by Therese Elaine

This is going to hurt
and it's not going to be pretty
and it's not going to be quick
this is going to be learning the difference
between taking it in
and taking it

I mark the places in
my personal history
where it could be said I used to reside,
or at least, maintained

I have always been the perfect guest
because I was never allowed to overstate overstay
my welcome -

there's another emotional vacancy down the road.

I will always be hungry for something (someone)
that died before
its time (it's time)
and never had the chance
to become a parody of itself.

Day to day is no longer survival
it's a dozen different suicides
a myriad of little deaths
on glutted altars of disingenuous

(opening your eyes kills a dream
closing them, a vision)

When did we arrive at such a grievous margin of error?

Blood turns to tears, turns to sex, turns to sweat, turns to silence, silence wounds, turns to blood, turns to tears, turns to sex, turns to sweat, turns to violence...

Good intentions become an abandoned carnivale sideshow...we've all embraced a new form of the grotesque and the patrons have become jackals, choking on the cloying scent of delusion that was left alone for too long...

I carry matches in case I have to burn it all down.

You wear your body count like merit badges
I wonder if you ever knew what any of them
took it for stood for.

(I want you to insert yourself inside of me so when you withdraw, the lack within you is apparent-

I want you to remember the taste of me in the seams of everything that came apart you tore apart-

I remember the taste of you as you came apart in my mouth)

I know this lacks all form
most fluidity
some function
and a portion of grace;

It is discordant, jagged, ominous -
it is merely the by-product of bad dreams,
foreign correspondence
and my unwillingness to barter any longer.

I am through negotiating
and you the world stopped terrifying me a long time ago.


Posted on 04/21/2010
Copyright © 2023 Therese Elaine

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Sarah Wolf on 04/22/10 at 01:14 AM

Very Nice.

Posted by Nanette Bellman on 04/22/10 at 02:29 AM

Wow. Where to begin with this...the first stanza is like a disclaimer. You had me instantly locked into finishing this piece from that. I love how it's a collection of random thoughts, yet they are all tied together. I love how you we visually see the "edits", or purposes. Whatever. It's amazing.

Posted by Johnny Crimson on 06/05/10 at 09:50 PM

I think I love you like some type of fatal disease I can't get enough of.

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 06/27/10 at 04:46 AM

God. Do you live in my head? There are too few words to properly express my affinity, admiration and awe.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 07/11/10 at 05:30 PM

Yeah. You are the adrenalin that keeps me thrilled! How the hey do you get any sleep? {{{poem}}}

Posted by Glenn Currier on 07/12/10 at 05:02 PM

Well, the way you finesse language is a delight to this language lover - even with a poem of such seriousness - the wordplay is a momentary lift in a different direction as well as an insight into a poet who refuses to be one-dimensional. Please forgive the philosophical lingo, but I kept thinking that your poem and your poetry is so very postmodern. You link me to many different dimensions and spaces with variable volumes - some whispers and some shouts - all inviting me to go beyond the typical, the traditional, the structured. Thanks for the ride - your work is a journey for which I am grateful you allow me to be a fellow traveler.

Posted by Max Bouillet on 07/18/10 at 08:58 PM

"I am through negotiating and you the world stopped terrifying me a long time ago." You make him the world. This gives him too much power. Instead of giving him the power and siphoning off the energy he sheds. Keep the power and burn him. That match you carry will consumes the reader with vivid imagery that we want to take.

Posted by Stephan Anstey on 11/12/10 at 04:08 PM

a lot of line-length variation seems to work here.

Posted by Ted Jackins on 12/25/10 at 07:03 AM

$#%@ing beautiful. I especially love the playing around with the size of the text and the crossing out of certain words. I've always been a big fan of writing that plays with the language and sort of concrete poetry, where it's as much the way the stanzas are placed and shaped on the page as it is what the words actually say that puts across the feeling or meaning. You definitely have a very distinctive style and voice, and that is such a welcome and fresh thing to see in an era where so much art, music and writing feels like a carbon copy of someone/something else. I can't say you sound like anyone I can think of, and that is a great thing.

Posted by Mo Couts on 08/26/11 at 03:21 PM

WOW. There are no words to express the beauty present in this piece. Effin' awesome.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 05/14/15 at 02:35 PM

this goes off like glorious fireworks and one cannot help but OOH and Ahh.

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