Thursday, 16 September 2021

Throwing It Away Doesn't Mean It Didn't Happen

by Juliet Cook

You can't throw away an open wound.
You can't stop it from dripping until it pours
down every ceiling in this house, every room you enter
even though you pretend to feel safe and able to stick
it into one room's drain. What if that drain never unclogs?

It's your fault for pulling an ex-friend's hair out
of the bathtub drain and placing the hair on a condescending letter
as if you were better than them because you didn't shove your own hair
down that drain. Instead you obsessively hacked your own hair off
and stuck it inside a tiny garbage can with the bathroom door locked.

You repeatedly locked doors and sat on counters near the sink
against the mirror, divided your face into numbered sections
and secretly conducted your own compulsive rituals against yourself.
You somehow let yourself believe your own anxiety
and obsessive streaks made more sense than someone else's depression.

You can try to stitch yourself shut before it heals.
You can stitch shut your own mouth, but if you do,
it will rip itself back open when you least expect it,
hurling blood, stinging every room red
with tears and half dead hissing rat heads
with giant fragmented fly eyes. Portents of demonic surveillance
aiming to reveal that your bad parts outweigh everything else.

* * * * *

Juliet Cook's poetry has appeared in lots of print and online publications. She is the writer of quite a few poetry chapbooks, recently including Another Set of Ripped-Out Bloody Pigtails (The Poet's Haven, 2019), The Rabbits with Red Eyes (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2020) and Histrionics Inside my Interior City (part of Ghost City Press's 2020 Summer Micro-Chapbook Series). Her most recent full-length poetry book, Malformed Confetti, was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2018. She is brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. You can find out more at


  1. Hello. I follow you on Twitter.

    I'm a poet trying to figure out if there is still a place for poetry in America. I've been writing for over 60 years.

    My question is: Has being a presence on Twitter or any other social media boosted your book sales or sent readers to your website?

    Thanks so much,
    Martina Reisz Newberry

    1. In my opinion and experience, social media gets more people to know my name (and vice versa) and has led to a few really strong connections with other poets and presses - but as for increasing book sales, not really. I suppose it might also depend upon how one promotes their own creative work and I promote mine to an extent, but I prefer to focus more on the reading and writing rather than constant promoting.