The Hanged Man


by Annie Blake

i hung things with pegs on a line inside the house / linen / then skins / then bodies / my face spirals red and hot like a stove element because / my real self transpires with my ego /


i heard a dog barking like men in the army do / the way my mom and my husband used to /                                                                                                         it sounded like a ghost /


a wax doll / a woman with scored skin like a candle / was stuck in his beard like a web / he is meticulously trimmed / she burns in his straw like a sacrificial offering / 


he didn’t understand that i didn’t want to be part of anyone else / i just didn’t want to be part of him /


if i sleep more than eight or nine hours i start getting hot and roll around like a rotisserie 

chicken /


ant legs / shifting in the dunes of deserts / ants / arimasps who rolled gold 

from the ground of india / to unstick the hem of the dawn / ants are resourceful / enough to roll up the sun from the grains / here / human legs are bought by the pound / legs in the sand / skewers devoid of meats and capsicum / and onion / barbecue tongs unable to grip sand / writhing and writing messages on the shore / twisting / rotating / attempting to walk on feet / on soles / i’m turning meat in a hot frying pan / some cuts of meat are more expensive than gold / i’m cold even in the warm colors of the sand /  


he inched toward me / you know what i want / i felt lustful / 

so i stepped back into the icebox /


antarctica is a desert / frozen and white / not like weddings or daisies / in a celtic legend / spirits grow the field with daisies when a child dies / the day’s eye / disc and ray floret / 

it is one and it is two / and a morning wedding ring /


preceding the ceremony / a layered wedding cake i refuse to walk around my house with / i 

have noticed that i love summer more in the winter than when i’m swimming in it / i leave the cake near the front door / the layers collapse / i still need to peel carrots and darn socks / the host of the ceremony covers the layers with tissue paper 

and inserts them in fine paper bags, for they are a special gift for me / the floor of the cake 

is a subterranean roof /


the girl got scared of her bear shadow / she could smell cum on his skin / she thought he was a man but even my most filigree spell wasn’t enough to save her from breathing in the well / i sat on the step but it crumbled beneath me / i was on concrete words again /


i remember my childhood room / my neighbor / i could see her through the window / she always kept the blinds down except on rare occasions when she got up at five in the morning to prepare to go to work / there was a girl in her / the girl moved like scenes in a movie / she dyed her hair again / peroxide blonde / she was almost unrecognizable / and our fathers were the same / the window is my mirror / he pulled down my eyelids because he could see 

that she was about to hang / in her mother / while she was stacking last night’s unclean 

dishes / 


the father was crying for her / he called her a harvest or a gathering / listening to this call 

was the most difficult bird to swallow / then i was the father and i had my charge next to me / 

the boy / i wondered if he would ever become a man / should i call for a siren or a healer / 

or should i leave the boy unhang from my strings /


i don’t understand why i can’t climb onto a step or over a wooden table / mothers are tables because they grow from the earth / the island of madeira was a forest and that is the material i’m made of / materia / mater / with pitchers of milk / we are not a tabula rasa / there are shadows who walk around with me / i don’t know how to persist if the window keeps shifting / it slips and slides like a snake / canopy feeding of the black heron / i have lived long enough to know we all lull the fish to our beaks /


the wagon feeds the barn with wheat / i open a door for a crosswind / beat wheat against 

the granary board / the grains are payment for my debts / for being a woman in my house / i wear perforated veils for awns can stick in my eye / chaff is carried away because it’s futile / wind winnowing / chaff and mot / mote in her eye / a beam in mine /


wool scarves are more warming around necks than ropes / the neck / in medias res / 

because the admixture is more profound than the heart or the head / an old man approached me when i was feeding my child / i fed her cottage cheese and eden’s apple / he was proud of me and gave her a silver spoon /


in the snow / one horse open sleigh or a convertible car / in the ’60s thunderbirds 

looked like rockets / riding in a roofless car or a bus / is traversing the world and through 

all its people / the collective unconscious is open to the sky / it was christmastime / 

for the first time i received handwritten letters in my mailbox / bells on bobtails ring / to avoid tangling the rope / i tie rope and guide the horse / to reign over my drive or spirit / sometimes reins / bobtails cannot swish or swat /


i carve more than one world above my children’s beds and hang them from the sky like birdhouses / it’s how i bless them / giving them a home to return to when they’re afraid 

in their dreams / birdcages enclose those who cannot carry their wings / they constantly need people because they don’t realize they require their own integration / birdcages / i’m under the ground / night roots poke through / their fingernails shine like a million guiding stars / crib mobile and a revolution /


i’m driving the grey pigeons up / a dawn like rising bread / the way the bodies of children grow / fire blackening the early trees / curdled clouds / sour milk is all i have left / seemingly static holocaust / fresh bread loaves instead of clouds / manna / my daughter said when i surrounded her with my arms / she felt as warm as oven bread / skeleton television aerials / charred / how the underneath is blue / forging of the sea /


coniunctio / augmentum plumbi / the expression of agency and surrender to survive 

the great birth /                                                                          poetry is my recovery /


when i wake in the morning dark / i walk down the stairs and when on the floor i feel 

for another step /


i was in silver water or it was above me / a tree inside which i was inside / its crown 

made of childhood summer leaves and branches / the higher part of me that could feel / transpired and reached out to breathe / the crying out of my helicon / coiled silver spring / 

the binding and pulling out of crocodiles from the ground /


i lie down under a thatched roof / the spring is here and the grass is still green / i’m polymorphous / i fly away / an oreb eating from the sins of the deluge / then to save elijah / rwti and the golden sun / and aker /


when i hang upside down on my child’s playground / the world is new /


the other day my husband of twenty years surrounded me in his arms / i sighed as usual /

why do you always push me away / because i don’t want anyone to touch me / i have too much in my head / he didn’t get angry / i was surprised he said / i’m scared you don’t love me / i’m scared i’m going to lose you / i continued the conversation like i was acting in a play or a movie / sometimes i see things you don’t and it scares me


he leaned in close / how do you know you’ll ever love me


i don’t / extrapolation /                                                                                                       faith /     

Annie Blake (BTeach, GDipEd) is a divergent thinker, a wife, and a mother of five children. She commenced school as an EAL student and was raised and continues to live in a multicultural and industrial location in the west of Melbourne. She enjoys experimenting with Blanco’s symmetrical and asymmetrical logic to explore consciousness and the surreal and phantasmagorical nature of unconscious material. Her work is best understood when interpreted like dreams. She is an advocate of autopsychoanalysis and a member of the C.G. Jung Society of Melbourne, Australia. You can visit her on and


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