Your mouth begging for an opening line – normally leaden with a complete lack of purpose, my tongue
twitches for the echo-taste of melon or a
rich lick of coins. And while tension lies languid underneath
the main body of the poem, the conclusion urges us to
sweat and stay breathy. Until then: a luxurious
stretch and long journey to the place
where you put your money
Occasionally, the body is somewhere else
Something happened which stopped the imagination working.
Stunted, the body was blind and locked in a basement.
It has before sat on a bench with parrots screeching round the square, felt itself
Flowing freely like warmed sand. It’s been soft & solid like soap, soaking in a summertime bath
cooled from the cold tap. There it’s seen the old sponge from inside the skull that weighs an
anchor – wiped with scum and hairs riddled through.
It isn’t grasped in a fist; you hold hands with this holey relic:
though misunderstood sometimes, it eats beans of wisdom,
likes to piece together puzzles and can lift the body out
Like the smell of my own sweat
I go to public toilets for a moment to myself
The hand driers don’t bother me
The stall protects a jewel the colour of fire, crackling into bloom
I brush my teeth, tongue and lips
I read in a magazine it stimulates the blood
Plumps them up and makes them kissable
They’re mouthing ‘me’
As I emerge from the lonely cubicle and face the mirror.
It shows me,
Winks at me,
Slaps me in a way that I enjoy & saw someone ask for.
The jewel rotates with its own rhythm and becomes untouchable.
I don’t desire the dark,
Screaming instead of sleeping while you sweat through nightmares
I hear cats outside and the intruders
And want the mirror, Where my toothbrushing is put to use
Emily Blundell Owers:
I think of those posters for CREAM getting ready
Now defunct else functionally defunct (I don’t check) Liverpudlian Mecca
Of dance and the pull. Trefoil swirl connoting futurism
Whirring fans affixed to warehouse ceilings
Else slightly less than holy trinity of chemical, pheromone and bass.
The girls (on the poster) tell us they spend 3 hours preening
The blonde laying prostrate in folds of denim and duvet
The redhead clutching a shift to her thin body, presumably not.
Both smiley - ‘Julie and Cathy’, sisters
At seven o’clock, Saturday night, South Wirral, Merseyside
-circa somewhere between twenty and thirty (!) years ago.
Immortalised would be the wrong word - save for the archive
Well preserved ephemera of serious collectors -
Theirs’ is but a glossy blip on the radar of nights like this
Unless, I guess
Julie or Cathy (their names in the corner)
Fell in love that night, with boys in shell suits
And shiny new trainers
Married them and left Merseyside to the sounds of house
Intwined with the rattle of cans on tarmac
Or fell out- some misunderstanding magnified under lasers
Finger painted in powders that transmute to
Slammed doors and missed calls.
I prefer to think that nothing happened
Julie and Cathy shared a cab, split the fare, a glass of water and a duvet
Dissected the minutia of the night between yawns
Then slept in a bed still strewn with the outfits they’d wear next week.
Let the flood of tears walk by
Tell her streams will heal the soul
Water wounds and all that grows
Like anew one can’t behold
What spirit is and one for all
Crescent moon that
meets the eye
Why do all the years go by
And births arise
From where nocturnal
Mistress of darkness
Leads carnals to death
Will drown your last breath
At last you lay down
As earth drills your head
Your eyes kissed to close,
By the angels of death,
Hellhounds the wounded,
Will feast on your flesh
Who where you my son,
In cradles of arms,
What where you my son,
Past wombs mourns of art,
What are you my son,
Past flesh life’s undone
Past time measured chronicles,
You die born become
The sun is an artist that paints earths delight,
The sun is your iris,
Your mirror that blinds
The thorns apple prickles
Your blood turns to wine
In moonlight you whistle
A free life begun
In moonlight you whistle
A free life begun.