The invitation has arrived
black edged sitting darkly inside my shaven skull
with tremulous fingers I slide it out
rubbing my frontal cortex on its edges
remembering how to RSVP
‘It is nice here in the dark wardrobe
listening to my sister schtick schtick schtick the mascara wand
listening to her move furniture
because she can’t move what’s inside her
an ill fitting jigsaw she violently jams together in an impasse of pain.
It’s nice here in the wardrobe
I hear her whisking the carpet with a millet broom
the dust shivers in the air I smell the motes dancing.
I like it here in the dark on my folded army blanket felted from the wash
away from the Legion of Mary meetings, the novenas, the confessional
the cockroach priests predatorial in other people’s kitchens
every household has a kitchen
every kitchen has a vessel
every vessel is a vassel
for the pestle that pounds
Oh my father forgive you your sins and save you from the fires of hell
especially remembering all souls who forgave before you
forgive you for falling deaf as a stone into your surgery
forgive you for not checking the traps
forgive you for your daily pom pom poms
as you whistled your way through your GP life
as if the routine illnesses of other’s lives
expunged in a gloria agnus dei, the devilry in ours,
we the little ones, the crumbs in your own kitchen
not blessed, not checked, not seeing the bleeding obvious
the cradle capped babies who cried under their beds
who hid under tables and in furniture whimpering
for the strong arms of their dad who was there who was here
was now for ever and ever amen.
The wardrobe liked me, enfolded me, kept me cradled in the musty shadows
a babe, god’s little chile, chillin out in spilled silence deep in solitude
safety in number one.’
The invitation has come and I RSVP
I’m coming to the party looking for the celebration
for the gilt on the edge of the guilt.
Cascades of events Niagara fall, frothing foaming lathering up
the rapes, the beatings, the hunger howling dog loneliness
of being a crock of virulent moonshine in a cellar of Dom Perignon lives
a furuncle pustulating the skin of my world
a blister rubbed raw on the heel of a dream family
Oh Lordy lordy I’ve been bad massa
I bin so bad I done near killed everyone who breathed my air
I bin bad enough for them to shut me up string me up soil roil and toil me
I bin bad enough for me to shut them up string them up shit their pants
I bin a wolf tearing at the ventricles of my chillun
I been a bomber with a vest full of light
I been high on rage and grief she said
she said she said she said frothing fermenting fizzing
as everything tumbled on a tumbril towards the guillotine of judgement
the black hooded executioner with eyes catching the light
two eyes, both hazel and there in a little green corner a lambent light
near the black meniscus of the pupil
the pupil sitting at a desk filled with the detritus of education,
protractors, dry crusts, orange peel and pencil shavings
curled exercise books with pages of blanks doodles squiggles
times tables and unused graph paper, music manuscript filled
crotchets and quavers stammer their way to my fingers
giving me the power to speak the silence into saying
the spilling out of the question I had always wanted to ask.
Knock knock who’s there?
Who dares to dance a jiggedy jig on the green linoleum kitchen floor?
Is it you black cockroach who desecrated me at four?
Is it you greasy sideburned priest at six?
Is it you who threatened me excoriated me belittled me
Shuffled me into a siding where no trains ran and no guard stood waving red flags
On a jostling platform?
Is it you sister who slapped pushed burned scorched earth policy
because our cells divided just like yours?
Is it you brothers poking probing exhibiting your florid dicks at me?
Was it watching the sighing diurnal work of my mother whose long years ended in whispers and choking?
Was it you knockety knock truckie who raped me on the back seat of your car in Wentworth?
Was it you holey moley penguin who pulled me down in a glorious public expulsion from school for what exactly?
Was it you faceless nom de plumes who tapped my fecund womb and mocked my flowing breasts?
Was it you husband with your constant NO, your secret stash of cash while children played with dog’s tails in puddles, who went absent without leave into another’s bed?
Was it you who chewed the fat of porno and breathed out curlicues of hash into the mirrors of a splendid drugged up past?
Was it you my sister dear, who left this life cut up small on a plate that only served others?
Was it you my girl who wrote my name on a secret disk and collected the signatures of thousands of others?
The ostrakaphoria done, I left an exile to sweat and stink in another land?
Was it these, all these things dancing in mad red shoes on the green vinyl floor that made the dark flower bloom in my breast?
Was it the lies, the betrayals the litany of wrongs lining up in rows of barrels ready to shoot the lip of the falls and spill their guts in the foaming cascade of my very own very secret history?
The wardrobe’s penumbrous depth holds a monster
too dangerous for the world to see
an abjurer wandering in the exile of self-contempt
yet in the hazel eyes a Hyperbolus looks out upon the foreign lands
and in that gaze a terrible miracle is born.
Dubito, cogito ergo sum.