THE ROOM IS YELLOW The room is yellow. The yellow of withered fruit, The tinge of mildew, sickness, The haze of misremembered bad dreams. The room can only be yellow. Never red or green Or purple Or even blue Because the room has never held you Within it As I have and As I do, Although I cannot hold you without Anymore. The room has never held you as you slept Or stared into you as you laughed Or cried Or came Or seen you dress Or heard your whispers Both tender and tranquil. I would give anything For this room To be green or red Or purple Or even covered In the sad pall Of blue But the room is yellow And my soul is blue and bruised, Covered in this yellow film Like diseased and turgid Dust. SPITTED NAILS I lie upon the rack Spitting nails into the air That land upon me – Pointing down and driving into my flesh. Again and again I spit And the metal missiles itself upward And then dives downward, Into me, into me, into me. I do not spit fire. I do not spit ice. I do not spit calm or salve Or paint or passion or knowledge or love. I only spit nails that hold me fast and immobile. I have never spit out that key To fit the lock That fastens the chain Held to me By all those spitted nails Although the key has resided in my belly. It sits there still. I spit another nail that aims for the sky And falls To my flesh. I spit and I spit. STIGMATA BLOOD Leonard Cohen is dead after ohming for years in the ashram And leaving his offerings of written flesh from time to time In piles in the middle of the street For the flock to ponder. Rumi whirled like a dervish for the Lord And Allen Ginsberg sang Kaddish Into his grandmother’s old black shoe. Meanwhile – Tonight, like every night, I lie in this bed alone With the Stigmata blood soaking Black, thick and homely Right through the brains Of my coarse gray bedsheets And onto the endless cosmos That is my floor.
John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.