Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Maid of Orleans Folds Washing

(This poem is more about me than anyone else...)

As I do the bills at the dining room table,
You fold our clean, pure cotton sheets.

I know you despise me though you’d never let
Those words slip through your pursed pale lips:
You wear pert fitted cashmere like a breastplate;
Joan of Arc was not more righteous than you.

Holding your aquiline nose higher than your eyeline,
Holding your posture as the hatred smoulders inside,
You’d rather burn at the stake
Than state what is burning you:
The arrogant grace of knowing you’re right

Your real passion clutched
In a brassiere and pearled buttons,
A sheet of cold metal between our two lives.
And I am trapped in a B movie mashup
Of I Robot and Stepford Wives

If we kiss, you taste like battery leads.
You don’t make love or even have sex;
The curves of your body like rosary beads,
You bear it like penance or a pap smear test

You never raise your voice, speak out or shout:
Always the same tone like a plucked wound spring.

I want you to scream
I want you to slap
The rise of blood back to my skin.

I want to hear you like Ani Di Franco or Martha Wainwright
When she’s horny and drunk,
Not Celine Dion at a funeral home.
I want you to say, no I want you to shout fuck!

I am an arsehole: Say it! Say it: I’m a prick!

But you press your lips, tighten the tendons in your cheeks.
Hands folded like aristocracy,
Laying guilt like clergy,
Laying guilt like kindling,

And I’m the heretic.

Well, I went and struck a match in my mind.

And as the flames rise to my waist
And I scream your name

You snap tea towels crease-free and fold them onto a shelf

And I lower my head and enter numbers in spreadsheet cells.


  1. Both Janet Jackson and I just love this poem. Blog more CJ!

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