Dressed to impress — ghastly suit, mask of black,
I was nothing, nothing at all: pyramid of limbs
Now I’m aching everywhere, your madness has waylaid me,
like fated bait twitches on a gleaming hook — until you,
am I something? Look, look, I’m a grotesque:
and the squawk of a Pink cockatoo comes glaring out;
not to flock, but to flay and to mock. Judy, the little wife,
and then the mangy cur (a string of sausages laced with arsenic),
forgetting I’m a tenant of your omnipresent Hell.
Stuart Barnes completed a BA (Literature, Philosophy) at Monash University. His poetry has been published in journals, anthologies and online; he also writes short stories and has, over the last six months, been working on a novel about a taboo crime and its peculiar punishments. He lives by Melbourne’s Yarra.
Of ‘Marionette’, Barnes says: “On my inescapable manic-depressive Devil (both terrifying and thrilling), and the Wafer-dispensing Whitecoats incapable of exorcising Him.”
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