Some Poems – Eris and Dionysus

June 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm (Bodies, Female, Halves) (, , )


You touch the edges of my jaw
and I wonder if you could pull me out,
out of the disorder;

out of the haze and lifting
my face to yours –

clarity –

[Go hunting,
Take the heart of some small
something between your teeth]

and there is this delicate
tranquillity in seeing
the jagged edges and crazy fog clear, but
I hope you let go.


My spirit soars,
as the skin flays to nothing
in bliss
it blackens.

I am pulling myself apart
with this Dionysus
while my body disintegrates –
a flaming husk with a single living core

Death is imminent,
but for now,
I have nothing to fear-

everything to love.
As flesh and bone fall away,
my spirit soars.


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Obsolete Love Object (A Lesbian Ode to a Socket)

March 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm (Female, Halves, Observations, Rooms, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

For every tune

your partner is better,

and when you buzz

we’ll sing together.

Your sister orifice

is ignorant.

I’ll wet my finger

and electrocute myself –

you bitch, you complicated

rejecter and bleeder.

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Moments in the life of Arthur Sinclair

February 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm (Bodies, Halves) (, , , )

I first met Arthur Sinclair when I was fifteen years old. It was summer, but he wore shirtsleeves despite the casual sensibilities of the Spooky kids he surrounded himself with. His cuffs were tight, his shirt collar buttoned his Adam’s apple. He still wore prosthetic lips and a thick layer of pinkish beige cover up over his hands and face, but I didn’t know it at the time. I thought he looked ill and waxy in the heat, the beige paint congealing into little beads of sweat-like moisture on his brow. I knelt on the grass next to him, three cones of ice-cream in each hand, melting in crisscrossing streaks of stickiness past my wrist. I turn my face towards my elbow to lick my arm clean, a scoop of ice-cream drops on the grass with a squelch. The boys in the circle cheer, the girls titter, I blush good-humouredly, and Arthur Sinclair forces a smile; a speck has landed on his starched shirt.

His accent is odd. English speakers think he sounds Dutch; our friends from the Netherlands think he sounds Portuguese. He learns languages like most people whistle tunes. He copies, perfectly, and later comes to understand. On the planet Juvisia they have no language barriers; anyone can come to understand anyone else. They are all talented in that regard, but Arthur Sinclair is gifted. They consume liquid infrequently. They do not sleep, but they rest three times a day for two hours at a time. They cannot ingest protein. They are almost completely unable to sense temperature. They have four sexes. Our binary mating system shocks Arthur Sinclair. Orphans are unheard of on Juvisia.

Six years later Arthur Sinclair is holding my left wrist, palm upwards, and telling me lots of interesting things about blood vessels. He doesn’t wear makeup or prosthetics anymore; the presence of Juvisians on Earth has become widely acknowledged and they are now welcome in most of Europe. His skin is teal, his lips are wire thin. Human blood vessels are intriguing, he tells me. They are linier and blossoming in design. It’s a wonder that humans can function with a system so disorganised. The capillaries of the Juvisians are arranged in perfectly structured lines of little dots, each about the size of a full stop, showing on the surface of the skin with a slight purple hue. It makes them look speckled, especially in the heat. Arthur Sinclair tries to explain how they carry nutrients to the skin, but he’s worse at biology than I am. He ends up striking my wrists together in mock frustration and we laugh.

I am sick of people asking us how we make love. We make the best of what we have to work with. How did a green man get a job with the Translation Services Agency? How do we sleep and eat together? Sometimes I sulk when we have parties and lock myself in our room. Arthur brings me food and tells me how everyone is having a great time – they will be talking about our party for weeks. It’d be a shame for you to miss it, but I’ll leave you alone if you want. I hear him downstairs shouting and chuckling. He’s better at being a person than I am. I pout.

The doctors tell me that Arthur Sinclair isn’t really dead. He isn’t really alive, he isn’t really in a coma, or brain-damaged or catatonic. He isn’t really anything. But I should not expect him to regain true consciousness. He isn’t pale, if anything the teal of his skin is a little saturated. His flesh is neither cold nor warm.

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Cut Here

February 24, 2012 at 12:06 am (Sea) (, , )

I woke up this morning with the thought already clear and distinct in my mind that all the love has gone out of what I do. When did you last call me Grey Eyed Athena? White Armed Athena? Titan-Born Athena? Why was I always Athena? Like anyone else I have been on the mouth-end of a phone, muttering and scrabbling for the innate truths of endurance to keep the recipient ear alive and well for another day. I am bad at it, and I sense the same desperation in your voice. I deliver every prompt perfectly – every ‘why should’ and ‘what’s the point’ and ‘how long’. You got nothing, Hun; I terminate the call. Go the beach again. Write about salt, grit and doubt.

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Doctor Harold Majolica and the Gloves

November 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Did you know that women’s tights are often modelled by men? Women think that their legs are slender and appealing. Any transvestite could tell you that. Next time you pick up a pair of 40 denier from M&S, check the box. If the photograph of the model is cut below the hips, chances are that’s a bloke in your stockings. And next time you pick up a pair of silk gloves with a pink taffeta trimming, take a look at the label. If the picture of the hands is cut sharply at the wrists, there’s a small chance that a crow modelling your gloves. That crow is almost certainly me.
They tell me that ladies would love my hands because the fingers and long and delicate and the wrist bone juts appealingly. It embarrasses me, they only became that way because I preserved them in the wrong solution. The jar I put my hands-to-be into was filled with a pickling fluid which gradually ate away at the fat and muscle beneath the skin of the hands I had so painstakingly prepared. By the time I was ready to operate the skin was stretched taught over little more the bones, the webs between the fingers almost an inch lower than they should have been, making them seem long and cumbersome. But they tell me that the ladies would love that.
The photographer’s assistant hands me a pair of silk gloves with a pink taffeta trimming. I pull the gloves on, taking care to cover the scars from the skin graft. Below the wrist I’ve been careful to pluck at least an inch of feathers. The skin beneath is so pale, almost blue; the assistant covers it with powder. And she calls me Doctor, just like they all used to. Of course I still have my doctorate, but since my licence has been revoked the title has become sour. It’s amazing what you can do with good wing dexterity and patience, but I wanted to turn pages and pinch scalpels. No one wants to visit a doctor without hands, not even the snails. Business boomed after I had them grafted, but they were so clumsy and almost numb. I could hardly pick up my stethoscope, but they still came. Most of the woodland creatures had never seen hands before, so they watched me fumble and bungle my way through everything in awe. My days were numbered, but that is a story for another time.

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Aspice Porro, Aspice Retro

September 30, 2011 at 11:27 am (sleeping) (, , , , , , )

The bottle is transparent,
the clouds are made of wine;
“Shout” is such a little word to
tense one’s naked spine.

Quantum doesn’t make for magic,
turquoise pieces deep;
But shades of grey persist and stay
in troubled, twitching sleep.

Now, if one was to switch the words
“Sleep” for “sheep”,
the poem reacts in a volitile manner

Troubled, twitching sheep persist
to chant in shades of grey,
Deepened turquoise pierces through
the quantum matinee.

Shards of naked spine will tense
When whispered shouts align,
and clouds reflect transparent in
The bottle filled with wine.

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Kitchen (I Like)

June 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm (Bodies, Costume, House, Observations) (, , , )

They keep a ball gag in her mouth. Her lips stretch, they’re cracked, as dry and corrugated as the zip of the tight rubber mask. And what’s more, she isn’t what she used to be (someone, somewhere, has the tapes and letters to prove it). For over eight months Bonzo has pushed her sprawling legs out of the way of the fridge, which she is tied to by a thick steel chain, wrapped three times around the cold white box. Perhaps it’s attached to her rubber body suit, perhaps she’s just draped in the chain, weighed down. The landlord explained; a bowl of water on Mondays and Thursdays, dry cereals or porridge on Sundays. Liz took the bins and Bonzo took the gimp. That was to his liking, the gimp didn’t smell quite so bad.

Neil dropped by one sharp April afternoon. Quiet shirt, jeans, radiant amiability, notoriously pleasant. Universally considered sound, recipient of a diverse range of sincere demi-greeting nods. He takes a two beers from the fridge and turns to Bonzo, and with a jaunty smile asks, “Why have you just, you know, got-a-gimp?”

He’s the sort of man who calls a spade a spade. Or a shovel, at a push. Bonzo stares first at him, and then the gimp. The well-meaning words wither in the silence. Neil continues to smile, a veteran of awkward silences, “Like, how some people just have a pool table, you and Liz have a gimp. Why a gimp?”

“She isn’t a gimp, we’re not perverts” sighs Bonzo, “she just came with the house. Come to think of it, she might not even be a she. Those tits could be part of the costume, I never thought to check. It’s in the contract, all I have to do is leave water out for her. It. Her. It.”

“Why dont you check? The rubber’s skin tight, you could have a quick peak between the legs and get some idea of it”

“It always has to be sexual with you,” spits Bonzo defensively,”everything has to be a little bit sordid. So there’s a person in black rubber chained to my fridge and suddenly I ought to be prising it’s legs open and peeping at its genitals like some kind of rapist!”

Neil sniggers apologetically and opens first Bonzo’s beer, then his own.  “Do you ever take the gag out?”

“No” Bonzo exclaims, deeply embarrassed, “I told you, I don’t touch her. Just put out the food and water in a bowl”

“But its arms are chained. Even if it could crouch down low enough to drink in that suit it couldn’t get the gag out.”

Bonzo is silent, taking a great interest in cleaning his nails. With his nails. Transferring the dirt from one to the other.”Look, you’re making me all cross now. Stop asking questions about it. I don’t know, nor would I care to.  I just put the bowls out, it’s in the contract. That’s fine.”

“You always make such a thing out of anything that isn’t the norm. When we were small you were the same. You always had to put my scardox aliens in the deskdraw because they’d ‘wobble at you’, and you made me take that Ziggy Stardust poster down because Bowie’s eyes freaked you out. I loved that poster, but you made me take it down, because you fixate on tiny insignificant things until they become things, things which I love, but you can’t stand”

“So you ‘love’ having a gimp?”

“Yes! No! it isn’t a gimp but no, what I love having a roof over my head, which I wouldn’t if the landlord found out that his” he pauses “fridge-person was gone. Or dead or something.”

The hum of the fridge seems raw and intrusive now. Bonzo sulks into his bottle waiting for Neil to reproach him, admit that he was being silly, ask them to forget it and chill. But Neil just looks calmly out the window, somehow enjoying the green-grey view of mossy concrete. Fuck Neil, right? The silence (or hum) could go on forever for all Bonzo cares.

Eleven O’ clock, Monday. Bonzo and Liz share an early breakfast. At the head of the table Bonzo can see the knee of the gimp peeking around the fridge, shiny and black. ‘Are circumstances perpetually against me?’ He wonders, ‘Or am I just a naturally uncomfortable person.’

Something in him cracks after a minute or two eyeing the jet black shine of the gimp

“I want to swap. I’ll do bins if you feed the gimp” She shrugs staring into her tea wearily. “What do you think of it all, Liz? What did our landlord mean by chaining a gimp to our fridge?” Bonzo looks all wide eyed at Liz, who sits silently for a moment with her index finger pressed to her brow. She speaks.

“In sixth form my English teacher told us that we could do our end of term project on whatever book we wanted. I chose Watership Down, I loved the film. But a week or so in I ran into a problem, Watership Down isn’t about anything. Well, it’s about a group of rabbits trying to get from one place to another, but that’s it. I was shocked. I scrutinised it for days, perhaps it was about the dangers of police state, or our views on patriotism, or our relationship with the laws of nature. Nothing came. Watership Down is about how crap it can be to be a rabbit. No more, no less.”

“So our gimp,” Bonzo’s brow furrows in concentration, “is a rabbit?”

“Not quite,” says Liz, smiling slightly, “our gimp is just a gimp chained to a fridge. Which means that we have a gimp. Chained to our fridge.”

“Fuck you, Neil” Bonzo mumbles into his cereal. “I feel like a pervert.”


“Watership Down is about how crap it can be to be a rabbit. No more, no less.”

“So our gimp,” Bonzo’s brow furrows in concentration, “is a rabbit?”

“Yes.” Liz smiles.

And they all lived happily ever after.

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Archie (Monologue)

March 31, 2011 at 10:39 pm (Art) (, , )

She left me for the luxury of no longer being near me.

We had embarked on a project. Think multimedia audio-tangible rearrangements of lexicon and concepts into a purely aesthetic composition, only to be taken abruptly into the realm of illusionistic dissonance by textual simulations of kinetic and/or artistic energy. It looked like a collage. But it was more, it was a piece. Let me explain. There were lines of prose-poetry on the original canvas, covered with newspaper clippings from the culture pullout from the Independent, which in turn were subjected to hours of Wagner as the ink dried, to absorb the tone. On top of these we wrote earlier drafts of the original prose-poetry and pasted pictures of European root vegetables.

Which was all very, very political. Now, let me explain us:

Something about seeing the workings of your own mind under someone else’s skull is deeply unattractive. Despite her wasp waist and expressive pale eyes, I could never stir up an ounce of feeling for her. In my pants. This physical blandness between us was so apparent that even Stephanie’s boyfriend had no issue with us sharing a room on numerous occasions. Or a bed, that time in the lake district. Not that she even mentioned that we ended up having to share a double, because it didn’t fucking matter. The closest we came to touching that night was my cold foot flumping onto the stubble of her thigh as I “starfished it”, which ended swiftly with a copy of “Hot White Andy” (which is great) colliding with my forehead, and “feet off, you skullfucker” colliding with my ears.

My creative infidelity to psychedelic drugs never bothered Steph. Not the actual use, at least, though idea that I was just playing a game of H.S.Thompson made her cringe. She caught me sobbing into a patent leather shoe once, wailing about how in the depths of it’s cheesy toe I had spied the universe, but turned away for a moment too long and lost it. She didn’t care, dilated to the circumference of her powder blue irises, she proceeded to simply caress the supple leather of the shoe and inform me that it didnt matter one jot, since these were obviously the happiest brogues in da woorrll wurld. She rubbed the shoe into her face. Right. Into. Her face. In a muggy horror I tried to pull it out.

I tried to write a song about that. And pasted it onto our piece, right over Steph’s favourite sweet potato, which was going too far.

There was a shoe in your face, my girl
a shoe in your face.
I pulled it, my girl,
girl, girl, girl, girl,
out of your face,
it left not a:
(oh ah!!) Trace
in that face which should have been covered with something nicer like
Mace Brace Chase Pace Case Tas(t)e. Vaginal Mucus.

She left because she couldn’t trust me any more. Trust my ideas, my direction. Suddenly our work was a tug-of-war between her tongue-in-cheek wit, and my tongue-down-throat nonsense. Go as saucy and psychoanalytic with that as you will. Half way through our project Steph pointed out that we hadn’t worked together for months, just bickered with the aid of several pads of paper, four notebooks, two laptops and a napkin. “You can’t write moronic shit about vaginal mucus and the iraq war and hope that it’ll come out profound. You can’t counterfeit that,” she whined.
“Well you can’t write like a boring cunt and hope to grab the interest of anyone who isn’t secretly dreaming of owning a Radio 4 hoodie”
She briskly informed  me that spunking punctuation at random into incessant ramblings was not interesting, it was an Avant Garde staple and Cummings had been doing that since 1928. And then I laughed cause she said cummings.  She blushed, and added that Radio Four was as amusing as it was informative, actually. Also, she could tell that for weeks I had secretly been pronouncing her name “Steff” with a double eff and it wasn’t funny, subtle or clever She said I was pretentious! Well!

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Denying the Correlative

March 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm (Art, Bodies, Costume, Halves, Rooms) (, , )

He is standing poised perfect on the brink of the stage. I want to scream, feel the dust at the back of my throat. It billows towards the stalls, balconies and boxes like a smoke. We know that it will take him into the footlights, the glare. Lead powder cakes his face in poisons, the narrow dress stretched across his shoulders. I realise it is the emerald velvet he always begged me to wear. Of course, that man is just a mass of flesh and splintered bone, but he asked for that and relished it. How degrading, abandoning us for the whole world. How could he leave us for a great hunk of wood and stone? I can’t compete with that, with all the water. And in the world this tiny room, reeking of sweat and plush. The golden bangles at his wrists clink and clamour as he raises his arms and lets his chest bask in a ghost applause. “All the world is a stage”, you once reminded me. And you are so close to the edge.

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90° of Square

January 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm (Art, Bodies, The Real) (, , )

Like anyone, I feel miserable. But even at my most melancholy I dread death. The rational tells me that there is quite literally nothing to fear, but my imagination wont leave the idea of some kind of post-existence alone. Maybe hell, or more likely my last moment of pain ringing out the the eternity of my perceived ‘forever’. Idiotic. Post-existence, by its very definition, can’t exist. The feeling I have when occasionally taken over by inexplicable misery reminds me of Lacan’s version of the Death Drive – a desire to return to an inorganic state. I take this literally.

For some reason I always wish I were a little square of wood. Six inches each side (this is important), and three inches in depth. Probably oak, although it really does not matter much, I could be beech, pine or mahogany. Not that I would notice. I’d have a mother, a tree of some kind, and a father, a craftsman, builder or artisan, whom I would never know. Of course, I wouldn’t know much at all, though at this moment I feel compelled to tart the square up with personification. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the whole point is that this little square of wood would be concious of nothing. Though for my own comfort presently, as a thinking thing, I picture the wood as being something perfect and beautiful in its simplicity, rather like the stone crafted hunting weapons of pre-historic homosapiens. Many of these tools are said to be either too big, small or heavy for practical use. It follows that, perhaps, they were the first art; thoroughly pointless objects worshipped for their skill, precision and aesthetic curiosities.

But why, even now, do I crave the notion that my inorganic state would be in some way adored, and yet I feel the realities of that love? A matter if responsibility, perhaps? How cowardly. Or worse, perhaps I am simply idle. Maybe that too is noble in some way. After all, isn’t all true art useless?

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