Poetry

a kind deception


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you remember when the honey went?

 

Do you remember when the honey went?

When golden yellow turned

brimstone red

And saccharine at once turned

sour

mean and salty in the cavernous bower

beneath the tongue;

how was the sweetness overrun?

And how?

when?

luscious lips once able to linger

pursed and

creased

unable to devour or digest…

Do you remember when the honey went?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghosts.

 

There are ghosts in the house.

I count them:

Folded clothes, numerous.

Cereal boxes, 3.

Chocolate I’d never eat, ‘8 pieces’ times 4.

A plate, unwashed, 1.

Piles of books, as many as you can indulge yourself to buy at a market.

A face washer, folded and drying, 1.

New soap, untouched, 1.

A toothbrush no longer needing toothpaste, 1 (beside the 2nd one).

One side of the bed unruffled, 1/2.

Your smell, …between hangers, in the carpet, in your towel, infinity.

There are ghosts in the house

I count them.

 

 

 

 

Already And

Bare boned and
starving under the moonlight
How long has it been?

Only a day I’m sure.

But already the beginning—
a devouring of all this glitter that falls about us in the dark
as though its been a lifetime.

Already a quivering
already a hands-full
a sucking in of air
smiles broad and
eyes wide

Already a burning belief in something other than

all

this

stuff

that lies around us

And it begins to disappear

And I begin to laugh

And I begin to frown

because it’s more than I can take
but I want more
and I think
‘I’m alive!’

as if I’d never thought it before.

(this poem was published by Elephant Journal and can be viewed here).

 

The Testicular Gesticular

 

You must have a lot of balls to show love it seems.

Enthusiasm grows

when the heart truly knows

for that

half hour or so…

…so

what?

What next?

When you shrink back

what of your other limbs?

Cause here’s the thing:

We don’t operate from one place only.

Our nerves aint ending but

all

consuming.

We are all the way through

and under

and back again

…and again

and again …

And we are not done yet.

Not. Even. Close.

So:

do not gesticulate

subjugate

profligate

temp

this

girls

fate

Because we know more

than we ever did before

and we will not settle

to just be board.

 

 

 

 

Bone and Gut

 

It’s immense body was hauled upon the deck

Thick, leathered skin

dripping wet.

 

It wailed

and it shook

and all men puffing stood

and bowed their head

and held short their breath.

 

‘Hats off!’ boomed the captain as whale became mumble.

 

One seaman began to weep

as soon, not long from now

He would have to open her up

spill her out on the deck

all silver bone and stringy gut

 

And she would reveal

What all men did not know

The child that lay inside her

Still waiting for go.

 

Her big, agonized eyes

Cast one last look at the sea

and she heaved a great sigh

and she sat deep in her lament

and she mourned for two,

one who’s life was not met.

 

 

 

The Niggle

The Niggle nibbled
at extremities
Erect nipples
skin that prickled and
earlobes tendered by the touch.
Vast fields and blossoming buttercups
the hooves of stallions trampling earth to dust
ALL was set to erupt
But before this
came
The Niggle.

 

 

Untitled

She wore a little black velvet
and fast tracked time
to morning hours where snooze buttons inched
by
inched
finger
tips
And
red wine lipped the lines
of hour by
hour glass.
Between the folds of skin
and sheet
he murmured
I am in complete.

 

This Morning

This morning comes in a
toe curling.
It rolls over and around
Twisting sighs into
Soft lullabies
All thighs and thoughts of…
…Out.side?
No.
In.side
Stay in
The way this morning comes
In soft patters to the door
Gentle knocks and
Can I crawl in?
Yes.
crawl in
Stay in
This morning that
presses it’s face against your pane in steams that dream of nothing more than soft whirrings and this
a
single
toe
curling.

 

 

Fervent

 

Sienna is a fever

A hot clammy mess of sun kissed lips and sweltering shoulder blades

beaded sweat

spine tingling dribbles

and a matted mastication of memorable moments.

You wish to gaze and daze in her fervent haze

Pour out beneath her feet

But do not expect to tickle her fancy

She’s quite capable of doing that on her own with the trembling residue of those…

memorable moments.

 

 

Fathoms

Fathom
this
alluring mess.
Fathom the stars
matted in a multitude of feathered freckles
Fathom my eyes as they speak
in rhymes and rhythms
whispers and words wonderous
Fathom the length of my spine
from crevice to divine
Fathom this breath
panting, sucking in sensorial sights, sounds, skin
…you
Fathom
this
sticky cosmos
soaked in daydreams of dusk and dawn.

 

 

 

The Amorous Cantankerous

Of late
I find myself a cacophony
of mind and state
An amorous
cantankerous
dis-illusionary
mind
body
buffoonery.
My heart
a galaxy
worm hole apart
…and time back bend
and fend again and again
Belongs to an erst universal
an ever gorging morsel
And a youth who
in remembrance said
‘When was it last I really knew you?’

 

Loosening

Lips to skin
I will soften
subtlety.
All will become a past tense
And
together
we will enjoy
forthrightness.

 

 

 

A Poem Instead of a Drs Certificate

 

Dear employer

I’m writing a poem
instead of a Drs certificate
Because it is not a Dr I need this, the Day
I need to take off.
I need dark clouds and a doona
My old crystals and charms about my neck
Glitter and bare feet and a fantastical children’s book that says
‘Believe in the elsewhere’.
I need to paint
Even though I am not a painter
Sit on the floor of my home and dip my fingers into inks and charcoals and oils and spread my them over a black canvas…
I need the opportunity to meet a stranger and have those kinds of conversations that reignite your faith in humanity.
I need to try on everything in my wardrobe
Create new outfits
New hairstyles while listening to music that makes me feel
W r e c k l e s s.
I need to
Wander
Aimlessly
and look at known streets in new ways or
find streets I’ve never been down before.
I need an art gallery
A good cup of coffee while watching people’s lives drift before my eyes…
I need someone to drive me somewhere til images past my window inspire poetry or
Sleep
(Keep
driving)…
I need someone to transport me to bed
To lift me up in their arms
Stroke my hair
Caress all my beings who need to know they
do not
need to wake for
anything
until they are ready.

 

 

 

 

Amongst

I am but one in an
infinite cluster.
I am dispersed,
immersed

All of a flutter
stuttered and
spluttered
across a blank canvas of

What ifs?
What next?
What now?
and who-

Who
am I
to you,
to this
to that thing you call,

Love
Breath
Birth
Death?

What is this thing you call
My life
when
I am but
one
in an infinite cluster?

I am a no thing.
Be ing
Amongst it
All.

(this poem was published by Elephant Journal and can be found here).

 

 

 

Write

What the writer does
Is try to articulate things that
Cannot be done justice
with words.
On a bad day with pen and page
What the writer wishes
Is to be a dancer.

 

 

Rhetoric

There are some questions a person only asks at night

When the lights are out

and darkness creeps up to their skull with it’s fingers.

Twinkling stars burn with much offense from here

but yelling at them only makes the silence slap harder.

And so

these people retire every night

Not to sleep

but to figure out what they might do when light finally touches their face.

 

 

The trial

I am trying not to

pour

myself

out

end up a puddle on the floor for people to slip on and exclaim

‘someone clean up this mess!’.

I am trying not to arrive

windswept &

weathered

to take the birds and the bird nest out of my hair and brush myself to the lady that comes to the world

whatever time of day

with

not

a

strand

out

of

place.

I am trying to do fancy

to take off the boots I have worn up the mountain a thousand times and

cross. my. legs.

to

nod

and say ‘oh yes one must’

and wear the kind of earrings that do not sway

do not flirt with the air

but just sit

poised

and obedient.

With gritted teeth I am trying to scrub myself to something picture perfect for somebodies and who’s-a-what’s-its and thems and theys and he’s and she’s.

I am trying

not.

 

 

The Mistress

Do not apologise for your behavior

for then

I have to apologise for mine.

Do not look on me with

those eyes –

they are not meant for me

those are the eyes of love.

And do not leave your ghost in my house

when I cannot leave mine with you.

Your ghost does nothing for me

but tickle skin that desires to be grabbed

on nights you can’t come over.

 

 

…and the Woman who Loves.

I would like to sleep with you.

…you misunderstand my meaning.

Though of course I would like what my words may imply

what I mean

simply

is what I said.

I

wish

to

sleep

with

you.

I wish to curl up beside you in the aftermath

and drift off…

I would like to be in comfort

in quiet

in stillness

held here

in it

with it

…with you.

There will be a time of course

where we separate

here

in slumber

where we drift off into night time imaginings…

but this is a perfect place for people who love:

separate

but

together.

Yes.

I would very much like to sleep with you.

 

 

 

An open letter to the night

Dear thoughts,
It is high time
this hour
As it were last night
(And the night before that)
To put yourselves in pockets and save yourself
For daydreams.
Tis night
And night is for sleeping.
Kind regards
The rest-less body.

 

 

An open letter to the night 2

This left over lipstick
Has got me to thinking
Where I left the rest of it.

 

 

The Spill

I have let the window down
too long
on purpose
I think.
There is more than just a hint of rain on its sill now.
There is a downpour.
All I want to do is drink from it
Drink from my windowsill until I am as fluid as the spill
Until we can
wash
away
together.

 

 

 

The man who wasn’t there

I found myself walking out onto a beach
where desert and sea meet.
‘You would have loved this’
I thought.

As I beamed and skipped and
tripped over my own feet, I heard you say
‘Hello there little one’ as I,
in my element
had become the woman you once loved.

I emerged from the water
and walked,
almost naked back to the tent
and imagined the moment we would have made love on our return.
I would have hungrily licked the salt from your skin.

But instead

I wash myself under a shower
And watch the ocean drain beneath my feet.

 

 

Spit or Swallow

I have taken a mouthful of words
past my lips
to swallow.

I am reserving them for when we next meet.

On this occasion I will let them fall out into the air and
slap
you
red.

My fall will come later
…when I am drowned by all the words I have not been able to
spit
back
up.

You will never come to meet me again.

 

 

Loose Cannon

Loose. Cannon.
You’ve been set alight.
Loose. Cannon.
No choice.
Take flight.
Time to Burn
Land and
obliterate.
Time to murder
Bloody and
Devastate.
Take no prisoners
Carry no ball and chain
Just burn
Loose. Cannon.
Land and
Obliterate.

 

 

 

Taken in

I’d like to be enjoyed.
Like to be taken into the arms of another
Wrapped up
Held and
Enveloped.
I’d like my flesh
To be taken into their hands
The smell of my hair
Taken in by their nose
My breath to make the hairs on their skin prickle up;
But most of all
When they take me in with their eyes
I wish to see everything I can’t
And feel nothing but
Loved.

 

 

Midnight Musings

‘It wasn’t so much the warmth of the evening that caused her to kick back sheets plentiful; she had become distracted by a series of questions marks in the dark of whom, quite simply, deserved a good roughing up’.

 

‘She wasn’t in the habit of doing anything too delicately, but this evening found that each page deserved a certain courtesy as it was turned’.

 

‘Quiet contemplations cause cavernous carnivory’.

 

‘At the moment she realised it was only the still fading sun persuading her to stay awake, she crawled under her doona and created her own midnight sky’.

 

‘Wrapped up in arms and legs imagined, she threw her weight into the body of her mattress. At 7.13pm. A body sinking’.

 

‘The cello invited her to dance. In amongst the rain and the busy city streets, she swayed a little on the curb’.

 

‘The moon cast shadows across her bed. With every move her body made beneath the quilt, the shadows began to dance. ‘So it’s going to be like that is it…’ she said to the moon; and began preparing herself for a long affair with the night’.

 

‘With a minute left to the new day, the girl clambered fro string, frantically tying together the stories of her day together before it was too late. At the last second, she threw her arms around herself tightly and squeezed her eyes shut; ready to be picked up and carried away… all over again’.

 

‘Weighted wings

Wrought

Heavier

Things’.

 

‘If it was the cool beginnings of winter that made his kisses visible in the dark night air, she wondered why, all flushed cheeks under the shelter of a bus stop in the middle of nowhere – why summer was so often written as the time for lovers. Surely, skin prickling, bubbling, upwards, silence only breaking in the rustling of jackets and tongues warm beyond cold lips…surely this was the season for lovers’.

 

She scrubs herself with cinnamon bark and soaks her skin with honey; at dusk she drowns herself in cardamom milk to drizzle into slumbers sunny. As darkness falls and stars light the sky, rose petals impress upon her lips; that as she sinks and curls and whirls, the earth shall soon soothe her swollen hips’.

 

‘The daily whispers keep her awake.

In the early a.m’s, she talks to ghosts

And admits that she is frightened’.

 

‘Sofia wandered into a dark & foreboding room. With its terracotta walls, the blacks and greys of Goya’s paintings created shadows that lurked like adult nightmares. The blood that dripped down Saturn’s face, in possibly Goya’s most famous painting, was intoxicating. Sofia took a moment to imagine what it would be like to devour HIM. She suddenly found herself to be as hungry as hell’.

 

All poetry and musings by

Kate Ellis

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