse
trying to construct an argument as to why I
would be an asset at the end of the world
for my honours class assignment, I’m pretty sure
this is how to adult.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

We roll on through this hazy, hot land
As it lolls innocuously in a bushfire haze
We track the battles fought against its nothingness
The bitumen scars, the power line bondage
The seething green signs pointing their accusations:
Mount Misery, Mount Disappointment, Wail
Centuries of men throwing down their maps
And scrawling desperate, tearful vengeance
Across the papery insouciance in their hands
As the scrub chuckles its glorious indifference.
You may love a sunburnt country, Dorothea
But it doesn’t give a fuck about you.

*

Forty-Two.

11/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

it snowed today and I was surprised
at how easily I took it in stride
with only a mild sense of excitement
sometimes it’s hard to really be immersed
when you’re just peering out the window

it wasn’t until I was walking home at 4am
flecks of white catching on my coat
that I really looked up with wonder
felt the cold on my cheeks, my tongue
and raised my arms to draw it in

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I’ll tell you a joke: we’re all going to die, and –
Damnit, I always forget the punchline.

*

Forty-One.

10/2/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

sometimes I think of falling in love
as being like people running towards each other
from really far away, pelting headlong towards
that tiny little dot growing on the horizon

and the closer they get, the more they can see
maybe they start running faster, urgently,
maybe they slow down, or maybe one of them stops
and eventually, both of them do

maybe a metre apart, where they can get a really good look
at all of the other person, from top to bottom
maybe with their foreheads pressed together,
hands entwined and chests touching

or maybe they are twenty metres away,
tracing the outline of the other person,
just noticing the colour of their shirt
and the flash of their teeth – smiling I think?

some people plant themselves right there,
decide they like the view, or stop looking and sit
some people step forward again, slowly
a lot of the time things happen that push them back
and they start to step backwards

sometimes something happens to make a person turn
and run furiously in the opposite direction
until maybe they bump into someone else
or they just keep running
to an empty horizon

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I am lying on a massage bed, stomach-side down
In a shopping centre in Ivanhoe, with no door to the salon
So I can hear the grand symphony of Coles checkout beeps
Kids squalling in the aisles, trolleys bumper-car-ing about
With my head squashed unnervingly into a vinyl sphincter
And a woman beating my back with her rolling pin forearm
Pushing my skin into the caves under my shoulder blades
Where there is, frankly, not nearly enough storage space
She batters my buttocks with the tips of her elbows
My toes curl under, my breath turns ragged
She pinches and slaps her way around my arms
Tweaking the nerve that sets off my funny bone
Splinters of pain rocketing into my palms
And there, with her hands so close to holding mine
I feel five years old again, wearing my big pink glasses
Putting my goggles over the top, to thwart the kids who call me four eyes
‘I’m six eyes, now!’ I say, and they snarl like wild dogs.
I am five years old in this big old round body
Looking through a rabbit hole at a pair of sandaled shoes.
And lying here, tormented by those ruthless hard hands
As they charter a path up my fast bruising spine
And the Chinese-burn sting of my finger-clamped flesh
I am holding my breath so she can’t feel me cry.

*

Forty.

9/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

there is no walking anymore
there is only running
or stopping

you can run to get to where you’re going
directly to the place you need to be,
no hesitation, no pussy-footing

or you can stop if you need to throw your arms up
to pull the sky around you
or hold the light up in your eyes with wonder

*

Sarah circle

sarah

4am and a gale is howling like a bitch old stray dog
the stone lions by my window remember what it is to roar
this is a night for never-be-seen-agains
for the threads between worlds to grow thin
this is a night for being swallowed by the wind

*

Thirty-Nine.

8/2/14

Izzy circle

izzy

eyes lined like a teenage goth because
I love it and
I want to play that Icona Pop song
just to prove it

what’s the name for this intense desire
to be kissed?
does it make a difference if I can’t see your lips?

we can dance each other round the living room,
pull the waves between us too because
why not?

these oceans our hangers-on, our third wheels –
we’ll dip like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire
I am jumping higher than you’ve ever seen me go

this is called making peace with the clouds

*

Sarah circle

sarah

People I went to school with are getting married
Walking down aisles on their fathers’ arms
Pursued by misty-eyed sniffling from the pews
Angelic and powdered in swathes of white fabric.
People I know are turning their friends to butter
Melting in the face of their first-dance love
Moving the guests to groping under the tablecloth
With fingers still greasy with the meaty main course.
People whose faces I see only on Facebook
Are throwing out their condoms
And buying houses and dogs and cars and fancy blenders
And painting the smallest room yellow, for safety.
Today, I photographed myself with my tits out
And sent the photo to people I used to fuck.
Which is some small achievement, I suppose.

*