Author’s note: My love life is like a roller coaster.

I’m not sure if you know
That you ate my heart,
That time you invited me into your home.

Mahogany iris aglow,
Practicing a black art,
Depressing cuts into my styrofoam

Skin, impressionable,
Unwavering attention
To the fragments on my tongue.

This union irrevocable,
Eclipsing inner dimensions
Of reason. Panicked notes unsung.

And these notes
Lie now at
The end of my carnal bed.

A passionate cutthroat
Who spat
Saccharine lyrics at me instead

Of words cruel
And unkind,
How I wish you voiced the cruel words.

I, the April fool,
Am now inclined
To cry the mornings like a songbird.

Twisted howls,
Your reply
Of consolation, a pat on the back.

Untruths of your jowl
Masked in sighs
Now pierce me with a smack.

I make these
Mistakes of
Producing a vaudeville of my heart

For all to see.
Transparent gloves
Worn to keep you far apart

From me.
Your gloves thicker
I can’t see your hands

Crusted with algae
And hard liquor
I will sift you from the sand.

Goodbye wicked
Thing of beauty
Your teeth so rotten from all the sugar

Sour, crooked,
You never knew me,
Sincerely, your forgetful stomach ulcer.

I will however,
Remember your
Acne scars and pupils so deep

Never to sever,
Your openings sore,
Confessions from a black sheep.

Strange hourglass
Pattern of hair,
Gracing your body when you lie on your back.

You are Venus
Look there!
I am Pluto, cultivating your dental plaque.

I want you
All of you
All that you are, the karmic stars tell of me.

I want your truth,
I will not stop until you’re on your knees.




I have seen many snakes.
Crafty serpents,
spiraling around the cypress tree outside my window.
I see them coil about my sister’s birthday cake,
and slithering in the pavement cracks.
I see tiny snakes
slide down the shower drain.
I see them sidewinding
on the doors of our vacant storage rooms.
Their beady eyes,
constricted slits.
As yellow as my hepatitis.
I see them prey on my open fears;
Gluttonous lumps traveling down the body.
They move in S-shapes,
underneath my divided tongue.
One day, my sixfingered hand
Will take them with an asphyxiated curl.

Chronology (first draft/cheesy love poem)

Author’s Note: A response to “Chronology” by Diane Di Prima

In October,
I felt desperation, some define as love,
Flooding my veins,
I knew I would never be worth anything
Until I received a man’s love.

In November,
Your sweet untruths
Encased my mind in
Dramatised tension.
I dreamt that your teeth fell into my mouth
I didn’t tell you
And I quietly spit them out
onto the floor.
The thought came to me
That I cannot do this anymore.

In December,
The light flickered,
As I held your coat
And you fled to L.A.

January comes and your
Greatness darkens.
Warm snow skirts the rim of your left nostril
And my anxiety absconds
Into epileptic shaking, chattering tooth decay.
From all the cigarette smoke
Held in your iris.

You taught me that love is transient
You taught me that the stories are true
I could have only learned these things
From a tragic figure like you.

Unfortunate spirits
Encapsulated the room
As we stroked each other’s palms.

The used condom decorated your shelf
The condom we didn’t use.
But this is the path I did choose.
I wanted to be used by you.

Because I wanted to find truth
But she has been hiding in the rug beneath your feet that you never tread from
She lay there, unable to breathe,

A Poem for the Moon Mayor

The first time we met was at karaoke.
Your inability to keep a tune and inebriated confidence
were like watching a fat cat trying to jump on a counter.

I sang my song,
you sat by me,
and kissed my cheek.

Meanwhile my mind was on someone else, unattainable.
I pictured you were him.

Later, your paralysing kiss
dragged our bodies from the pub
to be shamelessly entangled,
strewn atop nearby church steps.
You then brought me to your yellow sheets.

I felt awkward
and I left your book on the church bench outside,
Told you that I did not want to see you again.

Two months later,
I texted you cruelly to see how you were doing
Because I felt bad, lonely
and because you were kind.
And I have never met a man that I can confidently say is kind.

An immediate response.
You took an interest in seeing me the next day.
The next three nightfalls were spent together.


The coat you wear:
Warm with stability and kindness
The garment calls my name, whispering in my unstable ears.

Your childish smile
And paternal motivation
Balance your essence like a tightrope.

I jab my fingers into the volume of fuzz that is your hair
As you massage my neck and ask me about my day.

Repulsive shades of pale yellow and orange,
Intermingling with a pale blue,
Contour together and make a smile
That has never looked so good.

Bicycles scare me,
My scarred knees afraid of the seat.
Your body: adorned in valiant scars
Despite the risk, you still take your modern horse rides.

You once said you did not like the girls in anime
Their skirts too short
And their breasts to bulbous.

Knobs and buttons,
Python languages,
Wine & Beer,
Video games.

I am reprogramming myself
Against the codependent kiss,
Against my crippling force field.

The algorithm:
Falcon wings,
A runner’s patience,
Gallons of water,
Sugar free.

The code goes something like this:
0100 1001 0110 1111 0111 0111
0100 0011 0100 0001 0110 1110
0100 1001
0100 1101 0100 0001 0100 1011 0100 0101
0111 0100 0100 1001 0100 1001 0111 0011
0111 0111 1111 0111 0111 0010 0100 1011?

And this is how I feel:

Three days later,
I lay abject
rejected by
the full moon’s promises.

The voices of unlucky stars
Tell me:
You are karmically alone.

Cockatoo Mask

When you are very isolated or alone, you have this tremendous longing for communication, and also this strong desire to communicate through the body.” – Rebecca Horn


Cockatoo feathers enclose her face,
Enveloping her visage, concealing the base

Desires that lie beneath. She is swollen.
Her legs are in pieces about the room, broken.

An invisible itch formicates her isolated body,
From a sterile view, she searches for some sort of copy

Of substance, purpose and verve.
Unluckily, this bitch doesn’t have the nerve.

She is ill; cancer strokes her lungs, rashes hug her epidermis.
Fractured ribs, dismembered limbs, flesh so worthless.

This plumy mask eclipsing her lame body and mazy soul
residual memories coloured in with charcoal.

Metal and felt garnish her disposition.
It is through monologues of admonition

She understand her limits, staring them in the eyeball,
In dangerous repetition, within these stiffened cell walls.

Comparing her condition to Rebecca Horn’s,
She clips her own hair with a scalpel, a sheep shorn.

But she cannot be a sheep, her innocence lost.
The electrical wiring of her sanity: crisscrossed.

Now watch the manic baby, be careful around her,
Bite the bitch black – she will purr

Again. She is a bad actress pantomiming pain,
Her feathers are protecting her, she cannot feel a thing.

People say that she once let someone into her chasm
With worm-eaten perversion, he induced her chronic seizing spasms.

He kissed her and rotten teeth fell into her mouth.
She kept quiet, when he was not looking and spit them out.

Currently, a peni-less little pathetic victim!
I wonder if her vulnerability was an early symptom

Of all these pathetic fucked up physical ailments
Perhaps just a contributing element,

To her wretched state, somebody start donating to this charity case!
Bills will dissolve her in her hospital bed, a true disgrace.

Indebted women will make the world burn.
The men outside wait for her return.

She seats them atop of her mind’s monolith,
But she’d rather slice them with a scythe.

A corporeal reality cursed with disease
Her life is an impotent strip tease.


The Birth

A response to Anne Sexton’s “The Abortion”

An unwanted child has been born.

Unwelcome cries of existence flood the room.
The family members stare in stilted conversation.
This infant, proof of carnal lies once assumed.

Outside the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee
Arching hills past the Virginia border,
Murmurs grip neighbouring ears of the alien blooded-baby.

Her smooth ivory countenance,
Scratches against the stormy narrative of her creation
In a home providing her with reluctant sustenance.

An unwanted child has been born.

Her waning moon of a mother, pulsing with indecision,
Finally decides to return to China for her pleasure quest,
Avoiding the vaudeville show that is the American vision.

Her father, an isomer of a man,
Holding onto his chiral child,
Contemplating his moral lifespan.

Pelvic unity between these skins,
Formed an ill-fated seed
Betraying his blood-bound kin.

An unwanted child has been born.

From his own wound, from deep in the marrow,
The child’s father consented to her birth
And, motherless, she chirps shrill notes of a neglected sparrow.


by Maddy Devlin

These bones are cold without the marrow
You’ve made me numb so now I’m fine
I killed the birds but not the sparrow

The heart I have is like an arrow
It follows on a useless line
These bones are cold without the marrow

Eyes carry away the wheelbarrow
That is the carriage of my mind
I killed the birds but not the sparrow

So come relieve me of my Tarot
I’ll stop and count to nine
These bones are cold without the marrow

Orgies of matter disrupt my narrow
Vision of your misrepresented sign
I killed the birds but not the sparrow

A servant to your emotionless Pharaoh
She can be. I’m mine.
These bones are cold without the marrow
I killed the birds but not the sparrow.