Tag Archives: fiction friday

after emily dickinson

after emily dickinson

the batteries in my torch died out early
in my teenage years when I tried to
illuminate myself so I fell to writing
epigraphical epithets in the moonlight
with a label maker, affixing them in lines
of chapter titles to catalogue myself
before others blacked out letters
leaving the white space like stars
new constellations to navigate the unknown

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Doubts Like Roses

tend doubts like roses but treat happiness like weeds
which sprout in the cracks of the daylight hours
are cut down and thrown into the sunset fire

turn the epidermis of the earth
crack the bones and extract the marrow
mix in the ash and pack the compost

around the base of the roses. And when the petals
have fallen in their season, prune with abandon
until a solitary stem remains

Cups of Tea

throughout our lifetime
over cups of tea
we told each other the same stories
as elegiac etiquette
an oral tradition where repeated
narratives were whispered
turning them into myth
a stain at the bottom of the cup
and in the retelling became gospel
a chip in the enamel
until we were finished and
we rinsed the cups, washed them
and put them away to reuse
tomorrow.

The Overripe Plum

I ate an overripe plum
on the afternoon
of my father’s funeral
eaten a day or two late
piercing the skin, tight and purple
the soft flesh a mushy pulp
first the sweetness
chased by the sharp, acid tang
digging the stone from the 
centre with my teeth
while the juice dribbled down
my fingers, a puddle in
my palm

 

Sometimes you have moments when an idea forms as a cohesive whole and coalesces like breath. You quickly capture the moment, preserve it and share it. This is one of those times. It’s not autobiographical, simply an idea sparked by something I was reading and afterwards reminded me of William Carlos Williams’ poem, “This Is Just To Say.”
It’s not summer in Australia (we’re heading into winter) but plums have always been one of my favourite summer stone fruits.

Handwritten Pages #30 Carapace

“Every time you slam the door a fairy loses its wings,” her mother yelled down the hallway.
She leant against the door, watching and waiting for the wings to float down; one onto her pillow and the other beside the laptop on her desk. Their thin, steel-like frames and metallic membranes were added like plates to the almost-finished coat on the dressmaker’s mannequin.
Slipping it off the mannequin and dressing herself in it, she confronted her image in the mirror, the light reflecting a kaleidoscope of colours on the carapace she wore.
I will not need to fly, she whispered, when I can wear armour.

Handwritten Pages #29 Conflagration

To scorch the earth
requires, firstly, a match
to spark the conflagration.
In it’s wake a monochrome
palette of ashes; the static
of a black and white television.
The white noise of silence
mistaken for a perpetual
round of applause.
Except you burned the memory
of why you did it in the first place.

Handwritten Pages #28 Mix Tape

We were two halves, each a side of a mix tape. Made up of songs that created us in our understanding of the other.
Yet your memory of me is a bootleg, a copy passed around by word of mouth. Continually copied until the reproduction was a new original you made of me in an act of collective forgetting; when the memory of the song was more powerful than the original.
How often did we have to respool the cassette when it caught in the tape deck; wind it back on with a pen jammed in the cogs? I doubt you’d recognise the original tune now that it’s stretched and warped.

I want you to press “Play” for old time’s sake. Would you?