FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

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!

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
March 30, 2020
Marshall Auerback
Washington Uses the Pandemic to Create a $2 Trillion Slush Fund for Its Cronies
Ron Jacobs
Going After Maduro
Justin Podur
When Economists Try to Solve Health Crises, the Results Can Often be Disastrous
Thomas Knapp
Decarceration: COVID-19 is Opportunity Knocking
Arshad Khan - Meena Miriam Yust
Dying Planet and a Virus Unleashed
William Astore
How My Dad Predicted the Decline of America
Seth Sandronsky
Reclaiming Vacant Homes in the COVID-19 Pandemic
John G. Russell
Racial Profiling Disorder: the All-American Pandemic
Vijay Prashad, Paola Estrada, Ana Maldonado, and Zoe PC
As the World Tackles the COVID-19 Pandemic, the U.S. Raises the Pressure on Venezuela
Laura Flanders
Covid-19: Our Health Crisis is Born of Bigotry
Cesar Chelala
The New World of Coronavirus
Lawrence Wittner
The World’s Major Military and Economic Powers Find Happiness Elusive
Ted Rall
My Dead French Grandfather Helped Me with COVID-19
Rob Okun
A Citizens’ Call to Invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment
Ashar Foley
COVID-19 Proves It: We Need Medicare-for-All
Robert Koehler
The Virus is Our Teacher
Wim Laven
Are You Prepared to Needlessly Die for Your Country?
Jill Richardson
Stay Home, Stay Angry
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
What’s Wrong with Ranked Choice Voting
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Sues Trump’s Bureau of Reclamation for Bull Trout Fatalities in Saint Mary-Milk River Irrigation Project on the east Side of Glacier National Park
Weekend Edition
March 27, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us
Louis Proyect
Life and Death in the Epicenter
Paul Street
“I Will Not Kill My Mother for Your Stock Portfolio”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts
Jefferson Morley
Could the Death of the National Security State be a Silver Lining of COVID-19?
Ruth Hopkins
A Message For America from Brazil’s First Indigenous Congresswoman
Kathleen Wallace
The End of the Parasite Paradigm
Anthony DiMaggio
Misinformation and the Coronavirus: On the Dangers of Depoliticization and Social Media
Andrew Levine
Neither Biden Nor Trump: Imagine Cuomo
David Rosen
God’s Vengeance: the Christian Right and the Coronavirus
Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the Grip of Disease
David Schultz
The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change
Edward Leer
Somebody Else’s World: An Interview with Kelly Reichardt
Robert Fisk
What Trump is Doing in the Middle East While You are Distracted by COVID-19
Daniel Warner
COVID-19: Health or Wealth?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
Corona in Germany: Hording and Authoritarianism
Ramzy Baroud
BJP and Israel: Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy
Richard Moser
Russia-gate: the Dead But Undead
Ron Jacobs
Politics, Pandemics and Trumpism
Chris Gilbert
Letter From Catalonia: Alarming Measures
Richard Eskow
Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
Jonathan Carp
Coronavirus and the Collapse of Our Imaginations
Andrew Bacevich
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American Safety and Freedom
Peter Cohen
COVID-19, the Exponential Function and Human the Survival
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail