Tag Archives: kindred collective

Imaginary Taxidermy

Once it was done, it didn’t feel like such an unnatural thing to do to an imaginary friend. I mean people do it to their cats all the time. And cats only are only in your life for a short time, 15 years if you’re lucky. They do it to moose too, and deer, cutting them down like trees, without even so much as a “Hey how’s it going”. They mount their heads on walls of damask and velvet and thick wood panelling. People stand beneath them drinking spirits on rocks and smoking, saying things that don’t really mean anything to anyone, and they just have to be there, absorbing all the smells into their petrified hides, the sounds into their ears stopped up with stuffing, the sights into the orbs of glass eyes.

This makes me feel a little bad about Claude. She’s been a part of my life from my own “Day of Remembrance”; the oldest memory I still have  is of her blowing out the candles on my fifth birthday cake. I’m almost 25 now.
I didn’t choose her. If I’d had the chance to choose, she wouldn’t have been taller than me, she would have had blonde hair, not black as tar black, and she would have been a bit more into books. She would have been named after some sort of flower; Bluebell, or Daphne, or Rose, or maybe even something a little weirder, like Foxglove, or Witch Hazel. But Claude was not the kind of friend you invite into a safe, warm, childhood place. Claude was a force of nature, a spark thrown into my life from a fire burning in some distant (perhaps even parallel) universe, setting fire to the edges of what’s been mapped out for you from the moment you were born.
Her eyes flicker in firelight; glass buttons stolen from the sleeve of an old cardigan. Built up like Frankenstein’s Blythe Doll, she sits with those eyes facing south, and all of her limbs point straight down to the ground. The moon has carved out a hole in the black velvet of the universe, and it casts light upon her, witchy white light rendering her features paler, her black hair bordering on blue. She’s wearing one of my old doll dresses, the sleeveless sheath of dark green velvet with the lace collar, that she had admired so when she thought I wasn’t looking.

I hadn’t wanted to do it. But last week she came to my window, like she does every other witching hour, and said that she was going to leave me. She said that I was getting older, too old for her, and that she needed to go. To find the small sparks of another child’s imagination, and unearth them, like seeds.

“But what if I just don’t let it,” I said. “What if I just shut my mind off to everything, so that nothing gets out, and nothing gets in. We can just stay in the apartment, I can get my food delivered from the organic co-op. We can have slumber parties that last for days, or weeks, and I’ll sell all of my things that aren’t books on eBay so that we can pay the rent. I’ll write books about all the places that don’t exist. And I’ll write books about you!”
Claude had smiled, had swung her legs over the window sill, and had shaken her head so that her black tresses pooled around her like tendrils of smoke.
“It doesn’t work like that, sugar” she said, “It wouldn’t be fair. I arrived to nurture your own spark; it was the brightest, and the strongest that I had ever seen. And we sure did have some wild fun, didn’t we sugar? But now all of it is failing. The colours of your magic are fading, the outside grey is seeping into your mind. Maybe I wasn’t around enough. I’m sorry. I really am. But you’re growing up. And when you grow up, things start to become impossible. That’s no way for someone like me to live, and I’ll be damned before I get myself trapped like a relic in a realm of impossibilities.”

Her voice was thick with pity, and with sadness, and when she said those words, the G-word and the U-word that I have always hated, and have heard often, I felt the heat behind my eyes, the one that made everything seem all red and blurry. Early onset rage, Claude used to call it. “You already are damned,” I said to her.

And I suppose I could try to tell myself that I hadn’t meant to do it, that it had all been accidental, like the time I had accidentally petrified the neighbour’s cat because it scratched my hand. But in my heart I know it’s not true. Honestly, I am happy that Claude didn’t leave. The thought that she will never be able leave me again fills me with a comfort that I have never known. I don’t even mind that she can’t talk; it means I’ll get more work done. All she has to do is occupy that empty space beside me, the one at my writing desk. And if she really wants to speak, can speak through me.

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Roadkill

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i)

Get stuffed

Stuff it down

This stuff

Dress it up

Hang it on a wall

Forget that

It’s not real

It’s not alive

Can’t feel a thing

Touch it

It’s not real

But look how life-like

Struck so sudden

Like a truck

He came out of nowhere

Like a door

Flying

Shoes lost

Glasses gone

Blurry

All the way home

ii)

Raccoon splattered a few hours after we said hello

Earlier in the night

I was okay

I was all right

Smash like a truck

Snap Splat

I saw your pelt

Hands still

Little paws

Still intact

But your innards were left so far behind

Shining black

Street light

Missed bus

Mad girl taking snaps of a dead raccoon

Howl and heave

Along a dead road

I cried for you raccoon

You and me

Guts smushed

Inside innards out

Forgot to look the other way

Street sweepers will come back for you another day

Who will come for me?

iii)

And just when you think there’s no way you’re coming back from this one

They puff you right up

Stuff you

Fill you

Prop you in a fancy pose

Stitch your smiling face back on

Glass eyes stuck

Look how life-like

Look how real she looks

But not really

Claws

Skin

Pelt

What she was

Is gone

Faded

Forgotten

Black stain on the pavement

Hymen spilled on his childhood mattress

Thumbnail torn in the hinge of her trailer door

Bobby pin rusting at the bottom of their backyard pool

Fill

Stitch

Glue

Twisted in the memory

Hardened by the stuffing

Fur still soft

But not alive

Making me want to cry

Empty painted eyes

So many dead things hanging on these walls

I will never be the way I was

Taxidermy can’t fix this

My insides out

Still on the road

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Human by Daughter

“Underneath the skin there’s a human/buried deep within there’s a human.”

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by | June 8, 2013 · 2:38 pm

Cut and Paste Poetry: A Macabre Project

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1.  Lunch Hour Macabre

Death.  Hold on.  Come back.
Clutch at my young throat
This is a game we used to play
But I was so afraid
Carve away the stone
How do they
Climb the stairs
Break down the wall
Retreat to the sparkling darkness holding hands
Until I faint 
Press close enough
And it is quiet.
Kiss felt like
I was trapped in memories
Against the cold stone
I like the way it feels
But for now lungs breathe
At the end of the hall she passed a note.
Not the end.

2.  Setting Sun Macabre

When I think of how
They lowered me down
In reality
We set each other free
How real then kissing was
And now take take the reality away
We found our first escape
And then take your hands away
I wanted to know
To feel this kind of release
Fuck a boy
Until darkness rises
Like a fog off dead meadow
Let me fall
Peaceful edge
Cutting soft light of the living

3.  Macabre Cross the Line

You’ve now seen the other side, far away.
It wasn’t all that.
Insane laughter
Back of the bus
All that
Rain
Once again you are you, in love
These aching lungs
Wasting the present day
Caverns of lonely 
Aching veins
I don’t know this is the end
Deafening call
I don’t know but let the pure love kill

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Mad Girl’s Love Song by Sylvia Plath

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I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

 
 

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The Anti Spring

The Anti Spring

Spring is not due for another 6 months
and I’m feeling upside down
for you the world is bursting out of a
snow laden dormancy
you are breaking free
like new shoots of milk young blades of
grass
safe to bask in pools of
winter sun

And I
I am riding the cycle
on the downturn
all curled up and dried out by the heat
of this oppressive summer
where the fires raged so fast and
so far there are barely any leaves left
to fall
I am listening for that comforting crunch
the cool bite of a
kinder wind

I am in love with the
in between seasons
the turn of expecting earth
and the obscenely sweet smell
of decay
the swell of the new buds and
the fall of the
leaves in the park
the weakening of the sun
into patterns that seem
almost human

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Time Piece

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I exist

In this instant

 

The time is now

There’s only so much time

Where did the time go

Time goes by

Quickly now

Shifts to then

 

There was this time

In this one hour

When I felt real

 

Three blind mice

Running behind

Didn’t get there on time

Up the clock each day

Wasting hours away

 

Forget to set the clock

All the time in the world

Forget to flip the switch

Turn back the day

Hold on tonight

 

And that is time

 

Time is up

One last time

Parting frozen moment

Seconds tick so loud

When the alarm sounds

 

I hear a heart beat

My time peace

 

LT

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