Silence Exile and Crumpets|
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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in
Roz Kaveney's LiveJournal:
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|Friday, January 10th, 2014|
|A birthday present
FOR A NEW TRANSITIONER
So. welcome, sister. Strut it, shake that hip.
Everything's different. Most things are the same.
You change your skin. Perhaps you change your name.
You'll sometimes feel that you have lost your grip
on what comes next. Ignore that. Plunge right in
to life. What came before seemed bright, was shade.
Bedazzled now. Amused that you delayed
anxious. And now, more than you've ever been
A fragment of some goddess.There is power
among your sisters, breathe dance feel it flow.
You hoped and wished and now you make it so.
This year, this month, this week, this day, this hour.
Your feet are lighter. Glitter, paint enhance
your features and your life becomes a dance.
|Monday, January 6th, 2014|
|We need to deromanticize that bloody war
GRANDFATHER JUNE 1916
Came back and could not bear the feel of mud
under his feet. Would walk paths in the park
and never cross the grass. Sat in the dark
for random hours. A quickness in the blood
that told him horses, pulled him to the card.
It raced so fierce. Whisky would make him sleep
like the best pillow. Echoed lice would creep
across his skin. He got his life back. It was hard
To live. He stumbled. Bootlace was untied.
The bullet glanced his helmet, and his face
down in the stinking mud. And in his place
his best friend, who was right behind him, died.
He went there to pull teeth. Over the top
they made him go. His scream would never stop.
I had a novel out in November, which means it is eligible for awards for 2013. It's the second volume of RHAPSODY OF BLOOD - REFLECTIONS and it's available in print, e-book and Kindle.
I would be really grateful if people who like these books push them here and elsewhere - small publisher, late in the year, I seem to be being ignored a bit...
|First Poem of the year
I am the great detective, follow clues
through my own past amazed, retrace the dance
of steps. Go backwards, then again advance.
No sound except the echo of my shoes
tap-click against the pavements of the years
I thought I wasted but in fact I learned
so many fingers that I thought were burned
were building something, and so many tears
that left their traces here. Crisp on the page
words that I spoke in anger or in lust
that seemed absurd a while, but now are just
seen focussed through the burning glass of age
All mysteries solve themselves, unfold reveal
Time compensates for all that it will steal.
|Wednesday, December 18th, 2013|
|Definitely a sequence
Children learn subtext even as they read
those first few sentences of family.
They're angry, there is something wrong with me.
Shoelace I can't quite tie; door-knobs that need
grasping in some way I don't know. I talk
too soft, too loud, too musical. My chair
rocks when I giggle. Hold my teddy bear
as if it were a doll. Learn to stick a cork
in everything I like. And when they burn
a book for telling lies that were half-true,
I watch the flames too hard. The things that grew
in me were all a subtext in their turn
I learned to hide, lie better. Found in shame
home more myself than face or given name.
|Monday, December 16th, 2013|
|A new sequence maybe?
A hand that's stuffed with straw won't wave or flop
around when I am talking. Changeling hair
that I can't flick. They stole me, left me there
in my own place. I think there was a shop
they bought me in, one with a changing room
lost me in mirrors reached out pulled me back
love that withdraws you.Somewhere there's a crack
left in my soul. We weave self on a loom
made of the stories that our parents tell
yet we don't hear. The mistress of my soul
harshes the changeling. Yet I can't be whole
until I save his straw and weave it well
I cannot be unjust. I must shed tears
That wizened thing protected me for years.
|Sunday, December 15th, 2013|
|This comes from some traumatic discussions on Twitter
I sometimes think I am my sisters' ghost
wings out of limbo undead since unborn
we jigsaw pieces out of half lives torn
the edges fit to join. I think I'm most
of a real person. If I tell the tale
over and over I will get it right.
And sometimes cry a small child in the night
must get the puzzle done. I will not fail
Lovers watch over me. Find bits of sky
fragments of carousel. Take them aside
and link them up. In gratitude I've cried
whole buckets. These solutions that we try
in every trial these are our best defense
optative mood and future perfect tense.
|Friday, December 6th, 2013|
Some eulogize him who will never learn
from words or deeds or what he did not do.
-Six window bars, a sea more grey than blue.
White choke dust lime pit, where bright sun would burn
necks, and in winter hands numb from wet cold.
Told him the son he did not know was dead.
He wept. Three decades sitting on his bed
he taught young comrades still his comrades old,
who walked with him to freedom. Heard his voice
stern gentle. Helped him build. He gave his power
away and let successors have their hour,
yet bound their wills to this most anguished choice.
He was prepared to put men in their grave
whom, once they dropped their weapons, he forgave.
|Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013|
The saddest thing is kindness. When we're done
are almost strangers. Maybe meet for tea.
Did you decide its end, or was it me?
Relationship over before begun
And never heartbreak, just the sort of pain
that comes and goes. That wakes you in the night.
Sour aftertaste of what was not delight
but just a hint of promise. We remain
obedient servants of the other's time.
Small sorrows' patient auditors. So far
from where we were last year. And here we are.
Thought better of it. That is not a crime.
I think sometimes of what we might have had
Better not risked, yet very faintly sad.
|Tuesday, November 26th, 2013|
FOR SABRINA CHAP
Voices seduce by harshness in the dark.
Something of silk, but something too of nails.
Threat of the freighter with its bloodblack sails,
between the songs. A casual remark
might cost you much if singers take offense.
They pardon less than poets do; their rhymes
and tunes together crystallize your crimes
so do not cross them. Music rhythmic tense
zigzags across the keys; it's barrelhouse
or ragtime; almost Chopin for a while.
And then she laughs a sharp. The toothy smile
not insincere but mocking. She'll arouse
your lust or grief a second then move on.
Music that tugs your heart most when it's gone.
|Sunday, November 24th, 2013|
|My poem for Wotever
There was one time, wax hot tight on her skin
cracking a little as she squirmed beneath
my sharpened thumbnail, breathing through her teeth
a little harshly. Pausing I sipped gin
the lemon slices bright, the bottle blue
as sky; she feigned a struggle with her chains.
I let her sip then pulled it back. The pains
we take with lover's needs. I took her shoe
red patent leather used its heel to score
small puckers on her thigh. And heard her moan
and sometimes felt more truly on my own
with her than when alone, could not ignore
that she'd forget and cry in ecstasy
on other's names that she loved more than me.
And yet she came to me, knocked twice, slipped in
using the key I gave her. Love has been
less kind to me than being used I fear,
when unrequited. Better to face facts
perform perverse and quite delighful acts
than sit hope lust weep know my sweet my dear
would never love me. Better be her whore
her backdoor lover and at least get laid.
Told her to kneel before me. She obeyed.
Because she did not love me. Passion's claw
sharp in my flesh. No scream, a poker face.
Cruel ingenious hands, coldness of heart.
Act well the torturer's not the lover's part.
Play hunter, be the chaste prey of the chase.
|Friday, November 22nd, 2013|
You lift the phone for days to hear their voice
which does not know they're dead. Asks you to speak
and leave a message. “You've been dead a week
and love, I miss you.” Always there's the choice
to do it one more time. Until the whine
of disconnection answers. Then they're gone
forever. It's the same for everyone.
Eventually we're lost. Your voice and mine
gone into silence. Then our bones are dust,
our books are food for worms. So let's embrace.
You feel my last breaths warm against your face.
Flesh that is not yet pulp not much to trust
better than nothing silence. If we come,
our gasps drown out that empty silent hum.
|Sunday, November 17th, 2013|
|Tuesday, November 5th, 2013|
A bad thing happens fast. I can't recall
the order. Can't grab handrail. Skull slaps stone.
Quiet precise twig snap of some small bone.
Foot slips from edge of step. Dizzy. I fall.
Blood on my shirt, and in my eyes and hair.
Bag broken open, the sollicitude
of passing strangers. Others though are rude
step over me, resent my being there
Fear going round would make them miss their train.
Pain and confusion. This is why we say
we fall in love, our heart good sense betray
and down we go. A stumble in the brain
that leaves a scar. Love trips our feet. We break
our bones. Love gives a sweetness to the ache.
|Monday, October 28th, 2013|
|For RG after a year
Eyes watch me from the screen. Upon the page
is it my ink or is it tears are wet?
A poet's always in her muse's debt
her poems never quite the living wage
a muse deserves. Who unannounced arrives
back in imagination, drags my pen
back to that old familiar pain again
from which each time a different joy derives.
A poem's a puzzle that we solve in time
to feel a consummation in the heart
better than lust, or Cupid's savage dart,
We stretch out sated, we are stroked by rhyme
And send the poem to our chaste, sweet muse
who does the same thing, only with smart shoes.
|FOR LOU REED
He watched them dance their lives. He had the heart
of ice that makes true art. Most of them died.
He'd not have made such art if he had cried
over their deaths. His was the darker part
to note their deaths and then memorialize
their blow jobs, and their drug deals even when
he was the dick that dealt. A fierce stoned zen
that calmly made us see them through his eyes
as if a photograph. Impassively
he saw out all his friends. He sent white flowers
to hospitals and graveyards. Now he glowers
a deaths head with them. If the angel's glee
that helped him write once of a perfect day,
had stayed, would he have had so much to say?
|Saturday, October 12th, 2013|
|BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
They dropped her off, with luggage, at his house
as ransom, or the payment of a debt.
After two days, she hadn't seen him yet.
No sign of life but an enormous louse
left on the pillow next to hers. Some hair
tangled and thick and bristly on the floor.
And in the West Wing, suddenly slammed door
when she approached. He did not want her there
but debts are debts. He was afraid she'd jeer.
And she feared worse, with reason. Still, the books
she found on chairs, the silent pastry cooks
who left eclairs, slowly allayed her fears.
They met. His claws, his mane, his hooves, the rest.
She thought they'd manage. All was for the best.
|Friday, October 11th, 2013|
|THE TIGER'S BRIDE, THE SILKEY'S BRIDE
Some women realise they are bored with skin,
choose other lovers. Sometimes they havefur
or scales or feathers. Clever girls prefer
the slick and wet and smooth. It's not a sin.
We humans marry out. It's what we do.
The tiger's bride knows better than to flee
feeling his hot breath. Special ecstasy.
He eats her, but in love, and does not chew
but swallows whole. Rasps thrilling with his tongue
as she goes down. The seal bride plunges deep
taking her lover with her, half asleep.
Drowning is almost like becoming young
and being comforted. A better fate
than waits most women on a human date.
|Thursday, October 10th, 2013|
|TONIGHT'S FAIRY STORY - OF PRINCESSES AND PEAS
She's sensitive. Breathe on her there's a bruise.
Her skin can only bear the finest lace
woven by spiders. Sunlight on her face
will blister. She wears tissue paper shoes.
And yet it's not enough. The real thing
needs nakedness in darkness to survive
held up by gentle puffs of air. Eat five
delicate wafers every day. The king
expects no less as proof of noble birth.
He wants a queen so useless she can stand
as perfect trophy. Touch her with his hand
she'll bleed to death. He'll lay her in the earth
Then find a love so hardened against peas
she prays with several underneath her knees.
|Wednesday, October 9th, 2013|
|ANOTHER POEM FOR TERRI WINDLING'S CHALLENGE - RAPUNZEL
It was the bed she slept on and the dress
she wore about the house. It was the veil
she hid behind. In snow and rain and hail
it kept her dry. And if she felt distress
which she did, often, it would dry each tear.
Keeping it clean and brushed was her whole life.
In nightmares she would hack it with a knife,
then watch in mirrors as she'd disappear
because, without it, she would not be there.
Her face was plain, she thought, her talk was trite.
She'd no idea what people do at night
save sleep. Her only lover was her hair.
She'd spend whole days, brush, lather and then rinse.
It kept her far too busy for some Prince.