Monthly Archives: March 2014

Eighty-Four.

25/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

Milk is for weak cunts. Neon orange docs and a chest full of sparklers and this is the only way I know to say ‘alive’. I am a-live a-live a-live. This champagne couldn’t be sparklier. You couldn’t be sparklier. Grab my hand. We’ll make a fist together and smash this wall between us to pieces.

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Sarah circle

sarah

True confession:
In the unlikely event of my reproducing
I desperately want a son
I have always felt that I know how to raise a boy
How to teach him to be brave and kind
And honest and true and fierce and soft and ready
But in every fibre of my being
I know that I’ll have a daughter
And the day that I bring her wailing into the world
I will cradle her in my arms
And I will be fucking terrified

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Eighty-Three.

24/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

sunlight smashing the window with a fist
that’s like ‘YEAH! ALRIGHT! TODAY IS REALLY HERE!’
and I’m walking with grenades in my step
each beat hitting the pavement like
yeah yeah yeah
smiling is just another way to high-five the sun

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Sarah circle

sarah

Cherry wine lips and
Pack a bag cheeks and
Rat a tat heart and
Knock about knees and
Simmer sigh chest and
Pick apart hands and
Rainy day eyes and
Rustle nest hair and
Fall about toes and
Pick a bruise thighs and
Tumble top brows and
Churn a lot brain and
Quiet now lips and
Strum a bit ribs and
Ripple roll gut and
Grapple tight love and
Never not no and
Can’t abide this and
Hurry back now and
No you can’t leave and

*

Eighty-Two.

23/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

standing on the shoulders of giants
not only standing on the shoulders of giants
but shrinking them

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Sarah circle

sarah

O this earth, she’s a bastard
And try though I might, I can’t tame her
I’ve had it with this dirt that won’t stay off my heels
With this sour old filly soil
That keeps throwing me off
And chuckling to see me bite the dust of the day
So I’m off to the skies
If there’s a chance that they’ll have me
Throw my arms open wide
And step into the air
Pack my limbs in a jacket
Pressed in buttons of brass
Part my hair all one-sided
Pipe out ‘God Save the King’
And with a little good luck
And some patriot pageantry
In a fortnight or so
I’ll have my fists on the yoke
And as the dawn peeks over a hissing horizon
I’ll breathe in the diesel and blood in the air
And feel the earth kick and buck as we rattle on faster
And then finally, finally, she’ll spit us right out
And I’ll soar
14,000 feet up in the hands of the gods
Or whoever it is who throws the clouds in the sky
And I’ll laugh at that scrape of green smeared out below me
And the strings that held me there will splinter and snap
And I’ll sing
I’m not long for the flying, I’m not a damn fool
Eight days, they give fighters
If they’re lucky, if they’re quick
Not for me the applause of the ticker-tape public
Can’t image much worse than the landing back down
No, give me the death of a phoenix up skyward
With a gunner’s stigmata shot into the plane
God, let me not land on that ground I so hate
Lord, make me an angel, burning fiery and true
An inferno’s my coffin, I’ll be the brightest brief star
And I’ll take up my place in the firmament’s cheek

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Eighty-One.

22/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

There is a girl with a flamingo on her head and no one is moving. We are all watching and waiting and our muscles are ready but not tense. There is anticipation and a readiness, a willingness even, for action, for the spur of adrenaline kicking in and the sudden realisation that you have to do something, anything, but there is no nervousness and somehow the atmosphere seems remarkably calm. There is a man with a briefcase, held out mid-stride, and he hasn’t pulled it back from where it was swinging, it’s just hanging there poised and his arm is starting to shake a little but he’s committed to the shape of the stride. A woman is tying the lace of her boots, and she’s still crouched awkwardly between the ground and her height just holding the laces out, mouth open. We watch and we wait and suddenly I know what to do I know it is me this is the moment I have been chosen I have to act I am getting the adrenaline kick and I am throwing the little one pint bottle of milk from my Tesco bag at her head and the flamingo is lifting up and away, arching it’s head in a final act of aggression and showering fluorescent pink feathers on the ground around this girl’s head and she is still standing there stock still as it lifts up and away. Then everyone is moving again, bustling off into the subway, home, to the shops, to their rendez-vous with a lover or to pick up the dry cleaning and it is just me and this girl still standing there. Her face is turned to the sky like she’s trying to catch the light and keep it and as I turn to walk into the subway thinking I need to buy some more milk I see the look on her face as she stares at the sky isn’t relieved as I expected. Her face is full of yearning.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Tonight is a glass of rusty tap water
Abandoned on a dusty tabletop
Catching more light than it deserves

*

Eighty.

21/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

“D’you ever feel like you’re a bad man?” silence, then the stumble of boots on concrete over rushing water. “D’you ever feel. Like you’re a bad man?” slurring and spitting stars out into ink sky brushed with steel wool clouds. Only the streetlights are listening. The river crushes the sound of his lungs rasping and fingers grasping for 150-year-old sandstone and his boots scuffing life into 2-year-old pavements. Gutters greet the lifeless lurch like an old friend and it is warm here and it is close and it is still. The sun won’t break the sky for hours yet and the mud is a comforting thing.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Reasons I rejected you on Tinder:
– Your photo was you at the races
– Your photo was you climbing a mountain looking smug
– Your photo was only of your torso
– Your photo was a full-length selfie in a mirror and you were pouting
– Your photo was you at the gym
– Your photo was you in a football jersey giving the thumbs up
– Your photo was you holding a drink bigger than your head
– Your photo was you flexing a bicep
– Your photo was you holding a machine gun
– Your photo was you standing awkwardly in a suit at a friend’s wedding
– Your photo was you on a jetski
– You made it apparent that you’re looking to cheat on your significant other
– You described yourself as ‘not better than sex or chocolate, but sliced bread is in a bit of trouble.’
– You’re a member of the Liberal party, and care enough about it to write blogs about how you agree with Tony Abbott
– You appear to actually be a fireman, and you’re holding a tiny fireman’s axe, and you’re overly anxious about clarifying that the girl in one of your photos is ‘just a friend.’
– You messaged me to say that you’re sitting at home at 2 am on a Saturday thinking about why nobody loves you and wondering why women always find you too threatening to love
– Your profile says ‘Warning: Once you go black you can never go back.’
– You asked for ‘people of normal sexual hydration’
– You don’t know the difference between your and you’re
– You have an awful inspirational quote on your profile, saying ‘Your life is a song, a song without words, waiting for you to sing along.’
– Your profile says ‘Life is about DREAMING and ACHIEVING!!!!’
– You seem perfectly nice and quite friendly and you said hello to me in a totally reasonable manner and I freaked out because I don’t know how to flirt with strangers

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Seventy-Nine.

20/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

You smile for me and goddamn it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Quiet settles on our shoulders like a blanket and we are warm in it. Some days I think the only thing my mouth has ever wanted to do is kiss yours. This is what my lips were made for. I do, I kiss you soft and you kiss back and I think, ‘I will never get sick of this’. I think, ‘I won’t ever have to’. Your fingers are warm wrapped in mine but paper dry. I sit across from you as our cells start to break down. Our hair grows long and white. Our nails yellow. Our cheeks hollow and I think, ‘My cheekbones have never looked this good. My jawline is so chiseled.’ We shed our skins, muscle and tendon stripped away until we are sitting here across from each other in just our bones and you look at me and you see everything.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Nothing to be done, I’m afraid
Some things run too deep
I threw the baby out with the bathwater years ago
He must be far out in the ocean by now
Shuttled by waves in the briny bass deep
Chuckling at the tickle-taste of seaweed
What I’m saying is, I’m in too far now
And I left no trail of breadcrumbs behind me
Just a mess of tipped over bookshelves
The past looks like a fucking riot from here
And I can taste danger on the wind
As I’m burning the toast and leaving the car unlocked
My mind’s a mess these days
Keeps skipping in the grooves
Keep finding myself halfway down the hallway
Asleep in my underthings
Dust creased in my sockets like eyeshadow
But life will spit back out what it won’t have
And there’s that fishing-line tug in my heart
Ten little fingers, ten little toes
Squirming in the out-to-sea
Running the tides through my veins
Heaving my chest as the moon drags the wet to the dry

*

Seventy-Eight.

19/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

You love airports. They terrify me. All this blank shiny space swallowing me as I stand trying to look nonchalant, sheltered by a pillar, picking my nails, rocking on my heels, reminding myself not to run – I’ll trip. Not to go straight for your face – it’ll end in a headbutt. My heart flops out of my chest, running to the sheen of glass and metal, smacking into the sliding doors for every pair of feet descending, for every well-dressed man that could be you and isn’t. And this heart slouches back again to get a real good run-up.

We will always be putting each other on planes – itchy feet demand departure and fresh soil. The world is too wide to stand still in and it is constantly moving. We will always be putting each other on planes, spinning in and out of each other’s orbit. But maybe that means we’ll always be arriving too.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I have never hungered to rule
Because I know what real power is
It’s not laws and rules and warring
It’s not salutes and marches and shouting
It’s having your face an inch away
From another person’s nose
Speaking seven little words
And watching the flood waters rise

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Seventy-Seven.

18/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

a list of things to do while waiting for hours to pass:
change the sheets
make space in the cupboards
re-fold the new towel
think about wolves and other animals you would like to be
re-arrange the dresser. again.
lose focus multiple times
hide all the mess. all of it.
sit by the window, quietly burgeoning, flourishing, vibrating
wrap some things in brown paper
line them up so they look casually placed
listen to Baths on repeat
shower
dance in the empty room
put on clean clothes
have an extended argument about feminism on Facebook
don’t write the essay
make endless cups of tea
read patches of academic articles
write a list of words that taste delicious
forget what you’re doing. again.
hold your heart in your hands and whisper ‘be still. just…be still.’

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Sarah circle

sarah

She runs her fingers across her collarbones like she’s checking for dust
And her eyes darken like ink in a bathtub
And I think: this is not good
And I think: not good at all
And I think: I’ve never been so turned on in all my life

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Seventy-Six.

17/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

after Ginsberg:

Australia I miss you, why won’t you call me back?
Australia answer the goddamn phone.
Australia don’t call me, don’t write, don’t wait up on skype.
I am sick and awake and I know you can hear me.
Australia I’ve got my arms crossed.
I’ve been frowning for a while now.
I don’t know how to look at you through the blazing white heat of your bullshit.
When will you stop bleaching your hair white?
When will you stop trying for a suntan?
When will you sing yourself into existence again?
When will you repair the soil?
When will you see the stories in the dust and ash?
Know it’s part of your history, but not your heritage.
Australia please stop shouting at me.
I can’t hear the sea any more.
Australia take off your clothes.
Australia you don’t look any good in a suit.
I liked you better in budgie smugglers.
It was easier to think you might be joking.
Australia just saying it doesn’t mean you mean it.
You have a wife.
You have three daughters.
Your sister is gay.
At some point your ancestors came to make a new life too.
At some point you forgot it was already someone else’s life.
Australia you’re not a decent human being by proxy.
When will you be kind?
When will you care about people other than yourself?
When will you be the paradise you promised?
Australia this autodidactic routine is getting old.
Australia last night I couldn’t sleep.
Me the somnambulist marching in March.
But far away from you and your false promises.
Australia take my hand.
Australia better yet take the hands of the people you ignore.
Australia take the millions of tiny hands reaching for you.
They all, we all, need you.
Australia I love you, but you’re terrifying me.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I woke in the woods with my bare feet half-frozen
Came rocketing into consciousness mid-stride,
Swift from a dream of a hulking ship, creaking
And my feet sweeping salt across the sea-swollen deck.
And at the foot of a tree, at the mouth of the woods,
The hairs on the nape of my neck prickled up
And my sloshing and churning somnambulist’s brain
Pointed out to my ears that they could still hear the creaks
And as the shivering set in, and my heart took on water
I knew without looking what was hanging above

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Seventy-Five.

16/3/14

Izzy circle

izzy

This woman has a well in her chest and it’s beginning to get annoying. She covered the well over years ago, nailed down planks of wood over the opening and added a layer of bricks and mortar, just to be sure. Anatomically speaking, the well extends down from her jugular notch, that lovely little dip beneath the throat, between her clavicles, and all the way down somewhere deep, perhaps to her bellybutton. Even though it’s covered up, she can still feel it. She can still feel every little trickle of water, every ripple. Eventually she decides to pay the well a visit again. She cracks through the bricks and mortar with a jackhammer, rips the planks up with a crowbar and looks down into the dark. Breathes in the wet scent of fresh water and moss. She doesn’t know how deep the well is. Probably it goes on forever. Maybe she will never know or care. She drops a bucket into the well and pulls up water. It is clear and sweet and she pours it over her head and feels like a goddess from a shaving commercial. This woman has a well in her chest and she doesn’t know why she ever tried to forget it was there.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

As you stepped out from your chair
You absently pushed down the leg of your pants
With the tip of your left foot
I had never seen you do that before
And I liked it
And I wondered how much else I’d never noticed
And would never grow to love

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