Juliet Cook


for Matt Williams

My fake eyelashes are centipede legs.
Your fake moustache is a wooly slug.

Feel them flutter, feel them slither, feel them writhe
to get away from such intimate grotesqueries.
As for me, I will dance with it. I will closely embrace
the taste of carrion or at least make believe;
costume myself as the reaper's quaggy consort.
Fling me like chaff, brittle bracts, black burrs.
I'm flexuous enough to purr and pretend I revel in it.

Glammed-up, I'm scarecrow-esque.
The crows eat off my tapered fingers
and I cradle the stubs. Wrap them up
in white gauze. Bloody baptismal dress. Wormy bassinet.
A small handful of fresh mummies.

Glammed-up, you're hustler-esque.
A smooth skullcap hides the burls that protrude from
your misshapen head. Suspicious spongy mass.
Coiled colony of parasites. Question mark shaped
dread and razor sharp suckers.

Leeches can feel our vibrations
and sometimes enter through an orifice
and then become engorged
and then become immune to extraction
until they've had their fill of our strange fluids.

In the crow beaks, the violet pastilles of my fingertips.
In the parasite tails, the slime trail from your bleeding
crepe paper sash. We're being drained, smeared,
dragged into the lush desire for even darker disguises.

Beady-eyed sweetie. Zombie lips.
Feel the baby earwigs tickle your spine.
They know how you want to be a book
about decay, disgust, the juxtaposition
of brutal bite-marks and white sheets.
Dirty toe cleavage and polished nails.
I know what you need.

I will send you a tiny envelope
of toenail clippings, spit-stained
tatter of black gown where a black dog slobbered
before he bit and he must have been rabid
for all the frothing at the mouth I've done lately.

I will spoil you, lavish you
with parcels of detritus, with the crude rejectamenta
from between my teeth. Infinitesimal oddments,
fossilized squirrel fur, creamy nougat hardened
into dangerous pellets, pellicle scraped from creepy tongue.

I will show you my wrists. Little slits, little slits
for you to fish, for you to kiss, for you to fill
with your own venom and ephemera.

(inspired by Halloween, a Camille Rose Garcia painting, and a Matt Williams poem)



for David

First a cupola emerges, framed by blue sky. A luminous snapshot in the midst of thick fog. Then all the dark chimneys poke through holes in lace. Cinnamon smoke uncurls from a cake with a crusty outside, sweet and graceful inside. On the side of our house, glossy ivy is smitten with old brick and climbing. You give it water. You create electricity. You emanate exotic incense. You are dancing fingers and bananas flambé crowned with whipped cream. You are burnished Bundt pans, soft mittens bundling up my hands. Dark red kernels of Indian corn ripen beneath your tongue and you feed the tiny birds that live in my wrists. You stroke their mossy wings, which slowly unfurl. You invite them into the smooth embrace of a stargazer lily, where bright pink pollen becomes their seeds. Your lips smell like cherry blossoms and coffee beans. Your kiss is the pussy willow bumbles in spring. The leafy sea dragons in my bloodstream swim towards you, thrumming. Your eyes sing to me like secret blue-green marbles. Your vertebrae are freshwater pearls with a fine-grained rainbow sheen. Your velvet pockets welcome me, like wrapping palms around a mug of mulled tea. We smile at each other and brand new birds fly from our throats. Your bird makes a nest behind my left ear. My bird roosts in the soft nook between your shoulder and your neck where it smells of neroli; where your honeyed waves of body heat nestle me. The pink seed eating birds converge upon your feet and gently peck at the soles, seeking nectar. You build a small and shiny spoon, especially catered for their delicate beaks, their ethereal feathers. When all of my birds alight upon your warm arms, the aroma of fresh bread rises in front of us.

Experience more of Juliet Cook online right now in 'wicked alice' and 'Sein Und Werden' and her personal blog at www.xanga.com/CandyDishDoom. She recently completed a sexy new limited-edition, hand-designed chapbook available via BloodPuddingPress.etsy.com and her perpetually evolving/mutating full-length manuscript, 'Horrific Confection' is currently seeking publication.