:: Article

Three Poems

By Cathleen Allyn Conway.

The Monsters

Linda comes each morning to take care of me.
She makes tea for the builders with extra sugar,
leaves their cups in the sink for my mother.

Her ruddy face contorts as I am dropped at her door
for the day. She makes me cry. But her husband
smiles behind his whiskers, eyes gleaming.

He fills the bathtub as I pull the threadbare
moss-green towel tighter around my naked body.
You can’t get my hair wet, I chatter. They’ll know.
They will know.


Motel Interlude

What if instead of just driving past,
sniggering at the lobby’s mod décor
of dripping electric blue ceiling lights
and walls of geometric mirrors,

we stopped, paid our fifteen bucks,
handed the cranky receptionist our IDs,
and entered one of those dingy rooms
of matted carpets and red velour?

I’d even make the first move, warm you up
with my mouth, purr as you gasp.
We could feed quarters into the Magic Fingers
to fuck on the vibrating bed’s dirty sheets,

and when we were both ready, I’d guide you into me,
deflowering one another in a burst of blood, milk, spit

…instead of just talking about it.


Femme Fatale

Whatever your personal situation, you were raised in a culture that demands Girls be nice. Female Dominance isn’t nice. Fun, yes. Fulfilling, absolutely. But not nice.
                                                — Lorelei, The Mistress Manual

Her voice quavers as she issues commands,
hands shaking as she picks up the spit-slicked
cat-o’-nine-tails to snap at the apples of his ass-cheek.

He snatches the whip, leather burning her fingers,
flicking his wrist, mouth slack:
No, no! You’re doing it wrong! Like this!

Her stomach jumps as acid bubbles rise,
force her to lurch his spiked champagne.
She pushes up from the bed, runs to the dark

bathroom, where piss rivulets splash the toilet bib,
retching gullet burning, as the rough snort of cocaine
off the kitchen counter rockets through the flat.

Breath choked, she scrapes snot ropes from her nose,
squints in the shadows, as he parks a chair in the hall,
cushion farting under his bare skin. You’re still my mistress;

you’re still in control, he says, tongue lolling,
rubbery cock bouncing in his palm,
bulging eyes glassy, like a butchered cow.


Cathleen Allyn Conway is originally from Chicago but now lives in London. She is a poet, journalist and PhD student at the University of Greenwich, researching evidence of Robert Graves’s The White Goddess in Sylvia Plath’s Ariel. Her work has appeared in Bitch, Magma, Full of Crow, Cliterature, The Beat and South Bank Poetry.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, September 24th, 2010.