Whilst in the gulag house you nurslings turned your eyes from humans. You’d seen enough of the taxidermist’s tactics, stuffing infant skins with malignant demon spirits. You looked up. Witnessed a constellation of neon, the zoological firmament of the zodiac system. Heard the barks of the antique beasts of the stratosphere, saw the claw, clavicle and femur reach of the bestial corpus in the gaping heavens above. Stretched your gangrene forms out wide in your star-pools of blood. Some days, in your ardour you were Cancer. Others, you was Delphinus, fathoms deep in afterbirth. You’ve been Draco the dragon, Monoceros the unicorn. In the folktale of your fawnhood you swore that you shall return starward before you’ll ever become adults.
The Asphyxiating-Infant Instrument
In the tomb of a crack-house childhood there is no home in the bones or the abode. Just a sole notation of sorrow the hollow thoroughfares of marrow sings. Ten years old you hold your nose by the clay-folds of skin, fingers pilfer nostrils and pinch. Force the rag inside your mouth, test the gag reflex and resistance of gullet. Close the O of your lips around the cotton fist. Blow your soul, or the willow of your will, or the carbon of your being into the instrument you are incarnate in. First, ears fill with shrill air, then pop, and for a moment there is halt, maybe hush in the hazard of the head. Denied the toxin of oxygen, dazed like a fawn, floundered and submerged in the Thames. Right before the drowning, you hear your bones sing a dirge like a trombone being strangled. You don’t believe in benediction. Just the cruel and tender notation of a ten year old crack-house child becoming mist and music.
When your mother died you turned up the sound on the television and the tv played her favourite advertisements. The room echoed like the inside of a biscuit tin, your skin took on a metallic sheen and you glowed like the desert, your mouths filling with the blood of her favourite confectioneries. You watched as the animals that were her spirit left her body. Their claws and hooves grasping upwards into the black awning of the ceiling. Mother mothering the stars. To be inside and outside at the same time. That was the dream. Mother was a dream. Only the dreamers can save us. Only the dream.
Miggy Angel is the author of the poetry collection Grime Kerbstone Psalms published by Celandor Books. He is the host and organiser of the monthly poetry event Speech Therapy, the facilitator of the Do Or Die Poets (a weekly creative writing workshop for people in addiction recovery) and is the poetry/fiction editor and founder of Burning House Press.