Five-Year Survival – by Olivia Tuck

 

When I follow blown leaves to Savernake, I look for his car.
I make good eye contact and I engage with you well.
Water fills my glass like a siren: I swallow white seeds,
because the moon has been scrabbled to bits by fingernails.

I make good eye contact and I engage well;
explain that Old Town has a storm suspended over its clusters.
The moon has been scrabbled to bits by fingernails!
I tell my psychologist, who is a fresh lavender bouquet.

Old Town has a storm suspended over its stony clusters –
sometimes it breaks, sometimes it doesn’t.
My psychologist listens; arranges a fresh lavender bouquet.
The heart is debris for divers to salvage –

sometimes it breaks, sometimes it doesn’t.
Water fills my glass like a siren: the seeds create dusk.
My heart is debris divers shouldn’t have bothered to salvage,
for when I follow blown leaves to Savernake, I always look for his car.

 

 

 

Olivia Tuck has had poems and prose published in literary journals and webzines including The Interpreter’s House, Lighthouse, Amaryllis and Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work also features in the Fly on the Wall charity anthologies Please Hear What I’m Not Saying and Persona Non Grata. She is studying for a BA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and her pamphlet Things Only Borderlines Know is forthcoming with Black Rabbit Press. Find her on Twitter: @livtuckwrites

Olivia’s First Psychiatrist – by Olivia Tuck

I traced the GCSE Art-student impression
of your cheekbones, pencilled in peach; a soft
graphite rendering. Your irises were sectioned
by baby ingots. Your jaw was the edge.

I’d deserted a Chemistry lesson to come
to your sterile door:
you were so satisfying, although you wore
a home-knitted jumper in teddy-bear brown.

Through bitten lips, I sucked my Sherbet Fountain.
Wondered if your wife – blanched and underfed,
with a heart of Cotswold stone, no doubt –
tasted 50mg of sertraline when you kissed her.

 

 

 

Olivia Tuck has had poems and prose published in literary journals and webzines including The Interpreter’s House, Lighthouse, Amaryllis and Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work also features in the Fly on the Wall charity anthologies Please Hear What I’m Not Saying and Persona Non Grata. She is studying for a BA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and her pamphlet Things Only Borderlines Know is forthcoming with Black Rabbit Press. Find her on Twitter: @livtuckwrites

 

The Function of Emotions – by Olivia Tuck

 

To draw blood. To press razor tracks
against your shaking wrists.

To destroy parties.

To finger-paint bruises
across friendships as you cling.

To make sunsets hurt.

To beat up the walls, and the doors,
and the windows,
and the sky.

To turn the dialling tone
into the revving of a chainsaw.

To slice off the top of your skull,
and scoop your pumpkin innards out
until you’re all ribs, and living for digits
on the backs of chocolate bars.
To then swivel you
like you’re an owl’s neck
and get you fat again.

To brew hate.
To pour hate.
To serve hate.

To keep you awake at night.
To give the shadows gargoyle faces.

To blag you a ride in a police car.

To break both your parents’ hearts
with one stone.
To demonstrate failure
to your little sisters.

To leave you with no grace to fall from.

 

 

 

Olivia Tuck has had poems and prose published in literary journals and webzines including The Interpreter’s House, Lighthouse, Amaryllis and Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work also featured in Please Hear What I’m Not Saying, a charity poetry anthology on the subject of mental health, and she has been Highly Commended and shortlisted in one or two short story competitions. She is due to start at Bath Spa University this autumn, to study for a BA in Creative Writing. Find her on Twitter: @livtuckwrites

The Flying Visit of Lola the Monster – by Olivia Tuck

 

You appeared at my gingerbread door
last summer. Your lips were mulberry-stained,
your cigarette a chocolate finger between them.

A carpet bag hung from your cinder toffee wrist.
Each of your eyes was a walnut half.
You touched my hair’s spaghetti strands;

held a shot glass to my tears and drank
as you pinched two thousand days’ worth
of pink blancmange quivering from my hips.

You stayed six weeks. We dreamt of nibbling
around the edges of the morbidly obese moon
(built with Blacksticks Blue). Snapped

barley sugar gutters from the roof,
crunching them in your claws, never my teeth –
like we were fourteen again, and caught

inside the deep-fried Mars bar breath
of close August nights. Each time the sky belched,
you’d press yourself tight to my spine.

Breaking, breaking, breaking up
the collecting dusk, you whispered,
I will love the bones of you.

Your phalanges made their acid drop bruises
along my neurons. When I kissed your jaw, I tasted
ice. Rust. Shadows. Moss against granite.

 

 

 

Olivia Tuck has had poems and prose published in literary journals and webzines including The Interpreter’s House, Lighthouse, Amaryllis and Three Drops from a Cauldron. Her work also featured in Please Hear What I’m Not Saying, a charity poetry anthology on the subject of mental health, and she has been Highly Commended and shortlisted in one or two short story competitions. She is due to start at Bath Spa University this autumn, to study for a BA in Creative Writing. Find her on Twitter: @livtuckwrites