Budapest does Venus

August 29, 2012

not like that you understand,
she might as well be wearing shades
shadowed beneath a crumbling balcony,
Venus diaphanous,
delicately balanced,
head to one side,
breasts turned to castles.
Venus Hungarianus,
tárka, many coloured,
tarca, the purse,
tárgy, the object.
Venus leaded
with guns and pollution,
renaissance rococo,
arabesques roman.
Tarnani, to hold,
üzni, to hunt,
vad, wild,
vágy, desire,
underneath a lintel
light spilling over face,
válaszolni, to answer,
váltani, to change.
As though poised on the brink,
on the lip of the Danube,
eagle for flight, shell like a halo,
strange dog
like a child in one arm.
Rossz, bad. Rözsa, rose.
Budapest does Venus
in the palace, by the steps.
Venus does Budapest.
Darkness. Sötétség.
Villám. The Lightning.

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August 24, 2012

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Grandma

August 20, 2012

Safari hooded, turbaned lady,
Malena Dietrich
of the celluloid tropics,
proficient in fans
and burlesque bonkers-ness,
sunglasses like Hepburn
and Bardot and Monroe,
Grandma,
your Hungarian accent
on audio cassette tape,
the message to your first born
on the occasion of his wedding day,
as you regrettably, could not be there.
Grandma, held up in Singapore,
Grandma, hostaged conversion,
detained at an airport,
the amoeba of immigration
controlling the border
as you melt from the rabbis
into the arms of the
Priests and the Bishops,
Grandma, your child held up
by an African nanny,
Grandma, your mind held up
by an endless attorney,
tick-tock, tick-tock,
Rochester’s Attic is only a room,
wallpaper yellowed against the gloom –
Grandma, I love you
though all I recall
is your cut glass whiskey
and arthritic fists
against a door,
how the mighty have fallen;
your anorexic arms,
your skeletal frame,
the wisp of your hair,
Miss Havisham’s veil;
like a ghost in the room,
like a wave from the moon –
all my tattoos
say hello to you
and this, like a prayer
in invisible ink.

Martha

August 14, 2012

On her own, over exposed
scrutinised, sitting on a polar ledge
darkness behind her, Martha
not lonely, though notated on a blackboard
in a backwards script, known only to ghosts
and missionaries.
She’s got it all going on.
Gerard Richter face
of blurred intention.
Martha, Martha,
small change on a counter,
too many roll ups
but still, the light.
Always the light.

Zombie World

August 14, 2012

I see zombies everyday.
Frequently in shopping centres.
My shoulder bag and swinging arm
winking in the glass reflection.

I go to Highcross
to debut my crowd scene.
Some people walk too slowly
dragging their feet.

People moan
when I get in their way.
I have perfected a stare
that’s almost convivial.

What I hate:
people that say
“Smile!”
like a reflex

not to stereotype
but often fukwits
or people who’ve been fukwits
in past identities.

Also people that walk into you
like you’re a zombie ghost,
an entirely see through
invisible doll.

I like the shiny things:
the 2 for 1 on Decleor
and the scent of blood.

Private View

August 12, 2012

You can’t look
at the painting.
Looking at the painting
looks like standing in a room
and gazing at yourself
in a mirror.

You can’t stand
near the painting.
Standing near the painting
looks like you’re seeking
attention.

When other people
are looking at the painting
you must keep
a respectful distance.

If they see you
they clam up:
they are mussels,
you are daylight

and you won’t know
what they were talking about
while they were standing
and pointing
and gesturing and murmuring
silently
with their hands,

you won’t know
what they were saying

about your pigeon chest
and wide thighs.

Here are the miraculous minds
of the facebook profile gallery viewers

Here is the wedding video,
the kaledoscope of CCTV.

And their words, curl
into the canvas, sink
into your paint shut eyes.

Your hair threads like a salmon,
falls like flamingoes,
fades into mink
like the edge of the night.

You stand on the edge
of their talking,
and grow old.

August 11, 2012

Last night while I was sleeping
the zombies came again,
down on the street they walked about
stumbled, shuffled, fell,
some with parts missing,
all with raggedy clothes, grey skin,
they moaned, like they do in the movies,
as though they’d all been to movie school,
or as though movie directors
specializing in zombie movies
had all visited planets
frequented by zombies,
or were all actually
zombie’s themselves,
only know one ever noticed,
because they were all zombies aswell.

Last night while I was sleeping
the dead were out again,
bewildered ghosts with lost ID,
some had socks stitched with names.

Underneath my window
it’s a day of the dead parade
and all my ghosts upstairs joined in
and railed against the rail.

Zombie monsters swaggered and postured
like Michael Jackson’s living dead,
broken jigsaws reading Igor,
yesterdays besuited men.

I sometimes see them shopping
or walking in the town;
zombie flashbacks on the bus
or rocking in the isle.

I must not think of zombies
before I go to bed.
I do not want to wake one day
to find that I am dead.

Impasse

August 11, 2012

Artwork: ‘The Face of Perfection’, by Scott Bridgwood.


We do fat, it’s not an issue.
We do implants in your jaw.
We do noses like jujitsu,
break your legs to make you tall.

We do drawing on your body.
We do cutting out the lines.
We do sewing, we do knitting.
We do touching up your thighs.

Zombie queen of resurrected,
lifeless forehead, doe round eyes.
Bride stripped bare in all her glory.
Bellini’s Lover before the knife.

We do fat and we do issues.
We do reading Frankenstein.

85

August 10, 2012

Artwork, title: 85. By Scott Bridgwood

Curve of stilettos,
running like a fish-scale,
running round the hip-bone,
like the halo of a bruise.

Blank check back
underwritten
by the backbone.
Blacked out names
in the police report.

85 trials and no convictions.
2 women attacked by him
are suing the Met.

Unsubstantiated evidence
like clouds on the breastbone,
half hearted effort
she was probably drunk.

Curve of stilettos
running like a weapon,
running like a ladder up a thigh.

Her waist, a waste,
pillow, shadow,
pillar of salt,
Lot’s Wife –

looking back
across the park,
afterall,
barely 85 years
since there’d been the vote,

only 40 years
since you’d need your
husband’s signature
to borrow books,

only yesterday,
the sex club in the city,
win a boob job for your girlfriend
the message on facebook –
“I want to rape you in the ass”.

Curve of stilettos
merengue-ing in the distance
waving in the water.
The medical tests were inconclusive.
There were no witnesses.

Her Dark Materials

August 8, 2012

Ceramic kittens and vases of sweetpeas,
pink begonias and drawings of Barbie.

Shadowy moon and polar explorers,
blaming my brother for breaking the light bulb.

Bouffant tulle of princess prom dress,
white silk taffeta with bright red cherries.

Canine teeth and born with claws,
stealing the shadow, blue from the store.

Strawberry lip gloss and Tamsin Braithwaite
Candy cotton ribboned aprons.

Plotting the death of the woman next door
with her loud music at a quarter to four.

Miniature dogs and rainbow angels,
Snow White shoes and a hundred cupcakes.

Mannequin hand in the manner of Cindy,
hallucinating zombies unleashed upon Wendy.

Peter Pan is running Apple.
Tink is working in a Brothel.

Accidentally murdering snails in the garden
stumbling drunk and treading on eggshells.

Black eyes, red grimace.

The sensation of falling from out of an aeroplane.
The absence of light. Candied peel.

Like a suitcase opened, a rapid applause.
Lazerus walking in my mother’s heels.