Your Books Your mother invited me to your house, after you died. Said she wanted me to help myself to your books. I felt like a trespasser intruding upon a private family affair but she seemed comforted to have me near. I helped her pack your belongings into a crate, silently purging grief whilst filling a box for myself. At home, I unpack slowly Your books smell of dog and smoke; of wise counsel and steadfastness in the face of adversity. I cradle each one as you had loved them before giving them pride of place upon my shelf. Wafts of you still linger between the pages and in the space that you left. Instructions to the Artist Paint me not as you see me but who I am Paint me with watercolours that bleed, rich colorful acrylics covered with oil then start again. Paint me with words that are misinterpreted Lyrics not my own but resonate with me in festivals of dance and destruction. Paint me in architecture mathematically incorrect structures that reach to the skyline imperfect but standing tall and proud. Paint not what you see But as I am. Uniquely me. Conformity I will not mold to the shape of the box you place me in. I am all sharp angles and raw, jagged edges of experience, with deep fissures that allow flowing currents of pain to ooze and escape. You cannot contain me. No, nor smack a label across my heart and confess to know me. Your Perfect Offering These are cracks everywhere: from the cracks in my ribs where you pushed me away to the migraine crack of my mind whenever I think back on you. I follow cracks in the pavement that lead to your door, cracks in the windows and the tiles on the floor wherever there is residue so is a footprint in the dust of you. Some say you're in heaven now I believe you're in hell Every time lightning cracks the sky the darkness lifts the light gets in and I know i'm doing well. (from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen)
Bio from 2019:
Ellen writes poetry, flash fiction. Links to her work can be found @poeticnihilist . In her spare time, she is a lecturer of English.