“the soul comes joyful to the eye”
Quiet can break
as easily as bones can.
The break is soft:
skin on skin, hands on breasts,
kisses on necks. Everything is white
like geishas. Red like roses.
Love like symphonies.
It’s your body that I’ve learnt
in the early hours of the morning,
the birds heralding the coming of dawn
while you seal the fleeing night with moist open kisses.
I know the feel of your fingers as well as
the roof of your mouth, the whispers of your lungs,
the chocolate warmth of your eyes.
(I’ve never been a morning person,
but this is all before the sun rises.)
They say that after climax,
it is as if you are floating on a cloud:
but not for me—with you, I sink.
Sinking down into cavernous depths
body laden with yours: skinlipseyesheart.
Ginsberg was right.
The weight of my world
I’m giving up what I hide behind.
I threw away the cigarettes I used
to cauterise the edges of my body,
to burn fingerprint-sized holes into the skin
that stops me from melting into the world.
My nicotine fingers are stained with
everything I cannot say to those who have
same-shape same-glisten same-crinkle eyes,
everything I cannot say to those who look at me
and think I am so pale, white, pure. If they looked closely,
they’d see the elegies I write for every bronchiole
when I flick the lighter and burn the world down.
But you see, yellow-marred smiles
scare me when they bare their teeth back at me
in the mirror. I’m petrified by the longing and lust
lurking behind my gums. Today, I smoked one last cigarette,
and flicked that lighter one more time, before I peeled away my skin,
and melted slowly into the world:
with nothing to burn it down.
When words don’t come,
the world is like a darkened room
in a strange place: where home is just one syllable
and cobwebs whisper fabricated secrets from the corners.
When poetry is just a thought,
my fingers click and clatter across a keyboard
of cliche phrases and tired similes. I can feel
the eyes of spiders watching endlessly, cockroaches skittering
around a rattling, empty mind.
When each stanza is done and dusted,
it is not easy to breathe. My body is an empty wonderland
for the ghosts of memory to tear apart. A heart shuddering jolt
as I wait for words that sluggishly come up through mud.
It is at three in the morning that everything hurts the most.
It is then that I am given respite;
given room to breathe without gasping for words like oxygen,
given space to close my eyes and forget about a time
when words were the ones I tangoed with for hours.
Every moment of every day: whether I am waking
or lost in nightmarish dreams, I can only ever remember a time
when words loved me, and I loved them too.
I will be woken up by
brown eyes—small grabbing fingers—wide smiles
while the sun is still rising.
I will pick flowers by the roadside
and lay them over a cardboard box
in the ground.
I’ll know how to mourn
and be joyful in the same
I’ll wake and find
that a whole world is laid out
in front of my feet.
It’s about being small. It’s about watching train-tracks
gleam golden in the midday sun, curving endlessly away
while you travel to who-knows-where, to home.
It’s about blurring out the edges of your body,
smudging away the dimples in your cheeks, softening
the corners of your smile. It’s about leaving a person-shaped hole behind,
an echo of laughter against the wallpaper, a chair empty in the corner of the room.
It’s about dreaming until the daylight doesn’t come,
about closing your eyes and forgetting what light really is,
forgetting that we need light like we need love and oxygen. It’s about
gasping for breath like an orgasm, like death.
It’s about forgetting how to write day by day, while the words slip away
and the onlookers shake their head and think, “do you remember when?”
It’s about even the history books forgetting what poetry means.
It’s about ink drying out and missing rhythm like shadows.
It’s about being hollow and falling in love.
It’s about longing for kisses and someone.
It’s about existing.
Today I finally realised that I no longer have high school as a crutch to fall back on. I’m out. I’m a full citizen of society now. I turned eighteen and left the nest, as it were. And in deciding to postpone university attendance for a year, I’m left with the question: what am I doing?
I know what I want to do. I want to be a writer. It’s an ambitious journey, but something I am very passionate about. But when you tell employers and publishers that, they look at you skeptically and shake their heads. How many people have wanted to be a writer and never done anything about it?
I’m determined not to be one of those people.
For this reason, there is a new page on my blog: Services. Here, I’m offering my writing abilities to be written in a very personal way: for you, and you alone. I will write what you want, when you want, for a small fee. In whatever way you want it. I’m determined to have my writing touch people and move out there. But I can’t write every day all day for free. I’m trying to get overseas, to publish a collection, to be someone older. I need some funds for that.
For this reason, you can find offerances of poetry, prose and the simple ability to donate any funds you might have. I’d be most grateful for anything. I’ve been here for over a year now and I’d like to think I’ve touched some of you. If you like what you read, consider sending a dollar or two.
If you have any feedback on this new direction, please, let me know: too expensive? Too cheap? Not enough options? If you have any ideas, let me know. I want to make this scheme something that is accessible and just.
To an old lover.
I watched you dance
through films over eyes
that are something like mosquito nets
drawn around queen beds, and nothing like
what love should feel like. I imagined being in love
should taste like summer or chai or chapstick or jazz.
You’d forgotten that through screens
you can see the vague outlines of things,
words have a little bit of meaning,
everything is back to front,
but sometimes the end makes more sense
than the beginning. It’s dark and quiet
and I don’t get stung by nasties carrying
diseases and discontent.
I wanted love like a poetry book
where life is sleepy and sad
and sweet like death. You gave me
love like malaria and heat waves
and not being able to hear jazz
the camphor laurel grows by the cathedral
with the arms that are branches
and the smile that is thin and cracked,
hold your arms around her waist.
If you squeeze tight
you will both
In the bus stop there are two people
and one person
and the sun does not reach the corners
where the shadows are.
From across the street
you watch them
because the wrinkles on her hands make you sad.
If you hold her tight tight tight
her skin might stretch smooth
It is December
and this moment
is the end of your life.
we will make and remake ourselves.
We will wake up
and her skin will be smooth
and your eyes will shine
and you will be
A letter to the End of the World.
If you may, please hold yourself
inside yourself. Don’t let the nebulas
and the comets and the clouds of stardust
go wandering outside in the dead of the night.
Keep your hand on their shoulders. Murmur their names
in Arumenic, English, Latin, the language of zero gravity.
In this galaxy, it is warm with the kisses of starlight.
To know that I am but one shining girl in a world
that turns while staying still beneath my feet:
as breathtaking as your first kiss
behind the school bike rack,
running late for dinner.
You see, I am happy being small,
being just me & loving just you.
I ask that you console the stars
and keep their light from shining too far
and too dimly. Keep yourself within.
Love. Love. Love.
The words that lift my arms in a hallelujah to language are abandon, ache, adieu.
I write of fragile girls with fragile hearts,
with porcelain for skin, cracked before their time.
I write boys with sparrows for hearts,
beating in a flutter: longing to take flight.
Women with skin of steel
may be stronger than the Grecian Gods,
but I cannot understand their red irises,
nor how their pupils show the screaming mouths
of the men who last touched them.
Iron eyes & people who cannot make love
are strangers from the other side of the barren desert.
There, they drink mud and chew on pebbles,
and I shudder to think of the blood from their molars.
You see, it is the soft things that my dreams are of:
haunted by flowing skirts, and lips red of Eve’s apple.