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Pagan Paul Oct 2018
Tam had cornered the little ******* in an alley,
his detestation of small people teased his mind,
taunted him to ever more sadistic exterminations,
he considered child killing to be no real crime.
His method of death was pain and tortures,
make them scream until they breathed no more,
he knew nor cared not from where the hatred came,
he just enjoyed murdering the children of the poor.

The globe shone and took her far
through and between space and stars,
along time lines ever changing fast,
vacillating betwixt the future and past,
a trip that so few had made or survived,
but in point she found she had arrived.

A yellow glow cascades around
from street lamps aligned in rows.
A feint hint of oil in the chill air
perfumes the night, assaults her nose.
Cobbled streets with carriage ruts
are quiet with few walking abroad.
The Seers Sphere travelling in Time
lands her in a place to be explored.

Tonight Tam felt the cold like never before
shivering hard as he scowled at the kids
herded underground to his special prison.
The chill sinks deeper and deeper
attacking the bones from the inside out.

Her instincts bristled, advising caution,
as she strolls along the cobbled streets,
homing in on her victims location,
just at the moment the rain turns to sleet.

Tam had been mutilating the boy
in full view of the other brats,
scaring the little ******* shitless,
feeding pieces to his pet rats.

It was then the cold gripped him,
rattling his teeth, freezing his spine.
The children sat rigid as statues,
as a ghost appeared from out of Time.

The door frame shattered.
An unspoken command to depart.
Out the children clattered.
As ice took hold of Tam's heart.

Unseen frozen fingers gripped his throat,
he ****** himself as he is dragged out,
his bones snapping likes sticks of ice,
throat to dry to scream and shout.
And he feels the rain turn to sleet,
it was time for him and Death to meet.

Death came a'calling with intense pain,
frigid blades slice through flesh real slow,
at the last he feels one of his pet rats
as it starts to nibble at his naked toe.
Flies lay eggs in cuts on the near deceased
ensuring their maggots a royalist feast.

The last thing he saw as he died
the strangest of women walking his way.
Ice blue eyes of fire and malevolence
tinged with the anger of dismay.

She approached the scene like a stalking cat,
had felt her victims life drain away,
someone had got there before her,
she looked at the body with spiteful dismay.

A thousand lifetimes away
in another Time and place,
Grimly looks at two empty cradles
a sardonic smile upon his face.

Ice blue eyes of fire flash raw power,
she turns to see the shadow stop dead.
Fighting the cold creeping up her spine,
staring at the darkness straight ahead.

The shadow moves out of him,
lamp glow revealing his form.
Fire green eyes of malice show
he is the heart of a storm.

She looked at him with interest and disdain
but her Sphere sang out a greeting song.
Somewhere in history Time and Space shifts.
She glances at the shadow, but he was gone.

Yet … She knew his name ...


© Pagan Paul (13/10/18)
Friend or foe? Enemy or lover? Cliffhanger ;-)
Poem 6 in Judderwitch series. All at
Nis Jun 2018
Left to myself I finally look up to the mirror. Tear runs through cheek.

Crying back to me my reflection listens as noone has before.

"Look deeper" she cries. Darkness dwells where nothing dwells.

Past my glasses, past the glass of the mirror, past my glasses. My eyes' look at my eyes is the only thing I have left.

My body's body demands attention. Silent scream in the twilight of spring.

A second tear runs across my ****** hair, and it knows itself a stranger.

Stepping down my eyes I see my body. My body that is not my body. My body and nothing more.

My paper gets wet as a man's hand grips my pen and writes. A stranger's hand.

Chest up and down, the man's body refuses my call for change.

And my body that is not my body moves along with my body's mirror.

My manly jaw opens the silence up, and my mirror cries out. I dive in to help.

I continue to step down into the night. There's nothing to look up to where I came from.

And the echoes of the well hear out my name, my real name. There is wind at the bottom of my heart.

As I dug deeper into my reflection's eyes, I reach a wooden floor. Nothing but stone saw me prior.

When I look in the mirror, I am there.

A lonely little girl shivers back to me. I am alone yet I am the one that shivers.

When I step onto the wood it cracks. The girl looks at me and moves away from the light of my eyes.

I follow. My soul cries. It is the girl that cries. It is I who cries. No surprise, I was the girl all along.

I caress the girl and take her upwards through my mirror's skin. Here she will suffer.
As I keep reading along "Extracting the stone of madness" by Alejandra Pizarnik I stumble upon a collection of 19 short textes called "Los caminos del espejo"~Ways of the mirror, so I decide to write something similar. I didn't expect to get this profound to be honest. If you like my reflection on Pizarki's poems I have now a collection of them. Also definitely check out the original as it is now translated into English.
Evan Stephens May 16
Your names
are a sudden
throb on
the tongue.

Your names
are a beachhead,
and the splitting
tide across it.

Your names
are diaries,
secret days
of ash and ink.

Your names
are the green
of the branches.

Your names
are a shock
of gin in the
back of the throat.

Your names
are vespertine,
a soft song
in the evening.

Your names
are a corsage
of ether around
the wrist.

Your names
are an antidote
to the long,
long day.

Your names
are dreams,
mirages that
divide and rise.

Your names
are the dark
brick fork
in my lane.

There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not "harder" or "bigger" than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.


Miracles as such do not matter. The only thing that matters is their Source, Which is far beyond evaluation.


Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.


All miracles mean life, and God is the Giver of life. His/Her Voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to know.


Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.


Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.


Miracles are everyone's right, but purification is necessary first.


Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.


Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.


The use of miracles as spectacles to induce belief is a misunderstanding of their purpose.


Prayer is the medium of miracles. It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.


Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent the lower or ****** level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience. One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual.


Miracles are both beginnings and endings, and so they alter the temporal order. They are always affirmations of rebirth, which seem to go back but really go forward. They undo the past in the present, and thus release the future.
Do you believe in
cupid Jan 22
this empire, a tragedy
i have built an empire
under a million rules extended by thousand people
under my protection

blood runs off my hands
my hands clad in gold rings
gold rings clad in chain link and regret

i am fearless
i was fear
he is nothing
he was powerful
we were kings
i am god
but we thought vice versa

bruised knuckles that bleed ambrosia
my gore to feed the deities of long time gone
i remember what it felt like the first time
a million lives ago they ripped me apart
they fed off my insides

before becoming god he was a king
and before that a beggar child
weak, beaten on the street screaming
he screamed until his throat bled
remember that the one you crowned once lay at your feet
and while he lay there he threw up blood and choked on tears
one day you will be the one begging him for mercy
your tears on his sword

poor thing
banished from your own kingdom
no longer next to the highest in power
poor, poor thing
you are no longer welcome here

the old gods took the form of wolves
the took their apprentice to the woods
they ran
they burned their lungs with cold air
they ran
they attacked him from behind
they ran
they ate his flesh and drink his blood
they ran
they rebirthed him into an emperor
they ran
they promised to speak to and through him
the old gods no longer take form

in he dug his dagger
down into his wrists and thighs
down into his stomach
he painted his silver pale skin
with his own blood
he tugged open his lips to lap up the ichor
he ripped out his human teeth with claws
in place grew in wolf teeth and fangs
his wounds healed over with fur
all human left of him now, his eyes
still blue

little red riding hood
no longer loved by god
god just as vicious as a wolf
empires ruled by gods
ruled by wolves

crack went a rope
crack went a gun
crack went the thunder
one died one his own
two died in a fight
no one died in the storm
only wept
a fanged inhuman hung from the stairwell
two boys lay dead in the street in the wake of a lovers quarrel
two funerals held in the same hall
buried in the same storm
only two funerals, only two dead
he killed me twice
aisha zoë Dec 2018
I remember I spent all January 
writing this poem for your birthday
I was clawing at my head trying to gather words 
that could make you understand
the way that I needed you
as if my words could stop 
the world from ending it was funny
and futile. I did not know
how little any of it would matter

I can't remember Febuary

and I don't remember March

but I spent this night alone in April
that made me feel like I was 
once again myself. I was alone 
at a concert, he sang into my ear 
like an answered prayer
I danced in a crowd of strangers 
there were things to live for 
i was reminded

all of May I was worried you would leave me
and I never said it out loud 
until I understood 
that it'd already happened. 
I wrote so many poems about it 
without processing, like automatic 
d a d a  speech
it was like a prophecy, 
the devil in my view 
I read those poems again a couple
weeks ago; I couldn't help 
but laugh 

when he handed me the first prescription 
sometime in June, it did not feel real
my first box of blue pills on a starter dosage 
with a diagnosis I spoke to no one about
I was scared and could not say it 
did not say it. not out loud.
not for another couple 
of months I spit out poems people read
and did not relate to
and I was utterly lonely

every day in July was spent 
in front of a mirror 
I was learning to understand 
my body through movement 
things were alright during the day 
the nights were still bearable
I stayed awake reading books 
to fill my mind 

august was the month that you hurt me 
I loved you so much I felt nothing 
when you used me that night and the day after 
you told me I was nothing but y o u 
were the one that turned into nothing
I tried so hard to cry for weeks it was funny
that it only sounded like laughter
for 10 years you were the one I went to
we haven't spoken again
I don't want to anymore

September my dog died and was 
buried in the mountains 
he had skin the colour and scent of black leather 
he was a spirit animal with no teeth in his mouth 
he lead me into an understanding 
that all things must go once more
and thus began a bent spiral into chaos

I can't remember October very well
that was the month the pills really kicked in 
and I slept through everything but that 
time you came over and you let me 
kiss you everywhere
a couple hours taken out of someone else's life 
where someone could maybe somehow love me
I was so happy I was nervous; 
it was utter utter bliss
I can't remember much else, Somnolence was king
Death was a psalm I whispered 24/7
never loud enough to be heard
and I was a mess to look at 
that was the month I couldn't get out of bed 

in November I tried to pick up the pieces 
only to find I had less pieces than I began with
what I thought was family fell apart
we found a home to live in 
and I evaded your gaze like the Black Death
I convinced myself you hated me
that everyone hated me; another delusion 
they called me lazy. I felt so much shame
this was the month my mother almost convinced me to 
come off the meds in an attempt to
make me functional again
Momma I know I wish it weren't true too 
but it won’t go away if we pretend it isn’t real
we were worried about money
two pills a day, one for the highs one for the lows 
none for the memory loss or the hair loss or 
the tremors in my hands, hands that 
could not grip any sort of control 
over everything I forgot about
while I was sleeping

December was the month I got drunk 
and understood how I could self-medicate
all too easy and steadily
but I was happy again, steady again
I came off the pills my mind 
cleared so quickly like fog vanishing
I can write this now, I couldn't before
I told everyone I'd go back on them 
as soon as I could 
somehow I managed to look back 
into your eyes
and still see kindness there 
most importantly and most miraculously 
I woke up one day and suddenly wanted 
to be alive again

December 15th 2018
2:57 a.m
Tipon Aug 25
Tessa VII

I am curious, on your man, woman- advice friends. Tac-
tically impotence only wants to say, what if? The long line of
this hissing in my ear can drive me mad. And than I'm saying
'Look who's talking'. It's the diplomacy on treading carefully
on your feelings. What if I hurt you and lot's of apologies?

Your friends are holding me in contempt for loving the way
that you are. Or, that could be a state of the art opinion and
self hollowness, when liberated for too long. Horses don't eat
meat or Beef Wellington. And you are a fine equus, I know...
I am waiting for this morphology, muscles turning to butterflies.

Nine days ago we were in unfamiliar territories, still. A diamond
had fallen from off the forehead unto the floor, a stony wall
horizon. I am following the Ivy towards your thinly path through
the woods. It is more than a thought, or impulse. If you want
my advice, a moment's blindness could do us many wonders.

Tessa VIII

Where is the fountain of youth in our future, today, tomorrow,
thereafter? Interesting seeing or watching two adults trying
hard to find this childlike 'would you like to be my friend?' talk.
Men walk through rocks and mountains, and women are at the
tunnel's end waiting for collision. Questions are being asked,

whether we started off the wrong way. It wasn't in my app, or
yours and looming before us. You grassed me up, I am a British
criminal of the surreal land. Marshes and bush are on fire, I like
singing this song. Or change all this to care for each other, and
forget that we are pixies. I never liked Kilroy, my late

confession. ET went home, alone, and now is staying on the
planet of Extraterrestrial. As for your idyllic nature the fountain
of youth was love. A quiet place in the evenings perhaps, and
I will find you there. Halfway under the full moon and spider's
mating season. If death may be the fate I may find, playwright.

Tessa IX

I need a cigarette, chuckle at something trivial, or go to bed and
call for the whales. Why it end up here in this way is only
making sense if you are a living memory. What is the story of
your life, a matey question unanswered. You are trying to hide
from triviality, I get that impression from afar. Pain in my shoul-

der, just off the blade. Are we going somewhere this after-
noon? The cricket field is empty or mental asylum. How do
we pretend in a pretend world? Let's get M, the M- word,
or negation and forensics. I need a hug or group hug of you
and me. If you can't laugh now, I am not a comedian, S U C.
Tessa II
Pagan Paul Oct 2018
And it grips her submissive mind,
sweeping her along unbidden,
through timelines inducing nausea,
passed worlds previously hidden.
Tumbling stones rumble unheard,
a slide that sends gravity shifting,
starting a new path through time,
the butterfly effect begins shifting.

The images stop swirling,
a vision fades slow into sight,
a row of glowing Seers Spheres
racked in the pale moon light.
Eleven cradles for resting orbs,
four relieved of their weight,
claimed by other time travellers
already gone through the Gate.

And she sees Grimly approach,
picking a Sphere from the rack,
carrying careful in clean hands,
then through the door turns back.
She sees herself seated rigid,
watches Grimly hand her the Sphere,
a bolt of understanding hits and
her mind becomes crystal clear.

She realises these are tests
for the next vision is of her,
as a child in a camel train
leaving the great city of Ur.
Crossing the desert once again
with oils and perfumes so pure,
amidst the most luxurious goods
of gold, silver, silks and furs.

And the images diffuse, refocus, Judderwitch by a grave,
of an unfortunate sacrifice, the girl she could not save,
a flame handled dagger marks a headstone epitaph,
and her weeping grief slowly turns into a manic laugh,
as in the grave paces away, a woman screams out loud,
buried alive with a nest of spiders, no forgiveness is allowed.

And the scenes change, redefine, Judderwitch on a street,
with a mutilated corpse, an horrific sight for her to meet,
as a black rat starts to happily nibble at the naked feet,
and she shivers. She shivers? The Empress of Evil cold,
an anger courses through her at this alien feeling untold,
whilst her body stiffens at the answer she beholds.

Grimly sees her body stiffen,
a knowing smile graces his lips.
His eyes move to a vacant cradle,
as Time plays out one of its tricks.

And she knows.
She understands.
The Seers Sphere is Time itself.
Exactly one eleventh of
All Time.

The race through Time gently slows,
the globe feels warm as it brightly glows,
and deep inside she already knows
she is accepted and with Time she flows.
Connection with the Seers Sphere grows,
as the Ritual comes to its joyous close,
and the Seers Sphere hummed as it chose,
Judderwitch, and on its journey goes.

© Pagan Paul (05/10/18)
Poem 5 in Judderwitch series.
(Part 1 was posted a few days ago).

My Judderwitch poems are now in a collection :)
Immigration became faster
Easier, cheaper
And safer

It literally changed
The sense of time
And space

It helped create
Utah’s mining

It increased ethnic and
Religious diversity in

V. The railroad helped
**** many Utah

The train changed the LDS Church
And fueled anti-polygamy

The train helped
Settle the

It changed the

It sped the displacement
Of American Indian

The train created the
Utah tourism

The train created a disparity
Of wealth in some
Utah areas

The train
United the

- From The Salt Lake Tribune

A Poem

The end of the trail,
Its mystery gone,
Is featured so often
In story and song;
But as long as the lure
Of the unknown will be,
It's beginnings of trails
That appeal to me!
Bernice Gibbs Anderson, Mother of the Golden Spike

B.G. Anderson
Happy 150th
Golden Spike
Anna Patricia Nov 2018
i. you never ceased to begin and end your day by saying “i love you.” it’s the little things matter. it’s the little things that make my day complete.

ii. i know nothing with certainty about most things, but with you i am more than certain. with you, i’m entirely sure. i hope you are too.

iii. let me be your cigarette so i could touch your lips.

iv. i have tired eyes and a tired mind from running away from my demons all day. you know exactly how to calm me down. perhaps you and only you can help me feel at ease. thank you for slaying my demons for me.

v. i feel the sting of the sun. the moon has set. i sacrificed sleep just so i can spend more time with you. i want more hours with you.

vi. i’m fighting off sleep yet again just so i can hear your voice on the phone. sing for me, my love.

vii. i have never felt safe anywhere in this world, until i felt your embrace. your arms feel like home.

viii. you made me listen to a new song today. it’s beautiful. you’re beautiful.

ix. as the band sang on stage, you held my hand. you looked at me while you sang the sweetest line from the song. in that moment, i felt like i’m the luckiest girl in the crowd.

x. for the longest time, i’ve been afraid of heights. “you can do it! close your eyes and jump,” you told me. my hands were trembling. my legs were shaking. i was barely breathing. i took a leap of faith and jumped, knowing that you were there at the bottom waiting there for me. not even my deepest and darkest fear can stop me. you make me fearless.

xi. i only have the silver moonlight in me but you wouldn’t even dare trade the brightest star, the glow of the sun, with the light gleam that i have. you make me feel like i can outshine anyone. “lumiere, darling, you’re beautiful” you said.

xii. i was cold and you gave me your jacket. i saw you shiver while you handed it to me. i knew in that moment that you would sacrifice everything for me. i love you.

xiii. how i wish you would defend me when someone talks **** about me. i feel betrayed. you know me better than they do. don’t do it again, i beg you.

xiv. i’d open the door for you again and again. that’s what scares me.

xv. when we spent time apart, i asked myself, how can emptiness feel so heavy?

xvi. we were talking about our future, and i’ve never wanted to fight for something so much in my life.

xvii. someone stole my color and threw it to the wind. i don’t know if i will still find it, but you still looked at me like i’m the brightest rainbow.

xviii. you said you are afraid to lose me. i am hoping that you wouldn’t have the strength to face your fear and leave. not now, not ever.
valencia Jan 7
and through her eyes, the world shines in technicolor. life lived at the end of the rainbow.

together we are, undistubitably, strange. but i love the way the ribbons of clouds gather in our river valleys, water crumbling like diomonds over great giantess-made rocks.

the way you marvel at it all makes me smile. you look at the wind in the trees, rose petals, forgotten stories, signature scents, letters, and our universe.
   “why did you put me here, lady cosmos?” you ask
and it is my greatest displeasure of my puny mortal life that you are met with silence.

to myself, i pray for them to answer her.

you don’t like to believe there’s nothing out there; that it is but a vaccum.
i hold my peace and let you look.

you reach up, up and up higher every time, trying to pluck the sun from the sky.
i think it would taste like boisnberries- you think it would taste like sugared-peaches, but only in the summer.

you are an alice without her wonderland, but you aren’t an alice either. you don’t belong here at all. but we can’t hear to return you, gossamer girl. so cruelly we keep you here in this stone cold world, all for the sake of wanting to be with you. is that love?

you dream of candy-cane worlds, buildings shining brighter than your peach-flavored sun, you dream of a monstersless utopia where even walking down the street illicits euphoria. dearest gossamer girl, i am so sad you can’t live in your gossamer worlds.

perhaps you will learn to bear this one instead?
.i. what kind of guy

tell me what to be
and i'll try to be it

tell me what to see
and i'll try to see it

show me your mind
and i'll try to read it

tell me what to crave
and i'll try to need it

tell me what to feel
and i'll try to feel it

tell me where you hurt
and i'll try to heal it

tell me what to say
and i'll try to say it

tell me what part to play
and i'll try to play it

tell me what to send
and i'll try to send it

tell me what you cherish
and i'll try to defend it

tell me what life to live
and i'll try to live it

tell me what you need
and i'll try to give it

give me your hand
and i'll try to take it

if you give me your heart
i'll try not to break it

James - Next Lover

The Smiths - Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want

ii. automatic (true story)

i want to make love to you; i want to give you my soul

whisper hotly in her ear

which do you want more?


just **** me already...

taken aback just a bit, start to question her choice...
quiets me with gentle finger to my lips
and begins explanation

when we ****...

finger draws trail up body, stomach quivers in silence
finger stops at middle of chest

your soul follows... automatic.

The Beautiful South - I Think The Answer's Yes

Modern English - I Melt With You

iii. guess?

the only poem left inside of me

the one not deceived,

or stolen,

or shattered,

is an almost empty page,

nothing but white,

save for three small words.

Cowboy Junkies w/ Natalie Merchant - Misguided Angel (Live)
30th Anniversary concert of "The Trinity Sessions"

Siouxsie And The Banshees - The Last Beat Of My Heart

iv. not an ******

i come to you,
you consume my name,
and dull my senses;
i'd do the same

i come to you,
you procure my pain,
and lure away solely;
i'd do it again

i come to you
you always take me,
i come to you
you always wake me,
and if you'd come
i'd do the same,
but i guess it'd be better
if i never came.

The House of Love - I Don't Know Why I Love You

Morrissey - Yes I Am Blind

v. we fight a lot

do you know romance or faith?
do you really claim to know my soul?
have you drunk deep of it,
tasting its substance, and
recognizing its flavour?

i don't really think
you've really even tried.

night after night
i wake from dreams of crucifixion
nailed to a cross of indecision
gateways through hands and feet
disappear with the dew of mo(u)rning
but memories of these most disturbing visions
stay with me past the dawn;

maybe you ask more than your beauty can demand?

where are the stars?
i see only specks of fool's gold
cast out chaotic upon black sadness now.

but the soft light comes to heal by night
the painful truth that wounds by day
'til death do us part?

vi. farming

in early spring i planted you
then watched you grow the may rains through
the growth all altitude and height
emerald waves by divine right

summer's sun drew gold from green
on edges four and in-between
you danced with wind both night and day
life in the field, death in the clay

those days grew short, the nights too long
ice soon would come, grain froze upon
with winter soon and harvest nigh
our time had come to say goodbye

pretend i don't but wonder still
drag your remains beneath the till
i wonder still where you are now
shred hollow stalks beneath the plow

i gaze upon this barren floor
and know it's time to plant once more;
from flowing fields to loaves of bread...
you're nothing now to me but dead

PJ Harvey - Oh My Lover

Blues Traveler - Alone
Note: Awesome song!! Well worth a listen, truly.

vii. missing you (now and then)

my memories of then
alive this now so far removed from then
those fingertips which touch(ed) me then
forever touch me now

don't be misled
by paltry pleasures,
prose of raptures delicate;
for burning flesh and calming eyes,
not what i've ached for
now since then

your open ear, your nothin' much
things lost forever then

yesterdays alone for now
tomorrow's love forever then
if flames engulf our forest now
forever love me ever then

the weaknesses that hold me now
our strength forever haunts me then
let tears we shed forever now
forever haunt us only then

we lost those things together though...
and that should be enough for now,
and always be enough for then

The Icicle Works - Understanding Jane

Jefferson Airplane - Coming Back To Me

viii. monkeys and typewriters
(the drug addiction begins)

all i feel of you
shadows of your hands
shadow puppets and
soft fingertips

it's getting hard to hold
hard to hold on to
i'm being pulled away
pulled out to the unknown
and something, something
must be there for i feel
its gravity, and it's
strong, too strong
to stop...

i am floating
in a void
fields used
to be, but you
and your words
    no longer live there ...

                and now ...

                                now i feel ...

                                                i feel nothing ...

                                                          ­   ­   nothing at all.

Harry Connick, Jr. - Don't Get Around Much Anymore

The Replacements - Sadly, Beautiful

ix. the desert

how long? how long has it been?

a week? a month? a year?

i don't even care anymore.

i thirst. for what? for water;

for God; maybe for love?

the sand. does it go on forever?

i taste it on my tongue. i feel

it on my skin. i breathe it in,

but do i embrace it? i think i might.

i wonder if this desert

is of my own making,

to leave i need not more than

open my eyes to the paradise

that truly surrounds.

yet, i remain blind.

that which i would do, i do not;

that which i would not, i do constantly

will i die here, or will i one day

escape to dwell among the living?

perhaps my oasis i've already passed.

i continue to walk.

x. sandcastle

awake from dreams

of loving you

and hate the morning sun

for you wait in the twilight

and still whisper, lover, come

back to the place we started

and to where our love began

a place within our dreams

made of the sandman's sand

resting across the theta waves

of ocean memory

i sail to it each night

and its warm walls shelter me

but with morning castle crumbles

and the sand is washed away

and i curse myself a fool

to think that it could ever stay

i no longer know you

though you live within my sight

small comforts come with slumber

you still love me in the night

The Cure - Closedown
Ahh, the musing of a 24 year-old heart, when it seemed I fell in love once a week, but couldn't find a date to save my life, I couldn't stop reading and re-reading "The Island of the Day Before" by Umberto Eco, I was just starting to find crude early html poetry homes online at The Starlite Cafe, The Poetry Pavilion, Creative Cove, and other places that exist now only in my memory, and my sense of what made a man was still formed by my reading point-form bios from my older sister's Tiger Beat magazines when I was a kid. lol.

These are all poems about, and songs that reminded,me of, and still do, my very first real love, my daughter's mother Briony-Jane (...when summers fade to palisades, a part of me, still restless, longs to hold her...).

And after all these long years, we finally reconciled just last year when her mom passed away after a long battle with cancer, like my mom did. It took a long time to close that circle, but we did it in the end, and are now friends again, and real co-parents to our daughter Brittany (who turns 28 in 9 days, yay!)

EDIT: I guess HP doesn't like underscore characters, so some of the song links won't work. Ah well. But here's one that is so **** good it's worth a listen, honest:
.i. flicker

leave a candle
burning in your
window should
you ever change
your mind when
we're both old and
gray, or older and
grayer than we both
are now, if you tire
of following your
Traveler ways,
oceans with no
good place to stay,
if you remember we
once had a place to
call home, if you
remember that
once you were
never alone, leave
a candle in your
window, sweet amber,
come home... but those
are just dreams of mine,
you traveling the world,
because it hurts less
imagining that you
just left me, that we've
nowhere to go, and i've
no-one to see, since that
day i last saw you, lowering
into your grave, and all i've
left are cold shadows, as
i've learned to be brave, oh
how i wish i'd been brave,
and sometimes when i
think of you, i truly, so truly,
wish i'd not been born,
wish i'd never been born.

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

.ii. for amber wherever your soul may be

we walked along those streets of cold night
we did what was wrong though we knew what was right
now i feel all alone with no love in sight
but know you are still with me

ღ ღ ღ

we laid in strange beds, though not merely to sleep,
our tracks may be gone, but those scars run quite deep,
standing at the abyss, can i peek, but not leap?
no, for you are still with me

ღ ღ ღ

when i feel that i've surely lost all of my might
when i'm lost in the dark, and can't find the light,
i will hold back my tears, i will keep up the fight,
. . .
i promise you this, despair is banished,
and i'll never again try to join you too soon,
for i believe, someday, i will be with you

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

.iii. a touch of frost

so late last night
winter's last kiss
left amber flecks
amongst myrtle hills
and the most vibrant
hues of tenné and rust

ღ ღ ღ

so many miles i want to embrace
eternally changing beauty
unparalleled by any other
in which i can only see
your eyes and hair and
voice and spirit

ღ ღ ღ

last frost left
by a retrograde sun,
your solace, though knowing,
you just couldn't be the one

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

.iv. snow in may

it hasn't fallen so far south
this late in my life
and wind bites through my jacket's fold
just like a stabbing knife

ღ ღ ღ

a snowflake melts upon my lips
a lost touch from your fingertips?

ღ ღ ღ

the wind feels slightly warmer now
and i don't need to wonder how

ღ ღ ღ

it cannot be coincidence
it's much too apropos...
don't need to guess why it has come
i think of you, and know

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

.v. event horizon

you're gone from this place
just as all things must go
whether diamonds or dust,
bound by time and by tide,
by erosion and rust,
and our choices are viewed
from such far, distant shores
as long nights steal away
clarity found by day
which twilight underscores

in my heart, in my mind
memories start to form
and then call upon
a trace of your sweetness
for it can still linger on
and on, and on,
and, oh, sweet amber,
how you still linger on

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

.vi. you're slipping away

i feel like today
i could write of you
forever, it was visiting
you last night, where
you will lay forever,
where we can be
a moment or two
still somehow
still together

ღ ღ ღ

but now it's been enough
and now it's time for me
to put my love for you away,
high-up and hard-to-reach,
in that special type of drawer;
full of needles and thread,
of thimbles and buttons,

a place that's
not often opened,
but so welcome and warm...

in times when
its contents can
heal what's been wounded
in times when
its magic can
mend what's been torn.

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

.vii. the invention of this passion

all things must
return to their place
as water falls down to green, foamy seas waving,
as waving arms, tired, falling back to our sides,
as sides of mouths, smiling, start so subtly falling,
and cruel, hopeless pining banished out of our minds.

ღ ღ ღ

of your eminently brilliant, ever-duelling mind,
of your infinite obstinance (which was what it was),
of your so loving, gentle, most softest of hearts,
contrasted by furies like hell hath not wrought
when my love and the needle were all that you fought.

ღ ღ ღ

of your cutting your mending your purging your dying
of your love for me and your hate for yourself
of your love for that junk, such hate for yourself;
how i ran away when you needed me most,
my greatest regret and my greatest disgrace,
of you travelling all alone
to some far-distant shore...

ღ ღ ღ

of all of these things
that still make me curse
the sound of morning's alarms
that rob me of you

as no time,
nor no place,
nor no heavenly grace,
nor chance will stand as friend;

on your such
faraway thoughts
do i rise, do i fall
for even a moment?
are you still out there
out there in the aether,
have you forgiven that
which was unforgivable,
as i ran all those blocks
to a payphone at Safeway,
instead of knocking frantic,
on some neighbouring door?
and just writing it down now
i break down now, i hate now
myself forever, the only thing
i can't ever forgive of anyone,
and i'm haunted today most acutely
i can't hide, as a bright light is shone,
with you and our love, now 20 years gone

i long sometimes for death
if only to find out if you are
there, or if there is just nothing
nothing at all, save for those
three short words of
i love you

it's the irony of ironies that
something as sublime as love
could strike such a vicious wound
where a 2nd hell can be found
if one explores too deeply
and begins to drown
at the very bottom
of ocean memory

ღ ღ ღ

yes, all things must
return to their place
and i am glad you
returned to yours, to ours,
ahead of me, maybe, preparing
such a place, but i must live today
not in dreams of the past, not
in hopes of the future, for
if i know one thing, it's
you'd want me that way;
we all must go sometime
where you have gone,
and we don't choose
the time, no, it
is the time
that always
chooses us

yes, i am more glad still
you may wait for me there
and just maybe

you went to
where your love
was needed most,
and who am i to
even guess

ღ ღ ღ

Such is life, that whatever is proposed,
it is much easier to find reasons
for rejecting than embracing.

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

.viii. recovery: 20 year reprise

have you ever had
something in your life
that you wanted to be over
just as badly as you so very
much never wanted it to end?
for me that is exactly today,
this endless of endless days.

ღ ღ ღ

only snippets left
that are losing full
both craft and meaning,
perhaps, for inside of me
the feelings are petrifying,
and so i'm losing them,
and so i'm losing you:
your voice, your smell,
how your touch felt,
the taste of you,
everything you,
even soft,
and shared
ecstasies, too.

i loved you once
and could not stop:
though knowing where
it could/would end

you loved me when
you wanted to:
you loved me
when you could;

and that was, and
is, enough for me;
your prettiest face,
i cannot see. for it is
fading too, and,
is seeing also
believing, isn't
that how this love
thing's supposed
to work? and yet...

when you sadly
questioned me, only
then would i admit,
yes, you're right,
yes, it's so true, that
when i write of loving,
i can only write of you.

and that was the beginning
of what became your final end.

ღ ღ ღ

i love you not at all:
i had to stop for
it was killing me.

all these
only in my
mind, long
gone from
any medium,
now i must
quick get rid
of them... so,

i linger over each, then
in my mind i hit delete;
they can no longer find a home there,
or i shan't stave off my defeat.

ღ ღ ღ

i love you not at all:
it was so easy in the end;
i remember when i quit you
(just this evening, 6 pm).

they never tell you when you're young,
they never tell you once it's gone,
that years of loving feel so short,
these days of pain so ******* long.

ღ ღ ღ

i love you not at all:
(that is, until i close my door...
for since you took your life away,
i but love you all the more).

ღ ღ ღ

maybe i need to stop,
& to finally let you go,
for if i can't let go of you,
i'll have no room to grow;

and maybe this is even
the last, very last, day
i'll ever write of you.

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
.ix. honeyed memory

ღ ღ ღ

just for today i am yours,
and you are mine again;
you live today once more,
if only in this heart of mine,
and even a single word more
could not be anything than mere
superfluous commentary

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

.x. i must stop now; a prayer

goodbye my lost love,
i miss you so much,
and if your mouth is
perhaps closer to the
ear of the Almighty
than mine is, and may
ever be, can i ask this
of you, though i am
not deserving
you know more
than anyone
please ask of Him,
to let me learn
to forgive


ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
Overture: Missing you today, a visitation, now I feel you fading back away.

This date burned into my memory, when I left you there; how can it have been 20 years already? I've gotten so old, and you've stayed so young.

Enya - On Your Shore

One night at the Troubadour I spotted this extraordinary girl.

So I asked who she was.

‘A professional,’

That was my introduction that on a scale of one to ten

there were women who were fifteens—beautiful, bright, witty, and

oh, by the way, they worked.

Once I became aware,

I saw these women everywhere.

And I came to learn that most of them were connected to Alex


She had a printer engrave a calling card

that featured a bird of paradise

borrowed from a Tiffany silver pattern

under it,

Alex’s Aviary,

Beautiful and Exotic birds.

A few were women you’d see lunching at Le Dôme:

pampered arm pieces with expensive tastes

and a hint of a delicious but remote sexuality.

Many more were fresh-faced, athletic, tanned, freckled

the quintessential California girl

That you’d take for sorority queens or future BMW owners.


The mechanism of Alex’s sudden notoriety is byzantine,

as these things always are.

One of her girls took up with a rotter,

the couple had a fight,

he went to the police,

the police had an undercover detective visit

(who just happened to be an attractive woman)

and ask to work for her,

she all but embraced her

—and by April of 1988 the district attorney had enough evidence

to charge her with two counts of pandering

and one of pimping.

For Alex, who is fifty-six

and has a heart condition and diabetes,

the stakes may be high.

A conviction carries the guarantee of incarceration.

For the forces of law and order,

the stakes may be higher.

Alex has let it be known that she will subpoena

every cop she’s ever met to testify at her trial.

And the revelations this might produce

—perhaps that Alex compromised policemen

by making girls available to them,

—perhaps that Alex had a deal with the police to provide information

in exchange for their blind eye to her activities

—could be hugely embarrassing to the police and the district attorney.

For Alex’s socially correct clients and friends,

for the socially correct wives of her clients and friends

and for a handful of movie and television executives

who have no idea they are dating or

married to former Alex girls,

the stakes are highest of all.


Alex’s black book is said to be a catalogue of
Le Tout Los Angeles.

In her head are the ****** secrets

of many of the city’s most important men,

to say nothing of visiting businessmen and Arab princes.

If she decides to warble,

either at her trial or in a book,

her song will shatter more than glass.


A decade ago, I went to lunch at Ma Maison,

There were supposed to have been ten people there,

but only four came.

One of them was a short woman

who called me a few days later and invited me to lunch.

When I arrived, the table was set for two.

I didn’t know who Alex was or what she did,

but she knew the important facts of my situation:

I was getting divorced from a very wealthy man

and doing the legal work myself

to avail lawyers who wanted to get a big settlement for me.

Occasionally, she said, I get a call for a tall, dark-haired,

slender, flat-chested woman

—and I don’t have any.

It wouldn’t be a frequent thing.

There’d be weekends away, sometimes in Palm Springs,

sometimes in Europe.

The men will be elegant,

you’ll have your own room

—there would be no outward signs of impropriety.

And you’d get $10,000 to $20,000 for a weekend.


The tall, slender, flat-chested brunette

didn’t think it was right for her.

Alex handed her a business card

and suggested that she think about it.

To her surprise, she did

—for an entire week.

This was 1978, and $20,000 then

was like $40,000 now,

I knew it was hooking,

but Alex had never mentioned ***.

Our whole conversation seemed to be about something else.


I was born in Manila

to a Spanish-Filipina mother and German father,

and when I was twelve

a Japanese soldier came into our house

with his bayonet pointed at us,

ready to do us in.

He locked us in and set the house on fire.

I haven’t been scared by much since that.

My mother always struck me as goofy,

so I jumped on a bus and ran away,

I got off in Oakland,

saw a help-wanted sign on a parish house,

and went in.

I got $200 a month for taking care of four priests.

I spent all the money on pastries for the parish house.

But I didn’t care.

It felt safe.

And the priests sparked my interest in the domestic arts

—in linen, in crystal.

A new priest arrived.

He was unpleasant,

so on a vacation in Los Angeles I took a pedestrian job,

still a teenager,

married a scientist.

We separated eight years later,

he took our two sons to another state

threatened to keep them if I didn’t agree to a divorce.

Keep them I said and hung up.

It’s not that I don’t have a maternal instinct

—though I don’t,

I just hate to be manipulated.

My second husband,

an alcoholic,

had Frank Sinatra blue eyes, and possibly

—I never knew for sure—

had a big career in the underworld

as a contract killer.

Years before we got serious,

he was going out with a famous L.A. ******,

She and her friends were so elegant

that I started spending time with them in beauty salons.

They were so fancy,

so smart

—and they knew incredible people,

like the millionaire who sat in his suite all day

just writing $5,000 checks to girls.


I was a florist.

We got to talking.

She was a madam from England

who wanted to sell her book and go home.

I bought it for $5,000.

My husband thought it was cute.

Now you’re getting your feet wet.

Three months later,

he died.

After eleven years of marriage,

just like that.

And of the names in the book

it turned out

that half of the men were also dead.

When I began the men were old and the women were ugly.


It was like a lunch party you or I would give,

Great food Alex had cooked herself.

Major giggles with old pals.

And then,

instead of chocolate After Eight,

she served three women After Three

This man has seen a bit of life

beyond Los Angeles,

so I asked him how Alex’s stable

compared with that of Madam Claude,

the legendary Parisian procuress.

Oh, these aren’t at all like Claude’s girls,

A Claude girl was perfectly dressed and multilingual

—you could take her to the opera

and she’d understand it.

He told me that when she was 40

she looked at herself in the mirror

and said


People over 40

should not have ***.

But She Was Clear That She Never Liked It

even when she was young.

Besides, she saw all the street business

go to the tall,

beautiful girls.

She thought that she never had a chance

competing against them.


she would take their money by managing them.


Going to a ****** was not looked down upon then.

It was before the pill;

Girls weren’t giving it away.

Claude specialized in

failed models and actresses,

ones who just missed the cut.

But just because they failed

in those impossible professions

didn’t mean they weren’t beautiful,


Like Avis

in those days,

those girls tried harder.

Her place was off the Champs,

just above a branch of the Rothschild bank, where I had an account.

Once I met her,

I was constantly making withdrawals and heading upstairs.


We took the lift

and Claude greeted us at the door.

My impression was that of the director

of an haute couture house,

very subdued,

beige and gray, very little makeup.

She took us into a lounge and made us drinks,



There was no maid.

We made small talk for 15 minutes.

How was the weekend?

What’s the weather like in Deauville?

Then she made the segue. ‘I understand you’d like to see some jeunes filles?’

She always used ‘jeunes filles.’

This was Claude’s polite way of saying 18 to 25.

She left and soon returned

with two very tall

jeunes filles,

One was blonde.

This is Eva from Austria.

She’s here studying painting.

And a brunette,

very different,

but also very fine.

This is Claudia from Germany.

She’s a dancer.

She took the girls back into the apartment and returned by herself.

I gave my English guest first choice.

He picked the blonde.

And wasn’t disappointed.

Each bedroom had its own bidet.

There was some nice

polite conversation, and then

It was slightly formal,

but it was high-quality.

He paid Claude

200 francs,

not to the girls

In 1965, 200 francs was about $40.

Pretty girls on Rue Saint-Denis

could be had for 40 francs

so you can see the premium.

Still, it wasn’t out of reach for mere mortals.

You didn’t have to be J. Paul Getty.


A lot of them

were models at

Christian Dior

or other couture houses.

She liked Scandinavians.

That was the look then

—cold, tall, perfect.

It was cheap for the quality.

They all used her.

The best people wanted

the best women.

Elementary supply and demand.


She had a camp number tattooed on her wrist. I saw it.

She showed it to me and Rubi.

She was proud she had survived.

We talked about the camp for hours.

It was even more fascinating than the girls.

She was Jewish

I’m certain of that.

She was horrified at the Jewish collaborators

at the camp who herded

their fellow Jews

into the gas chambers.

That was the greatest betrayal in her life.


She was this sad,

lonely little woman.

Later, Patrick told me who she was.

I was bowled over.

It was like meeting Al Capone.

I met two of the girls

who worked for her.

One was what you would expect




But the other looked like a Rat

Then one night

she came out

all dressed up,

I didn’t even recognize her.

She was even better than the first girl.

Claude liked to transform women like that.

That was her art.

It was very odd,

my cousin told me.

There was not much furniture

and an awful lot of telephones.

“Allô oui,”


I had so many lunches

with Claude at Ma Maison

She was vicious.

One day,

Margaux Hemingway,

at the height of her beauty, walked by.

Une bonne

—the French for maid

was how Claude cut her dead.

She reduced

the entire world

to rich men wanting *** and

poor women wanting money.

She’d love to page through Vogue and see someone

and say,

When I met her

she was called


and she had a hideous nose

and now she’s a princess.

Or she’d see someone and say

Let’s see if she kisses me or not.

It was like

I made her,

and I can destroy her.

She was obsessed

with “fixing” people

—with Saint Laurent clothes,

with Cartier watches,

with Winston jewels,

with Vuitton luggage,

with plastic surgeons.


Her prison number was


which was good luck in China

but not in California.

‘Ocho ocho ocho,’ she liked to repeat

Even in jail, she was always working,

always recruiting stunning women.

She had a beautiful Mexican cellmate

and gave her Robert Evans’s number

as the first person she should call

when she was released.


Never have *** on the first date.


There will always be prostitution,

The prostitution of misery.

And the prostitution of bourgeois luxury.

They will both go on forever.

“Allô oui,”

It was so exciting to hear a millionaire

or a head of state ask,

in a little boy’s voice,

for the one thing

that only you could provide

It's not how beautiful you are, it's how you relate

--it's mostly dialogue.

She was tiny, blond, perfectly coiffed and Chanel-clad.

The French Woman: The Arab Prince, the Japanese Diplomat, the Greek Tycoon, the C.I.A. Bureau Chief — She Possessed Them All!


She was like a slave driver in the American South

Once she took a *******,

the makeover put the girl in debt,

because Claude paid all the bills to



to the hairdressers,

to the doctors,

and the girls had to work to pay them off.

It was ****** indentured servitude.

My Swans.

It reached the point

where if you walked into a room

in London

or Rome

as much as Paris

because the girls were transportable,

and saw a girl who was



and more distinguished than the others

you presumed

it was a girl from Claude.

It was, without doubt,

the finest *** operation ever run in the history of mankind.


The girl had to be

exactly what was needed

so I had to teach her everything she didn’t know.

I played a little the role of Pygmalion.

There were basic things that absolutely had to be done.

It consisted

at the start

of the physical aspect

“surgical intervention”

to give this way of being

that was different from other girls.

Often they had to be transformed

into dream creatures

because at the start

they were not at all

Often I had to teach them how to dress.

Often they needed help

to repair

what nature had given them

which was not so beautiful.

At first they had to be tall,

with pretty gestures,

good manners.

I had lots of noses done,




There was a lot to do.

Eight times out of ten

I had to teach them how to behave in society.

There were official dinners, suppers, weekends,

and they needed to have conversation.

I insisted they learn to speak English,


certain books.

I interrogated them on what they read.

It wasn’t easy.

Each time something wasn’t working,

I was obliged to say so.

You were very demanding?

I was ferocious.

It’s difficult

to teach a girl how to walk into Maxim’s

without looking

ill at ease

when they’ve never been there,

to go into an airport,

to go to the Ritz,

or the Crillon

or the Dorchester.

To find yourself

in front of a king,

three princes,

four ministers,

and five ambassadors at an official dinner.

There were the wives of those people!

Day after day

one had to explain,

explain again,

start again.

It took about two years.

There would always be a man

who would then say of her,

‘But she’s absolutely exceptional. What is that girl doing here?’ ”


A New York publisher who visited

the Palace Hotel

in Saint Moritz

in the early seventies told me,

I met a whole bunch of them there.

They were lovely.

The johns wanted everyone to know who they were.

I remember it being said

Giovanni’s Madame Claude girl is going to be there.

You asked them where they came from and they all said


Claude liked girls from good families.

More to the point she had invented their backgrounds.

I have known,

because of what I did,

some exceptional and fascinating men.

I’ve known some exceptional women too,

but that was less interesting

because I made them myself.

Ah, this question of the handbag.

You would be amazed by how much dust accumulates.

Or how often women’s shoe heels are scuffed.


She would examine their teeth and finally she would make them undress.

That was a difficult moment

When they arrived they were very shy,

a bit frightened.

At the beginning when I take a look,

it’s a question of seeing if the silhouette

and the gestures are pretty.

Then there was a disagreeable moment.

I said,

I’m sorry about this unpleasantness,

but I have to ask you to get undressed,

because I can’t talk about you unless I see you.

Believe me, I was embarrassed,

just as they were,

but it had to be done,

not out of voyeurism, not at all

—I don’t like les dames horizontales.

It was very funny

because there were always two reactions.

A young girl,

very sure of herself,

very beautiful,

très bien,

would say


Get up, and get undressed.

There was nothing to hide, everything was perfect.

There were those who

would start timidly

to take off their dress

and I would say

I knew already.

The rest is not sadism, but nearly.

I knew what I was going to find.

I would say,

Maybe you should take off your bra,

and I knew it wasn’t going to be


Because otherwise she would have taken it off easily.

No problem.

There were damages that could be mended.

There were some ******* that could be redone,

some not

Sometimes it can be deceptive,

you know,

you see a pretty girl,

a pretty face,

all elegant and slim,

well dressed,

and when you see her naked

it is a catastrophe.

I could judge their physical qualities,

I could judge if she was pretty, intelligent, and cultivated,

but I didn’t know how she was in bed.

So I had some boys,

good friends,

who told me exactly.

I would ring them up and say,

There’s a new one.

And afterwards they’d ring back and say,

Not bad,

Could be better, or



on the contrary,

She’s perfect.

And I would sometimes have to tell the girls

what they didn’t know.

A pleasant assignment?


They paid.


Often at the beginning

they had an ami de coeur

in other words,


a journalist, a photographer, a type like that,

someone in the cinema,

an actor, not very well known.

As time went by

It became difficult

because they didn’t have a lot of time for him.

The fact of physically changing,

becoming prettier,

changing mentally to live with millionaires,

produced a certain imbalance

between them

and the little boyfriend

who had not evolved

and had stayed in his milieu.

At the end of a certain time

she would say,

I’m so much better than him. Why am I with this boy?

And they would break up by themselves.


this was instant elevation.

For most of them it was a dream existence,

provided they liked the ***,

and those that didn’t never lasted long.

A lot of the clients were young,

and didn’t treat them like tarts but like someone from their own class.

They would buy you presents,

take you on trips.


For me, *** was something very accessoire

I think after a certain age

there are certain spectacles one should not give to others

Now I have a penchant for solitude.

Love, it’s a complete destroyer,

It’s impossible,

a horror,


It’s the only time in my life I was jealous.

I’m not a jealous person, but I was épouvantable.

He was jealous too.

We broke plates over each other’s heads;

we became jealous about each other’s pasts.

I said one day

It’s finished.

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and say:

Break my legs,

give me scarlet fever,

an attack of TB, but never that.

Not that.


I called her into my office

Let us not exaggerate,

I sent her away.

She came back looking for employment,

but was fired again, this time for drugs.

She made menacing phone calls.

Then she arrived at the Rue de Boulainvilliers with a gun.

She shot three bullets

I was dressed in the fashion of Courrèges at this moment

He did very padded things.

I had a padded dress with a little jacket on top.

The bullet

—merci, Monsieur Courrèges

—stuck in the padding.

I was thrown forward onto the telephone.

I had one thought which went through my head:

I will die like Kennedy.

I turned round and put my hand up in a reflex.

The second bullet went through my hand.

I have two dead fingers.

It’s most useful for removing bottle tops.

In the corridor I was saved from the third bullet

because she was very tall

and I am quite petite, so it passed over my head.


There were men

who could decapitate,

****, and bomb their rivals

who would be frightened of me.

I would ask them how was the girl,

and they’d say

Not bad

and then

But I’m not complaining.

I was a little sadistic to them sometimes.

Some women have known powerful men because they’re their lover.

But I’ve known them all.

I had them all


She will take many state secrets with her.


I don’t like ugly people

probably because when I was young

I wasn’t beautiful at all.

I was ugly and I suffered for it,

although not to the point of obsession.

Now that I’m an old woman,

I’m not so bad.

And that’s why

I’ve always been surrounded by people




And the best way to have beautiful people around me

was to make them.

I made them very pretty.


I wouldn’t call what Alex gives you


She spares you Nothing.

She makes a list of what she wants done,

and she really gets into it

I mean, she wants you to get your arms waxed.

She gives you names of people who do good facials.

She tells you what to buy at Neiman Marcus.

She’s put off by anything flashy,

and if you don’t dress conservatively, she’s got no problem telling you,

in front of an audience,

You look like a cheap *****!

I used to wear what I wanted when I went out

then change in the car into a frumpy sweater

when I went to give her the money she’d always go,

Oh, you look beautiful!

Marry your boyfriend,

It’s better than going to prison.

When you go out with her,

she’ll buy you a present; she’s incredibly generous that way.

And she’ll always tell you to save money and get out.

It’s frustrating to her when girls call at the end of the month

and say they need rent money.

She wants to see you do well.

We had a schedule, with cards that indicated a client’s name,

what he liked,

the names of the girls he’d seen,

and how long he’d been with them.

And I only hired girls who had another career

—if my clients had a choice between drop-dead-gorgeous

and beautiful-and-interesting,

they’d tend to take beautiful-and-interesting.

These men wanted to talk.

If they spent two hours with a girl,

they usually spent only five or ten minutes in bed.

I get the feeling that in Los Angeles, men are more concerned with looks.


That was my big idea

Not to expand the book by aggressive marketing

but to make sure that nobody

mistook my girls for run-of-the-mill hookers.

And I kept my roster fresh.

This was not a business where you peddle your ***,

get exploited,

and then are cast off.

I screen clients. I’ve never sent girls to weirdos.

I let the men know:

no violence,

no costumes,

no fudge-packing.

And I talked to my girls. I’d tell them:

Two and a half years and you’re burned out.

Save your money.

This is like a hangar

—you come in, refuel, and take off.

It’s not a vacation, it’s not a goof.

This buys the singing lessons,

the dancing lessons,

the glossies.

This is to help you pay for what your parents couldn’t provide.

It’s an honorable way station—a lot of stars did this.


To say someone was a Claude girl is an honour, not a slur.

Une femme terrible.

She despised men and women alike.

Men were wallets. Women were holes.

By the 80s,

if you were a brunette,

the sky was the limit.

The Saudis

They’d call for half a dozen of Alex’s finest,

ignore them all evening while they



and played cards,

and then, around midnight,

take the women inside for a fast few minutes of ***.

They’d order women up like pizza.

Since my second husband died,

I only met one man who was right for me,

He was a sheikh.

I visited him in Europe

twenty-eight times

in the five years I knew him

and I never slept with him.

He’d say

I think you fly all the way here just to tease me,

but he introduced me

by phone

to all his powerful friends.

When I was in Los Angeles, he called me twice a day.

That’s why I never went out

he would have been disappointed.


Listen to me

This is a woman’s business.

When a woman does it, it’s fun

there’s a giggle in it

when a man’s involved,

he’s ******,

he’s a ****.

He may know how to keep girls in line,

and he may make money,

but he doesn’t know what I do.

I tell guys: You’re getting a nice girl.

She’s young,

She’s pleasant,

She can do things

she can certainly make love.

She’s not a rocket scientist, but she’s everything else.

The world’s richest and most powerful men, the announcer teased.

An income “in the millions,” said the arresting officer.

Pina Colapinto

A petite call girl,

who once slid between the sheets of royalty,

a green-eyed blonde helped the police get the indictment.

They really dolled her up

She looks great.


What I told her was: ‘Wash that ******.’


Madam Alex died at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

where she had been in intensive care after recent open heart surgery

We all held her hand when they took her off the life support

This was the passing of a legend.

Because she was the mother superior of prostitution.

She was one of the richest women on earth.

The world came to her.

She never had to leave the house.

She was like Hugh Hefner in that way.

It's like losing a friend

In all the years we played cat and mouse,

she never once tried to corrupt me.

We had a lot of fun.

To those who knew her

she was as constant

as she was colorful

always ready with a good tidbit of gossip

and a gourmet lunch for two.

She entertained, even after her conviction on pandering charges,

from the comfy depths of her blue four-poster bed at her home near Doheny Drive,

surrounded by knickknacks and meowing cats,

which she fed fresh shrimp from blue china plates.


She stole my business,

my books,

my girls,

my guys.

I had a good run.

My creatures.

Make Mommy happy

Oh! He is the most enchanting cat that I have ever known.

She was, how can I say it,


When she first hired me

she thought I was too young to take her case.

I was 43.

I'm going to give you some gray hairs by the time this is over.

She was right.


I was fond of Heidi

But she has a streak that is so vindictive.

If there is pure evil, it is Madame Alex.


I was born and raised in L.A.

My dad was a famous pediatrician.

When he died, they donated a bench to him at the Griffith Park Observatory.

I think that Heidi wanted to try her wings

pretty early,

and I think that she met some people

who sort of took all her potential

and gave it a sharp turn

She knew nothing.

She was like a little parrot who repeated what she was supposed to say.

Alex and I had a very intense relationship;

I was kind of like the daughter she loved and hated,

so she was abusive and loving at the same time.

Look, I know Madam Alex was great at what she did

but it's like this:

What took her years to build,

I built in one.

The high end is the high end,

and no one has a higher end than me.

In this business, no one steals clients.

There's just better service.


You were not allowed to have long hair

You were not allowed to be too pretty

You were not allowed to wear too much makeup or be too glamorous

Because someone would fall in love with you and take you away.

And then she loses the business


I was pursued because

come on

in our lifetime,

we will never see another girl of my age

who lived the way I did,

who did what I did so quickly,

I made so many enemies.

Some people had been in this line of business

for their whole lives, 30 or 40 years,

and I came in and cornered the market.

Men don't like that.

Women don't like that.

No one liked it.

I had this spiritual awakening watching an Oprah Winfrey video.

I was doing this 500-hour drug class

and one day the teacher showed us this video,

called something like Make It Happen.

Usually in class I would bring a notebook

and write a letter to my brother or my journal,

but all of a sudden this grabbed my attention

and I understood everything she said.

It hit me and it changed me a lot.

It made me feel,

Accept yourself for who you are.

I saw a deeper meaning in it

but who knows, I might have just been getting my period that day!


Hello, Gina!

You movie star!

Yes you are!

Gina G!

Hello my friend,

Hello my friend,

Hello my movie star,

Ruby! Ruby Boobie!


Except so many women say,

Come on, Heidi

you gotta do the brothel for us; don't let us down.

It would be kind of fun opening up an exclusive resort,

and I'll make it really nice,

like the Beverly Hills Hotel

It'll feel private; you'll have your own bungalow.

The only problem out here is the climate—it's so brutal.

Charles Manson was captured a half hour from Pahrump.

I said, Joe! What are you doing?

You gotta get, like,

a garter belt and encase it in something

and write,

This belonged to Suzette Whatever,

who entertained the Flying Tigers during World War II.

Get, like, some weird tools and write,

These were the first abortion tools in the brothel,

you know what I mean?

Just make some **** up!

So I came out here to do some research

And then I realized,

What am I doing?

I'm Heidi Fleiss. I don't need anyone.

I can do this.

When I was doing my research, in three months

I saw land go from 30 thousand an acre

to 50 thousand an acre,

and then it was going for 70K!

It's urban sprawl

—we're only one hour from Las Vegas.

Out here the casinos are only going to get bigger,

prostitution is legal, it's only getting better.


The truth is

deep down inside,

I just can't do business with him

He's the type of guy who buys Cup o' Noodles soup for three cents

and makes his hookers buy it back from him for $5.

It's not my style at all.

Who wants to be 75 and facing federal charges?

It was different at my age when I

at least...come on, I lived really well.

I was 22,

25 at the time?

It was fun then, but now I wouldn't want

to deal with all that *******

—the girls and blah blah blah.

But the money was really good.

I would've told someone they were out of their ******* mind

if they'd said in five years I'd be living with all these animals like this.

It's hard-core; how I live;

It's totally a nonfunctional atmosphere for me

It's hard to get anything done because

It’s so time-consuming.

I feel like they're good luck though....

I do feel that if I ever get rid of them,

I will be jinxed and cursed the rest of my life

and nothing I do will ever work again.

Guys kind of are a hindrance to me

Certainly I have no problem getting laid or anything.

But a man is not a priority in my life.

I mean, it's crazy, but I really have fun with my parrots.


I started a babysitting circle when I wasn't much older than 9

And soon all the parents in the neighborhood

wanted me to watch over their children.

Even then I had an innate business sense.

I started farming out my friends

to meet the demand.

My mother showered me with love and my father,

a pediatrician,

would ask me at the dinner table,

What did you learn today?

I ran my neighborhood.

I just pick up a hustle really easily,

I was a waitress and I met an older guy who looked like Santa Claus.

Alex was a 5' 3" bald-headed Filipina

in a transparent muu muu.

We hit it off.

I didn't know at the time that I was there to pay off the guy's gambling debt.

It's in and out,

over and out.

Do you think some big-time producer

or actor is going to go to the clubs and hustle?

Columbia Pictures executive says:

I haven’t done anything that should cause any concern.

Jeez, it's like the Nixon enemies list.

I hope I'm on it.

If I'm not, it means I must not be big enough

for people to gossip about me.

That's right ladies and gentlemen.

I am an alleged madam and that is a $25 *****!

If you live out here,

you've got to hate people.

You've got to be pretty antisocial

How you gonna come out here with only 86 people?

That's Fred.

He's digging to China.

You look good.

Yeah, you too.

It's coming along here.

Yeah, it is.

I wanted to buy that lot there, but I guess it's gone?

That's mine, man! That's all me.


I thought there was a lot between us.

No. We're neighbors.

He's a cute guy

He's entertaining.

See, I kind of did do something shady to him.

I thought my property went all the way back

and butted up against his.

But there was one lot between us right there.

He said he was buying it,

but I saw the 'For Sale' sign still up there,

So I went and called the broker and said,

I'm an all-cash buyer.

So I really bought it out from under him.

But he's got plenty of room, and I need the space for my parrots.

Pahrump will always be Pahrump, but Crystal is going to be nice

All you need are four or five fancy houses and it'll flush everyone out

and it'll be a nice area.

They're all kind of weird here, but these people will go.

Like this guy here,

someone needs to **** him.

I was just saying to my dad that these parrots are born to a really ******-up world

He goes, Heidi, no, no; the world is a beautiful garden.

It's just, people are destroying it.

I’m looking into green building options

I don't want anything polluting,

I want a huge auditorium,

but it'll be like a jungle where my birds can really fly!

Where they can really do what they're supposed to do.

There were over 300 birds in there!

That lady,

She ran the exotic-birds department for the Tropicana Hotel,

which is a huge job.

She called me once at 3:30 in the morning

Come over here and help me feed this baby!

Some baby parrot.

And I ran over there in my pajamas

—I knew there was something else wrong

and she was like

Get me my oxygen!

Get me this, get me that.

I called my dad; he was like,

I don't know, honey, you better call the paramedics.

They ended up getting a helicopter.

And they were taking her away

in the wind with her IV and blood and everything

and she goes, Heidi, you take care of my birds.

And she dies the next day.

She was just a super-duper person.


I relate to the lifestyle she had before,

Now, I'm just a citizen.

I'm clean,

I'm sober,

I'm married,

I work at Wal-Mart.

I'm proud to say I know her. I look into her eyes

and we relate.

I got out in 2000,

so I've been sending her money for seven years

She was…whatever.


Yeah, maybe.

But ***, I tried like two times,

and I'm just not gay.

She gets out in about eight or nine months

and I told her I would get her a house.

But nowhere near me.

I didn't touch her,

but I'd be, like...

a funny story:

I told her,

Don't you ever ******* think

about contacting me in the real world.

I'm not a lesbian.

Then about two years ago, I got an e-mail from her,

or she called me and said, 'Google my name.'

So I Googled her name,

and she has this huge company.


She won, like, Woman of the Year awards.

So I called her and I go,

Not bad.

She goes, 'Well, I did all that because you called me a loser.'

I go, '****, I should've called you more names

you probably would've found the cure for cancer by now.


No person shall be employed by the licensee

who has ever been convicted of

a felony involving moral turpitude

But I qualify,

I mean, big deal, so I'm a convicted felon.

Being in the *** industry, you can't be so squeaky-clean.

You've got to be hustling.

Nighttime is really enchanting here

It's like a whole 'nother world out here, it really is

I’m so far removed from my social life and old surroundings.

Who was it, Oscar Wilde, I think, who said

people can adjust to anything.

I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary,

and I was perfectly adjusted to living in a château in France.

We had done those drug addiction shows together

Dr. Drew.

Afterward we were friendly

and he'd call me every now and then.

He'd act like he had his stuff together.

But it was all a lie.

Everything is a lie.

I brought him to a Humane Society event at Paramount Studios last year.

He was just such a mess.

So out of it.

He stole money from my purse.

He's such a drug addict because he's so afraid of being fat.

He liked horse ****, though. He did like horse ****.

This one woman that would have *** with a horse on the internet,

He told me that’s his favorite actress.

Better than Meryl Streep.


The cops could see

why these women were taking over trade.

Girls with these looks charged upwards of $500 an hour.

The Russians had undercut them with a bargain rate of $150 an hour.

One thing they are not is lazy.

In the USSR

they grew up with no religion, no morality.

Prostitution is not considered a bad thing.

In fact, it’s considered a great way to make money.

That’s why it’s exploding here.

What we saw was just a tip of the iceberg.

These girls didn’t come over here expecting to be nannies.

They knew exactly what they wanted and what they were getting into.

The madam who organized this raid

was making $4 million a year,

laundered through Russian-owned banks in New York City

These are brutal people.

They are all backstabbers.

They’re entrepreneurs.

They’re looking at $10,000 a month for turning tricks.

For them, that’s the American dream.


If you’re not into something,

don’t be into it


if you want to take some whipped cream,

put it between your toes,

have your dog licking it up and,

at the same time,

have your girlfriend poke you in the eye,

then that’s fine.

That’s a little weird but we shouldn’t judge.

She was my best friend then

and I consider her one of my best friends now,

because when I was going through Riker’s

and everyone abandoned me,

including my boyfriend,

I was hysterical,


and she was the one that was there.

And, when somebody needed to step up to the plate,

that’s who did, and I have an immense amount of

loyalty, respect, and love for her.

And if she’s going to prison for eight years

—that’s what she’s sentenced for

—I’ll go there,

and I’ll go there every week,

for eight years.

That’s the type of person I am.
ღ ღ ღ

I. The Song-bird

I can but dream of yester-year,
Thy voice a song-bird singing;
With every morn I woke to thee,
And friendship just beginning.

ღ ღ ღ

Crept up upon, and stole away,
Love claimed me when I found thee;
Thy dawn, thy noon, thy evening's set,
Thy crimson locks around me.

ღ ღ ღ

Please fare thee well my song-bird,
Though I know I shan't be near thee;
Thy melody still somewhere sings,
Though I no longer hear thee.

II. Your Garden, I

You but walk past the apple tree each morning
And blossoms fall that they may settle on your breast,
Lie and faint against your silk, I wish to God could I...
That chance you'd pluck this fruit and in me find your rest.

ღ ღ ღ

Would He but let me live amongst the thorny roses
That reach to kiss as you float gently past,
Upon that lowest branch, 'tis me, a bud un-closing;
Though I be trodden underfoot, and crushed at last.

ღ ღ ღ

Without regret or second thought I'd bear thee,
Content to lie beneath the baby's breath,
'Tis still my home in peace to dwell forever,
Tread underfoot, pressed even unto death.

III. Awake Thee 'Fore The Dawn

To pluck the day, its budding life,
Is thus to chance belong,
For blossoms still alive today
May be to-morrow gone.

ღ ღ ღ

To float up to the skies today,
And touch sun 'fore his leaving,
Is chance to dream, though now awake,
And never cease believing
(Hold on to that feeeallliiinnnn')

ღ ღ ღ

Though life in morning's most alive,
And in thy veins runs warmer,
Still tarry not, or thou may miss
What waits thee round the corner.

ღ ღ ღ

Though shyness is allure, my love,
Silence can love entomb;
Some blossoms once they've closed, my dear,
Cannot again re-bloom.

ღ ღ ღ

Please heed this all from he who knows,
And learned with such a cost,
For once I slept in past the dawn,
And, thus, her love I lost.

Carpe diem: Etymology; Latin ('to pluck the day')

iv. icarus

reason (racing)
isolation (self-imposed)
sweet symphony (yet un-composed)
wishes come (a curse with each)
this longed-for one (just out of reach)

ღ ღ ღ

myself, to her, will not belong
(with all my last words taken wrong)
cry with me, mourn this deepest sleep,
the seeds i plant, she cannot reap,
our kiss will never come to pass

(no room tonight for this romance)

ღ ღ ღ

what of the heart that cries tonight,
what of the song it sings?
if i could, i'd fly to you
if not for broken wings

v. think of me fondly

i can be needless
i can be like a stone
as hard as the leshan buddha
we all have that skill inside of us
but i think i need to be more than
a carving on a remote mountain
or a piece of malleable clay
shapeless until molded
by another's hand
i fumble
the unknowable
what exactly is the
future anyways?
think of the
next moment
and already
it is here
want to
reach out
but i won't
though i feel
parts of me are
slowly dying
and maybe
my love
can only
fade slowly
as hers does
for even now
in this silence
my heart can't
stop feeling hers
beating alongside
asking please,
jessica, please;
think of me
fondly, or
think of
me not
at all

vi. dreams

the very second
we wake from them,
they can be so very, very
far away; the harder
we try to hold, the
cruelly quicker
seems their

the gulf left,
       so unbridgeable,
            so enormous,
                 so peculiar
when only so brief
a moment ago it was
       so close,
            so familiar,
                 so a part of us.

ღ ღ ღ

can a person
truly love more
than one other at
the very same time?

trying to find the answer
to that question is like
trying to remember a
dream upon waking...

though i've discovered
there is just enough room
in this one man's chest for
both our broken hearts.

vii. of string and sustain

The memory of your crimson locks
cascading down around, a framing
of such rapture as your emerald eyes at play;
it plucks my heart with subtle quill,
a note so frail, al niente, it rings, then fades away.

ღ ღ ღ

The memory of your troubled soul
revealed before me, bare; sometimes beside
me, sometimes not, but always wild and free,
strikes at my heart, dal niente, a chord that plays,
reverberates... and echos still in me.

(Al niente is from the Italian musical term meaning to fade to nothing, where convexly dal niente mean to arrive from nowhere. I like how a single letter completely flips the meaning).

viii. petals

i close my eyes
and i am there as
my soul leaves me
brought to this place by
a perfect love song sung by
a choir of every songbird that
lives (or has ever lived), wordlessly
singing to beckon me to visit a while
filled, overpowered almost,
by the unrefraining fragrance
of these perfectly unmade beds
of unearthly coloured blossoms
living and lifted by perfumed mists
falling mildly from clear, azure skies
through breezes that gust so slightly
blowing rapturous sunshine against me
and in me through my mouth and my eyes
as all that beautiful light and heat gather
together in my rising, falling chest
and i am so completely whole
in one moment that is all yours
as we are so lost, and so found
in this morning's daydream
at the end of our endless
days that end tonight

ღ ღ ღ

as your breathing labours
your freckled, trembling fingers
separate yourself, and your eyes urge
me to push so strongly against and into
your most secret hungers that i so ache as well
to feed as i savour and stroll down the ever
twisting and turning paths of your
heavenly garden that come
tomorrow's light
shall forever remain
in my dreams yet again...

ღ ღ ღ

i want to stroll forever
searching vainly for our worth
much too fragrant for my world,
far too fragile for your earth

ix. from across the sea

as from a very distant star
whose light seeps under tight-locked doors
your light had traveled very far
from Éire's ever-dreaming shores

ღ ღ ღ

awaiting here impatiently
i was at least before i saw
'twas my heart being shaped for thee
as ice is shaped by spring-time's thaw

ღ ღ ღ

your light unfaded by the years,
a blue sphere burning bright,
that mixes now with my own rays
revealing paths within shared sight

ღ ღ ღ

no images of stars that died
remain within your heart or mine
as all those heartaches on the way
were leading us to what we'd find

ღ ღ ღ

and now two separate yearnings dove
at ending of a long, dark night
perchance a chance at lasting love
lifting two souls aloft in flight

X. Every Verse For You

As I gaze upon your picture,
Though your beauty knows no bounds,
Its your subtler of charms
                           that I adore;

But when I think of touching you,
Pressing my lips against your skin,
More base desires start moving
                           to the fore;

I want to fill you up with me,
I want to set your passion free,
I want to be the wave that crashes
                           on your shore;

But then I see who's next to me,
And I'm overcome with shame,
For it's more than just myself
                           I'm fending for;

Life used to be so black and white,
Do this it's wrong, do that it's right,
But now I'm feeling things I've
                           never felt before;

And as I write another verse,
It sounds so awkward and contrived,
Searching for some elusive words
                           you're looking for;

And if these phrases sound all wrong,
Maybe the night's just been too long,
For it's from a heart that's true
                           that they do pour;

Or maybe it's just déjà vu
That I'm trying to sell to you,
For it's been too long I've lingered
                           at your door;

But if I cannot have your kiss,
Could you at least please grant me this?
Please don't forget me (not just yet)
                           I do implore;

And as your picture fades to black,
I take a very long look back,
And as I look into your eyes
                           they underscore:

                           ღ ღ ღ

There is nothing I could say
That could make you start to love me...

As there is nothing you could do
That could make me love you more...

xi. goodbye flutterby

ღ ღ ღ

                 of light wings
             & pretty things
             & stops & starts
             & heavy hearts

ღ ღ ღ

Not quite day-time, not yet quite night,
Is when we'd meet in briefest flight,
I, but dull moth, thoust, butterfly,
Under curt shadows of twilight.

ღ ღ ღ

Thou would'st trade yellows, blacks, and blues,
For dusty monotones of grey,
Acting aloof, yet, with such ease,
Thy shades would give thee quick away.

ღ ღ ღ

With such stressed seasons 'tween us now,
Surrounds me, life, and all it brings...
Yet doleful thoughts haunt noticing
Thy fading colours on my wings.

ღ ღ ღ

Ah, but to fly now even still,
(Wish setting sun could ever stay),
Ah, but to have yet one more chance,
(Wish we could wish ourselves away).

ღ ღ ღ

Forget me not, my Swallowtail,
Under thy body feel my air,
Through aether let my love reach thee,
Whisp'ring, My sweet, know I yet care...

ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ
ღ ღ ღ

Though it's far better now you've gone,
For I knew well 'twas never right,
For thee to lose such 'lucent hues,
Turning a creature of the night.

ღ ღ ღ

an  ode to papilio troilus

ღ ღ ღ

Tonight, just for tonight,
When we both go to sleep
With such distance and so
Many lives apart from one
Another, I still reach out,
I am stretching to you,
Asking with a long-distance
Whisper in your ear, please,
Let us say to each other
Just for one night
And only in dreams,
We are butterflies...
let us fly together,
and see the world

ღ ღ ღ

Running to Stand Still

ღ ღ ღ
Harsh Sep 2018
I write this not from a lofty place of judgement or from frantic paranoia, but instead I would much rather you learn from any and all of my mistakes before subjecting yourself to future pain.

First and most importantly: you are lovable, you are loved, and you are truly worthy of love and appreciation. This is a resolute fact, an immutable truth that you have absolutely no chance of changing. Remember this in your darkest moments- just because you may feel “less than” your normal self does not mean that you have lost your self worth. If you learn anything from me, please let this one thing be it.

Second, and more lengthy: as well-adjusted as I may come off, know that I have these horrid insecurities and vices about me that I have the hardest time shaking off, even on my best days. I have spent most of my life wondering if I would ever find love, because people keep telling me that you need to first love yourself in order to love someone else; there have been days where I truly don’t love myself. However, I think there’s something to be said about feeling love for someone else amidst all of this wretchedness- I give my love unabashedly, with an earnest conviction that I think comes from knowing what feeling lonely truly means, and never wishing that feeling upon someone else.

Love is something I have fallen into and am currently falling out of, it is something that has kept me up for hours at night but kept me in bed long after the sun has risen; it has brought me to my knees and it once had lifted me up. Love has grabbed me by the collar of my shirt, looked me dead in the eyes, and asked me if I was worth anything- knowing that I would never answer affirmatively. Love has made me sing and scream the loudest my lungs could possibly take, and it has rendered me silent for days at a time. It has fogged my vision and my mind and left me bereft of any sense of clarity. I have lived my longest seconds and my shortest days when in love.

Loving someone can truly be terrifying- you will never be quite so unmade and disassembled as you are when in love. You will have handed someone the pieces of yourself and know that they could very easily unravel the threads of your being you have so tediously strung together; take comfort in the fact that they could very well hold your pieces together when you feel strung out.

Signed without wax,
Someone Whose Heart
Is Learning To Hope Again

P.S. I urge you to be careful, and to be safe. There is not a world in which you can have done something and I will not be there to support you unconditionally. I will be here in your corner, ready to listen to your story, ready to congratulate or to console, ready to remind you of your worth.
Poetemkin Sep 4

Tнʏ functions are etherial,
As if within thee dwelt a glancing Mind,
***** of Vision! And a Spirit aerial
Informs the cell of hearing, dark and blind;
Intricate labyrinth, more dread for thought
To enter than oracular cave;
Strict passage, through which sighs are brought,
And whispers for the heart, their slave;
And shrieks, that revel in abuse
Of shivering flesh; and warbled air,
Whose piercing sweetness can unloose
The chains of frenzy, or entice a smile
Into the ambush of despair;
Hosannas pealing down the long-drawn aisle,
And requiems answered by the pulse that beats
Devoutly, in life's last retreats!


The headlong Streams and Fountains
Serve Thee, Invisible Spirit, with untired powers;
Cheering the wakeful Tent on Syrian mountains,
They lull perchance ten thousand thousand Flowers.
That roar, the prowling Lion's Here I am,
How fearful to the desert wide!
That bleat, how tender! of the Dam
Calling a straggler to her side.
Shout, Cuckoo! let the vernal soul
Go with thee to the frozen zone;
Toll from thy loftiest perch, lone Bell-bird, toll!
At the still hour to Mercy dear,
Mercy from her twilight throne
Listening to Nun's faint sob of holy fear,
To Sailor's prayer breathed from a darkening sea,
Or Widow's cottage lullaby.


Ye Voices, and ye Shadows
And Images of voice—to hound and horn
From rocky steep and rock-bestudded meadows
Flung back, and, in the sky's blue caves, reborn
On with your pastime! till the church-tower bells
A greeting give of measured glee;
And milder echoes from their cells
Repeat the bridal symphony.
Then, or far earlier, let us rove
Where mists are breaking up or gone,
And from aloft look down into a cove
Besprinkled with a careless quire,
Happy Milk-maids, one by one
Scattering a ditty each to her desire,
A liquid concert matchless by nice Art,
A stream as if from one full heart.


Blest be the song that brightens
The blind Man's gloom, exalts the Veteran's mirth.
Unscorned the Peasant's whistling breath, that lightens
His duteous toil of furrowing the green earth.
For the tired Slave, Song lifts the languid oar,
And bids it aptly fall, with chime
That beautifies the fairest shore,
And mitigates the harshest clime.
Yon Pilgrims see—in lagging file
They move; but soon the appointed way
A choral Ave Marie shall beguile,
And to their hope the distant shrine
Glisten with a livelier ray:
Nor friendless He, the Prisoner of the Mine,
Who from the well-spring of his own clear breast
Can draw, and sing his griefs to rest.


When civic renovation
Dawns on a kingdom, and for needful haste
Best eloquence avails not, Inspiration
Mounts with a tune, that travels like a blast
Piping through cave and battlemented tower;
Then starts the Sluggard, pleased to meet
That voice of Freedom, in its power
Of promises, shrill, wild, and sweet!
Who, from a martial pageant, spreads
Incitements of a battle-day,
Thrilling the unweaponed crowd with plumeless heads,
Even She whose Lydian airs inspire
Peaceful striving, gentle play
Of timid hope and innocent desire
Shot from the dancing Graces, as they move
Fanned by the plausive wings of Love.


How oft along thy mazes,
Regent of Sound, have dangerous Passions trod!
O Thou, through whom the Temple rings with praises,
And blackening clouds in thunder speak of God,
Betray not by the cozenage of sense
Thy Votaries, wooingly resigned
To a voluptuous influence
That taints the purer, better mind;
But lead sick Fancy to a harp
That hath in noble tasks been tried;
And, if the virtuous feel a pang too sharp,
Soothe it into patience,—stay
The uplifted arm of Suicide;
And let some mood of thine in firm array
Knit every thought the impending issue needs,
Ere Martyr burns, or Patriot bleeds!


As Conscience, to the centre
Of Being, smites with irresistible pain,
So shall a solemn cadence, if it enter
The mouldy vaults of the dull Idiot's brain,
Transmute him to a wretch from quiet hurled—
Convulsed as by a jarring din;
And then aghast, as at the world
Of reason partially let in
By concords winding with a sway
Terrible for sense and soul!
Or, awed he weeps, struggling to quell dismay.
Point not these mysteries to an Art
Lodged above the starry pole;
Pure modulations flowing from the heart
Of divine Love, where Wisdom, Beauty, Truth
With Order dwell, in endless youth?


Oblivion may not cover
All treasures hoarded by the miser, Time.
Orphean Insight! truth's undaunted Lover,
To the first leagues of tutored passion climb,
When Music deigned within this grosser sphere
Her subtle essence to enfold,
And Voice and Shell drew forth a tear
Softer than Nature's self could mould.
Yet strenuous was the infant Age:
Art, daring because souls could feel,
Stirred nowhere but an urgent equipage
Of rapt imagination sped her march
Through the realms of woe and weal:
Hell to the lyre bowed low; the upper arch
Rejoiced that clamorous spell and magic verse
Her wan disasters could disperse.


The Gɪꜰт to king Amphion
That walled a city with its melody
Was for belief no dream; thy skill, Arion!
Could humanise the creatures of the sea,
Where men were monsters. A last grace he craves,
Leave for one chant;—the dulcet sound
Steals from the deck o'er willing waves,
And listening Dolphins gather round.
Self-cast, as with a desperate course,
'Mid that strange audience, he bestrides
A proud One docile as a managed horse;
And singing, while the accordant hand
Sweeps his harp, the Master rides;
So shall he touch at length a friendly strand,
And he, with his Preserver, shine star-bright
In memory, through silent night.


The pipe of Pan, to Shepherds
Couched in the shadow of Maenalian Pines,
Was passing sweet; the eyeballs of the leopards,
That in high triumph drew the Lord of vines,
How did they sparkle to the cymbal's clang!
While Fauns and Satyrs beat the ground
In cadence,—and Silenus swang
This way and that, with wild-flowers crowned.
To life, to life give back thine ear:
Ye who are longing to be rid
Of Fable, though to truth subservient, hear
The little sprinkling of cold earth that fell
Echoed from the coffin-lid;
The Convict's summons in the steeple's knell;
"The vain distress-gun," from a leeward shore,
Repeated—heard, and heard no more!


For terror, joy, or pity,
Vast is the compass and the swell of notes:
From the Babe's first cry to voice of regal City,
Rolling a solemn sea-like bass, that floats
Far as the woodlands—with the trill to blend
Of that shy Songstress, whose love-tale
Might tempt an Angel to descend,
While hovering o'er the moonlight vale.
O for some soul-affecting scheme
Of moral music, to unite
Wanderers whose portion is the faintest dream
Of memory!—O that they might stoop to bear
Chains, such precious chains of sight
As laboured minstrelsies through ages wear!
O for a balance fit the truth to tell
Of the Unsubstantial, pondered well!


By one pervading Spirit
Of tones and numbers all things are controlled,
As Sages taught, where faith was found to merit
Initiation in that mystery old
The Heavens, whose aspect makes our minds as still
As they themselves appear to be,
Innumerable voices fill
With everlasting harmony;
The towering Headlands, crowned with mist,
Their feet among the billows, know
That Ocean is a mighty harmonist;
Thy pinions, universal Air,
Ever waving to and fro,
Are delegates of harmony, and bear
Strains that support the Seasons in their round;
Stern Winter loves a dirge-like sound.


Break forth into thanksgiving,
Ye banded Instruments of wind and chords
Unite, to magnify the Ever-living,
Your inarticulate notes with the voice of words!
Nor hushed be service from the lowing mead,
Nor mute the forest hum of noon;
Thou too be heard, lone Eagle! freed
From snowy peak and cloud, attune
Thy hungry barkings to the hymn
Of joy, that from her utmost walls
The six-days' Work, by flaming Seraphim,
Transmits to Heaven! As Deep to Deep
Shouting through one valley calls,
All worlds, all natures, mood and measure keep
For praise and ceaseless gratulation, poured
Into the ear of God, their Lord!


A Voice to Light gave Being;
To Time, and Man, his earth-born Chronicler;
A Voice shall finish doubt and dim foreseeing,
And sweep away life's visionary stir;
The Trumpet (we, intoxicate with pride,
Arm at its blast for deadly wars)
To archangelic lips applied,
The grave shall open, quench the stars.
O Silence! are Man's noisy years
No more than moments of thy life?
Is Harmony, blest Queen of smiles and tears,
With her smooth tones and discords just,
Tempered into rapturous strife,
Thy destined Bond-slave? No! though Earth be dust
And vanish, though the Heavens dissolve, her stay
Is in the Wоʀᴅ, that shall not pass away.
Transcription presented without claim to accuracy. Original text, page 213:
12 nerves that connected with the brain.
Okay, okay, okay
I)The first one is Olfactorii .
Do you ever smell the trash?
Yes, I always smell the trash.
Say thank you to Olfactorii.
He is in charge.
II)The second one is Opticus .
He said that I don't need a glasses.
But I'm exception from the masses.
III)The third one is Oculomotorius.
Up, down, left, right.
It's eye's direction accessory.
IV)The fourth is Trochlear.
It also had controll on eyeball .
V)The fifth one is Trigeminus.
Divided for the three.
1. Ophthalmicus - scapl, forehead, nose, upper eyelid, cornea sensory.
2. Maxillaris - upper jaw, teeth, gums; palate, nasopharynx, nasal cavity ; lower eyelid, lip , cheek skin.
3. Mandibularis - lower jaw, gums, teeth ; 2/3 anterior tongue ; mucous membrane of cheek; skin of lower lip ; auricle ; temporal region; mastication's muscles controller.
Do you see how easy it is?
VI)The sixth is nervus abducens.
Again eyeball controls.
VII)The seventh is the Facialis.
Taste of 2/3 anterior tongue, external ear and palate.
Mimetic muscles, m. stapedius, m. digastricus, m. stylohyoideus.
Submandibular, sublingual salivary, lacrimal glands.
VIII) The eighth is Vestibulocochlear nerve.
n. vestibularis - balance sense.
n. cochlearis - hearing sense.
IX) The ninth is glossopharyngeus.
1/3 post. tongue taste; sensory of pharynx, palatine tonsils, middle ear, carotid sinus and carotid body.
Upper pharynx muscles controls.
Parotid salivart gland controls.
X) 9 - Vagus.
Lower part of pharynx, larynx, thoracic, abdominals organs sense.
Muscles: soft palate, lower pharynx, larynx.
Glands: thoracic and abdominal organs.
XI) Accessorius: m. Sternocleidomastoideus, m. Trapezius,
XII) Hypoglossus: muscles: intrinsic, extrinsic tongue; floor of mouth (m. geniohyoideus), neck (m. thyroideus).
To Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke
Awake, my St. John! leave all meaner things
To low ambition, and the pride of kings.
Let us (since life can little more supply
Than just to look about us and to die)
Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man;
A mighty maze! but not without a plan;
A wild, where weeds and flow'rs promiscuous shoot;
Or garden, tempting with forbidden fruit.
Together let us beat this ample field,
Try what the open, what the covert yield;
The latent tracts, the giddy heights explore
Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar;
Eye Nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies,
And catch the manners living as they rise;
Laugh where we must, be candid where we can;
But vindicate the ways of God to man.

Say first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know?
Of man what see we, but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Through worlds unnumber'd though the God be known,
'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who through vast immensity can pierce,
See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied being peoples ev'ry star,
May tell why Heav'n has made us as we are.
But of this frame the bearings, and the ties,
The strong connections, nice dependencies,
Gradations just, has thy pervading soul
Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole?

Is the great chain, that draws all to agree,
And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee?

Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou find,
Why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind?
First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess,
Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less!
Ask of thy mother earth, why oaks are made
Taller or stronger than the weeds they shade?
Or ask of yonder argent fields above,
Why Jove's satellites are less than Jove?

Of systems possible, if 'tis confest
That Wisdom infinite must form the best,
Where all must full or not coherent be,
And all that rises, rise in due degree;
Then, in the scale of reas'ning life, 'tis plain
There must be somewhere, such a rank as man:
And all the question (wrangle e'er so long)
Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong?

Respecting man, whatever wrong we call,
May, must be right, as relative to all.
In human works, though labour'd on with pain,
A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain;
In God's, one single can its end produce;
Yet serves to second too some other use.
So man, who here seems principal alone,
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown,
Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.

When the proud steed shall know why man restrains
His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains:
When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod,
Is now a victim, and now Egypt's God:
Then shall man's pride and dulness comprehend
His actions', passions', being's, use and end;
Why doing, suff'ring, check'd, impell'd; and why
This hour a slave, the next a deity.

Then say not man's imperfect, Heav'n in fault;
Say rather, man's as perfect as he ought:
His knowledge measur'd to his state and place,
His time a moment, and a point his space.
If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
What matter, soon or late, or here or there?
The blest today is as completely so,
As who began a thousand years ago.

Heav'n from all creatures hides the book of fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed today,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood.
Oh blindness to the future! kindly giv'n,
That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heav'n:
Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.

Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore!
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul, proud science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler heav'n;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the wat'ry waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.

Go, wiser thou! and, in thy scale of sense
Weigh thy opinion against Providence;
Call imperfection what thou fanciest such,
Say, here he gives too little, there too much:
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,
Yet cry, if man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If man alone engross not Heav'n's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there:
****** from his hand the balance and the rod,
Rejudge his justice, be the God of God.
In pride, in reas'ning pride, our error lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel:
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of order, sins against th' Eternal Cause.

Ask for what end the heav'nly bodies shine,
Earth for whose use? Pride answers, " 'Tis for mine:
For me kind Nature wakes her genial pow'r,
Suckles each herb, and spreads out ev'ry flow'r;
Annual for me, the grape, the rose renew,
The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew;
For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings;
For me, health gushes from a thousand springs;
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise;
My foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies."

But errs not Nature from this gracious end,
From burning suns when livid deaths descend,
When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep?
"No, ('tis replied) the first Almighty Cause
Acts not by partial, but by gen'ral laws;
Th' exceptions few; some change since all began:
And what created perfect?"—Why then man?
If the great end be human happiness,
Then Nature deviates; and can man do less?
As much that end a constant course requires
Of show'rs and sunshine, as of man's desires;
As much eternal springs and cloudless skies,
As men for ever temp'rate, calm, and wise.
If plagues or earthquakes break not Heav'n's design,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline?
Who knows but he, whose hand the lightning forms,
Who heaves old ocean, and who wings the storms,
Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind?
From pride, from pride, our very reas'ning springs;
Account for moral, as for nat'ral things:
Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit?
In both, to reason right is to submit.

Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
Were there all harmony, all virtue here;
That never air or ocean felt the wind;
That never passion discompos'd the mind.
But ALL subsists by elemental strife;
And passions are the elements of life.
The gen'ral order, since the whole began,
Is kept in nature, and is kept in man.

What would this man? Now upward will he soar,
And little less than angel, would be more;
Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears
To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.
Made for his use all creatures if he call,
Say what their use, had he the pow'rs of all?
Nature to these, without profusion, kind,
The proper organs, proper pow'rs assign'd;
Each seeming want compensated of course,
Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force;
All in exact proportion to the state;
Nothing to add, and nothing to abate.
Each beast, each insect, happy in its own:
Is Heav'n unkind to man, and man alone?
Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Be pleas'd with nothing, if not bless'd with all?

The bliss of man (could pride that blessing find)
Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
No pow'rs of body or of soul to share,
But what his nature and his state can bear.
Why has not man a microscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what the use, were finer optics giv'n,
T' inspect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To smart and agonize at ev'ry pore?
Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
Die of a rose in aromatic pain?
If nature thunder'd in his op'ning ears,
And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres,
How would he wish that Heav'n had left him still
The whisp'ring zephyr, and the purling rill?
Who finds not Providence all good and wise,
Alike in what it gives, and what denies?

Far as creation's ample range extends,
The scale of sensual, mental pow'rs ascends:
Mark how it mounts, to man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grass:
What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme,
The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam:
Of smell, the headlong lioness between,
And hound sagacious on the tainted green:
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
To that which warbles through the vernal wood:
The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line:
In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true
From pois'nous herbs extracts the healing dew:
How instinct varies in the grov'lling swine,
Compar'd, half-reas'ning elephant, with thine:
'Twixt that, and reason, what a nice barrier;
For ever sep'rate, yet for ever near!
Remembrance and reflection how allied;
What thin partitions sense from thought divide:
And middle natures, how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' insuperable line!
Without this just gradation, could they be
Subjected, these to those, or all to thee?
The pow'rs of all subdu'd by thee alone,
Is not thy reason all these pow'rs in one?

See, through this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high, progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of being, which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect! what no eye can see,
No glass can reach! from infinite to thee,
From thee to nothing!—On superior pow'rs
Were we to press, inferior might on ours:
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd:
From nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.

And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to th' amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world;
Heav'n's whole foundations to their centre nod,
And nature tremble to the throne of God.
All this dread order break—for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!—Oh madness, pride, impiety!

What if the foot ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand to toil, aspir'd to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear repin'd
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this gen'ral frame:
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains,
The great directing Mind of All ordains.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That, chang'd through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth, as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent,
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns;
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.

Cease then, nor order imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows on thee.
Submit.—In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one disposing pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony, not understood;
All partial evil, universal good:
And, spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.
Lyn-Purcell Oct 2018
~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:

~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
Part 6:
Part 7:
Part 8:
Part 9:
Part 10:

~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
Part 11:
Part 12:
Part 13:
Part 14:
Part 15:

~ ⚪♫⚪ ~
Part 16:
Part 17:
Part 18:
Finally, I've got a little more free time!
I'm surprised I got 18 parts! This is the longest freeverse I've ever written! ^^
But I'm feeling inspired, at last! I'll be updating this story in
the next few days so in the meantime,
here are the links of the parts should you need to reread!
Thank you everyone for being so patient
with me! Truly!
Much love,
Lyn ***
BT Joy Oct 20

That twitch in the schoolgirl’s eye
Isn’t caused by snowy mountains.
There’s Guildhall in her twisted lip.


I was of three minds.
Greta Thunberg took all of them
And cloaked them in a yellow hood.


A small part of the pantomime was never Greta’s style.
She has miles to go before she lets us sleep.


Of the things schoolgirls hate
The sun is not among them.
The blackbird’s wings and the oil fields of Manitoba
Are one.


I do not know which to prefer,
The thought that they might one day bring out
Greta Thunberg bobbleheads
Or the fact that bobbleheads exist at all,
The fact that we’re ******
Or the fact that we’re enjoying it.


An indecipherable cause.


O pigtailed teens of Stockholm,
Please remember
What Wallace Stevens said
About birds of golden feathers
And of black.  


What is involved in what I know?
Like Socrates, I don’t know.
But it’s more than 99.9 per cent
Of climate scientists could ever dream
And less than a signpost
To the wrong city in the snow.


When Greta sailed two weeks to New York
She was in a circle of close friends.
I bet they ate tinned kippers
And had those sweets the Swedish love.  


To cry out sharply is what we do
If we are lucky enough to cry.
And so I have more compassion
For Greta than you know.  
Some women have no time.
Their children dying
Takes up the best portion of the day.


I can’t remember the part of the campaign trail
He rode over to tell a waiting crowd
How the size of his equipage
Compared to his small hands.
There are good reasons why Greta hates his guts.
This is not the best of them.


The river is full of plastic.
The thermometer must be rising.


It is snowing
And it is going to snow.
B.T. Joy is a British poet and short fiction writer living in Glasgow. He has also lived in London, Aberdeen and Heilongjiang, Northern China. His poetry and short fiction has appeared in magazines, journals, anthologies and podcasts worldwide including poetry in Yuan Yang, The Meadow, Toasted Cheese, Numinous: Spiritual Poetry, Presence, Paper Wasp, Bottle Rockets, Mu, Frogpond and The Newtowner, among many others. His debut collection of poetry, Teaching Neruda, was released in 2015 by Popcorn Press and his 2016 collection Body of Poetry is also available through Amazon. He can be reached through his website:

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