A Brief Index
(in the ways in which you make my heart dance)
1) My heart, for you, is full of fat spirals
and long tender pirouettes
2) It tremors the sultry sway
of extreme heatwaves
at the crease of your uncertain mouth
3) It spins on its head and backflips
as if all these years haven’t even passed through it
when you look at me
4) And when you move close enough to touch
it hops, counting and holding its pathetic breath
praying it won’t tread too heavily,
or break entirely
5) But at your kiss it roars;
a furious beast in full charge
a charming Paso Doble
This poem can also be found in the Emma Press Anthology of Dance (2015)
one from The Missing Slate
Regret is a deep wound, dark and warm smelling
like yeast swelling or a bag of old summer grass.
I wear mine according to the instructions
and perform the role of the wife to voracious reception.
the things I long for are edited out of movies. maybe
they just exist even less than perfection, like love
and rain at appropriate moments. But this. this is
barely Betamax; obscure with plenty of interference.
days of dancing pepper. the resistance of hot air.
I remember walking once. the clouds
sinking that day were heavy with salt rain
and were cast to perfection, Oscar worthy even.
the arrangement of my teeth are proud as piano keys
unbuttoning under the strum of his tongue.
its an awful score to keep track of.
my own tongue’s boot heavy, not pretty, a mud
encrusted trainer, awkwardly tangled
with a wayward sole; lonely and hell bent on dog shit
and traipsing every step of the world alone:
this is the definition of perverse: great lone shoes
tossed to the gutters of duel-carriageways with no idea
how they got so into the middle of things but a fondness
for the roar of the traffic. some’d say that’s optimism
though not you.
my eyes are not tinted blue but a very precise shade of bleak.
the downturn of my cheek is ever hungry
for the roll of your bastard heartthrob thumb.
this first appeared in Playhouse 64.
this poem first appeared in Belleville Park Pages (33)
this morning’s too grey concrete
taste stale &heavy full of air
growing roots &accustomed become a soft barricade
such a delicate anchor in my chair soothed &perished.
i extinguish so easily anything that comes alight
the sun just a tax disc just a thing holding up a sky
holding up my night. remember the time
i bounced outta this body fleetingly
didn’t even matter that i hit the wall full force
and not through it like in the films because i bruise
so gently like blossom breaking open
like the flip side of a tattoo
though you never forgave the purple snakes of my arms
the sudden scales: the cold return to bones.
i know you couldn’t care less that i stopped being brilliant.
if i’m not an artist as long as i stop looking so goddamn hungry
&don’t sing the ache too deep. that a frightened
look in your eye? never knew how to keep the peace
oh yes we’ve been here before. you’re running ahead to be the GoodGuy
to settle my black eyed demons. you total Parent!
help me turn on my side. help me sink. what’s the difference if i hiss &spit
as long as i’ll sigh and forever love
you as long as I still have thighs to part. my heart
is a giggling thing, a moron
housing a vicious blackbird. in the picture/the X ray
it showed up as a yellow stone &now you call me peach
and think so cute but really i am rotten the worm
is so strong sucking. close the curtains. i’m a practising virgin