Kiss The Monster

The Monster 

whose lips are these

did they kiss 

before they were grafted to my face

this attitude to the kiss

where did it come from

what cultural imperative 

was infused into my brain

to tell me the power of the kiss

 

I look down at this body

ruminate about this brain

all the things woven into 

my sense of self

that I don’t know were they originated

though I know they are controlled

by attitudes I can’t alter

 

the history of dominant needs

sutured to my ideologies 

as seamlessly as these lips

as these hands

which send ripples of fear

through the global villagers

 

a monster created in their minds

moving in this world

asking them

are your lips yours

or have they too been grafted

seamlessly

as you groped with those hands

(your hands?)

into adulthood

 

Stepping away from the Rules for a break 🙂 Each October I’ve been writing poetry inspired by horror movies. I’ve been a fan from an early age – ghost stories, spooky stuff had a distinct appeal for me. I can’t pin-point an actual age or movie that sparked my interest. Maybe it was ghost stories at Y camp?

 

One approach is to see the world from the creature’s point of view. This is the most famous monster of all – Frankenstien’s creation. I’ve given him a more introspective sensibility that is even present in the novel. In the book he is quite chatty & thanks to his bad brains, rather vengeful. My creature is stitched together from similar parts from movies, books & shoe-gazer angst.

He questions the sociological construct of the kiss, of the sense of self. The sort of questioning that many non-conforming gender people often go though as they sort though the history of dominant needs. LGBTQ people often end up with a sense of sexual self that they have to put together for themselves. How do you adapt this self to a culture that says self-acceptance still doesn’t change the fact that you are fucking monster that can send women & children screaming when you go to the washroom.

Part of the fear of the monster is often how it makes us question our own sense of self. Are these my lips. Is this kiss, is this gender, me or is it a cultural costume I wear to fit in, fit in so well there’s no need to make any decision. Why not accept the pre-made identity that allows us to conform so that we don’t scare even ourselves when we look into the mirror.

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Emotional Extremities

Emotional Extremities

these aren’t my hands

I don’t know

whose they are

at least they match

unlike my feet

one is size 12

the other is size 10

so you can’t judge

the size of my hidden extremities

by my feet

or this nose

at least it’s in the centre of this face

this time

even if it isn’t the nose

that goes with this face

 

I think my legs match

in length

though one is hairier

than the other

 

when these hands

touch you

this brain

doesn’t know who it feels

what this emotion is

but there is a change

in my hidden extremity

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The Monster

The Monster 

whose lips are these

did they kiss 

before they were grafted to my face

this attitude to the kiss

where did it come from

what cultural imperative 

was infused into my brain

to tell me the power of the kiss

 

I look down at this body

ruminate about this brain

all the things woven into 

my sense of self

that I don’t know were they originated

though I know they are controlled

by attitudes I can’t alter

 

the history of dominant needs

sutured to my ideologies 

as seamlessly as these lips

as these hands

which send ripples of fear

through the global villagers

 

a monster created in their minds

moving this world

asking them

are your lips yours

or have they too been grafted

seamlessly

as you groped with those hands

(your hands?)

into adulthood

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Monster

Monster

Under the bed

In the closet

Behind the wheel

Across the counter

Smiling grinning laughing

Pouring a coffee

Inviting me to enjoy

dust bunnies

old shoes

road kill

Or a Danish

How about a home made cookie?

Telling me how well I look

So firm so ripe

Ready to pluck

But too late for the daily special

Which wasn’t so hot even though

 

It was my favourite

Long lost sock

Prom dress

Stop light to run

To barrel through a

Group of nuns

[or is that a wimple of sisters?]

Mowed down by that

Monster behind the wheel

That unthinking laughing cruel God

Who spared the drunk

To doom the brides of Christ

Without them

Who’ll perk the coffee?

 

Little Sisters of the Drip

Bakers of cookies

Wives of the Lord

Lord only knows

But only we suffer

The wonderment the mystery the puzzle

The answer that seems clearer

After the right penance

First the confession

Wrung out drop by drop

Yes I’m the one

The fragments

Black rags flapping on the bumper

Blood on the tires

 

Yes I’m the one

That’s me hiding the last crusty habit under the bed

In the closet

One in the trunk of my car

One that wouldn’t come clean

Couldn’t wash out the blood of the lamb

The wafer the donut

The blood the coffee

Dunk, we drink together,

We share our passion

For the coffee jockey

We choose the best raisin oatmeal

More cleansing

More roughage

To face this rough age

The age of carnage

Traffic stops and

Sacred relic coffee shops.

redbow02

November being Remembrance month I’m stepping into the past with some very old pieces that I vaguely remember writing in 1999 when I was getting back into poetry after spewing out City of Valleys, a 600 pages novel.

redrib01

Monster I picked for this time of year. Sort of a list poem it jumps around oddly concrete abstractions – the notion of monsters under the bed is giving the abstraction notion of fear a concrete image – moving from imagination – under the bed – to the real presence of someone behind the wheel of a car. Fear becomes a tempter, seducer – you can eat another cookie & not get out of shape.

There’s a comic driving game where one get points for running down pedestrians – the points go up when you run down nuns. How nuns ended up in this poem I’m mot sure but there they are. The notion of the cruel God comes from the need to blame what we don’t understand on spiritual forces we don’t understand.

In re-reading this I’m enjoying the shift into the sacred coffee shop – baristas as Sister of the Drip – I’m still struck how quickly coffee shops have become must institutions in most neighbourhoods – once this was a city of churches – even some of them have been converted into Starbucks. It isn’t a far leap from the communion wine & wafer – the body & blood of Christ – to the donut & double double.

redrib03

The placement of words was worked on when I did my edits at the time i.e. sacred ‘relic’ coffee shops. Many churches in Europe built congregations around a scared relic – the finger of St. Paul sort of thing. At one time there were enough relic bones of some saints to give them dozens of hands.

I haven’t seen a coffee shop go so far as to have the Grail Christ had his expresso from – St. Anthony’s coffee cup, or The Filter of Turin, would be a powerful draw I’m sure. There’s a coffee shop near me that does have action figures & comic books though – action figures being our modern day relics. I wonder if place called The Coffee Golgotha would attract or offended.

redrib02

By the end I have lost the beginning tread of monsters – the inner fears, the outer threats & end up trying to tie things together & almost succeeding. I see my use of patterning, echoes of reference to things earlier in the piece get expanded so that there almost seems to a logical image flow going on. Though perhaps the sacredness of coffee shops has become a modern monster.soon

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
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November 18, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

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