Michelle Augello, writes creative fiction, erotica and is also an editor for Siren. For those of you that want to publish edgier work go have a look at what Siren does.
Her blog is here https://michelleaugellopage.wordpress.com/
Michelle has some works available and come article links.
I chose the poem below from her blog to share. I am slowly working on a series of erotic shorts around a circus and one is of a knife thrower, the poem reminded me of it. Part of my process writing is that as I start to connect with a story as the mood and ‘swell’ of it starts to come through, I collect things like a crow that relate to what that swell feels like. A collection of symbolic moods and visuals that wraps around the story idea and modd like a caterpillars chrysalis.
This is one of those shinny things my inner crow collected.
I love you like a woman
pinned to a carnival wheel
blindfolded, I spin
taut against splintered wood
my body is a temporal thing
skin, blood, bone
you throw knives
at the negative spaces
between my fingers, along
the line of neck and jaw
I hold my breath. I do not
speak. I don’t want to break
and risk a slip in direction
the sweat on your brow
is glistening in the hot sun.
“July” is one of the poems in My Mother’s Daughter, a collection of poems I wrote between 1998-2002 and published in 2012.
Under the leaves that have freshly fallen,
under the browned, softer ones
and under the mulch and humus debris beneath them,
lies my soul.
Chest to chest with the earth.
It’s the press of a lover.
Of anguish and a heart’s desperation.
A place where pride has long gone.
Are you there?
Can you feel me?
Across the improbable,
your steps echo through the ground
a distant staccato as they walk unaware through their daily tasks.
I lay here in the undergrowth straining for every sound,
every whisper that speaks to me of you.
It is an elixir, a blade, an addiction,
it is never enough
and it is all I have left.
Image Dascha Friedlová
It’s an alchemy.
It happens without intent.
And quite frankly,
It can’t leave through intent either.
What is it in us that reaches out and wraps around the soul of another?
I’m not sure.
But what I do know is that it is as strong and fundamental a part of us as those I’m sure of.
Maybe even more so…
And ….. there is you.
It’s been a long time,
Yet I still feel like I’m swimming hard for the shore and at the same time the tide is pulling me out.
That drive forward and that pull back.
It’s not that I want to get away from you
I never did.
Perhaps that’s the problem…
I sometimes think my only choice now is to sink.
Get under the currents
Go down under the surface
Let all that water fill my lungs.
When I sink so deep and my feet touch the sandy bottom
I will be able to walk away.
© E Holland
I’ve found that most people hang on tight to their third serious relationship.
The first can be wrong for so many understandable reasons.
Too young, thought you should, everyone else was.
The second fails and you start to wonder if something is wrong with you.
The third you have to make work or you know for sure it is you that’s the problem.
Breaking your heart and what that does to you is similar.
Now you don’t break your heart with every relationship
And relationships aren’t the only things that break your heart.
But each break erodes your surety of how things are.
It strips away a part of yourself and who you think you are.
What we imagined the world to be and what it really is unfolds in these breaks.
And that’s not a bad thing….
I like to think of these breaks as moving between different chambers of the heart.
Each chamber is moved through with each break.
Those of us that get to the fourth chamber, the last chamber,
Oh boy are we in a different realm.
There is nothing and everything to lose
The bar lifts and drops all at the same time.
You’ve been placed in a realm where you come to understand
a few fundamental things about yourself.
Firstly, you recognize you could love a lot of people
I mean have full blown lifelong happy as you could ever be relationships with them.
It is no longer an only with this special person deal.
You also know for sure it is in fact you that is the problem
and if you can’t make it with this person you’ll never make it with anyone.
Not because there is anything wrong with you
But because you don’t want it enough.
And finally, the only siren’s call that is tempting you away
Is not another person,
but the choice to be
Yeah, that’s the fourth chamber of the heart.
Part 2 of a 3 part piece of Prose
The 1st is here: http://elsaholland.com/2014/09/28/the-four-chambers-of-the-heart-part-1/
The 3rd is here: http://elsaholland.com/2014/09/18/the-four-chambers-of-the-heart-part-3/
Circular images Dacha Friedlova
It’s the too long silences which give me away.
Inside the beasts jostle shoulder to shoulder to gaze through my eyes.
Inadvertently they scratch and claw at my ribs,
hold onto the arched bone as they lean forward.
I raise my glass, smile across the table,
They shake at my ribs
Howl as I tilt my head to focus on the exchanges around me.
Ignored they explode through my body in frustration.
I count. One, two, three and breath.
The tension in my chest eases and they disperse.
The truth is
I covert their secret presence,
Relish that few recognizance them in me.
The grass looks greener when they are there.
The wind feels softer on my face,
The water tastes sweeter.
But most of all I like it when I feel their kindred in others,
The woman opposite me in the subway
The man leaning against the counter at the bar
The smile on the strangers face as we walk towards each other
Invisible hands reaching out as we pass.
Connected by our secret passengers.
I don’t need to be with you to love you.
It just complicated things, that wash of everyday life.
For some it is the place that adds richness
But for us it wasn’t.
We never really rubbed well in that world.
But after all this time… I still feel,
I miss that essence which is you.
The one that washed through me when we were close,
When there were no words,
no meaning to exchange.
Just driving or sitting in silence.
I really liked that.
I remember lying awake listening to you breathe,
Your silhouette as you slept.
That warm feeling in my chest watching as you spoke and laughed.
Even your blasted honesty,
Yes, I loved that about you too.
My whole world lit up when you were focused on me.
It lifted my heart right out of my chest and squeezed so tight I haven’t taken a full breath since.
It’s an odd thing to want someone so much,
Yet know you haven’t been happy together.
Sometimes I wonder if I was just petrified.
I had a taste of what your disinterest felt like.
What gently being put aside felt like.
I’m limping still.
Was it better to run and limp or stay and risk being crippled?
Because that is what it would have done.
Any longer and any deeper and I would have died without your exhale to fill my lungs.
Do you know what that does to a person, to make that choice, where the head walks one way and the heart another?
It doesn’t matter which part of yourself you follow you can never really be whole.
I don’t think my heart has ever forgiven me.
The trouble is I still want, even after all these years.
Just every now and again.
At the periphery.
© Elsa Holland
Image by Edmund-teske
I fell from a hole in my heart
And you caught me.
A wounded woman, perhaps even broken.
You were right where I needed you to be,
Under the sky as I came plummeting down.
You pulled me so close and tight into your chest,
My ear against your heart.
“Listen.” You said as you stroked my hair
like I was some wild thing curled against you.
I did eventually still.
And as I listened,
the beat lulled away the world.
It beat so slowly it made my shoulders relax,
And the weight of my heart sank right down into yours.
I could breathe in the space between those beats.
I’ve thought a lot about the timing over the years
Like we made a pact in another life that when I broke you would be there
Not to put me back together again
But to show me I had another heart that would fill.
Even now, so many years later
I look at you across the coffee table,
The light from the TV flickering across your face,
You’re just as soft. Just as strong.
I remember the sound of creaking boats in the bath
The sarong you wore as you played guitar and made me brie on toast for breakfast
Your hand still strokes my hair when I fret
And your heart still beats slower than anyone I’ve ever met.
© Elsa Holland