Author: Bralowski

Poet, page and performance. Short story writer. Screen writer. Musician. English with Creating Writing graduate. Masters in Professional Writing.

Richmond

Before I left my home town

after we’d all been there far too long,

everything  good,

it begin to gently rock and sit askew,

like the peach with the worm inside.

And though it is really a very pretty place

there have been suicides,

and there will be suicides.

And the night sky is deeper than any other place I’ve been.

 

We were close friends

but slowly, In small ways, we turned on each other,

doing bad things Just to see what it felt like.

Sick,

and artless,

and stuck.

But now when I go back there

everything they do, or say is poetry.

 

Last time I was in town

they told me about two local boys.

One, with his friends, stole the other’s cocaine.

So he, with his friends,

snapped his legs.

Now his friends, and friends of theirs want revenge.

Wherein lies a problem in such a small place,

because friends of his friends, are friends with his friends, friends.

 

Then they showed me this

thick legged, butcher of a spider they’d captured under a measuring glass,

suspended in frosty lines.

Pure evil in a jug cup.

I wondered, did it know it was caught at all?

They said his name was Bruce.

Bruce had been in training.

They’d been catching flies and smaller spiders,

and placing them in there with him.

Sixty days and nights they were sacrificed,

Strung up, and gutted ashen.

Bruce, they told me, had tripled in size.

Then they introduced me to Titus.

Titus is a bruiser, they said.

It was true, he was a killer.

A sooty death hand in a mason jar.

He and Bruce were to be pitted against one another

under the jug.

 

It was all so excitingly cruel.

I wanted to tell them to let them go,

but they wouldn’t have,

so I didn’t.

 

I had to leave before the fight was scheduled.

It would have been an interesting thing to see.

I’m still waiting to hear how it all turned out

with the stolen cocaine, and the feuding boys.

With Bruce, and Titus the Bruiser.

It’s likely they’ll forget to tell me

but it doesn’t matter all that much.

 

One will devour the other,

and the victor will be alone

again,

under his cold glass sky; No Horizon.

Then the victor,

the victor will die too.

And I wonder, do they know they’re caught at all?

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The Argonauts

Moved down the hall
of an upscale
shopping centre
in Paris, where they worked,
like
berserkers cut for the modern,
uncompromising men.
They had it all.
What did they need to stop for?
To contemplate,
to claim,
to pray for,
to perfect.
Not even for the girl
in a sun dress
sat on the floor in the shade
against a polished marble pillar
that so many would stop breathing for,
and on their way past
made her stand and hold her bags,
but she won out.
She had
Strong legs,
and hair as long as her.

And I know that such a thing as the soul exists

because those men were each
so clearly, and
fatally bereft of one

and had a lot of things and objects.

Leather of the Minotaur’s neck
and those good, good looks
like Hylas, had he loved
his wet nymphs for a night,
then murdered them all
in their sleep,
leaving pond life to nibble
at their opened throats –
Sailed away with Hercules.
And nice suits and watches and socks

and this
and that.

and themselves.

They’ll never look at the moon,
crescentic, and stained
and say
it looks like orange peel.
They won’t see the moon at all.
They’re not looking for the moon.
They have it all.
They’re so sure.
Everyone is so sure.
They have it,
and they move
as the bloodied
Butcher
For his pig.
Cool as killers
Inviolable.
Deathless.

They were closing in on
some tiny body
dressed in deep blue
overalls.
A man with a spine like a shepherd’s crook,
and purple apostrophe eyes
mopping the stairs.
The smallest man I’d seen in Paris.
He must have looked like a bug
to them.

They came close.

No
said the bug.

But they heard him not.

They came closer.

About to stomp him

Closer still.

NO!

said the bug

loudly,
looking up,
raising his arm out
with a flattened palm.

And lo,

the men
were still
and scrunched their noses and
looked around,
as if for some glass wall they’d mistaken
for air.

They glared down heavy
with eyes like knives,

but the old man was gone back to his art.
They growled and flapped,
but the man
never looked back
up,
not once.

The men stooped off
cursing and defeated
a different way,
to some distant staircase.

And you know
there’s such a thing as the soul.

It lets a bug
be a lion.

And a demi god

bleed.

Poetry Is Dead

There’s a place nearby,
a bar part way up a hill
that hosts spoken word
nights. And you
can go there,
and say your piece
for one free beer,
and no one there to hear it.

Sometimes
on a good night,
there’s the old man
who smokes
his cigarette naturally,
and you feel it was never placed between his lips
by hands, or
devices of any kind.
It just grew
out one day from between
those cockled red yellow slugs,
and glows there,
like a burst of daisies
from cracks in a wall.
And you’re not so sure he hears
much else than
the wind,
and the bells
to call last,
the sound of women moaning
madly
in his memories.
And softly,
cracking and persistent below,
the sound
of his initials being
etched
immovable into
the wood of the reaper’s sickle.

When he talks
it’s to himself,
wrapped in smoke
toiling in serpentine coils,
but if you’re smart

you’ll listen.

Calmly,
you’ll listen.

To how he’d steal roses
from cemeteries
to give to his sweetheart.
Of his grandfather who
died of a heart attack
making love to the maid,
while his wife laboured downstairs,
working on tea.

Then too,
he has these un-closing,
smashed window
eyes,
deep in, under sad brows,
a face like
a gravestone with no name.
All pissed on,
prayed for.
With no flowers been set down.
Just that one daisy that’s grown.
And you can go there
and say your piece for
one free beer,
and no one to hear,
while fools
say poetry is dead.

Lovers

The pen
glides, spilling
its heart
in loops and lines
on a tattooed page of illegible text.
The pen-craft leaving each letter bowed,
as if courteously leaning to kiss
the hand of the next.

It’s placed in the cleft
of a craterous
pillow and left
on a bed
well used,

like the only couch in a cafe
to the brim with wooden stools
with no backs,
and too tall for the tables they’re at;

a bed all worn out,
like a great,
great, great grandfather’s
house shoes.

©zacharyd’mitripoetry

Since The Birds

A train went past ours breathing,
and bawling, like a drove
of bulls goring
each other
from the inside of a storm cloud,

and no one blinked.

Kept on staring through one another,
out windows.
Deaf.

Beethoven listened
to the nightingale sing,
and the way the cuckoo,
and the quail did,
on long walks.
He used the way they spoke
in his work and loved them very, very much.
It must be the saddest thing in the world
that birdsong was the first thing
he noticed he couldn’t hear.

Sadder than a funeral with the world or no one there;

a cloud of crying moths
dowsing fireflies with tears;

or all the jigsaw puzzles
in every din-less old folks home missing
just one piece.

Another train punched through the long
shadow, sounding like a
a God dying,
and no one flinched, or missed a line in their book.

Like the end of the world,
that’s how it sounds,
the city.

Cars pass with diminishing yells,
like bodies
falling from great heights.

And the streets seem to yawn to fit us in.

Planes boom overhead,
but below they wash dishes,
and fit shoes, bake, and shake hands.
People on board sleep, almost
peacefully,
and their ears pop.

The city sounds like the end of the world,
might be,
and no one thinks
or frets at all.

One day it will truly end
and I don’t suppose anyone will notice,
and charred dead people will just keep walking
and working, and fucking, falling down cracks in the earth,
numb still,
no more broken than now.

Dauntless,
Lonely.
Deaf.

On, on!

We must be the saddest
thing In the world

Since the birds,
since the birds.

On, on.
Coughing, drinking,
murdering.

Dragging.

On,
on.

Forever.

The Left-Behinds.

Night draws close.
It’s cold but to get colder still.
We’ll all be breathing
smoke like we’ve a fire inside,
but we don’t,
and when we piss a dirty gold,
steam lifts
finding nostrils,
and forming a fine dew
on hollow cheeks.

Those that die tonight
their souls will go,
but their bodies will rot,
bloat then sink.
The skin sinks beneath the bones.
Those bastard bones that linger.
And the left-behinds
will spend their last nights
cursing the Lord’s ecliptic,
licked and pinched
thumb and forefinger.

Tongues That Tie Cherry Stalks and the Eaters of the Cherry.

Writers are not people

who are good at expressing themselves.

Writers are shambolic

things that sit alone

In a quiet

room for hours,

with anything that stains a mark

on something else, because they forget

Too easy,

to make just one sentence

Right,

or to make just one sentence

Theirs.

I’ve heard people

talk

better than any script.

I’ve read writing

that isn’t anything.

And the writers envy

the talkers.

And the talkers are scared of dying,

because the moment

belongs to those talkers,

but

eternity

to the

writers.