Cassandra's blog

NIGHT

I can’t do this any more. Not even for you. Not even for the McDonald’s Happy Meal you buy me after we have sex every Saturday afternoon. Do you know I only eat the cookies? Do you know that I drop the fries down the holes in the sink? I drop them one by one. Not two by two like Noah’s animals. On their own. Solitary. Lone. Loaning your copy of The Waste Land to anyone who will take it. You tell me to stick to Ovid. I tell you to proof-read Prufrock and draft a new ending for us. You kiss me and still, behind your back, I drop each fry down the sink. When you make love to me you watch your reflection in my dilated pupils. And when you shower I rummage through your sock drawer. Exposing your secrets to the world. Reading the contents of your ark of the covenant. You read to me. From Moby Dick. Always Moby Dick, never Pinocchio or Peter Pan. I try to tell you that I prefer Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But you hush me. It is your silence. And who am I to break it? I’m not anyone. I am occasionally Emily Dickinson. But the difference is that I can dance on my toes. Life is ‘full as opera'. I think about asking you but it’s late and my toes have gone to sleep between your ankles. In the jade night I can almost believe you love me.

KISSES

The first real kiss is the one by which you measure all others. Anthony Hopkins in Hearts in Atlantis told me that. I only saw half The Human Stain so I’m not sure if there is any advice for me in that. I fold out the laminated intersection of coloured streets. I want to meander. Wander. But I am tired. Just like you knew I’d be. My hand-drawn map from the Japanese New Yorker isn’t as simple as he implied. Or maybe it is. Maybe I am the one complicating things. After all Kabukicho is just a yellow sign with an arrow pointing up the stairs. I should have had more ice cream on the Narita Express. There are vending machines everywhere but I don’t have change. You should have come with me. You should have held my hand the whole way. You should have fallen in love with me. Not the union. Or Liberty. Or the American way. I like it when you kiss my neck and leave your tiger-stripe mark. Paw me. Poor me. I still think there’s hope. I still think that you want to show me Central Park when it snows. I still think this is heading somewhere. And somewhere you are laughing. Silently applauding my ignorance. Praying I stay on my knees and don’t expect anything for a while to come. For as long as it takes to get me out of your system. But you didn’t count on my mouth. And my big breasts. And my pretty arse. It will take longer than you thought.

NEW YEAR

You feed me schezuan chicken.
Your chopsticks resting on my tongue.
It’s going to be a good year.

VALLEY OF THE ASHES

I watch your cock bob up and down as you head towards the light switch. The last thing I see before you turn out the light is two big balls. Suspended between your legs. Fleshy. Wrinkly. And covered with a fine fuzz. You fall asleep with your arm around me. Warmed by the red neon of the Safeway sign. Bathing us in red. Until you turn over and I stare at your naked back. I know that when you go, the imprint of your body will throb in the darkness on the mattress next to me. And when I stretch out my arm to feel you, your absent fingers will trail up the veins in my arm. But for now, I’ll be your Zelda Fitzgerald.

Alice

I can smell him on my fingertips. Scent. Sent me away while he leaked out of me for the rest of the morning. Clinging. Cloying. Long after he has gone I have him. Still. On the tips of my fingers. I don’t want to eat, wash my hands, brush my teeth. His tongue has been in my mouth. Polishing my teeth. I shouldn’t talk. I shouldn’t urinate because that hastens his seed into the toilet bowl instead of coating my underwear in cream. I want to wrap myself in Gladwrap and slowly suffocate in his scent. Draw arrows on my neck pointing to his teeth marks. I delight in the marks he leaves on my body. Branding me his. Owning every inch of me. As a sign to others. Like an upside down claddah ring. But you are the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Only it is I who have set my watch to American time and wear it to bed.

Feeding you the apple

Close your eyes
And feel my hot breath
Just below your earlobe.

Listen as I take a bite of
The crisp white flesh,
puncturing the skin.

Trace the juice as it travels
Down your chest.
My tongue not far behind.

Serpent

I can’t wait for you to cut your teeth
on my unmarked flesh.
Trace the veins in my arm
with your forked tongue.
Nuzzle my nape
with your blunt nose
Before you devour me.
There is a crispness
to your words
as they coil inside me.
I am planting an apple tree.
The possibilities are endless.

Dessert Wine

I remember us
drinking dessert wine
at the top of the Rialto.

You let me
slip my tongue
into your tiny glass
of golden liquid.

Sweet vignette.
I have drunk the juice
wrung from angels’ hair.

Facebook stalking

It’s time. Your time.
And time for me to move on.
Without you. I’m not sure if you left me behind or if it was me that let you
slip through my fingers, but somehow we are strangers again.
So, in an effort to find out
who you have become,
I am Facebook stalking you.
It’s stalking because
I don’t have a Facebook account.
But last Sunday, your cousin
logged into his site
on my computer
and forgot to log off.
You are friends with him
so I can see your profile and status.
I am so confused.
You have changed your picture
on Facebook many times.
You prefer shots
where you are looking back over your shoulder.
It’s a funny pose for someone
who is so concentrated on the future.
You never look back anymore.
Somehow I thought that you were like me.
But I realise now I was wrong.
I’d rather not know what you are telling people you are up to on Friday nights.
So I am logging out of your life.

RIP

You hunt for us. Night of the hunter. Hide and seek. Sought after. 'Good looking sort,' you breathe. I hear your Little Bo Peep bottles tinkling. In your belt. Orion. Down Under saucepan. You flatten your palms against the window. I scream his name. It cuts through the Jack the Ripper night. Slice. Sluice. Raspberry juice. I see your face as he grinds my hips against the cherry upholstery. You christen us with blood. Splashed across the windscreen as you howl my name. You leave your message for me on the bonnet. Hood. Little Red Riding Hood.

Indent

I am trying to conquer a fear of living.
And a fear of being served coffee
that is too strong for my palate.
You tell me that I will mature,
but I am running out of time.
Like a vulnerable hourglass with fine,
pink sand.
Running.
I wonder why I can always seem to write
when I don’t have a pen.
Sometimes I try to make the indentations of words
with my thumbnail
on the back of a shopping docket.
But I can never quite make them out
when I get home.
They are obliterated by inky purple letters.
Pink lady apples.
And raspberry jelly.
I wonder how long it takes
you to write something.
And if you have ever written anything
on the back of a shopper docket.
And then I remember that you’ve done everything.
So I start wondering how my strapless bra stays up,
and forget you and your tantalising world of connections.
It’s only 8.30 and we are approaching the winter solstice.
But I am already tired.
Can you capture death on the insides of your eyelids?
Or does it creep along your cheekbones?
Steathily.
In maroon velvet shoes.
And glossy stockings.

Midnight

When you leave me,
part of your heart
will still beat
in the empty space
between my sheets.
When you go,
the imprint of your body
will throb in the darkness
on the mattress
next to me.
And when I stretch out,
my arm to feel you
your absent fingers
will trail up the veins
in my arm.
But for now,
you fall asleep
with your arms around me.
warmed by the red neon
of the Safeway sign.
Signing we are safe.

SUBLIMITY

You with your Wordsworthian patter can never be Keats. Because you have already lived too long. So I am cast as your forever Dorothy. Give me your wedding ring and let me spot the page with time. I’ve always liked the way that Cockermouth, Cumberland sounds on my lips. But there is no place like Grasmere. Postscript. You tell me I am your English mail coach. But doesn’t that mean that I am always leaving you behind? Carried away. Like a pen across the page. Glorying in my own motion, I ride through your opium-tinged dream fugue. Towards sudden death.

STRUMPET

Strumpet is lying on her towel with a bass player. Your eyes glow amber behind the tower. She drains her Long Island Iced Tea and pulls your moist libretto from beneath her buttocks. She won’t whistle for you tonight or any other night. She has finished scribbling on your libretti. The moon is still a perfect circle. Your hairy fingers tremble as you claw at the leaves obscuring your view. You need to know if verse seven line eight should read: “stray braids of wisteria climb the straight, white fence”. She won’t tell you. Not now. Her pencil has rolled down the incline and the bass player is murmuring in her ear. You gnash your teeth and sniff the air. My scent curls up behind your ears. You approach Strumpet and her bass player, interposing yourself between them. You reach for the crumpled libretto, directing them to the eighth verse. The bass player tries to stand but you hold him down. You grate your teeth down Strumpet’s neck while she tries to think. Slowly she turns to you and whistles. You puncture his neck with your right canine while Strumpet laughs and waits for you to part her legs with your hairy knee.

Scent

I can smell him on my fingertips.
Scent.
Sent me away while he leaked out of me for the rest of the morning. Clinging.
Cloying.
Long after he has gone I have him.
Still.
On the tips of my fingers.
I don’t want to eat, wash my hands, brush my teeth.
His tongue has been in my mouth.
Polishing my teeth.
I shouldn’t talk.
I want to wrap myself in Gladwrap and slowly suffocate in his scent.
Draw arrows on my neck pointing to his teeth marks.
I delight in the marks he leaves on my body.
Branding me his.
Owning every inch of me.
As a sign to others.
Like an upside down claddah ring.
But you are the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
Only it is I who have set my watch to American time and wear it to bed.

TO DIE FOR

He wanted me to take flowers to the hospital. But I thought it was tactless. He didn’t seem to understand that she would have to spend the next six days watching them putrefy and die. She would smell moist Death creeping up the slimy stalks, turning the water a cloudy green. And she would have to pull the bedclothes over her head. Like the grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood. Petrified. Putrefied. She would have to ask the nurse to take them away. And the nurse would think she was ungrateful and tell her how lovely they were and how they brightened the room. And she would try to tell the nurse that Death didn’t brighten a room, He only made her the femme fatale in a film noir. But she would be smiling a toothy smile and sashaying from the room in a uniform three sizes too small. Flirting with the terminally ill patients while she chatted to her boyfriend on the telephone.

He wanted me to tell her that she looked well. Even though she didn’t. He wanted me to tell her that she had put on weight. Even though she hadn’t. He wanted me to lie for him in his absence. When he knew I couldn’t. I tried to tell him that no woman likes to think she has put on weight, even when she is ill. Losing weight is what makes being sick bearable. But he was pushing a fifty into my hand and telling me he would pick me up in an hour. I tried to tell him that Death sat in all the armchairs feeding on lies and tears. But he was preparing for a U-turn and reminding me to tell her how much he loved her.

I bought Gerberas. Because they were clownish and bright and left no room for shadows. I bought Gerberas because they seemed to dry rather than die. I took a blue vase to disguise the water and filled the armchairs with groceries. We sat in silence. Death laughed at us. Triumphant in our awkwardness. I watched the clock. She avoided even glancing at it. When I left she told me that Gerberas die like crying sunflowers.

He caught my eye as I slipped lightly down the hall. Looking out his door. Salty eyes. I smiled at him. He raised one eyebrow. I looked at my watch and the change from the fifty dove from my hot palm onto the floor. The gold coins bounced and whirled on their sides as I tried to subdue them with my smooth shoe soles. I remembered pinball parlours and Portsea and turned back to the boy. He was reading a magazine. Sara Lee ad. I strode over to him. “Would you die for a dessert?” he asked me without looking up. “Maybe for a devil’s food cake,” I replied.

His room had a view of the car park. I watched the visitors sighing as they exited the building. Exhaling stale hospital air. Thankful to pay their ten dollars and drive away. To breathe car fumes and sunshine. He pointed to a vase beside the bed. “My parents just left,” he said matter-of-factly, “they come every day now.” Carnations. White with a blue ribbon. Good, long-lasting flower. “They take ten days to die,” he said. I had a vision of my Year Nine Formal partner in a hired Spurling’s suit with a carnation pinned onto his lapel, Chicken Hawaiian and a cheap motel. I broke the top of one of the carnations between my thumb and forefinger and poked it through his buttonhole. He reached for the remaining flowers and flung them at the bin.

Death crouched in the corner when I straddled the pale boy. Parted lips. Horizontal parentheses. He kissed with his eyes open like all adolescents kiss. Before they have anything to hide. Before they lose interest in your soul. I unbuttoned my blouse and placed his hands on my breasts. He buried his naked head in my cleavage and writhed against the sheets. I smiled at the empty armchairs and grappled with the sheets and his pyjama pants. Pink returned to his cheeks. “Devil’s food cake,” he breathed.

Gothic Lolita

Black crushed velvet hanging from the walls. Midnight arras. They kissed until she was giddy. “Giddy up”. Pink Hana is a mermaid cowboy. She couldn’t distinguish the clapping from her own heartbeat. Hypnotising. She sat on the cold floor. They carried black iron candelabras to light her pale skin. Princess Kumi bit her first. A short, sharp bite that drew blood. She heard them cheer. Somewhere inside her. The tall, thin vampire traced his twisted nails down her bruised neck. Six others nibbled at her. Circle. Circlet. Gothic tiara. She thought she might scream. But it was trapped in her throat. Butterfly bubble. Flap, flapping against her soft palate. Princess Kumi lifted her skirt. Capes extended like bats’ wings to cloak their bodies. Black hair shone violet under the lights. Shy violent violet. Asuka closed her eyes as she felt her Twinstars panties graze her thighs. She wished she had worn black velvet ones. Her eyeliner was thick, black and wet. Quiver, quaver. Black and pink merge. Barbie world gone forever in the whirl behind her eyelids.

BROKEN

(a companion piece to Joe's 'Still Waiting for the Glue to Dry'.)

I know you keep broken cups in the cupboard. Shards of china hidden behind the Royal Albert dinner plates. I know you’ve tried to glue the pieces back together. Dark stains on the edges of the ear-shaped cup handles. I can’t warn you. It wouldn’t be right. I still have my broken ballerina figurine. I have tried to glue her back together. Twice. It’s that tiny grey line fracturing her feet which ruins the illusion. She can never dance again. Weakness. So I retired her to a cardboard box under my bed. Just like you have retired your cups to the back of the cupboard.

I wonder what you do with your girlfriends. Do you collect them too? Like that guy in that John Fowles book. Do you have a secret chamber where you hide broken girlfriends?

I have to be there in twelve minutes. You will be waiting with a glass of shiraz. I will wear rhinestones in my hair because you always choose an outside table. My rhinestones will shine across your plate. Quivering rainbow. When I order the lemon meringue pie. Halfway through my third bite, or thereabouts, you will ask me for a taste. I will reach across the table and you will eat from the cream-smeared spoon.

We always have sex in the pink hotel. You let me eat the toblerone from the mini-bar. I love the hard, honeyed pieces of nougat speckled through the chocolate. Sometimes your mobile phone rings. Sometimes you answer. Left hand over my mouth. Pink ring of lipstick on your palm. Sometimes you ignore the ringing and grind against me. My right leg nudges you further into me. You close your eyes for a second. Your temple throbs. Once. Everything is still. Except for our breathing. And my heartbeat in my head.

You leave when I run the bath. You mention something about work. I use the bubblegum bubble bath I carry in my fluffy backpack. As the pink liquid curls into the bath I think of neopolitan icecream with strawberry topping. I pin my hair on top of my head and sponge your stickiness from my thighs. You leave your teeth marks across my collarbone and smile. I cannot mark you. You are hers. I am careful. I reach for the handcream and knock the small vase of violets teetering on the edge of the basin. It smashes. Purple petals scatter across the tiles. I remember your broken cups and hide the sharp fragments at the back of the drawer. For later. Just in case they can be glued back together.

SKIN

You trace the vein of blue biro between my toes with your tongue. Swirling around my second toe. Nipping the tough skin on the ball of my foot, your ear pressing against my warm ankle.

I think for a moment just how much I want you to take me ice skating. Just because I like the word ‘rink’. Just so you can lace my white boots and hold my hand as I scream white puffs of air. But you will never take me ice skating.

I initial your earlobe with my saliva. Nuzzling your carotid pulse with the tip of my nose. You tug on the ends of my hair, your pointy hip bones burrowing into me. Urging me to reach for my blue biro.

You take the biro from me and press the nib into the freckled pits behind my knees. I ask you to press harder. Pleading with you to write your words in my plasma. Clear, sticky, cherry-tinted words. I smile. My skin singing. I want you to continue, to cover me in words. But you get impatient and paw at my thighs.

I snatch the pen from you and draw a stave down your backbone. Curly treble clef beneath your jutting shoulder blades. I colour in the crotchets but semaphores have always been my favourite.

Once you told me an obsession with white could only lead to sickness or marriage. And you said that neither of those were appealing. Neither of them could bind you to me. I search for my mohair beanie under the bed. The one with the big pom-pom my nana knitted for me.

Maybe tomorrow I will ask you to take me ice skating. Maybe tomorrow after you have written your blockbuster on my eyelids.

FLATLINER

I can’t stop writing about you.
Pages.
Reams.
Dreams of you and that night.
I wish there was some way to make it right.
Correction.
I want to ‘white out’ parts of my life.
To re-write my own version of events over the top.
Quick fix.
Barely visible.
Unless you hold it up to a light.
Flimsy, transparent web.
Loveless.
No hot pink threads binding my teenage years.
Only grey brain matter dividing and conquering.
That night is there.
Looming like a Double Event.
That night waits.
Throbbing at my core.
Always.
Taunting me.
Revelling in my mistake.
If I could draw you into my web
then you could be my core.
My lifeblood pulsating.
Flatliner.

SLITHER

Slither beneath my crisp apple sheets.
In the mornings.
On alternate days.
Between ten and twelve.
Free float like the worm at the bottom of my tequila bottle.
Translucent.
Engorged.
Try not to remember what it was like with her.
Try not to conjure her large lips.
Devouring my image.
As I fade to black.

TEASE

“Get on top”
“Mmm I like you just there”
“Don’t be a tease”
“Whhhhy not?
“Because when you tease me I want to come”
“So come”
“Not yet uh uh uh stop”
“Do you want me?”
“Staring down at you with my cock in your mouth. It makes me want to”
“Come?”
“Whhhore”
“I love to feel you inside me”
“Uh uh mnnn mnnn”
“Do you love being inside me?”
“Uh uh mnnn mnnn”
“That feels so good”
“Mmm”
“Oh God”
“Jesus:
“Oh, Ooh, Oooooh:
“Sshhh:
“sorry mmmm”
“I’m going to c-ohhh”
“Ohhhh”
“…”
“…”
“…”

WRAP

He strides into my room. He stands for a second in the doorway until I recognise him. Black hair, olive complexion, uneven smile. I lay back on the bed and he covers me with his body. His tie tickles my nose. I smile as his hand strokes the porcelain skin behind my knees. He doesn’t bother to take off his pants. I hear the zip and feel him tug roughly at my lace panties. He nibbles the base of my neck as his hips grind against mine. He enters me in one deft motion and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to wrap my legs around him, so I wait until he eases himself out and nips at the inside of my wrist. Blue. Purple. Bruised. My ankles cross at the base of his spine and rock with the motion of his body as he re-enters me. I watch the vein in his temple throb until he shudders. Eyes wide. Mouth open. Neck stiff.

My Bedroom Window

I like to leave
the window open
when I sleep.
Just a little ajar.
And I can,
because I live
on the sixth floor
of an apartment building.
And I don’t have to worry
about intruders.

I pull the doona down to my waist
and let the breeze
turn my nipples erect.
It’s a different kind of erect
than when you touch them
with your warm fingers.
But it will do
For now.
Until you return,
close the window
and kiss me.

PANCAKES

There is
Something sexy
about pancakes.

Or perhaps it is just the
sticky golden syrup
that inches down the
side of my stack.

Sometimes I bend
my head down
to the plate
and lick
the sticky dribbles.

I love pancakes
for breakfast,
when I tumble
out of bed
late morning.

I cheat and use
a packet mix
from the supermarket
Because it’s faster
and I like to shake
the mixture in its
plastic container.
Instant
gratification!

I pour the liquid
into a hot pan.
The first one
never works out
and I toss it
like a frisbee
at the rubbish bin.
But the second one
is delicious.

I like my pancakes
Medium.
That means that
I don’t cook them
The whole way through.

I like them moist
and creamy in the
centre.

I pour the maple syrup
Over two plump pancakes.
Liquid amber.
I catch the last drops on my
finger and lick it off.

I’d love to cover you
in syrup.
And lick you
from head to toe.

But for now
I’ll just have to eat
my pancakes
and think of you.

FOR NOW

You fall asleep with your arm around me. Warmed by the red neon of the Safeway sign. Signing we are safe. Bathing us in red. Until you move your arm. And I know that when you leave me, part of your heart will still beat in the empty space between my sheets. When you go, the imprint of your body will throb in the darkness on the mattress next to me. And when I stretch out my arm to feel you, your absent fingers will trail up the veins in my arm. But for now, I’ll be your Zelda Fitzgerald.

PLATH

You make me
Sylvia Plath bread and butter,
while I tape up the doors.
My love asphyxiates us.

Sticky lips

I like the way
my pink, sticky
lipgloss
leaves a trail
of shiny circles
all over your
body.

I leave one
around your
belly button.
Two around your
nipples.

I leave lipstick
rings around
your fingers
and even some
of your toes.

And the last one,
I'll let you guess
where the last
lipstick ring
hides on your
body.

Your Vegas Baby!

I am drawn to the bright lights
of Las Vegas.
I am drawn to the spinning roulette wheel
and the little ball that bounces from one number
to the next
while I half-shut my eyes
and cross my fingers
under the table.

I always choose red.
There’s no secret there.
Red is for passion.
Red is for love.
The scarlet letter.
I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Inside the casino it is perpetually night-time.
I place my pale blue Mandalay chips
on my favourite numbers:
2, 12, 16.
I don’t know why I am drawn to these ones
Especially because they are all even
And I am odd.
The odd one out.

I drink endless cocktails
served by woman wearing little dresses,
carrying big trays
and realise it
is probably only mid-morning.

It’s over 40 degrees Celsius on the strip
I buy a spotted bikini and sunbake
by the wave pool.
I like wearing stilettos with my bikini.
It makes me legs look long.
I pretend I am Jessica Simpson
In her Daisy Duke days.
No-one else is wearing shoes.

I return to the roulette table
And you are there, somehow.
You rub my thigh
And we go back to my room.
You peel off my dress
And bikini.
I leave my shoes on
Until you…

What happens in Vegas
Stays in Vegas, Baby.

Legal Seafood

I'm almost too afraid
to eat you.
You look so perfect
naked.

I just want
to look at you
for a moment.
To take you
all in.

But you are sprawled there
urging me
to do it
And there is no denying
I want you.

You are so hard
and meaty.
I wonder how
I will fit
all of you
in my mouth.

I start to salivate
just at the thought
of tasting you.

I think about
lubricating you
in butter,

rolling you around
my mouth
and swallowing.

Boston lobster
is so good!

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