Friday, November 14, 2008


There is a small hole in my arm
And I pull the bones out one by one
Until I am empty, my fingers limp and
Useless, I open my mouth to call for help
And my teeth crumble and fall from my mouth,
My head is a shapeless blob and now I know at last
That I am helpless, and you will never love me

©2008 Peggy Pendleton

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Golden dimpling light, the short green spikes of Iris dead remain
Cut to please the neighbors before the freezing rain, October comes
And in this moment’s gesture, arm outstretched, remember longing, for it’s pain
I love my life if only for this momentary fire in the brain, a flash, and that’s enough

Can’t say I ever loved myself. I felt defective from the start.
Not good enough for anybody’s love, it was my shame.
I have been told, “You’re pretty.” What does it mean in any way that matters?
Why not the ecstasy of adolescent longing? Why not the waiting by the phone?
I hate the whipsaw of control and need. I’d rather die alone

A leap into the void without the faith that anything will hold
Crossing on the Michelangelo. Accompanied by a charming thief
I climbed the winding, narrowing streets of Rome. Accosted naked in a baking
Windblown room, I ran and never loved a man who loved me too
I spent my life retreating from desire. What makes me think that words will save me now?

A picture of a naked child, she sit and stirs the dirt, her smile just barely there, sublime.
The dog attends ears pricked and staring at the camera, he keeps them all away
She’ll always know the safety of this guard, the only one who never leaves
The danger of the man who disappears. I look away and find a rapture
In the glade, a patch of dirt, the dog, the memory of the man. I smile, and that’s enough

©2008 Peggy Pendleton

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I walk like a puppet
With two strings cut,
The phone rings once.
I jump out of my skin,
Hurkey jerkey,
Like a puppet
With a mad puppeteer
And two strings cut,
Hurkey Jerkey

Is he angry
Is he nuts
He whipped my head around
So fast it nearly fell off my neck
I stagger to the mirror to
See where I stand

I stand wobbly with
No face to speak of
But a map of grief like the
Grand Canyon, the lines
Hurkey jerkey

©2007 Peggy Pendleton

The Wound

I have a mother wound that will not heal
It hemorrhages loss and hope like a cracked pipe
A house haunted like the clean bones that I pull
One by one from the hole in my arm like
Blood from the veins I’ve tried to open
Like the jellyfish of a dream that empties
Me of bones and teeth and blood and anything
To say help me someone I die of starvation
For a little real something that feels like
Love might now slow the draining death
Of my mother’s need to be better than everyone
Include me, stinking, loud, sucking child of needs

©2008 Peggy Pendleton

I Remember Life

Life’s first feelings were pain, then fear
A lump of nerve and muscle, soft little bones
The spot of skull not closed, the brain so
Temptingly near the finger probing for any weak spot to injure
That’s all you need to know about my family

Lust and skin hunger trade entry for simple human kindness
Trained to be an object of desire, the model femme fatale
A cast out human child too pretty to live in the eyes of her mother’s gaze
Too tempting for a father to resist, too smart for her own good
Gone to other eyes in other places, other women to mistrust

I tried everything to act normal, needing every drug known
To man to calm the rage just under the perfect skin, to dull
The crazy glitter just behind the big doe eyes, pain just under
The surface of every waking moment, sleep this girls best friend
Forever to have them poke and prod my soft spots at their pleasure

Not allowed to object to my complete objectification I become
Female impersonator always on the rag in bitch heat barking mad
Looney psycho freak fuck dump truck, I have lived life low and
High on everything but life, turned off dropping out all but dead, not for trying
Failed eventually at everything but aborting my own spawn, did not love my fellow
Man but not for wanting, yet I have lived far longer than I thought possible

Now an alien even to myself I offer thrills to no one
Can go unnoticed, unrecognized even to myself. Why this life lived so
Passionately punishing myself for every sin committed against
A woman like me everywhere in any age at all stages of life and time
An object still, she’s a nice old lady with her dog, all the rest at long last dead

©2008 Peggy Pendleton

Friday, May 16, 2008


The boarder’s penis
Reflected at it’s dark nest of tangled swirling hair
Behind the door in a mirror I opened by mistake
Knock once and turn the knob
In a child’s mirror framed neck to knee like a rare art find
A nude male Venus without the head
And lower legs to pull the eye

It takes root in my minds eye
Like kudzu it nudges in its way
The shadowed steamy crevices
Of my woman’s rich imagination
Eyes close and it rises lighter than air
I feel it on my open palm, warm as a loaf
Heavier than heat rising in a
Black cloud of roaming curls
The skin at the place where leg joins torso
Juts hip bone mocha and tender
Expose the throb of blood
Beneath the skin

The scent of his room is dark cool rich
Like good soil or a healthy root

©2007 Peggy Pendleton