Saturday, 29 August 2015

the house i lived in

the house i lived in, went missing. it walked away, i suppose, like baba yaga's hut on lanky chicken legs. it kissed me on top of the head in imitation of a human, it blithely walked out leaving behind a shucked-off shabby wooden exoskeleton, a carapace that i could cling to with my hands. but the pulsing soft center of it had gone. 

i sat on the chipped honeycomb tile of the bathroom floor, but only after you'd left. i put tiny half-moon marks in the giving flesh of my upper arms while i thought about the places on my body that your tongue had visited often, when my temple touched the cool porosity of the beast-footed tub, i thought about the times we couldn't look away from each other in the half-dark and finally slept with our damp foreheads pressed together. in the front parlor which awkwardly held a bed that wasn't ours, you gave a shrug and a smile even after i showed you the ugliest, the darkest parts of my brain and my heart. at the very center of the wooden structure, months earlier, we'd reified something as the snow fell. the something bought us entrance to the back-most room, which became a proper bedroom for the first time in at least five years. 

later, this breathing house disgorged me unceremoniously. it settled back on its chipped cement haunches, i can only assume, after i left, and swallowed you up again eagerly late that night. it lapped you up and this lit its rooms goldish-warm. Smug and satisfied and amoral as Nature in its ramshackle exclusivity. 

now in my spartan and over-expensive treehouse that is not a home i imagine i can see the house i lived in, two miles away as the crow flies. i can reach across the distance and prise the roof away with my giant clumsy hand and extract the secret mollusk heart, i could split that house in two, and grow myself a whole new house. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


be strong like the mountain says the master
the mountain i chose is the ghost of a mountain that migrating butterflies
still veer around when they're crossing lake superior. millions of years ago the mountain was but now it is not.

Thursday, 11 June 2015


probably had to tell demeter over and over again that she was fine, fine. mother, i took what i wanted, and what i wanted was dark, what i wanted was him. you and your friends whisper that i was dragged, pleading, under the damp earth. but i rule over everyone here, and he adores me for it, with his cold hands. he kneels only to me and i've never felt better than i have here in the dark.  i'll come back when i'm bored with him, maybe, but not today. and i have all the pomegranates i could ever want.

i fell asleep on the bare floorboards in front of 'wings of desire', but when i woke up it had looped back to the menu, it wasn't the world of winklepickers and rowland howard anymore, it was just options. in my sleepy, pilled state that black and white world of dreamy treble reverb wasn't berlin at all but a saturday night where i used to live. saturdays in this weird new world have no meaning except maybe scrubbing all the lateral surfaces until i'm sweating.  new bruises crop up on me as they always have, but they're not the result of touch. i'm in a marriage of convenience with this apartment.

i may begin to trust the doctor.  he knows what's inside me is dark, dark and hungry, and not a place for cowards. he told me so, stole the words out of my mouth. 

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Sometimes you end up in a bed with old sheets
stained with his wife's menstrual blood
A bed that he hasn't been in for
Oh, at least a year
And you don't see it until mid-morning when said wife
Returns home and 
tells you you look very natural together 
in her bed.
She leaves and he throws the blankets up over the pillows,
says Goodbye, Slaughter-Bed
Then looks at you and asks if you need
More tea.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

stinging nettle tea

The ice on the streets these days waxes and wanes, there's the occasional croak of a crow outside, the breath of the radiator, the green spice of a eucalyptus branch laid on a table crowded with candles, books about postpunk London and Francisco Goya, tumblers of swiftly-evaporating water.  I pull my bike over on the Greenway and shake a little and fight tears a little thinking about the terrorism of police, about the currency of white skin.  A man living in Holland and I converse about New Wave footwear, I have late night solo dance parties swaying back and forth with my eyes closed, Bryan Ferry on the record player, cats staring at me from the steps of a ladder.  I suddenly switch to Continental knitting style mid-row after years of English style, a drunk stranger pounds on the hood of my car at an intersection, a pheasant dives into my windshield, I consider not driving, I inscribe sigils into pie crusts that no one will see, I go to California for three days and discuss eczema with a toddler on a bus, I converse in embarrassing German with a kindly old man, I fall in love with seasonal dioramas in the windows of expensive stores on a pedestrian mall, I make bramblewine tea for my dry throat, I think about the work I am meant to do, I watch X Files in bed and my pincha mayurasana is foiled by cats over and over again. I bake gingerbread and listen to Nick Cave, say a silent prayer of thanks for friends even though they're far away, and write lists here, when lists are all I'm capable of.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

And now the witching month

But some people can't tell where it hurts. They can't calm down. They can't ever stop howling.
This morning I was woken by my bed-mate, and two cats peered strangely up at me from the foot of the bed. I inhaled raggedly, trying to swipe away the involuntary tears that made the pillow uncomfortably clammy. "I didn't know it was a dream," I kept saying, muttering to myself and hoping the phrase would pacify that inner part of myself that was still screaming. This was a dream that broke open my heart and mind, either a cruel neurochemical gaslighting or a nauseating peek at the inaccessible territories of the brain that hold repressed traumas. Within a few seconds of wakefulness I'd already intellectually dismissed the experiences as dreaming, but an anxious pecking inside my skull didn't want me to let it go.  It wanted me to ruminate on it, to question my sanity and memories, to accept the dream as a revelation of past abuses too sickening to remember in daylight. In the minute or so--who can say? earth-time, brain-time?--before A. shook me awake, I was stifled under a blanket on the floor of my childhood bedroom, then broke free, was staring at the telephone knowing that I should call the police, but unable to stop screaming. At what had transpired. I clawed the heavy cotton hobnail blanket away from my face as I woke, in this world, not the same as the dream-duvet, but a Martha Washington coverlet I'd dyed faded black with natural indigo (I'm sure I ingested some cat hair in my mute REM-howling).  Thank you for the quote above, Margaret Atwood. 
Maybe this is what happens when you eat too much pizza directly before bedtime at the dawn of the Celtic new year. I hope it is. 

There are still a few golden leaves on the ghost-white birch trees outside the bedroom window. The hot cider and licorice, the tinny antsy notes of the Halloween films' theme ringing from a phone, the fossilized candy corn decorations of years past, are going back in hiding.  Get ready for the barren branches of November to scour your soul and bare your failures and ambitions.  You can carry one bag with you into winter--soon--so take only what is essential emotionally, mentally.  Let everything else go so you can reach the glowing windows before the snow drifts cover you over. I'll be attempting to trust the Hag to lead me someplace undiscovered, and therefore better, in this my birth month, the witching month.  Happy November. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Scorpios Unite

"Leo, which is ruled by the Sun, is often placed on the facade of a cathedral so that it is the first of the Evangelists' symbols to receive sunlight in the course of the day. Scorpio, connected with hell and the dark centre of the cosmos (according to the medieval view of the world), is correspondingly placed so that it it is the last to receive the light."

Symbols In The Sky - The Unexplained File: Cult & Occult