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When I cut myself, the angels watch.
I remind them of you, Mary
As a huddled girl, the stone behind your body,
A blank slate, waiting for words, the sharp prick of a dove's beak.
I cut lightly into my belly,
No scar, it seeps into me, becomes me.
My hands move slowly
As though they are being led by the letters, no closed circles,
Just lines and loops that lead out of themselves.
I do not want scars, just lines slender as snakes.
One of the angels wants to write her name,
Etched river reeds, a shattering of glass.
When I taste my blood, I taste of plums.
Mary, handmaiden, entrance to heaven,
I do not want heaven. I want snakes.
Copyright 12/2011 Kay Sundstrom
Ward NineWard Nine
Ward nine is for the crazies,
The lunatics and the despoilers
Who know there are entrances that have no exits.
And for this knowledge, God give us
Of greyhounds with almond black, blind burnt eyes
Of crows that eat the inside of your mouths.
I distrust open wounds,
too much of the pain is the surprise of blood,
the consciousness of fragility.
This wound you have given me is small,
it measures only finger to wrist.
Don't flatter yourself.
Others have opened me from throat to gut.
He called her his brand plucked from the flame,
Ellen Stone, age 13.
When they called him to her bed,
she had not eaten for two weeks,
spat blood, gutter curses,
chunks of plowed earth,
the devils flickering throughout her body
while her belly swelled like a ripe gooseberry.
"Do they pinch you here, Mary,"
his hand cupping her breast.
"Do they scratch you and bite you,"
his smooth stubby fingers tracing the welts that furrowed her thighs.
With every touch, she moaned and growled,
her spine arching like a reined mare's neck.
Once he laid on her, filled her mouth with his breath,
"Tell them Ellen Christ will crush the serpent's head."
"Don't curse me," she croaked.
She recovered three days later,
combed her hair, put on dove grey,
but months later, they found her, whimpering,
"The devil did visit me wearing his face,"
and once again serpents of flame
slid and rippled beneath her skin.
No pattern repeats:
the veins of a leaf,
the cracks of light within
a quartz egg,
an actor's inflections.
In a recurring dream, the stranger
wears a different ring each night.
So if I name you animus,
rocks will float,
light will bend,
air thickening until we can shape it
with our hands.
This world will break
as a new one forms.
I dreamed I cried, a loon's cry,
a wail harsh as a blade of marsh grass.
Each word was insane,
I thought I sung of love.
When I woke, I had burrowed against you,
my face veiled by the shadow of your body.
And my fists were clenched like always,
palms bleeding from half moon cuts.
I carry a word in my mouth,
a round grey pebble
that I suck on to forget my thirst for you.
Because I will never carry your soul in my mouth,
my hands pouring over your skin like water over stone.
While we sleep, I kiss
the stone grey heart,
cup the smooth weight in my palm
until it cuts, stone touching bone
to remind you that I bleed.
And when we wake, bloodstains twine
and branch across the sheets.
My words are too harsh you say.
They pummel and scrape,
force you to look into the sun's blank heart
until the light drifts
like the ash of a dead house.
But the ash is soft, my love.
We can coat our pale skins
until we are grey, shadows and dreams,
and can slip through the
"It's my wife and it my life." -- Lou Reed
I wore your white shirt,
the tails brushing my knees.
I fed you pastries stiff with sugar,
flacks of icing like rice on our sheets.
I twined lilies in my hair, my legs around your back.
I tasted almond, rum, myself on your tongue.
"Till death do us part." I still wear the ring.
How could your death an OD statistic
in some LA coroner's file change that vow?
You were already dead when you said those words,
brown sugar in your veins,
the pupils of your eyes shriveling into closed points.
The Butcher's WifeButcher's Wife
The cover is a woodcut of a woman, head bent,
Her hair a black hole swallowing light.
Her arms raised stag horn white,
In one hand, a knife,
The other an ax.
Is she killing someone, a face lifted to hers?
Or she is killing herself,
Both subject and object, act and creator, defying words?
If I cannot define....
The universe has narrowed
To white arms and black hair.
On the night you die,
I sit cross legged in the dark, cutting my hair.
There is no reflection in the mirror
just cratered pits of dark,
moon bleak craters, the pebble eyes of sea monsters.
On my bare shoulders, the air falls, moth wings,
something fluttering from an open mouth.
One spins, one weaves,
one snips. That is all we know.
Andromeda knows only the tusked head of the sea monster.
A sea gull swoops, a silver key of a fish,
eyes already dulling to old milk. No sweetness there.
The monster opens his mouth
revealing a world of vivid blood coral, fish pale as a blind eye.
She closes her eyes, her self unraveling a nest of feathers, twigs, kelp.
Nothing will remain of her except this, a knowing.
The old one snips and a thread drifts.
My eyes close. Later I dream I sit rocking our deaths,
waiting for them to move, a spinning wheel like a carousel.
The horses caught in an infinity of moment, no brass ring to grab.
But nothing moves that night except the scissors,
Day for a DepressiveDragging along is a simple thing
here there is no pleasure;
Walking numb without a course
Pity's PartyCome on, just look at me,
I lost Happy to Misery,
In a dance with Pedigree,
Amidst the sirens of Apathy,
In the mosh pit in my head.
Can't you see how fun I am?
When my Pride's on the lam,
Sipping Sorrow like Baby Cham,
Falling foul of Honesty's scam,
On the dance floor in my chest.
I look so grievously good,
Doing what Agony should,
And what Depravity would,
In command of the red regiments stood,
On the catwalk of my wrist.
I can hear them pounding,
Watching and surrounding,
Laughing and floundering,
With Pain and Woe hounding,
In the nightclub of my gut.
My guests are saying to,
Cheer no longer pulling through,
Despair sticking like glue,
With Sin ready to sue,
At the opera in my throat.
Watch me as I lose control,
As Loneliness takes it's toll,
Filling out Insanity's role,
Joining Death's lost shoal,
Inside the crypt of life.
See my eyes flutter and fade,
Marching in the Black Parade,
Finding shelter in Hate's shade,
And losing all I had ever made,
As the curtain closes,
To a dozen
7 Angels lyrics [Spoken]
Here's a rose, as solid memory
Take it to honor the one you still love
Why is it? That I can no longer breathe
Their eyes perceive, and their mouths critique
Why should they care, why should you matter?
And I don't get how I could stay in a life like this
My only options to fight with a double sided knife
Keep pushing in to live, pull it back to stab myself twice
But you like it, you hate it, you wouldn't have it any other way
[End intro begin with normal rap]
Stop saying "someone" it's not someone that I'm after
It's the one who's my everything, the one that I went after
The one, who doesn't understand why I am the way I am
Or maybe she does, but she denies the fact she'll ever make it
She wants to sit at home, take time to herself and give up
Feeding an alcohol addiction, her only chance is to keep slipping up
She knows she's insane, keeps adding stress, keeps losing weight
But she's not the one to blame, they treat her all the same
the deep blackMostly I am comforted by
the deep black.
Coming back was
waking in the middle of a cheap
carnival at night.
Bells and whistles and flashing lights,
tons of people and nothing making sense
or holding still.
I longed for the silence.
My brain handed me little hallucinations,
like hors d'oeuvres,
pumped full of stimulant and throwing up
ash and Bacardi
and the machines going off
whenever my heartbeat dropped
and they came to shoot me
back up again.
The only thing I'm afraid of is not dying.
I can live and I can die.
Would You?Would You?
If I sung the same song everyday.
Would you remember the lyrics?
If I told you the world will end tomorrow.
I want to CUT NOWI want to cut so badly right now.
I long for that fiery energy that fuels my cutting.
I want to feel the blade rip open my skin.
I want to hear the blade as it slices open my arm.
I want to see the red blood drip down my arm.
I want to see that scarlet liquid soak into my clothes.
I want to feel the cool air as it caresses my blood soaked skin.
I need it to cool my inner fires.
I need my blood and pain to put out the painful coals inside.
I need it.
I want it.
Let me have it.
ScreamLife; Ravaged with Failure and Regret.
Pressure; Chest Caving in.
Collapsing Lungs; Compressed to bursting.
Feet confused; coiling around one another,
Like thin Delicate wires.
Entangled within themselves,
Lung's full to the brim.
Larynx Burning with Pleasure.
Let out the Pain, Relieve the Pressure;
The Pressure that's been building Walls within.
Indomitable Walls, High and Mighty.
Enthrall them; Turn them to Rubble;
Destroy their Foundation.
And let it Out
Let it Out,
Release those Tears and Emotions from their Solemn Prisons.
And let it Out
Let it Out
no more jokes, no more laughterAfter eighty-eight and a half hours awake,
No grand gestures or passing out, hitting your
head on the way down,
just one body shucking clothes as it crawls
into clean sheets. Pillows and a blanket and
the soft night air.
Two eyes, closed.
In the morning, nothing will be the same.
The past week is a long-faded memory.
Snapshots, facts, things left in strange places.
This is what the body does,
And you forget with it.
crumbling,i have been awake for fifteen minutes.
your mouth in the crook of my neck feels
very much like sunlight, very much like i am
seeing things, schizophrenic and blue, hands shaking
like when i drive your car without looking at your body,
multicoloured and alive, listless in the front seat,
our music playing, breathing in the smell of leaves, of warmth.
your voice in my ear, you finding me in a crowd of people,
this is me remembering how lucky i am, how i am
more fortunate than i'd like to admit, knowing that
bleeding does not really hurt, exactly, because you cannot
comprehend the strength of the mind, a queen in feathers
and dark gowns, bird sitting in a bath of blood, surrounded
by fields of wire, broken teeth, smiling men who touch small windows
small windows closed by governments and purity and faith.
some days i was ripping out my vessels with nail scissors, i was
prescribed between swallows, the ebony crushing noises
of my throat making the same hacking choke
that comes throughthe s
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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