Prose Nose

April 26, 2007

Just experiementing with different forms for this…is it maybe really a prose poem, not a poem poem? Do prose poems exist? There was a Poetry Thursday prompt about them once-which I didn’t do…maybe this would have counted, if I’d done it at the time….

I’ve never noticed my nose before now. Other people, they’ve filled their heads with thoughts of nose jobs, working 9 to 5 to find the dough to shape the thing they think is: crows beak, hook, bulbous root – me, I used to laugh at them, think: Beverley Hills, self obsessed, more money than sense and having run out of space for clothes, turning to parts of their bodies instead. Yeah…I used to think neurotic and on my more charitable days – maybe damaged, body dysmorphia; the nose that knows too much about the human condition and is simply wishing to self destruct, snorting coke, taking blows. You know, the surgeon has to break your nose before he makes it better. Fixes it. Gives it the final job. The nose job.

Anyhow, I’ve never noticed my nose before now, but recently I’ve had some pictures done: profile, semi-side on and guess what? All I can see is crows beak, hook, bulbous root.

My mother, she says I’ve always had a slightly Jewish nose, like my father; like my nose knows Hebrew and can read the Cabala while I remain godless. My father, he says she doesn’t really understand but never liked his mother – my Jewish Gran, ever since she called my mum a fish wife – and of course, my mother she’s from a different generation.

Recently, I’ve been looking at my father’s family albumns – and I think I see my nose, longer than I thought it was, maybe slightly horsey, curving gently out. But I’d never want to get it broken. I’d never get it done.

Having been inspired by Poetry Thursdays latest article..on sending stuff off to mags, I’m going to have a go with Rain Dog. I hope my chosen journal takes good care of him. And that he doesn’t mall anyone. This is the edited version I’m sending. Been meaning to finish it for a while and think I prefer the more abrupt ending…

Rain Dog

It’s sitting at the bottom of my bed,
glossy, black coat absorbing light,
canine teeth like spears
grinning through its muzzle
in the moonlight.
Night after night,
it’s been lying there:
like a one stand
that never went home.

First of all I fed it.
Couldn’t bear its
huge, dark, inky eyes
shining in the gloom like saucers-
but it wouldn’t eat,
left the treats just
gnawed at the duvet-
hopeful feathers
staining fur.

My friend said:
whatever you do
don’t feed it

I stopped. We sat
watching each other
for months. The growling
filled my flat like a fog horn.
Like something foreign
that shouldn’t be in this world.

My friend said:
ignore it
treat it like you would a child,

as we sat drinking coffee
one Thursday.
The monstrous child
sat between us,
with oil slick fur and
teeth like knives.

When it started
smashing up the cups
and pouring
boiling hot coffee
into our laps
we talked about the weather
and politely ignored it.
It skulked in the corner
and whined for hours.

I wonder whether maybe
all it wants is love.
Being a monster
must be hard.
Sometimes I play it music-
and that seems to help;
it lays on its back and
purrs like a cat-
sings like a thrush.

My mother always said
that if I wasn’t good
the monster underneath the bed
would come and eat me up-

I’m still here.


March 1, 2007

Like a Fire Engine,
but cylindrical
and not for burning letters
or for dousing them in water;
ink won’t run
or paper shred in flames

This round, red, treehouse-
insignia of her majesty, is quiet-
in winter topped with snow,
once in spring a sparrow
trying to lean a nest
inside its slot of mouth.

I’m writing to you about love.
Drawing archs in biro.
Spraying the pages
with roses,
white musk.

I’m feeding the padded envelope
into the dark and holding
the side of this thing
I usually only ever walk past.
I’m breathing and thinking
and slightly-

hanging back.
And this thing,
tired and hungry
in an age of email,
is waiting and watching
inside its-

hollowed out heart.
It’s listening for the moment
beyond the traffic
and the shouting
and the rain against its shell
that I let go and briefly-

my words belong to it.

….This is a [second] draft of my poetry thursday piece. Thanks to Ivory who reminded me to write it and apologies as I now may well be late to coffee with her!