Monthly Archives: April 2014

One Hundred and Fifteen.

25/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

empty dance hall flashing blue, pink, green, back to blue again
ballroom dancing on the floor below, fluorescent lights and
people touching each other with perfectly poised arms

*

Sarah circle

sarah

The light from the window on my face like a bird
Ma and Pa in the picture frame preserved in resinous glass
Mirror holds my face like a prune
Make a fierce face at me pow pow
Kettle whistles through its teeth
Bathrobe hem melting into bouquets of bunched tissues
Petalled across the bed like a wedding night
Down the stairs one-two-skip-four
Don’t like that creaky one don’t like it
I can make a cup of tea don’t need help with that one
Cup out bag in stir stir leave it dash of milk bag out boom
Cat curled up on my knee purring like a big drum
Rumbling on gentle, warmest under his chin
Children clatter outside with their little bell voices
Smell of summer creeping in under the door

*

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One Hundred and Fourteen.

24/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

grains of sand and a face full of sun
wind whistling along the softer lines of you
that wind is getting cheeky with its caresses
but you sway into it, you don’t even mind
something about the silk of skin in air
fuckable and erotic without being seen
or touched or looked at or undone
just you and the wind and the sun

*

Sarah circle

sarah

2 am outside the window.
2 am inside, too, though I am cocooned in wool for my torso and toilet paper for my nose.
I am thinking about Anzac Day. About the wars and the nonsense of them.
And outside the window a siren looms through the darkness. I wonder idly whether it is a bomb siren, and while my brain catches up to my thoughts, I shudder.
I imagine the women and children and wrinkled old people tucked in their chairs, waiting for the drones to start.
I imagine the dogs skittering across tiled floors, whimpering.

*

One Hundred and Thirteen.

23/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

onion-skinned, your eyes open slowly
like you’re not ready to see this

peeled raw, looking right into the thick of it
under the skin, down where the red bits lie

and the beat rattles bones dry
you keep waking up from dream after dream

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Dust soared down from the ceiling
Like a benediction
Anointed our heads with gold
Swarmed in through our nostrils
And burbled away in our blood
Swept lazily across our lips, our lashes
And left the air reeking of electrical fire

*

One Hundred and Twelve.

22/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

She unfurls like smoke, limbs fluid, eyes little pools. 72 hours in a glass box, cameras winking red from all angles. They call her the origami woman, but I know better. Even as she folds herself into little knots, she can’t be compressed. She floods the room with her smile and my gut wrenches. Her knees click the whole walk home and her toes crack one by one as we fold into each other on the couch to watch Ghostbusters. The TV’s light crumples on her face and I’m twisting around her, my heart contorting into shapes I didn’t know existed. There are angels in her angles.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I dreamed last night of an opera
Where I crouched near the stage, camera in hand
As the trilled notes washed over the crowd
They laughed and laughed
And I thought, oh, this is how you enjoy opera
You see it with rich people.
As I folded myself in the walkway, two men,
Lovers, whispered behind me
‘They want people to go onstage!
Look at the way they’re dancing!’
And before the other could protest,
The whispering man in a pinstripe suit burst onstage
Linked arms with some women in feathered headdresses
And applied himself to the can can.
The dancers tensed, the audience roared
A voice over the loudspeaker chuckled,
Made light of his flush-faced faux pas
The man was lead cheerily offstage.
I felt his partner grow stormy
Brewing the argument that would follow him home.

*

One Hundred and Eleven.

21/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

“Jazz hands shouldn’t be used in that –
what d’you call that? –
in that context.”

she wipes the sweat from her brow,
turns with lowered eyes and calls over her shoulder
“Junior whopper, no onion!”

the cash register blinks
“Next.”

*

Sarah circle

sarah

When they ask me: what was the exact moment you knew that things were not right?
I’ll say:
It wasn’t when I slid out of the sheets onto my head
It wasn’t melting onto the carpet in a puddle of numb disinterest
It wasn’t noticing vaguely that voices were long and echoed, and faces felt eons away
It wasn’t the sudden crying jag where tears ran across my forehead because of the inane angle of my body
It was when I knocked over the glass of water and felt it seep insistently through my jeans
And I didn’t think: hey, get up, it’s cold and wet down here
I didn’t thing: you can just get right up
I didn’t think: stop crying tears into your hair
I thought: this feels flat and big, like a glacier
I thought: I could just lie here forever in this puddle, staring at the ceiling
I thought: I hope forever isn’t very far away.
That’s when I knew.

*

One Hundred and Ten.

20/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

guys with topknots are everywhere
I try to imagine you as a guy with a topknot
but it doesn’t come easily, it doesn’t seem very ‘you’
but then again I couldn’t conceive of your face without it’s little beard blanket
and here it is shining and radiant and still your face

it seems slightly disturbing to me that Doritos ‘original’ corn chips are covered in cheesy flavouring
there is nothing original about this
these corn chips are a lie

our new microwave seems to get filled up with condensation
I can’t understand where it’s coming from
or why it has nowhere else to go
that’s bad design, if you ask me

I saw through a crack in the door that my new housemate has a giant pikachu plush on his bed
this makes me like him even more than I did before.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Lot’s wife has found another lover now
His name is Orpheus – he understands.

*

One Hundred and Nine.

19/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

I shop at Sainsbury’s for something different
and it is, but unremarkably so
it’s more just kind of confusing,
being in a supermarket where all the items seem to be
arranged haphazardly and stupidly,
not in the order I’m used to
not in the logic I’ve learnt to follow
I wonder how standardised supermarket layouts are.
I wonder if I could have a copy of the universal map.
I think they might be specifically engineered to be confusing to maximise customer spending.
this seems likely to me as I bought at least 3 things that weren’t on my original 4-item list,
and considered buying even more unnecessary things.

I sometimes think the rubbish around the door where I live has been placed there
it seems very specific and purposeful at times
like a contemplation on the transience of this hall space
considering urban decay, consumerism, minutiae of daily life
something something
there is a sucked-on cough lolly
there are scraps of food wrappers and cigarette butts
sometimes there are cans and leaves and tiny little bags
my favourite is the hot pink feather that’s been clinging to the step near my door
for days now.

I’m stepping out of my new sandals that I’m still not sure if I like
they are very much like parent sandals, ‘Dad sandals’ to be precise
they are very practical and leathery and comfortable
and I feel strangely like I want to wear them with socks
in order to subvert people’s fashion censors
I consider looking up the expensive manufacturer
just to see where they’re made
to see if I can find out where they sourced the leather
wondering if there are factory fires where they do the stitching
I decide not to – I think I would rather not know the ethics of my sandals
I think I would rather have comfortable and ethically ambiguous sandals
than find out that they are morally bankrupt, and so am I by association

I think ‘I can’t handle the truth’ and that seems true
so I google them just to spite myself
and nothing comes up to link them with bad working conditions
but not much comes up at all really
so either way my feet are not vindicated they are just comfortable
I actually have no idea where that line about truth comes from
all my pop culture references are just referencing other people
the quilt of their interweaving understanding just looks like a bunch of squares to me
I drink from the mouth of my unnecessary carton of cranberry juice and it is delicious.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I had forgotten the electric hiss
That slides up the spine
The water trickling into the belly
The flood of feeling down the thighs
That blooms in the wake
Of an unexpected kiss from a stranger

*

One Hundred and Eight.

18/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

Mark is the kind of brutal-looking kid that even adults are a little bit afraid of. When Mark looks at himself in the mirror before school in the mornings, the thinks to himself, ‘what a bruiser,’ he thinks this even though he’s not exactly sure what a bruiser is and sticks his bottom lip out scrunching his eyes all crazy and mean. Mark doesn’t think he’d ever actually want to punch someone but since everyone else seems to think he does, he figures that he might as well look the part. He practises cracking his knuckles in front of the mirror until his hands hurt. Mark’s almost 9 and he’s already almost 5 feet tall and weighs just over 50kg. Mark reckons this is pretty big. Mark’s parents think this is pretty big too. Sometimes they make frowning faces and prod his belly when he’s not looking like they think he won’t notice, like he can’t feel his own skin. He wonders how big he’ll be when he’s finished growing up. Mark imagines himself having to stoop in his house and taking up the whole kitchen and all the furniture suddenly looking like it was made for dolls. Standing outside the chippy with his razr scooter, he pokes his head in nervously. Maddy’s still waiting in the line, patiently gripping a £5 note in her fist. Mark isn’t allowed into the chippy any more, because the man behind the counter doesn’t like him. The man at the chippy thinks Mark spilt the ketchup all over the floor three weeks ago. It wasn’t Mark. The man who spilt ketchup all over the floor was a lot taller than Mark and he was wearing a white shirt with a collar and very shiny black shoes. When the chippy man had turned and walked to the kitchen to get shiny shoes his order, the shiny man stumbled and righted himself on the counter. The sauce got knocked off and pooled everywhere, all over the tiles. When the chippy man walked back out, Mark and the shiny man were staring at the bottle as sauce bubbled out of it’s open mouth. The chippy man went apeshit at Mark and told him never to come back and the shiny man just stood there and smirked and took his order and didn’t clean it up. Mark thought about apologising even though he didn’t do it, but he knew the chippy man was just looking for an excuse anyway. So he stands and pokes his head around the corner and waits for Maddy to get the chips and nuggets so they can eat them in the park together. This time they won’t walk behind the hill so no one sees him hanging out with his little sister. This time Mark will just squint his eyes and tell them they just don’t know how cool she is, how brave.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I’m sorry, kiddo
We’re at the end of the road
With a pocketful of nothing
And a chest full of lies
There’s no cure for this sickness
And no salve for what we’ve torn raw
We’ve fucked up all the somethings
We’ve forgotten all the songs
All the dew-damp mornings on your kneecaps
All the holy half-lights in hotel stairwells
All the fucks and fights and fierce hot love
They’ve all come down to this
Two death-drunk old friends
At the foot of the world
Where every step down is one too many
And every step up is one too late
The bells are ringing in the dusky day
As the sun slips below the skin of the world
And the night we ruled like children
Comes crawling back to drown us once and for all
Ah, there’s no nonsense like romance
To cleave your honest tongue
And there’s no sweetness like sadness
To stain your mind with love
And if nothing else can linger
But the words we leave behind
I’ll take this time to finally learn
To keep my thoughts inside
Don’t you dare to beg redemption
For your sins or for mine
Just button up my coat, love
One last, lonely time

*

One Hundred and Seven.

17/4/14

Izzy circle

izzy

these are the weird years, these right here
are the times when we cannot know what will happen next
except that someone else will get engaged
someone will have a revelation about their purpose
every other week
and someone will become responsible for another human life

so you’d better run, son, you’d better run fast
get yourself a mortgage and two point five kids
or a pet at least, I’ve heard dogs deal better
with inconsistency than cats

things may not seem this strange again for a while
until everyone is leaving their joint mortgages
until everyone is redecorating empty nests
or we are all writing our epitaphs
waiting for our bones to be engraved in the dirt or the wind

*

Sarah circle

sarah

The day they throw me into jail
They’ll have to invent a new term just for me
To cover the scale of my crime.
‘Grand theft inhibitions with intent to bodily eviscerate’, perhaps.
That’s how hard I’m gonna fuck you.

*

One Hundred and Six.

16/4/14.

Izzy circle

izzy

I dreamt that we lived in the Bronx
to be honest, I don’t know much about it
but that’s where my brain thought we were

in our shoebox apartment, your beard was getting long
we grew herbs in a box hanging from the windowsill
you brewed coffee and I brewed beer

I wore bright clothes and we made breakfast every meal
and our bed took up most of the apartment –
the rest was orange crockery, dessert spoons and empty wine bottles.

I remember this poet saying once
that she still thought, that she’d always think,
the best poem she ever wrote was a simple note
that said ‘I love you I love you I love you I love you’
and all I can think is that words fail, words fail, words fail

I wrote you the beginning of a letter 3 times over.
the best one started with:
Dear ,
I love you.
Even though those words never seem like enough
like they can’t contain what I mean,
can’t contain me,
it still feels like a revelation every time I say it.

I would make the whole internet my love poem to you
every video of a cat or a kid falling over
every sliver of binary code twisting through fibre optic cables
every porn site and pirate bay and spam email

because this can be kind of hard to decipher
but I think you know what I mean
most of the time

I dreamt 3 lifetimes in 3 days
and I would live them all again.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Ten sounds that are awful:

1. Coffee mugs rolling into each other in the back of a car.
2. Sheets of Styrofoam sliding up a wooden staircase.
3. Biting into the grit on some poorly washed spinach.
4. The screech of tyres braking too fast, just before the crash.
5. Breathing in during an asthma attack.
6. A door that’s grown too big for its frame, scraping on the floor.
7. Dogs in pain.
8. Sneakers on linoleum.
9. A bug gnawing away deep inside a mattress.
10. A guitar string straining in the second before it snaps.

*