// the bones of the artist //

img_9882

I love that you do not shy away from your humanity,
divinity,
possibility,
uncertainty.

I love that you move into them, inhabit them, crawl inside them and open up your soul before them, allow yourself to become what they are in full tragic erotic chaotic bloom.
It takes my breath away to know you let them fill you, emerge from you, surround you,
have you,
have you,
have you.

And in that holy space, in the infinite spread of that rarely glimpsed suspension, you are as still as you are in motion. You become the flesh and blood of every creature ever born into this madness.

You allow their wisdom to touch you everywhere.

When I see you, I feel all of this written across the sky inside my heavenly earthen body.

Because I know in the secret chambers of my wild heart that which you know in yours:

that if it is not tearing at the bones, it is not poetry. 

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My book Vein on Amazon.com

Poetry for sale in my Etsy Shop, AllisonMariePoetry

// face at the window //

white-stems

Forgive me, beloved,

for I know not what I do

with this terrible

overwhelm of beauty

before me, beside me,

pressed at the doorframes of my

deviant mind.

Her soft body maddens the veins,

mutilates the heart,

she dwells

and swells within me.

~

And I am afraid this is who I am,

this bend in my wrist toward crooked things;

the way the pain pins her mesh sick wings

to the whispering floorboards.

Is this who I am.  These expert invisible hands.

I am troubled of this knocking

knocking

knocking

knocking

against the spine cage.

~

Disrobe me as the moon clutches at the

breast, at the stomach, for absolution.

I am afraid this

must be my nature,

the threading of my distorted face,

for this howl floods the house with silence

but never does she leave me.

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// forbidden suns //

white-roses-4

How long since the feeding.

How long since the fragrance on the mouth of lilac

and quiet freedom.

I am curled against my self awareness

somewhere far away, the mad dog of eternity sits waiting

to collect my freckled footsteps,

moaning and sighing up from the ground.

Rose petal tea. I am wearing ivory cream sheets,

gazing out across

the sliding rain

through the burning bedroom window.

Purple ivy over stained glass clouds,

picture frames cutting off

my gray hands.

Smoking cigarettes made of fog,

drawing frankincense from

the throat

of all the silent kinds of

threats.

And so the day begins

to fall upon the slope of my shoulder blades,

sitting here alone

above a strange

world.

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// give me more //

white-roses-3

We are foaming at the mouth with heavy greed, how it glides through the veins like silk silently threaded alongside joy; thrumming steady but out of sync next to the beats of the hurricane heart you gave away to the ones who do not know how to see the light in the darkness.

Let them go and use your hands to carve a home for yourself inside me. Cross my heart, cross my fingers, untie my secrets and hope to die.

We want more when contentment would require much less. I wonder when you reach for me, pull me close and try to hold on to something neither of us are sure how to name but we can taste the mad tugging in the jaw when it aches, do you feel the stars blowing in the wind? Do you feel the jealous sun sliding through the winter trees, heavy with hunger for centuries of sleep? As you place your fingers in my mouth and I obey, I am not here in this body you crave, I am above the world looking down upon this strange darkening scene where we dissolve in the wine on each other’s tongues, and dance and fall and crumble and disappear.

Dolls that will break are already beautiful. Horses that will run are already free.

I hear the voices of the loudest ones and they sound like insanity draped over a vacancy no one dares to speak about, while inside my skin my sins are screaming. They sound like white noise caught on plastic bags floating down the heels of a crowded city street: dirty, disregarded, excessive, hollow.

They sound like nothing and yet people hand over their lives, their last thin dimes, and their slim cut souls, all these little people like insects trapped, going numb waiting for it to matter, for someone to notice that no one notices anymore. We are homeless, we are hunted, we are gladiators. We are white pearl eyes on fossilized  butterflies, we are filthy money down the drain.

Your hand moves toward me slow, a subtle gesture in the mysterious dark. It does not remember as the heart does not forget, where you and I have been. The body in slow motion betrays the mind, you are warm flesh and erotic games beneath the cold night air in my lungs.

How these fingers thread through the bones, whatever it is we are searching for lives forever in the paper tissue dreams which never left us. They can never leave us. They are the fabric of the moon, the place where the bodies of every ocean in every galaxy connect. They are five thousand red mercurial suns setting along the cyclical edge of time.

You at the back window seat of my mind, you on the lines they took from my hands. How I adore you. How many bloodstained years have I been gone.

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// a taste for curious things //

white-roses

You are only love, a child of the underground, flower of the morning carving images on the walls all night; soft petals dripping from your heart and your thighs and your feet, cold are the hands which once held me.

To sleep is to breathe oceans through broken windows, to leave is to return, to break is to be rebuilt without bone, without walls. In the depths of your bruised ribs I am swimming, I am changing from sea creature to animal to woman to lover as you paint my lips from blue to lavender to vanishing.

This fervent greed which laces his gruesome tongue through your palms, which suckles the wrists of your newborn skin, it is passing, passing, passing through you, you the arms of a finely crafted instrument, you at the beckon of deliverance, glistening nude in the bronze cured sun.

Would you kiss me here in this baptismal fire. Would you and I – the way we taste like salt on the froth of a moonlit summer, the way we plant our ivy gardens beneath the rings around our fingers – would we turn out to be the end of every silent war, the end of the currency of blood, would your chest to my chest be the end.

You are safe, you are full in your emptiness, you are listening and this, beloved, this listening for the fluid stars in the womb is the promise of our kingdom to come.

I would trade everything I wish I could become for a taste of you.

You, closing like a flower, lips together, legs together, hands together, the hymns and wails of all the world sewn together since the beginning.

My only song is your prayer unspoken.

My love is the echo of a word worth believing.

You are fading because you look like me, and I am fading, too.

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My book Vein on Amazon.com

Poetry for sale in my Etsy Shop, AllisonMariePoetry

// bodies, traps //

single-flower

Soft wet lips left behind on glass,
a white flower petal cuts the words
away from my hands.
None of it matters like everything matters;
we fall behind as we fall into
and out of
step.
Sand in the swollen nets of time. Thieves
lifting the broken windows of the
night.
We explore each other,
take into our mouths
the devil’s handiwork.
Love is tragic, love is
collusion.
When you look at me like life and death
are on the same side
I want to inhabit the palms of
your soul.
Hold me until my ribs dissolve into stars.
Forgive me these secrets: what we give away
we keep.
Where the rain floods the inside of the caverns buried in the mind
you approach me, tuck away your knives
as your skin becomes wings,
in the darkness we are free
as you
lose yourself and come for me deep.
You fall, you follow, you run,
you return before I’m ready.
Drink me like bloodthirst
sliding through leaves.

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Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World

ten-windows

~

“Poetry often enacts the recovering of emotional and metaphysical balance, whether in an individual (primarily the lyric poem’s task) or in a culture (the task of the epic). Yet to do that work, a poem needs to retain within its words some of the disequilibrium that called it forth, and to include when it is finished some sense also of uncomfortable remainder, the undissolvable residue carried over – disorder and brokenness are necessarily part of human wholeness.”

~ From Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World,

by Jane Hirshfield

~

This book is a poetry lover’s feast. Best read slowly, consciously, fully awake and wide open. It is the structure of a poem turned outward, an exoskeleton. It’s what we are made of, what poetry is made of. Creaturely and ethereal, thick with deep wisdom.

And even though Ten Windows reveals in intimate, intricate detail, what a poem is, what a poem has the unlimited capacity to do, the essence of poetry – its divine mystery – remains.

Perhaps this is what the best poems do for us. Expose our private existence to itself in ways that make us at once comfortable and uncomfortable with what we are.

A beautiful poem, a good and true and raw poem, covets us, wants to know us, wants us inside. The art and the artist need each other. Require each other.

All life, it seems, craves a relationship with itself.

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