Friday, 17 April 2015

In Case of Fire Break the Glass

Complete me I beg of you. Fill my dark spaces, cram me so full of you I can barely breathe. I was born to kiss your feet, to run my tongue the length of the sole of your foot. Kiss me long enough to make time forget herself, and stand sucking her thumb in a daydream. Take me down the wet steps of your imagination. Obliterate me, cover me in the shine of you. Outside the sun is a pewter disc blackmailing the afternoon's sister into parting with her wealth. Bring me your hopes, cross my heart with your fingers.
I offer you myself unhinged, open, my doors splintered and wrecked. Enter me at your own risk. Welcome to the dark side. Let me light the lamp made of the minotaur's hoof. Don't flinch. If I give you a dangerous wink, kiss me immediately. I must not be allowed to speak.
Smelt me in your fire, melt me in the fluxy lusty salt sweet waters of you. Make me burst with light.
Come, let us enter your tomorrows and just for now make ourselves a temporary camp there.

The copyright of this post belongs to Claire Steele

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Road

Take something precious, the road whines. Take something overflowing, something pouring from a broken urn, something beyond the realm of the ordinary.
I put my ear to the hot asphalt and listen to the buzz and whine of this traffic of words. Fantasy empties out into language. The road buckles beneath my ear. My body, always living in the fast lane, responds with its own minute vibrations. My hopes are like a still life, petals falling next to pewter spoons; the ghost of a pheasant connects my mind's eye with my body's. On the reality of the road's surface I see a dancing woman on a fully laden table; the tinfoil disc of a fish-eye in a mackerel's head; a stargazer pie for the guests.
You drag your disabled nightmares before me on parade. Here they come, the lamenting eunuchs, Beatrice beating her copper drum, the king's god-cub dressed int he tattered furs of his crimes. You place your mouth against the curb and whisper to me: are you bereft or replete? But your words no longer make sense. I am all spirit now. I am staring into the bright lights of the night riders, juggernauts, moons, bikers. I am doped up to the eyeballs and all I can hear are the road's whined imprecations: take something precious if you go, if you go, take everything.
I see the decapitated body of the stag at the road's verge. I see a thousand black caterpillars unpicking the road's white running stitch, and I hoist myself upright, buckle up my silken kimono, my dreamcoat of cash and crimson, lined with all its photos, its memories of lost loves and orphans. I spit on the jewels and gems on each of my fingers and polish them. They withhold their lights, sulking on my fingers.
You reach for me, about to complain again that he has stolen my life from you. About to beg me to come now, come home, come again. But I am the Queen of Chaos, given to embracing the hectic, given to embracing the emergent. I care no more for you laments than I do for your pleas. I set my unsteady foot upon this shrieking road. I see the musicians with their broken strings give each other the nod to recommence their performance. My head is wrapped in the colours of their music, wreathed in the lemons and greys of G sharps and A minors. I am groping in the dark, shambolic, careening out beyond the empire.
The eunuchs, who have pierced the cloth of unknowing, gather up the black silk of the road and follow me to my funeral. There are books I can never read cairned in tottering piles upon ghost shelves. I see the letters burning in the grate. The words curl and char. I am going. Stepping out onto the highwire. Who knew the road could be this narrow? Who knew it would swing this wild?

The copyright of this post belongs to Claire Steele

Saturday, 11 April 2015


The sea's gifts are oiled and salted, swollen for your mouth's bliss. We have lived too long under the locked lid of winter. Let's crest the season's early warmth and take ourselves down to the harbour. The Jump sisters will be there, Eliza dragging her piano over the cobbles, Charys with her penny-whistle-cheeks, puffed out pinkly, her crinoline billowing in the wind. It whips up out of nowhere. I see you cast your eye up at the scoundrel clouds rolling in. Tread lightly past the sisters. If they see you they will demand impossible tariffs: a silver coin from a fairy princess, gold from a pirate's tooth, blood from the moon. Don't purse your mouth, they'll want that open too.
Follow me down onto the rocks, let's see if we can prise their secrets from them. Bring me the sea's green anklets for my feet. Undress me. I want to dance naked for you in this sheltered spot, and then collapse at the sea's dirty petticoat, put my mouth there to see if I can taste what is hidden beneath its wet skirts.
I can feel the ghosts of all my lovers coming for me, leviathans, travelling silently, unseen. A curlew lifts itself on song alone. The host seagulls heckle their generous, yet unwilling, appreciation I see you now for who you are, stripped of context, connotation, consent. We are supplicants to the wind. My pleas disappear upon its breath. Secrets, trust, who will tell? Not you. Not me. This is ours. We have made it between us. Let me feed you oysters, their sea-clean spunky flavours, ready for your mouth's bliss.

The copyright of this post belongs to Claire Steele