How to talk to the wind

January 12, 2019

1. If the wind falls silent, she is listening to you. Speak.
2. Always whisper.
3. In case there is a wind swirl carrying autumn leaves, step back. Let her dance.
4. Don’t go outside if the wind is howling. The ghosts are passing through.
5. She already knows everything about you. Never lie.
6. You may play the flute.
7. Listen to storms. Don’t talk.
8. She gives life to your words. Make them meaningful. Especially when you talk to her.
9. If she whispers in your ear, listen closely. It means she trusts you enough to share her secrets.
10. Words travel far and fast. Don’t say anything that could awake the spirits.
11. She has a strong temperament and gets angry easily. Make sure to always be nice to her, you don’t want to be on her bad side.
12. If she is talking to thunder, leave them alone. They don’t want you to hear.
13. When she greets you with a breeze the following morning, pretend you didn’t hear them.
14. A sudden draft is always a bad omen.
15. Never, ever, complain about her. She will remember.

HGK477

Artifacts

October 29, 2018

Exploring a dead relative’s dusty attic. Ghosts here crying over lost love letters, or the two porcelain dolls with putting red mouths, the ballerina shoes, the tinsel Christmas decorations from another age, the ancient travel brochures, and a broken egg-timer. Boxes of secrets. A chaos endured to maintain secrecy, these pieces of a life, of a soul, the hopes, the desires, the dreams unfulfilled and discarded here in the shadows. Christ, it is so disheartening.

Time for a poem instead:

A Faith, Rotting

She wore the kind of cross necklace
you would find in a bargain box,
the holy rejects of sacrilegious salesgirls,
their pearls undulating, effulgent.
She didn’t care that the gold shed
itself into a bastard green, branded
and belligerent against her pale
butterfly of a throat. To her, there
was a beautiful irony in the decay
of something so consecrated by
sadness. To her, there was no
religion without the ululation of
a mother’s lamentation, rotting
into romance, idolatry in the
immaculate inferiority: a necklace
losing sight of heaven faster than
she did the night God weighed
her losses, wrote them into being.

Megan Mealor

the slush of ourselves

October 9, 2018

Paint ghosts over everything, the sadness of everything. We made ourselves cold. We made ourselves snow. We smuggled ourselves into ourselves. Haunted by each other’s knowledge. To hide somewhere is not surrender, it is trickery. All day the snow falls down, all night the snow. I try to guess your trajectory and end up telling my own story. We left footprints in the slush of ourselves, getting out of there.

Richard Siken
War of the Foxes

summon ghosts

September 25, 2018

Of course, you summon ghosts at your peril. The sufferings of others can bleed into your soul. You try to protect yourself. Memory is inventive. Memory is a performance. Memory invites itself, and is hard to turn away.

Susan Sontag
Where the Stress Falls

Vulnerability Study

September 23, 2018

your face turning from mine
to keep from cumming

8 strawberries in a wet blue bowl

baba holding his pants
up at the checkpoint

a newlywed securing her updo
with grenade pins

a wall cleared of nails
for the ghosts to walk through

Solmaz Sharif

I am the unknown whispers of the dark hallways I tread, The darkness, how it disintegrates into a deeper one, leaving the world shallower, How many ghosts breathe inside my skin, how pale my veins beat, I have no idea if I can taste mornings anymore, as if I have been walking in an everlasting night.

Channing M
The Monochrome of Darkness

a boy ghost

The ghost boy was the colour of bone, of gossamer spider web, of salt trails of dried tears. He still had his shape, his outline. No one had said his name in thirty years, even though he’d scarred the house with it, carved onto a tree in the garden, scratched into the paint under the outdoor kitchen. Scars unseen, name unspoken. The house had stood for close to a century, waking to kiss the sea breeze decades before, still standing when the red dirt roads had hardened to dark tarmac and the state had stolen the sea from it.

The house called the dead unto itself, and so the boy persisted, him and the others, outnumbering the living. Walls skinned with the colour of the ocean meeting the sky, a driveway of parched and cracked stone, girded with the garishness of bougainvillea and the shyness of orchids. The newest owners had furnished the house with a television screen the same size as a car door, computers in every room, tiny bulbs the size of candles with the glare of lighthouses; ripped out the old worm-eaten flooring in favour of inky Burmese teak. Now, you can do that, strip a house down to the bone, flay the walls from it and pull tiles like teeth. But the marrow of the house remained, so the living never stayed and the dead never left.

On the thirtieth anniversary of his death, a new ghost came to the house.

L Chan
The sound of his voice like the colour of salt

Pier

July 19, 2018

Baroque merry-go-round with its painted mermaids
and the over-exuberant, tinny sounds , so flashy and garish they
haunt my long dark hours.
The black water at the edge of the
Ghost pier lapping or lashing, there’s
careering starlings seeking shelter against
a grey slate sky and waves of predators.
As evening’s inevitability tells us of
the coming threats of night, far from the funfair, grinding to a halt,
the sickening streetlights are ghastly in the yellowing evening air.
Along the streets of rollicking revellers,
you’re seeking something that would free you. But
there’s others planning, lurking, waiting idly
in the shadows.
Among this sea town’s myths of endless partying, fun, this
dark underbelly of chaotic glee, your sudden newfound friends
are jovial, watchful, promising.

The party’s over.
On the bleak beach now with the encroaching tide you’re
vulnerable.
Daytripper, tripped out and tricked you’re calling and calling
until silenced.
Until the waves take your body out from the pebbles, out
from the link between land and sea
entering that Other, shoreless, wild, vast , water world.
That dissolution.

Gina Wisker

Remember when

May 7, 2018

Remember?

You had me on the waste ground behind the old changing rooms
just as the day, snake-like, shed its skin.
You were like a wild thing in the shadows, desire firing your blood.
Un-fucking-stoppable.
I said: ‘I don’t usually do this on a first date.’
You said: ‘This isn’t a date.’

Remember?

And you were right.
It was more a rape.
You stabbing me with that angry cock of yours.
And I thought: WOW!
This boy’s a beastie –
thrusting up me and waiting for the moon.

Remember?

And when you started cumming
I knew the morning would be foggy with drizzle.
I knew I’d feel like a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces.
And I thought: ‘Is this love?’
And yes, you made me cum too, you bastard.
Then you left me to give birth to the ghosts we two had made –

Remember?

GREY WOOLF

i am reading ancient poetry composed thousands of years ago, and the words dance off my tongue like rain bouncing off of flower petals, filled with so much life for a language that so many have called dead. around me, the ghosts of those who lived long ago settle in beds of their own words, their paper blankets tucked up to their chins as they listen to their bedtime story. their happy sighs are the whispers as i turn the pages; their soft, sleepy breaths are the rhythm of the words that flow around us. a warmth fills my chest as i keep reading. they are content, and i know that i am not alone.

sarah thoodleoo
Concept