POEM: Monologue

BY MELINA MELETAKOS

1.
What’s wrong? Your voice sounds sad. Is it because the person you decided to let into your home and sleep with just came very quickly into a cheap, ill-fitting piece of plastic, and is now making videos of himself as some kind of sleazy, pseudo-intellectual love doctor character?

2.
I feel physically ill. I’m disgusted with myself. That person in the video doesn’t even look like me. It doesn’t look like me, right? I can’t believe I was just able to slip into that character with such ease. Maybe I am actually like that. I feel so sick.

3.
You certainly have a mane of hair. I wonder what it would look like on a man. It would be too much, wouldn’t it? I want to wrap your hair around my dick while I fuck you. You know, that was actually a line in one of my movies. I have a bit of a hair fetish. Come closer, I want to see your hairline.

4.
Are you going to tell people about this when I am famous? Please, don’t. You know, that’s one of my biggest fears. I’m scared that all the irresponsible things I’ve done are going to haunt me when I’m famous.

5.
What do you think of this character? Do you think if I posted a video as him online people would be offended? Because I would want him to come across as more simple-minded than mentally retarded. What do you think? I really think he could teach the world a lot about love.

6.
Is it lonely living here and not being able to speak the language? I love loneliness.

7.
Do you have custard? I want something sweet. Won’t you go get me something from the convenience store?

8.
What? Why are you looking at me like that? You think you can be a creative genius and remain sane? How am I supposed to be a maverick, the voice of a generation?
What did you think of that character?

9.
Looking at myself in those videos really made me sick. I have awful teeth; I should get them capped. And my face is asymmetrical. I need facial reconstructive surgery.

10.
I want custard. Can you get me some? Come on, please?

REVIEW: Salt

CHRISTINE COATES reviews the new collection by Louella Sullivan.

Salt by Louella Sullivan

A slight volume at just 35 pages, Salt is a delicately woven account of pregnancy and birth. Louella Sullivan’s poems are honed to their elemental value – each one a grain of salt. Giving birth is universal; we are all born, many women have given birth, and yet this journey is profoundly intimate. The image of salt is used throughout – salt of the sea, salt of tears, the saltiness of uterine waters, the embryonic sea.

Birth is regarded as both an inner and an outer journey; it is a journey to selfhood, a separation, when the child lives “beyond her fingertips”. The mother sees herself as a pilgrim on this journey. And ultimately, as the poet Cecil Day-Lewis noted, a letting go:

Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show –
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.

Sullivan describes birth as transformational, a rite of passage, a threshold to cross, transmuting from one state to another. The poet embarks on the journey consciously, willing the conception –

After I lie still, my hips tilted upward in prayer
Willing you across the threshold
You are eager to be born
I am impatient to meet you.

Yet the path to motherhood leads a woman very close to death. Once pregnant the poet experiences herself being underwater, being unconscious, turning inwards, merging, there is a blurring of boundaries. This identification with the foetus and then child is carried through the poems;

I look away
Hold my breath in
So she can
Breathe instead.

Sullivan employs images of creation, of the earth and the universe; the foetus is floating in its own cosmos, in its own world of water. Birth is compared to the geological upheaval of earth at its birth, the fire and blood of creation. Yet pregnancy is also mythological; the pregnant mother is linked to the sacred goddess, to fertility deities. But having given birth, she experiences the goddess being thrown back to earth.

When she forges her way out
In blood and fire
I pass onto her
what remains of me
then fall
like a goddess flung to earth
suddenly mortal.

Woven throughout are the feminine images of sewing, of threading, knitting and spinning. In Feeding time, the image of threads conveys becoming undone and being stitched together again:

Her kneading fingers
knit the threads
frayed from the day
and with her lips
she stitches them lushly
back to my heart.

The pregnant body and the baby within are described as continents that collide and separate, a body with a surface of ridges and furrows that will one day tell its own story:

One day when these scars
(and my hair) are silver soft
I will run my fingers across them
looking for the places where you are still part of me.

The body is both receptacle for the foetus and a surface for writing on, where stories are written and told. I love how the body also becomes a receptacle for language, how the body becomes the narrative and the narrative the body.

Instead I say: I grew you
in there y’know
– him too –
Her silent fingers
on my white scars
I know mommy and these are the stories we told you.

Salt is published by Aerial Publishing. Read four of Sullivan’s poems, published by AERODROME, here.

POEM: The Idea

BY KIRSHIN C. GEORGE

Don’t ponder on it for too long,
don’t let it mature
that’s what steaks are for.
Let it come out of you like a rage,
like a hurricane tearing through
a small city,
like a hungry shark tearing off your limb.
Let it tear you apart
and rebuild yourself
into something more beautiful

POEMS by Kyle Allan

Watching birds

There are those times when
my son and I stand by the window
and look outside, brief moments
when we look out the window
and we are silent. Moments
when neither of us speak, when
we are not working or playing
or watching TV or arguing, moments
when we do not use words,
but just stand in that dumbed silence
seeing the colours of blue, dull
brown, yellow, glossy black, the jumping
around on the lawn, the sudden wingspread
and flight up into the sky with ease
that we can never reach. We watch all
this, saying nothing. We stand
next to each other in the room
looking out the window
in silence, watching birds.

Metaphysics

Hot day, growing hotter.
Poetry won’t come.
War is coming in the Middle East,
and you in blue skirt
and bare feet
bringing me water. Sweat
on your dark eyelids,
glistening in the solid heat.

Trends

Trends will come and go,
but the washing never ends.