Glue

I figured I would make a habit of dumping a bunch of old stuff on here, mostly tiny old things I can’t be bothered to edit into something more meaningful, so with that in mind:

***

She lays the needles on the table, digs two fingers into my pulse. Show me your tongue. It’s what I thought. Your tongue is orange, like the belly of a slug. I ask her how bad this is, and she smiles with her hand over the needles. It just means, she says, that your heart is broken in several places, all mending together badly. I tell her to treat it, make it go away for a while, take off my mind this badly mending heart, like a face reconfiguring itself after a crash. If I treat it, will you still want to know what’s coming towards you? I tell her I will. I have no way of proving this. I thought so, she says. You’re that kind of person. What kind of person, I ask. She pulls out a ruler and measures my forearm. The kind, she says, that’s afraid to be forsaken. She measures, scratches notes onto loose paper. Relax your hand, she says, why are you so tense? A finger, then a needle, pokes between my tendons. You body, she tells me, is full of holes. Wind and heat. Wind and heat are holes, and everything inside you is too thin. There is nothing to dam the growth of emptiness. She punches another needle in a few points above the first one, then looks up as I rearrange myself on the table to shift away from the pressure on my spine. Again and again a man will destroy you, she says, though not the same man, and never completely. She sniffles and observes the pattern her needles make on my skin. Lie still. Your Qi is all over the place. In fact, you are all over the place, leaking out of yourself like crushed entrails, it’s disgusting, keep it together. I think I laugh at her words, why shouldn’t I? It’s a miracle that sound can escape me at all. Her eyes pull her head towards the window. It was supposed to rain she says. I know, I say, it never rains. They ought to fix the roads, she says, on my way here I ran over so many dips in the tarmac. If only it rained, it would fill them up. If only it rained for days. A rain thick and dense like glue.   

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Confetti

perverse and unwritten, the hired car

bullets down the thirty year old road

I hired had to hire – a teacher to continue existing

and if the world approved, I thought, I just might

licence myself to sing my affectations

in a different key

 

I turn in my glove as if so much dirt

had just fallen on the ground in winning shapes

to be read like fire tracks

 

some ancestor, stiff with rheumatism, never once

was home when I came home

from lessons

in the afternoon where in the gutter of daylight hours

I found his fingers chopped

or, who knows, perhaps gnawed asunder

 

a noble earlobe, I think,

catch in myself a shudder when the thought

plasticises

and hits the ground

 

once I called myself sixteen and said

no, I wouldn’t call it aquiline

it’s much more of a slope

with a teardrop or a cherry at the end

 

like a great man reciting by a dying torch

the words of someone immediately killed

 

I often group the thin along with the dying

as if it’s only a matter of waiting for the thing

to roll down the predetermined slope

and on the rusty sullen beach I wait

 

when you left me my mouth said I permit it

as if it cared less about me than it should

and I remember that the building

shook with all the rotten foods it carried

 

something in that thought only punishes more

with time

 

once, when a bullet

found no recourse, not even in sleep

even in silent erosion of a brain

it condescended

to the state of seed

and waited, like I do, around

 

my ability to feel ugly is so textbook

a ragged pad of token use

 

I am now too angry to sleep beside you

I am too dark with beaten blood

to cradle your large body

even its outline, inside me

 

your shoulders have toppled and the shaking

has begun, but all I think of each time is

the dryness in my mouth

 

and each time

my tongue is cracked like golden fruit

in the sun

 

I organise the words of songs because I cannot

simply respond, simply identify

what about a person is a person

and what about them is

a silent winter tree

totally indifferent

 

I am dragged now into

a thumping office room where I dictate

the words from the inside to the outside

to an exploding typewriter with stars for keys

stars untouched for twenty years

and before then only by hands of molten rock

 

here goes, I say

and the stars punch themselves deeper and deeper away until

the world dissolves

into innocent

fragile grey confetti