Two poems from Dreaming of Our Better Selves
I’m looking up rebirthing online,
how to do it best and I bump into a man with a beard
on You Tube. He’s breathing in circles demonstrating
how to do it, like a prince in a fairy tale trying so hard
to be the best at the test, wanting to win someone special
to love. He breathes down the tube of a straw
into a glass full of pink water. Bubbles rise up like spirits.
I watch the man with the beard gasp, his chest lifts from time
to time and I wonder is he doing it right? The trick is to do it
out of the mouth and in through the nose like giving yourself
a huge kiss under water. I’m very attracted to men who offer me
the key to superior powers, the same thing again and again.
I’ve been holding my breath my whole life, so I say
to myself, how hard can it be and reach for the kitchen tap.
Immediately, I feel quite light headed as I puff out my cheeks,
an odd feeling, as bubbles rise up, of being in a house with
something missing and also of something being there
which shouldn’t and a memory bubbles up of me being
taken to a service where a medium called for someone,
with a name beginning with M, to put their hand up
because she was getting a message from the spirit of a child
who was concerned about a missing watch and I was just
about to put my hand up but before I could she said it must
be a key and a woman wearing a wig in the third row
gasps and says was it maybe her husband who had passed
because the key to her kitchen door went missing the day
of his funeral and the medium said yes it was.
So I was disappointed, like that time I knelt by my bed
doing my best to make myself speak in tongues
but nothing came out and the lady looked superior
as we filed out, as if she’d won something. The music
was rising and falling with a faint bump in the sound.
Air in the cheeks is changing to air in the lungs and I see a pink
face with puffed out cheeks, pressed to the open kitchen window
blowing and sucking at once, playing it like a musical instrument.
Cups and saucers are tinkling and knocking into each other
glasses are moving across the table, the key falls out of the door
onto the floor and I’m quite beside myself, trying so hard to be
special enough to breathe the human spirit into life, that I start
to hyperventilate and faint instead onto the floor and then
I come round and that is when, I see the man with the beard
kneeling beside me with concern, his breath on my face like a kiss.
Blog of the Ninth Lady, Stanton Moor
Things I like about being a stone
I get to spend a lot of time with my circle of friends.
I can keep an eye on Martin the fiddler
and my best friend, Jane Wainwright, see
they don’t get up to their old tricks.
Us all sleeping with each other.
This yellow lichen on me because it’s the colour
of the petticoat I was wearing
the night I was punished for dancing around being happy.
Things I can’t stand
Being awake at 3 a.m. without a drink in my hand.
People I don’t like the look of who kiss me
and think that it means something.
Being pissed up against.
How tight it is in here.
When I wake up from a dream about my mother
and everything still looks the same.
The time a young man came up behind me
and touched my back
and me not being able to turn around and say:
Do that again, please do that to me again.
Marion Tracy has two degrees in English Literature and was a lecturer in Colleges of Further Education. She recently lived in Australia for seven years where she started writing poetry. She is widely published in magazines and previously published a pamphlet, Giant in the Doorway (HappenStance Press, 2012). Dreaming of Our Better Selves (Vanguard Editions, 2016) is her first full collection. She lives in Brighton.