Spell to summon a phoenixThe common trickster will declare
the phoenix is a bird of flame. Not so.
How can mere flame survive death?
The phoenix I tell you is imagination's
gift: you cannot conjure what you cannot
dream. To the crossroads take rubies
finely ground. Where earth's secret
vapours rise, toss a pinch of this dust.
If your spirit lacks the necessary fire,
some other bird may heed your call.
Blue BloodAt the Comte de Guise's chateau, his wife turned forty,Blue Blood3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
yet again, ape masks are all the rage, frocks hand-
stitched in Paris, linen collars which pinch the throat.
On iron gates the Comte's coat-of-arms bears the rumour:
Il faut circuler. I've just drained a cup of Methuselah,
spot Dominique, circulating, ever with a different party,
and a little further off. The chef cuts a crenellated
pie from which doves scatter. How swish! a jewelled
gorilla sighs through yellow teeth. There are benches
of fried oysters, treacle tart, porridge spooned up
by a proud garçon who'll answer only Oui or Non.
Now Dominique, glowing, embraces another, looks
my way. The mad acts we perform to balance ourselves.
God knows what it costs to smile, about-turn. I subside
on a stool set back amongst elms, black leaves aquiver,
when Dominique passes, am mute. The bare sky yawns.
So rise, circulate, admire the chamber of clockwork
dolls, each has a name. At the first blush of dawn,
as one, their pain
Small talkTapping the baton of her teaspoonSmall talk8 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
twice on the saucer, a bright start:
'You've dropped out,' says his mother.
Her vision of a career in White Hall
crushed by his arts trifling, not one
to acknowledge the legislative clout
of poets. She's a resurrectionist,
keen to deliver him to Society's
scalpel, 'What's wrong?' through
chat and china's light percussion,
a uniform hum he hears as Om.
Black BirdI've told you I'm staying in tonight,Black Bird10 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you, as usual, haven't listened.
Negligent out of pain, perhaps
a thorn lifted off some nightmare
flower. You ask me to remove it,
have tried a shower. I'm thinking
if the water can't free it, how will I?
Besides, I've seen a bird, which,
as it starts to trill, suggests were I
such a thing, I'd rather be dumb.
Still, my not singing like a bird,
does it mean you can't call me one?
Again, you're not listening. And
it's flown off now into that gloom
where everything feels heavier,
but I don't suppose is. It presses
like the sloping walls of a Gallic
town, spied from an odd angle.
Everybody knows this is nowhereSorting second hand carsEverybody knows this is nowhere2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it was just a robot,
as we flicked off the radio,
sick of the hard rock
we'd been bouncing to for miles.
Joe was playing with his lighter,
a nice piece, skull-shaped.
We got out, circled it.
When he moved in, a little dust
was blowing up off the ground.
Its body suit caught quickly.
We watched it striding away
across the desert, flame-
swept, a dwindling candle.
We were kids. Just kids.
Night boatI'm late for the theatre. Luca guiding usNight boat5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
down still lanes, I recline, dip a hand;
cool, sunless flow. Bleached palaces
pass, lovely homes of merchant sires.
In a damp brume, the night is falling.
My departure was recorded by spies,
Luca says, off to alert their masters
the lord-in-exile has left his quarters.
Lanterns lit, we are crossing the city.
There's a monotony to these streets
I don't dislike, and it keeps off tourists.
I shall probably stay the winter over,
though the local girls (and boys) are
not to my taste. But from what future
have I tumbled? My modern heart
backwater-bound. Drinks aboard.
Tonight, a single cup of wine. I have
given up meat, and English company,
both hazards to health. Serenissima,
beguiler, you've drowned the moon.
The HologramsBefore Casper we were a quantum band,The Holograms4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
an act that only happened when unobserved.
Our drummer maintained we'd split
the world, then took a full-time position
in PR. Auditioning his replacement
round our Crouch End front room,
with his white vest, buffed All-Stars
and holographic principle patter,
Casper shone. 'These,' he said,
nodding at his drumheads,
'are my event horizons;
it's where the beat really happens.'
To prove it, he worked up an almighty storm,
while we puffed on our cigarettes.
Short of a singer, Casper made a call.
Yume Shirakawa, he explained,
would beam in her performance. Jay,
sliding milk down his thin throat,
looked pleased. Dispatched to Budgens,
strangely, no complaints. We jammed.
Matter grew vague, the days came and went.
First gig, a full house, but no sign
of Yume, whom we'd still never seen.
Plugging into our amps, tweaking
Volume, Gain, she appeared, silk-clad,
like a switch had been thrown. Turning
our three dimensional selves to the crowd,
who thought we we
We Were All Going to be WonderfulKathy's mom, shaped like a ripe pearWe Were All Going to be Wonderful2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
black-haired, she wore it long, tied back.
She looked foreign, she should have been a gypsy--
silver and red, smoky and asleep;
should have smelled like cardamom or cloves
but she smelled like onions and carrots, potatoes and oregano.
She leaned at the sink in the tiny kitchen
peeling potatoes, head bent, sallow-skinned, heavy-hipped
her dark hair traced with the first lazy spider webs of gray.
We slunk past the gray-mouthed man on the sofa
with his Reds game and his beer;
men weren't soft then, but the new kind was coming along.
The suburbs were a garden
through the hot summer days and the Catholic schools,
and it wasn't the dads who had the dirty fingernails.
But he worked every day, by god he did,
drove a truck fat with bakery goods
flaccid and without souls
(whole wheat was a color not a life.)
Robert kept the kids fed, didn't interfere
with their summer afternoons.
"Come in here, Josie, pull down my pants and make love to me."
She only grunted,
RorschachToday the world ends. Meantime I've a case,Rorschach6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a bar to clear, fingers to break, maybe arms.
Rough work, exhuming the facts. Why else
frequent this juke joint - the skirt goes cheap,
everyone's cut, even kids, little crack weasels.
I put on my face and I'm indestructible. Through
cheap stalls, stale tat, fry-ups and red light
districts, New York gone to hell, racketeers
in its temple. Car gets jacked, they just watch.
There's a woman on the corner, expecting
love. Passengers! I put on my face, become
Rorschach. What subway? Fire a grappling
hook, go by rooftop. Troop of monks below
spots me, last life was I a bug? A bird? I say
you just keep coming back as yourself.
Evangelos and that film from 1986Evangelos and that film from 1986Evangelos and that film from 19864 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am not a fish.
My mother is a fish.
You should know, my great-uncle Peter
From Hungary has a daughter
With whom I fell in love when once
I was there
That time I braided her ashen grey hair
My mother's best friend only spoke Italian
He did taekwondo, jiujitsu
And played Santa every year
He was Portuguese
I want to enchant you with my secret code
Once again it has to be said:
There is no story
The hedgehog is sleeping in the garden, his father and
Today they are wearing
Instead of ties
They will hold session until deep in the night
About money of course
Maybe you should listen better
To the people
Because everybody has lied
to themselves some time in their lives
(original Dutch version: )
Evangelos en die film uit 1986
Ik ben geen vis.
Mijn moeder is een vis.
Je moet weten, mijn oudoom Peter
Uit Hongarije heeft een dochter
Op wie ik verliefd ben sinds die ene keer
Dat ik daar was
Toen heb ik haar asg
UFO sighting near HighgateDabbing my cat's war wounds with wool,UFO sighting near Highgate6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
through the bathroom pane, light zigzags
from ponderous cloud, streaking north.
I dart upstairs, buzz my neighbour's door,
who's lived there for months anonymously.
The first time we've spoken, she's sceptical.
I don't know if UFOs exist, feel space X,
that unknown plane, should be kept open.
'Let's chase it,' I say. We hit the street,
make for Archway station, where the light
headed. Glancing in, the meze bar's doors
are pinned back, its candlelit tables empty.
All bodies snatched off the street. No cars.
Then, local vagrant Dirty Harry passes us.
'You saw what you wanted,' my neighbour
concludes. Below the Methodist church's
neon cross, Dirty Harry, quietly pissing.
Witches MarketMidnight fell like an old black bird;Witches Market3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I meant to wait for you.
There were tables rich with
amethyst and pearls,
and fragrance by the fistful,
mint and petrichor.
I meant to wait for you.
You were gliding through the haze
with your knotted bag half full-
shadows flicked their tongues
above your knees;
you meant to look for me.
Moments ran like mice;
a silver pot, a cup of tea.
She stank of vinegar and thyme-
the hand was hers, the heart was mine.
Her iron eyes reflected flame;
she took my lungs, she took my name,
though you had meant to look for me,
and I had to meant to wait for you
amid the black salt and the brew.
Ash for the handle,
Birch for the brush,
Willow for the cord that binds the twigs.
ripplesin the small dark pool where youripples4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
slip into yourself my friend
take your name like a pebble
cast it away
cast it away
cast it away
TribeFor days we’d shadowed the slender skyline,Tribe1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
dense in numbers, sinuous-limbed, sniffing
the spiced soil to find the small game. We ran
it down, shamed it to its knees; a super-gang,
all good carnivores, group-hearted we thrilled
to hunt. No one troubled us. Best quit our turf,
we’d send out our young brethren to whisper,
or something bad might happen. Till one of us,
entranced by a strange girl, forgot the status
and the pack, of his own will lingered easy
with her, strung garlands of violet leaves,
and stirred in our churning bodies the doubt
there might be other pickings, other paths.
We surrounded him and tore his throat out.
Act of the GodlessThere used to be the comfort of the words-Act of the Godless3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
bereft, bereft, a woman drips her opalescent tears,
where thin-lipped men look on, away.
As common as cats, lives are.
Custard and cremeYou know what you do to me. You'reCustard and creme1 month ago in Free Verse More Like This
my lollipop, my Big Stix Popsicle,
the bear claw oozing with jam
that stains my fingers. The sweet, the sour,
and the sticky in my Cantonese takeout rice.
You're a bad boy, the way you influence me,
the way I let you. And yes, we both know
the kind of diabetic I am but, a girl can crave
Oh I'll show you when you get home,
and don't forget the radish sprouts from
Whole Foods on the way, my pet.
No Train For YesterdayI spend two & a half smiles on strangers,No Train For Yesterday11 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
drink a bottle of casual words
& head down a silent street, accompanied
by muted endeavors of faceless clowns.
It's a tired, malnourished day, strained
over frail dusty bones of hours
& as I run my hand along a minute,
it feels like leather, worn from wear.
You still arise in idle thoughts:
the way you stopped to watch me at
an ambiguous train station up north.
You were the streetlight that blinked on
& off in futile attempt to murder wind
while snow raced horizontal lines
& hurried past large metal doors.
You seemed to revel in movement,
smoothed air with your skin
as I headed on. Gave shelter
to a misplaced thought & lost another
in muddy puddles behind my temples,
aching now, condensed for spare.
The smell of old liquor & masculinity
still lingers in my nostrils' memory.
You asked for clarity in all I said
out of spite & I couldn't find the words.
Shreds of sentence fragments tasted bitter
& I washed them down with another
Crippled Birdit's not my faultCrippled Bird1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
dad's long instruction at his
father's fist mum's bad legs and clubby feet
nor that she came home four years old
to find she'd been left her mother
and siblings gone gone
their weighty needs
i've turned into this feral cat
they're trying to skin alive
i've had enough got my suitcase packed
but she's hobbling fast
catches me at the door cries
you're not going anywhere a quaver
in her voice her arms flung tight around
my waist to stop me and oh god oh god
she's like a crippled bird heart pumping wildly
against my powerful hand
and she's just trembli
On The PodiumThe art of conductivityOn The Podium3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
as the maestro explained,
is that the man with the baton
serves as a lightning rod,
earthing intuitions from god.
Kings of TomorrowHumming to myself on Denmark Street,Kings of Tomorrow4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
charcoal-suited. Shuttered stores,
N29s pass. Atop a post box, Eliot's
pinstripe trilby, him leafing a Metro.
These days, he hangs with black kids
and lesbians mainly. Once, invited
to a premiere, amidst limelit couples,
Eliot, the pale doll on his arm, a shop
mannequin. At least he had the sense
to dress it. We're for the Phoenix club.
Hours of dance I can take or leave, but
good conversation's a rose in London.
Tonight the blind songmen are singing
for their freedom, and the lawmen
who sought to have Eliot gagged, they
couldn't lay a finger on him. We detour.
Scrunched plastic of rainfall, in green
scrubs, I remember the anaesthetist
putting me out. 'Sometimes,' he said,
'we dream.' Unpicking a knot of blunt
railings, Georgian terraces, Spring
just round the corner.
lemonwe walk down the streetslemon2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of a city named after the last thousand years.
a breeze floats by
and for a moment your hair lifts off your shoulder.
the way it doesn't touch you,
i want to touch you.
there are traces of lemon in your light,
a vague sense of mint on your fingertips.
the way honey tastes
drifts inside your shirt.
entering the city
walking calmly while the light falls
is like listening to your voice,
like waiting at the bell by the river
for a clamoring to do justice
to the patterns on the water.
the way the bells never end
i want to brush my hand against yours.
the way you drop lemon into your water
i want to live.
the first day of springyou are new in the way flowers are new:the first day of spring2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
brilliant green, soft purple,
the good smell of rain and soil.
let the miserable winter wind
chase its own tail for a while;
there’s something beautifulwonderfulmine
at the end of a sunlit driveway.
Our Meaning and PurposeIOur Meaning and Purpose4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
All of death is death. Life,
too, is like death.
The way it erupts over you
laughing and spinning.
I was confused
so I asked God: What should I do?
Move your body and have emotions. The birds were dancing.
Could you be more specific?
But now God was busy arguing with Moses.
All of life is life. Death,
too, is like life.
The way it erupts over you
laughing and spinning.
Tomorrow is the sound
of a question falling
on a bed of questions.
Today I hold out
your name, God,
in the public square.
Yesterday reason, the slayer
of song, wended its way
into our will.
All of light is linking. Dreams,
too, would see us separated.
The way it erupts over you
laughing and spinning.
All of God is God. Dark,
too, is like God.
The way we usurp it
laughing and spinning.
Literature DD Roundup - January:iconbeccalicious:Literature DD Roundup - January1 year ago in Literature Features More Like This
Features by BeccaJS
Features by DorianHarper
Niche by younghabitat wednesday's child by sootandcinders The Lotus Woman's Child by nightshade-keyblade Wrapped Up In Herself by BloodshotInk Attributes by vespera small talk by adeline-renee Secrets - A Dark Flame Story by mirz-alt cherry trees by coup-de-coeur :thumb383063379: :thumb427383796: Sundiver by winterkate Don't Step by Nevarware Empyrean by IrrevocableFate What If We Were Poets? by birdsonqs
Features by GrimFace242
:thumb419622503: Kitchen Blues by jade-pandora Midnight Thought Process by rociobelindamendez Maps by 1megen1 Iris's Runaways by JackDenim17 Fairy Tale by madamsarah Rule 34 by neurotype The Drop by ezradeacon Strawberries in the Winter by WordWeight Hearts Never Belong To Two by ElleonDire The Defense of Gawain (Fragment 1) by williamszm An Enchanted Evening by MrHyperbole Dry Bones by TheTerrorOfTheDeep 006 by WilliamDallwitz Brain Freeze by MiniJacksonDiAngelo Let Your Daughter Be a Pirate by nattrozanska
Features by neurotype
Malnoir by TimtehGrey The Horizon and the Shoreline by Beaple the ring by SpiralingSpontaneity Late Night Cereal by Parsat Moving On by katherineluttmer Lara vs The Savage Pack by SpamDragon Golden by saartha Missing Girls by swansisters :thumb
The Farmers SonWe sat sipping grappa as the storm clouds rolled in from the ridgesThe Farmers Son4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like the smoke from some great unseen inferno,
the wood walls and shingles of the house complained to us
in low groans,
of the wind coming up hard, through the valley,
and there was flickering light from a candle,
and she told me how light from a prism dissects into different colours that correspond
in some way to our bodies and that all of life was a rhythm
and I believed that part,
and I believed there were stars beyond the sight of man on any grey day
and that they might hold some greater secret than prisms or rhythms
or any question a farmers son could ever mutter,
and the wind slowed to a stillness
and the rain moved in and our voices gave way
to what my Father would call The Lords Music,
the pitter-patter of water
on the dry and flaking earth.