FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Three Poems by Gahlia Phillips

The Actor’s Chimera
by Gahlia Phillips

a child’s chimera grew
into her very own incubus of dreams
stargazed through prisms of a reality she
had dreamed so carefully of,

of being moon-struck stared at
from auditorium seats way back,
of running off into the wings and then
back on again for a hunger of encores.

this girl was tired of being
a girl
so she ripened instead, to the phase where truth
and lies cannot be washed down

like a gross tasting vegetable.
she began forming in masks
watching people in motion, where hands stroke hands
and feet walk their lips with readiness.

but some footed paths are saturated and loose,
some motion you into believing
your shadow should be taller, thinner.
broken bones mean success –

how could a fancy be so monstrous!
now the girl holds challenging scripts
and disintegrates over losing a role –
an absentee through most of her days

dreaming of grand things
of seeing her face below a title …
and then it came, it always comes
but the words , they grew into

a phallus ready to penetrate her nightly,
sweating out the grime of shame
she so carefully concealed. each night
she drained from herself to become more of

that character,
a desperate blood transfusion
oxygenated through her
from the moment she walked through the red-bulb S of

the Stage-Door sign
to the bleeping of the car alarm, and maybe some more.
maybe just maybe
she took all of the other girl,

because she liked her
had grown comfortably akin to her strange
and very wild behaviour. her own eyebrows
overgrown and tangled hanging like a dehydrated stem

pointing toward a very green-glimmer, her roots lengthened
to a colour she was not familiar with
and her body covered in welts
fist bruises and knobs, but when the lights went out

she could not remember who beat her, who
took their hands and pummelled at her skin
under that Indigo haze, when the audience sat
hushed, voyeurs to her

suffering. they watched as she was asphyxiated by her
own madness delivering lines purposefully as if a
hand had shoved her head underwater and pulled at the nape
only to allow

for
one
more
line

the two of her
perfectly merged,
unaware of the other nor the applause
and smells of fermented grapes swirling with every crack of a

glass, nothing could lure her back from the sinking
loneliness that curdled her stomach
making her rise to vomit –
daily. what a tragedy

to be an actor, the glory dream
the dying each night, the concoction of an end
enough to make your throat sting.
but the wanting it, is not enough,

she that lives inside
wants it more. she hungers for her to keep pursuing
keep pushing.. till each line spoken
is like another hex on the final.

the girl grows weary with each performance
through heated smoke and lights
leaving her depleted and lustful for sleep,
which arrives to strait-jacket her into the sheets
and she forgets to breathe.

Constructing Wings
by Gahlia Phillips

I collect feathers so i can build my wings,
to flit endlessly farther –
far
far away. far
from this spoiled world
and better
forward with a flap-flap
to a philharmonic smacking
of pinions.

i collect feathers so
i can build my wings, not
like the birds.
they
they already have shape, but
rather like
the ones who visit
luminescent
without legs. an
ephemeral renewal into seraph.

i collect feathers so i
i can build my wings into
a plumage of filoplumes, out
and stretched with
feathered arm. it
takes faith to make
these, and
death
to tear the skin to the
capacoid.

i collect feathers so i can build
build my wings, and
fly the coop
into heaven’s vestibule.

Penicillin Swirl
by Gahlia Phillips

Medicinal smells swirl around me,
un-recycled air sticks like a nut
i sniffed up my nose when i was a kid.
the room looks pallid
and the air morose
as i sweat through sheets, damp and
static. i feel stuck. i feel contagious,
leeching algae-like
off my sheets-
what a horrible mess of human.
my roots have leaked copper
blotting ant feet down my spine,
marking me. i have penicillin paralysis.
i am so tightly wound round,
i could hug myself to a quick exit.

and then she strokes …
she strokes my head releasing
thirty degree sunbeams from every pore.
what a glimmer!
her hands feel like mom’s baked muffins
i used to stuff into my pyjama top,
her face blazing with a haloed light.

now, back to being a sculpture
in a room full of neat china and investment art.
i have drawn meds at dawn,to watch minutes
drain at a useless pace; while i
in and out sprays of antibiotic
into a very gloomy space,frustrating myself.
i am an ornament that might never get a good shine,
laying on a half chewed pillow.

GAHLIA PHILLIPS is an Actor and a Poet and has performed in and Television since a very young age. With a Masters Cum Laude in Creative Writing (University of the Western Cape), a Bachelor of Arts Theatre Performance majoring in English Literature (University of Cape Town) and an L.T.C.L Teachers (London Trinity College). As well as being a Professional Actor she teaches privately in Performance and Movement, and is a tutor at UWC in English Literature.

“Women have long mourned the silence of their afflictions and purpose, which gradually has changed and quite drastically over the last century. My concern in this collection is to take women’s stories out of ‘silence’ and into the public domain.”

Gahlia’s Eastern European blood brings a great source of inspiration to all her work, and she currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa.

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as http://www.facebook.com/poets.basement.

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response.

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

More articles by:

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting) Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us ashttp://www.facebook.com/poets.basement. To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at counterpunchpoetry@gmail.com with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document. Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response. Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology. For more details, tips and links to past installments, visit http://crowvoice.com/poets-basement. Thanks!

April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail