My poem, Manthos and Magdalena Lights Apart, on Visual Verse

Joelle Chmiel VV

 

Because the apartment on the middle floor reminds me of mine in Athens. You can read it here

 

(Image by Joelle Chmiel)

 

A Song With Many Voices: All the Lonely People

In the company of great writers on Blood Into Ink.

Blood Into Ink

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I have always been here, among the lonely people. Despite having people around me, my battles exist within my head and body. To you, I may look normal, but on the inside is a scene entirely different. My constant companions are sadness, frustration, exhaustion — even a fortified fortress to shield me from what the world has and could continue to do to me. Those walls isolate me from my family. The shadows are filled with creatures that know how to hurt me if I move too close. So, you see, I am one of the lonely people. But I am not alone.
Sarah Doughty)

All the Lonely People—

they converge,

invisible at intersections

of Life and Death,

strangely untouched by hands of those

simpatico.

How can it be that so many similar

do exist while lost

to one another?

All the Lonely People—

they are unalone, and yet

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A Poet with a Room

A poet with a room

 

I am a poet with a room

 

I want you here

where my hand landscapes you

 

See with your skin

I am desire of a hunter

towards your lips I seek a treasure

 

I raw this romance in your breast

pulsating

urging

eat me, I’m hungry

 

I am a poet with a room

 

I want you here

to see me pull out the goods

these wounds horror me sensuous

 

Trembling

kissing

torching delirious

I’ll pour the muse all over you

drink me, I’m thirsty

 

I am a poet in this room

I play the best lying game

any word rhymes with Beaudelaire

 

 

***

© Basilike Pappa, 2018

 

(Image: Pinterest)

 

Melinda’s Long Scarf Syndrome

Melinda stores memories inside chickens – uncaring birds.

Buys groceries.

Eats. Cleans. Makes a cup of tea.

Sitting by her window she knits long scarves. Hobbies are a good thing.

It all feels like calling home and speaking in a foreign accent, or like a strange cat sitting on her armchair.

 

Melinda used to have her rooms full of nightingales. Sometimes she flashed them at people.

Well, she is only human.

 

But counting nightingales before they sing all their songs is a cheater.

 

It comes as a missed train, as rain inside the brain; as unequal exchange, torn page, minimum wage. It comes as derealization, depersonalization, as minding the gap but still getting your foot stuck in it; as varicose vein, chest pain, not so sweet martha lorraine. It comes as blue, to paint blue the heart; as human factor, x-factor, max factor. It comes as grabbing hands, twisted arms, naked light bulbs; as consumable products, consumable contacts; as dropping leaves, dropping hints, dropping names (even her name has gone out of fashion). It comes as untied love knots, as mispronouncing your deepest thoughts. It comes as leaving, it comes as staying; it comes as anything, as everything.

Some call it fate, say it spreads like butter on a staircase.

Others the biggest joke there is.

 

One day Melinda didn’t feed her oven.

She took no nonsense from dishes who claim the road to feelings is perplexed.

She gulped down all tendencies to be nice to herself.

First she had a tall drink.

The world was off somewhere, grinning at caged giraffes, taking pictures of quaint cottages or bloodsucking.

Millions of fibers clinging to each other, loop chains growing longer and longer.

 

Fate was Melinda knitting scarves, pushing the needle with a bruised thumb.

Making a big bad loop, she turned herself into a hanging ornament

while a ladybird was passing outside her window.

***

MELINDA’S LONG SCARF SYNDROME was originally published on Rat’s Ass Review, Winter 2017 Issue, 10/12/2017

http://ratsassreview.net/?page_id=2794#Pappa

©️ Basilike Pappa 2017 – All Rights Reserved

Take my heart into deep water

You’d think it would be the fragrance of flowers, the symbolism of doves, or the euphoria of spice, but it was a grill restaurant that made me think of us this morning as I was waiting to cross the street. There was nothing special about it except for the hen that proudly posed as its emblem, presenting the world with a platter of roasted chicken. ‘Here is someone who would offer themselves to be eaten,’ I thought. And then I imagined myself being eaten by you. My body torn by your teeth, my blood dripping from your chin, streaming down the marble falls of your flesh.

Last night the air in my room had been heavy with the carnal scent of our new knowledge. You fell asleep in my bed. But sleep wouldn’t come to me; it stayed away from my clenched teeth. Behind my closed eyelids, tails and scales of ancient creatures stirred the sands. ‘If you give in, you will become like us: pictures in books no one reads, nightmares from times past.’

I stole out of bed and into the kitchen.

There I stood under the light of the range hood, nightdreaming of how we could wake up in the morning and share cups of coffee, and bits of talking, and a kiss before parting. Or you could wake up with fugitive eyes and I would put on a plastic smile. I would offer coffee. You would refuse and leave on some urgent nothing of your invention.

But you were in my room just then, your breath as deep as the sea. I sat at the foot of the bed and watched you sleep. You sighed and turned on your back, opening all your beauty to me. The smell of salty meadows rose from the center of your body. I slipped into bed next to you. Your arms closed around me the way water closes over the pebble that hits its surface. I became a pebble deep in water, self-contained, protected against every use that can be found for me, free to observe the rise and fall of life without taking part. Like a pebble deep in water, I slept.

And when the morning came, your eyes anchored on mine and I smiled a true smile. So elated was I, that I wanted you to go. Happiness is best enjoyed in loneliness.

But then, as I was waiting to cross the street, I saw the grill restaurant and thought I could end up like that chicken on the platter. It would be your doing – and my fault.

If I say ‘take my heart,’ you may do just that.

***

Basilike Pappa