• makeswordswork

Gilded

Updated: Jun 7



IMAGE: Two people sit apart from each other, on an inky background.

It’s that light in your eye

That trickle of a lie

That tie-dyed stain of a tilt in the brain


A catch in the throat

That sounds like a choke

Or a token smile feigning sincerity


We hear that catch

That hesitant tongue as lubricant

Lining the colon of the gilded one


And the only reason I know there is still light outside

Is because there is no light inside


I cannot remember the name of the boy

Who sat next to me in school

With masonry nails through his fingers

And blood trickling down the desk legs

His smile is tattooed on the inside of my forehead

Yet his name is a mirror-sprite

A somnambulating dissenter


And today I watch a simile on the news

As he tries to make sense of it

As he tries to grasp the enormity

But his eyes betray him

He deflects the pain

Bereft of empathy


And the only reason he knows there is still light outside

Is because there is no light inside


His cheeks are puffing out and the trumpet is up his arse

I would like to change the channel

But find I cannot move

I am stasis

I am pall

I am disjunct

And enthralled


I prune the tree, not knowing its name

I mow the lawn, not feeling its pain

I still the mood and drink my tea

I have no deity, so pray for me.


The corpse on the TV is real

The baby on the sofa is not

There are hairs in my whisky

Hairs on my tongue

Hairs on the ceiling

Hairs on the walls

There is a catch in my throat

But I do not control my own voice

I have let the others speak

And my silence has deafened me.


And the only reason I know there is still light outside

Is because there is no light inside.


My life is gilded, in comparison

I am wanting, in comparison

I am poor, in comparison

Yet rich, in comparison

I am hurt by this, beyond compare.


Writing by JAMES OATES


Artwork by FAYE LAMB


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