Take my heart into deep water – Basilike Pappa

On Free Verse Revolution again. Love, grill restaurants and deep waters.

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

You’d think it would be the fragrance of flowers, the symbolism of doves, or the euphoriaof spice, but it wasa 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…

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Tell the Story Challenge

As my dear friend Bojana Stojcic said, damn those challenges! I wasn’t planning on writing anything today, but she made me change my mind. So, in response to her photo prompt, here I go.

 

bojama challenge

When you thought you met the Muses, but it was Witches

When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Macbeth (I, i, 1-2)

 

In bars

drooling beggars starve

for drunken sweet strangers

to see them as stars

*

They say: ‘Can I buy you a drink?’

And: ‘Shit – I’m weak to your magic’

Easy to lure in alleyways

for a shocking discharge

*

Seduction overflow

turns to poems on the necrotic beauty of snow

some worse than others

*

Our tongues

bear fruit for writers obscene

emptying their cocksure intestines

On paper sheets

lines as profound as

‘pleasure is a cheap pump’

*

Later they beg to meet again

in thunder, lightning, or in rain

*

They find we have flown away

there are always more

monochromatic clerks

dreaming of becoming stars

in bars

 

 

 

Lines in the Sand (part 3): Jimmi Campkin & Basilike Pappa

Saltburn VI

 

You are my glorious disease and I have been fighting the cure ever since. I long for emptiness these days. No more cigarettes, no more drink, no more love. Just morose boredom and a meaningless fuck in dust. But still I think about wide hips and burgundy lips, thigh high stockings and your foot gently pressing on my groin like the gas pedal in a car. I remember your breath before you came in for the kill, and I remember the light dancing off the contours of your arched back. I remember wet, horrible sin.

I’ve tried to find alternatives but I only end up staring at the backwards writing on the base of the bottle. I go to a different store every day so the vendors don’t pity me. You drift into my mind like smoke under a door, and I never know whether to open it and try to escape or to stay and hope I pass out before I burn.

I walk into the bathroom and wash my face in the filthy sink, trying not to look at my own reflection and the betrayal of my dilated pupils. I tell myself I am done, that we are two cogs turning the opposite way, destroying each other.

But then I think,

one more time…

One more taste of red salt…

*

The poets of sweetness that made us cringe tell of a place where lovers live ever after in castles made of perfumed mists, saying to each other things like ‘forever’, ‘I swear’ and ‘always more’. We are too smart to swallow this, and yet here we are, all stars, fires and poetic license.

I claim to wish for your silence but, when I see you aren’t done, my heart races over the seas. You pull me back, tear me apart between lust and fear, doubt and trust, fire and ash. Controlling my sequences of movement, ordering contraction and release with the tapping of your fingertips, you make me lie in bed aching, holding on to the memory of you pinning me down with your body, with your brutal mouth, sinking so deeply inside me not even smoke can drift between us. It’s still you who drives me into the dance; memory becomes flesh as I squeeze my thighs together and think of flowing into you in gasping motions – wet, exalted.

The kill is on both of us. Pierced by the same blade we fall.

Here’s the truth: I can’t go on. I’ll bring you my tongue on a platter, my song out of tune, my sanity, my senses, all my silver jewels. I’ll even do the stupid stuff, like say ‘forever’, ‘I swear’ and ‘always more’. I’ll pass you the salt. And if we become material for the poets of shit, we’ll blame it on the weather or a collapsing bridge.

The words you wanted to hear were always there when I said bite / fuck / hard / eat / suck me, kávla – at the last one you’d say ‘what?’ and I’d say ‘guess.’ Always there when I was carnal.

Let’s take it from the start.

Say again: ‘Tell me something you’ve told no one else.’

This time I’ll say yes.

***

© Basilike Pappa & Jimmi Campkin, 2018

Photography by Jimmi Campkin

Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.

You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here

Lines in the Sand (part 2): Jimmi Campkin & Basilike Pappa

Portrait II

 

I tremble too much these days. I can barely light this cigarette without burning my fingers. Perhaps it is the drink. Perhaps it is memory, weighing on my soul like a lump of lead stretching the fibers of my arms.

I look up to the stars and the constellations spell your name, or the ripples of your laugh, or the contours and folds of your glorious sex. I am a weak man, which is simply to say I Am A Man… there is no strength emotionally, just the naked and vulgar grabs of power from that which we all fear the most. I stand on spiders because I fear them – you place a glass over spiders and release them because you fear them.

Your little black dress drove me crazy. Ever wonder what happened to it? So do I. It didn’t burn as I intended, but evaporated and, caught by an autumn breeze, drifted out of my desperate hands to be made anew elsewhere. That dress, those eyes, that smile, that mind… the endless churning of impenetrable cogs and gears, like a pocket watch.

All that I could be; carnal. All that you could be; my everything.

I still shiver, or tremble, or perhaps my body is rejecting memory, shaking it loose in self-preservation, like a wet dog. I just know I still wish to smell your early morning breath. When I go to the store I look for your footsteps. When I walk into the sea I look for your sand-ridden panties in a little pile next to the lapping tide. When I wake up, I wait for the pinch on the bridge of my nose to tell me it is time to rise.

My song is finished.

Your song is only just beginning.

*

You made me cry.

The wings that spread over seas, the wheels that turn on roads like these, have lights that can be taken for stars from a distance.

I have new dresses now. I am in them when I drink and dance and laugh at something someone said. The magazines are right about little black dresses. I can almost hear the cogs and gears behind erections, so I laugh a lot on days like these.

You speak of weakness. I’ll tell you what it is:

Weakness is a phone ringing with no one to hear it.

Mind covered in rust, shaking hands, what makes this body move among cardboard props is a mystery to this person in the mirror, eyes open wide, these walls know each other, this person inside them a stranger, attack it, heat it up, shorten its breath. Hand holds a cell phone, quasi real, at last an idea almost tangible, digits are the smallest grammatical units in this type of communication and you don’t even have to remember them because a device like this claims to have a memory better than anyone’s.

Weakness is a phone ringing ringing ringing with no one to hear it – where are you, fuck your god? You suck the air out of me and keep it in your lungs when we kiss, bring it back, bring me your voice, your skin to touch, it must be real or nothing is.

A face melting behind hands that come away wet, water on fingertips tastes like the sea. And where were you, fuck everything you’ve got, where was your voice, the smell of home, where were you laughing at something someone said?

You made me cry.

I swore you’d pay for it.

As I turned myself into a little light propelled by an engine across the sky, you were not looking at the stars. You were opening the package I’d left at your door, a gift that was terminal, reading the note that said ‘talk to this’.

I know my hands now and they are steady as I hold my glass. One cigarette dies and another is born – even cigarettes can look like stars from a distance. I have new dresses now, I drink, dance, laugh at something someone said when I’m inside them. But sometimes I dream of us deep in the orange grove, so no kiss is as terrible as yours, no body as warm as yours, and I have no song the way I had with you, singing out of tune to make you laugh.

Memory is weakness and I’ll burn it on a day like this, the way you burned the dress, just wait, you’ll see.

You did burn it, didn’t you? Unless ‘evaporated to be made anew elsewhere’ is your poetry of saying you gave it to someone else.

Take a deep breath, exhale and hate me, don’t make me cry, don’t drink and drive, eat your food. Then I may get my song back.

Could end this ‘with love’ – I’d rather sprain my hand.

 

***

© Basilike Pappa & Jimmi Campkin, 2018

Photography by Jimmi Campkin

Jimmi Campkin is a “Writer, photographer, creator of SANCTUARY. 16bit child, INFP with clinical nostalgia and red wine for blood.” You can enjoy more of his work at jimmi campkin.com.

You can read Part 1 here

Dyserotica-Basilike Pappa

Playing dead today on Sudden Denouement.

Sudden Denouement Collective

He wants me to play dead in a clearing on Hymettos, under the open sky. I lie down on a flat rock surrounded by anemones and chamomile, and he spreads my hair in a fan shape.You are so pale,’ he says, as if he sees me for the first time. He arranges my limbs in different positions, and I can assure you his touch is clearly academic. He walks around the rock to look at me from different angles, talking all the time about aesthetics. His vowels are precise, his sigmas soft and his nus ring of the best education money can buy.

He drags a finger over the childhood scar on my knee, asks how I got it. I could invent a heroic story; but the rock is smooth, the sun gracious, the breeze carries the scent of thyme, so I just tell him the truth: I…

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Cummings and Goings

+——Cummings and Goings

 

 

‘I have a love,’ he said.

‘And I have none,’ I said.

‘I’d like to stay,’ he said.

*

‘Can’t be with you,’ he said,

‘but you’re my flame.’

I said: ‘I feel the same.’

*

‘It’s wrong,’ he said.

‘So stop,’ I said.

‘No, don’t,’ he said.

*

‘Is everything a game?’ he said.

‘That poor guy.’

I said: ‘There’s something in your eye.’

*

‘Come on,’ he said.

‘Cannot,’ I said.

‘Why not,’ he said.

*

‘You have a love,’ I said,

‘remember?’

He said: ‘You’re better.’

*

‘It’s true and sweet,’ I said,

‘the message you’re transmitting.’

He said: ‘ You’re kidding.’

*

‘I want you more,’ he said

‘but like you less.’

I said: ‘Makes perfect sense.’

*

‘Fuck you,’ he said,

‘you only wanted me for sex.’

*

‘And you,’ I said,

‘would make great friends with my ex.’

***

© Basilike Pappa, 2018

(Image: Pinterest)

Death will Tear us Apart

Alexia

I thought there would be tears in Vicky’s eyes; the only thing that gleamed on her face was her red lipstick. I thought she’d bend to kiss Cleon’s cheek; she just stood over him and gave him a long look. I thought she’d say something; she smiled. And in the end the handful of dirt she threw at him was more like spitting on his face than saying goodbye. Then she found a quiet corner and smoked a cigarette.

Everyone we knew from school came to the funeral. Cleon had been so popular. Everyone had wanted to hang out with him. They were all shocked when they heard about the car accident. They drove here from all corners of the country to bid farewell to their classmate and companion. So did Vicky. But she didn’t seem to realize that we hadn’t lost only Cleon; a part of our youth had died. She didn’t speak too much with anyone, not even with me. I was the one who called to tell her about the accident. ‘I’ ll be there,’ she said and hung up before I could give her the details of what had happened.

Vicky had always been the silent type. There is something pretentious about silent types.

I went up to her as she was lighting another cigarette, her back turned to the graveyard, her gaze fixed on the hills.

‘Remember how we used to go up there and be crazy?’ I said.

She turned around slowly. Her eyes were still dry and her lipstick still juicy.

‘Sure,’ she said, and turned her gaze back to the hills.

‘And the parties we had?

‘Yes,’ she said.

‘We had so much fun. And Cleon… most of it we owed to him.’

‘Yes. Cleon always knew how to have fun,’ she said.

‘He was so full of life. Always up to something. And so gorgeous. He looked like an angel. Every girl was in love with him.’

‘Shows how clever they were,’ she said. She took a small mirror out of her purse and checked her lipstick. Then she checked the geometry of her bob and must have found it perfect, because she smiled.

‘I can’t believe I’ll never see him again… never hear his voice again–’

‘And I can’t believe he’s finally shut the fuck up,’ Vicky cut in. She tossed the mirror back in her purse and snapped it close, the sound of the clasp as dry as her eyes, her voice. Then, without another word or look at me, she turned away and left.

I stood there gaping after her, wondering since when is red lipstick appropriate for a funeral.

Vicky

He was an angel alright: an angel of vengeance.

He and I had become lovers that roaring summer after school had ended and college was to come with autumn.

It would be pleasure without pressure: we had agreed on that.

I kept the deal. He didn’t.

One day, as we were rolling naked on the scorched grass of the hills, he said the words that were not to be said. He said ‘I love you.’

He couldn’t accept the fact that I didn’t love him back. He persisted. He pleaded, he begged, he promised.

When none of it worked, he finally spoke the truth. He said ‘I hate you.’

I thought that was the end of it.

 

I never got used to the sound of the phone ringing in the middle of the night. One does not easily get used to that sort of shrillness.

‘I know you still wear red lipstick. Who do you wear it for now? Do you suck him with that lipstick on? Like you sucked me?’

The voice was hoarse and whispering, but his.

Hanging up on him did not discourage him. Changing my phone number didn’t stop him. I don’t know how he did it, but he was always able to find me. Not only me. People I dated had received night calls. He had told them to leave me alone, or else. A couple of them had listened.

But then came a night when the phone rang and it wasn’t him. It was Alexia.

‘Can you believe it? So young, so young…’ she sobbed and sobbed, and loved it that she was the messenger of bad news.

‘I’ll be there,’ I said and hung up, saving myself from her chirping bird monologue.

I caught the sideways glances she gave me at the funeral. But then she was always giving me sideways glances, even while we spoke, as if she was trying to see a face behind a mask.

I didn’t care. I came here to see Cleon dead and buried. To throw dirt on his face. To flaunt my red lipstick at him and disappear into the sunset.

And that is what I did.

 

***

Basilike Pappa 2017

 

Amatorious

 

 Love is a word that sings like a virgin

in low-cut jeans, in low-key mind,

sucking at a lollipop lollipop oh lolli lolli lolli,

looking for messages in bottles of cheap wine.

I, on the other hand, am vinyl chloride,

lab-made illusion, feeding on white.

I am another north – I invented my own kind of cold.

I am a contempt warrant – I pronounce you dick by the phone.

I have deviance dispensers in my heart

and never suck at a lollipop lollipop oh lolli lolli lolli.

So let’s just fuck.

***

AMATORIOUS was originally published online by Rat’s Ass Review, Love and Ensuing Madness Collection, April 2016

(http://ratsassreview.net/?page_id=1070#Pappa)

Basilike Pappa, 2016 – All Rights Reserved