Submission Guidelines

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Christine Murray

from bone silence


the small curved-in feet of foxes are painted black
hidden behind the gnarled chain-clasp of a coatcollar
their small bodies (at least two) were winter-warmers

testing the fur, I blow on the hairs and see beneath
the rich red-black/ a layer of downy white fur / I
twist and turn the fox fur in daylight catching its lit
its /rich.

there is a swatch of coppering satin sewn onto
the flat neckpiece
its all for show/ for delight/ I think the small feet

there are no fox heads on this piece,
the dangling feet are purely decorative.


a red herring-bone skirt clasped with a bone button
red u-loop pulls in/ holds-to the purpling skirt silks

a scarlet silk underskirt/ maybe swish these animal
mementoes garnering my thighs/ descending to my


a jar of buttons/ stray threads/ rattle my bones
they are coffined in a blacking tea-boy/ urn/
a green-scented-coffin for discarded things,

I take them out/ the bone buttons compete with
jade and red/with gold/ with black/ some cloth
covered / old herring print/ these buttons/ gilded

were for wintering coats/ elaborate dresses/ gold
sequinned to catch and disperse light/to bring the
eye up to the embonpoint or down to flashing skirts

there were shoes for dancing in. I threw all the shoes
into an old skip and kept the bone-reminders instead.

from skin silence


shifting colours are discernible on the periphery
of my vision field
white is broken up
into a minutiae of amber/turquoise/shrives sun

spell of unconscious not-caught-thought
there and then light finds
a new skin of multiple hue
lizard-shuck/parts discarded/ shadow bought/paid

for/stepped out of/ and left there
an old dress or some jeans dissolve
water drops onto grass
shine momentarily like glass as if the

growth of a new skin is a matter of sun-shucking
without the pain /
the flay.


bone works through my curved back bruising flesh
haltered at my neck
is almost scored in black and red/still the ridges will
melt /not scar/ those

those are hidden from view in places where no healing
will suffice the sun/ they
are coloured mauve/ satin
sheened/ rivulets/threads/a spider-web

no matter how many times the skin shucks
scars are present in its liquidity
its glistening sweat/ the violet ice of stitched skin

stays white(ened)
taut/ fresh as baby skin

while round it a moveable feast/ light shards
and new glittering/ new me


old boning of the whalebone corset/ its rivets hold/
only illuminated in the dark

dark night/ moon-bled flakes lie in the black of soil/
my silica layers/ silica shed/ and

their dust/a dandruff/ shed already onto (...)
making me a comfort-bed in moss and root.


  1. Really love the way "garnering my thighs/ descending to my
    ankle-bone" suggests being eaten by the animals which go to make the clothing. There is a beauty in it, but a creepy, slow violence which makes the poem really strong.

  2. Thanks Anon

    animal mementoes faux/real pattern our many clothes