Salome Starfire

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From my new collection of poetry, ‘Animal Kingdom’

This is one of my prose pieces from my new collection I’ve been working on…

Seven steps to a Tableau Vivant.




In unadulterated working cubicles


and further galaxies—interstellar space


every day is


a morbid anatomy.


We are conjoined twins


you speak to me and a dead weight presses against my lips


you are a possum’s tail


a bat


a spawning salmon.


I am a guttered salamander


immersed in a posture of surrender





We have labelled incorrectly these dead beings


at the Zymoglyphic Museum,


under your skin a panorama of living creatures


the soil under your painted toes


is fossicked


these strange currents that run within you


culminate in the fogginess of your gaze


we both know the controversy surrounding


mermaid collecting


we both know of leather-winged folk


who left city lights


to swim again through other jungles


such spectacles at night


moving in a breathless flight.




You and I Virginia,


are fraudulent animals,


our inviolate limbs,


and queer protests lust after kingdoms




under our pendulous breasts,


prehistoric folk wanted to take our skin


flayed salted stretched and sun-dried





In a black and white photo


albino animals behind glass


toad, rabbit, birds, and a wallaby


poised in movement


theirs is a heartbeat in consent behind glass,


secured with metal stilts by dexterous hands


in a garden you and I will never know.





I have entered through two air-locks


it is not for security


but to keep the formallin


from spilling out


People at computers remain mephitically productive— entries and emails hold the clockwork universe together,


timetables of pink, purple,


wooden owls lucent, perched on keyboards.





doll-pink, doe-eyed, cloven-footed, limbs in cheese-cloth.


not like a japanese paper house


and not like the hay-bale houses we made at school


not like the partitioned houses made of itchy blankets


but the crash-pads made behind eyes



I am late today because no amount of needle and thread will do,


my head flops onto my shoulder,


my tail is dry and brittle,


my ears are filled with fluid,


and even my murmurs sound like nefarious screams


but at least the sound of my longing is tailor-made.



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3 thoughts on “From my new collection of poetry, ‘Animal Kingdom’

  1. Alors missy baba you have mellowed and fructified into a sagacious mulch!
    Audaciously spacious your pinpricks of aha!
    I bow problematically,

  2. Like! May I feature part 2 on the Zymoglyphic Museum web site? With credit and a link here, of course (and a plug for the book when it comes out!)

    I will have to add “fossicked” to my vocabulary!

    Sagacious mulch indeed!

    • Hello there Jim,

      So sorry it’s taken me some time to reply…just been out of the internet for a while. I’m so glad you enjoyed the poem. Of course you can link to your website. The Zymoglyphic Museum is incredibly inspiring and it is only apt that this poem should be connected to this outstanding website.


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