Well! Summer is on it’s way! The girls have stopped wearing, well, clothing in general, and the boys are all out throwing frisbees and sucking in stomachs, and it’s still too cold for me to take off my scarf… I will never be a true British girl, methinks, a southerner at heart! The gigs this week with Martin Newell went well. He’s a cool guy, that Martin. Everyone should befriend him and read his poetry. He’s very funny onstage and tells lots of good pub jokes that I am unable to rewrite here because I will ruin them. I did a new poem when opening for him, called Dandelions, which is a death and destruction poem really, but which opened with a bit of relationship comedy that essentially followed a well-spoken version of this:
Why do boys even bother giving you flowers? What does it really mean? When they give you chocolates, it’s obvious: it’s like, “here, be sweet!” Or “here, get fat!” Or “Please don’t hit me, I know it’s your time of the month right now (insert big cheesy grin here)”. But Flowers? They can mean one of two things… 1) “here are some flowers, girlfriend, just like these flowers I want to pollinate you. Why do you think they call them flowerBEDS” or 2) “Here, girlfriend, our love it in bloom like these flowers, but in 3-5 days they will DIE, just like our love”. So the point is, giving flowers is a funny funny tradition. This poem is about the connection of flowers and death. To the audience reading it here on the blog, it’s a performance piece, so bare with it’s awkward stanza and line breaks. I’ll try and get a recording up at some point.
They seem simple don’t they?
But to my dismay
the bouquet he gave me,
before the outside divide,
Which hints at imprints
of shin splints
and now what does that say!?
the delay of death
A quarter inch off
the supporter board
of the mortar
here and there
and no prayer can compare
to the unaware millionaire
tonguing a chocolate éclair…
when he’s shot up in the air
sirens blare, the rare scare of the flare
shoots up in despair and the whole
affair is declared unrepairable.
An unbearable parable
of a wearable-on-your-sleeve
culture. The vultures twist overhead.
The unsaid tread of God’s heel
that peels back the wheel to reveal
a squealing baby piglet, throat slit,
knees knit, lips split with spit,
making it transmit the most atrocious smell.
And we yell for redemption
with exception to the rule,
cruel and unusual punishment
sprints for the end zone.
We’re almost home, the Bible screams,
everybody come clean!
My self-esteem is failing after nailing
my ninty-nine theses to door,
unsure to ignore the rapport
of your lore anymore. The chore
was never completed.
I’m seated now,
messing about with a boy who
knew you enough to construe
a made-up story.
It’s boring, exploring
all the ways to hate you, berate you, intimidate you
for giving me dandelions,
like if tying Orion’s belt into knots
actually impressed me.
You detest me.
Protest all you want,
but typewriter font
and nonchalant taunting
just doesn’t seem daunting,
Quit every bit of toilet shit
and get out.
to the implied symbolism of
our love… and in front of
God, and above all else,
I want a heart-felt, seat-belt
kind of a gift.
One that doesn’t sift between life
and death, and each breath
doesn’t have to be the relationship’s last.
In contrast, you surpassed expectations.
Complications in relations are implications
of failure…. another word for death.
And when those flowers you gave me died,
I lied if I implied my love didn’t.
You could be hit by a bus tomorrow,
at least then I wouldn’t know the sorrow
of breaking your heart, a million pieces apart.
And letting Cane take the blame for my insane jealousies.
You are on your way home,
dead in a coffin,
I’ve locked in the dead dandelions with you.
Don’t screw this up. Death took you when it wanted,
and you didn’t make it here.
I did steal that measuring cup, the one split up the side.
It’s hiding behind my Vogue magazines
because you’d never throw them out.
Vogue didn’t die. You did.
You who gave me dandelions out of spite
so I might just laugh when it happened.
But it felt like my face got spat in,
and you and I never got a chat in
to straighten out what needed to be straightened.
So I stretch my hair stick straight at half eight
every morning. Pouring my heart into the mirror
so I can see clearer beyond you’re gone.
And our song plays on in the background:
the slamming screen door, the trickle of the tap,
and the kettle of boiling water.
I’m home! you shouted.
I’m putting lipstick on, pouting.
The last outing we’d have.
You laugh and hand me dandelions
picked from the side of the road.
You say, they seem simple don’t they?