The Metaphor

Out here the sky begins its syringe thing.
My albumen skull riding the horizon: a pendulum for an explanation.
Disused arms that flag and wither.

I came out too early and now it’s too late.
Are you getting the metaphor?

Thrust up through floorboards to shiver a mistake
I am constrained to make again and again.
Are you getting the metaphor?

This pale hood shrouds a black anvil
my neck, never off an unseen block,
couldn’t hope to dangle.
Are you getting the metaphor?

I came out too early and now it’s too late.
Are you getting the metaphor?

I’ve never flinched at the snap of a stick.
At the rumble of rhinos I throw a yoga pose
and prickle for swift oblivion.
Are you getting the metaphor?

I am nobody’s business anymore:
a mangled spine that greens no summer.

I prod myself as cattle.

Why Am I Like This?

Blind ants walk the plank of my tongue
and my task is to assign them one by one
to bite into the surface to raise the cursed perfect Braille.

(Yes I know: here I go again)

I am the left side of a sum
that cannot be done on anybody else’s fingers.
A mess of intestines that can only be wound
into sense on my own fists.

Why am I like this?

This drag and drop darkness into the centre of the day
is there to recreate the switch that chases silverfish away.
A graveyard factory with giant faced machinery
and smoking blunder chimneys.

Why am I like this?

Crawling out at dawn as if from a corrugated train
to that rosy cheeked baby’s on my pillow again
and I cannot leave it alone.
My fingernails cannot leave it alone.

Why am I like this?
(Yes I know: here I go again)

If only you were here instead, I wouldn’t be afraid.
I wouldn’t be afraid of anything except you.

And those are the only ants I will ever understand.
And this, my love, is the knackered glove
I throw before your shoe.

(Are you sure about this?)

Doll Head

You’re at the back of the mirror now:
you’ve got the wisecracks, the tracks from nose to chin
yet the warm hand of no man is up your back.

This is what you wanted, Doll Head:
no Moses to part your Red Sea;
no Goliath alive is gonna take you on the chin.
Behold: the shattered lamp of your claustrophobic genie.

Way to dodge the wheel of knives.

This is what you wanted, Doll Head:
you have levitated yourself right out of the room.
No man shifts your middle.

Have you sawn yourself in half?
Or were you just never taught to share?

This is what you wanted, Doll Head.

God forbid the mistletoe,
the wall eye, the tiny hand,
the three legged race, the withered Siamese twin.

This is what you wanted, Doll Head.
You got what you wanted, Doll Head.

Stretch Armstrong

I live in a pointy house.
The attic is a pinprick.
Come on in
(but I wouldn’t go upstairs)

My jaw is a dislocated digger.
My tongue is a bloodied drill.
You don’t want to know where those rabbit holes go.

Can I get a hashtag for that? No.

Underneath my automatic chin
my skins are unzipping
and I am branded with a capital K
(Impact Bold)

I paid for my children, I didn’t fuck the milkman:
I have been a good girl all my life.

Do I get a hashtag for that? No.

I don’t want what he’s having.
I don’t want what she’s got.
I can be my own green-eyed little god.
I’ve always kept up with the payments
and now I’ve buried my parents
I’m running blindly into the next wet grave but

do I get a hashtag for that? No.

I thought I was fiction but in fact,
I’ve turned out to be fact.
I’m jealous of myself now: hashtag that.

I’m not a commentator.
I’m not The Spokesmanator.
I’m no one’s influencer.
I’ve just got my pen and paper.

I’m not Stretch Armstrong:
I’m just an ordinary person,
just like any other ordinary person
but I’ll get what’s coming to me.
I’m using what my daddy gave me
but there are no hashtags that could bring you to me.

Two Mirrors

Use two mirrors:
that revelation of the back of your head.
Use two mirrors:
that lens sensation on the back of your neck.

And the shutter you allowed to capture your lips
has imperceptibly switched your volume down.
The shutter you allowed to capture your cracks
is snapping your paintbrushes one by one.

Feeling. Communication.
Communication of feeling.
Reflection without subjection.

Your creativity is not the enemy.
Your creativity is not the problem here.

It’s wearing you down.
We’re designed to appease
the woodpecker heckle of the pestle and mortar.

You’re frozen in a crosshair:
tourniqueted, soldered,
ideas snipped off like bad girl thumbs.
And the gun at your head is the fruit of the film:
and the fruit of the film is the gun at your head.

Communication. Feeling.
Communication of feeling.
Reflection without subjection

Use two mirrors.

Your creativity is not the enemy.
Darling, your creativity is not the problem here.

Space Dust

A tennis ball in a sock against the garage door
means your sister’s going to leave you alone for a change.

Phew.

Your dad’s watching cricket in a roomful of smoke,
curtains tight against the sun and you’re not allowed in either
but what you don’t know is that it’s because he’s hung over.
All you know is he’s scary.

Your mum’s singing Tammy Wynette in the kitchen
but something in her voice and the song
is telling you not to go in there just yet.

There’s a rattle of a magpie;
you don’t know it’s a magpie,
it’s just a bird you don’t even really hear.

Holding Space dust in your mouth makes your tongue go sore
but you do it because you don’t want anyone to know it’s there.

Pour some more.

You hold on tight to the rough hips of the tree
because you’re balancing on an orange and red striped beach ball.
You admire your toes: you look like a circus girl.

It’s Saturday and the sun’s going to burst soon
and skin cancer hasn’t been invented yet.
You’ve got six whole weeks
before you have to go back:
you’ll be in the circus by then.

You might marry Mickey Dolenz.
Or Pete Duel.
You’ve already got the hat.

Black Snow

This bed is a grave, my head the stone.
I am buried alive in the thick soil of night.
Two hot coals wait for your face in my tabloids.

I am scratching at the silence:
the silence before the creak.

Are we doing this?

Black snow

I chose classy not rich, came home a heretic:
no grinning phone fingers.
I have stood my good ground.

But the roof is heavy with it,
the garden is heavy with it,
my lids are heavy with it:
black snow.

The Lottery

I hold tight my ultraviolet smile to hide my blue tattoos.
A bat ear wouldn’t catch your name on my tongue again.

If life were a book, I’d sit in it and wait
and scribble me a soliloquy to the good thing.
One eye pressed to the index for the yes of the opening.

If life were a box, I’d sit in it and wait
and whistle me an elegy to the good thing.
No crass karaoke king is gonna knee-jerk me out early.

I don’t believe in the lottery.

If life were a well, I’d sit in it and wait
and whittle me an effigy of the good thing.
Because a dream is a rope descending,
a someday silhouette against the moon.

If you want me, I’ll be quietly
doing the good thing,
watching the circuit board igniting.

I don’t believe in the lottery.

If life were a lift, I’d sit in it and wait.
Because the truth is on the roof
but I’m gonna need you for some proof.

I’m just quietly doing the good thing.

Frankenstein

I can’t stay here:
your phantom is traffic I cannot find a gap in.
But I can’t go out:
wind is the breath of the guillotine
and rain a spiteful faceful of freckles.

You are not the reason for this.
You are not the reason for this.
I will not be the mess you have left behind.

Can there be an absence if you were never really present?
I did not consent to what you have made of me:
this dead thing, caved in, roadkill fledgling
but I don’t know how to be anything else now.

I can’t stop for a moment
because if I stop for a moment,
I find I’m somehow crying.

I’m stitched and lurching and drinking myself mute
and letting my irises loose on the stars,
until I’m riding a fruit machine bareback – disgusting,
but I can put up with anything except your muscle memory.
I’d put up with anything just not to feel anything.

You once said in bed, you’d make you hate you.
Well, I’ve had better things to do
I once said in bed I’d make you hate me too.
Was that love then?

What the hell did you turn me into?

You are not the reason for this.
You are not the reason for this.
I will not be the mess you have left behind.
You are not the reason for this.
Oh, I was already a monster, Doctor Frankenstein.

And don’t you ever look at yourself?
Don’t you ever look at yourself?
Don’t you ever ask yourself just who was telling the truth?

Taxidermy

With the light behind him
I couldn’t tell which way he was facing
or which of the faces I was facing.
And with the snow and the moon,
I never saw the harpoon.
I never ever see the harpoon

Taxidermy.
I’m just taxidermy.

Apocalypse is my middle name
I am The Ides of March, the filmic bloodstain.
Licking at this caul for forty years, trying to be born.
Licking at this caul for forty years, dying to be born.

I thought it was a halo.

I am sick of the sight of the back of my eyes.
I am sick of the sound of my tongue.

I know I am a broken record
I know I am a broken record
I know I am a broken record
I know I am a broken record

Free the needle. They can smell it on me.

Taxidermy
I’m just Taxidermy
I know I am a broken record

Free the needle.