Lady Lazarus & the Voice of Ratified Reason

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“If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment”. JD Butler

He’s using me, I’m using him – both of us working on a palatable means to several ends & everyone’s happy on the dance floor, except me / Lady Lazarus, fully loaded

machinations mimicking my madness & everything I have survived is temporarily erased from my memory / the neglect, the rapes, the con artists & the turning of blind eyes. The violence

of insanity, cleansing the last of my contemptible dirty pieces. A ruse in the end, designed to ratify my plea bargain, still set to drown in a sea of toxic shame, churning

out green bile – something the dogs love to salivate over.

/

It all sounds so depressing, except for the sun that continues to rise; refracted light beams infiltrating my cracks,

forcefully illuminating all remaining fragments of hope that haven’t yet marvelled at a setting sun. I am thankful.

If I had the grace to fall apart respectfully, there would be no need for enlightenment, you would all marvel at my unadulterated halo & drop to your knees, prostrate

but I am a mere mortal woman. No God could ever carry me across the sand or walk on water or set me down on the island of my choice,

without some sort of comeuppance; paying the ferryman requires nerves of steel / I lack the will to either live or die,

in peace.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Imagination

All Those Times

All those times you wanted a home for the family and when I bought one, you didn’t like it and I felt disappointed

All those times you stalked me around the house and picked the locks, and I was afraid

All those times you cornered me, hurling foul put downs, till I stuffed my fingers in my ears to protect myself

All those times you told me I was loopy, a slut, a whore – a loopy slut whore and I was hurt

All those times you kicked open the door to pin me to the bed in a fit of rage, and I was struck dumb

All those times you pressured me to buy an investment property instead of renovating the house because you were plotting way back then and I felt betrayed

All those times you moved out, damaging property as you went. It hurt your youngest more than me, when you painted over her beautiful mural and I felt sad

All those times you misled me, hiding behind your Samsung, and your daughter for cover, conjuring plans to deceive and I was manipulated

All those times you spoke ill of me in front of others, your son and my friends – your friends and family and I felt ashamed

All those times you hid your cash, pleading poverty and gutted the

business and I trusted you

All those times you forbade me to enter our shop, and denied you wanted it for yourself and your daughter and I was controlled

All those times you refused to finish my tattoo’s, claiming you were too busy but not too busy for your daughters’ and I was left with rubbish

All those times you said you would draw me a portrait (like yours) and have it tattooed, but you didn’t have enough money even though I gave it to you

All those times you wanted me to go back to work, promising me you could handle it, but you couldn’t and it was my fault

All those times you withdrew your sex, claiming you could go without and I felt unwanted

All those times you accused me of fucking the neighbour, tradies, my boss, anyone and got upset because I sat too close to my ex and I withdrew

All those times you threatened to expose my client, and pounded on the apartment door and I was embarrassed

All those times you judged my friends, for no apparent reason and said they were damaged and I felt damaged

All those times I warned you not to stop taking your medication suddenly, but you did and became abusive and you told your daughter but I was deceived

All those times you resented my money, but took it anyway promising to pay it all back but you had other plans

All those times you said you would do anything for me, then complain you were my slave and I felt trapped

All those times you maligned your ex, your ex wife, your family and those who had crossed you, detailing your revenge and I felt scared

All those times you lied, gas lighting me to my face and Police, to make me doubt myself and instill madness and I became anxious

All those times you said you adored me, meaning as long as I shut my mouth and did as you expected and I went quiet

All those times you said you could never hurt me like your ex’s, because you loved me, giving me a false sense of security and I became depressed

All those times you stole our customers and redirected them to your personal email, yet I was silly for imagining it and I felt set up

All those times you put your personal email on our business pages, but it must have been me and I felt confused

All those times you damaged my property and denied it and allowed your daughter to do it too and I felt ganged up on

All those times you instructed your daughter to remove texts, business files and photographs from my phone and laptop, stating you knew nothing about it, and I felt tricked

All those times you refused to allow me to give a gift voucher to my friends and family, but you said family is always free and I felt nothing

All those times you withdrew your youngest daughter from me, assigning the mother role to your teenage daughter, leaving me outcast

All those times you washed your car, thrice, but wouldn’t wash mine and I felt insignificant

All those times you expected me to cook, but said you loved cooking your special diet anyway but I felt guilty

All those times you failed to communicate in texts for fear of litigation, so we agreed to delete them frequently so they couldn’t be used, but you secretly kept them and I was blind

All those times you said you wanted nothing to do with bikies, their associates or the security crew but you were in cahoots with them the whole time and I feel threatened

All those times you told me it only cost $5000 to get rid of someone and I asked you to stop talking like that, but you didn’t and I felt intimidated

All those times and more, happened but you have your own reasons for behaving this way, after all

You were angry

Transcript
© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Pan

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I could never look
at you the same way
I adored you, once
your true colours have me
in sensory overload
clutching my heaving chest
in shock, disbelief winded

reeling from the blows
taking such pride

inflicting pain, deliberately
fueling retribution over lack
of supply, shows me I never knew
you – you who would do anything
for me, except love me
finding unjustified reasons
to hurt me

because I don’t abide
I could never trust

the man that revels in pain
his empowerment borne
plotting, scheming manipulations
splitting love in two
my aorta left to bleed
out, powerless –
it makes him feel

like a man
you’re not my man

I was your meal ticket
your way to escape
demons; Dachau passing down
suffering, such a way of life
completely misunderstood
cruel Nazi mentality, heartless
your Mockingbird,

your SS badge of dishonour
worse, using children

an apparatus for torture
where love nurtured trust,
spiritual guidance squandered
on self-serving childhood needs,
your own metered out
shortcomings
love is not yours to ridicule away

denying its abundant existance
I will never trust my heart,

expose her soft underbelly
or offer her up
in sacrafice; like a lamb,
your God is a manmade
fallacy designed to subjugate
misogyny, displaced whores
rendering Madonna complexes

in perpetual conflict
I am disappointed in you

you had it all, proffered up on a silver platter
wanted for nothing, except coveted jealousy
lusting after sinful greed
you let breed and wreck havoc
Mr Black is a predator, a perpetrator
you let run roughshod over me
I am not the only one, women

your past is predictable by nature
I hope with what’s left,

you learn your lesson well
I wanted a man – a man,
not a spoiled little boy
throwing tantrums to up
the Antichrist in pursuit
of misspent youth,
ungrateful to the core

matters let go out of hand
I am in Hell

sent there to rot in your abandon
but you didn’t bargain on meeting Demeter,
who will hunt you down
to save herself, mourning winter
the long days and sleepless nights,
haunting your nightmares

she, who see’s right through you
will dance on your grave.

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Pan

Meddle

The Joker

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The Joker
plays his cards then prays
for forgiveness
to a middle eastern Christian God
before hurling abuse
to those who aren’t white
professing to love women
secretly harbouring unfathomable hate
suppressed rage
staring Red indifference in the face
of reason, his reason
an excuse for payback; vindictive
retribution designed to maximize
powerfully charged emotional punches.

I have loved more than once
choosing my heart over head
batting eyelids deflecting
eggs scrambling to make sense
of the impossible scenario
time after time questioning
my self refusing to settle for anything
less than truth
watching loved ones turn
roll over, pulling the wool
over already unseeing orbs
holding on to contempt for love
lost

Death has defined me
grief ripping me apart
till I am stripped bare and
‘The Joker’ plays me for a fool
his denial hardly concealed now
his truth defining him in the end
hidden underneath a facade
charm dangerously like a predators
false sense of security
when his hands are tied
his dirty hands
he tries to launder abrasive
repeatedly.

Money
the root of all evil
threatens to ignite the paper trails
that have us entwined
enmeshed together by banks
loans and fine print
our future only leased
the balance drains the half full cup
sentiment caught never to be released
that Holy Grail
proving to be forever out of reach
what chance did we have?
the die has been cast.

My love
my darling
you were my everything
my beautiful sweet illusion
my heart aches for remembering you
how you were before you changed colour
I fell head over feet for you and yours
grazing my knee in the process
I succumbed, numbing my defenses
getting back up being pushed back down
losing another fragment of hope
each time threatening don’t
now, the joke is on you.

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Illusion

Set Fire

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I’ve been living in a war zone

so it seems, three and a half years
of Hell with nothing left
to show for it,
except heartache
and pain
watching love leach
from my soul; phosphorescent,

sparks like spheres

float up, up and away
to fizzle out in to nothingness

Since when did I become
the enemy?

clumped into the annuls of misogyny
tarred / scarred
for being a woman empowered
because I threaten the old ways
where women were barefoot
and pregnant,
swathed in floral aprons
with floured hands kneading
wholesome Madonna complexes
designed to subdue

I love

depth and passion
moving my heart to where I am
mesmerized in awe; my fragile smile
let loose like an arrow
straight and true into you
and I, jubilant
where I am left wondering
where you have been
all my life – that I would do anything
for you

I love my self more

and I am not broken completely.
I can take those looks of contempt
along with those cutting words
and stand my ground against interrogation/subjugation
I lead myself in cycles, navigating
my way out of ear shot for a while
till I can stand it no more,
when I hide away inside
and stuff my fingers

All is not lost

despite my sense of guilt at not being
strong enough in your eyes,
un-like grandma whom you adored,
admiring resilience
I am merely a shade by comparison
if I subscribed to your anger and hurt
if I took her on and became
a better person, wife, mother for you
if only I chose to keep my mouth shut
like she learned in the war

I don’t believe

staying silent will keep us alive these days
my life requires I fight
for truth, freedom, rights and for love
so you may find your self, lifted from those ashes – Dachau,
and understand that women need
tenderness, a kindness that takes away
the hurt of injustices, finding safety
your arms filling me with hope
that I am not alone

It is with great sadness

that I must choose love
letting go the innocence of youth
and embrace my own mortality
if I am to be a survivor
I cannot condone atrocities
of any kind and turn a blind eye
without losing that part of myself
that wanted to die, finding respect
in being true to myself
Lest We Forget

I am mourning

a life of trials and tribulations
that had me in tears for the most part
my heart is broken, I no longer believe
in you, us – I am setting fire to the 3rd mar
closing my eyelids on my dreams
facing those feelings that I have been too afraid to feel
reaching in to pull them out
into the open and lay myself bare
so I can finally heal

goodbye my love

we will all be OK.

Puncture

Snow Patrol

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler. ‘Poetry Out West’, All Rights Reserved

Snapshot

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Photographer: _foto_in_vivo
‘Metamorphosis’

Because you pushed
Me away
You said
Looking in, forgetting
Conveniently what
Snapped at me
Before
And I asked you
Not to talk to me
That way

I’m afraid
It will become
A daily occurrence
Because you don’t
Respect me
Enough to treat
Me with love
And kindness

I watched you treat
Your mother
With contempt
Before
But maybe
You’ve found someone
Else to take
The blame
For your anger
And pain

Where do we fit
In to the grand
Scheme of things?
Marriage
A family
A home
A lover
A friend
Is it all to be
For nothing less
Than another
End?

I know you are hurt
In chronic pain
Everyday
I watch you
Pacing, shifting
Moving, frustrated
And bored
You can’t
Or won’t settle
And you distance
Yourself
Defensive over
Nothing
I can do for you

How can you find love?
When fear
Is driving you
To lash out
At me
Only me
When I love you
And I can’t do anything
To fix this
Torture and
Torment

Let it go
Softness is strength
Tears are healing
Together we can
Learn to trust
And fall in love
Again

‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails)

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler & ‘Poetry Out West’.  All Rights Reserved

Collaboration

Too Big for my Shoebox

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Photographer: Nicolas Sènègas

this head fuck
of name calling
of twisted tattle tales
designed to enlighten
denial is woe –
fully inadequate
thought – less mistakes

Repeat

Repeating

sorry, like an episode
for days our lives
sitcom re – runs running
us around everyday
almost all day
serially on a brim –
full of bullshit
on a 45

Repeated

bullshit
as much as to myself
as to arrogence, arrogant
my head is – a
spinning vortex gaining
cyclonic ferocity; something
a – kin to time travel
on fast forward

Repetition

Repeats

Repeating

the same old same old
he said she said
you said I said
till one said too many flew
over the fucking cuckoo
to nest – rest
between my ears – stuffing
my fingers

Repeatedly

measuring – spoons
gauging the airs
and graces; my presence
testing the water –
temperature finding
temperament doused
in acidic
misogyny

just fucking stop it
fucking stop it
stop it
stop

stop

STOP!

you’re too big
for my shoebox

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler & ‘Poetry Out West’.  All Rights Reserved.

Savage

Walking Away

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Photographer: Victor Hamke

I rearranged all
the furniture. in
the house
especially. outside
on the huge deck

cleaning as I went

I did it. to change
the energy

cleaning as I went

moving. paintings
photo-swapping
the office. room
around

cleaning as I went

found time.
to drink coffee
under the fan. sweat
pouring out from
the humidity. I am
motivated

cleaning as I go

doing. washing
making the bed.
I packed up some
of his shit. ready
for collection. today
or the next

cleaning as I go

tomorrow. I am
in the garden
weeding.

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler & ‘Poetry Out West’.  All Rights Reserved.

Like a Bird

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Today is reverently calm and clear
Cockatoos haven’t yet squawked
their presence over head
Kookaburras haven’t yet congregated
their favourite bough in full view
the multitude of parrots haven’t
yet fed on the ripe palm fruit
above my hammock
gracing me with their beautiful dance

a slight breeze cools my skin
intermittently absorbing blistering beads
the Jabotocaba tree tempts me
off the couch to graze; preferring
to savour my surroundings instead
all is quiet, peaceful
everyone occupied and happy
in their own world as I am in mine

something is afoot; another calm
eye of the storm

the girls and dad are cleaning the cars
the littlest princess armed, sprays
squeals of laughter resonating
out-back to me in my solitude
out-skirts admiring peace
my self looking out onto tropical trees

paradise could be lost in a cyclone; one
never knows which path

it can not continue. scars
crack and re-seal themselves thicker
all that’s left is keloid and nothing
covered up indefinitely
amidst pseudo happiness
I watch and wait to see who is left
anger raised awareness
I tiptoe in this climate, heated

my part tempered enough
to walk away

I have done my best in the face of worse
I stand strong on this earth
not even a blustering gale
could knock me off my perch – grounded
I have endured, faltering only once
the past three years, found strength where I least expected courage
my own ability to ask

no shame, just integrity
I am very proud to let go and be seen

Like a Bird on a Wire – Aaron Neville

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Adrift

Loopy Slut Whore

imageArtist: Samantha Thompson

Image used with permission

You’re a ‘loopy slut whore’
he says, breaking down the door
standing over me
pinning me to the bed
rage spitting in my face
threatening

He wants the car
He wants the bike
He wants the business
He wants a wage
He wants to expose & hurt me
He wants the house too I bet

I paid all his debts
I paid all the deposits
I paid all his tax
I paid his lawyers
I paid for clothing, books, food
I paid the bills
I lose my home
I lose my marriage
I lose my family
I lose Goodwill
I set him up in business
I set myself up in every way
I wasn’t enough

Such a fool for love
trusting again & I lose
more than a small fortune this time
last straws coming
sooner than expected
love & generosity presumed unkind
blinded by the tree’s

Neither of us can stand to see
our littlest princess slipping away
traumatized,  lost
defiance just the tip of the iceberg
anger is palpable
& justified
God I love her so much!

BUT

I can no longer bear witness
I can no longer bear the brunt
projected anger & disgust
my own psyche laid bare unprotected
I am not yours, his or her scapegoat
you all need to find your own way
I’ve done my best; my best
can no longer survive
this battle

It is a battleground
anger exploding like a grenade
no one is safe
of course its my fault
I brought it on myself, jumping the gun
what’s one more act of defiance?
I’m used to it – the ones closest
the cruelest people on earth

I don’t play bluff
I don’t care anymore
it’s not my problem
not my circus
& definitely not my monkeys

Thank you for everything
it all makes sense to me now
you needed me
you all needed me
you don’t need your little slut whore anymore
we are all loopy slut whores anyway

You have everyone & everything
Good bye & good luck

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

I am now the owner of this beautiful piece of art. One of two. Jx

Catapult

For My Children

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1.
I miss you both
It saddens me, that you hold on
with such contempt
that I must wait for you
to grow, make peace with yourselves
in order to find forgiveness
in others, in me

2.
I was not a perfect mother
I don’t know anyone who is
except in our minds,
which compare; an apropos
of nothing really

One thing you can both be sure of
is that I do my very best
with the ancient tools I was given
with dedication & commitment
to myself, to raise you both better
better than I had ever known
or been shown of love
& I love you both deeply

3.
The women in our family carry a curse
I believe, still being passed down
Great Grandmother to Grandmother,
Grandmother to Granddaughter,
Mother to Daughter – witnessed
eyes knowing cruel contempt
for women

Somehow the trauma each of us
experienced, experiences
real, imagined or embellished harm
passed down through our DNA
our nature
through our environments
our nurture
trying to show us the wisdom
to know the difference

It is a blessing
your tenacity, persistence
& determination
fight to right those wrongs
letting go the past moving on
steadfast in search of that love
you desire

Our cells remember
the past lives of our ancestors
those crossed paths imprinted
on our mind, body & soul
power & passion
did not escape unscathed; scarred
permanently
our heart skipped many beats

We observe each other
observed by our men (& women),
surviving their own stories,
our selves attract to ourselves
psyche healing vicariously
most of the time, everyone
learning to find peace, love
happiness taking its time –
but don’t be fooled by pride
awareness is awry, warning

I do my best to break this cycle
not expose you to harm
triggered reactions lead us astray
our nautical compass
navigates storms, skewiff
I cling to my internal lifesaver
lest I drown at sea

My own mother is a farce
painfully denied & despised
tea leaves attempt to predict failure
our grandmothers are responsible
for nothing but vindication
like her mothers mother’s mother

I am your mother
you came from my body
you are of my blood
I love you,
my mother could never say that
once, in past tense
once, in goodbye

4.
I refused to drink
drunkenness hurt me more than ever
in the past, I was scared

I refused to drug
& I was spiked for my efforts, in vain
I learned his true psychedelic colours

I refused to parade men; a room
full of strangers, who could
watch & wait for those opportune moments…

I must have failed
I feel like a failure, ashamed of myself
ashamed of you both at times too
but only because I see how it could end

I warn you about danger
from yourself from others
predators in the world prey
dark & destroyed souls
seek nothing but instant gratification
self-righteous justification
anger is violence
no excuse is proffered up
& we are all culpable to some degree

5.
I am a strong woman
I feel very deeply the injustices
of others, of yours, of mine
I only have myself to chastise
& you, that part of me I protect
in my mind

I am harder on myself
my self is much harder to bear
I expect much more than vengeance
to ease our hurt awakening anger
we need love & kindness
I only want the best for you, for me

I am also very proud of you both
I see two beautiful, independent
headstrong women, myself
on a good day
I want you to be happy, exude warmth
I need you to love me, back
the way I loved you, back then
when we would all laugh & play
when we all had our innocence & joy
I want you both to come home

6.
I feel pain of the most heinous kind
happiness eludes me most days
searching, my self finds traces
of her, that little girl that became
lost in the ethereal space between
what was & what could have been
she separated parts of her self
doted & despised, both
in continual conflict

I have memories, denied versions of truth
I struggle to reconcile – I feel violated
I despise lies & deceit, power & control
I wrestle with such terrifying demons
who tempt me to trust & I am often
mistaken – I no longer believe it exists
on a bad day

7.
My fear became terror
when they both laughed
& came for me in my corner
I was held down while the soap stick
ripped through me
turning me inside & out
as I floated away
I was 4

My cat could have been shot
in front of me
he held up the gun, she held
the cat steady
“do you think the bullet will go
straight through?”
I was 5 or 6

My life could have been over
when I choked
but he said “she’s not my kid”
I pulled the sinewy gristle out
by myself spewing onto my plate
I was 6

He told me I was ugly
unwanted, unloved
I should never have been born
but I had a guardian
He told me “it’s meant to be this way,
it won’t be like this forever”
I was 6 or 7

My body knew pleasure before
it knew pain, before he touched me
& my spirit carried me
away to safety
I was 8

I watched him
his violence incarcerating those cows
chained, their backbones
smashed with a galvanized pipe
they had no where to go
I remember blood pouring from sores
like an avalanche
I was 8 or 9

My eyes saw the Sheep’s throat cut
with a blunt knife
he held our heads together
forcing us to watch, laughing
I was 10

I might have felt loved
if I wasn’t told it was the worst day
of my mother’s life when I was born
on my birthday
I was 13

His brother was a sneak
he came into my bedroom
he tried, I failed in his eyes
his brother’s too
though he was blind
I was 16

I trusted him
the Blue Mountains forever etched
into my brain
it was midnight
“if you don’t…I will leave you here
& they will find your body”
there was a cyclone in 1984
I was 16 then too

Death, like Charon is ever present
He resides beside & inside us
He will happily take us one way or another
if we let Him
I refuse to pay although I am tempted
He doesn’t give a shit at the end of the day
so don’t waste time entertaining him
or sway your hips to his tune

8.
My heart only ever loved one man
My Grandfather
I never knew my Father, not
until I was 17
& now I don’t want to know
because violence is not OK for you two
but I must have deserved it

I might be his daughter
but he only raised boys
he doesn’t know how much
daughters need their Fathers
you both need your Father
I needed my Father

I knew this, then & now
I never withheld them from you
I fought for them as much as for you
so that they understood
how to love, the girls who would become women
so you can recognise a gift
when you see it
& trust

9.

We all watch the slow erosion of her innocence, see her wrestle in defiance

like I saw you, like I saw myself
she is my light & she heals me
her gentle softness radiating like a Halo
I heal her, my nurture having been
honed because of you, thank you

11.
I love you both with all my heart

It is no coincidence Karma
your boys will teach you everything
else you need to know
perhaps the curse is broken?
It was always meant for you
to become
the beautiful mother that you are
please understand, your boys
need me as much as I need them

Leisa, whether you like it or not
you are an extension of my self
I feel very proud of you & of myself
pain is like fire, it burns
I prefer to view my fire as a controlled burn
as part of nature’s regeneration
it makes way for new growth,
stronger roots & solid ground
I need you
as much as you need me

© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

In My Face (Relationship Series)

‘Gimme the money!’

he said
in my face
my face staring straight
long lashes pointing like cutty grass
sharpening a knife

‘Gimme the keys!’

she said
between two unfinished corners
footsteps sidestepping a rusty nail
tripping over indignity
as it crawled between the wall space
catacombs

‘Gimme the fucking money!’
‘Gimme the fucking keys!’

a grab, a push and a shove
takes the piss, misses the bowl by a mile
handbags with long straps are useless.
Max was only vinyl like a 45
with a great big hole in the middle
only good for one thing

my arm hurts my shoulder plug
ripped from its wall socket
my power bill standing on end
like the hairs on the back of my neck
I guess he got the money
I can’t figure out where I put the keys

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved