blackmail press 32
Maree Scarlet
New Zealand

Moka's Utu - Penny Howard
Maree Scarlett was born in Auckland, New Zealand and has written performed and recited poetry and the spoken word all over the world. Her work recently featured in Platte Valley Review, part of Nebraska University. Some of Maree’s earlier works are contained at Stanford University in Russian poet's Andrei Voznesensky archives. Maree has a B.A in philosophy and a Graduate Diploma in psychotherapy. Currently she is participating in  several projects both internationally and locally. Locally she is part of the 'Cultural Mapping Project out of Devonport's The Depot.  
Poet and Poet
(for David Gonzalez, Asturian Poet)

This minute, moment, each moment when writing you
is holy, the erotic sublime, overpowers
my body.
Wholly in occurrence,
my feelings reflect
on you
through the words I write
increased, sensation pours
from a deluge within my insinuate heart.
And the undulating air against my lips
forces me to hold my breath -

I desire your arms. I desire our time
then our bodies will kiss and our letters be few!
David, your first letter I read to the sound of rain
running blood, enveloped me in a red understanding of you,
though trust, love, did not arrive easily.
I, a poet mistrusted your words, words of another poet
I know well the poet’s possible frenetic cadence with words,
when you called me your sky
I did not trust you.
Then you wrote, for you, I am ‘mi vida’
               I did not trust your words.
What you said was I am your ‘muse’
but I did not trust you.

Now, I write my facts, my perceived sense
into this text and I trust our shared prosody
of intonation, the stresses we have felt
bound but nor bordered by a map
together, through space and time.
Poet and poet, unfolding all
Poet and poet, entrained through a cycle
of light, the sound air from our words
poet and poet, caressed inflorescence
Poet into Poet, creating a sublime essence
- real fruit for new creations.

A Muse of Polysemy

My muse speaks to me,
in alluring tones dressed
in a cloak made of Nights’
firmament, sky of subaqueous midnight
he asks me to take assurance
in his penetrating  voice.
The witching hour wakes me
in anxiety I stretch shaking
legs over cleans sheets
and watch stars fall within the coal sky.

Ghosts appear! They vomit from my stomach
dust-covered sodden gravity, my muse
speaks: once, twice, he offers few words
few reflections, few answers, few questions.
But, all the few glitter in poetic charm.
In poetry I am commanded to respond.
Singing the muse-serenade in poetic musicality.
I await another word, await love, wondering
wandering and walking a deliquesce night sky.
In my mind loss languishes luxuriously -
my heart is replete within my knotted guts.
Pervaded by my mute muse, sanguinary -
affronting me in the severe burning of my evasive star.

The hours come and the hours go.
Time passes, midnight departs
no word from my muse drop anchor.
I am weighed heavily upon
by nothingness, years of nothingness weight me
in  dread seeping slowly, morbidly into my sickened soul.

I write many words to him,
but his to me are few. The dew kisses
the grass glistening ghosts in dawn
then they frighten me.  No word comes.
Assurance passes -
I float on my bed in my sky-mind
I am lost, only safe in Art’s consistency
and not it’s envoy: inconsistency. Reflected in a poem
a voice reaches out through space and time
remaining wordless, so no word remains
other than ‘anxiety’ and it thrusts its way through me
to greet dawn spears


Years of our lives have passed by
in my mind; tears and joys headed
towards our final goal, where we all must end.

Vivid memories swelter in my grave heart.

Words encapsulated poignantly, living
in the woven tapestry of lives you’ve left behind.
There were the voices, manic fights,
and  demonic chortlings of paranoid utterances expounded
from your mouth over a tightly clenched telephone
as you sat in a psychiatric ward. Where after every bender,
you would grace the halls with screaming DT’s -
fear filled hallucinations,
sometimes they seemed humorous, Elvis invited
You to his penthouse for a drink –
You were arrested. The police, called to say
you had been hospitalized
when you wailed at the moon
arms opened wide to the wind-filled psychotic
night. You said your reality was the true realty
and you looked so certain
but pain stung your eyes.

Your torment was shared by us all
and the pain of family secrets, hangs in air
punctured by denial; we remember the good things
and also blame and fight with each other about
the unsaid. Your life was a chorus of pleasure and hell.
Invaded by the day, I realize again and again
You left; your liver finally shutting down.
Unable to sustain any quality of life, slowly
you died a horrific death. But I saw you radiant,
like a baby. That was before the morphine
was given to make you comfortable, gathering your body
to a parting of our ways -

- now there’s a sorrowful absence where you once stood…

Creating the Damned (in memory of those truly damned)

You have not truly been to hell.
If you had been, you would not glorify it.
There is no glory in hell.
You write poems glorifying -
hell and  how you are a poet, cursed by life
and denounced by your society .
(But you denounce your own self).

You are damned only in your illusions, your dreams
of possible nightmares keep you drunk, drunk
and existing only in your nurtured denial. You are not yet damned.
Created phantasm cultivates drudgery
in your waking minutes, you seek pseudo madness.

Phantasm catches you in paradox.  You seek hell to write about it
and you do not realize, hell cannot be written
when sought in a mind, thinking, hell is a poet’s rite.
You kill the muse with your ideals.
You create empty words: bowing your head
and banging it on a metaphorical wall
you do not yet realize, you write in your blood!
Blood you have not shed. Your blood - hell waits for.

Eventually hell will suck your smokescreen into its guts
and feed you into its bowels – crucify and call you to
be the damned, to be your words, the words you write now
but hell will consume you.
Hell will digest all your words and then I hope
your mind is able to speak the story.

You have not truly been to hell.
If you had you would not glorify it.

(for D. G.)

My body meets the world
through time
and you are not
in my world,
you exist only in mind
in words, in images
my body meets
the world
--------but the journey, to you
is full of handicap
no similar tongue, no country
only our feet share an earth----------- .
My body meets the world
in tissue, in flesh, in time.
Our journey
toward joined lips
is spoken at a distance
in broken dances .