I’m 24

Funny shaped tap drips without end,
birds no longer sing in this city

I tell myself, I cannot survive much longer

If my view is a saffron robed Pakistani man, hawking up phlegm at 8am, into his dying rhododendron

Despair like me, at these four walls and dirty pipes protruding from beneath singleton sink

Who ever made sinks this size? Sometimes you throw up in them. Other nights you heft your hiney and pee long and shameful

The golden shower of malcontent. I don’t like to share bathrooms with strangers or friends

Poverty and her gifts, laying each day another absence, a reminder, you are in the meat grinder of the city, she waxes her legs on your sharp disappointment

As a kid you thought you’d wrangle diamonds from street corners, the fizz and pop of bright lights luring you to the center, like a Christmas nectarine

Is always spoilt.

In the petting evening, wet lipped men come to the spindly girl upstairs

She has thin shoulders and jagged hips, her eyes are always transparent and high on pyramid crystals

These men grind their dirt into her pretend cries of ecstasy and she gets crisp and filthy notes left on her childhood dresser afterward

I fantasize about asking her, if it has to be men she admits into her sanctum

But I’ve never paid for it and I don’t want to step in their cooling semen

If she knocked on my door and offered a damson breast I may

Break that rule and risk, even in the AIDS era, even as a feminist, even if I can’t afford the powder, her hungry nostrils crave

Just to feel the rub of her emaciated hips and hard thighs against my parched skin

I’d fucking inject it if I could, to take away the feeling of savage loneliness in the big city

That sick feeling, you’re stuck, among landlords and low paying jobs, even at 24

Massaging an ancient electric meter with dirty coins, for a little light showing more dirt

The temptation to let it fade out and lie, door open, legs open, coins in your mouth until blood freezes in your veins.

Come in and pay for me then, what am I worth? What can you fill me with, I haven’t already drunk?

Strange people’s scarfs on universal banisters, the smudge of sex in screwed up foil and old bus tickets

Lift up my hips, ram it in, pay your due, switch poison for love and love for death, welcome to the pleasure dome.

The man in 4b puts his hands down his granddaughters dress but the abuse hotline just rings and rings and rings

There’s a gypsy in 5a, cries for his lost lover til dawn. There’s a 13 year old boy who turns tricks in the street, who asks for bus money and new socks

The flashing lights of the strip club opposite are flamenco pink and penetrate through my squalid curtains, wailing their synthetic dreams

How far will you travel to see the sky again? To touch sand and sea and gulp with fevered breath, the pollen of forgotten worlds, lost in your lust for noise

I think of the Pakistani man and his phlegm, growing flowers from spit

As the Eastern eyed girl sells her small fruit for a ransom and a cry

Breasts like pinches, thin ribs beneath wool, taut ride of her skirt showing little pursed mouths of bruises

Her feet are always bare andlacquered, mine are unwashed and leave imprints of desire outside her door in ring-a-rosies

She wears her tips without a bra, nipples hurting in their push, smoking cheap cigarettes before light, smell of burnt coffee and sex on her chewed neon fingernails

They pay her to keep them hard, I beg her to stay soft

The city is a searching arbor of need and want and ingratitude

At 3am people wander the street for drugs and pain and death in little sealed packets

She leans in the doorway, exhaustion a shroud, touching her bottom lip with a haloed question

I open my mouth and let her in.

To her, and all the men she brings, to 24 years and not a minute more, to the nialism and thready vibrant flowers growing from scorn

Her body is a violated temple, a bingo hall, an arcade game, with multiple slots for change

Her mouth tastes like ashtrays and night clubs and old men, skinny throat a pin cushion of bite marks

I make her sing

As light wakes the rest of the world, all the lost birds hear her call

The Pakistani man admires his flowers and thinks

How beautiful this little piece of color is, here in this metropolis where all are brushed beneath concrete

I brush my hands across her small deflated breasts

Seeing sunlight find its way in between crowded houses filled with sore tenants

Touch her violet tinged skin in patterns, warming her before she awakes.

I’m 24 and she’s 22 and an entire life time, of fag butts and misery, washed down on lines of coke and old men groping for their last fuck

Later on I’ll take her to the coffee shop with the little bell above the door, and we’ll clasp hands beneath the sticky table cloth

Blue rinse ladies in the adjacent seat will remark, on our bright eyes and shining hair

As if we too were born

From the cracks of despair

27 Replies to “Pleasure dome”

  1. Your vision of this mixed up world of beauty is so filled with truth, most wonโ€™t believe it. Something got star crossed in our long ago, leaving a ptsd on all members of our species. The Archons (a name for the nameless) feed on our blood, on the spilled semen, all the spilled fluids of our inhumanity. A planet washed in blood that once was alive like the visions of Avatar. Yet your words hold onto that light, through all they do to devour us. Someday, dear one, we shall be free!

  2. I believe as you do P, that some day it won’t be like this, or that something went terribly wrong where people do not recognize what is going on. I felt this when I was very young, not so much a depression or negativity as an acute awareness of what REALLY existed and how people make out this is a wonderful city/spectacle when in reality, cities can and do devour people. Maybe when we see – we are free? Or have the potential to be? You know I’m going to be looking up Archons (which ring a very familiar bell, perhaps I already know) today along with visions of Avatar (what a film) xo

  3. Iโ€™ve seen that early longing in you since Iโ€™ve known your writing. It makes the argument for returning (metempsychosis) a strong one. One of my first inklings of this was asking myself when very young … Why life? Cities can feed us, and can eat use alive. Vampirism is not the stuff of fiction or myth. Those who take up others energy, are the same as blood suckers. Drinking the life out of us. I have a sense your answer is in your blood. Iโ€™m not sure where, but continue to meditate on it. Seeing the truth is freedom, it does not feel like it, it can even be lonely or sad, but that is just the ego… There are many terms for Archons, the origin of thought and the bantering of emotions across this plane of existence … I loved Avatar, they were the corpuscles of their planet. How they came together to fight the infection … who really got that?

  4. It is good that you can open up about your own (?) feelings and write them out so successfully! Bravo to you! May I reblog the occasional post?

  5. I do…but invoke Romans 14….I will not eat or do certain things, if it causes another disciple of Jesus Christ (like me) to fall. I do use foul language…when bitterness and-or resentment get ahold of me…but that is rarely helpful on my blog. Yet for you and yours—it is and is acceptable—and that’s more than okay! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. oohhh I see ๐Ÿ’• I generally only post old stuff on IG but any reads I get from you, lovely lady, are good enough for me โ˜บ๏ธ

  7. THose are good words to live by my friend. I like the idea of not doing anything that would cause another good person to fall. I believe i live by the same principles. xo

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