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Scratch the cold surface

Dickens Field, London

Carlington Black, 2017

 

Clutching cellphone

to shaking young ear

Black hair, wrapped for Christmas

Fashionably morose

In Dickens Fields

Red nails, Black puffer, Dark brows.

Sobbing at digital fragments

Of spoken, news, transmitted.

Boyfriend gone, Mother found, Brother dead

We, We, undead

Impervious, Imperious, Lunching

In Lant Street

Where Dickens boarded

In shadow of the Shard

Daddy in Marshalsea

His mother cried

Up early for washing

Two centuries of shit

Circling, Coriolous, clockwise

A smartphone buzzes

In the middle of it all

She staggers to park bench

Winter wonderland

Fifty metre bitter halo

Solitude surrounded by

Revving courier van,

Wandering student, shiftworker, job hunter

No sobbing wanted heard

But really, our discomfort

Is cold comfort, can’t repress

the sobbing, a few words

Sobbing, Bare words, Sobbing,

What will she do when

she puts the phone down?

Jerusalem, Whanganui (2017)

It’s raining in Jerusalem

The sibilant storm welcomed

to this waiting place

silent, without judgement.

Invited to nestle among

tree clotted sheets

knotted at Mataimoana

Raindrops, countless

Coalesce.

Soak shoes off path

haste to reach Saint Josephs.

Where the brass knob sticks

Resists

damp entry to

the storm’s clumsy pash.

A door finally gives in

to desiccated narthex,

Aubert’s consonant shrine.

East wall, the silent chancery

scowls away the ersatz

congregationalist.

To wander the soaked lawn

where carved rills of khaki water

run toward a weed clumped paddock.

Where Mary stands in

pale shelter

blue linen gown

and thick leaved rhododendron

glade. No sky no horizon.

Fleshed bare

right foot.

Toes like writing fingers.

Nails flat and half mooned.

They never wrote a day in their life.

Washed clean again anyway.

Bishop Cullinane planted

pohutakawa

In honour she never wanted

Now stunted. Out of place in these shadows.

Aubergine lichen licks the branches.

Mary stares,

steadfastly low.

Moisture springs

dribbles down

her inside ankle.

Nature’s kenosis.

This is

fortitude.

The Urge nominated for Best Short Story

The Urge has been nominated for Best Short Story in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2017.

If you’d like to support this properly strange story, please click a couple of times on this online form to enter a support nomination.

The sand and soil cast me out

Crumbs of rock

Sandy soil

Casts me forth

Unfurl here

At the edge

Of nowhere.

****

I got through childhood silent.

Embarrassed.

Despite everything, I had nothing to say.

Now I do.

There are two threads to tell of;

Dark normal – black tales of the place and people I came from. Everyday struggles.

Fantastic – black tales of things I’ve seen, that you’ve not even imagined.