Monthly Archives: October 2014

Day Three Hundred.

27/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

she runs at night like there has never been an axe murderer or a serial rapist on the loose
she runs like her muscles are knots, ropes and pulleys
she runs like she’s following a huge straining sail and it’s just salt and sweat and wind and her

*

Sarah circle

sarah

She clenched her fingers til the bones rose to the surface of her skin like chicken in a soup pot, cruel and white and vicious. Her back felt spined as she arched, bucked against the perverse hospital cornered starched white bed. She bellowed hot red sounds and felt the body between her thighs come snaking into the world, crowned with a coronet of cold. The nurses began wiping the child clean of the thick gunk that coated him, but she shook her head, had him laid filthy on her slick breasts. She hissed love at him through a newly forked tongue and blinked too many eyelids, lazy with contentment, in the flickering fluorescent haze.

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-Nine.

26/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

I kiss the dirt like it is your forehead
I tell the waves to fuck off like they are your whisper
teasing that we’ll knock ‘em dead one day
make all those boys sorry they were born
grow up to be real heartbreakers

I eat bread like it’s your bones
like I could fill myself up with it
learn to run again, like a real girl
like more than a brittle effigy

I can’t see shit without my glasses these days
unless it’s up real close and personal
breathing moist against my cheek, you
are so far away you’re like a fog

I don’t trust my own memory.
I always sit in the same place on buses.

saccharine crack between teeth –
were you thrust into this?
sometimes I think we all were –
50 cents of gumdrop glory
sinking in the pit.

I hate halloween, creeping around your birthday
like a dog done wrong
reminder that the dead don’t rise
reminder that this is another year missed

I toast you like you’re still here
toast you like you’ll live forever

you could have lived forever.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Midnight interview.

What is the colour of love?
A purpley kind of a colour.
What is the sound of love?
Wind rustling through shredded crepe paper dangling from wire coathangers.
What is the most beautiful thing?
You are.
What else is the most beautiful thing?
Baked potatoes.
Do it properly.
A baby.
When was the last time you felt really happy?
Pass.
How many people have you ever loved?
Twenty? I don’t know. Maybe not twenty. I don’t know.
When did you feel the most grown up?
When I was twenty-eight.
Why?
I was a lecturer. People listened to me. I had a staff parking permit.
If you had a megaphone, and you could say something to the whole world, what would it be?
Help.
Help what?
Just help exclamation mark.
Have you ever seen snow?
Yes.
Have you ever made a snow angel?
Yes.
Have you ever kissed anyone under mistletoe?
No.
What are three words that describe how you would like to be as a person?
Better. Better. Better.
What’s the earliest song you remember hearing?
‘My grandfather’s clock.’ Or ‘Where’s your momma gone?’
When did you first realise that you were a boy, and that was different from girls?
Probably in the bath. With my sister. She didn’t have a penis.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
I really liked ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.’ But the sequel was shit.
What song do you want played at your funeral?
‘Joy to the World.’ The Jeremiah was a bullfrog one.
What’s your favourite photo of yourself?
I like one of me and my sister what I was about two.
Why?
Cos I’m smiling a lot and I look very happy.
What do you want to dream about tonight?
Something interesting.
Like what?
Oh, I don’t know. Ice skating on the school quadrangle or something.
Pick a word. Any word.
Coagulate.
Say goodnight in any language other than English.
Guten nacht.

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight.

25/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

hollow the bones and pinch the meat
roll back the skin and place your hands in the heat
this is what they meant when they said ‘sticky fingers’
this is the drop that wasn’t already in there
if a circle was made of straight lines, what would it look like?
hold your head underwater for as long as you can
but don’t forget to breathe.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

When I die, I want singing at my funeral. Big, brash, joyous singing. I want harmonies everywhere, even if they don’t quite fit. I want hands lifted to the sky and bad dancing. I want speeches about all the times I fell over. I want photos of my worst drunk faces. I want everyone to stuff themselves on the food that made my guts hurt. I want people to make out at the reception, confused and scared and lonely but full of each others’ heartbeats. I want answers. I want a phone call to heaven to ask why I’m not there. I want the fragments that were me to reassemble enough to figure out what the fuck is going on. I want people to stage a revolution because I’m gone. I want to live. I want to die. I want to stop wanting so much and so little. I want to mean more. I want to fear less. I want to be braver. I want to be either richer or poorer or maybe both. I want to curl in a ball. I want to get through the night. I want hope. I want happiness. I want purpose. I want soul. I want singing at my funeral.

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-Seven.

24/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

somewhere in this city, he is dropping hands into rubbish bins,
keeping the wedding rings stacked on a chain
making liars of us all

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Of all the things I imagined being at this age, lukewarm was not one of them. Middling. Almost-but-not-quite content. That terrible nagging nearly-okay-ness that is somehow more unbearable than the fiercest of hardships. These years are the temperature of the backyard spa our parents installed, into which we would invariably leap before it was hot. The ache of tepid water, worse than the burn of our teenaged feet when we ran from the night-iced grass to plunge into frothing hot bubbles, forty degrees, gasping at the pain. No, this bored ennui is worse. We all have microwaves humming in our chests. We’ve long thrown the matches away, and we let the turntables revolve empty, waiting for a fat frozen chicken to coax back into teeming salmonellic life.

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-Six.

23/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

sketches for my sweetheart the drunk
8. Of all the old men in sparkling sports cars, you’d be the dog hanging its tongue out the passenger side.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Now listen cos this is important
we step into the light here, now, today
no more meetings in dark corridors
halfway between the pissweak halogen bulbs
pressing into the mouldy wallpaper with our shoulder blades and knees
no more whispers into telephone lines
no more crack-coded eyebrows and wrists
no more telling your mother you have another business trip
to a state where nobody knows you
today is the day it happens
take my hand and lead me into the daylight
and we will stride down the street with our heads at full mast
and pride blazing behind our eyes
today is the day the red lips of our secrets come falling open
and all the love and strange and sadness come tumbling out
today we are not hidden any more
today we are shameless

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-Five.

22/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

sketches for my sweetheart the drunk
7. Would you carry yourself like a child, if you could?

*

Sarah circle

sarah

My feet hit the floor like lead balloons – KER-THUNK – and I’m up and Adam, as it were. Coffee pot sets to boiling when it sees my reflection, and the toast is up early and ready to greet the day. The radio slides its dial to smooth cool jazz to ease the transition from sleepy oblivion to the bright dull fluorescent November morning. Front door creaks thoughtfully. Next door’s cat runs a paw under the gap from the floorboards, waves a jaunty hello in shock-orange fur. Time trickles on. I think about juicing an orange, but the kitchen isn’t giving me a hand so I roll it around under my palm, pressing a finger into its navel, extracting it coated in bittersweet pith and skin. The tap drips. Sun bores in through the window and lays a coat of colour on my cheek. There’s a flat THUNK-shhh as the paper hits the glass and rolls into the bush below. I don’t know what type of bush it is. It’s green. Dark green, at a pinch. Fat plump leaves that turn frail and sapless in summer and throw themselves uselessly at my feet as I stride by in careless benediction. Somewhere, a mouse scurries madly into a skirting board. Across the room, discarded on the sideboard, my watch beeps. High pitched and insistent. There’s no auto-off function for it, as far as I can tell. It just keeps whining on until it’s attended to. I tell my legs to get up. Go on knee, I say, move it along, foot. They don’t budge. They sit, silent and sulky, flat as a tack, cement heavy. I try my hands, but they won’t have a bar of it. The watch beeps madly. I can feel the blood settling in my toes. There’s a slice of my face in the burnished metal of the fridge. I look like plaster.

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-Four.

21/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

sketches for my sweetheart the drunk
6. If you could paint the sky, you wouldn’t rip into the red. You prefer lavender.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Before every Centrelink meeting, she puts in thick gelatinous eyedrops so she looks like she’s been crying. She’s perfected the amount of tremor to put into her voice so that the staff let her off her reporting requirements – too little and they roll their red eyes, too much and they faces grow stiff and flat like chipboard. But the littlest wobble, a jagged intake of breath, and they look around at their colleagues, lean in close and whisper ‘We’ll see what we can do.’ A few words work best, she’s found. Big explanations feel too overthought. But just gasping ‘My mother –‘ before she throws in a sob, like it’s too big to say, like she can’t go on talking, that’s the ticket, that’s the Oscar winning shot. And everyone’s got a mum who they look at and think ‘Jesus, she’s getting old.’ Getting them where it hurts, that’s what you have to do. Touch the little triggers that link in to the big feelings, the 4 am feelings when your head’s going too fast to turn off. She should be on stage, she reckons. She’s wasted on these work-wracked automatons. But there’s something addictive about the control when she’s pretending to be broken. She ties the strings round their tongues and they can’t even feel it. Can’t even see. And they all go home thinking ‘I did something good today. I helped someone out.’ And who is she to deny them that feeling? That joy?

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-Three.

20/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

sketches for my sweetheart the drunk
5. If you could run your hands through like water runs, would you stay? If you could whip your hair like wind whips, you would stay.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

it’s a Wednesday
and he sits, arms fixed at his side
knees pressed into his forehead
breathing into the space between his legs
watching the soft blonde hairs shiver with every exhale.
he is halfway up the spiral stairs exactly
the wood smelling of varnish and leather
and the sun spilling resinous light through the air
he presses his eyes against the plates of his knees
until he sees red, then white, then neon green
upstairs, behind thick closed doors
his father shuffles papers, and beats at a typewriter
wreathed in a fog of frowning thick cigar smoke
downstairs, his mother clatters pans in the sink
and shushes at them sharply like a spitting goose
he can feel in his pocket the soft little lump
of the mouse that he’d killed, as it chirped in his bedclothes
chattering away about its little furred day
and in the half-sleep of morning, he’d panicked and lunged
and dashed it by the tail on the floor of his room
til its head seeped a little, and its squeaking grew still
and now he sits, grief-frozen and shamed
halfway between his parents, nursing a little round burden
and feeling old as the world, and sad as he knows how

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-Two.

19/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

sketches for my sweetheart the drunk
4. Somewhere, there is a dog that wants to lie at your feet and eat your scraps.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

I masturbated in Wyoming thinking about Brokeback Mountain
thinking of cowboys in the cold
fighting bad dreams with each others’ bodies
fought my own battle with catching breath and wet fingers
and hissed out hot air into the icy snap of morning

*

Two Hundred and Ninety-One.

18/10/14

Izzy circle

izzy

sketches for my sweetheart the drunk
3. Breathing underwater is easier than watching you sleep.

*

Sarah circle

sarah

Cherry Garcia, she chuckled.
What a fuckin’ cack.
The bartender who’d given her shit for ordering oversweet cocktails at her age
had ended up joining her on a two-person trivia team to end all others
where they’d ruined the competition with his knowledge of 80s pop hits
and her almost freakish ability to recall the oeuvres of bad big haired film stars
and he’d named them Cherry Garcia, and snuck her a glass full
of maraschino cherries from the cocktail supplies
which she feasted on in victory with every round won
watching his eyes start to go wobbly at the way that she laughed
and her lips round the cherries like the pinups all did it
and when the night had ended, and they’d drunk all the spoils of trivia war
and he stood so close on the step to the bar
she’d winked at him, tossed a wave into the air
and strutted down the street on her own
tonguing the syrupy rim round her teeth
feeling powerful because she’d neither taken nor given a thing

*