Poem: Penelope and Melinoe

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For so many years
My husband has been a phantom,

Each day, I weave him anew
Out of the threads of memory,
The turbid shadows Mnemosyne
Has been kind enough to lend me

My loom – the factory of my thoughts,
The creativity and monotony
Of demon-harbouring hospitality –
Has kept me upon the threshold
Of sanity’s crisp fragility

But then my phantom grew strange,
Poisoned by its own illusions,
Its pearly outlines fleshed
As though to disprove them

His face took form
Out of the scratches on the wall;
His voice bled from the screams
I’d sent down the hall

His skin was the bedsheets
I’d ground to a powder,
My hips – the millstone
Of eternity’s power

Now, his voice is mine,
Encaged in my ears;
It sounds like the secrets
Time tells The Years

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Poem: Three Nights

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The first night I slept alone
The Ocean sang me its fever,
My moorings were lost in the turbulent heat –
The arms of the gentle deceiver

The second night, my bed untamed,
Chewed me with its awnings,
And all around, the promontories choked
With writhing, lovesick warnings

But, the third night, with sick delight,
Gave freely of its reasons:
I was to decay; grow; wax and wane
In accordance with its seasons

And now alive, no more to writhe
In bedsick, homesick languor,
I see the hope of stars conjunct –
The lighthouse in the harbour

Poem: Disgusting Future

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We dreamt of our disgusting future,
Bug-eyed, with bleared lenses,
We scoured the edges
Of the tonal diamond –
The untasted limits of the epiglottis,
Strained to the bit
In the revels of Dionysus

I could not see your eyes then –
Only the marble beads
Of woods in darkness;
Artemis in the corridor
Of ecstasy’s snow-blindness

What is your history?
What leisures of Pain’s imagination
Have your stars spangled?

Unable to answer,
I drank beyond the horizon,
To the Arctic distance of Orion,
Chased by Procyon

It could not taste better:
The dance and the dusk-dream,
The ravages of monstrosity
All curdled like cream

But the goat-chief remembers,
Balked by Baphomet’s cold warning:
The elasticity of pleasure
Is the miracle of mourning

Poem: A Necessary Mess

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A necessary mess,
All the coordinates of oblivion,
Enacted in stereo;
Mutated soundscapes, jagged and jarring,
The crumpled-up waveforms
Of transcendent madness

Intoxication is the heart-rate of violation,
The fulfilment of ecstatic trespass,
Overstepping the sacred barrier
Between meat and the soul it encases

Turned out into the strangest places,
The churchyard, garbage piled into mountains,
We searched among the carcasses,
All the futile fruition,
To find the cancer of abundance
Hanging from the branches

How could I have wrought this?
With the whiskey still aging
In oak barrel livers,
And the disjointed footsteps
Of over-extended limbs
Cavorting in agony –
The skull-trophy churches

Then lurching into the dawn,
And the unwatered hope
Of despair-nurtured kisses,
We found union in the trespass
Of corpse-fingered ditches

To twinkle in the star-spilt
Novelty of riches,
Rendered potent by the raving
Word-birth of witches

Poem: Heart of Pan

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Fire, fire, keep your heart,
Stoked on beauty’s memory,
Weeds and narcissi interchoke
The lost pages of ephemera

Dazzled by the sparkling earth,
In which our hearts were buried,
Vine on vine tests the girth
Of rivers, untamed, unferried,

But bears no malice to the ford,
Of spells, uncast, unchallenged,
Bitterness fed on bitter dregs
To meet your mind’s trepanning

Yet still on darker days beset,
All hollow notes winnowing,
The music of time’s idle regret
When the pipes of Pan are blowing

Poem: Foreknowledge of Demeter

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In heat-deadened late summer,

Desiccated umbels scratch the sky

In dense clusters, weaving between

Nets of wizened harvest

*

Oh, sweet Ceres, flowing overland

From waving field to unslaked furnace,

Bloom and witherance of Persephone,

Blunt Hades’ malady seeks to burnish

*

Tarot cards offers glimpses of ruination,

Pausing between fingers of venomed bites,

Majestic bliss before the cold coronation

Of pallid partners deprived of lights’

*

Vivifying nurturance, sweet heliotropic cadence,

Pasturing all lover’s in the sun’s warm lea,

But I am sick – my mouth too laden

With sores to savour this intimacy

*

With nature, with life, with cold speckled showers,

Running in beadlets down waiting skin,

I cannot feel the parting kiss,

I cannot let your lighthouse in

Poem: Kafka’s Child

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The pen follows in pain’s footsteps,

Hurrying over stony ground,
Perched precipitous over the mouths of whirlpools,
Jealousy and agony churn and ferment,
Into a brew of vintage inadequacy

To love, with so many hungry mouths,
Gawping at you, like raven’s young,
How can I hope to ask my portion –
Beg the kisses that curse my tongue?

Sad and proud,
I starve in the corner,
Minister of my own dereliction,
Kafka’s child – melancholy and wild –
Indulging the art of imperfection

So, I cut loose,
Hoping you’ll chase me,
For love’s assurance I’m not forgotten

How can I believe
You’ll truly love me,
When all below the waist is rotten?

Poem: The Argo In Llandudno

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Reading in the dark,
Searching for the words,
The secret sentences, revealing themselves
As prophecies in dense paragraphs,
Hedgerows of typeset,
Labyrinthine and thorny,
Where meaning is obscured
By the beauty of its own clarity

From promenade to pier,
Ascending The Great Orme,
My skull yeasty with hallucinations,
The purple ling, bugloss, furtive harebells,
Whispering secrets across foggy turrets

Then St. Tudno’s emerges, cliff-perched church,
Its gravestones sea-stained, purified by lichen,
My mind burdened with the history of astrology

Because the stars knit everything together,
More rawly and obscurely than a dire heart’s
Lost love, of yearning crossing over many
Lifetimes, orbits wrestling with ecliptic
And equator

These soldiers of equinoctial precession
Tell each one of our tales,
The millstone grinding Fate
From the roots of Polaris

The Argo has gone to The Underworld;
My heart rests on the head of Canopus

Poem: The Clockwork Goddess

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Not all goddesses are born timeless

Some, injecting time like heroin,
Clog their arteries with minutes and seconds,
And, wired-up to computerized clockwork,
Their flesh takes on immaculate motion

With pistons pumping in their thighs,
The fireworks of ecstasy in candelabra algorithms,
These divinities move in bits of data:
The ocean of streaming information

Every second is a surgery,
A fight against the iron,
And, to make sense of it,
In the skin-scraping rawness,
The disembowelment is a release:
Freedom from time-keeping organs

Emancipated from temporal viscera,
Through the motions of music and scalpels,
She ascends above petty constraints
And the mundane imaginations of others

In this world
Where mundanity murders magic,
And the seed-burst of genius
Is isolated and tragic

She lifts her caduceus
To the heart of the matter:
The cryptogram of truth and illusion

And stitching them together,
One painting at a time,
She is the Queen of Chaos’s Redemption

Poem: In The Beginning

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Emerging from the womb-like dark,
I wander in the garden,
Clawing past trees with cryptic bark,
To seek completion’s pardon

For half a being I only am,
No mate to caress my features,
A terrible beast called ‘a man,’
Alone among all creatures

Birds nuzzle in their nests,
Foxes huddle in their hollows,
In wretched mimicry of their love
My heart blindly follows

Unfit I am for this world,
Unfriendly and insane,
A clockwork watch designed to be
A continuum of pain

My flesh, unclothed, meets the teeth,
Of bitter, twisting thorns,
The only sound – rutting stags –
Clashing with their horns

Then rising up from the earth,
With onyx feathered wings,
Lady Night, shawled in stars,
Prophetically sings:

“I see you in your nakedness,
Wretch by the name of Adam.
Master of me you cannot be –
I will be your madam!”

With agile twist and flick of veil,
Slow reveal of pearly flesh,
The female comes to pin the male,
Sinking claws into his breast

Scarlet hair smothers me
In mad, Medusa coils,
Her voice, a melody of woven vine,
Screaming from the soil

Ears cruelly glut themselves
On panic-stricken cries;
This revelatory hypnotist
With sparkling, sapphire eyes

She bites my lip, until the juice
Of unveined blood does trickle,
Incarnadine wine flowing from
A smile so free and fickle

I feel the pressure against my chest
For which I’ve always longed;
My reality has been dismissed;
The axis of my world is gone

And falling headlong in a flash,
I see the deathly cost,
Paradise never was The Truth –
Paradise is lost

Sadly, now, disembraced,
From the arms of Circe,
Impassioned malevolence falls away
To be replaced by mercy

In a sudden shock of motion,
Hands falling from her hair,
Regarding me disdainfully,
She says: “Noli Me Tangere

“O, man, feeblest of flesh,
You cannot dance the dance of death,
Shaming death, in mortal greed,
You abjure your soul’s deepest need

“To feel the scythe in twist of skin,
Memories of skulls in ache of love,
Turning desire into sin,
The serpent flees into the grove

“Where I still rule, command the flame
Of all self-torturous yearning,
Where I still rule, command the light
Of empty churches burning.”

And, ridding me of my fleshy chains,
My heart remains imprisoned,
I cannot hear The Word of God;
I never tried to listen

Hungry, was I, to hear the song,
The chorus that always killeth,
To hear the forbidden melody,
The secret voice of Lilith

But now that tongue has silent grown,
My music’s sad undoing,
No teeth sink into my flesh,
My garden is a ruin

And so I wait for the reprise,
Of the chorus that always killeth;
To hear the never-whispered song:
The secret word of Lilith