Tag Archives: Beth Murch

There’s A Country & Western Song In Here Somewhere

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They say that when someone’s been stabbed
it’s safest to leave the knife blade in the wound.
The weapon acts as a plug to keep blood in the body,
and additional organ damage can be caused by pulling out the sharp edge.

In the movies, the hero pours whisky on his own pierced flesh,
grimacing as the alcohol stings his slash marks –
makeshift antibiotics for his barely-there medical care.
Hypovolemic shock never sets in before the bad guys are brought to justice.

I’ve been staggering around with a knife stuck inside my body.
Even though my muscles have stopped trying to force the foreign object out,
and my skin has grown over the place where the blade entered me,
I can never forget the feeling of being punctured.

There’s a tourniquet around my heart, Baby,
But I’m still bleeding out over you.
I pour bourbon down my throat but it doesn’t heal the nerve damage.
I think this time the bad guys just might win.

bloody-yellow-melon-killed-by-knife-wound-with-blood-metaphor-stock-photo Stock Photo.

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This work, “There’s A Country & Western Song in Here Somewhere” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Morning Song

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The juicy sound of the cat barfing
raises the hairs on my neck before I even open my eyelids.
I check the sheets for menstrual blood stains as I make the bed
and then my piss splashes in the toilet bowl like a golden tsunami.
The sting of peppermint toothpaste attacks my senses
while I brush and spit the remains of a restless night into the sink.

There is nothing delicate about morning.

The scent of freshly ground coffee beans
competes with the fragrance of the freshly used litterbox,
and the milk has gone as sour as my love life.
Yesterday’s dishes are piled in the sink.
Yesterday’s ashtray is overflowing.
Yesterday’s used condom sits in the wastepaper basket,
and I’ve been wearing the same nightgown since Tuesday.

There is nothing more revealing than the bright light of morning.

In the steaming shower, soap bubbles trail between my legs,
while I lean my forehead against the cool tiles.
My muscles are like fists,
unclenching one by one,
And I think for a moment, of
feline vomit
period stains
peppermint
sour milk
golden bars of sunlight streaming through the cracks in the curtains…
…and I think of morning.

There’s nothing quite like the dawn of a new day.

morning
image by King of Wallpapers.

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

Kitchen Wisdom

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You never washed the dishes properly.
You would put plates in the cupboard that were smeared with food.
You would place forks in the drawer crusted with old condiments.
I would pour my coffee into mugs that would taste like sour milk and dish soap
While trying to organize the pots and pans you shoved into the places they didn’t belong.

Now, my kitchen is clean.
Bowls are stacked according to size.
Spoons are nested together in an orderly fashion.
Everything has its place,
-even you –
It’s just that it’s no longer in my life.

dirty-dishes-white-clipping-path-39784908

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

Beautiful, Yet Dangerous

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“…and the flowers she planted, narcissus and hoa mai which cracked open each spring – the sky, she brought it low, until the air was hot and wet and broke into a rain…” – Cathy Linh Che, “My Mother Upon Hearing News of Her Mother’s Death” from Split, Alice James Books, 2014.

Don’t go there,
Where the hoa mai blaze like a fever
Near the riverbanks where her collection of sun-bleached bones glisten in the rain.
It’s beautiful, but dangerous
Where the narcissus bloom
Amidst rusted tin cans in overgrown cul-de-sacs.
She brings the sky low,
Makes it heavy and hot like breath,
Speaks to me ancient languages of pollen and nectar
Using cyclamen lips and a tongue like a tuber cracked open in spring.
Her belly rolls like distant thunder during her sudden summer sizzles
It’s beautiful, but dangerous there
Where the trout lilies riot in silence,
Near the creekbeds where her hair weaves into bulrushes,
Amidst blown tires scattered down endless highways.
And the flowers she planted…
And the flowers she planted…

Hoa-mai-roi

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

Shiver For Me…

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It’s cold! Every winter, I ask myself why I haven’t left frigid Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario for the balmy climate of Vancouver, British Columbia…and then I remember that I’m a poet, and I have no money. A gal can dream, though, and those dreams taste mighty sweet since I can remember my trip to Vancouver so clearly.

 

vancouver tree
I may have had an erotic moment with this tree.

vancouver
Commercial Drive with hippies, communists, mountains, and poets!

While I struggle through the season of chillblains (not just for Dickension characters, apparently!), let me catch you up to what I have been busy doing!

In October, the Kitchener-Waterloo Slam Team of 2015 went to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and we placed 5th in the country at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word! Yeah! We came hard and we beat big name teams like Toronto and Guelph. I’m proud of our team’s work!

wall of bees
Queen B was very impressed with the bee theme on a Saskatoon street corner!

This poem earned me a standing ovation from the audience and some mixed reactions from my colleagues.

 In December, I performed at a fundraiser for Plan B Co-operative KW, a not-for-profit providing queer community spaces and resources for folx in Waterloo Region. It was called “Homo For the Holidays” and featured some amazing hiphop from 8th Iotomic.

In January, I performed at one of my favourite annual events – Cliterature! The show, put on by Shelley Secrett of Secrett Events, is a celebration of wimmin’s sexuality through song, dance, storytelling, poetry, and pretty much anything you can think of. Yes, there are vulva cookies. Anyway, it was a rocking good time with lots of laughter, some tears, a whole lot of kombucha, and a very generous audience.

me cliterature
Pre-show selfie!

carolina miranda photo
It’s showtime! Photo courtesy of Carolina Miranda.

Next up will be a feature in Brantford, Ontario on February 5th, 2016 (it’s an anti-Valentine’s Day slam!) and my super awesome FUNdraiser, Step Up, Speak Out: A Celebration of Resistance, which is happening on February 20th! Come out! Come out and play with me!

Step Up, Speak Out: A Celebration of Resistance

resist
Legal fees? More like BEAGLE FLEAS! hyuck, hyuck, hyuck!

Other than some wicked writer’s block, that’s about all that’s new with me! I’ll leave you with a writing exercise I did today trying to inspire a poem. The task was to create a list of nouns. Here is my list:

figs, dates, earth, brown, calendula, bees, sunflowers, rose petals, bee hives, honey, alchemy, sand glass, robin’s eggs, twigs, marsh, cemetery, wildfire, smoke, barn, nettle, clover, dew drop, bluegrass, socks, trees, paint, clay, rope, anchor, salt, amber, candle, incense, lighter, crystals, ice, snow, apples, coffee, cigars, apothecary jars, beeswax, maps, books, and sextant.

I couldn’t come up with a poem out of all that, but maybe you can! Share and give me some inspiration!

Trees, Bees, and Babies!

Peace and Blessings,

Bethy ❤

On a Christmas Day Without Snow

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On a Christmas day without snow,
the white, generously- bellied moon shone in an India-ink sky,
pouring incandescent light through your truck’s windows,
dancing off your mirrors until your chocolate eyes held diamonds.
The seat captured the cold night air and pressed through your clothes,
drying the sweat that glided down the winding roads of your body.
Your hands, still covered in the sweet resin of trees,
left the wheel only to turn up the volume on the radio
as you hummed along to the corn-kissed whine of Southern pedal steel.
The road stretched wide and endless before you,
and in that moment of possibility,
you thought of me.

full moon
Image taken from Pinterest 

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This work, “On a Christmas Day Without Snow” by Beth Murch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Easy

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“You’re so lucky,” they say. “The words come so easily to you.”

Easy.

This poem took me three days to write
and I carved out my insides with a pen like a serrated spoon attacks a grapefruit.

Easy.

The hopscotch jump from bottle to cigarette to coffee to knife drawer…
My every sentence a secret suicide note written in the blood type of ink.

Easy.

Pushing past the hunger in my belly that punches me like a fist,
Convincing myself that if I can only keep writing the desire to eat will fade,
The fear of poverty will evaporate,
That the Universe will move so that my rent will get paid
Just this month…just this month…just this month…

Easy.

Words don’t just “come” to me like a sheepdog bounding towards his human companion –
They are chipped away from each of my bones like ice from a wedding sculpture,
Melting before I can even hold them in my mouth.
Poems do not arrive with grace:
I pull them from me with tweezers and rubbing alcohol like splinters from infected flesh.
When I stand before you with a piece in hand,
I am more propped up than a corpse in a Victorian memento mori photograph,
I’m leaning on a bewildering sense of self-satisfaction that comes from stringing sentences together like patio lanterns.

Easy.

It’s easy not to write another poem.
It’s easy to believe that the new poem will never be as great as the last poem.
It’s easy to believe that words are like bombs and that poems are PTSD flashbacks.
It’s easy to believe that no one reads what you put down on the page and that you will be forgotten.

But the words…
The way the words come…
The way my thoughts manifest into lines for you to read…
Those are anything but

Easy.

signup-easy-sign
Image by Mr Fox Composting

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