Natural Selection

Smashed glass bottles;

thick, translucent

eggs hatching alcohol that

trickles

across the dance floor

like the blood that

seeps

from the cut skin

of the injured,

sharp shell birthing

a new race of poison-veined

monsters with a hundred

amalgamated feet

that stomp; reproduce; sacrifice

another for the survival of the species.

 

There will be no boom or bust:

these creatures are out

for evolutionary success

and do not care

who gets trodden on

in the process.

 

A.N.

On the dark side of clubbing.

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Daynight

It is on nights like this that time

truly does seem

to stand still –

or, at least,

to slip more slowly.

Is it day

or is it night?

Perhaps it is a kind of…

day-night,

for daylight persists

even into the dark.

Tonight is light time.

They are all you can see:

lampposts; overheads; traffic signals.

And the white, white sky

and the white, white ground

and the white, white horizon.

All the people have vanished,

been blanketed,

asleep in their vehicles that attempt

to carry them safely to bed;

huddled in their buildings,

drawing their curtains

and their blinds

so that they can forget what

lies in wait

outside.

 

A.N.

The UK is currently in the middle of a snow storm and it’s. Not. Coping.

These Haiku Can(‘t) Speak

This haiku can’t speak

Without your voice. You want my

Death but I, a choice.

 

This haiku can’t live

Inside your head. If not told

May I please be read?

 

A.N.

Someday I will have the courage and the ability to read these (and my other poems) out loud. But for now, they will have to be content with being read by others. Thank you to all my readers for making me and my haiku happy! They were written in response to the theme of voices. 

Second-hand Home

Kitchen

Crumbs in the cupboards; a single burn-encrusted

hob, ochre and sienna and hot-white

like the midday sun that hid its face

behind rainclouds

on the day that we entered this place;

beaded chains sticky with a substance that

may or may not be bodily,

a goo that is to the

touch twins with the appearance of the brown

marks blended into the surface of the

linoleum floor; a stringy cocoon

dangling from blinds the shade of cartoon snot,

as if housing a caterpillar who –

like us –

is anticipating the “Transformation

of a lifetime.”(Or perhaps

behind the threads a bloodless fly is trapped.)

 

Bedroom

A grey smudge on the mattress, the faded

mark of a woman from decades before;

a diagonal claw-mark on the headboard –

a broken life-line – which makes me wonder

what sort of accident might have happened

here, in my

flimsy single bed.

I am witness only to the fossils.

Haphazard brushes of off-white succeed

a paler wall paint, its secrets too

dark to be obscured by a congruent

colour; magenta stains the carpet with

countries that resemble India and Australia

reversed.

This room was once somebody’s world.

 

Or at least a fraction of it.

 

Bathroom

A toilet seat that shifts and twists within

its loose-screwed grooves; a shower base crowned with

deep slits:

the remnants of an earthquake

perhaps orchestrated by the victim

of a personal or familial

failure;

dark holes brimming with the promise of

spiders and mice

open

into the cavernous hollow within;

drunken lines like constellations,

someone’s attempt at

divining the future,

cling to the wall in flickering

fluorescent light that warns of

imminent collapse;

shreds of tissue adhere to the ceiling,

dead skin peeling

from a back or stomach.

 

A.N.

For my first creative writing portfolio, on the given theme of legacies, I decided to explore the signs of wear and tear that I found in my flat when I first started at university.  I wrote a poem for each room: the kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom, drawing inspiration from James Merrill’s ‘The Broken Home’ and his divergence from the traditional sonnet forms to create his sequence. 

Plane Mirror

I ask myself why I

Search and besmirch with my finger

The unreal glass of a

Plane, inane, inhumane

Mirror. Was this my idea?

For you’re the critic of

The intangible surface of a

Virtual (Impermeable)

Image with its emotions that scrimmage

Across the toss of

Features of an imperfect creature that

Form the Impressionist storm of my

Face. A disgrace to symmetry; the

Reflection that needs your protection

From other imaginary wrongs

Which you and they and I bitch about

When we see them

Through the rough-hewed retinas that

Conceive a perceived facet of a

Being that has, in truly seeing,

Yet to be set

‘Right’ by an equally trite

Visual cortex. A self-induced hex to

Enable philautia to stay stable

Beyond infancy.

 

A.N.

This piece, written in response to the theme of reflections, is meant to meditate on the scrutiny that so many of us put ourselves under when we look in the mirror. We want what we see to be pleasing to others or to ourselves but we are already tainted by societal expectations of what ‘pleasing’ is.