20120906

Stuart Barnes


Prologue


text from The Secret History by Donna Tartt



Animalia


Endangered:
the Himalayan
Hispid hare
(stumpy ears,
a dull dark
coat, a massive skull
that cracks
when it tries to flee well-
meaning
captors; actually Caprolagus, a genus
of rabbit): grasslands
blackly scarred
by whites
deprive.

after the Graeme Base book of the same name



Stockholm Syndrome


they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh
—Matthew 2:11


I want to rape the man
that most recently
presented

‘I want to rape you’

as though it
was veins,
tears, or gums


I want to rape the man
that most recently cross-
examined with

‘why do they hurt,
they’re merely words’


I want to rape the man
that spiked
that pint

—the only drink
post-January ‘96
I had any human
touch—

with god knows what
(how fortunate
I guzzled

that fistful of meth
upon entering
The Peel!)


I want to rape the man
that keeled in our bed

that zeroed
in on me, a

                      Great
                      white
                      shark

that ever
so casually

rowed,
through seething

water,
‘you bloody liar’

as I keened
as I came clean


I want to drape the man
who altered me with garland,
tinsel and candy canes, and crown
him with a golden star,
then sing my hymn
of Bethlehem.



Stuart Barnes’ poetry is published in various online and print journals and newspapers incl. Qarrtsiluni, Mascara Literary Review, Overland, The Warwick Review and The Weekend Australian Review. An essay – ‘Robert Smith: More Than Meets The Lancôme Eye’ – appears in the current issue of VLAK: Contemporary Poetics & the Arts. His first accepted short story – ‘Mother and Son’, about his coming out – can be read at Verity La (http://verityla.com/mother-and-son-stuart-barnes/). He lives in Melbourne.
 
 
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