For January's Poem of the Month I have chosen Kathy D’Arcy poem The Bliss MachineIt is taken from her collection: "Encounter."


I am Elizabeth.
I turn slowly over in my grinding grave
Till my outer arm brushes myself.
I turn till I kiss myself,
And our faces wear away on each other.

How have you crept over my mound again,
With your dangerous joy,
Coming between words into my mouth
And packing it?

I am called Elizabeth,
And she is Elizabeth called me.
The click of my sockets wakes me
When one of us can’t sleep.

How did you find this hole
And squeeze in so tightly on me
That my leg must lie between yours,
That your breasts must lie between mine,
That I inhale your exhale?

I may be Elizabeth –
We might both be.
If she comes and I am still here
We will have to take turns.

I will turn as you turn,
So gently the earth will hardly move.
Our names’ letters will slant a degree.
I will force my space into your spaces.

I am worth Elizabeth,
And she is deserving.
I will mix the humming mud around us
With her (with your) monophonic blood.

How did you know me
After I had peeled off all of you
And made this beautiful tomb from it?
How can you slip back into yourself
As if nothing had happened?

Now I promise that my face will take your face off.
I promise that my skin and flesh will rub your body raw.
I promise that my naked skull will crumble your bones to dust.
Our central cords will eventually touch, and we will meet again.

Neglected Tombstone by Vera Kratochvil

Copyright © Kathy D’Arcy 2010
All rights reserved
The author has asserted her/his right under Section 77
of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988
to be identified as the author of this work.