asheville poetry

All posts in the asheville poetry category

Periwinkle Blue at 42

Published March 28, 2017 by April Fox

This is the age when I’m supposed to embrace myself,

to wrap my loving arms around my ego and my thighs and to

denounce the false ideals forced upon me by plastic fashion dolls

and runway models

built like I used to be, flat-assed, long-legged, stick limbs and a marked lack

of cleavage, false women who I heard

could not be real

and I was safe in my

imaginary skin.

This is the age when I should have my shit together

when I should have more than a pair of second-hand combat boots

and three more years to pay

on a car with missing hubcaps.

This is the age when I should walk

with confidence

full of all the wisdom

that I had at seventeen

head held high

wine glass in one hand,

the other reaching up to touch

my recently-trimmed hair

–I should have a girl who cuts my hair

and know the name of a restaurant

that accepts reservations

and doesn’t bring the food out

in red fake-woven baskets.

This is the age when I should pass

from weirdo to eccentric

when my t-shirts should be hip and retro

and not artifacts of life.

This is the age when I should know

what the fuck I should be doing, when I should

sleep

when people sleep and

feel

what people feel and know

by now

how to nod and smile and talk about the right things

at the right time

and my fingernails should not be painted black

for daytime and the kindergartener

swinging her legs

on the plastic chair

is grateful, perhaps

that at 42

she remembers that the best crayon

is periwinkle blue.

Funhouse 

Published March 11, 2017 by April Fox

Today seems like a good day, she thought,

to post a written affirmation 

in the third person

of how she saw herself

Words borrowed from someone else and 

filtered 

through a hazy layer of optimism

angled just so

to avoid showing the piles of

shit

in the background 

and viewed through a

funhouse mirror

Nails in her feet cropped out and blurred

with tilt shift

just to be safe

She is

an all-powerful

homage 

to herself, a poorly-lit

selfie

captured in words

and garbage
Such a beautiful sunrise

frames her silhouette 
And she will rise,

regurgitating self

another day. 
*For fuck’s sake, please don’t take this seriously. 

2016

Published January 3, 2017 by April Fox

Funny all the cracks that made your surface

interesting, once upon a time have filled in now

with dirt and grime and no amount of scrubbing

can restore them

Leonard Cohen left us blissful

mirror-gazing at each other, dancing

long and slow, until the end

until the end and we were

cavernous, and gaunt like insects, exoskeletons

the mismatched eyes were watching everything

and slit the throats

of all our memories, bled them dry and left us screaming

hey Ophelia

Please come back

home.

Vultures

Published November 30, 2016 by April Fox

Plastic vultures,

pale and fat

shiny beaks spitting out

the phrases that they’ve learned

from television,

Cool Kid Slang

the mating call

of the

desperate-

circling, waiting

for the chance to pluck the eyes out

of the children

they were never meant to have.

 

Spot Light.

Published November 27, 2016 by April Fox

In the hallways, we shared stories

of the darkness, passed folded

slips of paper

palm to palm, like contraband

secret payment for the ticket

to get in

We hid in corners, trading

tales and malcontent,

pound for pound, tracing scars and

licking salt

away from skin

The cracks behind the wall

bled our secrets through.

We drowned our boundaries in coffee, sat up until

our eyes bled red and the words

we spoke were smooth

against our tongues

The moon outside the window

was a spotlight

shining in.

Skeletons 

Published November 4, 2016 by April Fox

It used to be we kept them

locked up tight, bound and 

gagged, jaw bones chained

to the floor and filthy rags taped

over the holes

where the eyes once waited,

watching. 

Now we buy them brand new

Pick them out of catalogs, customized

with all the latest

diagnoses, all the fancy

damage upgrades

Shabby chic

for the narcissist soul

And we dress them up in

costume pieces, gaudy beads and trendy things that scream 

I have my shit together 

but for these bones, here-

See my bones?

We walk them on parade, 

let them strut out before us

slapping all the other people

in the way-

There is no room for your bones here

Look at all my splintered parts 

cast from latex

and gummy resin. 

Mine are the only ones. 

And in the back room

in the closet, padlocked

tight

The skeletons who know the truth

are chewing through their bonds,

prepared to speak. 

Dog Days

Published August 27, 2016 by April Fox

Maybe it’s the heat,

the dog days smuggling water in through your pores and into

your lungs, drowning you

inside your skin

forcing out your breath in labored

syllables

It could be the dark, creeping in

an inch at a time until one day,

driving home

you take your eyes off of the road and expect to see the sun

draped low on the horizon

but there’s only grey, tinged with the last remains

of orange at the edges, dulled

and faded

sung to sleep by the din

of the cicadas

It might be the moon;

blame it on whatever phase it’s in

waxing/waning

or the stars and their alignment

today or the day you were born, it doesn’t matter

planets spinning retrograde,

the chemicals inside your brain

The constant noise

is driving you

insane.

Mourning Dove

Published July 17, 2016 by April Fox

I found him at the top of the stairs

without a head.

It was a clean break, no sign that it had ever been there

and though his face was gone

his body lay in a pose of accusation

making me the guilty one.

I wrapped him in brown paper

and threw him into the woods

while the rain burned down my back

and ate my spine;

I could hear him in the dead leaves, singing

his wings or his still heart beating

the low bass notes of life.

Bridges

Published May 13, 2016 by April Fox

There is a bridge

between caring and not

Sturdier than it looks

and once you take the first step,

 it’s easy to cross. 

You can see them there, still-

the things you used to care about

Feel them watching, catch the breeze that carries across

a memory of them, the scent of something

lost

You can taste the regret of not going sooner, mingled with the stench

of the things that ripped them away, the things

you never could have cared about

no matter how you tried

Even in the shackles, looking back across the water, streaming water

down your face 

the things that turned the others 

into monsters

are less than nothing 

inside nothing

under the surface

Bold and bitter 

and irrelevant. 

Cobwebs 

Published May 10, 2016 by April Fox

I don’t know the people here

with their serious smiles and their faces

hard and dark, shuffling

along, dancing some slow-motion two-step

no one really seemed to take the time to learn

I watch their tentacled hands, flaky skin and grotesque knuckles

reaching toward their eyelids

pulling the lashes out

making wishes on the damaged parts

the leftovers that no one

ever wants

And their spines crawl with the weight of regret, toward the pinnacle of shoulders

Knees and elbows crumbling along the edges

revealing the rust beneath, stubborn

and scabbed, like a childhood bicycle accident

come round again 

to tease, with the promise 

of a scar

And the buttons have all come undone

and the mirrors watch them pass with other people’s eyes

and the bald acknowledgement of recognition 

hangs like cobwebs 

from their teeth.

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