Second Hand, Third Body

My poem Second Hand, Third Body was published in a zine issued by Our Voice of Asheville, a charity dedicated to helping survivors of sexual abuse. Photos are of my favorite nebula’s!

Witches head nebula

Second hand, third body

First hand :

I unfold the skirt, it is musty, I can never seem to get the creases out of the fabric, no matter how hot the iron gets. Turned up to the highest setting, so hot my flesh is dripping off, yet  the creases remain. Some residue of that night is still embedded within its fibres, so I held it knotted under the water until I was sure all of you had dissolved. I hung it out stretched tight across rope and let the sun burn off any residue. I want to remove any part of you that might still be entangled within its fibres.

Third body :

This shirt is so fragile I think it would dissolve in water. It’s wafer like material is a collage of op-art. I will have to alter it somehow, but, if I was to wear it, could I become like the pattern and look different from whatever angle it was observed? I could morph into other shapes, become different people every time I put it on – until someone was to lick it’s wafer-like material then it’s magic would be broken and I would be myself again. Its texture reminds me of communion wafer, the body of Christ, that I was warned as a child in church was never to touch your teeth; you weren’t supposed to chew Christ. But I always wondered was I actually consuming flesh? I imagined  absorbing the nutrients, his visions and thoughts would bring me closer to God, but it never happened so I embraced  my pagan soul.

Helix nebula

Second hand, third body:

I looked for a tie, to reflect what I don’t quite know. I found one, black and silk amongst a box of hundreds, writhing like snakes around my arms. I was constantly loosening it until I wondered could I really feel it getting slightly tighter of it’s own accord?

When I am on a dance floor, lost in electronic composition, I experience some kind of flash back. Who was the last person to wear this tie?  What music did they listen to, who were they dancing with? What words were exchanged? I found myself wondering whose neck was it hurriedly tightened around?

hourglass nebula

Later on the night bus home, I feel the tie constricting; I couldn’t breath so I took it off, knotting it tightly I put it in my bag. That night I dreamt of being gagged by the same tie, I woke up choking, feeling it had erased someone’s smiles. I got up and cut the tie into 23 pieces, placed them in separate bags, and buried them.

Reclaiming threads:

I am reclaiming  my very fabric! Done with second hand and third bodies I am making a skirt stitched together with the fabric of time. Perfect for every occasion (that ever has, and is still due to happen)! I will sew on mini universes in a concentric pattern; decorate it with exploding giant stars, supernova rings and stellar gas jets. I keep different time dimensions in my pocket, curled up so small they only exist for seconds. Black holes suck in stray thoughts, and people who irritate me. It is lined with dark matter, which is hard to sew, as I can’t understand the very concept of it. The sheen of the whole garment shines with the fantastic colours of the northern lights. I can’t determine it’s size, but I know that my head will grow into it. It has so many folds, I can hide forever, I have no constraints, it is infinite.

Orion nebula


2 thoughts on “Second Hand, Third Body

  1. Well done in getting your story published Jude, I love the line “I keep different time dimensions in my pocket, curled up so small they only exist for seconds” It reminds me of a Lisa Hannigan lyric from the song “Ocean and a Rock”. If I could describe your style it would be thus: Italo Calvino gets lost in a wool-shop and finds new meaning in String Theory. Be well and stay creative my friend.

  2. Hey Pete, love your comment. I may quote you on that. I do love Italo Calvino – in fact I quoted him on a wee blog entry on felting with trucks. Invisible cities/invisible islands – I wonder if you’ve ever read any Angus Peter Campbell..?

    Hear your planning another trip northwards? I am jealous. I’d love to come over in August but small issue of lack of $$$$$.

    Jude X

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