Sunday, May 25, 2008

mary bell

all that mattered was to lie well, lay near the well, lay quiet now. she presses on his neck. what happens now. do they die? what quiet curiosity in children. now: grass and purple weeds and he. a playful discovery--broken scissors tearing, her initials lazy and scraped. it isn't that bad; we all die sometime. she cuts his hair. she leaves the scissors behind. she leaves the boy behind. he has not taken a breath in some time. i couldn't kill a bird by the neck, she says. it's horrible, that, she says.

in a possible future, police do not catch on and the town quietly forgets. the tear in her dress has no meaning, now; there is almost nothing to regret, now. hear the birds here. hear the train near here. hear the school letting out for lunch and she among them here. what happens now. shouldn't he be here.

a possible past: wait now for a terrible gentleness--fingers on his neck and press. he is small and still. he still believes this is a game. mary bell knows not why she wraps his neck. but what happens if you choke someone. where will he be next. now: a bird lifts and, startled, she loosens, he runs away.

murder isn't that bad, ripping your dress isn't that bad, staining your knees isn't that bad, breaking the scissors isn't that bad, tearing his skin isn't that bad, hiding away isn't that bad, blaming another isn't that bad, and now a confession isn't that bad, and your new home is cold but isn't that bad, mary bell, murder isn't that bad, mary bell, ten years old, isn't that bad, mary bell isn't that bad, mary

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy


Before sweat gripped crowbars, three strands
of blonde, the boat imagined, or plaster
of Paris,

Stephanie, the first to touch Ted's wrist, skin
purple with vein, stops courting.


Now teeth pocketed skin, blood
in the carpet grain. Brain, too--
red and yawning.

I feel like a
Ted says.


The picture shows a raised palm, the start
of a smile. Now even the attractive
fail--how unnerving

to look at Ted and think


A chair.
A crowd cheers when the hearse and Ted pass.
And fireworks,

lighter fluid, a barbeque pit, somewhere a first kiss,
fruit sticky fresh, children circling in play.
also using for inspiration purposes.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

let the shower warm the pipes. do not undress.
sit in the damp room away from the mirror. it is
warm and quiet. do not cry. or go ahead and cry.
choose the option more difficult. breath holding prevents
crying. eye pokes provoke it. ask: could this
make things harder? if the answer is yes, do it.
gather from the kitchen vodka or beer. wine is for
quieting sadness; whiskey, anger. no ice.
ice is for parties and this is silence. remember:
the crowded cab ride along central park west,
feeling that it would not be the last.
it was, but at the moment it was the first of many.
when the steam makes wet the toilet and walls
and skin, empty the glass in the sink. but for now
make no phone calls. touch the grout in the tile.
any hair found, throw away.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley

The shortest day of the year has come
and gone. It is lighter from here
but colder, still. The woman writes for six months
about the man before he touches her neck
where the hair is soft and

like the young girl's, tempted away
from the fairground, her hair so
blonde and thin and lit by the flash
(-ing lightning, the night stormy)
of the camera, her skin bare her mouth gagged her
arms bound and an audio tape recording.

I've lost track of how long it has been since.
Your charcoal hands touch mine and flinch
now. But I will do as you ask. First, you must ask.
First, pour yourself a drink and tell me
what you like most and do not be scared when
I become it.

The woman meets the man at work.
She cuts her hair and wears lipstick
careful and red. The change comes slow,
then speeding. She finds the girl
to help bury in the moor. The woman discovers
not love but something close. I find

your hiddens: the girls glossy and small.
For two weeks, only oranges. My hands
smell like a grove. My ribcage becomes a toppled
branch. Ask for blood and I will give you blood,
the woman said to the man.
I said to you.

People say the woman was polite and
still, always, an animal waiting to dart.
How tiny, those hands shaking as she touches the
girl's cheek. As she passes her to the man.
As she hits record. When the cassette runs out,
the girl's still screaming.

It is silent now. Snow falls slow and you are gone
and I apologize, I was never as dedicated as she.


now the quiet grows in the shape of people. the touch goes unappreciated. the touched leaves with out exchanging good-bye's. here: the absence of scent. maybe flowers, maybe dirt. the city dulled my senses, but a bird lifts, becomes a dot, and i notice. a dog runs free. his ears move as if to join the bird. now the bird is gone but the dog remains. there is winter and then spring. the mourner becomes the mourned. here: i carve a picture of your back into the backs of trees.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Facadism, or Cutting Off My Nose to Spite My Face

The pipes froze so the water won't warm.
I get back into bed damp and hope you reach--
you don't. You roll over. You leave. You don't call.
I eat toaster waffles alone and write a list that includes
snoring and how thin you want me. It is now
possible that everything was a lie. By everything,
I mean your mouth and the hairs that reach
your eyes. By everything, I mean all ten fingernails.
It is very late at night and I sneak to your house
to leave the iron on. To run up the electricity bill,
not burn the place down. Small victories,

your lips. Nothing in this house smells of you.
You've only changed a few dirty glasses and
a sheet off the bed. To clarify, I have
nothing to miss you by. The things here are not yours
but not mine either. Not my contacts
by the sink, or my stale bread, or my shoes
by the door. I consider putting everything
on the curb. I want only things you touched,
please. My legs can stay, my breasts can stay,
my nose must go.

I am trying to hate you. So far I kind of dislike
your tired mattress, the duplicate books on
your shelves, the laughter of Mexican children
through the walls, the walk from your home to mine.
The old courthouse halfway between looks old only from the outside.
Inside is all marble and gold, inside is spit-polished
clean the way I too am washing the sand away, rubbing
shoe wax into my joints. I'll take a lover, leave the faucet
dripping, get to work late, start drinking.

You don't walk me to the door. You appear in dreams,
almost. What strange systems of sadness have we arranged.
I look at a picture of your ex-girlfriend and her body is
like mine only more; your mouth, a finish line.
This could be relief.