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Petra Whiteley

Lost Gardens in Four Seasons

I will say this clearly - winter
is not the colour of my bones.
              Crushed dandelions liquidised
              behind their pointless glass. Are
twisting strands of dark rivers
in my hidden eyes. They are not
                            looking at their thick flow
                            but the remnants of Sun's notes,
shivering on the softness imprinted with-
in road lines in the palm of their waves. Staring
                                           at the morning rising above with a smell
                                           of milk. Lingering with shadows of dainty birds
in their rituals of pecking Gods out of the ground.
Eating their old bodies out of spring, rain and rotten time.
                                            Branches lightened in their communion of wind,
                                            emptied of self-pity and saintly hells of wood pigeons
stand as monuments of the lost gardens.
I will say this clearly - spring is the broken colour of red,
                                              summer the missed stroke of my unknown hand. Autumn, a
                                              blur of all my sundial futures and their sharp tastes withering.

The Liquid Metropolis - 3/III

A colossus staring down at the fence of birth
knows nothing of the pressure of God's fingers
pushing precision into the insectile direction
of black words reverberating in those small
shiny heads left behind, crawling scraps of lives.
A colossus with his back turned,
absent minded and concentrated on disease
of rain and stillness of seas in pain under his feet
knows nothing of those black words disintegrating
in the flesh as the days change colour and smell
persists to paint its pictures of changing clouds
under the skin. No seas parting, just an endless
march to nowhere, swallowing selves into soup
with its bullet rhythm and ripping apart
the ribbons of startled arteries. He awaits in
perfected exodus of thoughts, seeing nothing still
in his monologue of guilt and pointless confessions.

The Liquid Metropolis 2/I 


My palm is a nest of dead bodies, their milky
skeletons are origami memories, a glass in its genesis,
                          what have I done?
I have
written myself deep into the moisture of their skin.
They are living me forward and backwards in their rituals
of perfected massacres; their mouth is moving soundlessly,
their faces are spelt ashen back to their lips.
Their uselessness
- a cream with a sweet scent of a corpse and colour of hatred
smeared unevenly into the phosphorescent, egg-thick shell 
skull comatoriums, prayers for sun and rain and still knowing
nothing. They bake
a broken bread and stuff it with their wishes, place it on
the flat stone step of the black and white tower of slit God,
stop-start dancing shadow upon their translucent wrists.
But how I loved them! Like they were
a black point gathering momentum of a circular movement,
like they were my weeping mothers and my laughing children.
Like delicate finger smudges of pastels
dissolving in harmonic waves into the clock striking a drone
beat of toxic nostalgias on every other hour and every other day
when I remembered
                           nothing of them.

The Liquid Metropolis 1/IX

Wanted my death to be sculpted
From cherry wood
With the blossoms hidden
And swelling inside.
Declining sun in my blood biting
My skin
And licking the ground. I wanted it
To smell of plums and the last snow.
Wanted to rest my mouth
Around the circular atom of God,
His eyes into my flesh as a red river ribbon.
Distinguished and alone,
My mind exploding
Into the being of sea in a scream of
The morning
And rising like water into His empty sockets.
Wanted wings
Of countless black birds beat a symphony
Between my chest,
Their beaks plucking my sinews
In lento, pushing on your lids like lead,
Darkness and ash.
I wanted you to follow my eyes up
With their protracted turning
As a plastic ship in the slipstream. I wanted you to watch
Me die, to watch the trees growing from my hands
Into the stark digits of night and be the monument
Of my liquid sex. To
Witness the opiate orgasms
In my resurrection.
Yet, I
Am the pulsing line, pushing breaths
From one hell to another, cyanide between
Your teeth. A contracting molecule of your thinking.

The Liquid Metropolis 1/II

Mary's body is the liturgy of steel, she has
thousands neatly winged cells, retraceable in the nullity
of their dysfunctional selves mesmerised by the object.
Her tears liquidise all its sorrows - a poor cat with a doll's shadow,
the God of her Urgent Hour, floating in formaldehyde.
Mary cradles the baby of guilt. In flagrante delicto - her picture
is changeable. The clichéd visible brush strokes of spoken anatomy
versus the infant whose skin is bluish, whose eyes are turning in, in whose 
foggy fickle flesh a thread of steel, her fingers play him as an out of tune piano,
a sweet screech, the ode to femininity, and liquidised time fusing the smudges
on the polished floor.
                                   Hear, say nothing.

Petra Whiteley's poetry collection 'The Nomad's Trail' was published in 2008, a chapbook 'The Moulding of Seers' in 2009 and 'Exhibition Of Defined Moments' in 2011. Her forthcoming chapbook 'The Liquid Metropolis' will be out in spring 2012. Whiteley is a regular writer of articles and reviews for the Glasgow Review, Osprey, and Eleutheria. Her reviews of CDs and interviews with various musicians regularly appear in Reflections of Darkness, a dark music webzine.

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