sporklet 6

Lisa Marie Basile



Twelve Poems

We order the slut wine, we do, meaning we’ve spent our days on the night,
           because it’s our cycle;           sediment and seed—and on and on

           Slendered and hair-down, we part with our belongings
                      and chase ribbons come undone,
decide anger is the way home

           We are in a fit, tempest of long hair, bowing down to the black.




A mattress that no doubt held for itself a small circle of our own period blood in its center. It was home, not home, home, not home. We stretched vibrating, torso poured with cosmos; our knees back and forth and the people all looking in, swooning our up-skirts. Something about how our foreheads were down pressed into the bed, something about how were burning leaves in the candles said don’t come near, we’re not for you this time.



Actually, when I think about it:
           sneaking between rooms like I knew something, pulling the quilt up off
you. You see, that was me doubting the human spirit.
But your growl,      it warmed me to you, you beast,
           made up with your crown.
You are a vine, so what did I expect really.

           So seduced, I was so seduced, rolling over onto a knife
           slipping my pale tits out in your black garden,
                      to be unearthed



She wants to fuck tonight but she’s drunk already. So there will be no fucking.
Just the stain against the grainy bed,
           sheets chalky from when we wrapped ourselves up in grass.        
She says she has another secret.
           This time it’s not her body. It’s a silver object, phallic, with a cord.
She plugs it in. We think we ought to watch out.   
           In, in, she comes closer; her throat says who wants to go first?
We are a child who has to pull her socks back up or set fire to a stack of paper
or run down the aisle in church during a sermon.         
           We think we ought to sit with our spines up against the wall
                      so we inch, we inch in



Who is the man who stalks? Who is the shadowboxer? Where is the grim beach, the black unrolling of forever? Where is the fever? Where is the man who will pull the sea from me? Where is the man who will pull the urchin from me? It’s the lust of the sea, isn’t it, the perverse, watching sea, and the crevice it takes as its own, and the shy little foot of a girl, not blonde, who, unafraid, fucks her way up and down the coast, seeking the man, golden, who makes the earth his own; that whole body of freedom; the runaway-with, the tropic of man; the full fauna; the island of illusion: I want so bad to be anywhere but here, here. Here? But how does the it, the it, the it inside me say it aloud? How do I say I hate where I am, that I want something bigger, and that I want peace and only my own body. How do you kill him if you’re not the victim; how do you kill him if you invented him.




Nostalgia as an orchestra swallowed by a tsunami.
     There are always last strands, some bellow, some crash—sound of busy
markets in wobbling heat.
        Like the wrath of childhood; our cool white kingdom and sleeping
on carpets watching our mother-statues;                                            
                           we watch so hard, amorphous.
There was some happiness once, tugging at our socks.
And it’s a memory, alit.


We do not hold the light.
It’s the dark matter we are after.

           In a photo the queen holds my hand on a tabletop. How does beauty
work like that? Two girls in a photograph suggest something powerful                     
                   but don’t be stupid.

           This isn’t history; it is a heap of body, and another heap, and a wooden
table in the light, high-back chairs, intestine crawling down that rocking leg,
           a smallish meaty mound around the middle, no velvet.




The queen says, let me tell you a secret—

Me, I am dumb
           leaning in flushed.

So, her secret. What’s her secret?

She always makes you feel so special, like you’re the answer, the only one who could ever know it, who could hold it in the chest of the self. The divine self. I say yes tell me, I come closer, I feel her pause toxic, I feel her warm mouth on me. The endless lip liner, the way she draws her mouth on first so at least a part of her is dimensional.

I expect everyone to move for me, on the street, I mean. This isn’t a conversation, it’s an invitation;        

           the words they should  pushing up out of the throat




Another night it is depleted,      that is, I am.         
               I am infantilized by the sea as it woos the night        
turning to me with the whole of itself
         lantern-like and blackishly.        
the loneliness spills out of the box,     
         here onto my lap and up into all of it. a salty quiet
         rushing in,    and of it, all of me.


The heat of our menagerie:
           no water now; or was there ever water?
           or life,          desecrated by votives, our manic curiosity
           & sweat-things, coffinrooms filled of our foul, vetiver-violated black
mattresses and shrines of seashells, and suitcases and such and.

           and august, or was it? it was an eternity, I mean that,
                      a never-time, some dream of mine, or maybe not.


she was the absolute archangel of deceit; you had to applaud her.
           she made of mouth shapes that mine could not make. she made of world
so flat you fell from it, if only into her lap;       a sedative, perfume.
           and her commerce of sin.
           but I felt so lonely here




                      I smell the me that wants to stay;
never leave, open the trunk.   Press into the past and go.

           I don’t believe in age
                      but my hands hurt.

is there a cure for that    

                      a bloodlet, maybe.

because I am this now
           I willingly stopped being that

Lisa Marie Basile is the author of Apocryphal (Noctuary Press) and a few chapbooks, including Andalucia(Poetry Society of NY) and war/lock (Hyacinth Girl). She’s the editor-in-chief of Luna Luna Magazine and Ingenuex.com. You can find her work in Tarpaulin Sky, PANK, Dusie, Huffington Post, the Tin House blog and Ampersand Review. She's also a journalist and editor.