from Ornamental Onion
by Penny Goring





colour me atomic tangerine
i imagined myself & i was phlox saxifrage pompom ranunculus
poppy anemone ornamental onion rattlesnake red ribbon nerine
& i loved the painted tongue
& i wore the rattlesnake
at poppy anemone ceremonies & across myrtle mimosa until morning
i worshipped the ornamental onion
in calla lily seizures
& i bled achillea
& i wished phlox
& i kissed wysteria
my mouth a red wet saxifrage
i want to stand where no shadows fall


colour him american tan
he imagined himself & he was heliotrope harlequin international klein blue ghost-ridden crepuscular groom
& he loved the heliotrope jungle
& he wore the hooker’s green
i want to stand where no living thing creeps
i want to stand where there are so many colours, where light trembles, where night shiver cobwebs cling to trees in the shrink of distance
i want to stand where we slip slightly, thrilling in the stoned river, falling sideways to a ramshackle future where none are more fuchsia than us
i want pyrotechnic planets to plunge
i want blasted moons astral projecting slippery gibberish over the high-rise roofs
i want you muzzled in gibberish, all over everywhere, all over me
all over
i want to stand where dead things crawl
i imagined you & you were heliotrope harlequin international klein blue ghost-written crepuscular
house with one room
& you bled bad dreams
& you wished old lies
& you kissed cold sweat
& i do, i do
i kiss the shrink of distance
where bad days cling damp to trees
where bad dreams cling to these my arms, these my fingers, these my eyes
where good days rattle in the wreckage
where good dreams float on flame river
where good days rattle unattended in the anti-flash yellow white cupboard
& i bleed bad dreams
& i wish arsenic morning
& i kiss the colour of darker
& i don’t care why you are – i just want to get in your car, not going very far. i just want to get in your bubble & cause you my kind of trouble
colour me AuroMetalSaurus
& we will meet in Peckham on that busy street by the bus station & i’ll insist we buy strong lager in multi-packs of four & i’ll walk before you down the risky road & you will observe my lop-sided bum wiggle & i’ll remember you like me best
(in royal blue vyella
my face is ugly beauty like this world
the ornamental onion is unpeeling
unpeeled – revealed – sloughed off)
later on we’ll go to Film Nut’s private view. too rarefied the atmosphere, too banal the paintings – endless tiny aeroplanes flummoxed with airfix precision in colourfields of flatdead greyblue, & there are videos showing Film Nut painting his pointless aeroplanes to be hung on the walls of office suites & the walls of in-crowd outhouses. colour me drunken blackout. i will march up to him & call him out for the void & the crapness & the last good hoping. when he flinches politely i will see red & kick him in the bollocks. when he doubles over i will see yellow & slap him round the chops. i’ll never give him the apology he waits on. back in your towerblock room we’ll make memories you’ll hastily regret. you’ll refuse to remember & i will never forget
i ransacked my bones to find you & i found bones
i walked in circles on the beach & i found stones
i looked out to sea & i saw more sea
i looked inside myself & i saw more me
i go on & on & i’m sea-sick
me & me – we are this thick
i want studded codpiece with piss flaps
i want studded heartpiece with lie flaps
i want studded headpiece with dream flaps
are you a bigger creature?
i come from The World of Thing near The State of That
your face is ugly beauty like my world
FUCK WHO WHY WHAT WHERE WHEN – do it sharpish, slap-happy – make it snappy
unpeel yourself for me you golden ornamental onion
fuck yourself for me
fuck your life
fuck your wife
fuck me
in my world, where you can slip slightly, fall sideways or headfirst, & be a goner
long gone
out the window


eventually a time will come when we move strangely with strangers
eventually a time will come when ornamental skins slime
colour him green with white dots is a garden – disaster is a long way down
he imagined himself & he was SO MANY COLOURS & he was pouring out the window
& he was puddling on the ground
& he loved the feel free falling
& he wore the hairy view
he wore the tits slung sideways, he wore the bragging hole, he loved the dodgy downer, he wore the dangling balls, he loved the real alive, he wore the
clown him acrobatic descent
spread him bubblegum carpet
frazzle him gutter kebab
cosy him comatose pocket
soak him leaking bladder
warm him reeking arse
speed him indecent
teeth will tear him apart
& he bled dogs
& he wished wheelchairs
& he kissed disastrous
his mouth a scrimping lack
i want to stand without him
i want to stand where he fell
i want to stand where thousands of me are up-rooting geraniums, plagued by tulip, mad for rose, spliced by his message – planted, watered, bones
colour him a bigger NOW
with more captivating & convoluted & charismatic holes – slashed slovenly
his finer fabric peeks through
i married the alarming Mick O’Mara & we rode the desert on his llama
today’s background lacks depth & he took SO MANY COLOURS & the shadow he casts
is his pecker
i can see it out the corner of my eye – velvet dense blot, glooming night-time, swelling in his smalls
he said: stop looking for pristine days & get loose, like trapeze woman
i said: i’ve a scar on my left knee, a scar on my right big toe, a scar on my left cheekbone, two on my belly & one inside my belly-button in the shape of the cross
he said: break those bones & see what comes of it
i divided & i separated. my legs came away from my body.
i became two blobs of flesh inside my elegant shoes
i married the disarming Mick O’Mara & he sowed his seeds like a farmer
i want to stand where i can comprehend his miscalculated equations
i want his mystery
i want to be free where prisons of me do time
i want to feast where sanatoriums of me slowly waste away
i want to dazzle where fireworks of me fizzle in the rain
i want to laze where troupes of me perform the dizzy fandango
i want to sing where swarms of me sting his corpse rot skin
i want to sleep where hordes of me embezzle his safety blankets
i want to dance where therapy groups of me bawl my sorry eyes out
i want to scream where waiting rooms of me fret about my meds
i want to spread my legs where nunneries of me count my sins on rosaries, pray for my elastic soul, flagellate my lusting flesh, suffer for my pleasure, fake my mortal measure
i want to dwarf the average-sized me cowering in the corner
i want to love the traumatised me struggling to leave the house
i want to laugh in the face of every gargoyle morning
i want to spin myself on the spokes of every moment
i want to out-do myself for the sake of my fucked-up life
i want him to hold me in his isosceles angle
i want him to hook me on his tortured tangent
i want him to bisect me on the apex of his tongue
i want him to break me on the glassy slopes of Mount Hurtle
i want so much more of him
i want to live where i can sense him as a presence not an absence
i want to live where graveyards of me mulch in soggy coffins
i want the line of mutes on my doorstep suddenly breaking their silence
i want to pelt from the steaming sky in a manic hail of bullshit
i want to fly in sharpened blades & meet his gaping target
i want orgies of me gripping bulk with strangers
i want polygon beings with pronounced reticulars shagging me on his sofa
i want leather-clad stag beetles wielding knuckle-dusters knee-trembling me up his wall
i want mystical ship-shape elemental extensions riding me rough in his heavens
i want dark matter on darker mattress pinning my hips to his
i want turbulent prisms of bare metal yesterdays percolating mine eyes with his glory
i want to spit in his eye
i want many & every toppling diadem yelling the news on my good foot
i want to get on the bad foot
i want to kick his teeth in
i want to stick him on my pages
i want my right royal wages
i am me & i rages
i want to relapse with him forever & ever & never live sober again
i want MANY MEN
i want bigger tits
i want him who fits
my empty
eventually a time will come when me is me is mine






Penny Goring lives in London. She makes things.