The Rusty Toque | Issue 12 | Poetry | June 30, 2017
I Want to Disappear Myself
There is a difference between
dying and disappearing. I would
like to disappear myself. No funeral
for who I was. No mess—no
rotting of flesh in buried boxes.
No birth; no friends; no light
reflecting off that skin, this hair.
No sun and no moon smiling
down. No witnesses to occupying
a state, a form—material, historical,
bone & thought erased. I want to
black hole myself. Debase this chain
of events that conspired to render
me animate & relevant. Refund
time & turn myself in. Break
ties with planetary weather.
I want to nominate myself
to exist outside the nominal,
to blanket myself in blankness,
turn down the invitation. Explode
the laws of consequence. Trigger
the universe into a reverse big bang.
We had Sex and a Few Good Conversations Before you Bounced
Alprozalam breakup—anti-spectacular ending
to touring mouths like doors to ugly rooms.
I will still think of you when sunlight copulates
with glass to breed rainbow notches on white
surfaces—shallow projections. You can ruin
things just by standing in front of them. I will
still think of you when I encounter mix tapes,
Paul Dano, plastic rhinos, when I am summoned
to kneel, as in prayer, charming a bedside
eucharist. I have memory and it’s itchy. I have
trauma proposing to my chest. Natural match.
I still dramatized your clock heartbeat later
with my head on the pillowcase and a phone
catalogue of bad ideas. I’m sorry for your father.
You are sorry for my bad men before you. I wanted
to kiss you most when you were failing. For a month
you were a drummer in my stomach. For a month
you were an idea I had before you. We ought to be
kind to each other at parties. We have friends.
We are two people with a story. You held my hand
and we tried our hand at that for a while. It hurt
—though not as bad as others and I do miss you.
It hurt like an inside joke I alone am inside of. You
finally stood up to blowjobs. I am good at blowjobs.
I’m not bad but sensitive. When I see you I’ll always
see you naked because we invented this body curse.
When you bailed I learned you are an event
that is happening. Not permanent like love.
Permanent like the sun prisms through
glass, forcing rainbows on white surfaces.
Permanent like refraction—witnessing
each other as a law of physics but only
if our eyes are open and we are, after all,
imperfect with these always-closing eyes.
The Ghost of Madison Moon
A little like Christmas Eve
old friend discovering old friend discovering
this is the secret beneath the zipper
here is the thong around my ankles; here is
the couch my mother inherited
from my grandmother inside
the basement my father built
A little like Christmas greeting
a caroler/familiar neighbor
still this is so unfamiliar even
foreseeable words, invitations,
Come in: it is nice in here
it is warm
After a lifetime of cities imposing their kink,
how should I have guessed you wanted it the same
To make love in the tradition
of small town Catholics:
one planking on the other
Sexy can be simple pretending
we were born without butt holes
these salient hands & spectacular
Madison Moon closing the door
You are the closed door
I am in the feeling
in the know
of the close
A little like New Years Eve
new snapchat filters: photograph
on photograph—the (high)-tech #scrapbook
play by play/moment by moment
notification for conscious documentation of
you do not want me around
Awkward you awkward
like a used condom in my purse
not the trash—never there,
where our mothers might find it
Awkward like an iphone stricken with anamnesis:
textual stimulation with Banquo, loyal tone vamoose,
or up late waiting on Samuel’s prophesy—awkward
Awkward like me looking
in the mirror, leaning in to kiss
Illusion: myself as recollection of you
reincarnated, resurrected, a projection:
The Ghost of Madison Moon
JULIE MANNELL is a writer of poetry, fiction and essays, and an editor at Matrix Magazine. She is the recipient of the HarperCollins/Constance Rooke Scholarship, the Mona Adilman Poetry Prize, and the Lionel Shapiro Award for Excellency in Creative Writing. Her work has been featured in the National Post, Toronto Star, and Huffington Post, among others. At the moment, Mannell is an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in English Literature and Philosophy. Originally from Fonthill, Ontario, she currently splits her time between Montreal and Toronto. She was recently named one of the Top 30 Poets Under 30.