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.
“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.
Tomorrow’s shade is Yesterday
We glance at last
At what we thought was
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.
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.
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.
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.
She’s wasting away
A crumbling ruin
Of the monument she once was
In my heart, and mind.
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.
And I will be left without a woman to touch
It’s not fair that she decays.
Why not the others?
Why the woman who birthed me?
Why the only woman who loves me?
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.
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.
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.
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.