The Notched Wing

Helen Tara Hughes – Poetry, Fiction, Film, Phantasms

The Summer Solstice Party

man at the bar falls in love with me
but the beers turn it to hate
and the knife in his pocket makes me nervous

women i work with crowd me in but
i know the knife is there now, sneaky
just stay away – say the Regulars

work at the back, late late the man leaves
they slide out drunken slippery
we sweep and clean until 3

full moon beams
on the street and on me
unlock your bike girl, hurry, fly free

white cat runs ahead of my tire, freaks
- don’t hit the cat, don’t hit the cat – the inner voice bleats
heart pounds, brakes squeeze, cat swerves – safety

nobody else but the parking police
sharks trolling empty cars for fresh meat
my bike chain needs adjusting – it creaks

the black cat on the sewer grate guards this street
up the stairs and in, run the bottle from the sink
stand beside the counter, tip the litre – swallow, breathe: Repeat

pile the cash on my dresser
fair pay or the devil’s money
and what night is the night that the knife is for me

morbidity freaked me out last time
and i’ve only been doing this again
two weeks

go to sleep in my nightie with my washed feet
the full moon can stop bewitching me
through my skylight, please

life is tough
i am tougher
it is Summer


( tara hughes, 2005)

“You know there ain’t no devil; that’s just God when he’s drunk”
Tom Waits

Author: smallboy

Helen Tara Hughes is a writer, producer and actor. An award-winning theatre performer, she cut her teeth in classical and new work at major theatres across Canada, including the Stratford Festival. Her first taste of documentary work – a POV radio documentary for CBC’s ‘Outfront’ – gave her the documentary bug, and in 2009 she transitioned into Producing with the feature documentary, Goodness in Rwanda. As a writer, she has been published by, Eros Digest, and TWISI, and has a book of short stories that will be published in the fall of 2012. As a filmmaker, she creates short films based on poetic writing. She moonlights as an Asst Producer and Coordinator for documentary, factual, and independent films, and is developing a slate of her own media projects for 2013.

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