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Two Poems By: Alex Bell
Karl Smith , August 23rd, 2015 03:37

New writing on The Quietus this week comes full circle, back to a more tQ-immediate locale, with two poems by London-based writer Alex Bell. (Image: The Skin I Live in, Almodovar)


When Georgia turns from us, her back is a Man Ray.
We hate to see her go. We love to watch her leave.
With Georgia gone, our hair
is both lank and flyaway. We are hungry.
Our buckles rust, and moths eat at our tweed.
We hold huge boomboxes
over our heads for Georgia. We try to dance her back.
We turn ourselves over like rainsticks,
and the falling organs clatter, and sound like rain,
which we feel must be appealing to Georgia,
who is by turns heavy and light,
and collects in sad pools on impermeable surfaces.
We fear that she is gone away forever.
Sometimes in the Georgialess night
we stitch ourselves together - little floral octagons
in the great thick quilt of our aching for Georgia.
We need her. We need her breadth and the smell of her neck,
and all of snake-spined roads leading back to her.
When in the mornings we wake without Georgia,
the shock pops our monocles. She's meant to be here,
where her skin drifts in motes, and she's bigger
the longer she's gone, as big and as clear
as the moonlight sliding its knife through the pines.


Frankie was a girl, was good. When Frankie slept
her cheeks puffed nothings into Albert's no-good ear.
Heart picked like an apple, scrumped and downed.
When Albert was away she applied no make-up, stayed
unpainted and pining, plating pretty chickens
on his table. Frocked, all thought her adorable
as a yawning kitten. The money she spent on his threads!
Everything. And still he did her wrong. She saw.
At the corner saloon, betrayal changed Frankie's rich
pink to sick pale. The bullets drove in holes. Four,
five. Like bolts into the seeming plank of him. He died.
Couldn't rope his soul. Reaper Frankie was roughly just,
and who could judge? Noir-dark night, the ground was
holy-cold. The man was bad, and Frankie good good good.

Alex Bell lives and works in London. Her poetry has been published in The Rialto, Poetry Wales, Magma, The Morning Star, and Poems in Which. She is co-organiser of the "Eoke" series of poetry and karaoke nights.