All the content of this website is © Copyright erbacce © Copyright on individual poems
remains with the authors; nothing may be reproduced without express permission.
If you download a copy of erbacce all copyright rules still apply.
That Tricky Bastard
tickling our feet
with catfish whiskers;
with rabbit’s feet;
at frozen graveyards;
What if Manson
What if Manson had
his forehead instead
of a swastika?
Everyone knows that
for Israel and Palestine
the recently-painted room
ex pl o ded –
of dust and desperation
dis man (t) led –
cracks in time.
if these former walls
could talk . . .
peace be with you . . .
and also with you.
Betsy Content Bogert
Case Study (2)
If, when he attacked his neighbour,
he had been tried for assault,
had paid his fine, done his time;
if his brother had told someone, then,
that the old woman next door
did persecute him, did
bang on the dividing wall, did
lay in wait and berate him, did pull faces,
make vile gestures at him every single time
she saw him passing her window; if his brother
had said that he too had seen this,
instead of saying that his brother had always
‘taken things too much to heart’;
then he would’t have been diagnoseed initially
as suffering paranoid delusions
and placed on a Section. If
we had believed him when he quietly told us
how much the hospital beds were hurting his back
and if the doctors hadn’t thought his anger
at being disbelieved a part of his delusion;
if we had paid more attention to his complaints
about the effects the neuroleptics were having on him
he wouldn’t have tried to squeeze himself
through the first floor window; and if,
before he came back from the secure unit,
they had told us that two days previously
he had tried to strangle a woman he thought
‘was about to attack me’; and if his brother
had said that he had phoned him every week
since his admission threatening suicide;
if we had understood what he meant when he said
that the fortnightly depots
were leaving him ‘no future’, that they wouldn’t
let him ‘have two thoughts together’,
then maybe he wouldn’t have been allowed
to proceed on weekend leave, to the same flat
beside the horrible old woman; and maybe
he wouldn’t, within three hours of getting indoors,
have hung himself. Maybe.
letter to puma perl
you won’t catch me writing about the big sad years
happy to share dripping wet on national express in
pouting depeche fantasy mode. dancing in seat full
celebration of the extra post-birth curve. to be
thought of as trouble makes me tingle. is exciting.
would not be caught dead writing of shock. automatic
sterile doors will not appear anytime soon
let me be queen brag. skin tears. is stitched. sensitive.
tighter. on pink canvas art deco shoebox stockings
galore silk dusk winter berry collection. bunny
ears. myriad of age defying hair clips.
more chance of finding a fleck of stardust in a clown’s
pocket than ever meeting mamma on these pages
different skin expanded shape. under black all clues are
there. crater marks. impact visceral. apple shaped. pills
in purse. a book with red shoes. my name is all over it
once there was a hammerhead shark poem. meds vodka
anton corbijn’s control many bad thoughts swimming
poem never surfaced. stayed in deep blue. peripheral
east london cemetery that was all in my spoilt
warped hysterical delusional psyche. christ
I would rather eat worms than ever do it again
rotten in my charmed existence.
people should read you more. much love
The dead dog in the mornings
I am that dead dog you meet every morning.
Knocked by that car
With my insides out
My head, heart and soul splattered
For others to roll over
Whenever I see the car
I run for mercy
But I am hit.
Flattened limbs, nameless; useless
Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva
Exploded shattered glass meekly apologetic
in its splintered chaos
sprinkling the newly turned earth
an unwelcome seeding
a persecution too far
a storm driven revenge
finely angled to pierce the pleasurable expectation of escape
a sneer at the frustrated efforts of construction
a sarcastic glance at the memory of lacerated finger-ends
and shredded tempers
standing waiting for a reluctant cavalry already gone over the hill
tattered plants cowering in their neshness
stranded in the still cold fearful of a further battering
the bleached raffia table leans drunkenly against the once cheeky
Nothing to do but collect the biggest shards and leave it
for a minute
i was a wild child,
a daughter of third street.
i hid words in brick walls
a thousand stories
died in my arms,
an aborted symphony
tonight i linger
in the back room
listen to long-haired poets
who don’t remember me
i’ve died in abandoned buildings
been saved by junkies and dope fiends
baptized in fire hydrants, blessed by thieves
i hide poems in my back pockets
words scar my arms like the train
poets’ eyes glitter madness
voices of heroin velvet
just for a minute i’m in love
Nothing new this summer.
An old spider and a friend
who has bought four boomerangs
in different colours!
I also go to town.
That is to say I lie in the middle
of Gotherstreet and pretend
to be the end
of a human being.