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 …
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.
Gutted and skinned, the rabbit seemed tiny. It was too young, but the other snares were empty, and night crept upon them before Gart could hunt the woods. Devlin boned the little creature, and carved it up into rough chunks. Enough so that there would be a piece or two each in the stew. Gart watched him across the fire and when he stood, Devlin called another of the men to watch the pot. Away from camp, Gart’s tracks faded, along with the sound of voices. ‘You’re improving,’ said Gart, his lean form rising from a crouch just inches away. He snaked a hand inside Devlin’s collar and brought the younger man closer. ‘I will make you moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops,’ he whispered, his grip tightening. ‘After,’ Devlin promised. ‘Ever after,’ said Gart. ‘From tonight, until the end.’ Lillian has selected two lines from Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia for the writers at the pub to chose between tonight. I went with the first option “moan like an autumn wind …
Why do that to yourself? Play around with perfection, even if it was only skin deep, and the smoothness of these curves turned your stomach at night, when dusk settles its hands either side of your hips, presses into the grooves where his tools worked you into beauty. Mounted you his sculpture for all men to see. Do you not appreciate how his love made you into a woman worth seeing?
Spent an evening smashing holes in the walls you’d fixed, and smoothed with filler. Waited for the dawn to discover the bones of this house now naked of plaster. Wondered if I looked as broken, beneath. If I would catch light just as quickly.
So it started with a broken laptop. Or maybe it started with your brother, pointing you towards a target, that wasn’t me by any means, but I was somewhere on the other side of it. Or maybe it started with an offer made to my Grandfather, which he passed onto my mother and her new husband. Or maybe it started with a newspaper ad, Welshmen need not apply. Or maybe it started in Ireland, with a broken engagement and a ferry ticket. Or maybe we are so far from the start there is no point loosing myself on the path back to it. The sun rose again, and the weather changed its tune but that’s not the start.
A moment stretched is still a moment. Curled into the afterglow we looked relaxed, yet I felt your hands clawed in the fabric, prepared to tear the seconds from an hour, as if they might be worth more alone than part of a whole.
And I wondered if the sight of me wavering excited you. Like a candle flame dancing, your palm held just inside the heat. Contemplating the risk of snuffing me out altogether. Extinguishing that light with one blow one fist closing tight. Did I excite? Not the exact word for tonight’s Quadrille prompt, but a form of it is there, and according to the rules that’s alright.
When it was good he could trace his name through freckles on her back. Could see all the ways he belonged in that bed, with her, in that house. Until belong became belong to, possession possessed in that bed, in that house by her.
Some days I don’t need a husband I need scaffolding. So I can tend to the broken, the busted windows the cracking paint, the guttering that doesn’t drain when the rain comes in and all the sediment circling the drain but never quite clearing. Some days I need that from you, and nothing more.