the heart laid bare

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the curse
Under seige
Beyond the blues
Introspect
Balloon
push
a strange distance
SWIMMING ALWAYS DOWNWARD
A ONCE-FAMILIAR LANDSCAPE
No Apology
the thunder
tinder
VERBAL PORTRAIT OF A CAT OWNER
critical shortage
the sky we thought we knew
CIRCA SOLEM
almanac
baby
dearest orlando
FIVE MONTHS
A LETTER TO THE UNDESERVING
cactus heart
would we
the fall of giants
paradise lost
Dad
after you've gone
time
a smile from the eyes
trepidation
why so cold
fix this
swallow me
untitled 8
insular
cry alone
robin
quicksand
laces
D.I.S.C.
stripped
waving goodbye
your open eyes
enemy within
mortal
untitled 4
sleepless
OUTSIDER
untitled 9
come dream with me
in the face of adversity
one word
the dark of the night
untouchable
one and one makes two
you burn me
see me
this shaken core
my lover
helen
my room
his words
foolish
rita
chalk drawings
the longest night
stupid skeleton
CLOTHES MAKETH
FIRST LASTS
STELLAR
TODAY
I WATCHED A MAN DIE TODAY
THREE WEEKS
this slippery slope
untitled 5
Arrows
First Kiss
The Talk Of Love
Nicotine
Blackout

the curse

This is our curse.
 
We bleed.
 
Every sob from your lips is a wail from ours, of heartrending sorrow or blackest despair.
Every cut is an evisceration, gouging deep into our innards.
Every pinprick a mortal wound,
Each scratch a scrape across our bones that leaves fragments in our marrow.
 
We are conduits of human emotion;
We exist to channel those things you cannot say,
Shape the things you cannot yet recognise,
And through our fiery souls reduce them down to a milder form,
Fit for general consumption.
 
We are the ones who lay on muddied ground,
With the things you dare not think soaking into our coats,
So that you may step over us without soiling your shoes.
You may stand in the gallery with head cocked,
Assessing the sound, the meter, the patterns left on canvas by our tattered hearts
As they were kicked across the floor.
And you may smile, faintly understanding,
Or shake your head and say
“That is not it at all.”
 
We bleed, over and again,
And we wear out our shoes from kicking,
And our eyes from crying,
And our coats from soaking in the feelings of others.
We bleed out.
But we bleed better writing, better art, better music.
 
This is our curse.
This is how we serve. 



© mjc 06 October 2017

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Under seige

Stood amidst catapults
Raining down boulders
Against back and shoulders
That bleed and lacerate
While these seige engines,
In their cruel parody of water-dancers,
Load and fire, load and fire
One after another.
With a constant opening and closing
Of implacable petals,
This vicious flower answers only to the seasons of its destruction.

© mjc 03 October 2017

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Beyond the blues

I need the pain of blood and ink and steel,
Punishing words into my flesh,
To fix my soul upon this body;
To hold it in place like a struggling butterfly
Pinned to velvet without benefit of ether.

The soft stroke of piano keys and guitar strings
Release these blues-flavoured tears
That stain their way down my cheeks,
And trickle into the hole in my chest where my heart used to live.
Melting ice leaves a vacancy;
And Nature, they tell me, abhors a vacuum.
 
I try to guard myself
With turned-in shoulders and hands crossed
And nails that dig at my collarbones;
But fragile fingers make a poor shield,
And my ribcage creaks and snaps
As the entire world tries to force its way beneath my sternum.

I no longer know if I am big enough to contain this,
Or if I will simply burst at the seams,
And end in a tragic shower of beautiful words
Written on strips of ticker tape that fall quietly onto the pavement.




for O.S., with my thanks

© mjc 03 October 2017

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Introspect

Would I be terribly out of line if I said
I miss you?
It's only been three days.
I know we have talked every day,
But there is a you-shaped hole in my world
That aches as though it were forged in fire.

I am sorry.
Through ignorance of the law I committed the crime
Of seeing a man for who he is, not who he might someday become;
Of seeing a man for who he could be, and not merely as he stands;
Of falling in love with both.

I placed no conditions upon my heart when I plucked it from my breast,
Gently brushed away the frost of the years,
And laid it in the sun to warm
Someplace where you might find it,
And hopefully
Pick it up.
There were no hidden wires or traps to snare you.

I wonder whose Medusa heart you once grasped and held?
That lured you with promises of beauty
Then erupted into serpents that sank their fangs deep,
Spreading their venom so far beneath your skin
That when you came across my own, awaiting you so invitingly,
You instinctively recoiled, then ran
As if the Wild Hunt were baying at your heels. 

©mjc 26 September 2017

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Balloon

[potential anxiety trigger warning]


I am crushed beneath this ceaseless weight that pushes upon me,
As though I'm a balloon,
Being compressed between broken glass walls that creep ever closer together.
An impenetrable ceiling blocks my escape to freedom,
And downward holds only murk and gloom
And drowning in the merciless grip of hidden tentacles.
My position here is so precarious;
The points and prisms of these walls are so firmly against me
That any move will simply slice me open,
Leaving a limp, bedraggled husk of once-colourful vibrancy
Hanging empty upon the shards
From a curl of bright ribbon
As a mute warning to others.

© mjc 26 September 2017

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Biography

Daughter, sister, aunt, godmother, friend, public servant; self-confessed hermit, confirmed cat person, sporadic baker, irreformable yarncrafter, voracious reader; occasional wit, voluble shower vocalist, frequent sacrifice on the altar of brain-to-mouth filter fails, unrepentant purveyor of puns and dad jokes, writer and poet.

I have always lived by the theory that no matter what you do for a living - if you are compelled to write, if you wake up in the night to scrawl the contents of your dreams on a notebook beside the bed, if no event in your life seems complete without you recording it, if you are drawn to comment upon the world - then you are a writer.

These are my words.