Lie upon a chimney breast
Making walls pretty
Anxiety gnaws at the walls...
tearing at the black, blue, and yellow wallpaper.
The blasts pick up...
hovering shelves filled with knickknacks befall,
crushed as the hurricane begins.
Journals and notebooks strip themselves...
rippling throughout the chamber.
Jars filled with captured memories, moments, litter the floor
...erratic hops around bonfires
...crystal giggles piercing the atmosphere
all become mundane puzzle pieces scattering the ground.
And I rock back and forth in the middle...
what worse penitentiary, then your own thoughts.
I think today has something to do with
my hands and how my fingers rake
up and down my arms when I'm feeling nervous, or
when the silences between us become longer than
I think today has something to do with
my scalp and how it's always crawling
with the thought of what if this is not enough,
what if I am a wrecking ball that doesn't need a permit to destroy
today the grass smelled nice and I walked
by myself through the dew and I thought that maybe
it's okay and maybe it gets better
today I walked through the grass with my hands in my pockets and they didn't
scratch at my skin at all, today
I looked up at the sky and everything was so
still, and I think
maybe tomorrow I'll find some scissors and
old newspaper & fashion myself some
I think tomorrow the air will be warm and
if I try hard enough maybe I can catch one of those soft breezes going nowhere,
I think tomorrow I'll fly far away
my hands are warm and still inside my pockets
my socks are wet when I get home, so I change them
today I'm going to crawl inside
my heart and I'm going to change the wallpaper
today I'm going to write a new script for my head.
In the delicious dusk
Let the starless fantasies
Soak into our blighted fight.
The moonlight, delectable
Moonlight flitted in the trees
A filigree pattern reminiscent
Of the wrapping papers with which
I once covered the long days
And sad afternoons I spent alone.
You removed a thermos of
Lukewarm coffee from your heart, and in
That singularly solemn week
I fell in love.
The sweetest love.
But it melted with
In the first bitter
Rains of October.
And the Halloween candy
Stashed behind my door
Was forgotten in the
A sense of isolation I couldn't shake
Not since I'd used
Every last inch of wallpaper
Copyright 8/30/14 by B. E. McComb
How distasteful you are,
With your sundry splotches
and jarring imperfections.
Oh, you taunt me so!
Whether your anathemas
are reflected through the mirror or my own eyes.
Oh horrible, hateful, heinous thing!
I cannot bear to stare any longer.
How sickly your color is--
A pallid yellow, like one giant bruise
That has budded and blossomed
In some unnaturally grotesque fashion.
My blood boils, my pulse races
And I raise my weapons to fight--
Two talons--claws honed to perfection.
Be gone, you wretched scab!
And so I tear, scratching furiously,
Until no more of you is left.
The blood is stuck beneath my fingertips,
Or what is left of them.
My sinews tremble, ****** and bare,
As the last of my wallpaper
Is ripped from my bones.
A small tribute to Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Concept is mine, story and inspiration are not.
Once pink now tawny wallpaper peels inside a closet, ballerina
dreams shucking off like husk. Little cartooned princesses cling.
Last holders-on from a 1950's design scheme with all good
intention, twirling memories glueyness is backed seemingly
to astound or perhaps dishearten. In "the boy's room," you
find in the closet an equally petrified, yet opposite motif papered.
It's animated baseball. I remember how quotes such as, "Never
let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game,"
did don those walls back in the day. I think it was Babe Ruth
attributed to that one. He and I were supposed to have shared
the same birthday, but I must confess, it stopped right there.
Eventually, that was all figured out, and I have no lamented
grievances for what parent's wishes were for their children's
would-be assigned roles. It was and is still popular to choose
decided decors as such. Who is to know how Bobby may envy
tiny dancers chosen for his sister's room or how Sue might prefer
basketball or even hockey? Even more politically correct
consciousness is a confusing choice. Who gets the dinosaurs
and who gets the daisies? In any case, no one papers the
closets anymore. So, when the time comes for cleaning out
old spaces and memories, future grudges might be less frequent.
I've been cleaning closets.
Moths float out from behind
an opened, warped door.
I push my face into your clothes,
hung heavy like pearls
in an antique shop.
Stale and familiar,
the scent follows me
like a lost little bee.
It buzzes even after I leave.
Hopscotch down the hallway
to find dead crickets
in the bathtub.
Scuffed wallpaper camouflages
a cobweb. Metallic vines
curve around bursts of petals.
I’m certain you chose this pattern,
but I don't know.
Memories are few.
I fill in the holes with honey
Indian feathers and
an old brooch.
Piles of pie.
Did you love to bake pie?
Games of bridge
on that old, scratched table top
with a musty deck of Bicycle cards.
Each deck a photo album
of your face.
Your raisined face.
I remember holding it in my hands.
“This aint a walk for old womans.”
And out the door I go.
Empty handed and independent.