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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.

 

1.

 

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

 

 

2.

 

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.

 

3.

 

You and I Virginia,

 

are fraudulent animals,

 

our inviolate limbs,

 

and queer protests lust after kingdoms

 

amaranthine

 

under our pendulous breasts,

 

prehistoric folk wanted to take our skin

 

flayed salted stretched and sun-dried

 

 

4.

 

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.

 

 

5.

 

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.

 

 

6.

 

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

 

7.

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,
    xxdada

  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.

      Cheers,
      Misbah

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