IV Anger

First word I learned was No
but I couldn’t speak it
It stayed inside and kept company with Please
& Stop
Anger
Knocking on my door
but i couldn’t answer
Too busy with pain & sadness
Cold & keening
Rushing through my legs to run
to the front door
Knocking
Come out and play with me
Let’s run and jump and yell and stomp
Clap clap clap – To me!
I peeked through the mail slot
but i couldn’t see
So I poked through 1 finger
and crooked it ’round a long & leathery one
Sparks! Oh the sparks were like little fireworks
Travelling zippy & skippy up my arm
Hot red light arcing between us
Back & forth
but i couldn’t reach the deadlock
It nodded and poured itself
molten
Melting the lock
The knob drips
The door is cinders
It flows up through my feet
and I am simmering metal
Fever-sweats and roiling smoke
We walk away from home
Crushing footprints into the sidewalk
scorching the grass
Wildfire
Come! Come let’s go!
We shall pop by old friends and pay a visit to ailing relatives
We’ll run and jump and yell and stomp
Sizzling asphalt as i start the car
Wheels spinning flashing fire
Red Orange Pink Blue White
It isn’t hot in this furnace
It’s so cool, man
Tap tap tap
Hello
They don’t remember me
But i do
And i remember them
Zap!
It’s so nice to see their big costumes
framed in the doorway
Filling it up with bulk & sweat
I blow them sulfur kisses
and incinerate them where they stand
Zap! Poof!
Anger howls with joy & tidings rain down
Steaming us smooth
I’m practising new language
So duo lingo this, bitches
WHEE!
Shimmer hot
My ally & I
baking in the heat
But cool inside like ice cream pie
Melting alloys weld us together
and my hand is leather
Solder on, Soldiers
I’ll slap you on my wheel and spin you into art
Step into my kiln ye philanderers
Opportunistic predators and paedophiles
Their eyes are paint pots become splashes of colour
Drip drip drip down layers of beryl beauty
that i made
That I Made
Anger beats out
Blazing golden fury
Bakes it hard & furious
But i am cool water
Volcano depths shake & crack open
Filling vases and cups and coffee table centrepieces
with lava
I drink it down
Wipe dripping fire from my lips
Delicious
Walk me home now, friend
You’ve been a fine playdate
We should do this again sometime soon
See you tomorrow!
Cool azure sleep & dreams of soft oceans full of silence
Yes, susurrate
Shh…

~ Mine, June 28, 2021



IMAGE: Science in HD



Morning Gardens

I met my love
on a telephone line
His voice like good, strong coffee
with a spoonful of sugar

He held my hand
in his warm tan one
Big knuckles and fat veins
knit through my long fingers

My love finally kissed me
underneath a sliver of moon
The smell of his skin
opened me up like Primrose

He trembled like mosquito wings
as I poured myself languidly
moving down the length of him
like tree sap, smell of cinnamon

I took my love home
to my chaos and echoes
He hung all my damp linens
outside to dry

With his face in my neck
I called him My Love
and he gathered me closer
his breath deep and quiet

My love for him filled me
The empty spaces
outside me fell silent
while inside I whispered

His smile is soft
as a cat’s belly
I wound his hair ’round my fingers
and wrote our denouement

My love is sleepy now
and it’s high time for rest
I brush his cheek with pale lips
and splay a curl on his pillow

The echoes are gone
yet the whispers remain
They travel over my skin
drying my tears

The sun spills morning
over dew on the leaves
making diamonds i might trade
for passage to tomorrow

~ Mine, June 25, 2021



IMAGE: Nareeta Martin

Forbidden

I love things it’s not cool to
Like my fanny pack
and cheap candy
Little foil-wrapped Easter eggs
too sweet and waxy
I dig them out during long walks
Trying to concentrate on the road
while sucking chocolate
from my fingers
It holds the tinny shreds handily
so i don’t litter

I love things i’m not allowed to
Like women and weirdness
and arrythmic dancing
I am out on the floor alone
my body supplicant to the bass
My arms reach out to the edges
and beckon them
join me
Yes everyone’s watching
They know nothing
but they might learn

I love things i’m not permitted to
Like my staccato laugh
Vivace forte
And my big legs that spirit me away
from them and pain and death
They falter not
and keep on truckin’
Girded with hard hot muscle
I pound every floor
and shake the air
with seething joy

~ Mine, June 17, 2021



IMAGE: Tim Gouw

But I

I would prefer to be mad about it
but i’m trying to be a grownup
I call myself a late bloomer
but i’m old for crissake’s
I built this space around me
but it was given to me for nothing
I wish she was still here
but i cannot thank her now
I only have people in here that i want
but they don’t return the favour
I wonder about wandering
but i’d get no understanding
I know that i’d be on my own
but i’ve always been alone
I thought i had someone
but the desert between us says no
I think these plans are wise to make
but i sure don’t want to make them
I might find a grand adventure
but i think i probably won’t
I will have my self-respect
but not much else besides
I can’t say i didn’t try
but everyone else probably will
I suppose it won’t matter
but oh boy i know it does
I’d like to be in a rage about it all
but i’m just sitting here crying
I feel relief in the decision
but it hurts all the same
I don’t want to do this
but i might die if i don’t
I am already saying goodbye

~ Mine, May 10, 2021

IMAGE: Atlas Green

Pockets

I was watching a program on telly
when i heard a noise outside
I immediately looked to the corner of the room
while i hit the mute button
My ears open
my eyes wide
I got up and walked to the door
First i turned off the porch light
then i looked out the glass at the top of the door
Seeing nothing, i flipped the light back on
I checked the front closet
and once again flicked my eyes to the corner of the room
My soldiers stand ready should i need them

I was walking the dogs down our old gravel road
as i do most days
When i saw a vehicle turn down our way
There’s only one other family that lives down here
and that’s not their car
I do a quick itinerary:
Wrist, check
Pocket, check
Fanny pack, check
I can let the one off her leash
Her growl can turn blood to water
I go over my scripts
I relax my grip as i see it’s the beekeepers

I was downstairs doing laundry
folding warm clothes to make room for more wet ones
Woolgathering
while soft voices murmur in the background
My son yells at his game from upstairs
and i ask myself what i would do
if that was someone else’s voice
I look to the pile of 2X4s in the corner
as i pat my back pocket
I would get up the stairs as quickly as i could
I could get cornered down here
but there are potential weapons in each room
and i’ve practised with all of them

I was eating lunch by myself
at a restaurant i like in town
I can see the kitchen and it’s always sparkling clean
which cuts down on my anxieties
There’s a man eating alone at another table
who catches my eye with a smile and a nod
I was just idly looking around while eating
I immediately go over my scripts
What i will say if he makes small talk
What i will say if he compliments me
What i will say if he asks me out
I check for weapons should he follow me when i leave

I was lying in bed, waiting for sleep to come
with my husband snoring beside me
He sleeps like the dead
So for the thousandth time
i run through what i’d do
if we were confronted in our bed
by violent intruders
I remind myself where the weapons are
I go over how i’d wake, help, save my man
I pat my phone
911 is programmed in and it’s a 1-push button
Whether they stand there and threaten or come straight for me
i know what to do

I was walking home from seeing a movie
I went by myself because i can do that now
No one else was interested or had the time
I like it because no one talks
and i’m not tempted by real buttered popcorn
being devoured by greasy handfuls beside me
It’s dark and there are many more men than women
I love Godzilla
What can i say?
I have quite the hike home
I could save time and energy walking as the crow flies
but that would be foolishness
I pat my pockets and stick to well lit streets

I was weeding the front flower garden
when a strange car pulls into our driveway
We’re at the end of a No Exit road
and i’m not expecting anyone
The things i carry when i head out into the world
are inside in a basket by the door
but there’s not time to get them
I go to our big dog on her chain
She’s already straining to get at him
I can let her off the leash
which will free me to go for my weapons
I check that my face is implacable
I do not smile when i’m alone with a strange man

I was showering before bed
after watching a documentary on a woman with a stalker
He tormented her for years
before he finally killed her in her home
I think about what i’d do if someone came for me
right here in the bathroom
Wet and naked in the tub
I know what to do with what’s at hand
Hot water, soap, detachable curtain rod
Sitting on the toilet
I have help in my pants puddled at my feet
in the back pocket
There’s help secreted in the basket to my right

I have a thousand little plans
for a thousand situations
I have been leered at
approached
chatted up, asked out, complimented
followed, chased, pawed at, catcalled
And menaced, threatened and name-called
when i deny them
or i just don’t respond to their liking
and their little feelings get hurt
I expect the unexpected
because it’s not so unexpected in my experience
They’ll come for me as they’ve always done

I was dreaming one of my favourite dreams
I’m in a huge fancy mall and i’m buying everything
Beautiful clothes and so much jewelry
and i’m eating steak and cake
I can feel him as soon as he arrives
He’s on the periphery watching me
His eyes are glittering and hot on me
It burns and i feel filthy
But i know i’m dreaming and i’m filled with joy
Step into the ring, fucker
I swallow my triple layer chocolate and ganache confection
I call him to me, laughing while i hover in the air
Gathering fireballs in my hands

I have told you i have plans
but not precisely what they are
I have told you i have weapons
but not all the whats and wheres
I’ve mentioned my scripts
but not regaled you with their cutting eloquence
I cannot, for the world is what it is
and it is full of people who will do what they will do
I will do whatever i must
which includes my constant mental rehearsals
My feints within feints
I will bend like a reed in the wind
and i will get you before you get me

~ Mine, April 27, 2021



IMAGE: DESIGNECOLOGIST





Ready For The Sun

I’m not entirely sure i’m ready to move on
but moving on i shall be nonetheless
If i need to look back
to step back
even to revisit
then so be it
For some days now though
i’ve felt something settle into my blood
my bones
I can see it in my eyes
my visage
It’s in the way my hands set to a task
in my feet as they form their steps into the rug
the hardwood
the gravel road
I feel a pull in me
It’s not intellectual
as is my usual way
Nor do i feel it in my heart
that alternately achy and bursty palace of hot muscle
It’s lower by a turn
My solar plexus and my navel reach out
towards the road
Tendrils of diaphanous wishes shooting from me like silver threads
a diaspora from my own country
I will travel far from home
as far as i may
I was only born here
I don’t know what’s out there
but this was never my nation
and i am ready for new lands
This place i’ve grown up in is beautiful in its way
but the familiarity of it cannot penetrate my despair or self-pity
My knees wake me in the night
craving adventure
bucking me out of the warm softness of my bed
Yes
i’ve worked hard to carve out this space around me
and it’s pretty and safe
but the rains and winds
and welcome swelter
are too well acquainted
It’s time for me to move on
I look at the horizon and it always glows
It could be a train
sure it could
but i don’t think so
Poetry aside
my friends
i think it is the sun
And i am through with crying and feeling this sad

~ Mine, April 13, 2021

IMAGE: Helena Gunnare

Up

Sometimes, my thoughts become so small, so insidious, that they slip between cracks in my brain
becoming trapped in the earth beneath

It’s here that the light is so very far away, and i know that i am a thing from the deepest darkness
made of hard clay and sand

My senses fill with ancient life, and i’m full of death and the taking of it, the taking and the making of life
persistent in the ever blackest earth

I shift dank fragrant soil towards the sun, the softest, tiniest glow, from the hottest brightest life
and i will myself up up up

Away from the deep cold lands, away from my old evil, from the dirt of knowledge that i’m a grave
My will leaves me for the sky

Up up up, through the crack from which the promise of gold beckons, a blur in the night
showing roots pointing to a better place

I know that i am the thing in the deep, but i reach high, scales and caked fingernails
poking through like a dandelion on the sidewalk

The sun bakes my scales into skin, my clodded earth now eyes and mouth
I walk clumsily because i’m always looking up

~ Mine, March 10, 2021

IMAGE: istock

Poem From a Woman*

sittin’ in my jammie-jams because hey
at least i got up
and that is a THING
and as i gather myself for whatever i can put into the day
sitting on the red couch that i always wanted
-who knew it’d only cost me fifty bucks?-
i look to my right to adjust the ponytail-loopy-messybun
that’s designed to keep my hair somewhat cute
with a minimum of hassle and no brushing
BONUS
and i catch sight of my ankles
and the tops of my calves
the mirror is floor length – not even my biggest one
i have them all over the house
because my house is small, broken down a bit
a dream house built for a grandmother-in-law that i never knew
decently built in the fifties but now in need of repair
sorry house but mine comes first
and the renos have been a nightmare
so for now what you get are mirrors
because back when i thought you weren’t good enough
i was binge-watching HGTV
and they all said mirrors make spaces look bigger
and i am so bigger
too bigger
and i knew i needed bigger spaces, even if it was an illusion
so my little crooked house thanks me sarcastically for the band-aid
by showing me my cankles and tree-trunk calves
-but wait now-
i’ve been tapping my pontoon feet on my old hardwood floor
listening to Amanda Palmer while jigging my body on the red couch
as i pull bits of my hair here, there
pleasing myself with the arrangement
i watched so many videos
and tried so hard
but i could never master the casual flare of the messybun girls
i gave it up long ago like it did the makeup toots
-holy christ so many hours of that!-
i discovered i was almost as unskilled at drawing on my face as i was on paper
and my Twin and i realised i’m not that girl
and she even gave up collecting makeup we never used
and i discovered that i like a defined brow
and lipstick
and a bit of blush
and that’s pretty much it
just as i like my weird loopy-ponytail thingwe
i’m staring at myself in my smartass floor-length mirror
looking at my ankles, my calves
feeling the hot acid accusations being thrown
hearing decades of admonishments
i turn into it
and i am become the mirror
and in it we are infinity
i can see me all going back
further and further and further still
and i see that i have made these ankles thick
and i see that i have carved these tree trunk calves
they are me – they are who i am
they are who i want to be
i put down the magazines as i have turned off the makeup gurus
and the hair tutorials
and the home decorating channels
and the goddamned celebrity interview programs
and the accursed diet mavens
-omg god could they fuck the most off already?-
i stand up and move into my kitchen where there are more and bigger mirrors
i face them – daring their judgment
standing on my hideous stained linoleum with walls in desperate need of paint
clownfeetthickankleshugecalvesthunderthighsfatassmonkeyarms
tootalltoobigtoomuchtooloudtooweirdtoopoortoodirtytoolosttooalone
and i turn
and i leeeean into it
the images repeat, each folding into the next
i grew this big because life worked me out
i grew this tall because my children needed shelter
i became this loud to drown out the hate
i became this weird to survive poor, dirty, lost
and alone
i always wanted a red couch and i found one for fifty bucks
i filled my house with mirrors because i wanted my house to feel BIGGER
i filled my house with mirrors because i wanted it to SEE
my house is exactly as it should be
the decorations are not tricks or masks
they are adornments
we are all of us decorated as i intend
i had thought i was just beginning to create myself in my own image
but as i look from breakfast-sausage webbed toes that are so well suited
to both gripping the earth and swimming in deep waters
to my Amazonian body
to my tattooed lips and brows
to my wacky-ass hair conglomeration
i see that i am fearfully yet wonderfully made to my own specifications
standing there in my faded pink, Paris-themed pyjamas that make me feel cute
i look just as i should just as i want just as i wish
i have been creating myself all along
and no fashion or lifestyle or home improvement magazine
television show or internet channel
could have even come close to doing this spectacular a job of it
i square my fantastic football shoulders
and walk into the kitchen
i’m hungry
I believe a grilled cheese and ice cream are in order.

~ Mine, November 2, 2020

* Decided last night i was going to post “poem from a girl”. This morning as i went to do it, this piece came flooding out of me. I almost like it, and i no longer hate the other one. There’s an obvious lesson in that of course. It’s a lesson that i am, and will continue learning.

IMAGE: Christian Mack




poem from a girl*

The sweetness that comes with remembrance of youth was never mine
Instead a tree overladen with bitter fruit
bowed to the ground and scattered about with rotten flesh
To taste of it is to be spirited away to Nowhere, Neverwhere

My body flows through with its potent poison
numb and heavy and dully moving for no reason save because
Twisted roots bequeathing its sick mythologies
filling me up with wrongness and setting my feet on the wrong path

Oh, but where i walked there grew green things
My calloused feet yet kissed the earth and warm things drew close
to drink in my beauty and rest awhile in my light
They whispered secrets before they flew and i marked where they went

A simple song of a little wild thing, sung in fairytale keys
She turns her bright chubby face towards the horizon
Her upturned nose as dear as her tremulous voice
She stops when i stumble and beckons me on to the glow in the distance

~ Mine, September 29, 2020

*Sat on this one for a long while. Couldn’t make myself trash it, but couldn’t get myself to post it, either. Poetry is a loaded subject for me to begin with, although not for reasons of my past in a direct way (indirectly, everything is), but when any writings pop up in my drafts folder that aren’t from me specifically, i struggle. This one makes me cringe. Frankly, i hate it. I think i know who wrote it, and she’s 8, and i find connection with the younger parts difficult. I decided to post it because i’ve been trying to connect with them, to shed the disgust that came on me due to what was done to me, not who and where i was age-wise at the time it was done. I can see the distinction intellectually, but to live with it as truth and function on the daily from that understanding is quite another thing.

IMAGE: qi bin

A Day in the Life

As i arc ’round the sun, swinging
like Bakshi’s Spider-man
speaking laconic and sly too early
grinning and breaking my bones
drowning in my own sea
My toes can’t reach the bottom,
so i make macaroni and cheese while
Doc Ock nullifies my ache
in muddy greens and go-go music

Rounding the bend i see them, screeching
squealing like happy little Piggies
Awkward pause, that heart-drop moment
and i am the Wolf, interloper
eating smirks and snorts
chewing my own tongue
choking on bricks and mortar
A grim existence, grins like whips
Grandma blows the house down when she gets home

Consumed and consuming, too full
to be refilled, bellying up for
Nothing, acrid air and flesh like dust
seeping in like night
settling in like decomposition
hop, hop across the floor, petit jeté
lying in wait for the sword through the mattress
Drinking welts and eating bruises
Hercules and Rocket Robin Hood feed me breakfast

IMAGE: Enrico Mantegazza