Tenant from Hell (from Other People’s Lives)
He cares not for mundane semiotics –
weeks of encrusted dishes mount,
all year I’ve begged the bludger
to wash the house,
sombre as my roiling mood,
disdain for stains and smudges
curses my brain.
Mould seethes from wall to ceiling,
the rot’s set in …
devolution is inspiration
for deconstructive brilliance,
of Lacanian castration.
Ragged spiderwebs in corners
mock and spin since he moved in,
from nights of carousing toil
empty cans pattern the yard
with post-structural foil,
laundry unspeakable with foetid heaps,
like his scruffy tangled beard,
I, or is it my ego, struggle not to weep.
He clicks the remote for the footy game,
derisively philosophizes Derrida,
oblivious to temporal flames.
Someone has to clean it up
and I guess it won’t be him.
His mind’s immersed in existential
anguish of being, not doing,
my discomfort his convenient exegesis
to carve another tidy thesis.
Domestic Inconsistencies (from Other Peoples’ Lives)
She made me do it, didn’t get the hint.
Simple things change. It didn’t feel right.
There had been others. I owed her no reason.
Too old, too bright, too cosmic,
her song had ended.
She came to take her furniture.
After all I’d done for her. I needed it.
She stood her ground.
Her quietness incited,
inviting me to strike.
The barbed truth prodded my hands
to encircle her neck,
clasp her thin body and throw it
like a curse across the room.
Who would have thought
she’d be so light. I didn’t mean to.
She bounced off her old table,
fell against her lounge,
I nearly laughed, pushed her from my house.
Hurled her bag after her.
She provoked it, this matter of perspective.
Everyone says there’s always two sides.
He dropped the blade on our love,
smiled when he dismissed me.
Kept my furniture. To compensate for
all he’d done for me.
So I visited to ask for my heater to keep me warm
now I was alone.
Like Anne Boleyn on the block,
my head in his hands,
across the room I flew,
ricochetting off the table against my old lounge.
My head rings still.
Once he called me his gentle rose.
Excuses are words, not blows,
not the black petals on my body.
I’ll extract the thorns,
release the angry pus in private.
Everyone says there’s two sides and
asks whether I provoked him.
I stood my ground, wept,
now weep no more.