Ligature Mouthpiece

Life cry he eyes a particular mad stink
caught my breath in himself last
plucked-to where seaweed to sink.

I woman whose blues cerulean-hued fling
legs nostalgic in the water.

Wear grief while addicted to sleep--
some Nepenthine relief to aquatic terror
bleat carcass melty wear mad mad mad

these not bare not advance where far-fetched
finger does the basic wag.

When you gouge out my eyes vulture be tidy
intricate [intimate?] -- yet precise where you pick.

Drown aquatic calveless body skipping far flung
caught about disjointed boy drown pours
myself shouting away any contraction I doom
to exposure -- basically the bending over
slurry Susan womanly thing --

to his last anything my erring body eschews
an ugly suture unleash mongrel antelopes
that which scar-pink fuzz done scratchy/violent
crawlspace to surgical interludes.

And perhaps he reads my schoolbook legs
pecked at the frightening butter-dripped between
all crevices. and perhaps he's got a warm
face to splatter a fresco onto a sidewalk
some hungry dog into and rest -- if only in
brevity this mouth.

I am as years are married to the clock.
Be quick with that needle tidying-up.
Matina L. Stamatakis
rat-foetus blues

and love became the foetus of a rat;
small, curled, and perfect
and safe enclosed in a venomous womb of poems -

and love was like that:
tight closed eyes in a face depraved and shrivelled,
translucently longing and deeply drawn in, thoughtless and selfish,
an impotency, a love misplaced in me -
this corpsey embrace of a graceless ape.

to a false rat embryo my zygote of pain divided in mind,
big pink unseeing eyes set much too deep inside,
twitching whiskers and nostrils intolerably sensitive,
attuned to the slightest trace of involuntarily displayed disdain,
my rat's fate-sanctioned soul-food and even mine:
lonely seeking our truth in the forgotten graveyard of beauty
and eating archaic corpse meat in poetry's forgotten lies.

the fish-eyes my rat sees through are dismay and coloured gray as hate,
engraved with an indelible name and condemned to perpetual rearrangement
of the pain within my brain from the truth it's known too long
these eyes are the children of a loser's solipsism
and reduced to visions of a beloved face,
their only trophy of a love gone wrong
the lonely duty of abortion, its untold and sacred grace.

my heart is an engine of love, precision-tooled with a subtle movement,
a machine of computer beauty, my primum mobile perpetually moving me,
sophisticated receptor of pain and duplicator of its selfish anatomy
this ever-eating fang of love performs its lonely duty adequately,
and is adequately despised,
for the veins and muscles of pain that lie far too close to the surface,
far too close to the eyes

and rat-love is the hopeless croaking telephone voice of the dead unloved,
those whose un-fragrant embraces are wet with rot,
whose half-eaten eyes are liquescently happy
with fulfilled pain-dreams of one totality and an end,
a lasting abode in a longer-lingering agony, a joyous glory,
my selfishness again

(for once love's crystals lay their silver junk sparkles
on pages of silver glass
and this yellow-eyed boy was serener there,
when swift prayers flowed colder their servile review,
a quick run-through of lacrimae rerum:
my sugar-sprinkled eyes danced their decrepit hours of already death,
they kissed the stones of fate in life's terrarium:
they are this waiting,
they are a patience for you)

the rat is always unborn and stable,
curled here and perfected,
world of possibilites and mutuality's climbing...
stopped hard now,
glazed dead with pain but unassuming -
no faith to prove,
or lose
David Mclean
Read more by David Mclean and
Matina L Stamatakis in the print issue