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The Sands of Many Houses

written by: Mark Tarren

 

I

I was born
just outside Paris,
Texas
on videocassette
inside a room full of smoke.

Just outside where the dying girl was
with sockets in her skull
where her eyes used to nestle
sleeping pills punched
her throat
down the bridesmaids aisle
where I was married
and carried away.

Just outside the flames
of St Elmo's Fire sang
the cheap shot guitar
blood blues.

Inside the white washed walls
cigarettes are breathing
where my mother kept the
door ajar
the wireless was screaming
within my vinyl dreaming
records, guitars and cowboy boots.

Just outside a suicide sister’s
stomach is pumping the plaster off the walls
with a skeleton on the floor
her bones
carried me away
where the kids whiskey lay
I was drunk before mother's dinner
burning after my father's time
just staring at plated rice
tasting ice cubes.

Inside I was numb
with blue denim black suede
pointed boots
listening

wishing I was the rain
to fall far from here.

 

II

Something has happened
just outside a kiss was stolen
in a field of barley
on a far away Florentine hill.

Through the window onto
the breezed veranda flows
O Mio Babbino Caro
from the cassette player
where the torso sketches float
in my young man's lighted tears.

Just outside the sun
is the same
senseless as now
searching the air to caress
my young feet to stand.

Inside
is the hallway that curls
to the kitchen doorway
to find angry abandoned dishes
an angry wet hallway voice
bludgeons a Youngblood eviction
the first of many such songs
across The Sands of Many Houses.

Just outside I stand blind
carved from the stones of my youth
where your hands search
for wrist bones
to clasp around our hearts.

You were always there
inside
our communal story
every book page word
song, note and prayer
every death I died
in the richness of lovers
past tapestry
without borders
each garden plant seedling
watered in the eye of memory
every kiss, love and leaf

that longs to land
just outside.

Mark Tarren

Mark Tarren

Mark Tarren is a poet and writer based in North Queensland, Australia. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various literary journals including The Blue Nib and Poets Reading The News.
Mark Tarren

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