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Internal Suffocation, poems by Juliet Cook

 Internal Suffocation

I'm an adult so I'm allowed to watch

as many horror films as I choose.

Some people say that has a bad effect on my brain.

I do sometimes have violent dreams, but

the last disturbing dream I had based on a movie

was re-seeing the rape scene from Boys Don't Cry,

which was based on a real life hate crime.

Sometimes I like some extremity in movies and art

because I can turn them off, turn them back on,

re-interpret them, revise them, re-analyze them, 

do whatever I want with them. 

Other times I can't control

what my own mind sees

or what happens to me.

Sometimes my mind exaggerates things.

Other times it blocks things out.

Sometimes my brain cells discharge 

uncontrolled electrical activity.

Sometimes it's not up to me.

When it is, I'll watch whatever I want to,

whether it's based on real life or exaggerated make believe.

Internal Suffocation 

I know what's starting to happen.

I've heard this before, this wooshing

inside my brain as the room disappears.

I sit down on the floor and shut my eyes.

Then I'm suddenly back up on my feet 

and confused about what day it is, 

what time it is, what I was doing,

how long my seizure lasted and why

I wrote a bunch of people's names

on a sheet of paper. Why I rearranged

rows of clothes in my closet and piled

rows of books in front of a suitcase.

I don't remember doing any of this.

I don't remember where I thought I was going to go.

I do remember who I am though. 

Demolished flesh that nobody wants to look at.

Least of all me.

Shaking around out of control,

groaning a low guttural moan

that dries into a hiss.

Acidic vomit drips

from a vulture's mouth. Clotted

saliva is mixed up with blood then rots.

The good parts get eaten up and shit out.

Haggard Hooded vulture woman

with nothing better to do than grunt and swallow

her own semi-digested dead heart.

Juliet Cook's poetry has appeared in a small multitude of print and online publications. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, recently including "DARK PURPLE INTERSECTIONS (inside my Black Doll Head Irises)" (Blood Pudding Press for Dusie Kollektiv 9, 2019) "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).

Cook's first full-length individual poetry book, “Horrific Confection", was published by BlazeVOX. She's also included in a full-length collaborative poetry book, "A Red Witch, Every Which Way", with j/j hastain, published by Hysterical Books in 2016. Her most recent full-length individual poetry book, "Malformed Confetti" was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2018. 

Cook also sometimes creates abstract painting collage art hybrid creatures.

Find out more at


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