Ward of the Hatter

Dolls, be dolls
you are at a tea party, you are my dolls, and it is hush time.
Paper and card dolls that cover their sticky innards from outward eyes.
My lips to their lips shush!
They’ll know my words and hear my meaning.
Silent sinners, silent!
There is a man out there and he doesn’t want to have cake with his flies.

We make good caterpillars
chrysalis’d in my carded cove
and when the man passes we’ll be butterflies again.

I watch you leave but can see you want a stay,
this be fin, but there is no debate here and you cannot help me,
there’s no room at the inn.
I have them held like a bad kitten,
all scruff of neck and meowing like I am catnip,
left for another Tom to play with,
but don’t worry I play with this Tom and earn me a tip.

He’ll be suede and i’ll be mink, distract him from the truth I think.

My paper dolls
a corner has turned them and they be safe,
safe like houses,
like street lamps and merry-go-rounds.

I search him out, I am his girl friday again,
a moment and a moment only, I’ll be his girl friday again.
If I am back in his arms he wont chase the chase for a while,
but I’ll scratch him with a needle and he will feel no pain.

No mummy don’t look
I be a filthy girl and have no other dresses for church,
close your eyes mummy I be a fast girl
just be them like daddy and they’ll be gone soon and I
I will be your Wily Thing again I promise in a new starched dress!

He always tastes like copper,
no pomegranates in my mouth,
just copper and sand like when I had buckets and seashells under my hand.
He likes it when I lie, lie but not lie like not truth
or sly truth, but lie like sticks in the river, like a still thing.
He is quick and slow, slow mind slowed by the needle kiss,
dirty whore, she slaps them up but make them sing!

There is a dark wet place of me now,
my paper dolls have hidden shame faced
and you poke at them with dirty fingernails, soft brain, hard intent.

Swell To Unwell

I bathe the water in myself, wash it clean and towel it dry,
puff it with talc and turn it out, clothed and made up all pretty.
Pretty soon it walks and talks like me, and I have been played.
I let it slip between late covers, crisp itself up to my side
and slide a covetous arm over me as if I in sleep know nothing.

Mornings I wake it with smiles on bread, cups of help,
and let it waken to the sound of bin bags filling, emptying.
I pack its suitcase and usher it gently out the door,
waving as it departs, await its return and ask of its day.
Courtesies take seconds and that is all I can give right now.

– Time struts up to us and winks a little, a sass I acknowledge
but say little of in case I am heard. It is not the place or other.

Weeks pass and slowly I let it turn me over, face down,
drown resistance out of me, smearing lipstick and dreams.
When it breathes a kiss over my skin I try to soak it back in,
to hydrate my self with myself but find a dry mouth,
parched and parted, only leaving me to follow where it drips.

– There is a life that does not stand my stead anymore,
but curves my thoughts to a different stepping stone.

I try to stroll it but slip on the adjective of feeling,
this foreign familiar of wetness floods beneath my bare feet.
I choose the slipped life, or the slipped life chose me.
For I have no band aid, no life-jacket, and I am displaced
by the memories that now are not mine own, not mine own.

I have become the paleness I was in comparison of,
The cup and not the water, and there’s no way to swallow.
I watched it sling on my stilettos, click the heels
and saunter its way to my home, to leave me standing
water drenched and waiting for the house to land on me.

www. it

There are no picket lines
no marches
no sits ins to stand ups no walk outs,
protest-less, prowess-less,
no cry of anguish
or shaken head of disbelief
just a whirring calm of selfies
and pretense of bold exclamations
about some such thing or other.

Is that what the decade will remember of us?
Short-lived boasts or blurbs about nothing in particular?

I long for the rally
the demonstrators
the do.
I long for the movements
that meant a move to something…


But I, like the others simply hash-tag my days.

Dead End

With a hand clamped over my mouth
and moist breath on my neck
the future dragged me into the ally
where it was dark
where trash cans held the past
seeping out olfactory accusations.
The breath shunted its way out of my mouth
as decision slammed me against the wall
stole my dreams from out of my bag
and yanked the possessions of possibility off my wrists.

I staggered from the dark
shell-shocked, Stockholmed, still,
and saw unfamiliar faces,
places of unrecognition before me.
Self-consciously, social-consciously
patting a hand over muzzed up hair,
I retreated into that alley,
glancing briefly at the sign nailed to the wall
understanding now that this was where I would, of course, be.


You parted seas we parted ways,
two movements that caused no waves
no shipwrecks no messages in bottles.
It was as though our Poseidon hearts
turned to sand,
turned up side down for the counting
of new hours, deserted island thoughts,
and envied the Siren’s call
that thrashed men against rock,
that wages war with a song.

written 20.10.14

By The Hour

They were soft sells those days
an ease of look, a tilt of mind,
bleached view not rose tinted
and every touch a hand wash.

Time has left its mark
the circles of ID play over parchment
that used to be skin,

now i am covered,
a map of embraces that pressed too hard,
bruised, rosy apple in colour

User abuser, self harmer heart
i play at coveting but am master of my art

written 10.10.14