Wordless as faces that should have had mouths

bare are skinned shut from chin up

to nose, cheek to cheek, expanse of unwrinkled

pink-curtained flesh, chubbily soft and orificeless.


Absentia of lips and nothing of teeth – the wrongness!

Voices kept in an oaken chest, songs treasure-buried

down in deep-hulled ships, lungs without exit

and the souring of air inside webbed stale channellings,


shut in there, in. As the others draw near

they imagine hearing metallic sounds clank:

the mechanical echoes of deep, dark hammers

calling lost names and methods as the nails put to rest.




Very strange little piece, this. Couldn’t think what picture would go with it but just googling ‘hand over mouth’ did the trick. The images are extraordinary (not to mean they’re fantastic, but they’re just a little bizarre). Slightly Sylvia Plath-like, definitely unlike other stuff I wrote. Not sure if I like it or not, but it’s different…