special

Never close to death and further from life
Looking over the shoulder to copy answers
Orbiting dance floors like an irregular comet
The spit at the bottom of a beer glass
A collector of dead men drinking dregs
The photograph you burn was borrowed
The romance you had was second hand
Puking up Shakespeare because it was too rich to stomach
Fencing with chopsticks to pick up Basho
Who you choke on between mouthfuls of the always chosen special
How special is special when you always have the special?
You have a pulse – in your salad

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replaced

Does it hurt to be replaced with a seven-inch piece of rubber?
Does it hurt to replace someone with a seven-inch piece of rubber?
The slow abstraction of the absent other into pornographic fragments
Shattered into tits and a cunt your face struck out
It’s all motor reflexes and junk information
Both coming to a point
He thinks he’s the zenith and she the nadir
Closer to death in a heavy breath laced with fear
Does it hurt to be collaged out of a magazine?
Does it hurt to be rewound on a silver screen?

an understanding

God coming through in the correlations
Jesus in the timetables naming the stations
A ration of wine watered down spilt on a tablecloth
This is my station I better get off
Faith is a journey doctrine’s a branch line
The slow emerging bruise of cynicism
Goes from tooth rot black to urine yellow
And I hate it all much less as I mellow
The poetry of Solomon seduces
And I don’t have to be torn in half by secular and religious

Coined Eyes

The wise
Have eyes
Closed with coins.
Death
Severs breath
And knowledge joins
To the spent brain’s mind —
All truth’s bind
In the after.
Tears and laughter,
Fears
And the years
Of living in fear of the dark
Have kept us from the depths wishing
For the Ark.

Fishing
For a fate
Left too late
That’s growing stark.
Black dogs bark
In shadow home,
Heard by dead sages under the loam —
Funereal lessons taught,
Afterlife learning caught:
Learning ceases never,
Pupils forever.

Students to the ancient arts,
Understudies for greater parts,
As breathing stops thinking starts.
Apprentice to sepulchral lords —
Thieves of knowledge from old god’s hoards.
Words can act as powerful swords,
Severing ignorance’s chords;
Stupidity is a river the clever man fords,
The man of action acts, a man of complacency applauds.

The wise have ears
Which hear the fears
Of the idiot living —
Now come the years
Of their giving.
Out of grave silence they arise,
For the wise
Have eyes
Closed with coins
And foretell the scars
Of the wars
Buried in the loins.

Sexual prowess of the soldier.

A Phase In The Face

Each frond and whorl,
Each twist and curl,
Is a phase
In the maze
Of the face
Of the girl.

Each ear and eye,
Each smile and sigh,
Are turned to
View
The new
Face where comparisons die.

Each mind and voice,
Each wish and choice,
Hope for that
Cat
With the hat
And Rolls Royce.

Each heart and desire,
Each emotion and fire,
Burn and
Return
To the sight where gazes retire.

Each happening and scene,
Each camera and screen,
Hunt for the chick
Too quick
And too slick
To be seen.

Each angle and curve,
Each straight and swerve,
Add to the collection
Of her great perfection
That bachelors yearn to observe.

Each letter and word,
Each thing ever heard,
Hang in the air
Under the glare
Of besotted stare
For lengths of time absurd.

Each bone,
Each piece of musculature and tone,
Place her above the rest,
Treasure from the chest
Seated on the throne.

Each quirk and shift in face,
Each path the fingers trace,
Are a stage
On the page
In the age
Of this place.

Cut Off

And he was blinded:
Eyes shut perforce —
A cruel blow
For an artist.

And so he flowed through his fingers:
Mind operating through the plasticity of clay,
And they cut off his fingers —
A cruel tragedy
Dealt upon a sculptor.

And his tongue learnt eloquent words:
A poet of deepest profundity was born,
And they cut out his tongue —
A devastation
To a man of words.

And he walked:
A nomad in the realms of life,
Lonely, lost and drifting,
And they cut off the roads —
An impediment
To a wanderer.

And so he learned to dance:
A figure trapped in the rhythm,
And they cut off his feet —
Not much help
To a dancer.

And he was forced to become a listener:
Gatherer of information,
And they plugged up his ears —
Severance
Of his tools.

And he was trapped in his mind:
A thinker of unfathomable thoughts
Linked together in succession,
And they cut off his head —
Prevention
Of any considerations.

And he floated in ghostly raiment,
Martyred and loved by all who were scorned,
And they cut off his worshippers —
And he faded into memory.

Delicate Cuts

I have made my home among the delicate cutters. Ah, I see I disappoint you — you think I have damaged the dream you had of me as some beautiful and graceful creature that rooted out evil from the world. Well, I’m afraid it’s true, I am merely another scavenger of grief. Why deny that I mingle with the walking wounded only to wound them further? This world is a river of grief and if you do not swim against the tide then you will be dragged under. I am happy being submerged in the blood of the victims of history. I am a victor and I do not apologise for it — they should be grateful that they are sacrifices to ensure the longevity of a Goddess. A fallen goddess granted, but a goddess all the same.

In the past I have had blood-cults dedicated to me. All that virgin flesh brought to my altar, all that fresh blood spilt in libation. I was touched by their devotion to me — only when the Hebrews brought their male deity to the world was I cast out of the hearts of my congregation. I find it strange that it should now be fashion and not religious custom that brings my kind and I back into favour. How odd that people celebrate our violent natures, our terrible acts … oh, how they lust after the eternity which even some of us come to consider a curse.

I think of myself as something of a sheperdess to the lost flock of potential suicides that seem to proliferate in this era. Why waste their blood in selfish acts when they can slick my throat with the red vitality that flows through their young veins? There is no reason at all. The mantra of today is recycle, recycle, recycle. I am the collection point for those without hope. I read up on how to spot those wavering on the brink of ridding the world of themselves, I have attended counselling courses to gain an insight into what may be the deciding factors in whether to do away with yourself. I believe myself to be something of an expert.

Watch the delicate goth-chicks with their Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf and their dark, dark nights of the soul. Offer a word to steer them in the right direction, never forget that without ever having to kill a single person, which is often very distasteful, you can have a ready supply of wrist-slashers keeping the blood reservoir full. Depression in others is a gift from God as far I’m concerned. Not that I believe in God, but you know what I mean.

They say you are most likely to be killed by the hand of one you know and love rather than by a stranger — I like to think that by the time they drift into oblivion I am the friend and loved one of all these unfortunates. Worried that your life has no purpose? Become part of the food-chain and use your blood to further the course of a vampire’s life. It is a charitable act of sorts, though I can’t imagine many volunteers stepping forward to go out and canvas for it — shame, it would coincide quite nicely with a fair number of charitable events that have a red motif. Ah, all these wonderful ideas will go to waste, when I should have been an advertising executive.

My dear, you look quite pale, what is worrying you? Have you decided that you would rather prolong that miserable existence of yours? Sorry, that’s cruel isn’t it? I said that I like to be loved by those that I feast upon and here I am raising goosebumps on your skin. Should we end our little talk and get to business? No, not yet, I don’t think I want to see that spark fade in your eyes just yet — I have a little snack waiting in my wardrobe, look the feisty little darling is rocking about in there now. Wait for me.

Dear, look at that blood. It looks so dark against that bone-china complexion — you have to admit that this one is worth murdering; she would never suicide herself, she’s too strong. I wish it would stop screaming though, I can see that the noise is upsetting you too. See this, a quick twist of that pretty little neck and we have our favourite beverage rushing into the breach as the panicky little heart tick-tick-ticks away in fleeting seconds and brings us our satisfaction quicker. There. Now that’s done we can chat some more, can we not?

Feel my skin, aren’t I lovely and warm? Not so corpselike now — that was one of the things that I had to grow accustomed to. I always used to have such warm skin; its softness and loveliness was the talk of all my lovers, I was infamous for it. To lose that was hard; when I first realised that feeding kept me heated I fell in love with the act of drinking from you delicate creatures. I took all my warmth from others and I didn’t mind the carnage that had to be wrought to get it. Compared to the horror of that coldness, that grave, bone-chill — it scared me, I wept ruby tears at the thought of being trapped within this statue of a body. Escape came in the form of other’s death and, terrible as that may have first seemed to me, I soon did away with the troubling morality that accompanied me in mortality. Was I a devil? I know nothing of such myths; God never struck me down for being a blasphemy. Morality makes things wrong, if you have no morality then nothing is wrong.

Some of my kind do not like to talk to their prey, they consider it the height of bad manners playing with your food. I was always such a picky eater anyway, but it is such a personal act that I think it is more impolite not to share a few words with that which will become part of you. The other thing is, something which makes a mockery of a speedy kill, how do you decide who you’d like to turn and make one of your children, if you never stop to probe their minds? You can’t just give anyone the gift. I’m no fool, I wouldn’t set a horde of idiot monsters loose on the world. What, and expose our kind to the hate which they probably deserve? My survival instinct is well and intact and unlikely to ever desert me — I know the older ones of our number may get tired of endless nights with the cold moonlight shining down on them, but they are just weak. To have this chance to see the end of the world and to throw it away? What a waste. I hate waste — that is why I hoover up all you wrist-slashers.

Sorry, I know you’re thinking that you wish you hadn’t made the hasty decisions you’ve made: the decisions which have brought you into my lair, but it’s a bit late for that now. Not only have I given you enough ammunition to destroy me, but I have whet my appetite with your school-chum and on your delicious scent. I’m running out of things to talk about. Perhaps you could think of another subject? What? You have the motivation — living a longer life. Not by much, I’ll grant you, but hey, we have to grab what little comes our way, don’t we?

Really, you have no blindingly impressive insights into the great dilemma that is life, now that you stand so close to the edge of death? Yes, you’re very perceptive — I have done away with any pretense of keeping you alive. Why bother? We both know that I intend to consume you? Do you have no questions for me? I am curious about you though, you are the first one in a long time to cause such sloth in me — you have something about you that, for me to destroy it, I might be robbing the world of something. I wonder, were I to let you flee and blossom, as you mortals will often do; if I let you become, then what would the world be getting? Might you bring such beauty into existence that even I might be touched? Might I regain, even if just for a moment, a small part of the humanity buried in me aeons ago? How likely is that? Here you sit as a mute.

Ah, you’d like to show me something? A painting? And read me something you’ve written? Ah, but I see it in your mind … not it, exactly, but the essence of it, the shape it will become. It is like you my child, it is like a map of how your soul shall send its tendrils out into the hearts of many people. Should I tell you? Shall it spoil you to know that you might be great, were you to survive this encounter? And what? Might I be the very seed of this greatness? The cold vacuum of my beauty an atmosphere in which your tomorrow takes shape? I thought my potential for generating anything other than fear and death was exhausted. The moment I commingled myself with the essence of those bodily shadows that wanted me for their own I thought I had lost anything in me that leant toward creation rather than destruction. Perhaps I was wrong.

Damn, what is this I am considering? Now I am playing cat and mouse with myself. Why am I so reluctant to dispose of you? Perhaps you rhyme with something in me that I had forgotten. I am back-tracking. I do so hate to lie to people, and to lie to myself? That I hate the most of all. I am beginning to think that after all this debate, were I to murder you, it would be to spite myself. I would regret it. I do not mean to toy with you, as I said, I am a different creature to the one that was first borne from blood — I pick those who would have died anyway. I do not save them, though I could. I often sway the floating voter. Aaaagh, why this bloody torment? It used to be so easy to snuff out the candles in this church of mortality, now the ghost of doubt, which a creature of instinct should be done with long ago, plagues me.

It is you. You are a plant, someone has woven a spell about you to baffle the brains of blooddrinkers — tell me it is not so. Go ahead, tell me that you do not seek to drive me mad. You do not smile at the thought that escape may be at hand. No, you know it foolish to hope: that it is wiser to wait. Let me wrestle myself to the place which you wish me to be at. I think that outcome is inevitable. Yes, it’s true, I am going soft in my old age — though my teeth are sharper than when I first entered this room, and though the thing which is all of me commands it, that little of the old me which I thought gone is winning. You shall live. I may visit you through your life, a heavy shadow in the background of your existence, reminding you of the gift that your life is. Yes that is my plan.

What?!! What is this?!! You’ve tried to kill me when charity was foremost in my mind? With what? With what? A bloody wooden knitting needle, you damn imbecile. You thought that you could do away with a killer that centuries have honed and refined into perfection with a knitting needle? My every particle works to defend the organism. Thank you though, thank you, for you have expunged those foolish thoughts from my mind. I will not spare you, I will not. I will drink greedily from the stream which my act shall dam. Watch you this! See how the small wound you made sucks at the red on this piece of kindling as I pull it from me. There shall be no scars — I do not scar, I shall remain flawless. A momentary flight of fancy, all now evaporated: caused by you and killed by you. You killed by killing it. The finality in your act, the brave stupidity. Farewell.

And death on you looks so gentle. Your pale face as your warmth ebbs from you and flows into me. I taste the tang of that prospect I saw, and though I know it taints your last moments with a bitterness, it makes your end all the sweeter to me. Delicate cuts, thin slices of desperation — images set amongst the shadows like stained glass dropped amid ink. I am once again born. Every time renews the beauty, each time is novel, each death is a snowflake lost in my heat.
They will not see the magnificence of your passing in the tiny withered body that I leave behind, the grape of your fulsome form a paltry raisin for the vultures of grief to pick at. You will be made smaller than I would have wished for you. Ah, I am a hypocrite. I destroy. I praise. I destroy. I praise. A failure of the imagination — that is what your death was for you, and what the act of your murder was for me. I have unmade the brightness I glimpsed. I am a lost soul. I go away now, to lose myself again amidst mortal misery. And in those dregs I know I will easily find myself again. I am torn between a grief uncommon in me and pride. A hypocrite. Farewell, dead blossom.