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Silence Exile and Crumpets
 
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Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Time Event
1:23a
SESTINA OF KISSES
Delicate touch of lips against my mouth.
All differ. One is gentle, one more fierce;
between a luscious pair I feel sharp teeth;
another's Judas, tingles while things last.
A kiss can thrill sweet agony in bones
yet prove the shove that tips me to despair.

The memory of dead lips is despair
sugar and bitter ash mix in my mouth
One woman that I kissed is ash and bone
I saw her go into a fire so fierce
reminded me that love will never last.
Mortality and change have sharper teeth.

The taste of cheap red wine upon the teeth
that my tongue touched is sovran for despair
that flies fond memories and cannot last
So many lovely women kissed my mouth
loved me, or cursed me in a voice so fierce
I felt their anger scour me to the bones

then reconciliation stroked my bones
their tongue came sneaking back against my teeth
their nails against my shoulderblade so fierce
I instantly forgot how to despair.
Love comes and leaves. It's mostly in the mouth
I feel it start, and taste it at the last.

A kiss takes seconds and can seem to last
so long it is an aching in the bones
from standing still. Burns salves and tires the mouth
dries out the lips and tingles in the teeth
and while it lasts I know there's no despair
touches so deep it can't be burned out fierce

by gentle kisses, delicate yet fierce
that flutter first and bruise me at the last
gently insidious as dark despair
brutal as play. Each time I throw the bones
the Venus throw comes up. Like dragon teeth
new loves spring multitude within my mouth.

Each gentle kiss is fiercest when the bones
remember while it lasts the shiny teeth
of other loves' despair. Come kiss my mouth.
6:49p
THINGS LOST
The urgency is everything. You lose
a precious thing. You had it in a store
half an hour earlier. Do not ignore
adrenalin your counsellor, and choose

to run and run and run, although despair
says it is gone forever, lost for good.
And as you run, scan the whole neighbourhood
with running eyes, and run, although the air

is burning in your lungs. The thing that's lost
sometimes turns up, the last place that you look
whether a ring, a phone, a hat, a book.
The jealous goddess' whimsy sets this cost.

And if it does turn up, relieved delight
pays for the run. Keep running; it still might.
11:24p
AUDIENCE
A poem is a letter. Read aloud
it is a speech, perhaps, but not as long
though people show their boredom. It's a song
with no musician save the tiny crowd

shuffling their feet in what is almost time.
And standing on the stage there's no escape
you hear each cough, each yawn, each whispering scrape
of heel on floor. Up there, you know when rhyme

didn't quite work, because you hear it fail
and metre wobbles. Worse to sit alone
for she's a harsher critic, doesn't phone
or talk about each poem in detail

Bar crowd ennui may hurt, but not like thorns.
Her silence is more torture than their yawns.

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