Sunday, August 21, 2016

by the gender neutral washroom i sat down and wept 

based on the following excerpts by Elizabeth Smart, from her long poem/novel

“Under the redwood tree my grave was laid, and I beguiled my true love to lie down. The stream of our kiss put a waterway around the world, where love like a refugee sailed in the last ship. My hair made a shroud, and kept the coyotes at bay while we wrote our cyphers with anatomy. The winds boomed triumph, our spines seemed overburdened, and our bones groaned like old trees, but a smile like a cobweb was fastened across the mouth of the cave of fate.

Fear will be a terrible fox at my vitals under my tunic of behaviour.

Oh, canary, sing out in the thunderstorm, prove your yellow pride. Give me a reason for courage or a way to be brave. But nothing tangible comes to rescue my besieged sanity, and I cannot decipher the code of the eucalyptus thumping on my roof.
I am unnerved by the opponents of God, and God is out of earshot. I must spin good ghosts out of my hope to oppose the hordes at my window. If those who look in see me condescend to barricade the door, they will know too much and crowd in to overcome me.”

The parchment philosopher has no traffic with the night, and no conception of the price of love. With smoky circles of thought he tries to combat the fog, and with anagrams to defeat anatomy. I posture in vain with his weapons, even though I am balmed with his nicotine herbs.

Moon, moon, rise in the sky to be a reminder of comfort and the hour when I was brave.”


"I have learned to smoke because I need something to hold onto."

                          Elizabeth Smart

I learned to have sex with strangers
I needed something to hold onto

among buttercups daisies snapping turtles sumach trillium 
lit by cancerous sun my tomb was laid 

beguiled by true love I reclined in poison ivy
by streams kisses as waterways wrapping my world

loves xenophobic warriors sailing in the last slave ships
intersective strokes through my blonde hair made a blue-eyed veil

keeping lightness at bay I wrote missives in my heart 
that blew like winds boorish triumph

my backbone bent by uncoiled limpet spines 
overburdening my bones groaning like young sap 

wrought from petrified 
yet willing limbs 

a ghosted smile locked against his mouth’s 
manly cave falling into heavens lips 

terrible foxy flesh licked at my vitals 
terrific beneath a tunic of behavioural prowess

Oh barren budgie - laugh, cry out, in the storm’s last hollow
be proud and flecked with yellow - blue with feathery shards of green

sing like birds in pursuit of nothing
gaining everything from flight

give me the why the how and when of courage
bravery resistance in the face of his tanned hips

no tangible resource rescued my slim adolescent sanity - 
I will not decipher codes that weeping willows thump upon 

my roof will be my ladder out of heaven 
into snake’s bold meadow unnerved by God’s lovers

God may favour  tone deaf throngs 
cannot hear the queer forest for the zany trees 

I will spin good ghosts out of hope 
opposing hordes at my window

If those who look in see his lust barricading my door 
they will know too little and damn me for my mis-confession  

crowding in to overcome me with their parchment sayings
i prefer the traffic of the night 

as dark as my conception 
of the price of love

smoky circles of thought combat the mist I weep 
in jets of intermittent spray anagrams to defeat 

the linguistic pleasure of anatomy - 
Lana, Anal, Ana, An, Alan, Al, Alana, Anala 

they hear her pronouns call 
in them in him

I pose with verbal weapons he divined me with
bombed by his nicotine herbs - moon, moon, rise

be a comforting reminder of those seconds 
when no one thought I was brave 

when I learned to smoke and fuck 
I would have nothing to hold on to

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