charlotte amelia poe

poetry, prose & more.

blundeston

this is a place
where gossip spreads
where the neighbours are angry
and where cobwebs sweep the top of your head

this is a place
in permanent autumn
with the yellowing crops
the farmer has forgotten

this is a place
with one pub too many
too many drunkards
and bets placed with pennies

this is a place
where nobody lives
the postman gets lost
and we give up on gifts

this is a place
where i cannot find peace
in a deafening silence
and the honking of geese

this is a place
where friends do not visit
the cost of cars repaired
and “it’s not worth it, is it?”

this is a place
i long to escape
but where would i go?
these roots sunk in deep,
this place is a prison
this kingdom of field
and the world half asleep
(i yield, i yield, i yield)

this is a place
i try to tempt you to be
like a siren on the rocks
it’s too late for me.

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i knew a boy

i knew a boy
with calluses on his hands
from heavy work and drunken fights
from sweat drenched days and less than holy nights
(he told me he loved me as i wiped away blood, and it felt like remorse)

they sent him off to war, you see
i wondered if they’d come for me
they never did and he never wrote
and my life moved on in factory rote
(he told me he loved me before he left, and it felt like a eulogy)

i knew a boy
who kissed me ’til my lips were bruised
there was a scar neatly tucked between his ribs
and sinful certainty as his hands slid past my hips
(he told me he loved me in that moment, and it felt like a prayer)

he came back from the war, you see
i wondered what he’d think of me
his eyes were bruised from the inside out
and there were things he’d never talk about
(he didn’t tell me he loved me, his eyes darting away)

they made him a soldier when i knew him as a boy –
they made him a killer when i knew him as a lover –
he taught me to love and they taught him destroy –
he taught me his skin and they gave him memories that smother;
(he didn’t tell me he loved me, in fact, he didn’t say much at all)

i knew a boy
(i knew a boy)
he went away and came back a man
and i wonder what the cost of that was
what kind of scales can weigh a soul
and how heavy is my debt
for not following in his footsteps
(he didn’t tell me he loved me, and i wondered if this was his anger)

i knew a boy
and he knew me too
and i hope one day
when whimpered nightmares begin to fade
i’ll know him again
and he’ll know me too
and he’ll be a boy again
and we’ll wash the war away
in a tin bath, lukewarm water
toothpaste kisses, damp hair
until then –
(i’ll love him enough for the both of us
until the words don’t burn on his tongue any more.)

you are a universe

we are very small
objectively, this is true
there are moons and planets and stars
much, much bigger than us

there is a gravity to a soul
a gravity to being
to looking into another’s eyes,
and really seeing

we orbit like satellites, and
we hope our paths will cross someday
as we beep boop our way across
the solar system so wide

we took our first breath at the same time
as the universe breathed hers
we are the mixed up children of the cosmos
our star stuff echoing in our eyes

we are very small
objectively, this is true
there are moons and planets and stars
much, much bigger than us

(but you make me feel –
– like i am floating in space;
– that the stars were placed there for me,
and for you, to stare at together;
– like the universe thrums in your veins,
and the echo of her song comes out in your words,
and i am eternal, we are eternal, and time –
time is the universe taking a breath,
as she steadies our hearts to beat in sync)

Dead Name

My story ‘Dead Name’ has been published in issue #1 of Sum Journal. You can find it here: https://www.sumjournal.com/charlotte-amelia-poe

I really hope you like it, it’s very personal to me.

Thanks ❤

(P.S. Big news coming soon!)

 

six lethargies, keaton henson, 20th july 2018

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what can i say about this that hasn’t been said more eloquently by people much smarter than me? arriving in the room, with the smoke and the haze which felt like an old bookshop with the dust slightly disturbed, it felt like it was supposed to, if that makes sense. we weren’t allowed to take photos during the concert, so that’s why i only have the three. i admit i don’t know anything about classical music, and this is the first orchestra i’ve ever seen perform, so at times i was lost, and at times a little bored (which i can only apologise for). there were moments of pure beauty, refrains that just, if i could play them on repeat i would never get sick of them. there were moments where the music turned to something more brutal, the idea to invoke anxiety and the feelings it causes. the whole premise of the concert was to address anxiety and trauma, and the leaflets left on seats even mentioned that should you feel it was all too much, to call an usher and there would be a quiet room. i didn’t see anyone leave, but my eyes were fixed to the stage, not really looking around. the audience clapped after the first three lethargies, but after that things bled more into one another and it was hard to tell where one started and another ended. the ending of the concert itself was abrupt and unexpected, it seemed both that it had gone on for hours and that no time had passed at all. there was a standing ovation that went on for ages, and then keaton arrived on stage and the crowd went absolutely wild. one person (and i love whoever this was) shouted out ‘we love you keaton’, echoing the thoughts of everyone in the room. keaton left, but the standing ovation continued, so out he came again (and i can’t imagine how much that took for him, given his anxiety) and he was there for mere seconds, but to see him, to know he actually exists and isn’t some kind of collective hallucination producing such beautiful music, was amazing, and it was an honour to just be able to realise that this amazing bambi-gangly man was real and that his work had been realised.

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afterwards, we sat outside the barbican and the night was warm and the lakes and pools were surrounded by people talking about what they’d seen and heard. it was nice to find people who listened to him, because, as the booklet i bought about the concert said, his fans tend to carry the same anxieties he does, so i think it’s fair to say, some of us don’t get out much. he’d brought us together and created something beautiful and shared.

if this tours, and i think it’s supposed to, i’d really recommend seeing it. i would warn for people with epilepsy or sensitivity to flashing lights, during the third movement the lights strobe dramatically and as i was struggling with a migraine i had to cover my eyes as it was, so for someone who is triggered by flashing lights it would be probably quite dangerous. that was the only bit i really didn’t like, but other than that, i would love to have it as a record, to play in the background as i do other things, because i did notice that about myself, as much as i tried to pay attention to the stage, i did find myself drifting, maybe because i do spend so much of my time listening to music whilst doing other things, whether it’s reading or writing or just browsing the internet. i’ve managed to program my brain into some kind of hyperactive beast, unable to focus on one thing at a time. in total, it was only an hour and a half long, and was definitely worth the trip to london. i feel honoured to have seen it, and so lucky to have seen keaton, and to see his work come to fruition.

whatever he does next, i’m sure it’s going to be even more amazing.

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icarus

i fly close to the sun
because that’s where my god is
i fly close to the sun
because wax and feathers
may burn but i do not
i fly close to the sun
because he has made promises
and as have i
and i intend to keep them
i fly close to the sun
because there is fear and there is bravery
and i’m not sure which one this is any more
i fly close to the sun
because i yearn for the warmth on my skin
i fly close to the sun
because i have seen a thousand nights
and nothing more beautiful than blue skies
and the utter impossibility of the day
i fly close to the sun
because he comes to me, bringer of light, into a darkened world
i fly close to the sun
because my apollo calls to me
and i shall heed that call.

 

[thanks for reading! also you can now find me at charlottepoe.com, but i think i’ll keep uploading my poetry here as well.]

New Website! Much Excitement!

Hi, just wanted to update you and let you know why I’ve been off the grid for the past few months. Basically, last year I entered the Spectrum Art Prize, and around December time I found out I’d been shortlisted for it. After being interviewed by the judges and after a ton of very anxious waiting around, I was invited to the exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London where the winner would be announced. And I won! I’ve since been on live television and had articles written about me and it’s all been really hectic and mad and I only got back from London on Wednesday. If you want to keep up to date with me, my new website is charlottepoe.com and I’ll be posting any new press or updates I may have. I also have a contact email address on there, though I ask you use it sparingly, because I still suck at communication. You can also follow my Instagram @poe.jpg, where I’m most active. Thanks for following this blog, and I hope to see you around. Your support of this blog kept me writing and meant a lot to me.

Love,

Charlotte. xx

march

i fought the war and the war won

(i fought the war and the war won)

small reprieve 7

i watched you fall
(i watched you fall)
i wake up before you hit the ground
the scream dead on your lips
the scream dead on mine –
(i wake up before you hit the ground).

small reprieve 6

i’m sorry for the blood on my knuckles
for the split in my lip
for the bruise that purples greens yellows
i’d break every bone for you
your voice echoes in every beat –
of this too young, too old heart.