I wasn’t who you made me, I turned myself into that girl who threaded her fingers into the gaps between yours. Lingered longer than should have outside of cafes, and pocket shops, between cobbles and walkways where we strolled away afternoons until the bus table declared enough was enough. She who returned whenever she could because you made her feel wanted, told her she could be and would be if you weren’t already taken. Like I said, she wasn’t her because of you. I managed to make her all by myself. Unmaking her was the part I’m still learning how to do. This is a poem I’ve written out a few times in various forms and never been quite happy with but tonight’s poetics prompt seemed like the perfect time to have another go at it. Still not sure I’ve got it right but I can always try again another day. Feedback as always is greatly appreciated if you have the time to spare.
Do chameleons ever forget how to change? Do they lose themselves in the backdrops. Forget skins on tree branches, upon broad, flat leaves? Where water pools in stills, catching light like a trap. Do they see themselves or just the skin they wear shifting. So I’ve just had a bit of surprise while scrolling through the wordpress reader! My poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ has been accepted and published on The Drabble. They did email me to let me know but I hadn’t check my email this afternoon and happened on my submission mostly by accident. I do believe the dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille night is the perfect way to celebrate.
The plastic widget wakes me. Pressed into my flesh, nerves along my arm dead and heavy against the sheet. Asleep in the way the rest of me should be. Instead the rest of me is restless, and churning. Feet, clumsy, hit the laminate like dumbbells. Followed by ankles, calves, thighs, hips, waist, breasts, shoulders, neck, head, arms, wrists, hands, all sleep stricken and wonky. They uncrumple reluctantly, each one an exercise in memory, coordination. Rag doll woman with sand-bag limbs. In the bathroom I want to lie my head on the edge of the bath, lean it there until the room stops spinning, until my skull lightens to a point where my neck is not creaking. Instead I dig my fingers into the composite. Notice again how it bows out too far. The edges don’t fit flush. There are marks where the veneer is chipping. I fit my body in much the same way. Badly. Not at all. But that’s nothing new. It’s time to check the clock, count the hours left before I need …
I pretended not to hate you last night, knees pressed into your pelvis like stone fists, your cold, clever lips there against my wrist with promises you would make things alright once the morning at last brought home some light and you could show me why we must persist, how without you, I would barely exist, and why it was pointless for me to fight. But I kept count of those lies and those kisses. every feathered touch up, along my ire, and each time I should have taken your tongue when your arrogance stocked up this fire and told me I did not have strength to rise when you were the one crawling all along. Bjorn is hosting the first Poetry Form night of at the DVerse Poets Pub and he’s picked an old fling to throw up as the first challenge. While I played with sonnets years ago, I went off them in the same way I went off most fixed form poetry. However, anyone who’s been around this blog for the last …
Whoever standardized time did a piss-poor job. I could tell them for a fact that Wednesday move more slowly when there is less to do, and Mondays always arrive much quicker than they leave, yet Fridays take their sweet time no matter the cheering from the stands because let’s face it they’ve worked out who’s top dog before the firing pistol went off and they don’t need to rush to prove their walking home with gold. Whoever standardized time, did a piss poor job of the whole damn thing. Because a second becomes a moment when the right person holds it, and a minute becomes an hour, when your waiting for the answer or the result, or the next sentence in a conversation you really don’t want to see through. Worst of all is the touch, that barely lasts at all, that goes before you noticed it and leaves you wondering for months if you should have seen it coming.
No one explained that best before was subjective at best. Instead they suggested that you were lucky to find a man willing to settle for spoiled produce so close to the sell by date. Did it occur to you the rot might be them?
He called her The Office Bitch, to her face. Drops the comment like a hot coal before she climbs into a taxi home and I turn my car keys over in my hand, heels sharp on the concrete, the elastic in my shoulders twisting tighter as the words sink in. I can’t help but repeat it, turn the words over in my mouth the needles of the teeth still there, as I wonder if he’d of said the same were she a man. Would she have had to swallow it, if she were a man. Because at worst he would have been a bastard. Not The Office One. I wanted to add another stanza to this but nothing seemed to work so I’m going to sleep on it any maybe come back to this piece another day. In the meantime I’m relatively happy with how it works at the moment. I’d love to hear your feedback though.
I looked up what ivy was supposed to represent, after we called the man with the poison to clear the wooden fence panel right to the root. This creeping plant, that works its way between the cracks, and closes its fist so slowly, so quietly, that you cannot see the brickwork break, it’s supposed to represent friendship. I thought about you then, how I’d failed to see how deep you’d planted yourself until the moment that you cracked me clean in half. Like ivy, you keep coming back no matter the cold or the drought, there is no prying those tendrils loose, no poison that will make this shadow of you wither. I must live with the damage you have caused. I must somehow learn how not to crumble.
I can’t remember if the fence was crooked before or after the stranger came? In my memory he’s tall, thin, white haired and smiling. Perhaps he wasn’t all that tall though. Most people seem tall to me so perhaps he was shorter, more averaged sized. Either way, I can still see him standing in the larger gate, the one we used, not the one eaten by the conifers, smiling at my parents’ house. He was the one who revealed that it used to be two and not one, and he had lived there at some point, back when he was my age. At least I think he said that, I might have made that last bit up. I think I was disappointing that my parents already knew the bit about our house not always being one dwelling. It was the same sort of disappointment that came I woke up from dreams with secret doors and hidden staircases. The mystery was never mine to find, it always belonged to someone else. My room is now the …
The Spring was wet, enough that the trees still look alive above the yellow grass, their roots searching out hidden wells to keep from losing too many leaves. In their shade the heat has baked the ground into a bad ceramic, the glaze already chipped and cracked in this overheated kiln. Camouflaged by brittle stalks the sacrifices go unnoticed, dust to dust, ashes to ashes, the trees can only stand so long.