Deathmask

Perhaps unsurprisingly given that this piece was sort of inspired by the movie ‘Mishima’, the line ‘this decaying angel’ is based on the title of one of Yukio Mishima’s books as its usually translated into English ‘The Decay of the Angel’.

 

When Egypt buried kings
,Pharaohs, they called them,
(dwellers in the great house
of the body
)
they crafted death masks
unearthly beauty
they could wear over the fabric
and decay
:to show the Gods how perfectly
to craft replacements
like Mishima
I will try to carve my body
from the death mask
this decaying angel
mould brass muscle
over disobedient flesh
burn and file
the excess of years
the failure on failure built
recast pose and sweat
in supple forge
i will polish the skin with whetstones
smooth as the mask
smooth as marble
bleak and lifeless
lead painted face

Olivia

Something old, refined.

When one lives in a city brimming with one’s past, there is always the risk of bumping into it on the street, or on the bus. This was such an incident. Mellow gold is the title of a Beck song, and the new life mentioned is in fact a textbook on Dante’s Vita Nuova.

 

You burst through the past
A thrown flint, sharp, colliding
It smells like burning rubber when
You screech to a halt
From eighty-eight miles per hour
The flower blooms in the windscreen
I wonder why the
Crowd that edges the frame
Of the photograph [you are foreground and I background]
Why do they not see me in shining shards
In such fragment of the time
Between stop light and pedal

The reflections glitter on falling petals of glass, rebound photons
At random
Project old times
We skipped school on that last day
Kicked a ball over the sunless May beach
Each stop or miss punctuated with a quip
The pages of our movie script
Pinned down by textbooks
Trapped beneath A New Life, beneath Morphology
That first scene followed a bird
As it became litter
Became a lovers’ quarrel
Became your phone
Ringing searching echo
For you up the narrow stairs
Once you returned the favour
We sat on guard for thirteen seconds of silence
The closest I came to that mellow gold
All summer
Seemed to drag on in hard dirt and furious glare forever
Once I thought it was you at the door
I tripped down plastic-covered steps
A Coen tumbleweed
Not fast enough
Outside the bitter pollen rained and choked
Dry summer storms
The footprint on that old rent cheque
Turned out to be my own

I realize I held my breath through the brief sting of memory
The music fades in
But I cannot turn around
Put up my hood and walk away
What is lost
Must stay lost

 

Things I don’t understand

I have decided to do some writing on things I don’t understand. There are many of them, but I feel that some are worthy of writing about. Initially, I was going to title this ’50 things I don’t understand’, but that is an uncomfortably round number, and I generally dislike things that group things into an arbitrary number as if to give them some kind of legitimacy. So I will just keep writing them until I run out of ideas.

Seven hundred (or DCC in roman numerals)

I wrote the 700th poem in my recent poems collection today. Been writing quite a bit actually, so maybe the old blog still has some life left in it. This is a hot shot 50 word piece based on the word ‘indigo’.

 

Blue black

Hinting at something…subsurface

The colour of a bruise

That has had time to fester

An idea past its time.

You put him in that mood indigo,

An irrecoverable flat spin

As the colour swims towards blackness

On the edge of the real

The edge of the unreal

 

Villanelle

I recently had a prompt.. or exercise, whichever you prefer, to write a Villanelle. The form is an old one, but I’ve always enjoyed writing them. In this case I had to write two before I did one that I thought was acceptable.

Another day she can’t erase
A frail ghost of an aging plea
She turns away to hide her face

I can still imagine every place
We ran, every leaf on every tree
She turns away to hide her face

She leaped and spun infinite grace
And, simply put, I turned to flee
Another day she can’t erase

O fair foundation where to base
My ruin, darkness comes to me
She turns away to hide her face

And now, alone, I flit and pace
Whisper ‘to be or not to be’
Another day I can’t erase

I drift without her in this barren space
If I could… but never would foresee
She turns away to hide her face

She is gone without a trace
Without her I am failing by degree
Another day I can’t erase

But we have had our last embrace
We wade through the debris
Another day she can’t erase
She turns away to hide her face