Cheryl Penn

from In Cemeteries
[Images by Marie Wintzer, taken in Yanaka cemetery, Tokyo]

Out you come
the biggest mistake
of my life
I was worried
before I decided -

I’ve seen too much of the world
       - death
been too long a slave
the pain is strong (so strong)
how can we be friends?

what do you need?
what are you reading?
Old letters
the plot has taken
a sensual turn
a ghost writer

set in cherry blossoms
new life
sweeping the dead.

the silence between the notes
the best sound of all.

its an old recording -
He cant stop listening to life
       a symphony of beauty
       a handful of copies

I know I know it
4 days of paradise
what were the chances
she still breathed here?

its cold among the granite.

Have you ANY idea what time it is?
I’ve invested for 12 years
Have you ANY idea what time it is -
I’ve invested for 12 years
you’ve had your fun
put an end to this game
why are you doing this?
the better question -
what have you done to deserve this -
I didn’t mean to hurt you
your penance is too late
    he sends his love.
    O the perfect horror.

Your heart is slower
than ours
its comforting
what time is it??

I’ve heard a melody
grab a pen
a dream
a nightmare café
no way out
the waitresses
the same face
not like any I’ve ever seen.

touch the controls
reveal the sepulchers
if the tides keep rising
the world will be under water
in 50 days
so - that’s the secret?
throw the bones
see the seer
through here
its not what you’re used to
I think you will like it.

The sobbing
the holding
the secret trade.

the blossoms fall
and you look lovely.
his life in video
and the coward didn’t know.
What are you doing in my room?
Reading my books,
pinching my pockets
a disappointing start.
I am ( . . . . .)
you do NOT wish to cross me.

Who will walk you through
the details of your questions/
That closed door -
THAT was what death would do.

the explosion
the music of my dream
the fragment
that killed me
I fell
over the bridge
hitting the water
the manuscript drowned.

he killed for her
        he loved her
        and she him.
BUT the gaping hole
in his heart
        he never saw that coming.

she floated
to the top
of her secrets
Open your ears
they NEVER stop hearing
there’s a world in your world
this place joined

Cheryl Penn is a process based art practitioner from South Africa who uses the mediums of collaboration, Asemics and Visual Poetry to express her own personal visual language.

The complete book of In Cemeteries was made for An Encyclopedia of Everything - The Expanded Version, May 2015.
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