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1983-2015
tearing the rag off the bush again
Lauren Herrera eavesdrops on fairies PDF E-mail
I am an analyst, Miss Mary-ann by name
    I am the Antichrist, I am free on Friday night


What His Fairies Fear


“Hey, how’s it going?”
the reply, an indistinct noise-like retch, maybe
Now you pluck the peach-coloured gel pen out from between the cushions
(is it dearly departed?  or merely discarded?
did someone pick their nose with it,
or use it for some other unmentionable purpose?)
Quit being such a priss
Pick up the damn pen and write:
    
    “I’m going back to where it never began
    and in the beginning was
    It’s all over now for you and your deranged cousins
    you promised it wouldn’t hurt the first time
    I may never return
    i’ve never felt this way about someone before
    But if I do, treat me kindly, kindly
    i ask if you want to come to mine next time
    Don’t tell me I’m a martyr, a hero
    just for one day
    Don’t shove shiny medals up my ass
    on the sweet-n-sour grass
    Don’t make me remember a thing
    you and me and yesterday and tomorrow
    And if next week, I’m dead
    oh god yes like that
    Move on, and live, and let, die.”

now turn the page:

    “No.
    You don’t love me, not really.
    If I meant anything to you at all,
    I think you’d be pleased to let me come and go as I pleased.
    get over it
    say you’re sorry to see me go
    then get over it again all over
    the rainbow, so
    fucking
    high flying feeling, just like you’re being adored
    Spontaneity is the spice of fashion
    blue lights, dry ice, ambient trancey synth-based drone
    Fill up on music at funerals for
    friends of Dorothy
   
    Shut your eyeballs and think of sailors
    fighting but really dancing, in pairs
    I am an analyst, Miss Mary-ann by name
    I am the Antichrist, I am free on Friday night
    I am the Walrus.”

this is true, most or none of it.
have you ever gone up to hell on the hollow stair, or breathed
or died in the dark, or been sixteen and wished for cheekbones
or breathed, or turned tricks in snakeskin boots,
or stared at the doorknob, or breathed
or stood in the dock and sweated like a lover, or loved yourself too much
or breathed in neon as it wafted from the page,
the cold-steel block lettering in the land of dreams,
paradise by the laptop light?

2 minutes, flat, is, IS what you want, to have
and have not without Bogey
but you liked Bacall’s hair so much.

it’s none of it real, though, you do know that, right?


Peering (In)

not really feeling my best today well you look good as if beautification is as easy as sticking a doily and some flowers on top of a pile of horse shit this one is a real conversation piece he walks well back on his heels pelvis thrust forward shoulders back give him a story maybe Bowie’s gum-chewin’ gouster is he made of bendy straws or does he have that one type of scoliosis that I can’t remember the name of what a dog our stuffing-showing dream the festooned hermit crab and her pet gnome perch amongst the weeds and let them impinge upon each other and themselves


Clock Watching


Breakfast.
Two minutes past, says she.
Her name was Alice Gray and you married her.
You tuck your fingers into your pocket.

Tick.

The staccato spoon in a pond of milky murk.  
Outside the window, the tradesmen are walking,
Two by two.

Chained eyeglasses, a plump maid attached to the other end.
She makes too much noise when dusting the mantelpiece.
Damn it woman, Coleridge goes after Chaucer.
Doesn’t she know how a library ought to be arranged?
Daft old thing is French, so it can’t be helped, you suppose.
 
Tock.

The carriage is waiting for you, sir.
On the way out, you tuck an umbrella under your arm.
The gate squeaks.

*    *    *

Morning passes without incident.  
He doesn’t care what you read, so you send a man out for Lippincott’s.
How fine it would be to have a garden,
Perhaps like the one in that new story of Mr. Wilde’s.

Tea.  

There are foul yellow chrysanthemums on the table,
Anemone on the drawing room curtains,
Red columbine on the wallpaper.


You might have had company in the afternoon,
Only you simply could not work up the energy,
And it’s begun to rain. What a curious thing:
The men and horses seem like ghosts through the glass.

Sigh.

A garden would be a horrid bother, really.  
It wouldn’t stand up to weather like this, not to mention the mud.
And the droplets clinging to spider-webs,
Lace and crumpet crumbs…

You ask Madame Blanchard to unlock the upstairs piano.
Clouds of dust rise out of the staircase underfoot;
Ring the bell again.

*    *    *

You could murder a coffee, you really could.
Assaulted by a basket full of bones on the way to the carriage,
You threw a shilling at it and ran for cover.  
The pungency of the bank drowned in stale leather and perfume.
The paper advertises A Winter’s Tale at Drury Lane,
Thursday night at seven.
Why does she always want to go to the damn theatre?
You keep your hand resting over your pocket, fiddling with the watch-chain.
Another carriage passes, but you see no one in it.
The driver, hunched over, gnaws a useless pipe.  
Yours whistles “Scarborough Fair.”

*    *    *

He’s just in time for tea.  
You pat your hair and smile softly.
His moustache crinkles with his eyes, which are blue.
He has marmalade with his tea,
And you mention A Winter’s Tale at Drury Lane.
He nods silently and remarks vaguely
On how much more inflation there will be next quarter.
The rain has stopped.  How nice would it be to take a walk,
Perhaps by one of the parks?
He leafs through the Lippincott’s you left on the settee
And tells you how melodramatic writers are these days.

*    *    *

The pavement is shining alongside Brompton Cemetery.  
A man and a woman move between the graves,
Their colouring like ashes on eyelashes, the woman says.
She pauses in front of a particular statue,
Drawing the man’s coat-sleeve to a halt.

How sad she is!

Quite.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Very pastoral.  It really is beginning to get gloomy again, dear.  Time to go.

But look, Edward.  Look how she covers her face with her hands…  


Tableaux Intermezzo

“These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;”
        - Prospero, The Tempest (4.1.148-50)

particle eidolons
spotted by light
angle for position under the bright bridge of souls.
crimson dark filaments burst

in

        out

spit

            swallow

    then

out-salomé Salomé. 


of Oblivion


Some one sliced into the wall         

“hal    le    lou    ya”

peacock phosphorescent

back    
head    
up    
gaze
on
Swiss cheese enigma

why must the only loose tile in the entire ceiling be above my head?

Frankie said—but how?  
phantasmagoria groove
become one with the lava lamp
go into the void and harvest the light
first nostril to the left and straight on till—

knowledge comes
a breath release
purple cows fall from the sky

I learnt this mystic ritual from a shaman I met
while cloistered
in the bowels of the library,
the final resting place for
naughty books
poison words
filthy Eastern ways

wish I could remember
    
slipping through spaces as—
O!  quintessence of dust—
the fuming chill of the eldritch
        
floating   


Elegy for Ever After

oh it’s really quite inevitable
facts change
story gets twisted ’round
morality & taste
tragedy & time

the former made
sweet damsel of the sea
little daughter of the air
crimson flowers blossomed in blue
because she could not kill the thing she loved

those stepsisters learned the hard way
what to do if the shoe doesn’t fit
no pain / no gain
no more heel-toe
time to dance macabre
Cinderella marries prince plastic
Hitchcock waltzes in
beaks descend
sisters lose sight of the goal
so sorry now
feathers ruffled
pining for the fjords

red polluted globe remained balanced
in a hand as white as snow
but that drag(on) queen painted weird sister
(who walked like she had a metal rod up her)
peel back celluloid
orthochromatica begone
Mrs. hag in burn-hot-red footwear—iron—
dancing towards her death

once Sleeping Beauty’s mother-in-law from hell
upon a whim (as ogresses will) decided to make
a meal of she whom the prince left home with the kids
(time’s up)
snakes toads vipers lizards
tooth & claw
like the Berlin Wall
tore    her    down

some say Rumpelstiltskin had a split personality
weaving clever magicks
defying laws of physics
flouting conceits of etiquette
but when they discovered his true identity, O
he had to put his foot right down
went thru the floor with rage he did
left him pulling his own leg
really tore himself apart over the whole incident  

poor old wolf
house-wrecker, sure, but nice bloke
did what carnivores do
(as a youth, used to weep in butcher shops)
but down the chimney hole &
oh dear
death boils at 212°F
prey eats predator
swine dines in decadence

the foxy man sprang forth-wards
like Beatrix Potter
chased down dreams
of sugar & spice
woe to ambulatory baked goods
—bleed strawb’rry jam if he could—
lacer / mastic / ingurgit (ate)
the icing on the cake
speaking still as
quarter
half
three-quarters
then

slobber fang death lay ahead for her
pretty little thing
faith too much in wickedness
deep in the belly of the beast
she patiently awaits
the carving out
it never comes
& so
strapping on that girlish pluck
she accepts her grim(m) fate   
 
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