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Silence Exile and Crumpets
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Roz Kaveney's LiveJournal:

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Friday, August 28th, 2015
11:51 pm
Oh here's a poem
LEGEND

His grandeur. Breastplate gleaming in the sun
His stiff vermilion plumes that flout the breeze.
Stiff necked silk potentates down on their knees.
He rides. He is inferior to none

She slept in ash unwashed that greyed her skin,
too proud to whore, humbled enough to beg
Malachite dagger silk-strapped to her leg.
Watches him pass. And he mistakes her grin.

Halts, dismounts, kneels. Offers Zeneliphone
his hand. He thought he'd never take a bride.
Men think their fate known. Goddesses decide
who punish. He is gone with one small groan.

Proud lords who conquer burn destroy take note.
A beggar maid once cut Cophetua's throat.
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
1:25 pm
The mill is under sea. It grinds out salt.
Politics love and death are always new.
I always have a subject - poems to do.
I sometimes think that I should call a halt

And send the Muse away. But she drops round.
Chocolates and flowers. And if those fail tears.
She left me flat for oh so many years
Sometimes I wish she'd throw me on the ground

And call me whore because I did not wait
started to see her sisters. Ten large books.
She doesn't moan or give them dirty looks
Just brings a sonnet every time we date.

Perhaps they're fairy gold that turns to dust
I can't believe their worth and yet I must
Monday, August 24th, 2015
12:01 am
A friend asked for something to hold in their heart
FIGHTING WORDS

Hopeless we need to hope. It is absurd
and so we need to laugh, although we cry.
They tell us to despair, and that's a lie.
Despair is where we live, it's what occurred
as children. But they do not have the right.
We break hearts bones minds lives. But we resist.
Not to be broken numbers on the list
of their possessions. Living in the night
they cannot see us. There's a sort of grin
teeth tear our lips with smiling. We go on
life age death cheats us. Yet when we are done
they bleed. We leave a mark that we have been.
For dreams loves joys they try to charge us rent,
or kill. So fight. For this - we don't consent.
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
11:24 pm
I went to the exhibit at the Wellcome about the Sexology institute...
OpernPlatz May 1933

Most of them are so young as they march by.
Each takes a book and throws it on the fire.
They think this purifies them of desire
no more to lie in bed alone and cry
or worse to cry with with some soft blonde to hear
perhaps to hold them close which would be worst
not knowing why they weep. At least at first.
Sooner or later things become quite clear
Or would, but there are no more books to read
to tell them who they are. And so they burn
and do not know for whom it is they yearn.
Perhaps they meet him. Shoot him in the head.
A thin-lipped man is there to supervise,
no lust or pleasure in his pebble eyes.
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
11:43 pm
But this one is for the news
KHALEED AL ASAAD

For they were not his gods. His god was one.
He knew the difference. His fingers smash
one at a time they hammered. And the lash.
He hoped his heart would fail. When they were done
they took his head and hanged him. And the sky
was brass above him. Centuries of dust
blow round at night. He did not break his trust
to broken lovely stone. A single horse's eye,
a lion tail, a god's titanic stare
Held in his mind and buried in the sand
for aeons more again. The scholar's hand
could write no more. He did not tell them where.
Duty submission worship. Final knife,
no harm to learning honour. Just his life.
10:59 pm
I think these are variations on Romanticism
SEIZED

Far glimmers silver web mist maybe cloud
You see it there but water in your eye
tears or the rain. Suspect it is a lie
expected hoped for never wished aloud.
Walk slowly there are chasms in the ground
could swallow. Or there's ice that makes you fall
break bone perhaps. Sometimes it is a call
unseen in darkness. Followed. And the sound
could be an echo. Somewhere else. The light
a mirage. Mirrored. Many miles away.
Never attained pursued. So best to say
you never found it. If you did, you might
cry out Verweile doch! du bist so schon.
those are the words would damn you. Then you burn.
Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
11:14 pm
I have been looking at tigers
ENERGY

There is a striding slowness to her speed
energy tight contrained in every limb.
Beside her brightness even light is dim.
She comes to kill us, mostly though to feed
her teeth are engineered to bring fierce death
then carve us meat that sizzles with our blood
if she could bite a skull in two she would
to eat our brain. If she could eat the breath
out of our lungs, she'd relish the warm air.
Each run each leap is appetite unbound.
But it's not us, an antelope she's found.
Its throat blood glistens second in her hair.
She stretches yawns. Gods stroke her like a toy,
Who if she could, she'd pull down, eat, destroy.
Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
11:53 pm
For Laurie
AFTER APPOLLINAIRE'S Les Attentives

It's fine. I do not use it anyway.
We all have elbows. These things sometimes break
at just a touch. Don't worry for my sake.
These things don't hurt as much as people say.

Do not be silly – it is not your fault.
Your work is touching, sweet and elegant
and its effect on me irrelevant.
I'm fine. Don't give the matter any thought.

You've an appointment and I have a brush.
Once you have gone, I'll sweep up every shard.
And glue them back together. It's not hard.
I've time, not even slightly in a rush.

Such a small thing, I'll laugh, you'll make me start
You knocked it over, but it's just my heart.
10:50 pm
First in ages
TRICK

Worst trick of memory is to conflate
what happened with what should have might have been.
Mind edits – were her eyes that shade of green
or hazel, dark? She burned. It's far too late

to check these things. Run finger through the sweat
upon her arm in fever. Was I there?
The ash of Gauloise flaking in her hair
or was that merely time. Invent, forget,

and misremember – my mind does all three
and yet I know we loved. That is still true
dates brown and fall as leaves.Then they burn too.
If at the last she woke and thought of me

I cannot know. Our hot limbs intertwined
in sunlight in the past and in my mind.
Thursday, July 9th, 2015
5:05 pm
A request
It's my birthday and people ask what I'd like...

I'd like those of you who know any part of my work to write about it. Here and elsewhere.
Sunday, June 28th, 2015
12:19 pm
Another
DECODED

Don't talk to me. We have no more to say.
Turning your back means showing me your bum.
It's tight and pert. Once you could make me come
raising an eyebrow, but you stalked away

and I recovered, mostly. Went on dates
that did not tease my limits or my rule.
I like to play, but not played for a fool.
Flirting's more fun than one anticipates.

Getting off not. Abandon hurts old knees.
Old hearts have calluses. So turn your back
And turn your face. I have not felt your lack.
So very much. Things will be as you please.

I'll say it clear and make it mostly true.
You never loved me and I don't love you.
Saturday, June 27th, 2015
11:54 pm
Yes more of the damn things
CODED

I cannot read a glance coded and fleet
She cannot see my eyes behind dark glass.
First time as tragedy, the next as farce.
Love never dies. It's all rinse and repeat.

Rain washed our kissing tango in the mud
Silence maintained since silence had been sworn.
So long ago – before this one was born -
although same itch same hectic in the blood.

I shall sit still nor speak, there is no way
I'll crack my face. I did not start this war,
I hope I do not love her anymore.
I fear that we can keep this up all day.

Hatred ill-acted- love behind a mask.
I care perhaps, but not enough to ask
11:25 pm
Oh dear, poems about love. Again
CODA

So out of love we do not even speak
Every few minutes one might steal a glance.
A year no word or touch. And now by chance
Sitting some yards apart. Our stares are bleak

As winter tundra nothing lives but moss
Grey unforgiving. Almost I forget
How once her smile or touch could make me wet.
It's over now not even like a loss

An ache has gone. I'm past a fever's end
So cold I shiver. There is nothing left
My memory of all save songs bereft.
Love ate itself and took away a friend.

Indifference? Can I say it's sincere?
I doubt I'll know until at least next year.
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
11:55 pm
Another
LAST

Worst agony, dementia, have an end.
They breathe out at the end, a pleasing sigh.
It's right we're glad when friends attended die
that gladness is our duty as their friend.

Not that they've gone to some transcendent place
That sugar comfort's bitter on our tongue
even when hardest, when they died so young
they had no mark of trouble on their face.

Ripeness is all, ripeness the best they get.
Some years of work completed that might last.
A present love holding their weak hand fast
Touch last good sense through agony and sweat -

Sharp severance from pain, a mercy knife,
is death, which is not an event in life.
Sunday, June 21st, 2015
11:43 pm
Another of this sequence
GOOD DEATH

So very tired of wanting to let go
Not ready yet for there's a final word
voicing some thought that has not yet occurred.
These are the last four walls you'll ever know.

With luck you float beyond the waves of pain
you know are crashing somewhere up your spine.
You move, your arm is tugging on the line
blood drugs flow. And the wave will crash again

but you will sleep a while, perhaps awake
and smile because you're coming to an end.
Whoever's there will be your last best friend
The smile a grace performance for their sake.

Diminuendo senses all as fade.
You are no longer there to be afraid.
Saturday, June 20th, 2015
11:21 pm
My poem for world refugee day
HOMELESS

Home is the place you do not get to stay.
Sea rushes in or harsh men with large knives
take home away and leave you with your lives.
Time robs us all and time can be one day.

You do not get to plan it or to pack.
No tooth-brush and no soap. Your favourite book
left on a shelf. You just have time to look
at all you lose. And run. And not look back.

You trudge for weeks. Road carves feet to the bone
You come to where you're held behind a wire.
Men starve you, beat you, rape without desire.
The price of safe whatever else you own.

Do this to them, we also do to me.
We never know when it's our time to flee.
10:08 am
This is particular, but also general
FOR A PREGNANT FRIEND MOURNING

White from no sun no blood the wasted hand
lifted from bed and helped to one last touch.
It is so little and it is so much,
We think we hope that he could understand

feeling new life as his began to ebb
in its last tide. Could feel the belly swell
two pulses. There are moments we can't sell
or buy. Our lives are twitches on the web

that ties in love and friendship. You to me,
you to this dying man I'll never meet.
Love is a dance of many running feet
relaying passing batons. And the sea

takes him away and takes us all in time
and all that's left is songs and love and rhyme.
Sunday, June 14th, 2015
1:22 am
This comes from a slightly louche conversation we're having on Twitter
MISAPPREHENSION

Apparently I smell. Or so they say.
Those women who are always on their guard
against my kind. They walk round, sniffing hard.
The scent might get lost on a rainy day.

It's life or death. Imagine their disgrace
if perfume or a smoking cigarette
confuse them. And maybe, worse thing yet
scent-lost, they see a smile upon my face

and smile right back. It happens, and I flirt.
Some people say I have a deal of charm
What if they ran a finger up my arm?
And someone saw? Their name dragged in the dirt.

Their sisters unforgiving of such slips.
Pus and hibiscus on three finger-tips.
Friday, June 12th, 2015
11:14 pm
Didn't get a chance to post this yesterday
FOR SIR CHRISTOPHER LEE

The Prince of Darkness was a gentleman.
Well-read and suave and handsome as a lord
Who kills with charm shapes poems with a sword
Never did harm but played. Best actors can

People the worlds that haunt collective mind
As dreams and nightmares authors leave as cloud
Of wisps and hints. We see clear. Shriek aloud
What's now embodied. Also, he was kind

By all accounts. He worked hard at his craft.
In pain made no concession to old age
His last best home blue screen set sounding stage
Getting applause. He'd think our weeping daft.

Though weakness age and death all took their toll
He only leaves us as the credits roll.
Friday, May 29th, 2015
3:01 pm
My poem for Neil and Amanda's issue of the New Statesman
ON TRANSNESS

I knew when I was four. Girls were my team.
Boys were the other side. Not as distress.
Something I knew. Not yearning for the dress
my best friend wore at parties. In a dream

we danced and flew. Flesh silk in every twirl
Feet stars. And no one followed, no one led.
For many years they told me she was dead.
She found me when she looked for me as girl.

Mourning was lead. But these things were all true.
Things I knew not to say. Silence my friend
I feared that they would catch me in the end
Nailed to unchanging skin. Be just like you.

Which I was not. Nor am. I represent
this chosen model of embodiment.
Mingle my elements alchemic gold
Quicksilver flows even when sick or old.

Some things I choose. And some things are my fate.
Stories a web of both. Spun spider time.
Sparkle by chance, by choice smear waste dust grime.
Early I knew, transitioned slightly late.

And paid the ferrygirl my toll in full
the blessing of pus blood months weak in pain
if free would chose it over all again.
We all have weight to shoulder or to pull.

Perhaps you'll hear me if I say it clear.
You live a body set and formed and grown
I change my flesh and mind and not alone.
We come among you dancing, year by year.
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