He stares across the wreckage of a living room floor,
thousand yarding like the best of the already dead.
When I give birth to something angelic,
I will take it by its verbs,
tell it I love it,
then hold it to my throat and say:
soon you too will fracture.
I don’t know shit about
perfection in any sense other than the fleeting.
So enjoy thi-
He looks down,
feels something heavy and ancient let go.
He sees an ocean lapping at his feet.
Something meat wet and warm slaps the floor,
and he dives in.
When this house is quiet my hands move slowly
and usually nothing comes from them.
I sit and sit and sit and sit and sit and sit,
write twenty failed first lines and murder them all.
There are half empty cups everywhere;
you are right about that.
Tomorrow’s problems are growing in my head;
I dream up wolves to swallow them.
They have large teeth and angry backs;
when they are done eating tomorrow
they turn on me
their paws falling like Dresden bombs.
I have no desire to be eaten
so I dream them into rollerskating ladies in bikinis
and hot pant go go dancing party boys.
We stagger like ten pins
and drink other people’s beer all night
until they turn on the house lights and kick us out
burning our beauty.
We liquid ourselves out onto the street,
slide into each other’s skin,
melt into each other’s mouths.
The sun scratches its wet paws at the glass,
the purple of the night sky breaking into almost morning blue.
This poem can go fuck itself,
my hands are slow dancing a drunk sunrise with you.
having drunk whole oceans
down to sand in a past life
he felt the tide’s turn in his bones
felt the rot in the keel
the leaks in the bilge
what more is there to do
when a body is done?
what else can a body do
but go back to the sea
and give back what it borrowed?
so he finds himself at the end
beneath a wet moon
wading into the waves
singing for the sympathy of sharks
when they come for him
it is not without warning
they circle first
steel blue and looming
rolling on to their sides
a rumour of teeth
the first strike
when it comes
barely a bump on the line
it’s the second that hits hard
and so it goes
the sharks do their work
and he comes apart
veins breaking loose
uncoiling and whipping
reaching out to the water
strange blue bottle filaments
feeling their way back
a spine bursting loose
a mad eyed Moray eel
lunging and gnashing
a belly burst open
red jellyfish spilling wet and slick into the night
the perfect horror of an anglerfish
a dislocating roaring jaw
a smell of burning copper
a strange lantern’s light
blazing electric blue
and fading out
great red ribbons uncoiling
all the salt in him
being drunk back in
the sharks do their work first
then the fish
then the crabs
taking back what was borrowed
water returning to water
salt returning to salt
in the morning
femur lengths of smooth driftwood
knuckles of coral
and empty shells
wash up on the sand
or drift in the shallows
flotsam picked up and turned over
in the hands of early morning walkers
feeling the weight of the wood
smoothed by oceans of salt and sand
thumbs polishing themselves against coral skeletons
ghosts of a million tiny lives
they hold what is left of him there
reaching into the shallows
hands moving like water
coiling their fingers
in the memories
of strange red ribbons
doing their best to hold water together
the sky spilling open
then letting go
then letting go
in the mornings
he rose like water
moving into the sun’s pull
his back arched and skin rippling
to a spine of skipped stones
a wash of abandoned shells
and tiny shipwrecks
each step a held breath leap
into seaweed knots
strange shapes moving through them
like arrows of night
wading through to
the back of the house
and the sand
there the sun
breaking the horizon
light spilling over the ocean
and the axe in his hands heavy and sure
a wave rising liquid and full then the fall
the throat roar and the salt’s spray
the axe finding its naked way
through light air and wood
the swing of the axe
the wood splitting
and splinters hurling themselves to the sky
the air full of wet light
the wind blowing foam from his shoulder
silver schools swirling
in the deep of his skin
and grey fins
stalking in the smooth
beyond the break
some days he would send his veins out to hunt
other days his spine
some days they would return
carrying fists full of flowers
to tie into his beard
they would bring back ropes of fish
their mouths full of salt
or pearls of air
they wouldn’t return at all
instead he would hear them at night
thudding drums in the dunes
pumping their blood into the sandy bones
see them moving like whips on the hill
splitting air and sparking against veins of gold
those nights passed like slow thunder
in the morning he would find them
curled into questions at the front door
limp like sleeping children
hands moving like water
folding them into his skin
holding himself together
Another micro fiction piece. Really enjoying this genre at the moment.
Per diem #17 this is living
You’re on your way home from a job you’ve convinced yourself is somehow important. To your right the freeway is a blocked artery, fat and bursting. Doing 80 on the busway would be reasonable grounds for a dumb, smug grin but protocol says no grinning on the bus.
Another day done. Ringing phones and dumb questions from people who should know better. Management process. Upward traction. Market environments. A thousand fucking post it notes. All of them necessary.
Then you see the blockage in the artery. A motorcycle and a car have arrived in the same light. The bike now just fractures; strangle unnatural angles around something still. Still like nothing else was ever still.
You see it and you feel glad that you gave up motorcycles.You feel glad that you now ride a bus. You feel glad that when you get home, there’ll be a big screen TV, 3 different places to sit, all of your tax receipts and a fridge big enough to die in, all of them waiting for you.
Later, you’ll walk down the driveway to a house that in 27 years and 3 months you might own. All the lights will be out. Your arms will feel dull and numb. The keys will keep falling out your thick fingers.
Some inside part of you starts to grind, steel on steel, bone on bone.
Something inside you is breaking.