Michelle Madsen is an undercover poet. Host of Hammer and Tongue London and scourge of festivals and slams around the country by night, she ennervates as a journalist by day. She has collaborated with members of Beatabet and the Antic Establishment and performed in venues from San Francisco to Aarhus. Michelle's poetry is jibing, dark and as delicious as a bowl full of crack coated toffee apples, encompassing all sins, heartbreak and anarchy.
How Real Models Lose Weight I’d like to go in at the waist instead of out. I’ve seen how good other girls look With fake gems throwing out eye-bragging glints from their flat bellies I watch them in magazines They glitter on the page Their thin brittle limbs are shiny trim Clutched possessively by interchangeable Adonises Torsos carved out of pixelated marble Seen through a grainy telephoto lens. I’d like to be one of them. Unlike them, I’m not fragile I wouldn’t break if you dropped me I’d bounce. The oodles of bulk under my skin Might bruise but I would be intact Protected by the rolls which pad and fill the whole Of my fat inside and out. My problem is I see food everywhere. It litters the fridge And on the street outside my door It’s advertised in glowing letters. Night beacons and day sirens Alert it to me. I want to be able to See through it, shed off all of its constituent bits And be wraithlike. A string of cells Built on air and a hopeful scaffold of bones. I’m in the thrall to the flaking layers, The pulps, mulched tendons and muscles. Stripped of skin, I dissolve into spots In the unguents and emulsions. The foams Mount, we urge it all out in bitter founts Again and again and again. But I remain Wide and heavy as an army of lead cadavers, heaped in a lime pit. So I weigh up the issue and sew my lips together With a knitting needle I find in The drawer where the freezer bags are kept. I stab at them all, they wheeze release. I use a sanitised butcher’s string It stings when it goes in and out As my lips draw together Into a bloody permakiss. It takes a while but the pounds start to go And I glow with quiet pride from the creaking Desert of my empty insides. I’ve eaten my all my words, they sustain me Jostling for space in my shrinking belly. It’s been a long time since I had a conversation But I don’t doubt that reduced And silent I am a better table companion that before. I watch you eat, I smile. You don’t see it. The caked blood turns black My lips fuse into a rosebud of promise Which cracks when you touch it. I will use it to address the letter To the glimmering magazine editor When I am as flat as a page. I’ll have shelved that hefty third dimension And those pesky other selves And I will package myself in a box Snugly held in place by handfuls of scented sawdust Perfumed with sachets of free cologne samples. Poster rolled, I’ll be their centrefold darling Unfurled, no curves, just a smile pulled taut Around my golden skinned mates And a steely diadem in the middle Of my fleshless model self. |f anyone asks, it’s a health thing.
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