Matthew Haigh is from Cardiff, Wales. He is the author of Death Magazine (Salt Publishing, 2019) and Black Jam (Broken Sleep Books, 2019). His work has appeared in numerous journals, online and in print, as well as in anthologies by The Emma Press, Sidekick Books and Bad Betty Press. He is co-organiser of CRASH: a quarterly poetry night in Cardiff focused on the experimental, surreal, humorous and strange.
A Luxurious Death
After years working as a makeup artist, I decided there had to
be a death with a velvety finish.
To be honest, our whole lives are unnecessary. The fabric of life
is thick silver, fruitless. The person you love has a 100 per cent
chance of embarking on a kitchen renovation project. We think
of death as the heart of the home.
Be vulnerable, be young. Death happens to everyone; it makes
you laugh so hard you snort as your eyes well up with beeswax.
The challenge is a familiar one: breathe new life into a widow
with a black pencil. Advice on how to die well? I start with skin
butter, followed by nude lip loss.
Bale has become so milky that simply spending
an hour in his presence probably leaves a faint
gleam. The actor was determined to incorporate
petals, seeds and fruits into his skin. He trained
six hours a day, six days a week, for six months to
bottle a happier future. Synonymous with physi-
cal transformations, Bale developed plant leaves
as his body adapted to changes in technology. He
reportedly puts a soft little cushion between his
face and a thistle. Ironically, American Psycho
was interpreted as a moisturiser by many reflexol-
ogists. The precise nature of his soothing presence
is unknown, but the smart guess is that he is like
a mountain of white lily.
What Will Your Sims Do Now?
Like a good nephew, I save your computer
from the skip’s slew of lifelong wreckage,
lug its black lake-weight back to my room
even though the tower is now a humming grave.
Inside still live the pixel kids
you abandoned to a timeless
paradise, still frolicking poolside,
spouting gibberish, clownish, in a summer
that will never end. They know nothing
of the absent God act you’ve pulled, these tiny
Adams and Eves in cherry-print kaftans.
I feed and clothe and shower them, strange
skin cells you’ve shed in your swift exit,
my head haloed by the screen’s Heaven-
blue, the way yours must have been as you
crafted your craved reflection.
Here is the candy-haired
mohawk girl modelled on your ideal.
I push her around her little kitchen,
fingers lingering on the keys that yours
last touched. Her chip pan has caught fire.
The girl’s face bursts open with tears.
Scorched walls. Her kitchen is
ruined. I can’t console her.