Erin Lyndal Martin

From Book of Shadows.

 
In your absence I watched escape artists
perform their feats of flight
When I needed escapism
Houdini was not enough

he was called THE HANDCUFF KING
because he got out of them
he said his middle name was Handcuff

he needed chains and straitjackets
to prove that he was free

the night you told me I was shy
I painted what I painted every other night that week
I was trying to make a point about beauty
and what this world does to it

my argument involved a grocery bag
and some graveyard dirt
plus things that were pink

it was a fine idea
but the grocery bag pieces
were too big
and the pink was too pink

dipping into oracles,
the next card I flipped over
was the sorcerer
shown here with a falcon
it means learning magic as a human

being human is lonely
nothing so lonely
as a borrowed city
seen via headlights

nothing so naked
as wearing your blue jeans
and slurping a dick into your mouth

I retraced my steps in a borrowed city
I retraced my steps in a borrowed city

(the drugs were nearly gone / he didn’t get me off)

not a lot of time to build up memories
but every street had a ghost
some of them had four
usually I am into ghosts
these were sadistic motherfuckers

(the drugs were nearly gone / he didn’t get me off)

haphazard city, I was a stranded motorist
in autumn leaves and dusky light
someone could not help me
but he gave me some Oreo’s

I remember kindness
like a red face remembers a slap

borrowed city
skyline made of glass and tall
into your elevators I went
emerging a bitter woman
with a paperback



Erin Lyndal Martin is a poet, visual artist, and music journalist. Her poems have recently appeared in decomP, Cosmonauts Avenue, Prelude, and Gigantic Sequins. She’s on Twitter at @erinlyndal.

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