The Meat Thieves

June 17, 2020

‘Drivers wanted. Thieves and alcoholics need not
apply.’ Job ad in a butcher’s window.

And yet we’re good with meat.
Our agile fingers know how to pick
a crusted lock. Corn-fed chickens wait
quartered in the cold safe
in a fur of breath. Under our coats
we hide small finds — an ear, a stiffened wing,
a wishbone; rabbit’s kidneys slide their satin eyes
into our pockets where the fluff congeals.
We can tiptoe through blood
and leave no footprints: friends will testify
we were far from this square of sawdust,
far from ourselves.

When we first saw meat
swing from your hook our hands started to shake
as we reached for the bottle. Now we stroke apart
the cutlets on their spine of bone. The marbled fat
is cool, the suet clean as candles;
mince curls like hair
from the greased machine. And each discarded heart
is a maze of hidden chambers, every valve
gasps open. In a gold wave

the sawdust swells underfoot:
all we can take is ours

and the getaway car waiting,
packed tight from roof to floor
with perishable goods. We’ll part the air
in a screech of burnt rubber. While you turn
in your sheet we’ll stitch up your town
with a zigzag of tail-lights,
hooting and whooping at a job well done.

Susan Wicks

a mountain of bones

March 26, 2020

Through all this horror my cat stalked unperturbed. Once I saw him monstrously perched atop a mountain of bones, and wondered at the secrets that might lie behind his yellow eyes.

H.P. Lovecraft
The Rats in the Walls

Anxiety: A Ghost Story

October 31, 2019

We have got to talk about the kids
in all those Goosebumps books.
For example,
if your family vacation
is to an amusement park
called HORRORLAND,
and your station wagon explodes
in the parking lot upon arrival,
maybe
shrugging it off,
buying an extra large popcorn,
and heading straight for
The Deadly Doom Slide
is not your best possible
course of action.

Or,
if you steal a weird camera
from your creepy neighbour’s basement
and every picture you take
shows bad things happening,
like decapitation
and Tofurkey,
and then all the bad things
from the pictures
start happening,
Stop Taking Pictures.

Or,
if you move into your new house
and there are a bunch of small children already living in your bedroom
that your parents cannot see,
maybe,
don’t just grab a juice box
and go play in the cemetery
that
is
in
your
backyard.

Or,
when I tell you of the ghosts
that live inside my body;
When I tell you
I have a cemetery in my backyard
and in my front yard
and in my bedroom;
When I tell you
trauma is a steep slide
you cannot see the bottom of,
that my anxiety is a camera
that shows everyone I love as bones,
when I tell you
panic is a stubborn phantom,
she will grab hold of me
and not let go for months–
this is the part of the story
when everyone is telling you to run.

To love me
is to love a haunted house–
it’s fun to visit once a year,
but no one wants to live there,
and when you say,
“Tell me about the bad days,”
it sounds like all the neighbourhood kids daring each other to ring the doorbell,
you love me
like the family walking through Horrorland holding hands–
You are not stupid,
or careless,
or even brave,
you’ve just never seen
the close-up of a haunting.

Darling,
this love will not cure me.
And this love will not scrape
the blood from the baseboards,
but it will turn all the lights on,
it will bring basil
back from the farmer’s market
and it will plant it in every windowsill,
it is the kind of love
that gives me goosebumps,
when you say to the ghosts,
“If you’re staying,
then you better make room,”
and we kiss against the walls
that tonight are not shaking,
so we turn the music up
and we dance to Miles Davis,
and you say,
“My god,
this house.
The way that it stands
even on the months
that no one goes into
or comes out of it.”

How reckless, the way that I love
like the first chapter of a ghost story.
Like the gentlest hand
reaching out of a grave.

Brenna Twohy

the land of dreams

August 27, 2019

in the land of dead dreams all shout — “yes, yes! no, no! more, more! stop this, stop that! do this, do that! do the fandango, do the bunny hop.

in the land of dead dreams there are shameful body aromas and different customized body styles.

in the land of dead dreams, everyone is equal, until someone punches
the clock enough to get a gold star, then they are allowed to keep punching the clock until they die.

in the land of dead dreams, hope is a commodity exchanged for desire exchanged for good will exchanged for a thousand free minutes on AOL.

in the land of dead dreams everything counts; three strikes—your out, second in line, a one-in a million-in-one, 7.8 % on all non-food items, $10.00 co-pay, 6% annual interest compounded daily by the hour or by the minute, each and every second of each and every day the clock ticks and your heart beats faster and faster . . . there’s something in the basement . . . the lights don’t work. . . . there is a gurgling sound . . . you know you must go into the darkness of the basement, alone . . . . .

in the land of dead dreams kingdoms are constructed on or in excrement, cigars, and telescope steam.

in the land of dead dreams . . . no that’s somewhere else.

in the land of dead dreams you have different clothes and special foods for every different occasion, and all the streets are the same name with the same gas station gourmet coffee gift taco shop every three blocks.

in the land of dead dreams, there is “the new white meat” for brighterwhiter bones and bigger badder teeth.

in the land of dead dreams, to get to the super bowl is what life is all about . . . that, and a good cold one, ay?

in the land of dead dreams there are endless options all based on one true-false questionnaire given at birth.

Kari Edwards

something wild

September 4, 2018

Teeth on my neck and hands gripping my bones. I want you like something wild wants the key to its cage. How long do we sit here trading radical words while I stare at your mouth? How much can I impress you with all my talk of revolution, when all I want to do is fuck you?

Clementine von Radics

the dust of your bones

January 18, 2016

fogandwater

When the blood of your veins returns to the sea and the dust of your bones returns to the ground, maybe then will you remember that this earth does not belong to you, you belong to this earth.

Anon