Poetry: Selections from Juliet Cook
Guttural Expansion Stuck Inside
Some walls hold in an influx of toxic mildew.
Grey/green rotten concrete
lurking inside me, an internal build up
as the doll turns middle-
aged then older, as the bad habits
bulge their way out of her belly button.
From stuck pig to stuffed pig.
The ongoing ugly gestures of my body's
My mind can temporarily detach itself
from my own bad habits,
but my body keeps exposing
an abstract lullaby of gurgling internal
streams turning into screams.
It can be hard to separate
water from wine.
Fat from water retention.
It can feel impossible to tone myself
down. I used to be
a sort of voyeur
but now I don't want anyone to
look at what I'm doing to myself.
If you want to be kind to animals,
then you need to stop ignoring all this
animal slaughter. What kind of animal
do you think you are?
Your kitchen is stuffed
full of contradictions.
A flood of silly frothing blood
drenched globs of boneless wings.
Broken pig heads and nasty fucking
soufflés and me too. I've been filled with pigs
and contradictions for years
even though I hate moist ham
unless it's juxtaposed with eggs.
I love gazing upon live chicken wattles
and photographing their clucking faces,
but I'll still eat their legs.
I told you I need wings
to be boneless. I need birds to be dead
before I carry them inside my bedroom,
mount them on display with painted feathers,
position them on top a dusty shelf
beside a taxidermy fetus drenched in blue
formaldehyde wet dreams stored within
this tiny bottle that one day I will crack.
Maybe the only ones who care are those
directly surrounding the dying bodies,
putting them to sleep or killing them or
quickly swallowing down their hearts
until the gagging ends. Maybe nobody cares.
Suspended animation meets ablation
until tons of rooms brim with a surplus
of mutilated guts and malfunctioning brain waves
of filtered animal meat and drained blood.
Until we are all nothing but dead handfuls
of medicated corpses and ashes, ashes.
Juliet Cook's poetry has appeared in lots of print and online publications. She is the author of quite a few poetry chapbooks, recently including Another Set of Ripped-Out Bloody Pigtails (The Poet's Haven, 2019), The Rabbits with Red Eyes (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2020) and Histrionics Inside my Interior City (part of Ghost City Press's 2020 Summer Micro-Chapbook Series). Her most recent full-length poetry book, Malformed Confetti was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2018. She is brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions.