When you walk out into this night
You will find what you’re looking for
– Or maybe a little bit more.

Gunpowder on a stick
So sweet that it hurts to lick;
A border where lace confronts thigh
Patrolled by a a jealous eye;
A star in the forehead,
A golden sieve,
And all you can see
Is all you believe.

My darling, I took the rather bold step
Of stabbing the dragon
With a pen
In the back.
But nobody comes
And nobody cares,
I’m alone with the beast
I have not taken care.
He’s rather amused, giggling into his gold,
He’s not shy with his smile
Though his fangs smell like rot.

My darling, other heroes will come,
To fuck all the women, to drink all the rum;
I will not be among them, I was silly, it seems,
My bones will be toothpicks,
My memory will dim.
They’ll make armor from dragon scales
And wear it down to the pub
While my scattered molecules
Still demand all the credit.
(I told you, I’m silly,
I told you, it hurts)

You keep trying to reach me
Through other men
When they put their hands
On my exposed neck.
I wish you would fucking stop it,
But honey runs thicker than water.

This is my city, and I won’t share,
I’ll scrape the moonlight off the asphalt
I’ll pack away the flaxen air.
You’re only allowed
To exhale.

I told you, being a wife
I’m as dull as a butter knife,
Dull blades hurt so much more;
The last czar’s daughters would know.

Pearls of moisture
Gleam like satellites
In the spiderwebs
Between the trees at night.

Pearls of moisture
On my skin
Swiped by a burglar
As my years grew thin.

When we were young
We didn’t know
Our lover was night;
Night was the cream on the upper lip
Clotted to butter
From body heat;
Night was the watcher
On the cemetery wall;
Night was the angel
In the hospital hall;
Paint peeling off walls
Like silks off your mistress,
Tell me, who among us
Would dare take it all back?

very long engagement

7 thoughts on “All the king’s sweets (a song for overgrown children)

  1. This kind of poetry just strikes me as Lena Dunham-lite. It seems to glorify abuse. If men are putting “hands around your neck” you should be seeking help, not writing poems about it. “Gunpowder on a stick” seems even more wrong. I don’t know what inspired all this, but I totally understand now why you no longer blog for Feministe. If I was Jill, I’d kick you out too. Jill might be a frivolous-seeming person, but it’s actually kind of a good thing that people with views like yours are a redline for her too. Sorry if I’m being mean.

  2. @anon, so you don’t consier context and intertextuality? See, the problem is that, when people think they have the ‘only right interpretation’ to anything (plus prescient knowledge about what kinds of views’ should be cernsored, despite the opinion of others), they are probably closer to making their own nightmares come true.

    Don’t forget that there’s a little yin in the middle of the yang, and vice-versa. There’s a little bit of your worst enemy in your ad feminam criticism. Whether or not you’ll ponder that some day and derive the logical consequences is anyone’s guess.

  3. I have to admit…I am slowly falling in love with you Natalia. I read you miss getting marriage proposals – but this is simply love/lust – whatever you want to call it 🙂

    I also grew up in America and fell in love with Kyiv and most of Ukraine. Keep doing what you are doing – your blog and tweets are keeping it real in a horrendous year for Ukraine.

  4. Hi Natalia, I used to go to the MKhT when I visited Moscow, and I still read their site. I saw your play in the “coming soon” section and I found it and read it online. My Russian is not 100% anymore, but it’s still around 95%. I think I got everything. I just wanted to let you know that it’s a really cool play. You come off as a really bubbly, girly thing (I mean that as a compliment, you seem very funny and fun) on your Twitter (yeah, I kind of sought you out through social media and I hope that’s OK), and when I read your play I realized that you’re also a queen of the underworld, incredibly dark, incredibly smart, and unforgivingly beautiful in your writing and just in general. Write less songs, write more plays, because your talent as a playwright is kind of staggering. This jaded bastard had tears in his eyes by the end. I wish you good luck with everything. You deserve it.

    Your fan, Albert.

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