Liberty

December 14, 2017

On my notebooks from school
On my desk and the trees
On the sand on the snow
I write your name

On every page read
On all the white sheets
Stone blood paper or ash
I write your name

On the golden images
On the soldier’s weapons
On the crowns of kings
I write your name

On the jungle the desert
The nests and the bushes
On the echo of childhood
I write your name

On the wonder of nights
On the white bread of days
On the seasons engaged
I write your name

On all my blue rags
On the pond mildewed sun
On the lake living moon
I write your name

On the fields the horizon
The wings of the birds
On the windmill of shadows
I write your name

On each breath of the dawn
On the ships on the sea
On the mountain demented
I write your name

On the foam of the clouds
On the sweat of the storm
On dark insipid rain
I write your name

On the glittering forms
On the bells of colour
On physical truth
I write your name

On the wakened paths
On the opened ways
On the scattered places
I write your name

On the lamp that gives light
On the lamp that is drowned
On my house reunited
I write your name

On the bisected fruit
Of my mirror and room
On my bed’s empty shell
I write your name

On my dog greedy tender
On his listening ears
On his awkward paws
I write your name

On the sill of my door
On familiar things
On the fire’s sacred stream
I write your name

On all flesh that’s in tune
On the brows of my friends
On each hand that extends
I write your name

On the glass of surprises
On lips that attend
High over the silence
I write your name

On my ravaged refuges
On my fallen lighthouses
On the walls of my boredom
I write your name

On passionless absence
On naked solitude
On the marches of death
I write your name

On health that’s regained
On danger that’s past
On hope without memories
I write your name

By the power of the word
I regain my life
I was born to know you
And to name you

Paul Eluard

We were a love story

December 12, 2017

I found myself in the way the leaves fell across the road,
The way the rain hit my window,
And the way she reminded me of the first drink of coffee in the morning.

She was the stars in the sky
But I was stuck on earth
She was my Juliet
And I was hers
We were a love story without a Romeo
Just two girls who wanted to change the way the world looked at us.

Anon

hex

December 12, 2017

The bitch in the photograph
wears my face. I cut off my nose,
her nose collapses.
Chop down my hair &
hers shrieks from the sink.
How many poems do I
have to write ‘til she
gets dead, how many
live-wire syllables?
I drive a fork into her
heart & she comes back
a quart of blood-hyped milk.
Some girls are daughters,
& some are ghosts.
I will always love what strays.
It’s just the orphan in me.
I have stolen everyone
I ever loved.

Rachel McKibbens

The Idea of Entropy at Maenporth Beach
“C’est elle! Noire et pourtant lumineuse.”

A boggy wood as full of springs as trees.
Slowly she slipped into the muck.
It was a white dress, she said, and that was not right.
Leathery polished mud, that stank as it split.
It is a smooth white body, she said, and that is not right,
not quite right; I’ll have a smoother
slicker body, and my golden hair
will sprinkle rich goodness everywhere.
So slowly she backed up into the mud.

If it were a white dress, she said, with some little black,
dressed with a little flaw, a smut, some swart
twinge of ancestry, or if it were all black
since I am white, but- it’s my mistake.
So slowly she slunk, all pleated, into the muck.

The mud spatters with rich seed and ranging pollens.
Black darts up the pleats, black pleats,
lance along the white ones, and she stops
swaying, cut in half. Is it right, she sobs
as the fat, juicy, incredibly tart mud rises
round her throat and dims the diamond there?
Is it right, so she stretches her white neck back
and takes a deep breath once and a one step back.
Some golden strands afloat pull after her.

The mud recoils, lies heavy, queasy, swart.
But then this soft blubber stirs, and quickly she comes up
dressed like a mound of lickerish earth,
swiftly ascending in a streaming pat
that grows tall, smooth brimming hips, and steps out
on flowing pillars, darkly draped.

And then the blackness breaks open with blue eyes
of this black Venus rising helmeted in night
who as she glides grins brilliantly, and drops
swatches superb as molasses on her path.

Who is that negress running on the beach
laughing excitedly with teeth as white
as the white waves kneeling, dazzled, to the sands?
Clapping excitedly the black rooks rise,
running delightedly in slapping rags
she sprinkles substance, and the small life flies!

She laughs aloud, and bares her teeth again, and cries:
Now that I am all black, and running in my richness
and knowing it a little, i have learnt
it is quite wrong to be all white always;
and knowing it a little, I shall take great care
to keep a little black about me somewhere.
A snotty nostril, a mourning nail will do.
Mud is a good dress, but not the best.
Ah, watch, she runs into the sea. She walks
in streaky white on dazzling sands that stretch
like the whole world’s pursy mud quite purged.
The black rooks coo like doves, new suns beam
from every droplet of the shattering waves,
from every crystal of the shattered rock.
Drenched in the mud, pure white rejoiced,
from this collision were new colours born,
and in their slithering passage to the sea
the shrugged-up riches of deep darkness sang.

Peter Redgrove

This Is The Bag Age

December 10, 2017

My body is a cheap suitcase
That carries whatever it is that I am
Around
And lets me experience
The passage of time

I am a parasitic passenger
Travelling
With a lot of baggage
And damaged goods

Maybe one day
I’ll reach my destination
Or maybe
You’ll find me
At the lost and found

Empty

no one knows me

December 9, 2017

no one knows me I speak the night
no one knows me I speak my body
no one knows me I speak the rain
no one knows me I speak the dead

Alejandra Pizarnik

translated by Yvette Siegert
From: Extracting the Stone of Madness, poems 1962-1972

naked witches

December 9, 2017

Mine are the lusts of hoofs and horns,
Of the he-goat and the loon
And the naked witches that demons deflower
On the dark side of the moon.

No common sin may fire my eyes,
Glutted with excesses fell —
My lust is stained with the dung that stirs
On the stinking streets of Hell.

Robert E Howard
Letter to Tevis Clyde Smith September 1930

The House of Death

December 7, 2017

Lo, a house untenanted
Stands beside the road of Time;
They who lived there once, have fled
To some other house and clime.

Towers pointing to the sky

With long shadows on the ground,
Never shade a passerby,

Never echo back a sound.

William Stanley Braithwaite

Secret Love

December 5, 2017

Forever, that is what we said;
But you are there and I am here
And someone else is in the bed,
Though forever is what we said.
My longings I have quieted
And my face has a look of cheer:
Forever, that is what we said —
But you are there and I am here.

CW Hawes
Published in the December 2005 issue of Makata.

Lady of the Lake

December 3, 2017

Body of water
Body of work
“A body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing”

Call it a healing ritual
Or a mercy fuck, whichever you like.
Corporal act of mercy — that sounds nice

It was on an afternoon woven of equal parts
Sunlight, aimlessness and proscribed botanicals
A young hero in need
As they often are,
Of a body of collected knowledge
A body of work

Where the sun came in I was gilded
Where the shadows fell he was oak leaf and ivory
A cascade of glossy black down his back
Where the fire inside touched us both
We were molten copper
A burning ship
St. Elmo’s fire wreathing the mast
Climbing along the rigging
Reflections like flaming coins scattered
On frantic waves

Ocean?
No. Not ocean.
I was a lake,
I have always been a lake
Quiet,
Until some idiot threw a sword in me.
There’s always some idiot with a sword.
How’s a natural phenomenon to have any peace
With people always mucking about making an omen of one
Requiring auguries, questing after this vision, that revelation
Or simply demanding that one reveal or conceal the artifact of the week?

My sister’s a cenote.
What’s thrown down her, vanishes.
Cold jade waters.
Colder silence within.
I am more temperate, if no warmer.
I prefer the give and take
Though it means my contemplations will be disturbed from time to time
By this one making a deposit
And the other one drawing something forth
A regular lending library, some centuries.

The sword was hot, newforged
Or so I recall.
There was, as always, enough and more
To quench the burning brand, temper the steel
I think, from time to time, this annoys some of them
The sheer inexhaustibility
Of a body of water, a body of work, a body of collected knowledge
As if it were somehow a reflection on them.
No matter. The sword went in.
As I recall, I gave it away again later.

My old lover the witch in her tower
Used to tease me
Call me a plaguey thing for giving her gifts away again
Roses cast up on shore,
Bits of ribbon for the ravens to carry off
Hey, offerings come and offerings go.
Collect knowledge. Disburse.

The sword stayed for a while.
The hero died.
They do, you know. It’s generally part of the tale
Though people may not always want to hear it.
Swords outlast them as a rule.
Lakes outlast swords.

There were currents cold within me
Green weeds wreathed my heart
As I took in the sword, drew it down
The word “fathom” was not made to describe
What was in my young hero’s eyes
They widened as he felt the water close over him
I was still too much lake
To tell him that he was a hero
That heroes die.

My silence disturbed him
More than he had disturbed mine
But the waves we made together
Rocked him to peacefulness
Or exhaustion.
A body of work, whatever else it is, is just that. Work.
We came back to ourselves
In that room of dust and oakleaves.
The shadows were longer. We had come very far.
What water was left spilled down my cheeks.
Struck dumb as any oracle, I held him,
And with what little kindness I had left
Carefully told him nothing but stories of swords.

Elise Anna Matthesen