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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[ << Previous 20 -- Next 20 >> ]
|Wednesday, August 6th, 2014|
Scratched free from palimpsest cocoon with shard
a half-blind scholar-nun retrieves a line.
Thinks book-dust breathless that it might be mine
and smuggles her transcription past a guard
wadded inside her cheek. Brand on her face
they caught her once already. Lyric verse
her weakness. In chapel vesper sisters will rehearse
motets setting my words save they replace
your name with god's. They've banned verse that's profane
Burn it like Sappho. Bind with iron locks/
Most scholars think that I was orthodox
and talked of grace not lust. The nun has lain
with secret sisters, dares to speculate
my poems like her, godless, degenerate
|Wednesday, July 30th, 2014|
|Perhaps a piece of closure
I also know my muse will go away
to lovers, young and lithe, well-groomed and hot
who want to fuck. Which really I do not,
nor put my naked body on display,
its creases and its sags, its whitened scars,
my guts too near the surface and my bones
too far beneath my fat. A knee that moans
and clicks when I exert it. Sat in bars
and being charming, I can hold their eyes
upon my dancing lips and witty tongue.
They're easily distracted because young
and sometimes stroke my arms or upper thighs
which is enough. My poems, wit and charm
don't get me laid. But keep my passion warm.
That otherwise would cool. My aching heart
would stutter into age. I make my art
from broken twigs of hope, and dried out flowers
spring left on my chaste pillow, or between
books' uncut pages. Half-thought lines I mean
to use one day, but stare at for six hours.
I stack these on my desk. Piles that grow higher
More and more useless clutter in my head,
dust, fluff and crumbled leaves, ochre and red.
These never come to life except as fire.
But sparks will come. Affection or disdain
my muse will bring me. It all ends the same
She brings my store of words the gift of flame.
She strikes my heart to joy, or lust, or pain.
|Monday, July 28th, 2014|
|I wasn't expecting this one
I feel the bite of my own tooth. I squeal
waking from dreams in pain. The dream will fade;
the tooth will throb inside my gum, degrade
my thoughts of love and honour -which are real
and what I want to write about – to this
a constant gentle agony. I wake
to dawn and piercing. When I fall and break
actual bone it hurts less. I can't kiss
or think of kissing which is just as well.
Love is a trouble never goes away.
This bruised sharp bud will go to sleep one day
for some years more. An anaesthetic gel
may calm its painful wisdom, which I've earned.
It's not just my own fingers that I burned.
|Monday, July 21st, 2014|
|Somehow poems come for me in threes
All lovers set us riddles, leave us clues,
threads that we follow deep into a maze
then strand us in their heart. Where letters blaze
firescripts we cannot read. We always lose
these contests. Sometimes we might lose our head.
Old lovers watch from spikes, blind bird-pecked eyes.
Perhaps they told wrong truths, perhaps weak lies.
I'll never know just what it was I said.
Her anger firing poison from red cheeks
that stings and puzzles me, leaves me confused
for moments later on my lips, left bruised,
her kiss. I'd hoped intrigued for that nine weeks.
Love ends in torment, then revives each day.
The sweet pain's passed, and never goes away.
|And a poem that isn't really about opera
Passion and sentiment. Up on the stage
these rival queens contending for my heart
voices swoop down at prey. They stop and start
music has pauses, even when in rage
it pierces dagger-like. It is control
even when feigning frenzy. Both near mad
one sulky virtue, one drawn close to bad.
They weave around each other. As a foal
will almost totter, learn its way, then stand
up straight and tall. Music between the notes
as beautiful as what comes from their throats
the thing never quite heard we understand
harmonious from rivalry. It seems
a moment there, then lost, then heard in dreams
|Sunday, July 20th, 2014|
|This came out of a conversation on Twitter
Hearts meet and part. Worn by the constant flow,
waves friction, weakness shows up in the grain
each bruise, each contact, momentary pain,
lasting depressions that will slowly grow
and tiny irritations lodge within
and rub against each other in their turn.
Tides rise and fall, ebb peak. A chinese burn
twisting and turning, slowly leaving skin
stinging with pleasure-pain. At last a hole
so neatly circular as if a drill
had made it. And the hurt will never kill
but leave its mark forever in my soul
You thread me where you hurt me, and will wear
my heart and others round neck, in your hair.
|Monday, July 14th, 2014|
We dance our little deaths. We press our lips
to any flesh comes near. Our hair, our sweat,
trailing like jewelled wire. Words we forget.
Our language is the grinding of our hips
against another's thighs. A smile, a glance,
a wink, a tear, a lick, our common tongue.
We'll change our partners before very long
perhaps we have no lover save the dance
it's gone past two, the moon the stars are high
light dazzles and I blink. She disappears
and I don't care, and dance. Perhaps it's years
perhaps it's moments. Darling, you and I,
dance lonely nights on this and other floors.
You'll never be my true love, nor I yours.
I wore no diadem except my hair
no armour save my beauty. In my hand
my husband's sword, no sceptre. In this land
for forty years I ruled. Then gave my heir
The Indus, the Euphrates and the Nile
to the third cataract. Forged elephants
from iron and from ivory. Great ants
brought gold in tribute. Not a crocodile
could eat a fish, nor kestrel take a mouse,
without my knowledge. Built the water gates
of Babylon. Stored corn, and oil, and dates
in the great cellars underneath my house
to feed my poor. I died and went to dust
Queen's glory gone. Now symbol of mere lust.
|Sunday, July 13th, 2014|
Too moving picture perfect to be real
after the screening's over. Kiss in rain
under umbrella. Hug, then kiss again.
Some passers-by applaud. We almost feel
emotions to go with the dripping scene.
Hold hands and giggle knowingly. Then take
black coffee and a sticky chocolate cake
with sprinkles. As if we are both sixteen.
Remember.When reality asserts
over the next few hours. Delight and charm
were real. Her lips just slightly dry. Her arm
firm on my waist. Hours later, parting hurts
Not much. When next I see her, we are friends;
Best romances are short and have clear ends.
My wheel and loom are smashed. The goddess tore
my tapestries to shreds and threads. My eyes
kaleidoscopes. The room a different size.
I cannot see the colours any more
that once I wove. My webs are line and curve
abstracted thoughts turned in that trap and seize.
My love kissed mouth turned mandibles. With these
I sting and rend. No more than I deserve
Some poet said for boasting. Mile by mile
from aching gut I spin a silken rope
to trap not flies but gods. It is my hope
to see them limed like little birds. I'll smile.
Sated as when I fuck, then kill, a mate,
then snip their heads off, neater than a Fate.
|Thursday, July 10th, 2014|
|First for a while
DIDACTIC POEM NUMBER SIX OF INDISCRETIONS
I talk too much. And sometimes it annoys.
I talk quite indiscreetly to a crowd
of things said soft, in bed, not quite aloud.
It was the same when I went out with boys
I wanted to acknowledge, hold my hand
in public. I rush love that should be slow
and easy. Where there's nuance, want to know
in crisp clear terms. The need to understand
what's growing changing is this poet's flaw.
To take each single moment that's occurred
between us, try to find the perfect word
for kiss or touch, the one that makes it more,
eternal. Lovers, poets, share lust's greed.
We shriek humiliatingly sheer need.
|Monday, June 16th, 2014|
DIDACTIC POEM NUMBER FIVE OF DESIRE
Some of us take love lightly: some do not.
Kindness resolves this. Softens. In the head
A kiss is as important as in bed
To writhe and twine. Though maybe not as hot.
Love is a yearning. Or an hour we share.
Swift parting kiss on naked shoulder blade.
It's not a guarantee that you'll get laid.
Delight and torture. Often quite unfair.
It is about them. Never about you.
Their choices always. Never your desire.
It is a pitch that tunes up higher and higher
Your fingers turn it tight. The only screw
You'll ever get. Exquisite pain her kiss.
There is no evening with her that you'd miss.
|Thursday, June 12th, 2014|
|Another of this series
DIDACTIC POEM NUMBER FOUR OF JOY
Pain left. I noticed later. Moved my head
and did not wince. The denim of my sleeve
scratched pleasantly as I got up to leave
the bus. The shade of very vivid red
caught my attention like a major chord
as it drove off. Warm air plucked at my skin
tickled a bit. I couldn't help but grin.
All colours grew so bright. Felt I had ignored
this jewelled city. Everyone I saw
was beautiful and chic, with well-groomed hair
tossed in espresso-scented breeze. So fair
evenings of early summer. When we soar
up into warmth, float down, do not retain
moments of spark, secretions in my brain.
|Wednesday, June 11th, 2014|
DIDACTIC POEM NUMBER THREE OF SICKNESS
You wake. Things hurt. You're dizzy. Twice you fall
between the bedroom and the loo. You're sick.
There's blood. Your throat feels acid-burned. The trick
Is somehow to stay conscious as you crawl
back into bed and try to use the phone
and get a taxi or an ambulance. The ache
is everywhere, like bone crack. Try to take
some ibuprofen. You're not on your own.
She wakes up and takes charge. Opens the door,
gets you downstairs. You pass out. On the ward,
a morphine drip; without the pain, you're bored
And drift, She holds your hand. There's not much more
This time you live, it happens. Later, not.
Remember, life is short, your lover's hot.
|Tuesday, June 10th, 2014|
DIDACTIC POEM NUMBER TWO - OF MANNERS
We fucked, and now I quite forget her name;
she bit my cheek, her hands upon my throat,
until I stopped her. She put on her coat
next morning, looked expectant. Didn't blame
her pout and sigh but wouldn't kiss her cheek.
I don't encourage women who persist,
with things I've asked them not to. Slap their wrist
quite gently first time. If my face goes bleak
as winter morning, you have gone too far.
I'm not unreasonable, but have my rules.
Have sex with strangers once, but not with fools
a second time. I blew him in a car
that pig. Swore any dumb thing I do once
I don't do twice, however sweet their cunts.
|Friday, June 6th, 2014|
|A new sequence?
DIDACTIC POEM NUMBER ONE
Be mindful of your friends, for life is short.
When people die, things will remain unsaid
and even what you meant to say will fade
unless you wrote it down. When it is caught
in words your love is real. Love all your friends
You might not have them long. They'll move away
or marry someone awful, start to pray.
Value each day you spend – for friendship ends
in death or quarrel, distance or distaste
- that tuneless whistle when they're trying to think.
And some will fall off walls or die of drink.
Forgive them all. Those hours were not a waste
It is your friends that weave you, hold the thread
of memory, and keep you when you're dead.
|Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014|
So many, tall and blonde, who are not her.
Cheekbones as sharp, legs longer, lips as full.
Who never find my conversation dull
Amazingly. Wise women might prefer
These pleasant evenings, not involving pain,
these light flirtations going nowhere slow
to games of chess whose rules I do not know
save she might move to hug me once again
or stroke my hand. Tall blondes might do as much.
Mean little less. They're not part of the game.
One day she'll pause and smile, hearing my name.
I sometimes think I'll die feeling her touch.
The nights I see her – well, they're as they are.
Safe evenings with tall blondes will leave no scar
|Friday, May 30th, 2014|
|It's been a while
It should not matter. I have chosen this.
Ask nothing that I may not be refused.
Never feel pain, but rather be amused
to see love pass in moments, kiss to kiss,
lover to lover. I sit, watch her dance
She touches me in passing on the cheek
Inside was dry but floods, for half a week
eyes, feet half recall steps of past romance,
tears grow this seed. I see heart surface crack
along the lines of age. These verses flower
in bronze. Love's the bright paper of an hour
that tears and blows away will not come back
except as echo. I would lose her young.
Old I can hold and touch her with my song.
|Monday, April 28th, 2014|
|Not nice, but what I meant to say
Lust claws me hollow. Hunger is desire
is need for bite scratch kiss. My skin stretched sore
with unborn things unuttered. Cunt's a door
rage batters from inside. I never tire
though ache in every limb so unfulfilled.
I like to think I love, believe I do.
Yet yearn for touch that fits as foot in shoe
with toes that wiggle. When my heart is stilled
then ends sweet torment but for now the rack
I wind and suffer, bone creak sinews torn
pain is my last best fuck. The skin is worn
to tatters where I writhe upon my back
Crone out of nightmare, pants and sweats for hours.
Unsatisfied unlovely fierce. Devours.
|Sabrina Chap asked how theatre is like life
Each day we think ourselves into a part
remember lines we know we'll say again
but get the reading better. We are vain
looking in mirrors, painting on our heart
the lines that make us lovelier than true.
Eyes are the heart's outlying viceroys
painted they talk in shadows that are noise.
And we add lashes, stick them on with glue.
The mirrors magnify. We grow in size
in our own minds and go out on a stage
love becomes Lover, anger becomes Rage.
A different rule of consequence applies
and then we hear applause. Smooth on cold cream
wipe wake. Is life or theatre the dream?