It was not you who had to surrender all
The two-bed day-dream by a Southern shore
Lined with a diversity of horizons
Bearing only flags of blue: liberty on labels
coloured Us and Them.
It is not you who refuses to Tri on
Sleeves coloured Ourselves and Alone
Flanked either side of gowns in bridal white:
for the march down the Island
to a pre-arranged fight
It was not I who quietly jettisoned all
The silent signs. Finger-tips no longer touching fringe
Across to either shoulder then down to
Heart of sacred red: To join with me
In bringing her up as a flag set free
Seventeen years since your retirement –
one for every foot of your occupation of my girlhood
which was not to scale, for at seventeen I discovered you are
as unassailable as the stool my three-foot self could never climb,
however steadily positioned against the drawing board
with a drop so sheer for the plummet of your moods
that frequently rolled like pencils over blue-prints
of right-angled doorways and vague outlines of windows,
like a sketchy outlay of the foundations of your being
that insisted on revealing where the septic tank should be.
As if we did not know where the sewage was located,
while numerous Storage Units were strewn arbitrarily
across both floors of your semi-detached self
without any clues as to what should be kept in them,
though we later suspected.
And now that your own foundations are beginning to sink
and you are no longer to scale as you once were then,
(less defiant two-story than abandoned bungalow)
I still tip-toe slowly across the t-square of your mood
negotiating it like a pirate’s plank knowing it will
inevitably lead to a 90 degree turn
Onto which I mount and slide unsteadily
as it narrows and shortens,
while your tongue sharpens the lead of my feelings,
paring them down until there is a storage unit’s worth of shavings
to shore up with a wooden ruler.
One rule for you
and a different rule for everyone else.
“I don’t believe in an intersectionalist God”, he teased
with sheets coiled about his knees
As she padded towards the bathroom.
Her deliberate poise intersecting with her shame
at the moon-landing terrain of her thighs.
“Get a life, would ya”, she retorted over her shoulder
Towards him lying prostrate in submission
to her naked point of view.
His deliberate pose already obsolete
given the rainbow of pillow-creases along his face
And the victorious underwear discarded with indifference
Along the hedges of the bed like fast-food wrappers
Whipped up by the wind from passing car windows
on those perspired dates of summer.
Rolling over on his back, he waited to be stroked
By her star-grabbing handed exuberance at the
urgency of it all. But first she had to undress
At least five other women.
Crossed-legged on the bed she hung her left brow
on a hook high upon her forehead
And gazed intently at them as her fingers jabbed
Up and down their torsos one by one until
She felt sure they were
Sorry*, Not Sorry
To my second child
I was too elsewhere to conceive
To my first who will not
always think him or her
To the piano for leaving
whatever potential was left untuned
To my head for failing
to lower the volume
on my heart
To the miracle of mortgage
For not co-oporation with it
To my occupation
of little sense of direction
To my lack of loyalty
to loyalty cards, which
to my credit
card, is past its expiration
To the pension
not given planning permission
from the authority local to my logic
*Terms and Conditions apply:
To the rapidfiredvoiced offer
(of which only 16% percent variable was audible)
for my interest-free indifference
To my ovaries for re-directing thousands
away from one eternal hope
To the linear life
for over-taking it on the inside lane
along the A-drift
To my heart for
occasionally forcing it to concede victory
in an arm-wrestle
with my head
Finally, to The Non-Conformittee:
A letter of resignation from one
No longer fugitive or fleeing
The first problem with pulling the plug on the blog was wondering what to do with all the posts. What worth had they, if any, in the annals of internal monologues, and for whom. The desertion by question marks from that sentence consistent with the indifference everyone reading it feels.
As a compendium of places my monologues visited during a specific time and place, was there any point in letting them gather dust for future surface-blowing. Having spent most of my independence as a fugitive from carrying much baggage other than psychological, I had come to regret the periodic replenishing of recycling boxes with letters and diaries and scrapbooks and Red Bulled essays. Some origamied into qualifying for forensic lab assembly requiring tweezers and expert witness hands. Others discarded whole with a cavalier flick beloved of anyone adept at undervaluing exchanges between 20 somethings with no money, no direction, and no surrender to the game being up.
The second problem with pulling the plug on the blog was wondering who could blow the dust off. Laundering them through Twitter as re-usable currency for communication was all very well but their shelf-life eventually expired along with representations of everyone and everything in them. If they were dating site profile pics, the hair-lines would now be dots on the horizon of their owners foreheads hovering above thinned top lips hanging like interval curtains over teeth gone for another costume change.
A few teeth are missing. The two front teeth just this weekend. She is above my fluctuating waistline now and firmly under his wing. I thought of asking him to store these posts under lock and key for her to peruse at a legal drinking date should fate intervene and dispossess me of an opportunity to hand them over myself. Hand over myself. My other selves. The half-distracted self. The middle-distance thinking self. The one she senses is somewhere else.
She mightn’t be interested in where I went anyway.
The third problem with pulling the plug on the blog was being caught short of a place to be and ending up in Twitter. Again. And again. And again. Twitter is other hells of other selves and an elusive sense of self. The HD self. The short distance sprinting thinking self. No roaming in the gloaming through the byroads of the subconscious for a long-form to and fro. Just interrogation lighting with torchlights drawn at 20 paces along the keyboard.
The fourth problem with pulling the plug on the blog is wanting to plug it back in. Sometimes.
She unfastens grave-stoned tinsel tracing frames.
Silver: Like the anniversary celebrated within.
Green: What she was on her wedding day in hindsight.
Green: What she feels if she thinks about it long enough.
Red: The colour of two delicate unlit candles
held in by a girdle of tape slowly limbo dancing
the air on the mantlepiece; Having swaggered in upright
in 19 and 61 when presented as a gift for their first Christmas
from her Mother who, for the last two weeks has been adorned
with plastic holly in the hallway without her consent.
It doesn’t match the pillbox tilted in the same direction
as the eyes made at her new husband sitting comfortably below her.
Cherry-picking the tree, off with glittered globes from Sainsburys.
2 for £1.50 in the January sale of 2014.
Sainsburys being the one shop that do those bulbs for the lights
hanging over paintings in the only gallery she has ever curated.
The harbour at Port-na-Blagh from the main road, on the bend,
pre-planning blight, pre-life insight.
A concentration of boxes lining the valley of Glenties;
recognisable only to the discerning eye. And at that,
incapable of revealing his true origins to her
no matter how intense her gaze lingering on it.
An elegant woman, overdressed to be wandering a meadow alone,
before trespassing the living room wall on account of the flowers
she is sniffing matching the carpet perfectly.
Upwards towards preserved artifacts of her children’s childhood:
Chain-gangs of looped paper rings, misshapen stars,
the clear glass bear from Dublin. Or was it Derry?
Tiers of nearly tears until she reaches the inscrutable angel
presiding somewhat judgmentally over her domestic domain.
Refusing to look down over unabashed nakedness at eyes
coming up for her in the hope they’ll both see the next.