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These are not memoirs

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Poetry

Poetry

These Are Not Memoirs

These are not memoirs
These are words that have passed from generation to generation
Through the mouth of babes and crippling women
Words that have latched onto our subconscious
like sea creatures that have caught our attention
wading, floating…
backstroking and surfing
These are not memoirs
They are inbred expectations flogged into the hearts of people of my land.

The Other

 

Maxine was the name of the woman in the pyjamas and the perfect hair

The one that came when the muddiness arrived to fill my eyes

Maxine would cook and clean, Scrub and Buff

The one whose mind is not easily displaced

Maxine felt no sadness or confusion

The one who is driven not by her happiness

She lived and did and made and created

She who did not give too much, or loved too much

Maxine, The One who knew it all

 

But she would disappear, Maxine would.

How could she stay long?

For I had to wake up and smell the coffee

and unlike her, I had to take off my shoes

and dance ridiculously to the music in my head

I had to get up, get out, stay out

I could be lost in the drafts that slip in from beneath my doors

And I would swing on rainbows that curved over high houses

I could sway, pray, give away

all that it is that seems to have made me

I can only accept that Maxine is not me

We look alike, sound alike,

sit on the porch of my mother’s house and share a cup of tea

We could even go to sleep and wake up in the pretty lime pyjamas

But when night came and the clock struck the hour

 

Maxine is the one that is when I am not.

 

That Orange Thing

Hue, Glow

The intense cantaloupe

Blazing above like an aura

Big, Bright, Hanging low

making the hours seem so slow

formulating this mirage to seem so real

sweat and the drowsiness a part of me

This ample colossal luminous streaks

cutting the grand azure into bits

Sun rays spiking off my skin

The radiant sky burns me to thin.

The Ouvre

The Oeuvre
God’s Oeuvre
I see it about you
The crisscross of your bright and dark tones
the lines pulled taught at the nape
and sure strong bones tenderly covered
thinly protected by the stretch of dermis

Your natural jacket
The husk that fosters you
Your defense, your insulation
Showing, Crowning
The paintings of the Almighty
who thought ahead on the exactness of canvas
This smooth coloured canvas that He always knew would be the death of me

Your skin
warm and soft
weathered by light and air
Soaking my strokes and licks
The coating for the core
The casing for all beauty
The one I seek to peel off and swim beneath
The one that I would never stop worshiping.

The Woodpecker

kok, kok, kok

We heard him every night when we tried to act like we were sleeping
Eyelids squeezed tightly shut
bed sheets soaking the sweat that poured from us
labored breathing and swallowed spittle

kok, kok, kok

Why did we hear him only when we went to bed
when our parent’s raised voices had quietened down to tensioned silence
when the windows should not have let anyone in
when the birds outside where hooting themselves to sleep

kok, kok, kok

It had to be a man, it had to be
We refuse to believe that it was anything else
but we stayed in bed and feared to look
who knew what would be shook

kok, kok, kok
Our big brother was home from school
what is this noise that scared us so?
And so he went to take a look
ahoy! It was the cat and his curiosity
he’d loved the sounds of shoes on wood.

The Wrap-Up

Woman-in-pain

Hoarse

She was hoarse from screaming

Was it a nightmare, Please let it be a nightmare

She had been running down in the dark corridor for such a long time

The walls were sweating all around her

sweating blood

His little voice was all around her

inside her, on top of her, everywhere

“Don’t do this to me”

She’d  had no choice. She’d had a choice.

She was crying now

Please make it stop.

Sweetness

The pleasure spreading through all of her body like liquid gold

Strokes, Sighs…

Unquantifiable, this feeling of soaring

It was nothing like she had experienced before

His voice came from above her

“Open your eyes, I want to see you”

Tentatively, she pulled her lids open

How could she keep them pen when she was feeling this good?

Smoothly he slid into her and she bucked.

Don’t stop. Please don’t stop.

The tearing seemed to begin from inside her heart

The tears wont stop flowing, wetting her weave, pooling at the back of her neck.

One choke after another, the cold compress seemed to invade her, clean her,

dirty her, stain what was left of her.

She wasn’t hearing his voice anymore.

There was only one that stood above her now

Face hidden behind a mask,

Eyes that stuck to her sweaty face with understanding competent hands

He hadn’t been ready. Neither was she.

Not even when the feeling had threatened to swell her

into the a ball of joy.

He hadn’t been ready.

Had she?

“It’s over now” The doctor said to the girl with the huge eyes

They looked haunted, deeper that he was used to seeing around

An innocent

She could barely stop the racking sobs but he was glad he was done.

Inside her would be silent now. No more fluttering, No more feeling.

She would finally feel the emptiness now. It was over.

Chafe

start here

Start Here

I hear their voices droning on and on

I need this sleep to take me but how would this happen if they never stop talking?

Start Near

They talk about pedestrians, about girls in red dresses, about constitutional mistakes

and the slavery of cab drivers in a state with bad roads and a difficult economy

Think. Think.

On a day that is not today, I wouldn’t care

On a day that might have been yesterday, I would fare well

On a day that the sun isn’t staying long in the sky, I would be fair

But it’s beginning in my mental screams

not like releases found in the shallow streams betwixt thick thighs

No, it is not the caffeinated green tea

or the exhaustion that this bed isn’t taking from me

Thinking. Thinking.

They won’t stop talking

So I can’t stop thinking

Let’s imagine things ashore

Water against stubbornly scalding sand

Counting sheep in the hundreds

Damn, Today I can’t stand their yapping

Their misplaced ideologies

I can’t stand the rancorous laughter and the misled agreed murmurs

Today I can’t stand any of it at all

So I’m gonna get off this lush lush disloyal bed

and I am going to…

Why, I should…

I Give To You

i give

I give to you

My largest duvet

so you can hide under and busy yourself

in the bed of my thoughts, be pillowed by my over-protectiveness, entangled in the warmth of my angst

I give to you my scissors

To trim, and cut yourself down, shorter,

way shorter than the largess that has been bestowed on you at birth

as the darker sex

The larger sex,

the more important sex,

the phallus

I give to you a new brush

One that will scrape against your hairy skin

taking off the layer of dry wit from your lips

to scrub away the filth that remains in your mouth

the ones you call words, yet you hurt other people with

I give to you my oils

The ones you shall rub on your skin,

to vanish and cleanse

to layer as a shinning veneer to hide your truest form from the world

I give to you,

Nothing, Everything, Something

of me and mine

so you can turn away from them

and be one with me

So I can invite you into this bed to share

an intimacy forged by fear.

I Don’t Remember

I_Can_Still_Remember_by_gilad

I don’t remember if I was a troublesome child

If i ran when my mother told me to sit

or if I cried she she tried to tame my unruly hair

I don’t remember If I was a smart toddler

If I learnt my Abc’s  as I should’ve

Or I dwelt in the comfort of the mud in the garden

If I ever said the words correctly after my teacher told me to

Or if I screamed and stubbornly decided to learn them later

I don’t remember if I was a naughty preteen

If I cut my dresses shorter than was expected

and let all the boys stare at my skinny knees

Did I learn that curiosity would grip them and ultimately, me

and they wont stop looking and I wouldn’t want them to

Did I learn that my mother placed those rules out of fear

Trying to save me from the promiscuity of my age group

I don’t remember what kind of adult I had decided to be

One that would let her vices take the wheel

and drive her to distracted disorganization

One who would only study and pay attention to winning

I don’t remember how I got here

If I had hurt people on my way to finding truth

Or my version of what the world ought to be

How I got to feeling that I really do love being alive

being loved, being stubborn, being a being.

The feeling of occurring in this present time

Now.

In a moment when I do remember who I am

and the days that I don’t remember

are nothing to Today.

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