Taken from our Feb/Mar 2019 issue. For more information on this issue go here, and to buy it go here.

Lisa Luxx

He never ended

He never ended / she just begins / to wear his backhand / and behave like him
She cut her teeth on the way he kissed / against her will / arm across chest
Carpet burns / spread like chickenpox / on women lovers / now covered and embossed
With these stains of fear / stains of rage / stains of waking up / pinned down again
She moved to the cliffs / he’d threatened to throw her off / stood every morning
Looking down at organs / she never lost / beneath hill tops
She told women in her bed / that she fights like she fucks / and fucks like she fights
And they giggled / because they had been taught / this was what they should like
To visit mum & dad / she passed his parent’s house / Honda Civics on every roundabout
Hands pushing heads down / cliff edge, no, red face, no / anger rising like poison ivy
Steering wheels yelp / spoilt boys bring hell to earth / dashboards like battered dogs –

She jolted up in the bath / Declared into empty space / I’ve become the man who hurt me
I even started to wear his face / sometimes I drape his skin on the women I embrace]

This woman obsessed with power learnt how to get it through………...      



How to Love a Poet

1. When you meet she’ll be charming. You’ll dance to the beats she makes with the words she says. You’ll dance in a way you never knew you could move before. She’ll laugh but never say your name. She’ll tell you how to speak of her. When she clenches her fists, nails digging into skin, you’re not calling her by the words she’s created herself in.

2. Treat her body like a rhythm. When she offers you her legs, her waist, her mouth — become music. She’ll say there’s nothing sexy about a human without a tune. 

3. She’ll lead you to the heart. A strange thing blocking a busy road; when cars stop and honk; when pedestrians gather around, one turning it over with the toe of their shoe; push through the crowd and say, “that’s mine”. Don’t be afraid if it twitches a bit. Don’t be afraid of the looks you’ll get.

4. Show her your pain when it truly aches. With the look in your eyes, and potions she made, she’ll cast spells to save you from yourself. Trust her when she asks for your blood. 

5. If you look for her, she’ll hide. When you ask why. She’ll say: can’t you see, I’m the silver birch tree. There are only fourteen days in every year the elixir of spring rises from my roots to bring me life. And you’re trying to bleed me dry. She’ll blame you for tapping at her source. She’ll shout: there’s going to be no spring left before too long!

6. The sound of gibberish coming through the wall means: take your keys and leave. She’s practising how to hypnotise. 

7. She’ll play truant with your classroom. When she returns from wandering you’ll ask how she learnt all she knows by sneaking around empty corridors alone.

8. She’ll call you on 999. When you arrive to put the fire out she’ll stand in your way to tell you folk tales about flames.

9. If you’re lucky, she’ll take you to court for child support fees for the part you played in conceiving who she’ll be. 

10. When you put your foot down, she’ll worship your shoe. She’ll put your boot strings on her altar and make prayers from the words you used to say “no”. If you let her get away with murder, you’ll spend the rest of your life a ghost. 

11. When she’s cowering in a corner, hands over ears, because the world got too loud again. Isolate each sound. Put words in her mouth. She’ll snarl, snap, and whimper. Learn when to step back, when to move in closer. Ask questions as if you’re tapping her skin. Hold a cup to the piercing and gather all that comes pouring out. You’ll say this sounds like poetry. She’ll say truth often does. 


Lisa Luxx is a queer writer, performer, essayist and activist of British Syrian heritage. Published in journals, newspapers and anthologies internationally, she has also been broadcast on channels such as BBC Radio 4, VICE TV, TEDx, and ITV. One of Diva Magazine’s ‘top four poets to look out for’. Luxx was winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Performance Poetry 2018 and nominee for the Arts Foundation Fellowship in Poetry.

For more on Lisa Luxx, visit www.lisaluxx.com.

The poems published here are taken from Lisa’s upcoming collection Breastmilk Martini, which will be published by New River Press.

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