Violet descending, grieving light in the white shade of a jungle that strangled the dinosaurs, Venus; the fly trap for a summer’s notebook of fine young cannibals along a coast of blazing sands where saint Sebastian dug down into sin and beak broke into the belly of all they had named as enchanted.
The Blue jays had departed to other places; blond shores after a season of too many browns.
In the operating room, sugar is a dose of doctor caught between cause and the cost of being peaceful after the dry heat of all that horror, of sliding desire back into the parts it cannot dissect and the Drum not bright enough to silence.
Rainbows were only reflections of light before they became pathways of pride.
Suddenly, in the last summer of kindergarten, I am closeted case in the examination room of teenager; turning Tennessee pages tentatively, dreaming of tasting how it would feel to catch fire for a moment, in a summer that didn’t burn, on a faraway beach that stank of wolf’s breaths and flesh eating birds; a desire to be torn from the choke of all those Venable pearls.
Lonely is deeper than death, alphabet blocks are only clutter in the darkness of a closet. A lobotomy is a cut cold to consideration.
This was one of the first plays I saw the movie version of when I was trying to come to terms with my own identity. It’s difficult to understand who you are when on TV or stage they were not even allowed utter the word gay or homosexual and a lobotomy was ordered for someone who tried to explain it- Let’s just cut it out! I read this poem on the Pride episode of Eat the Storms, the podcast podcast, one of two poems I opened the show with. Spotify link below but also on Apple, Anchor, Google, ITunes, Breaker, Castbox, Overcast, Pocket Cast…
Everything is about numbers; numbers to hold, numbers to call, numbers to count you back to when you last came, to where you came from, to the miles you’ve moved since then, the things you lost, the weight you gained, waiting. Everything is about numbers; race, pace, the breath you chase, the peace once possible, the place you never knew you were meant to be in in relation to where you ended up, in its place. Everything is about numbers, 2 metres apart, 4 doors to the left of where you thought you were going, 3 corridors in mourning grey, daisies on the floor, 1st floor, cubicle number 5, patient number 196629. I was 18 the last time I was here. I was 4 days in the 1st ward where 2 men died on my 1st night. They moved me to another ward, later when they figured out I wasn’t to be number 3. I stayed 5 more days. I’d been courting glandular fever- the kissing disease, the doctor said with a giggle and the nurse smiled, all 20 years of her wanting. It had been 2 months since I’d told someone I liked boys instead of breasts. 6 months after lying in bed with the kissing fever I was kissed for the 1st time on the 8th of august. I was 23 days away from 19. Sometimes you catch the disease first, sometimes it’s all in your head although the comfort of kisses can’t be calculated on charts like the outcome of an ECG that happened at 13.46pm.
You had long black hair, a horse’s mane that I held as we rocked through early years and a red furry coat I never stopped to question while we rode across uncertain terrines that echoed his silence and her longing to not give up anything again. Even then, even at play, I knew their mask of a marriage ran short of imagination. I cut your hair later, amid the tension but before the divorce, when I would have cut any cord at the time if it meant getting out, getting away, me and a red rocking horse with a mutilated mane, wishing, later, that things we cut could find a way to grow back,
We painted walls into the paradise we wanted before I learned colour had its limits. Borders had been beaten into our canvas long before I touched the brush with borrowed thoughts.
We painted orange coloured stars and wild hopes onto concrete walls and I trembled as she told me the parrots, perfectly positioned in stuffed stillness, pranced on their perches while I slipped to dream.
We’re taught what is truth, as children, not told to truly think. He was tipped in black with no name, a night sky forgotten by the moonlight and we- impressionists, desireless to be outlined in darkness.
Children not the creators of fact but the little sheep who come to submit to the not-so-subtle suggestions.
The trail is not simply sewn with a needle of the sun threaded through the eye of the moon even if I sometimes feel the pinch of that warm stitch as I reach out to that small step claimed for man. Thought is not always free from guilt- we cannot get close to the sun without waring the scars, the Id js designed to devour, the ego to condemn before the conscious can even come close to consider its part in this creation. This skin does not melt under the burning sun but it froze once, under a certain stare, as a child, in the doorway between that blinkered ray of innocence and the ice-cold stare of understanding. We are all patchwork paths- joined at seams and torn from others, some scattered careless, despite all the patterns etched into our pinched skins that freeze but do not melt though I felt the heat once, on the other side of the world where the moon seemed so much closer to the sun, but our egos never found a compatible way to align our sides and feed the Id that itched so. The trail is not simply sewn with a needle of the sun threaded through the eye of the moon.
I was tall, when I was a small child, but stopped later, somewhere in between adolescence and giraffe.
A giraffe would be impossible to sit behind at the cinema.
In the cinema, in Amsterdam, people talked like it was a cafe with an incredibly large background TV and didn’t seem to nonsense from the hungry mice beneath the low lighting.
Light can often distract decisions on how to dress in the murky fog of morning when the mirror won’t help explain who you are.
I helped a passenger on a plane, once- I placed their bag in the overhead compartment and felt abused later when they claimed the total width of the arm rest as if I was only too willing to be a servant to their sovereignty.
A king in a castle is not always as fulfilled as a man, quiet, in his shed or the kid reaching down to grab a hold of happiness while growing up, somewhere in between adolescence
I do not play chess. I grew bored of board games at an early age, as an only child who lived in his head where fairies were magical and not mauled. I guess I had enough make believe on my shoulder, already. I was ultra-shy as a kid, I guess I didn’t understand who I was and tried not to get tied up in conversations that consisted of ruminations of who I wanted to become. Identity was difficult to determine on a blank canvas that already had sections sinking below the surface. We had a cherry blossom tree in the front garden that rained pink petals onto the lawns in late spring, I remember standing under them in a white suit, new holder of the holy spirit and wondering if it would make it any easier and what is the weight of a knot. I would slay dragons for you. I remember saying that over and over, I’d heard it once, in a movie when I was too young to know how many people I’d say it too and how few would slay even a tame dog in return. I know who I am, now since those quiet days under the fall of the cherry when rainy days meant silly games and the coming of the spirit didn’t have as much effect on my soul as it did on my wallet. I have tasted more, too- beauty, bounty, boys, bitches, sunsets and saints, gods and clowns, serpents that tasted sweet and a certain kind of cute that gave venomous a new name. I too have found the bitter side of who I can be, they’d put me on a pedestal at a young age and left me there, perishing alone, at that height and since then my knees have always trembled at the sight of stairs. I’ve climbed right down since then and managed to make my way out of the gutter while putting together my own idea of what it takes to embrace the darkness while shining like a fucking star.
I played waiter on weekends to women and their well-worn wishes
and worries, after or in between or in avoidance of the shopping
and washing and cleaning and stewing, mothers sitting with mother,
packed onto the flattened pile of the green velvet sofa, scorched
with leftover tunes from parted parties and expired expectations,
milk and one sugar, black and boiling with a biscuit, coffee for her
up the road with hair in a chignon as if she wasn’t from round here
and later, maybe, a glass of wine squeezed from a box with a tap;
thinking we were posh when they changed our name from Coolock
to Clonshaugh. I was a willing waiter to these women on weekends
when they dropped in through the backdoor, over the mopped floor
to avoid the hassle of husbands and kids and all the copious concerns
that came a calling, later, looking for coins and cuddles and timings
for dinners and hoping for a spare biscuit while pulling up a chair
in the corner below the parrot; puffed up and padded on his perch.
I was a waiter, waiting, back then, on the far side of understanding,
wondering where I fitted in between the orders and observations,
teas and coffees, the women congregating and the men left waiting,
adding the cream and dunking biscuits and pondering the placement
of that perfectly positioned parrot; puffed and padded upon perch.