Exhausted, your prostate yourself,legs aloft and crooked,chin tilted towards some ceiling corneras if to suggest you were focusedon anything but us.Still,you follow footsteps with a beady eye,wriggle your spine against tile,happiness thumping in rapid, swishing beats. As Lillian shared a lovely doggy snap with us tonight, I thought I’d include a sketch I did last month. I’m currently 9,000 words deep in NaNoWriMo, but when I’m not writing I have a go at improving my drawing skills, which mainly involves many hours of looking, sketching, going ‘well that’s shit”, erasing and trying again.
I’ll start at the toes,short,and not quite in jointwith one another. Pause around the ankles.Suckle themlike gobstoppersto the marrow. Crunch shin and calf,ravish thighstill the fat glistensalong my jawbone. Pick the pelvis clean,pop each ovarybetween thumband forefinger. Still juicy and ripe. Pull intestines,lungs, liver, heart,kidneys free.Mince into a pie. Portion each breastout with the cutsto ensure a moistcook. Lick the remains cleanfrom each finger.Grind the bonesbetween my teeth. Leave one hand for eyeballs,seasoned tonguetastes a lot like ox,ears more like bacon. At the end,begin again. With Halloween just a couple of days away, I thought I’d share one of the more monstrous poems from my poetry collection, ‘It’s All In The Blood’ which sounds like a much darker collection when associated with this poem on its own.
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.
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.
It takes three minutes to brew black tea.
English breakfast, china mug,
Carol J Forrester lives in Cheshire with her husband and their fish. She wanted a dog, she got koi instead. After growing up in the glorious greenery of North Shropshire, and spending her childhood exploring the countryside around her parents’ farm, she moved to Bath for university, then to Crewe to live and work. ‘It’s All In the Blood’ is her first full poetry collection, and covers topics such as family, ancestry, feminism, mythology, mental health, and how a rural background can shape you as a person. “These deftly written poems cover all aspects of life in a farming family from the hardships of lambing and the contradictions of relationships, to a world of Bic razors, children’s games and old teapots. The poems are vivid and confidently crafted, including effective use of myths and legends which counter the muddy boots of everyday survival. A most promising debut collection.” Helen Kay The Poultry Lover’s Guide to Poetry’ (Indigo Dreams), ‘This Lexia & Other Languages’ (V. Press) A bold, brutally honest and dazzling debut collection that insists …
‘You have a twig,’ he saysfingers already pickingat the knots and bramblesthorned in her hair.‘There’s a leaf caught,’powdery fragile in the blonde,whispers of skeleton,rib rack of split ends.‘Let me get that for you,’sharp syllables, blunt nails, loose strands and dandelion saprooted out from the scalp.‘Isn’t that better now,’no question, answer indisputable,pretty plastic petals painted whitefor the mirror to show. I’m in love with the piece of art above, so much so that I’m planning on buying a print of it after payday. Though I’m a little torn between this one and her piece ‘Sisters’. I’ll have to pick one and maybe allow myself a second at Christmas.