The Art of Stephanie Sinclaire :: Painting, Art, Film, Theatre, Writing

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith

THE BOOK OF TEARS

WHEN IS A HOUSE LIKE TREBLINKA?

CHILD
A brilliant evil informs my life.
It lingers in my bones and in my cells.
It is my own arthritic castle made of hell.
It clings to me like a damaged wife
Fire. Fire Fire. The house is burning down.
Ring the bells.

MAN
I come in the night and I touch her.
I explore the soft peach fuzz.
She doesn’t move at all.
I stick my finger in the juicy centre of
My little sleeping doll.
She doesn’t move
And we never speak of it.

CHILD
In the night hands divide the dark.
In the night I am divided
By a child eating shark.
He tears me in half when he does it.
My muscles go rigor mortis.
My arms and legs held tight.
I am sliced from helm to stern.
My bones burn.
My bones will be frozen for decades
And my mouth sewn up with fright.

MAN
I pick her up and carry her to the rubbish heap of life.
I press her face in the mire.
She is my golden jewel.
I drool on her. I suck the life from her life.
I’m a vampire of the spirit.
She sets me on fire.
I am all powerful near her little chicken legged self.

CHILD
I am a raggedy genius.
My IQ is 182.
But there’s a man with a white worm penis
Who’s torn me right in two.

MAN
When a man is dead inside
He’s got to get his life from somewhere.

CHILD
Have you ever noticed the clouds?
They are so beautiful.
There’s Cumulonimbus with anvil
And Stratocumulus
And sweet liitle small Cumulus
And clouds called Mama that look like udders.
They are udderly beautiful.

MAN
I would screw her but I’m Catholic.
Her mother makes me small.
My cock gets hard when I touch her
And I feel ten feet tall.

CHILD
He comes in the night and he breaks me.
He takes my breath from my soul.
I freeze and I’m still frozen.
I’m always always cold.

MAMA
Why must I hit her?
To you she’s sweet and small.
She bit her little sister
And she’s riding for a fall
She’s so cocky she makes me seethe
She is a terrifying life taker
There’s not enough to go around.
Do you pity her?
Don’t be fooled by the little faker
She takes the very air I breathe.
She’s too vibrant and must be cut down.
She is mine, after all.
My very own clown.

CHILD
There is Nimbostratus
But my favourite is Altocumulus progressively
Invading the sky
And where ever I go there’s that eye.
The homunculus.
Get that uncle off my back.
GET IT OFF!!!!
IT’S GONNA KILL ME

MAMA
She’s very smart this kid.
I don’t mind that.
She good with big words like
antidisestablishmentarianism
But she asks too many questions.
How do I know why the sky is blue?
Do you?

CHILD
I ask her questions but she won’t answer me
And then she screams when yes or no would do.
She’s very big my mama.
Her hands come out of the blue.
They smack me and thwack me and whack me.
My legs and my back. too.
My head twirls on its stem.
My back is black and blue.
Get them out of me.
The man and mama
Get them out of my bones!!!

MAMA
She’s a daydreamer.
She dreams and dreams and looks at clouds.
She’s a lazy good for nothing.
A Queen Bee. So proud.
I’m going to brain her if she doesn’t do the
dishes. I’m going to knock her from here to Broward County.
I ‘m going to disown her at the very least.

CHILD
I want to watch this movie
My very life depends on it
But she’s making me do the dishes.
She won’t let me finish it.
She’s such a bitch.
Stopping me is her favourite thing.
All my favourite movies
It’s my only escape.
And comic books
And fantasy. The movies in my head.
That’s one thing she can’t take away from me.

MAMA
Do the fucking dishes.

CHILD
She’s drinking her Cutty Sark.
I’m gonna get a bruisin’ for Hitchcock,
But he’s worth it.

MAMA
I know this looks bad
Yanking her by the hair and bashing her head
It looks so bad I think she’s dead.
She won’t cry, the hussy
Too much pride
I’ll send the man in

MAN
She is still breathing
But she’s floating outside of her body up
Near the ceiling
She a helium balloon now.
We’d better take it easy

MAMA
She’s spoiled rotten and I’ll break her if
It’s the last thing that I do.
I’ll use the tools God gave me
The hand and the belt and the shoe.

CHILD
It’s nice up here by the clouds.
My body looks broke and bereft.
It had a life in it once
But there’s been a terrible theft
And there’s nothing left.
There’s nothing left.
I tear at my hair
And the tears flow
But there isn’t anyone out there.
No one sees.
I’ll become a cloud.

MAN
Her body is like a dolphin.
She’s long and lithe and thin.
She can’t carry a tune in a bucket
But she can dance on the head of a pin.
Her father’s rich and makes me feel small
But here she lives on peanut butter and spaghetti
Pop tarts and the odd meat ball.

CHILD
Anyway I’m a fairy
But don’t tell.
I live off the nectar of flowers.
The drop at the end of the stamen
Like the little ball that rings the bell.
But don’t tell.

MAMA
I still love her father

CHILD
When is a house like Treblinka?
When there’s no sanctuary anywhere
When you fear for your life at all times
When they’ve even taken the air
When is a house like Treblinka?
When your flesh is meat for the beating.
When your flesh is good to eat
And there’s nothing they don’t dare.

MAN
I never ate her, make that clear.
I came in the night and touched her.
Just explored like
A navigator over virgin territory.
Walked the undulating dunes beneath starless nights
And split her open with my fingers.
She has no rights.
We do with her what we like

CHILD
The old lady psychiatrist in Milwaukee
Who said she’d been through the camps
Said I was a survivor just like she was.
What a champ that I wasn’t crazy.
She said I should be schizophrenic
Or maybe take my life.
She said I’d never really come right.
I said, no
I will fix this.
But it’s so many years later I can’t breathe
And I can’t think straight
And my skin crawls and my head spins
And the clouds are descending
And the air thins
And there is no kindness anywhere.
Kindness is the greatest wisdom
and death
The greatest kindness.

MAN
We didn’t want to kill her
But she was a kind of thing to us.
A plaything.
She could be quite amusing and she told good jokes
And young girls like sex.
They want it
Doncha know?

CHILD
He sang like an angel the man did
And he warned me when Mama was near.
He made me think that he loved me
And then he filled me with fear.
Could he really think I wanted it?
I didn’t. I didn’t even know what it meant
To mortificate.

FATHER
This survivor is kind of charming
Full of vim and very alive.
I know she is my first born
But only the strong should survive.
We’ll lock her up and send her away
And definitely drug her.
That’s what you must do at
The first sign of excess emotion.

CHILD
Inside me there is an ocean.
There are good things as well as bad.
I’m tender and full of devotion
But everyone is scared of me
And they all want to kill me
Or drug me or think I’m a nag.
No sanctuary anywhere
Mind sizzling
Electric chair
A man who’s kind
Hate underneath
Muscles are tightening
I can’t breathe
My daughter’s going
A mutiny in my head
There is no tenderness now
I’d be better off dead

ANGEL
We’ve been telling her for sometime
That she has a special destiny.
She won’t quite listen and thinks
Maybe she’s crazy.
These guys can’t give her what she needs.
She has a big heart
Only God can give her endless love like sunshine.

DAUGHTER
Come on,
My mother is crazy
But she taught me to write poetry
And she sees the very best in me.

CHILD
want to have a special destiny.
God calls but so does Dionysus.
I need revelry.
My blood runs hot and cold.
Death and life
Call in equal measure.
Peace and hawk.
War and dove.
100 paintings
Boxes of poems
Short stories, plays and screenplays.
I want to get to heaven where they say there’s love
But I’d like to finish life properly.
I’ve always been a good girl.

MAN
But when she was bad she was very very bad

MAMA
And you know what happens to bad girls.

CHILD
Thick altocumulus in a single layer.
(That’s the one that looks like sheep).
Lenticular altocumulus look like UFO.
Dense cirrus from cumulonimbus.

Cirrs progressively invading the sky.

© Stephanie Sinclaire

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