They bought the house new, especially to avoid these sorts of things.There is nothing behind the wall, except a space where the wind whistles, and it always whistles. Even on still days, when the plastic windmills in the neighbour’s garden don’t clatter, and Gregory Mutt’s union jack is slummed around its flagpole, the wind whistles!‘I don’t quite understand what you want?’ the contractor explained. ‘There’s nothing to explain where a draught would be getting in, and we’ve checked all your external walls.’‘Listen though!’ Jenny hauled him through the kitchen by the front of his shirt, pressed her face to the lilac paint. ‘It’s whistling now!’The contractor stared at her, wide eyed, and a little sweaty.‘Aye,’ he croaked, ‘I hear it.’She yanked him closer.‘You will,’ she said, quiet now. ‘You will be the one to make it stop.’ It’s the end of a long day and I still have words to write for NaNoWriMo, but I’m taking a little break to pop over to the dVersePub and see what delights they have in store for tonight’s …
I should have taken that course,the one with the guywho builds drystone walls up northfor the farmers who have to maintainthings the way they’ve always been.A bit like how I’m still tryingto keep this how it waswhen you laid each slab in placeone, against the other,so clever with your fingers,finding the flattest stones,the edges most like jigsaw pieces,and stacking the piletill it looked like a skyscrapereven if it always was only a folly. I’ve just taken part in Caroline Bird’s Brave Writing poetry workshop, so I was a little worried I’d be all poet’d out by the time I got round to the DVerse prompt for this evening. It was an amazing workshop and I feel like a got so much out of it, much as I did with the workshop I did last year run by Mark Pajak. Workshops are a great way to improve your poems and your craft. Also, my poem When Medusa Goes Shopping went live on The Daily Drunk today! I think this is the first poem I’ve had published …
Squirming at the pumpkin guts, your hands scooped into ladles, spooning palmfuls of seed and sludge. We took desert spoons to the wisp remains. Raked the slick walls smooth. Marked out the features with sharpies, a wide outline mouth, hollow eyes, skeleton nose. Sawed kitchen knives through thick sick, fingers squeaking tight on the handles. This year, that kitchen is someone else’s, and the plants have not spat out anything other than flowers, their yellow blooms autumn mulched into the borders. There is no spilling through the doorway, hat and coats rain kissed into my open arms. No mud footprints on the tiles. Only seeds, sat on the shelf, kept dark and safe, for more hospitable times. My own roots deepening, on the promises pushed away till Spring. Evening has a weight,a sense of things settling down,comfort in closing.
Fireworks popping off underneath skin,an explosions against the brickwork.Blood so bright it burns my retinasand when I dreamed I can see it,the splash, the sizzle of colour.My own fists tight as un-popped corks deep in my dressing gown pockets,buried under lint and hidden things,like the sound of bone crackon plasterboard,always plasterboard,this fuse pulled taught between my shouldersunlitand your face so dark with thunderthe crash of it in a plate on the kitchen floor,slowly starts to clear. I feel like I need to preface this poem with the fact that it is not a description of a real event, or specifically based on one real individual. We’ve had sporadic fireworks for the last couple of weeks, so if anything, those are the main source of inspiration. Right with that out of the way, here’s an audio recording of the poem, and a note to say go and check out the rest of the poems written for tonight’s DVersePoets sound prompt.
You and your dim accuracy,head lolled loose eyes whitened and widenedtill the pupils blink out.Words come clipped,ransomed love lettersread like shopping lists,or obituaries. Call this a grey life,the air sucked clear your mouth a pursed funnel,but I am the culprit. Found the bruises of your hands,like marble sponge,cold as stonethe heat slipping over youwithout warming. In the well shade you sitwhile I sink deeper, darkerfor the waterline.Come up spitting dustand excuses.Shoulder a shallow cloakof indifference,already the hem unpickedby those grasping handsalways tappingrappingat the weakest point. Feel them at my templestonight, tomorrow, today,at the weakest pointalways tapping away. Ah, I’m really hoping I got this right. The five Samuel Greenberg charms that I used for my response are as follows: dim accuracy / grey life / marble sponge / the well shade / shallow cloak. I tried to emulate Greenberg’s abstract style (though not quite as drastically as he employs the abstract).
Their heads bob like drinking birds,of course, of course, of course.Necks pulled up from their collar bones.I have never seen throats so openas when your snout is at their jugularthe gleam on bright white teethmasked by sheer magnetism. Tonight’s quadrille prompt had me a little stumped to begin with. Then I started writing about iron filings, got stuck fifteen words in, and wrote this quadrille instead. I even got to bring out one of my own sketches to use for the feature image.
Last of the soft fruits,these blooms are redder, fatter,skins splitting sticky on a palm.Drew my tongue along a lifeline,caught what was left beadedbetween the creases of flesh.Half a gasp at the tingling,spring still weaving magicas the trees catch fire. Time trick of seasons blurring,like unexpected heatunder the winter sun.
‘He existed once you know?’ Janet turned from her monitor, squinted into the gloom. ‘Who now?’ she asked. The hands on the wall clock glowed faintly. Half-seven, closing time was long past and James was still bent over the archive’s central table. ‘This,’ he said, and circled his hand over the papers in front of him, ‘this all belonged to someone who existed. Now all that’s left to mark his existence are cargo lists, household receipts, and half a letter to his land agent.’ ‘That’s more than some have,’ Janet shrugged. ‘But how can someone be boiled down to so little? We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of time and know less than was once understood.’ ‘We work with what we have.’ ‘But it’s not enough!’ ‘It must be. We can’t turn back time, only save what remains.’ I’ve spent most of today going through history books, journals, and archive online materials to write a post about the history of witchcraft in Shropshire, so I’m feeling a little …
It takes three minutes to brew black tea.
English breakfast, china mug,
She traces after the sun, runs her hand along an arc of warmth left behind. Scatters clouds into fragments, dips into the depth of herself, the swell of an expanse unmeasured, often mistaken for shallow by craned necked mouths staring at her empty fullness. Written for tonight’s Quadrille prompt where the word was ‘sky’. Not sure what I’ve written exactly, but it’s forty-four words so we’re going with it.