Laura poem image for blog

sometimes I can't pretend
        (with fraudulent smile
           and counterfeit jollity)
            expelling misery caked carbon dioxide
             grappling with fresh clean oxygen
           looping it around happy happy speak
         to bluff-tumble all around
        sometimes I can't pretend
        as her falsehoods
         assault my crumbling walls
            as conspiracy theories replace responsibility
               as accusations curl around lunatic lies -
                  today I am a victim of her inconsistency
                   tomorrow her absent shrug will not heal me.
                   sometimes I can't pretend
                  (though the knife feels blunt
                 and her nails are clipped)
              that my best foot is alive and well
            you may see me walk is if I were living
            expansively naming my blood-warmed jewels
            writing false futures with a dried-up pen
                 sometimes I can't pretend
                   when softly she steps
                     with white feather wings
                     when she strokes my brow and bestows stolen gifts
                   and tries to suggest that the demon is dead
                   while robbing my soul to sharpen her rage
                     to cut me open when I'm lulled to sleep
                            sometimes I can't pretend
                             as the demon expands
                            biting chunks from my mind
                        as giggle-groans echo beneath my ribs
             and with stained talons she crawls a smidgen deeper
     sometimes I can't pretend 
    that she is not burrowing back inside the womb
      where I lovingly formed her so long ago
                    (daily she wept at her exile
                                from that moist-hugged cave within me)

© Jane Paterson Basil


  1. So much to marvel at, in this poem: its shape on the page, the images oh the images, the verb-words bluff-tumble and giggle-groans, the places it goes and the stories it tells. The rhythm of the first 5 stanzas and the effect you achieve by changing it up in the final stanza–this is really good stuff, Jane! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the kind of reaction that makes me want to kick and scream… because you are so goddamned f’ing right.

      And I thank you for it. I ran away and lived in a tent for 6 months to escape, but the noose only tightened. My daughter is a psychotic mess of skin and bone. Various support services are trying, but they expect her to die. I can’t help her. She wants to possess me, and I don’t know what to do.


      1. Keep writing and I think your muse will tell you what to do. SAVE YOURSELF is my mantra. Even the oddest and silliest thing I write, preform, or paint is to that end. You have real power in your pen.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. hank you. I love your wisdom.

          You paint? Is that your artwork? I hope so, because I love it. I’ve been so envious because I couldn’t find free images like yours, and I wanted to do my own, but I’m too wrapped up in writing – added to which I gave all my art equipment to my sister, as she’s a professional artist, and I don’t do computer artwork.


          1. I splash in the paint bucket. A few of the images are from Google, like the corporate one and the airport. I used advanced search and looked for ones that were had no restrictions. The faces & body parts are mine though. I use an online photo editor, to crop and run filters on the pictures. I waste big hunks of time altering images on there.

            Liked by 1 person

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