Non-Fiction (a catharsis)

Would like to be so clever—
put it all on the page in some obscure manner
that would make you go,
“Oh, isn’t this deep, and beautiful
and worthy of acclaim?”

The bottom line is this is not going to be
a very good poem. 

I may not ever be ready
to share what’s really in my head,
how it replays those words,
“just before I slit his throat”
over and over.

Don’t want to say I’m haunted
by the true crime,
but it’s sitting there
under the surface,
every time I turn from the window
and the natural world.

I catch myself thinking:

Don’t forget to lock the door.
Don’t stop to play the Samaritan.
Don’t ever drop your guard.

Maybe I’m too paranoid
to be reading Capote in the first place,
but occasionally,
there’s that darkness deep inside
that must be satisfied.

All of us have the capacity—
all of us can dig a little and find
where evil lies.

Some of us will never cross the line.
(What decides who is on which side?)

But the reality is,
Evil comes out of hiding
to strike like a gator on a bayou
riverside.

They are out there-empty and black inside
waiting to make their move.

We all know this, yet it’s so
easy to put the facts out of mind – to forget.

Don’t ever forget.

In the beginning I disclaimed
about being clever.

Good thing I did.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

Let Me Tell You Something (spoken version)

MY APOLOGY: I went on a bit of a rant last week and deleted myself from a boatload of accounts that were taking up too much mental-space. Soundcloud was one of these accounts and therefore, the below recording no longer exists. I am looking for an alternative and will post the spoken word piece as soon as I find it.

Thanks for reading!

Kat

Let Me Tell You Something

A lot of us are liars,
telling tales long past our days
of being out of school.

We’re the quiet town criers
selling our souls
on every street corner.

You may think you know us,
but every word we say could be truth
or fiction.

Anyone who uses—
anyone who chooses
their words so carefully,
should arouse your suspicion.

And when the muse conspires
with us to summon up
some notions we want to disperse
(be it story, tale, or verse),
we must discern
if we even dare trust her.

Just because you follow
us in our addiction—think
you’ve got us sussed,
(maybe I’m the biggest liar—
or worse, someone else entirely).

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

Through the Looking Glass

Lost my looks
some time ago, at least
that’s how it feels,
despite appeals of protest
from the man in my life.

Gone more grey, recently
from the strife of just being alive.

Sure, I scrub up well,
and maybe only I can tell
my hair is thinning
and a thickness is winning
at the middle.

I’m not exactly an old biddy yet,
but there’s no surprise in eyes anymore
when I reveal my age.

I look in the bathroom mirror
and wonder when it happened?
There must have been a solitary day
where I crossed that line
between youth and … anyway,

don’t know where I’m going with this,
and then I think,
nobody’s waiting for it—there’s no deadline,
all these changes will still be here
to write about tomorrow …
unless I’m not.

*wink, wink

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

I Don’t Know What To Call This

my life is measured out
in cans of cat food
and empty toilet rolls
in flattened cereal boxes
and gnawed apple cores
it’s load upon load of laundry
glaucoma drops—twice a day
and 4:00 p.m. tots of sherry.

my life is pieced together
in yards of dental floss
man-handled tubes of toothpaste
cold tea bags and dumped
coffee grounds
it’s scads of used tissues
in purses and pockets along with
half-filled bottles of hand-sanitizer

it’s scooped out in pellet-litter
and cups of birdseed
handfuls of peanuts-in-the-shell
and jugs of water
ceramic pots with serrated silver spoonfuls
of marmalade or jam

my life is milk-stains
on a maple floor
dirt in corners, single cat whiskers
caught in rugs
it’s kitchen knives
ritually washed again and again
and plastic tabs from bread bags

Imagine if I could count all these things in reverse;
I’d return to the first moment
when I could measure nothing at all—

I would be unborn.

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

Drifting

Traceries of snow

have designed a landscape

upon my window:

The drifts below

make ideal ground

to hold the roots

of icy trees

that trickle down

from the tops of the panes.

Brightly coloured butterflies

pasted to the glass inside

to ward off birds

that might collide,

look out of place

behind the lacy intricacy

of H2O’s frozen veins.

It blows and wails outside;

the gusts of snow

do not subside,

the birds drop down

to no avail;

while I bide here

beside the fire’s glow.

 

Kathleen Mortensen © 2017

January Open Mic

Thanks to Crow at Words and Feathers (click link to join in!) for hosting this terrific platform for sharing our creativity. Here is my contribution. It is rather bleak, but when I look out at the miserable day outside here, it seems very appropriate. The quality is down to my HP laptop and  Windows 10. I apologize for this.

Ice Men

A soul-compass, something inside—
(sane, or insane?)
drove them down
to the bottom of the world.

They would glide in their hard-hulled boats—Astrolabe,
Discovery, Endurance
until the ice locked them in.

Damned, on guano-beaches;
the sun (that infernal sun!) bleached their skin—
their lashes. The ashes of dead fires
told sad tales of meagre feasts.
Black and white sea-beasts broke the ice,
eager for their next meal.
Was it all real?

They waited: sheltered,
from the blowing wind,
and snow,
and sun,
under the belly of a life-boat—
surrounded by bloated seals, blood and after-birth,
squawking skua-survivors—
cold Hell.

Only the ghosts can tell us why they had to go;
how that drag, on the compass-needle could draw
them south to their destinies
or doom.

I wonder, do modern ice men
hear their voices in the gloom,
when they lie down
at night?

Kathleen Mortensen©2012