Mid Shelley SST10 second draft

8 Jan

25 mins late, but got there! Thanks for understanding 🙂 This is a bit of an experiment, gonna see how it goes…not perfect but hopefully gives an idea of where I’m trying to go with it. (This is the performance version, not convinced it works too great on paper but I’m planning on working on a more page friendly version for the zine).

Some secrets need to be kept in the dark.
And sometimes, with the really big secrets,
you need to keep yourself in the dark,
for fear the thing will ooze out of your skin,
plop itself into your lap while you’re sat at school
and say – hey!
You can implode my world now.

When I was seven my mum used to buy
packets of ten strawberry splits from the discount store.
I rarely remember eating a real meal,
but I remember licking them, one after the other
until I was so full of ice and sugar
I could trace the core of cold
right down the middle of me.
I was sat on the step with my best friend
eating ice lollies.
‘I can’t wait for it to end’, I said.
He didn’t know what I meant.

Flash –
Staring at her chest
Flash –
Waiting for her breath

When I was seventeen
I blagged my way through a tenancy agreement
by telling them I was twenty three
and a teaching assistant.
My pupils had eclipsed my irises
and left everything gray –
I hadn’t slept for three days.

Flash –
Staring at the mirror
Flash –
Reflection unfamiliar

When I was nineteen my girlfriend moved in with me.
She was encased in ice
but would spit sparks at me without thawing.
It seemed I was constantly breathing out smoke
even in the absence of a cigarette.
I didn’t know whether my insides were frozen or smoldering.
She taught me how to tie a scarf against the wind,
and I taught myself to pretend
the electric heater was an open fire,
to imagine I was warm.
Sometimes I would hold icecubes in my hands
until they melted.
Fascinated by the way they burned.

Flash –
Dirty wall
Flash –
Closed door
Flash –
Loud screams
Flash –
Bad dreams

As I grew I became obsessed with layers,
with silks and merino wool.
I would worship the cloth with my fingers,
amazed that things so thin
could hold in so much heat.
I sat around real camp fires,
and looking into them I learned
that it was heavens, not hells,
that are made of flames.
I learned to keep away the cold,
embracing strangers under stars,
and that dancing can make even the naked warm.

are the pieces of me.
The hard sharp shards
that add up to make me,
and I stand proud
and hiss to the wind –

I am a broken thing.

I am a broken thing.

So on the days I think I’m done
trying to sew myself back together,
and the only shape my lips can make is ‘fuck you’,
I curl my head towards my heart
and listen to the whisper –
you don’t have to stay where makes you ill.
You don’t have to sit if you can’t stay still.
And these scars,
they make us beautiful.

‘Coz sometimes I feel I could shake
the whole world with a whisper,
and that when I speak
the air will never be the same,
and that my heart is big enough
to hold the whole earth,
and I know that nothing stays the same,
except change.
When I was twenty five I learned how to breathe fire.
To stand on stages and to make ice weep.
I own more jumpers than I can make use of.
But sometimes I’ll walk barefoot through snow,
just to watch it dissolve.
And I still squeeze icecubes…
fascinated by the way we burn.


One Response to “Mid Shelley SST10 second draft”

  1. MouthyPoets January 10, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    I really like how each verse is like a little poem of its own. The line breaks work both on page and performance, which is nice – do you know why you’re not convinced that it works on paper? I think it does, for what it’s worth! ‘She was encased in ice/ but could spit sparks at me without thawing.’ – Feel like this says so much about relationships, the idea that love can sometimes feel like salvation and a whole new problem at the same time. It feels to me like a hopeful poem, in a gritty kind of way.

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