Poetry- Harry Dell

What’s False About Cracked Teeth?

There are words I will not write here, and not
the ones already locked up in lizard skin.

No lock or clasp can contain them,
or curtail their twitches and coils.

They eke out like poisonous vapor,
to not exist and rob saliva of snapped flight.

Without the cross between eyes,
blood is not content to simmer or bubble
back down like toffee. It burns and
sticks to those words, becoming a
crust to chew and grind through the night.

It pools and swirls, stripping away
the useless; a whirlpool streaked with
enamel, stomach lining and whatever skin
couldn’t cope.

Finally you’re left, thin boned
and adrenaline squeezed; a delicately blown
egg shell, kept in vinegar until its
openings collapse.

into words I will not write here, and not
the ones already locked up in lizard skin.


The Birdtable

There are three woodpeckers,
seven sparrows
two crows
and a robin competing in airspace.

I am told the woodpeckers, which are longer
than I believed them to be by the exponent
of three, are unusual. They are chiefly concerned
with peanuts.

I don’t know which of the seven is singing in
the twitching pitch or why they would think itis acceptable. Is that flap rotary or
lateral? Not knowing keeps the crescents
out. The cups of tea are all unsipped, everyone
has their own, saucer held haze.

In an instant of aerodynamic mechanical
violence siblings tear a sausage to gristle
with forks locked in scraping opposition.

But aren’t the tweeting birds nice.

A steel ball on a spike shudders information
into fuselage and receiver when solid. Take
the spacer away and letters blur into
a lost pair of glasses
and the machine will shake itself apart.


I can feel that twist in your seat and for a
I think It’s my bones wrenched into splinters; A fragment
map for muscle and sinew to cling to in
frayed alarm.

You’re fifty two blue shivers;
Hazing a grotesque cypher, carrying
the cluttered meaning
of every eight in your thumb,
every fidgeted ring,
every secret knuckle crack.

And like school books on the train-lines
your haywire back is a weapon
levelled to keep me coiled
against your stoop.

To help you would
need an innocent cheek pressed
to cellar chilled steel; a still bead
waiting for the pressure motor whine
to cut this face from inside to out.

Tight eyes dictate breathing through your shriek.
We glance to white,
then away
our palms carrying our sequenced crescent signatures.

So I’ll sign off and hope
this is the middle of the art.

Void Gullet

Rip out pages and crumple them
gifting spit to each folded nook
and chewing the choke out of each
leaden word.

You must think yourself something truly
monstrous, violating solace between teeth.

The paper complains with
creaks and wet rips

but these pages drink, turning themselves
sodden with hunger, pulling taste buds
proud. Your tongue schooled into jelly, then a
fish-like sting as it
and paper turned pulp
takes ownership of blood given if asked for.

If you spat, and let that soft blob shine
pink and smooth on the pavement,
quivering, half birthed and-
-you can’t.

Your throat opens and python stretches,
the baby squeezing it’s way down
bulging eyes and
pushing your heart aside
to make space for a secret.

Necessary Bullying

It’s time to take geek back, return to the
bite in the chicken’s neck, and give the bearded
lady an audience to wow. Just tell them
big tent is the latest app, and the portmanteau
is short for technical argument.

I promise you we’d all prefer it
to Star Wars lore in the early hours,
or Googled settlements to conversation
that might have lasted a happy drinking

Now we can be completely sure
not one of us is left with a beer mat intact.
After all someone gets paid for picking
the bits out of the pint you didn’t finish.

I suppose I should have ripped mine into
the single link of hands held chain.

Or we could stand
with a networked shun for the screamed
and squawked payload instruction, owed
titillation and progress obstruction.

I suppose I should thank you guys though,
for living, bound up with lashes, in rigid
system; where there’s space for the hollow
and wretched.

Where misunderstanding could be stamped out
and clarity can coalesce as it drifts away.

About the contributor

Harry Dell is a neurodivergent artist-poet. he has regularly gigged with autistic poet Caron Freeborn.

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