Terrence

The Terrence poems are a collection of poems that feature in Zennor's play Terrence Loves You. Written from the perspective of a teenage psychopath, the Terrence poems are a disturbing look at obsession, abuse and toxic masculinity.

I

“Terrence loves you”

He said and faded

From the pages and the doorway.

 

The eyes, the day

He turns, night falls.

My comfort lost, he goes in search

For warmth from other creatures.

 

I constructed the laws

Writ upon these walls.

My damage forbidden

These words are abbidden

By all but the phantom who claims

“Terrence Loves You”

Floating on the ripples of conversation:

Repetitions and silences

No longer breathing… but

 

“Terrence Loves You”

He must. He does

With his teeth and his claws

Or the delicacy of a fist.

 

Terrence doesn’t love me

If he did he’d stay

With no lies, buts or claims.

A name isn’t personal if it refers to the self.

 

“Terrence will never love you”

He’ll turn and fade

From the pages and the doorway.

II

Tomorrow’s shade is Yesterday

We glance at last

At what we thought was

Done.

                Dream.

The city crumbles, mirroring its construction:

Bricks and mortar collapsing.

We teeter on the brink

But others shall suffer before I fall.

The buildings rot as she did.

                Light.

And with it darkness.

Never trust the face of a man

Who uses their muscles to contort it’s shape.

Instead, regard their shadow

Observe the truth that is veiled in light;

Let the empty space fill your empty lives.

                The empty carton

Shouldn’t sign melancholy.

III

The house is neither green nor brown

Although at dawn the moss glows in vibrancy

But twilight observes the screaming wood

As it stretches into the night.

 

Streams of light only ever flutter from the attic

Accompanied by wafts of sour milk.

The slated first storey allows browner drops to drip

Of rot; or blood.

 

The shadows in that house pervade flesh and soul

Chilling our own foundations. We know he took her…

Surely? Fear acts as the electric fence

That prevents us from crossing the bare yard

 

And opening the unlocked door.

Monster, Stalker, Predator, a neighbour in the day

But with darkness evolves a hunter that stains our streets

With its prey.

 

Silence! No more of these fairy-tale nightmares,

Boo doesn’t live on this street.

Mother and Father, Suburbia lies,

Please, oh Lord, just open your eyes:

 

Terrence is real, and I think he loves me.

I won’t be next, I want to stay free-

Hush, dear, soon you’ll see freedom’s impossible.

My own existence remains entirely plausible.

IV

There, in the corner, look,

A lump of meat pumping itself

Across the floor.

I cut it out because it refuses to work for me.

 

Now, I cradle the flesh in my arms

Delicate kisses morph into succulent bites

And life’s essence runs in streams from my lips

The act purifies the sin I’ve committed.

 

I’ve swallowed it whole, efficiently.

Sadness mourns its existence

But I have nothing left to cry for.

Hours gyrate their predecessors. Am I clean?

 

Suspended in animation between the sky and the earth,

The sun burns where the heat below warms,

Pleasuring beyond what I thought this world capable-

The ink explodes in creative bursts from my pen.

 

The organ’s effect is unnatural.

Its consumption was not unprecedented

But my auto-cannibalistic tendencies are defined as perverse.

I just want my mother to tell me it’s going to be alright.

 

I loved once

But now I have a hole

As my only companion through the void.

I’ll die, but I can’t alone.

V

She’s wasting away

A crumbling ruin

Of the monument she once was

In my heart, and mind.

 

She’s weak.

Her words, once drifted with sweet music,

Now they’re punctuated with drops of blood

Or dying flesh from her lungs.

 

She no longer holds me in sleep.

Instead she treads the pilgrimage

From bedroom to bathroom

To flush away more of her body.

 

She will die.

Won’t she?

And I will be left without a woman to touch

My soul.

 

It’s not fair that she decays.

Why not the others?

Why the woman who birthed me?

Why the only woman who loves me?

VI

A tender embrace and gentle wetness

Flickering upon the skin of my cheek.

The comfort that I have wanted to seek

Infected my whole, perching then breathless.

 

My dream realised , without my methods

Of fiction, deception- parts of my psyche

That beyond these four walls leaves me so meek.

I remember blossoming, her precious

 

Gaze becoming the focus of fetish-

Wrong. That’s demeaning. I’m no kind of freak,

But her voice and her shape wanes me, I’m weak:

Reckless desire to inhale her freshness.

 

I should have proclaimed her my paramour

Instead I retract with thoughts too impure.

VII

Beauty doesn’t mark the passage of lives;

Tender flowers wither while sweet bird song

Flutters then plummets. All fruit putrefies

If it’s left out for too long in the sun.

 

Where coastlines erode, and acid corrodes,

Green leaves of deciduous trees decompose;

But roots that suffer, grow not more rougher

And the branches remain without shudder.

 

Both Love and Time I believe are entwined

And born from Love’s womb is eternal joy.

Beyond this damned coil, I’ve become blind

You cannot hold me so nurture’s destroyed.

 

Please, Rest In Peace, for your tenure is done,

From Love and Time you no longer need run.

VIII

Casein. A construction of the organic: amino acids

And Carbohydrates, and the chemical: Calcium, Phosphorus.

It’s statistical fiction that these products should combine

To build and nurture our growth and nature.

 

80% in dairy whole, pure,

Untainted by the horrors of chemical gore

That fill our screens, tabloids and such,

You’ve bought the product and quality’s defined by how much you pay.

 

Oddly, from the breast the Casein is less.

I’ve bitten harder for fewer hits of this primordial drug

But from my mother it tasted

Ever the richer.

 

The milk came from her own beating heart

The natural source of affection, dependence-

If I knew her love would garner addiction

I’d have cut myself back from her fertile fields.

 

The carton stares back, devoid of its substance,

No matter no longer I’ll milk myself later

And let life stream into the translucent plastic

Breathing and dripping, drying and dying.

 

I’ll think of her in the action: my sweet little girl.

We’ll dance to rhythm of each other’s souls

Without stutter or trip or blank resolution

I will be hers and she will be mine.

IX

Are you satisfied yet? Are you not horrified by my complexion?

From my tongue, to my throat to my own lungs that haven’t been

Consumed by my own mother’s cannibalistic cells. I reside in a nightmare amongst

A swarm of flying, buzzing pests that need a taste of neurotoxin

So their wings will be silent.

 

I want to hear the sound of her spine breaking joint by joint;

The fracturing of a skull as I smash my way into her thoughts;

Or to simply wrench open her rib cage to hold her heart in my palms.

I’d rip out every last strand of her locks under the warm summer sun

‘Til her scalp bleeds.

 

Why taste her lips when I could rip them from her face and swallow?

Tear her legs open and sink into her ripe warmth, ingesting her fertility;

Clawing the skin from her upper thighs to force myself deeper into her;

And draining her breasts as my milk’s genesis swells within her,

Destroying her internal body as I ravish the external.

 

You’re inside my head now. No sweet metaphors or whimsical words

To deviate my intentions. No-one else to steal my spotlight, to poach my existence.

I am Terrence and I will be heard. She is the demon ravaging my mind.

The woman- the women have tortured me, but no more. This is my time.

Terrence Loves You, Meredith Smythe–                               Surprise.

©2018 by Frederick Zennor

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