FOR BREAKFAST, FOUND POEM FOR BLOOMSDAY

 

Relish inner organs,
beasts and fowl-
roast heart, slices of all kidneys.

In the kitchen, breakfast,
light and air, out of doors,
everywhere peckish.

Coals reddening.
Sideways, squat. Soon. Mouth dry.

A leg with tail, on high, fire.

Lithe black form- sleek hide, white butt.

She understands. She wants.
She can jump her nature-

curious squeal.

Seem to like it.
Shame.

He
poured milk
on a saucer, on the floor.

She cried, running.
Weak light, she licked lightly.

Wonder is it true,
if you clip them?

  

Found poem by Damien B. Donnelly

based on opening page of Calypso in Ulysses by James Joyce for Bloomsday 2020

SHORT STORIES OF FEAR; WATCHING YOU WATCHING ME

 

 The Dead one

I woke to a mouth already swallowing the claustrophobic earth that mounded itself over my naked torso like crumble over stewed apples waiting to be crisped but I couldn’t feel the warmth of an oven, even buried, as I was, so close to the sparks of hell but, instead of digging down to join the demons dancing in the darkness, I ate my way up and out, through the crunch of earth now meeting the acid of my stomach, past the worms that wanted to wind their wills within this festering flesh still clinging to the bones of a body the day had pushed deep down into the darkness, although nothing works alone; the night has a moon while the day bears that ball of fire which burns through all the possibilities the light can shine upon and so, too, my demise did not happen alone but had his cowardly character carved all over its bloody finality. Oh, how we come and covet and then cum and croak. My name was Benjamin Grant when air was my everything and I wanted to taste all the world had to offer, when I thought I had found it all in him and his horny little hunger I mistook for happiness. Well, now I have no more need for a name and taste only decay, destruction, and a desire only death knows how to discern. And that desire will see his downfall.

 

The Other One, Still Alive

He woke up under a twisted blanket of sharp shadows, startled by a staggered pull of starved lungs begging for air and felt, instantly, the restriction of cold hands upon him, as if trying to close the circumference of his neck, all the while knowing the owner of those hands was nowhere near, all the while knowing what had become of him, all the time reminding himself that that man no longer sought out any air to fill his lifeless lungs in a body that would be nothing more than rotting flesh for fowl figures to feast upon, deep below the daylight, far from sight. He sat there, sweating in the middle of the bed with a fat man snoring beside him and, he imagined with a grim, his Tesla igniting gossip in the gobs of the next door neighbours, a bed once their bed, now his bed, recalling how he had dug, with his own hands, this former lover’s final resting place, a place he hoped never offered any rest, deep in the forest where only savage swine sought shelter, where only callous crows came to caw. He recalled the spot where he covered the cadaver, the one he once so openly cavorted upon, in the coarse, comfortless earth while he cried with a jolt of joy on front of the sudden stillness, the smashing silence that seemed even louder than the muffled screams his boyfriend had made the moment he had pulled the plastic bag down over his head from behind while he had been waiting for him, as usual, just as he had done every morning, for the previous 7 years, by the breakfast counter, in the kitchen. But that morning he suffocated from lack of air and a gulp of coffee he never managed to fully taste.

 

The Dead one

You came into the bathroom, once our bathroom, once our choice of towels and tiles, once the place where I would take you in the shower, against the glass, my fingers in your mouth, my breath on the back of your neck and your body bending into mine. You came in and stood by the toilet, pissing, without lifting the seat, without lifting up the fucking seat. You were still half asleep, totally naked but half asleep. You wore that nakedness often on front of me as if it was something I could never again fit into. You were always standing, posing, looking for the right light to fall upon your flesh. I had thought you meant to tease but now I realise how you saw it more as a torture. You didn’t notice as I moved from behind the door, didn’t hear me step into position behind you, you didn’t even hear me as I sniffed your scent one last time. But there was nothing. I was dead, I didn’t breathe, didn’t sleep, didn’t fuck, didn’t piss, and I couldn’t even smell. You had taken all that from me, a month ago, on an ordinary morning that had barely found its light. You’d grown tired and wanted new attention, someone new to look at with admiration so you could look back and swoon at your own reflection in their eyes. Maybe that was why I chose to break one of the mirrors in the downstairs hallway, earlier, before I’d crept up the stairs and took my position. And then, there I was, standing behind you, not fucking you, not smelling you, no longer a lover of you, raising my right arm, bringing it up and out and around until the shard of glass I was holding caught my reflection just before it found the softness of your socket. Did you have a moment to catch the look in my eyes, watching you, in the glass, before it pierced its way through your eye?

 

To be continued…

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

BOY SO BLUE

 

Sitting in a park in Paris, France as kids climb
trees they’ll soon outgrow and birds busy
their feathers in a dance of freedom we’ll never know.
I fall through your thoughts as someone tickles
strings on cords too distant to be discovered
and wonder where you sat; on the orange carpet
caressed by concerns of a girl growing
through her own song of sorrow? Next to the guy
with the hat and harmony, no doubt, who guards
his guitar from the bright light, in the as yet
starless sky, as if he knows how celebrity
will one day cripple his creativity. A blackbird
bows before me, burrowing his burdens
into the road, looking for crumbs cast off,
for a little refuge, like you did, like we all do,
a little distraction from the circling sun
and shining skins blustering under bland and blander.
Sitting in a park in Paris, France, as if in a trance
from 22 to 42, when I first found favour
with following you; back room, no light, bedsit;
we were masters of the Marais, simple singletons,
senselessly sinking innocence into the marshes,
courting kisses for a single spark and rising
over all those losses we thought at the time
to be utterly insurmountable disasters.
But they were just dances, like these tiny birds
around me now, prances we perform, up and under,
over and through. We are all naked birds flirting
with honesty and invisibility under the sweltering sun,
sometimes remembered, sometimes forgotten
before begun. Sitting in a park in Paris, France,
still trying to understand the message in the melody
underlying and still trying to comprehend
the cords forged in the flesh of the boy so blue.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a repost from my Joni Mitchell Series

DOWN THE DRAIN

 

My body

my body has a memory
my body has a memory of you
my body has a memory of your skin.

My body

my body remembers
my body remembers how it bent
my body remembers how it bent to your beckoning.

And yet

my mind
my mind has washed itself
my mind has washed itself of your name

like it was no more than scum
to be scrubbed.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

This is a re-post

SHEDDING

 

When all the fuss has faded
like guilt that glides from gloss,
when I’ve pulled back the hair,
when I’ve crept from the clothes,
when my flesh is all that you see
and there is nothing left
to hide the parts of me
I never wanted to be,
Will you…? Will I…?
When my tears come like the floods
with no temperament to temper the tempest,
when there is no laughter to kneel neath,
when I bare no gift to beg you like me
and there is nothing left
of the roles I’ve roped myself into,
of the masks I’ve twisted my face around
to veil my own identity, Will you…? Will I…?
Will you be able to read
the life lived between the lines,
will you see the soul
that slipped within the shadow?

I wrote it down
but ink fades faster than these pains
that have patterned
themselves into permanent
beneath this skin
I’m now unseasonably
and unceremoniously shedding,
scars that parade now in the spotlight,
in the parts of the play
I have been permitted to perform.
But they are scattered
between the scenes,
broken into awkward acts.
When the curtain finally falls
and I cast off the costume, Will you…? Will I…?

Will you understand what it took to get here?
Will you look further than the festering flesh?

I am more than just skin on the bone.

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

From an earlier poetry series entitled Between the Bone and the Broken

THE CURRENT OF CREAMY COFFEE

 

I sink beneath your skin
like sea
sweeping over sand,
you, a thousand grains
glistening
while I wash over you
in warm waves,
your salty sweat

sweet

below my current.

I slip between your lips
like cream
coming into coffee,
our senses fired
like frothed fluid
as we pound passion
into fragile
flesh

once fresh,
now feverish,
once timid,

now tasted

once begun,
we can never go back

You are now the sea
and I the sand,
upon your back,

I am now the coffee
and you have taken

to the cream.

TRIMMING THOUGHTS LIKE PURPLE THORNS

 

I take
this thistle
like I take these words,
I trim the thorns at times for desire
to be softer, sweeter, so lines can be calmer,
cleaner. I seek out the heart of the whole, for now,
for here, for this moment, for the sentiment of this song
that comes for but a season. I seek not branch nor stem, but the life
that lingers where flavour is found, where thoughts flow freer upon the page,
no longer rooted under rock, no longer locked under fear. I pierce through firm flesh
like this pen plots it’s point into the page, holding out not for the green flesh pleading for a place in purple but for the truth buried beneath the skin we have learnt to thicken,

toughen.

I cut away
at words wasteful
and suck the substance
of the tale from the source

below the scale.

   

All words and photography By Damien B. Donnelly

28th poem for National Poetry Writing Month

Lunch today was homemade mayonnaise and steamed artichokes and so came the poem

A LOVE OF LAND AND SEA

We were the writers
Of our own world,
You and I,
Creators and curators
Of our own course
And from that first embrace
We built the blueprint
Of our future
Together,
We burnt our imprints
Onto each others flesh
And built a life around
The connection we made
Far from a world
Waged on wealth and war.
We were land and sea
You and I,
For a land without sea
Is just barren and bare
And sea without land
Is but droplets in the air.
We were land and sea
You and I,
And in our rising
I became the half and you
The rest of the whole,
The compliment
To the combination,
Perched so often
Neath star sprinkled sky
Staring at its bounty
Where our fate lay in wait.

By reaching out
I’d found you,
By looking back
You’d seen me.
Lying body upon body,
Soul upon soul,
Strength relieving weakness,
Playing in the fields
Of our own new world,
We created a new life,
They said,
One life,
Our Life.

We built a bond
And blurred the lines
Between you and I.

We had fallen
Deeply.

How did I let that go?

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