The Seduction of Inadequacy

Glam 10


There are times when life seems alright

And I can imagine myself far beyond

The confines of this mind-cage

Times when it’s all friends and loveliness and light

Until I see the illusion (or is it delusion on my part to think

I belong? Did I really see that exclusion, or was I wrong?)

And the bars come crashing back into place

The music plays its dolor and so begins

The seduction of Inadequacy

Who looks at me with bedroom eyes

‘Come Hither’ but with barely-concealed

Glints of marble ice

He draws me to himself and hooks me in

Hands grasping

Ripping off my meagre disguise

He stares;

Huge eyes devour me

Cold, critical fingers

Trail down my physique

I shudder, seeing that revulsion

That sneering disgust

With every grab and pinch and probing tweak.

I stand ashamed

Trying desperately to hide in plain sight

Will bluster cloak my pitiful nakedness?

He drags me out, flailing

I am pitched into the bidding ring

Compared to others

The Brains

The Beauties

The Poets

The Wise

Inadequacy stands by

Whispering in my ear

“You’re such a let-down.

See the audience’s eyes

Slide over you

To bid on those far more beautiful ones

Who in their right mind

Would pay to take you home?

Alas, it will be I

Returning full-handed once again

With burdensome, unsellable prize

They don’t want to take you

Make you part of their dreams

Or a player in their games

Let them come to you and cry

And feel the warmth of your childish affection

The wisdom of your narrow experience

Your simple-mindedness will please them

And maybe lift your spirits for a while

Oh they care – and you shall be grateful

Each time they take you from that

Benign toy-box for a dose of glitter

But until you learn to play their games

Until they let you join in

You will stay there.”

Inadequacy smirks, lip curled

“In the meantime that leaves you as my bedfellow

Which is all you’re good for

So at least you’re good for something,

You stupid, repugnant thing.

Now turn your face away

So I can pretend I’m with someone better”

And he flips me

Tumbling my crumbled, tearstained self to the floor

Rips into me, scratching me

Flaying me

Banging and banging away

Making me raw;

Face twisting in the throes of scorn

Before filling me with his bitterness

And delivering a sharp and vicious bite

His ecstasy: my shame, in full view

Now sated at my expense

He feigns affection

Wrapping himself around me

Stifling me, crushing my wooden limbs

Pouring words like poison oil

Across my ravaged skin

Listening to my frenzied, whispered thoughts

Chuckling as though they amuse him

“Oh my little bête noire

Only you could be this incredibly dim

You plan to share your feelings?

What will you achieve?

But wait, I see

You can’t make them love you

So instead you write to gain their pity

Or sanction for your stupidity

At letting yourself again

Become my plaything.

And so with this transaction

You bare yourself

So they might like you more.

With this you earn your stripes

You fallen foul one –

You whore.”



I can hardly breathe

This news is too much to bear

It weighs down my heart

As though an iron chain-net has been cast there


Trapping me (can’t breathe)

Inside whirlwind thoughts and driving pain

Spinning me (can’t breathe)

Casting me into the Abyss once again


I can hardly think

Impotent, I watch you carry on

Hands helpless by my sides

I would even swallow the sun


Burning me (can’t think)

If only anything I did could fix this

Consuming me (can’t think)

Ressurecting memories I can’t dismiss


I can hardly speak

Crumbling, I watch you being brave

My soul offering mute prayers

“No more. No more tiny graves”


Strangling me (can’t speak)

There is little I wouldn’t give

Suffocating me (can’t speak)

Please, tiny baby, please live…


Baby Grave


A soft haze struggles to
carry me to the other side
before the shadows descend,
and the darkness of Hell
threatens to tell me the truth.
In the comfort of shade,
between the twilight of sleep
and wakeful realities,
the window lies open to another time.
I close my eyes
and pretend you haven’t left.
Lying beside me
rhythmic breaths still fill your lungs.
Deeper, the shadows alight.
Searing embers threaten to consume this sacred place.
My guard wanes.
My defenses diminish,
Perdition beckons.
I see your face in the flames.
Your eyes are closed.
The disquiet of dreams is not foreboding.
It’s over, self-deceit won’t mask the pain of waking alone.  Z~

Clowning Around

Sweet Clown, paint on your face
Prepare your act
Don’t wonder, sorrowing, about that patch;
That bare, uncluttered square –
Don’t pin your hopes on it
Learn not to care.
If you insist on pouring out your heart,
Remember there’s no contract
No agreement
And no part
Your loved ones have to play
Remember: some already
Have shown you they
Care, if mostly by return.
Soft Clown
Don’t let your cotton heart
Get trampled on, or burned
For you must focus now:
It’s time for your next show.
Weave those wordspells
Ready? Steady? Go!
Dance and sing and surely entertain
Draw on that smile
And don’t dwell on this
It’s such a pity
You can’t understand
How stupid you are
Going with word in hand
To fly your heart
Glittered, child-like, stupid
You’re not part
Of worlds you want
And will be forever marginalised
Just dance, Clown, dance
On that peripheral ridge
Where they can glance,
Let eyes slide over,
Not acknowledge
You as more than
Just a toy, which
When they pick you up
They oft enjoy
And, oh, that makes you crave them
Even more,
Knowing for a moment there
You made them
Want you, sure,
(Albeit fleetingly)
But no; the shelf’s the place
For thee:
Your flimsy soft-fluff self
Just can’t belong
And each time that you try
You’ll find
You’re wrong.

Guest Bard: Souls Aligned

Souls Aligned
Souls drift and merge, as one aligned
Linked by gentle yet set bond;
Joined by subtle ties wound tight
Blended, seamless, threaded firm;
As one they coast in love
Of each unaware, yet see with trust.
Forms apart move forth in trust
Not  entangled  yet aligned;
Contrary, yet akin in love
Alongside they move and bond
With gentle grace so strong yet firm
Ties loose  yet at once wound tight
Connected, woven ties wound tight
Threads of giving faith and trust
With each other, soldered, firm
Selfless forms are now aligned
Whisper now a strengthened bond
Souls entwined in noble love
Spirits merge in caring love
Forms together, welded tight
With each other in cherished bond
Woven in affected trust
At once apart and yet aligned
In each other’s thoughts set  firm
Souls now  touch, gentle yet firm
Forms caress with pleasing  love
Never meeting, yet aligned
Hold assuring, subtle  tight
Thoughtful embrace of deep trust
Dancing dance of deepest bond
Spirits join,  unyielding bond
Ties that bind refined and firm
As one with unchallenged trust
Now merge in united love
Souls ally, congruent, tight
Drift alongside, yet aligned
Souls partake in bond of love
Firm assurance of vows tight

All for one, in trust, aligned.

Michelle Liew

The poem Michelle has written is a sestina, for further information on how to write one of your own be sure to go to her  blog – Getting Literal .

Michelle is a freelance writer who dabbles in poetry, fiction and technical writing. She’s a self-professed jazz piano addict.
She loves writing about her pets, and when she’s not busy, you will find her playing with them.
She blogs at http://gettingliteral.comand is a Hubpages writer.
Twitter handle i: kwetsuilin
Bard’s Verdict: Michelle has managed to take a technical form of poetry and make it seem effortless. She has a passionate delivery while staying true to the nature and structure of a sestina. I would recommend going to Getting Literal and finding out for yourself how a sestina is put together. There are several paradoxes within the imagery of this poem, not the least of which is its actual design! I have incredible admiration for something that can be so touching, yet (paradoxically) created within the confines of  specific structural guidelines.