So. It has been a LONG time since I posted any poetry. This is not to say that I haven’t been writing any — over the summer I did in fact do a lot of writing. The thing that makes it difficult is I go through phases with poetry, and it takes me a long time to warm my mind back up into it. So mostly that time is just writing and discarding. But THAT’S HOW WE IMPROVE, right? Or at least I hope haha.
This poem was written sometime in early summer, I think? I’m not entirely sure, but it’s not very recent. I just realised that I’d never shared it, so. (Summer is probably my favourite poetry writing time. For some reason it gets me super in the mood.) I was trying out some different styles, and I don’t know if I’d go back to this one, but I hope that you enjoy reading anyway. 🙂
the sandstone wind is an arid, brittle heat that carves
through the canyons of your body. you are steeped
in the parched gold of grasses. the earth
is thirsty for more plum-perfumed words to
slip from your tongue like a bruise, like the way
your mother looks at you and your lungs crumple inside:
breathless, stormclouds flowering across eyes & hands
& hips. every place you have traced
the syntax of her skin.
(but that is a language she does not speak.)
at night your body entangles itself in sheets
like a feverish wasp, fingers locked
in the honey of
a sticky caesura.
quenched with chlorine, your thighs scale
into miniature maps
of your sins; of hair half undone
in a promise you cannot keep. but
the cool drains quickly. her eyes trickle elsewhere as
clouded insects catch the evening sun.
your structure hums in readiness of the snap.
This is my first actual poem since…about October.
I just went to look and it is actually October oh my god I guess I took a little break, but lately I’ve been training up my poetry muscles again. I’ve been writing from prompts and such, mostly. This one was written in the wake of a burst of sunshine, and I’d like to think my style has developed a bit since I list posted…?
As ever, I hope you all enjoy, and any feedback is wonderful. (A revised version of this piece was published in the lit journal werkloos.)
on warm days i can feel the atoms
humming beneath my skin, thawing like
old gods. my fingers furl and unfurl
in mimicry of
clay in stop motion; a sudden progression
from the static that isn’t quite movement but
the anticipation of it. or maybe
when unseen it is
it is eyes tripping over themselves like
d o m i n oes,
like the rush and rising of blood,
like the heady awakening of adjectives on my
tongue. i’m left bleeding connectives.
yet the curl of my toes is a
question mark. a prerequisite to the
whisked and fluttering glances at the clock.
i will the hands to move
in every direction at once.
I sometimes…WRITE POETRY?!? *gasps* WHAT IS THIS?
I know, I know. It’s been a horrifically long time since I last wrote any poetry. (Longer than I’d thought.) I AM SO SORRY FOR THAT. But it was National Poetry Day last Thursday, so I thought that this might be a really good opportunity to post That New Thing I’ve been promising for months! And now I can go and hide in a wardrobe
and go hide in Narnia for several more months.
i drown myself in eyeliner
as if it will make me a siren. i’ve learnt
the lilts of the streets like a
lullaby but my scales remain dry
i could tell you all the eddies
of the city, but it’s pointless
because the comfort of cars is like tepid rain;
they’ve all gone verdigris anyway. they make me
bathwater-eyed, wading through zebra striped streets with
serene panic (water) mind manic (water)
gasping and grasping for the air that’s all around –
once i gave my tongue to your kiss, but know that
i didn’t love you with an ocean.
i loved the ocean
*rises from pit of nothingness* I LIVE! I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m actually still here. You know. I’m afraid that May favourites are probably going to be a little delayed this time round due to exams and all that, but they should be up by next weekend. (But that might have to allow for some wiggle room.)
I haven’t posted any poetry in a while, and since I have a few odds and ends collecting dust in the depths of my computer I decided to dig one of those out for you today. And look! Line breaks! Impressive, right? 😉 No, seriously. I usually struggle a lot with line breaks (sometimes just omitting them) so I’m rather pleased with that. I can’t for the life of me fix the middle section, but SOMEDAY. SOMEDAY. *nods head vigorously*
Also I’m awful with titles and this didn’t turn out how I meant it to so it’s not so relevant BLEURGHH plus I reused all my old lines
your ring is polished from
nights of skin and guilt you’re
trying to erase her but the
vanish isn’t working
on your body
either: you insist that
you’re fine but your fingernails tell a
different story, one of caffeine and corpses and
lipstick accusations in the
still there. (the
fridge light watches, dispassionate, your
ungodly tears. see, you’ve twisted the
game too much:
the hell you made for her haunts
After having enormous fun writing my last prose poetry/numbered poem, I then went on a spree and wrote several more. (Not all of which I’m going to share, because a) during that kind of writing process I tend to reuse all my best lines and b) THEY ARE COMPLETELY ATROCIOUS AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE.)
Weirdly, I went through my music phase before orchestra. This one was kind of inspired by someone I know who found their old transcription of Enya’s Watermark. I had to play a with lot with the weird formatting in order to make it work with WordPress *glares*.
I don’t like it as much as my last one. I feel like it’s maybe missing something, but I’ve been editing it for way too long now to tell exactly what. I think I just need to take a break. As ever, comments and critique are much appreciated. 🙂 (Though just a warning: If you’re sensitive to language, then maybe pass over this one.)
Funeral March in F
i. you play in F sharp major from our out of tune piano. the keys cut your skin to a bloody mess, but you brush me away: it’s nothing, you say as you transcribe with dripping fingers. it makes no difference. (but you still stained the photo.)
ii. I don’t want a fucking gift, you seethe as we leave the concert hall. you tell me to the trundles of the bus that a gift is nothing but the whim of a god, that you’d rather build from your own blood and bone than cut someone else. (but don’t they say that the knife always knows its master?)
iii. you live in the fridge light from three in the morning, when the kitchen is cast in empty fifths. the piano is your midnight company, your dance partner across dark keys: I try to mimic your skeleton chords, but you refuse my touch with durezza.
iv. you’re spinning to fast, too far. you confide in me with shaking vocals how you cry in the bedroom, the bathroom, the shower. I know your theory is gone when you go on to preach of stars and spontaneous combustion and things you never used to believe in, about how the universe will make an exception for you just this once. (I should have seen the madness in your eyes. I should have known what would come.)
iv. you’re standing, and it’s wrong wrong wrong –
you were supposed to –
v. I used to think that the world was full of too much beauty, but not anymore. remember, I watched your body fall like a broken bird. I watched you as you stood poised to fly, soaring, until your bones fell heavy with heartaches and you crumpled to the floor. I remember, and I do not forgive.
vii. their sighs merge into an endless stream of sorrysorrysorry that comes in and out with the days like the tide. my steps are slow, syncopated; grave, they’d say in italy. (but have no fear, darling: I’m not quite ready to give up this metronome yet.)
viii. I remember how you played F sharp major, the keys cutting your fingers to a bloody mess. I look down at my own perfect palms and at last, with your silver-scarred hands folded across your corpse in prayer, I cry.
So, this is my first go at prose poetry…? (If that’s what it actually is. I fail at definitions of poetry form.) I took some inspiration from the Merlin/Nimue myth, but I think that this did evolve from that into its own story. I’m happy with some parts, I think. though not all. I feel like I’m getting a little better at this editing lark. A little. Maybe.
As ever, comments & critique are much appreciated! I also have some exciting bookish things happening at the moment, but I’m sadly not allowed to talk about them yet. (I promise, I’m not just giving annoying cliffhangers. *glares at Pierce Brown* Though that wouldn’t be too far a stretch of the imagination. But I’m not, I swear! 😉 )
Lady of the Lake
i. she is volatile, mercurial. she likes to bait the sleeping bear just for the fun of it, but you look away because she’s a wild thing, too.
ii. your skin is stained with her consonants and coffee breath rhythms. her eyeliner is as much a drug as her cigarettes and all of it is addictive.
iii. when you asked for a wizard and received a witch, you didn’t realise how different they were. her contradictions are your cure, but they tell you they’re a curse. you don’t listen. you tell her everything, anyway.
iv. you sign away your heart at the altar whilst she kisses another behind the church walls. she is a fickle being, but you love her, anyway.
v. you don’t know how to calculate theorems anymore, unless it’s from the geometry of her face. her mind is filled with star birth and supernovae against your own worn torchlight.
vi. she is a broken thing, but isn’t that the way geniuses always are? she falls apart from the fault lines on her skin and you can’t seem to unravel the strings between you.
vii. you know that she is your death and your drowning, but as you surrender yourself to her lips you start to think that maybe it no longer matters.
You thought that my obsessions had come to an end at books and movies and comics and TV shows? Well, I hate to say it, but apparently not. I have since discovered the wonderful resource of Tumblr to feed my poetry addiction, and I think it’s fair to say that I now have more quotes written in my school calendar than ever before. So, yeah, I wrote a poem about how I’m obsessed with poetry.
I feel like I’m getting a tiny bit better at this writing lark in relation to decent stand-alone lines, but I still find it hard to make a cohesive piece of work. I have about a gazillion half-finished poems on my computer and in the backs on notebooks. As ever, though, comments are completely welcome; I apologise that you have to see this somewhat cringe-inducing writing, but hey! *self-motivational mode activates* This is the only way I’m going to improve, right?
I Fall Asleep With the Pain of Poetry Staining my Fingers
What they don’t tell you is that this gift is really a curse,
a chemical equation set to carbon that will
stab at your nerve endings
until you don’t know who you are except for the pain.
What they don’t tell you is how before long you’ll be addicted to this ink;
how before long you’ll be begging it to carve into your skin
its truths that aren’t really truths at all.
(Because I don’t know what the truth is, darling,
but I don’t think it tastes of starlight.)
Well I’m sorry if you were looking for
the heroine that preached a different lexis, but I only tell the story how it is:
me, smoking poem after poem into the fading evening light.