Friday, March 27, 2009

at sundown

The butcher and his wife
are at it again, in the other room—
he with the knives, and she with the axe;
throwing blades and parrying arguments
over dinner by candlelight; the air blooms
sweet with murder and carved chicken,
the smell wafts through your room;
brings you to your knees, in silent supplication—
for a truce to end all hostilities,
for a truce to end your duties;
you hate bloody morning clean-ups
with the pail and the mop
you hate hickey marks and early morning hugs;
kisses that go sour, at dinner by candlelight

Sunday, March 22, 2009

take heart, troubled child

take heart, troubled child; let your father’s ghost sing you lullabies
you wallowed for too long in this crumbling madhouse;
go and heed his song, let your spirit rise—past these velvet drapes, these motes;
these echoes that bounce up and down these walls;
you are not the dining table, nor its maggots aching in endless fornication;
you are not the chandelier, the padded rooms, the straight jacket—
nor the warden’s truncheon; they all call out to you 'his royal highness';
to which you bow and you curtsy, leaving them all in darkness

the light falling out your doorstep smell of your mother’s cooking
that day you turned thirteen; hungrily you step out, past all the madness
into that sunlit street that call to you, from half-remembered dreams;
the sunlight kissing your back flutter gently like a thousand butterfly wings;
the grass remember you, from when you were but a child, dragonfly-chasing;
slowly you break into a run—past the rabbit, the magician and the clown—
how odd it seems, you tell yourself, that the circus came to town;
as you make a dash for the old storehouse, sleeping by your crown

take heart troubled child, hear your father’s ghost singing in moonlight ;
while in that faraway world where the sun licks, you turn the door handles til you hear them click
the air in the storehouse is hot and humid; memory in this place, it seems, is thick;
you rummage the boxes for grimy chocolates, taking false comfort in anything that’s sweet
beside you, you begin to notice, your father’s ghost, jumping like a kid—
he found his toy, happy and quick; you wonder where your 'happy' box might be
you wonder, 'could there be one for me?'--furious, you start with the mad hunt;
furious, you howl; by the pale light of the moon bathing your cell, you fill your lair with grunts.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

dance of the daggers

and so it begins

a wickedly sweet
blossoming in the ribcage—
spiralling lotus daggers
coiling and uncoiling,
in a sumptuous dance;
taunting and tempting,
tempting and taunting
a ravenous rage:
a nameless god--
sorrow from your depths

til you can no longer hold back;
til you explode
in myriad hues of black

wicked and sweet