Tampon panic attack


  Dream dissolves of lost limbed girls in fairgrounds, is this
  a quick-come fever? Search your palms on the train to
  find the rash are they always this red / perhaps you just
  don’t look. Waking up in bloodied underwear once felt
  like shame but now is gorgeous, a victory: red sheets are
  like flirting. Wisteria falling rich across the house front
  evasive blue sky against brickwork evasively blue (means
  actually cruel) call an election, keep calling, they can’t
  tell bloodied bodies from clean. Toxic shock, I christen
  thee, so baby call away. Flowers / not enough / sorry. If
  you think I’ve got a fierce red mind, wait til you see my


Misbegotten positive reality, muffin top just another symptom
of the excluded middle. Nothing can be both; apple-bellied is
worse than small beer. Not-A is absence, which is everywhere.


Always already happening somewhere, as if the way it is done
is what is done. You first have belief, which leads to the practice /
the way it is done is usually for the best. Always already leaving
without notice, it must have already happened if you want to think
about it. Flowers are soft and so vulnerable to the diversity of
interpretation / the way you do it is what actually happens. Remember:
it is natural to be fearful; it is necessary to be tougher than the rest.


     There is a fierce grit in the genius of girls; there has
     to be, they’re bleeding. ‘It is interesting, but I don’t
     love it.’ What kind of charlatan says that?





Prosody daddy

‘They will not, for a long time, see this
as a new form of love’— Adrienne Rich


          Women and girls rule
           my world!
          It’s not radical it’s just
          that masculine lack of
          sympathetic education
          means I don’t have a
          choice. Win win.

  How many bathrooms have you
  cried in? At parties, or at home?
  Even my search engine doesn’t
  understand me still

   I ask them one at a time: does
   he like me / does the dog die.
   How long do snails sleep
   for? And why?

    This garden is too full, the
    abundance is threatening
    and I won’t stand for it.

  Oh sweet masculinity!  I
  watch you wrap your scent
  around the houses I watch
  as everybody loses.

I just want to live alone I just want
a little peace. You can’t be too flirty,
baby! I know how to undress me.




[Helen Charman is a writer and a PhD student researching nineteenth-century maternity, sacrifice, and political economy. She teaches undergraduates at the University of Cambridge, and primary school children in Hackney. Her poetry has been published in Hotel and Datableed, and her other writing can be found in The Germ, King's Review, Dazed and Confused, the LRB Blog and The Inkling Magazine.]

Copyright © 2017 by Helen Charman, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.