Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Electra's Gift

Electra unfurls the roll of condensed light, tears through the plastic blisters to reveal the day's present, unwraps her drugs, her shadows, her one true gift. What day of the week is normal? Emotions fall like jewels onto her lap. She folds each tear in a wrap of rain, wraps the stamping feet, the ones that don't bring anger in. She is in the rat house, breathing tarnish into the silverware. The fact that she has neither  house nor  car in Sodsville is of no consequence now.
Come to me boatman, she says under her breath, whisper to me, tell me, when was the last time you made love on the circle line?
I  should wrap you in repulsion you old fraudster, break all your bones, leave your sense of sentiment handstitched to the place where your heart should be, embroidered with your own perfect name. Il faut cultiver le jardin. Let the trellis of obscene roses buckle beneath its own weight. May all your mushrooms rot in hell.
Electra peers through the roll of bubblewrap, distorting her down and out world. She halves her wishbone with a shy snap
Ah precious! she says Come closer, let me confess. None of this sheer bliss has happened yet. We are two people, one old, one young, just holding each other.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

My own true North

How does luck descend? like two gold coins falling in a box, like a flock of starlings, dark filings swirling the sky, none of them coming to rest.
 We are not what we were when we commenced this journey. If I think of you now I see you crying in the silent film, and the two halves of my heart fly apart. The hackles of the moon are rising, illuminating the rotting brocade of the path before me.
The quest leads me down to the foundry of dreams. Is there some potion that will indemnify me against them? No. All that remains is the faintly accusatory mushroom scent of sperm on the air. I am living in the jilted realm of grief. Now I am naked, now I am cloaked in the red light of evening.
What will happen when the light goes out, when the day is already crossed with its own demise? Then I will whisper to you your own fish-name for who isn't driven to swim up the estuaries of another's body to spawn close to the soul?
I am coming back, lucky or luckless, my passion for you bit between my teeth like old coins. As the birds follow their magnetic maps to cross skies loaded with spent jet fuel to find their true North I am coming. Belive me. At last I am on my way.

Friday, 1 February 2013

A Day in the Life

Edwin Bragg, the undertaker, has a low, slow voice, a voice without echo, immune to sorrow. It is a voice that fits itself to the silence of death.
On Tuesday he lays her out for washing, lifts her blunt hand in his and lets it fall, disowned now. He carefully soaps and dries this woman, flumps powder down the burly trunk of her back. He anoints her body for the last time before it is encased in grey wicker and then sunk into the earth. Her face is naked now, but he will paint it, add ashes of roses to the cheeks, make them seem plumper, more receptive to the last kiss of her son, as he tucks a sentimental locket under her chin.
Her family are comforted by Bragg's quiet manner. Although he is no thief for grief, they leave his dim shop less broken than they entered it, as though the artistry of his respects has relieved them momentarily of the burden of grieving.
Soon she will be in the earth's dark treacle. The earth will open its heart to her and she will sink into its embrace. Tiny insects will marvel at his paintwork as it begins to flake and crumble. But above ground the litanies of wind-addicted birds will continue to haunt the unechoing voice of undertaker Edwin Bragg as he inclines his head sadly to the next mourner and extends his cool hand in greeting.