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April 2005


Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 13 April 2005 at 13:50 in Poetry

Tags: broken inarticularity


The cat’s got my tongue
I gave it to her
It was giving me gip
Didn’t need it no more

Wrenched it plain out
With an oven glove and skewer
The hollow feels warm
Like some exotic liqueur

I’m feeling so peaceful,
A skinny–girl Buddha
The thoughts have closed down
Each breath is a prayer

Inarticularity 2

Words had failed me for too long. When they did come out they were frayed and worn, run down and faded. I met a woman in a park once, and she told me that this was the 2nd day in 6 years that she’d spoken. She said it was okay at first, got harder in the middle — then people just forgot about her, which was what she wanted, I guess. She was a broken woman, trying to mind her tongue, and instead she got to hold it for a while. She still looked a little crazy to me, but what did I know, shiksa from the suburbs that I am.
And down the line a little, now I get it. And even though the squeaking wheel gets all the grease, it doesn’t matter — like I need more grease. So I let all of them fly, and off they landed, to cause earth tremors in Guatemala.
In the beginning, my rib cage strained with the weight of all the things unsaid, but soon, and amazingly, speaking stopped being something I didn’t do and silence became something I did. I could hear the softness of my internal hum and that was enough. Maybe I’ll return to words, like the lady in the park. But maybe I’ll learn a new language and I’ll live as free as my tongue.

Lisa D'Onofrio

Poet's comment: Two poems inspired by Bronwen's piece, Broken. The first is more traditional, a black look at being silenced, with the narrator paradoxically taking control by giving up with communication. The second is an extension of the theme, using a similiar style to Basketcases 1 and 2. Bronwen's piece made me think about 'scratching' i.e. scratching the surface, which led to records and being recorded, which led to voice.

Comment on: Inarticularity

Basketcase 2

Posted by Lisa D'Onofrio on 10 April 2005 at 13:22 in Poetry

Tags: basket

it started with sharp pencils and I got no joy from that/ so then I tried a needle but that was no good, pin pricks/ and didn’t go deep enough dots not lines I needed lines/ so then went on to compass but I couldn’t drag it across,
you see, it could only dig and I didn’t want to dig I wanted/ to cut across, in
long fluid lines, I wanted to create lines, etch them in, cross hatch them/ and make them flow, I wanted to see the blood bubble out I wanted the line of grey to turn red and then finally white/ rosered rosewhite mirror mirror the shoe never fit/ I wanted to raise my shirt and press myself on a white white wall and print myself on it, red white, reddy rust against/ white, I wanted to print myself, / The wall absorbing and repelling the lines stark and fresh/ I wanted to leave an impression/

sessions lasted five minutes or less, they were intense a burst of activity in an otherwise dull and protracted and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow life a flurry
an action a swift and easy slash a release and all the while I imagined my body against the cool surface of the wall, if I pressed hard enough I would become the cool surface of the wall hidden behind the wardrobe, become the wall flat and simple and undemanding

Lisa D'Onofrio

Poet's comment: This piece began with me wanting to continue the themes brought up by Basketcase 1. I completed the words while Bronwen worked on the piece, and this process seemed to work for us. Previously we had discussed some ideas. I was thinking about skin and the way bodies hold memories, and I kept returning to the the phrase 'written on the body'.

This is a sequel to Basketcase 1

Comment on: Basketcase 2