the poetry that matters

Liz Worth

Liz Worth is an experimental writer, performance artist, and freelance journalist living in Toronto. She is the author of Treat Me Like Dirt (Bongo Beat Books), which documents the beginnings of the Toronto punk scene.

Liz Worth's chapbook is Eleven:Eleven is available from Trainwreck Press.

Damp mattress rewind 

Damp mattress rewind to:

Dictation from

Molecular thunder

(and also known as

1 tablet makes 2 tablets makes 3 tablets makes

Consciousness no more).

Rapid eye movement

Is bird-boned but

Boasts hidden strengths

Tethered to the persona’s nuts and bolts,

The justification of deep depression

And apathy through the faith

Of processed wanderings.

No security in this abundance

Of awareness, only panicked avoidance.

Taken down to basic tactics,

Taken to what knows the

Palmistry codes covering

The mounts and scrolls.

Fast forward is only a

Slow motion trick:

All short cuts have short-circuited.  





The Sequence of Equation
Leeching, it slid under the membranes
Of my scalp, left a slow cold sludge:
The coating of nausea.
This is how I wake,
To the metallic taste of nightmares
Rimming my lips
Like I've been licking knives
Except that my skin should be in spirals
When instead it's only heavy,
Hungover from blades between bones.
Hand to hair, give it a tug,
Pull out the lethargy and escape from the
Soft confines of the sheets.
Scrape back the morning with
Muted screams tattooed to lids of fire.
Gag and spit
Before the emergence of contractions
Across the pupils.
The gases of a dead dream are composed of
This embryonic equation:
(MAJOR Arcana) x 3 : (minor Arcana) = 9fits9fits9fits
They enter the skull through
Cerebral hemorrhages, grow translucent legs
By the thousands, with dull amber eyes of diviners
That memorize these labyrinthine dispersions.
Whether this is a state of being
Is a debate that goes like this:
It's tepid stress and leaves
The inside of the cheek with a taste
Only for gall.
This neural din is
A solar perception,
The sundering of all points of corrosion.
(dream sequence, exhibit A.)
Your mouth: an intestinal cavity.
Crippled, this innate filth
Covers the permeable caffeine film, scars like stains
That make up the skeletal arsenal
Of this cerebellum, which I
Poke holes through with all those liquids
That glint like a dragon's eye and tranquilize,
Cauterize with organized inversions.
These arterial branches are
Test patterns, the schema of adorning myself
With residual dissension,
Charting this operation interlaced with symmetry.
The subconscious fights to abate, satiate. 
(dream sequence, exhibit B.)
This is the pressure of what's inside.

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