Monthly Archives: January 2015

Crushing The Crushing Caused By A Crush

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It starts by removing the gold star by their name on Facebook,
So that you no longer witness every picture, every status update, every comment.
You collect all the stickers that you have been saving for love letters,
And you give them to the kids who live upstairs, who stick them on their coats and lunchboxes.
Slowly, you tear each poem into tiny pieces,
Watching words like
Eyes
Promise
Creases
Salt
Rip apart, right before you feed each of them into the flame of the candle you keep in the bathroom to cover up the smell of shit.
You change the sheets on your bed,
Because even though they’ve never laid there with you,
You’ve spend countless nights imaging the sound their skin would make against the sheets,
And you are secretly afraid that if you cry with your face into the pillow,
You will taste that spot where their neck meets their collarbone
And never be able to rinse the flavour from your mouth.

 You take a bath,
Fill the tub until it cannot hold any more hot water, vodka, or ashes from stale cigarettes.
You try to wash your hopes away with dollar store loofahs and that soap you bought because it smelled like their laughter,
And then you douse yourself in drugstore perfume because you regret using that soap that smelled like their laughter.
Naked, you stand before the mirror,
Running hands over the parts of yourself that they’ve never seen
But they have already rejected,
Wondering how simple flesh can be so ugly.
You take a sleeping pill.
You spend the night watching sitcoms on Netflix,
Trying to convince yourself that the canned laughter will keep you company.

It ends by snipping all the stitches that seal your soul to your body with the pair of kitchen scissors
That you pull from a drawer
When you exchange the empty vodka bottle for the full-ish bottle of whisky.
There is no blood when you sever your soul.
There is no need for splatter analysis or Rorschach-style divination –
Everything anyone needs to know about this soul suicide
Can be seen from the way you are lying naked on the floor,
Singing Patsy Cline,
In between rib cage-shattering sobs.
Tomorrow, you wake up hung over and numb to anything but your headache.
You take four Tylenol and chase them with a bottle of coconut water,
Put on lipstick,
And smile like you are anything but dead inside.

crushing-fist
My heart is like this clove of garlic. Or something. Suddenly, I want pizza.

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This work, “Crushing the Crushing Caused By a Crush” by Beth Murch,  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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When Wimmin Speak

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When men speak,
The posters display clinking cognac-filled glasses
And artfully displayed cigars.
Men have faces and names.
They are given s  o  m  u  c  h  r  o  o  m.
They are encouraged to take up space,
Take up the stage,
Take up the page.

The mic isn’t so much a tool for voice amplification
As it is as a tool of dick extension.
When men speak,
Words have to bigger, harder, and uncut.
Men’s poetry has to be engorged, swollen,
Every line has to be hammered, screwed, nailed, and pounded,
Because men aren’t just building a poem;
They are building a club house
Where no girls are allowed –
Unless we’re prepared to be hammered, screwed, nailed, and pounded.
And Girlfriend, you better be grateful to be his handyman’s project,
Because after he’s drilled you,
After he’s sanded off your rough edges,
After he’s left you coated with a thick layer of his varnish on your face and breasts,
He’s going to show you off like you are his accomplishment…
…After all, he “made ” you.

When wimmin speak,
The posters display sexy stiletto boots
Held in bondage by a microphone cord.
Wimmin don’t have faces and names.
They aren’t given anyroomatall.
In fact, they are tied up just to be made smaller:
Reduced to footwear,
Reduced to fetish wear,
Reduced to impractical and fanciful objects.

The mic isn’t a tool for voice amplification –
It’s a tool for choking us into silence.
When wimmin speak,
Words have to be soft, warm, and pink.
Wimmin’s poetry has to be accommodating;
Every line has to be a sheath, a scabbard, a pocket, a slit
Because wimmin aren’t just building a poem,
We are building a receptacle for men to slide into,
A safe place for our “allies” to store their daggers
As they self-congratulate and stick themselves into our sheaths, scabbards, pockets, and slits.
And Girlfriend, if you think he would hesitate before stabbing you with his dagger –
The one in his hands,
The one in his pants,
The metaphorical one that he plugs into an amp before he spits verses…
Well, I hope you get home safely tonight.

 So, Sister, if you choose to speak,
And he’s staring at you, wondering when you are going to deep throat the mic,
Don’t wrap the cord around your feet like he suggests.
Let it dangle like a tampon string between your legs,
And turn acoustic misogyny into electric empowerment.
Come at him with static.
Come at him with feedback.
Come at him with hissing and popping.
Come at him with the furious crackling of sound unchecked.

 Use that mic as your torch.
Use that mic as your pepper spray.
Use that mic as your vibrator and get yourself off.
Because, Girlfriend, he may have given you the stage,
But this is your party,
And you don’t need his permission to “come”.

 womyn with mic

Royalty free? Way to be!

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This work, “When Wimmin Speak” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

This Poem Will Be The Coaster For Your Next Drink

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It wasn’t the miles that kept us apart.
Kisses can be wrapped in tissue paper,
And shipped overseas.
Secrets can be whispered into telephones,
And magically beamed between ears via satellite technology.
Deserts and mountains pose no obstructions to sweet words and willing mouths.

Distance cannot be measured with a compass
When it is created by a back that has been turned
To a heart balanced precariously on outstretched hands.
Even if you were right here in bed with me,
And I wrapped my legs around your hips,
I know that you would have your eyes closed,
And that your face would be turned away from me.

It wasn’t the quiet, or even the inarticulateness,
That created the chasm between us.
There are lulls in every great conversation,
And I’ve never been someone who needed specificity to secure comfort,
But your lips don’t even move anymore.
The lyrics of your heart are inaudible.

Silence is not simply the absence of speech.
It is the dissolution of an exchange,
And the severing of a connection.
Even if you were to ask about my day,
I know that you would never say my name
Or murmur into my ear those things that go unsaid,
But are perfectly translated into language through breath.

I never asked for you to push continents together,
To strain your vertebrae, knees, and lungs
Just to bring the two of us together.
I didn’t dream of upsetting the oceans,
Mixing Atlantic with Pacific until fish no longer recognized the taste of their own salt water.
I wouldn’t have asked you for promises or poetry
– I don’t believe in either, anyway –
I simply wanted you here.
Present.
I wanted you to speak with me.
With honesty.
All I wanted was you:
Broken
Shattered
Jagged
Imperfect
Authentic
You.

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Royalty-free? Way to be!

 

 

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This work, “This Poem Will Be The Coaster For Your Next Drink” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Step Aside, Rumi

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My face is wind burned.
My throat is scratchy from cold air and winter germs.
My eyes are bloodshot.
My muscles are screaming from a wind chill of -31.

I’m no longer sure if I am writing poetry,
Or simply delivering an inventory of my symptoms.
Frigid (literally and figuratively)? Check.
Raw (literally and figuratively)? Check.
Laying awake in the middle of the night smelling the giant shit the cat just took in the freshly cleaned litter box three rooms away? Check.
Desperately relying upon streaming syndicated television programs on my laptop to comfort me through my middle age? Check.

Someday, I will be dead.
My shawls will be hanging in a thrift shop,
My books will be dumped into a garbage bin,
And all that will remain of me will be my Social Insurance Number…
…and this poem, of course.
Behold, the magnificence!

Step aside, Rumi.

Cold Turkey

Look! It’s me! Well, it’s me if I were a royalty-free cartoon turkey who was smoking during a snowstorm in the mountains.

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This work, “Step Aside, Rumi” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Jigsaw

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Maybe, it isn’t that people are broken –
It’s just that they aren’t fully formed yet.
What if we are all jigsaw puzzles,
Separated into pieces?
Perhaps, it isn’t that we are lonely,
It’s simply that we know that we are scattered piles of bits
Waiting to be made into something beautiful,
Longing for someone to turn our colourful sides face up
And to snap each of our tiles into corresponding tabs and blanks.

 Maybe, love is someone taking the time
To methodically construct a frame of blue sky
While having faith that somehow, someway,
The myriad of random pink and purple shapes
Will later click together in the middle,
Forming a reproduction of Monet’s water lilies.

 Maybe, love is understanding that wholeness cannot be forced.
After all, some of us had our artwork glued on crooked.
Others were pressed too hard or not hard enough.
Most of us have puzzle pieces that are bent and torn
From where those from our past have tried to muscle a connection.
They damaged our edges by slamming their fists
Against those parts of ourselves that did not bend to their will.

 Maybe, love is about fully interlocking:
Memory with memory
Moment with moment
Fingers with fingers
Hip bones with hip bones
Venae cavae with venae cavae,
Blood intermingling.

 Maybe, love is learning to take the remaining fragments of ourselves
– Those sad portions that never seemed to quite fit anywhere –
And turning them into something tessellated.

Maybe, it isn’t that you and I are broken –
It’s just that we are jigsaw puzzles.
We are 1,000 mysteries with 1,026 little clues
Trying to solve each other.

jigsaw-puzzle

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This work, “Jigsaw” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.