the angle of the dangle
collapse! / eyes melting on the toilet / keep it quiet / little children / bang on the door / mommy, mommy, mommy / darlings! / there is not even one of me / let alone three.
empty / barely breathing / barely standing / no-one noticed / keep on walking / how do you do? / how did you do it all before? / one / two / try and buckle that shoe.
well, don’t just stand there / go get it / go get / that sewing kit! / don’t let it show / patch it up quick / don’t look at it / now go sleep on the floor.
go to work! / he goes to work / with her / but you / can trust / him / he’s been stopping / stopping slowly / slow and steady / and steady, as she goes /
goes out to sea / a crosswords clue / she made me do / I didn’t enjoy the puzzle / and it didn’t even happen / what makes you think those things?
gaslight / bluebeard / avoidant and a narcissist / I’ve been reading the books / now which one is it / on your throat / my hand or hers? / in any case / not anything /
that I would have signed for.
Questions on ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’
1) What boils up and rises from the bruised lips of the murdered?
2) What dark magic is it that pulls the fallen Hindenburg back up, floats it, defies logic, and crushes the hopes of younger pilots who thought their turn had come?
3) Could we have underestimated it, the will to power of the clear-eyed beast?
4) Is it possible to delineate it, pen on paper – or is the endeavour futile, a waste of time, a distraction from the inevitable second rise of the buried alive?
5) How many prizes has it come back to claim: three countries, three scars, two children, two cars. (You may use a calculator.)
6) If one did not know the nature of an item snatched, could one still return it intact? (Define intact.)
7) Name a thing for which the following sentence is true: I am happy to eat it twice.
The Red Pony
Man and woman – incompatible. In friendship or hardship, no ship will sail that will not fail to make it home one night. The husband’s actions swift and inconsiderate. His wife’s heart left untouched, going bad on the plate. It oozes, gurgles, burps – listen: You are a mug! A mug I am, gullible mark, alright. But what is it that makes me that? Trusting, testing, believing, denying or discounting it? This time, or which one of the many times before? (Seahorses: delicate, incomprehensible. I grew bouquets of them, before they told me that it was impossible.) To be fair, he warned me early on of the dangers of what he called the marital gallop. How it trots: gaily, gaily, gentle pony in fancy new clothes! Someone might need to tell it that after a few years, a handful of children, a house, a cart, etc., every pony that trots round the merry-go-round is considered ground meat for supermarket carts. (Or perhaps it already knows: it has no choice but to be breathed, walked, and undone by the unknown.)
Lorelei Bacht (she/they) is a person, a poet, queer, multi-, living in Asia. When she is not drawing sad little sketches, she writes – too much. Her work has appeared / is forthcoming in Anti-Heroin Chic, Visitant, The Wondrous Real, Abridged, Odd Magazine, Postscript, PROEM, SWWIM, Strukturriss, The Inflectionist Review, Hecate, and others. She is also on Instagram: @lorelei.bacht.writer and on Twitter @bachtlorelei