Skin is an unexpected enemy.
Gloss of green hums like wasps,
shines as if a loofah had sloughed
off the roughness off a tree.
Five tastes dull the senses. One taste -
a quick rush of spit, familiar and I
outrun nausea upstairs.
Emerald razors roar up the flume
broken apple glass slices
soft pink throat, whispers unfair.
The world burns and strobes pulse
vision doesn’t run to the edges
zooms in circle transition.
Five colours blind the eye, five
fingers racing and hunting to buttons
shake the maddening mind until
even autocorrect doesn’t undertand.
to lie down a hot face on the floor.
Confusion is a necklace of buttons:
driving, Bundoora, toilet-training, poetry,
playgrounds, wine, eggplant, worry, friends,
Kirsty, Dawn, Claudia, Mallory, Jessie, Stacey
and the other one. Appointments, tremors.
I agree with you about ninety-eight percent
But the other two percent scares me
half to death. We’re talking about two things
as different as day and night.
When breath beats staccato spasms
there are ten seconds to get low.
Twitching hands tick away to silence.
Disco lights circle at carpet level
withdraw their stingers, return to linear.
Overheard conversations about
Neighbours return to
Why do people think so little of death?
It’s not an art, even if you do it
exceptionally well. Someone got up
off the floor shaking and alive.
I hope to hell it was me.
Today's poem is based on suggestions from six peeps:
- @sorrel_smith: “Baby-sitters Club”
- @margolanagan: “Include a flume, please”
- @_boobook_: “Buttons. Humming.”
- @ernmalleyscat: “Lao Tzu and Zooey Glass”
- @realnixwilliams: “hearing the neighbour’s conversations”
- @eglantinescake: “Fainting and vomiting #writewhatyouknow #gladyouareok”
- @skippy_2: “Skin polished with a loofah”
- @GretasTARDIS: “broken glass”
Ever thrown up an apple? Really painful. It's the skin. Slicey. Ow. I went all vomity and fainty at work yesterday (must have been something I ate - oh, the irony). I'm a bit of a seasoned fainter (never go with me to give blood, it's messy). I am always irrationally surprised to hear that some people have never fainted. So this poem is kind of about what it feels like for me - I get really hot and everything goes black around the edges, like tunnel vision. What I can see starts to pulse, and my breath turns to little short puffs that I can't control. My hands start to jerk and can't hold on to things, and at that point I know I've got a few moments to lie down before I keel over. Then it's a bit like that point where you're almost awake from a dream, and random images just whirl around in confusion. Then, like sleep-walking, I start to realise where I am (the floor) and what's actually going on, am somewhat embarrassed and feel sick. Fun!