Poem performed at Brisbane poetry slam, Blackstar Café, 5/8/10.

If the eyes
Are the windows to the soul,
Then your tears are like raindrops running down them.

And if a lie
Could breathe the life back into you,
I’d tell you stories fit to
Fill the pages
Of an original kind of novel.

But I fear
That we are far too far gone now even for that.

And I see
Nowhere left inside my arms
For you to turn to,
You have explored every sinew,
You have wrapped them close around you,
But though I know my arms are too thin to
Save you, I could not begin to
Let you into
The secret; that what you need
Is just to be let go.


If your smile
Was a reflection of my own,
Then I would grin until my mouth split at the corners.

And if I had …time,
Had we but “world enough and time”,
Fain would I tie your hands to mine
And raise them to the sun
In never ceasing dancing.


You’ll be my very favourite pet.
With strings above your head I will force dancing from you yet.
I’ll put a grin into your head.
A crocodile smile; even though your teeth are clenched,
Your cheeks are wet.
But that part’s not even the best.
The best part’s that when you are gone
I dare not even look straight at myself.

Lest I see something I regret.

Lest I should find
That in my mind
There lurks the kind of creature I detest –

For being far too wrapped up himself
To ever care what others have to say.

2 thoughts on “Marionette

  1. This is really, really impressive. Great rhythm from the fourth stanza onwards, beautiful and sinister all at once.

    If you want some “constructive crit” – and feel free to ignore this, of course – the opening three could be slightly more original..? But then again the ending few are so original, that it actually suits the subject to open that way. My advice would be for *performance*, you could have a stronger, more original opening. Just to immedietly engage the audience. For on paper, where you read, re-read and have more time to look at the progression from beautiful (if slightly cliched) metaphors to a really twisted (hugely powerful and still really strongly expressed) the start works.

    Just an idea :)

  2. Thanks! (:

    As far as the opening goes, the cliche of the opening line – I think it’s a Shakespeare quote – is meant to lay that sort of false impression, yeah. But you’re right, it’s not an ideal performance-poetry piece, it was written with acoustic guitar as a song. There’s some more slams coming up here early next month – hopefully I’ll be able to put together something more performance-oriented in the meantime.

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