Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Medusa's hands have got ingrowing nails.
Sat behind the check-out till she chews at her gnarled fingers.
Customers tut.
Tsk! Tsk!
One day, she stopped painting them,
realised she'd got more nail in her than out,
an inside out pin cushion,
spiky Medusa chewing.

Six minutes past two.
Two hours and fifty four minutes to go.

She loves collections of porcelain shoes,
used to wear bracelets heavy with runes,
never had kids but sponsored a unicorn,
wishes her flat had a fireplace.

One day, woke up with ingrowing hair,
hissing migraines and head-full of cobras.
Felt like an atlas had cracked in her skull,
felt like she'd swallowed the weather.
Got two months away from the shop
then Doctor said she was better.
Confided her eyes still twisted of serpents
but Doctor said she was better.

He told her to smile,
take the bandages offered for her internal bleeding.
Cheap incentives.
Counterfeit concern.
Minimum rest keeps her stressed
python knotted shoulders tort,
chest crushed tight.

She wishes
she could turn more than his heart
to stone.

She must


and never


in public

Medusa's face is ingrowing.
Check-out till stranded,
struggling to smile,
hold those bloated eyes in.

"Hold my eyes in, keep my eyes in,
smile and thank who I'm despising.
Venom swills against scraped nerves
until I can’t shake off their words,
words that make my heartbeat flicker
pumping poison through me quicker."

Lumps of fear, chunks of doubt
feed the snakes she can’t carve out.

1 comment:

  1. This is brilliant - a sympathetic portrait of a modern Gorgan figure, her inner torment affecting her appearance & attitude - giving a depth and dimension normally lacking in her monstrousness - of course, it might be an exagerated description of a woman feeling like the Medusa, which may well be the root of the myth in itself of course