Tag Archives: Disappointment

Kitchen Wisdom


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.


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


That Trick With The Cherry Stem


Even if you learn that trick with the cherry stem,
they won’t stay.
Your lovers will evaporate like water in a kettle boiled dry,
before the coffee is pressed,
before you are dressed,
because your mouth is a graveyard of kisses.
Other people’s teeth and tongues
pass between your stained lips to die.
Sighs of desire, of lies, of satisfaction, of lies, of promises, of lies
float like ocean debris on your saliva.
They don’t say your name because they don’t know who you are.
You don’t hear your name because you don’t know who you are.
Your bed is a container for the carcasses of caresses gone by,
the sheets are a museum displaying the ancient burial techniques of a lonely womyn:
hopes mummified in cotton, perfumed with stale cigarette smoke, sprinkled with cracker crumbs, matted in cat fur.
A night with you is more funerary rite than passion.
A knotted cherry stem is only a headstone in a place people are afraid to linger.



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This work, “That Trick With The Cherry Stem” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

The Darkness


“Yes. Yes. Yes. I hear. Your silence is loud.” – Anne Sexton, A Portrait in Letters

My arms only stretch so far.
I have popped them out of their sockets to keep reaching for you,
Hoping that if I try a little harder my fingertips might actually brush yours
And I might be able to pull you out of the darkness.

Sometimes, I think you prefer to stay in the darkness.

I have carved off pieces of my heart and laid them at the altar of your friendship.
I have fasted to become pure for you,
I have tithed to become holy for you,
I have spoken your name like a prayer.
You hide your face with your hands in order to blot out my existence with the darkness.

Sometimes, I think you prefer to stay in the darkness.

I have been calling to you for weeks now,
But my voice only bounces back to me off the cliffs of your concrete spine.
You refuse to turn around, refuse to hear me, refuse to answer back.
This is how you remind me of what my worth really is to you.
I am only another shadow in your room full of darkness.

Sometimes, I think you prefer to stay in the darkness.

Love is a ridiculous emotion.
It keeps me ripping the cartilage in my arms
As I keep stretching into the abyss,
Hoping to find you somewhere out there,
Reaching out to me,
Taking hold of my hand,
Speaking words of kindness,
Instead of pulling me into a darkness of my own.

Sometimes, I think I prefer to stay in the darkness.

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

The Brant Rant’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Slam: Featuring Beth Murch!


Brant Rant

If you think of broken-hearted people swilling whisky and smoking cigarettes in an embittered fashion, apparently, you are not alone!  Come celebrate Valentine’s Day with me, the Perpetual Spinster, at The Brant Rant’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Slam. Or, you know, don’t…I’m used to being alone. WAH!!!

The Deets:

Who: Beth Murch (me!)
What: The Brant Rant’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Slam
Where: Rockling’s Tap & Grill, Brantford, Ontario
When: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Why: Because misery loves company?
How: By crying into our beers and sharing poetry

Event’s Facebook Page: The Brant Rant’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Slam feat. Beth Murch

Crushing The Crushing Caused By A Crush


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
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.

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.

This Poem Will Be The Coaster For Your Next Drink


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.
I wanted you to speak with me.
With honesty.
All I wanted was you:


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


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.

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