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SCENE I: A CHIAROSCURO OF IDYLLS AND TAINTED ZONES. Curse the newsagents and bless the chain-store coffee shops; forgo zero-cal drinks for chai lattes. Time might heal the hospital's harm, but the sand in the hourglass promises nothing. Back from Uncanny Valley, she's here for one day only: please welcome...

UNDERSTUDY
[warming up for the performance of her second-rate lifetime; faults and failings all dolled up in costume jewellery, consoled by every artifice except the Self:]
They brought me back button-eyed.
I'm by the bus shelter in last Body's clothes,
recalling our trips here one Body ago:

[an ILOVEYOU loiters on the corner of this street —
it tips its chin and stares a greeting.]

UNDERSTUDY
I lower my gaze
in routine
fashion.

SCENE II: A GUIDED TOUR.
ILOVEYOU stalks a metre behind.

ILOVEYOU
[bellowing intermittently:]
Charity-shop libraries (plural) wherein mundane spectacles
were made of ourselves; hushed confrontations cause
scenes behind stage curtains. Shopfronts that site
your effigy in my mother's eyes. Kisses, tears, the
tying of scarves, Starbucks, ducks, parks, book-cover
inscriptions, living a love story while not lucid
enough to document it—

UNDERSTUDY
[syncopated; mumbled into crescendo:]
—five-lap treks, pyjama-clad, year-round shivers through phantom autumn gales. Empty quests amid off-licence shelves; chip-shop smells, taunting; slo-mo supermarket crawls, clearance sections, the listless skimming of labels; sleepy insomniac; brick walls upon which I sat hunched and feasting like some rabid feral dog, 'consumed' in passive voice and 'wasting away' in active, walk it off WALK IT OFF—

ILOVEYOU/UNDERSTUDY
One meeting without warrant for apology. No words to shepherd back into the ribcage they'd tunnelled out of.

ILOVEYOU
I swore no-one would touch me and then melted in your palms—dread being seen at all, but devour your "you look good". No personal growth, but raised by stilts; no less virulent, but restrained behind masks. The sickness takes a different shape. I fear you'll discern the difference. I also fear that you won't.

UNDERSTUDY
A half-finished narrative or a blackout poem? You've gone from 'knowing too much' to having only the chapters we co-write: "Better this way," I say, and stand by it. I can starve and starve and still never master how not to Want; how to tell my heart these Wants aren't Needs; how to stop them escaping through the craters between bones.

ILOVEYOU
I feel larger than life but I'd cast off my limbs to fit inside your pocket. My friendship must taste like eagerness to please; still, you'll eat from my spoon and I'll open wider than required for yours...

ILOVEYOU/UNDERSTUDY
...yes, we'll name it 'nourishment'.
guess who's back with their old gimmicks!!! so, uh... '21/early '22 sure did occur. i dare myself to let streetcar die and not reach for a reference at the first opportunity. if this *****, it's a warmup exercise; if not, it's a poem :)
Carlo C Gomez Apr 11
The sky is an artistic graveyard.

Many a hero and many a fool have come to their fate in its wave-driven clutches.

The number of syllables required to storybook danger is as dense as ozone.

The orange layer—a warning sign, posted by the forebears of fun, who were categorically undone by the very forces they worshipped.

Birds no better than to fly at such temperamental altitudes.

But the dream will die if we don't try.

And so we hoist our ambition like a kite, hoping to stay aloft long enough to discover something more about ourselves.
J Fawn Dec 2021
We're moving house— he takes you a-
Part, piece by piece, picking, pulling, long thin
Steel supports from your joints. He holds you together,
          unforgiving tenderness in steel arms as you crumple into a
          pile of wood.

It's done— he waves a *****-
Driver, drilling in reverse, you watch him work
Metal out from your bones, skeleton  scattering limbs about the
          floor, which he meticulously collects and arranges, good as
          new, unassembled.

Thanks for the help, you've been— it's alright, see you soon.
Next time, I'll take the bed.

We're moving house— you are driven a-
Round, missing a turn, new place, unfamiliar
Sights you do not see, your eyes on the frame in the back (of
          your mind) as the van stops and your skeleton is
          unloaded onto a trolley.

It's done— you pay a hundred in two fif-
Ties, broken like the bed tugged through the new
Doorway and left in the living room, with the parts laid out
          neatly beside on cold marble, readied for examination and
          elimination, remnants

          of a time past—

When can you collect your stu— next week at the earliest,
One evening, Wednesday. I'll bring a van.
This is one of the first poems I wrote a few years back, one of my favourites really. It was a bit of an experiment with prose-poetry, mostly, it was a lot of fun to write.
Khoi Sep 2021
And then I kissed her
we did the San-francisco
a daisy necklace
ebh Jun 2021
oh my darling angel you are the reason i’m still a person with skin
you are the reason i wake up in the morning and smile sometimes
with teeth sometimes without but smile nonetheless//you are the reason i eat
with such gusto because i know you would laugh at the way i wolf down pasta//you are
the reason for the hole in my chest in your absence i collapse like a dying star//you are the reason
i’m trying so hard to be better and//you are the reason i called my therapist’s office and said hi
yes could i please have a listening ear//you are the reason all my cuticles are picked ragged like
so many spiky sea animals warning you not to touch//you are the reason for my writing
the note you left me to write calling me “stinky” still sits on my shelf untouched//you are the reason i’m
insecure about my taste in alcohol//you are the reason i’m not insecure about my laugh anymore//you are the reason that my hair is soft and//you are the reason
i’m shaving my legs again//you are the reason i care about *** at all and//you are the reason it
scares me so ******* much
you are the reason for much of my life as it stands now proud and tall and shaking
like a fawn still wet from her mother’s womb
i kinda like how this turned out, it needs a lot of work but honestly i'm just gonna post drafts on here and see how it goes
Salvador Kent May 2021
I


time end
beginning
past
good bad
was
now you see
say
this be nature

things inevitable
in the grand scheme
this be nature
so

call absurdity to
old man on side of street
who with sign calls god
god god god see

for god
say he

so he point
mouth and brain
say very
primitive you be
see
this be nature

this this
be nature
see?













II

remember
time was
two
were you
three i
recall
not
mind
disorientation
as grow old

there be
distant memory
be you kind to me
distant memory.
time be conceptual
conceptual be time.















III

feet press
shingle beach
cut through
soul
wherever

snap
like
in form of
imitation of heart

associate















IV

all this

                                                           ­                           drifting

            swimmer



     ­                                                                 ­                                  exist






                   ­                                boulder



take
                                                                ­                    all
                                         ­                                                                 ­                              
                  end all






               ****
The word is meaningless unless you associate it. Four reflections on the banality of language, and the conflict between the spirit and the flesh.
Susan N Aassahde May 2021
melt crimson pie
buttercup trot
ripple seed drifts
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