Belief System

Clean face of youth but flinty eyes know all.

She knows not to trust
to trust is to spar with sharks when it’s cut time.

She knows she’s drenched in badness
succubus and incubus breed reflections.

She knows how to shoot up shit
pollution gushing into the Ganges.

She knows she’s just a piece of shit
excreta squashing in the soles of blundstone boots.

She knows she’s tough
knuckles tattooed, barbell in her face.

She knows men only want one thing
only one thing is what she’s got.

She knows life sux
bloated tick draining the life force from her.

She knows she couldn’t care less
raw feelings breathe into a veil of brittle ice.

She’s wrong.

25 thoughts on “Belief System

  1. That is a very powerful portrait poem and the ending, the last two words carry so much weight because of the detail and accuracy in the portrait. Wonderfully made poem.

    • Wow – portrait poem – I like that. At first I wasn’t sure about the last sentence – thought it might be a bit naff, but I changed my mind (understated truth) so I really appreciate the feedback.

      On another tangent – your interview has motivated me NOT to send my poems to journals who won’t publish stuff that has been on a personal blog – they’ll have to change their policy sometime (there are a few that don’t mind the blog stuff as long you have less than 1000 subscribers – like that is ever going to happen).

    • I always seem to be giving people goosebumps. Thanks for stopping by Mandy me old matey and queen of links – I knew this one would bring them out of the woodwork.

    • That’s what happens to a person working in the alcohol and drug field for too long – this poem is about a young injecting drug user that I met when I was a hepatitis C (blood-borne) coordinator for Queensland. I couldn’t believe how young these people were (same with prisons – all really young).

  2. “Flinty eyes know all” — your details lend such strength to a portrait of a girl who filters what she sees of the world through the glass of her own fear. A powerful poem!

  3. Wonderfully accurate piece of writing, coming from experience I can see that. Some people’s world is so remote from what most of us see and feel. Good one! Ta

    • Not that far from people we have known though. Thanks again for your comments – I’ll forgive you now for the bum steer on snake identification (it was a harmless tree snake after all) – ha, ha!

  4. I don’t know what to say, really powerful language — and the sounds. I think if I didn’t know English but could just hear the sounds, I’d get this somehow.

    So clean and sharp, like her needle.

    • Glad you liked it Aletha. I hadn’t really noticed the sharpness of the sounds but I’m glad you pointed it out. It’s a psalm this poem (a form I find hard to get away from – must be my mothers fault – she a more right-winged catholic than the pope – I flew the other way).

  5. “why do you care?” she said.
    “You don’t know me.
    It’s just your job.
    And don’t try to tell me
    What to do.”

    “You could take a shower.”

      • Yes. I seem to spend time at the coal man’s view. i like your poem… a great view of what some feel.
        Wandering into blogs has been my MO lately. It is interesting to see what others have to say and how I respond.

        • At first I thought your comment was spam because it was a bit obscure – nearly deleted it – glad I didn’t. Thanks for stopping by bouzouki – as an aside – can you play the bouzouki?

          • I have an octave mandolin. Flatiron called it a bouzouki. I call it a bouzouki. I play it. I live where there is no tradition for music from that kind of instrument. I found sounds in it that I love, and I have been playing long enough that I am not asked to stop. I play as a form of meditation, usually improvisation, and a friend that is a really good keyboard player and I do very odd things with sound. I used to work nights at a hospital psych unit. once a week, I would play, teaching myself the instrument, but the intention was for relaxation. I learned to play music to put people to sleep. Great skill.

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