Corpus Opus







No-one in our real lives gives a shit that we write,
that our raison d’être is to drag definitions
from the depths of our guts
and needle scratch them into our skin.

I wonder if,
when the words that ink us,
that silkscreenprint us,
have dried and cracked
and not an inch of skin remains,

they will gather around our naked corpses
and read the story of our lives.



Filed under Free Verse

37 responses to “Corpus Opus

  1. JTW

    your lines struck me with a bittersweet melancholy because i wonder this often…i wonder if they’ll put it all together once i’m gone and make sense of me.

  2. Nice piece. Great imagery. Great metaphor. Writing can be or feel so isolating.

  3. Saiqa Aftab

    I wonder the same thing, does anyone actually listen… (hmmm, or read!) poignant words – and most of all, truthful.

  4. Makes you feel is it worth it at the end of the day? Hell yes I say, if it touches someone else, anyone, then our work is done. Plus I find it helps with personal balance. Rich and flowing imigary here hun, really happy to see you back on form and rocking us with your words!

  5. no one in our real life gives a shit what we write – are you saying that it’s just the twitter and blog friends who do care? that’s sad.

    of course, i wish my kids liked my poetry. my mom doesn’t go online, and my dad doesn’t read my stuff enough. 😦

    • I have a few people in my real life who read poetry, my eldest son also writes so ‘gets it’ but the internet has been a gift – my stuff would be gathering dust in a drawer without it.

  6. Brendan

    You wish. We’re all headed for the poetry pile in the landfill outside of Culture. 🙂 In Japan you’ll find the preserved skins of people who were tattooed from nose to toes. So such books exist … But don’t worry, I’ll never forget the sound of “hiraeth” in my ears. It suffices, that we sang this short while … Great poem, Julie — and the title rocks. – Brendan

    • Thanks Brendan. Really? Preserved skins? Eugh that’s gross (now I sound like one of my kids). I think this says more about me than anything else I’ve ever written. If I wasn’t such a wuss I’d have it tattooed somewhere discreetly about my person. Perhaps I should just pick out a phrase like ‘naked corpse’ – that’d get them talking at the wake haha.

  7. Wow! powerful. I like this a lot.

  8. Joanne Elliott aka soulsprite

    Nice! It does seem that our fans are not often our close friends and family, but as you can see you have fans. Everyone does. You may have to leave your homeland to find them, but they are out there.

  9. it seems that only after we die do they really care, if history holds…really like this you capture well the essence of what we do…often unnoticed…

  10. Great images. My fav lines:

    I wonder if,
    when the words that ink us,
    that silkscreenprint us,
    have dried and cracked
    and not an inch of skin remains,

  11. Reminds me of the story of the imprisoned Russian poet who was not allowed writing material and carved out poetry on soap.

    • Irina Ratushinskaya, I remember the reports in the news. I love this short poem of hers.

      No tree plucked the apple, and so
      They’re not ashamed to be nude,
      They send their leaves, an innocent crew,
      Down to those in the basement below.
      I see a cloud –
      And you?

  12. The only time I’ll be totally understood is when they dump the dirt on top of me. They’ll look at my tattoos and find reason. Loved this poem!

  13. you had me at the first line. this is really good.

  14. hedgewitch

    So true. You just get that look, like huh? why? (You express it just a tad more eloquently here.) Resonates with me, definitely. I also loved the photo of the micropoetry on the arm

  15. Which poets in this electronic age will be remembered, why, and how? There’s nothing more ephemeral than words in cyberspace, here today, gone tomorrow. I’m so out of the loop, I don’t even like tattoos.

    • Thank you Mark. Yes there is that feeling that once we’re done editing and tinkering with our pieces on the crit boards and have posted them on our blogs they’re then left to simply slip away.

  16. Julie… you have this knack of cutting right to the heart of a subject..and doing it with sharp, evocative words and subtle music.. so it’s a pleasure intellectually and emotionally.. Yes, writing is a bodily this:

    our raison d’etre is to drag definitions
    from the depths of our guts
    and needle scratch them into our skin.

    • Thank you Becky, I wrote this on the beach one afternoon, observed by a couple of bemused girlfriends. It’s one of those pieces that fell out of my head pretty much fully-formed, I don’t think I edited it at all, it’s word for word as I wrote it in my notebook. I love it when that happens, lazy-ass poet that I am.

  17. Tom Eliot

    A devastating poem which probably hits a nerve with all of us.
    An absolute belter.
    Great tat – too.

  18. It is because of those closest to me that I can NOT believe people would find anything I pen worth reading…yet, it seems if I stop, my entire life grinds to a halt. The steps it took me to actually start posting, (under my real name no less) were long and tedious indeed. Oh my, I think your write, may have inspired my own! Such is excellent poetry!

  19. Thanks Natasha. Don’t let anyone let you think that your stuff’s not worth reading. We all have something to say, in our own unique way and there are plenty of kindred spirits among us. I’m serious missy, if I hear any talk like that I’ll be round to kick your arse. Sorry, that’s the teacher in me…I don’t speak to my students like that….honest haha.

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