Marion May Campbell – In the storeroom

Marion Campbell LEP&W V4 Dec 2022

Download PDF Here 13th Anniversary
Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Four December 2022.

In the storeroom, poems by Marion May Campbell. 

in the storeroom

in the storeroom
the postmen sit on their mailbags
& pass around the elixir

their blood is red ink
parchment their skin
love inscribes its slow

tattoo there they say
poems are letters that go

poems deepen sleep
they multiply
the heart’s chambers

you wake with names
of ice on your tongue
with lava pulsing

at your wrist
your veins map
the roads of change

somewhere a windscreen wiper
moves the rain to tears
somewhere the slave

cuckoo comes unsprung
& flies –
to her young

NOTE – ‘names of ice on your tongue’ is grafted from Marina Tsvetaeva’s ‘Your name is a – bird in my hand /a piece of – ice on my tongue’ from Poems for Blok

flight feathers

as soon as he leaves
the dread of his return
conducts its drip torture

on the metal sink inside her skull
she ducks under mirrors
& night windows for fear

of the sight of her own skin
cling-wrapped on bones – of course
her vivisector preferred

to write Renoiresque the dappled flesh
of young girls in flower
her depletion feeding his power

he’d been famous for a year
then quickly forgotten
his fame had come

from his stylish ease his killer
wit & in its wake these bouts
of terror relayed

the animals shook in their baskets
the little dog the cat
the black rose bloomed

that shameful corolla
her head in her arms
she listens for footfalls

like Jack’s Giant bent on
revenge thundering
down the fire escape

he called her slummocky
so accused she became
mere flab & bloated bruise

her belly a dome collapsed
sparse-feathered mocked
by monthly engorgements

past your use by eh
sterile old bird
that voice pernicious

has coated
her flight feathers in something
much heavier than lead

crash dummy

I sent out an SOS like a crash dummy
to see if the glass would craze
in her rear vision mirror

I didn’t see a sign
that she’d received me –
but our whole

painting was in the background
sharply distorted
an asymmetrical

in the retro light
somewhere in digital resonance

two women cried
& in the implicit sidewalk neon
our blue angel smoked on

well-pleased with the cushions
inflated between us
& the dashboard dials

© Marion May Campbell

Marion May Campbell is an Australian poet and fiction writer whose most recent works include languish (Upswell Poetry 2022) and third body (Whitmore Press Poetry 2018), and the memoir The Man on the Mantelpiece (UWAP 2018). Now retired from university teaching, she lives write and paints in Drouin, Victoria, on unceded GunaiKurnai land. Her poems are fed with her dreams and other writers’ words.

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