Life before poetry was dull

Life before poetry was dull
I used to labour over words and grammar in sentences and prose
Bounded by structure
Strictured by critics

And no strange men ever slid into my DMs then
Like they do now
Especially the married ones who pretend they’re not
Boy poets are so bad
Byronesque
Basic
They think everything is an invitation
They think everything you write is about them

Life before poetry was so very dull
I never saw the words ‘ink’ and ‘skin’ and ‘heart’ written so many times by so many people so earnestly on typewriters and with fountain pens
I never saw such yearning for the spurned
Or for toxic lovers to return
As I do among poets

And I never once wrote about fucking back then
And how good it feels
Or how much everything else hurts
How much life stings
As I singe selfhood into skin
With these words

Poetry is the key that’s unlocked me
And my popularity
Life before poetry was dull

The hollow man

Three of swords tarot card

My fingertips smell
Of chicken hearts and chillies
I spot blood on bedsheets
Fumbling for the pins

Your words rolled inside me
On drunken satyr parchment
I reach in and read you
Imbibe your false tome

I pierce purple flesh
Three swords through your heart
To mimic my lesions
And let through the breeze

I pickle and freeze —
Reflect you in tin
Commune with my sisters
Who raise up the dawn