had a lil poem published on Cordella, which is a really gorgeous, gorgeous lil lit mag.
read it here.
had a lil poem published on Cordella, which is a really gorgeous, gorgeous lil lit mag.
read it here.
i decided to mess with her head this afternoon. i’m not a violent person, she was telling me, but someone had made her very angry. blew the top right off of her.
but i didn’t punch her, she said. i could have, but i didn’t. i’m not a violent person.
we were sitting by the river and i was high and so was she, and she’s savant-smart so i went for it to see if we might be able to talk philosophy and so i said yeah, there are people i have wanted to punch too but i didn’t do it, but i still thought about it. so what is it that makes a person truly nonviolent? is it when you simply don’t think of punching someone anymore when they drive you to rage, or is it the choice you make not to act on impulse or to indulge that rage? the latter would suggest that violence and rage are innate, instinctual things that had a point when our amygdala served more of an upfront purpose.
If the latter is the case, then more than likely some of this fear is imprinted in our genetic expressions, our limbic systems, and originating from a scarcity fear that turned us from peaceful garden dwellers in fig leaves to the warring, post-Saharasian tribes that may have given us our first real, violent inclinations. it’s one theory, anyway.
i liken this particular question to that of freedom versus determinism. i find great comfort in determinism, of course. it gives me purpose and meaning to look for and stay focused on. i am here with a purpose and that purpose is… bam. done, kinda. i will just go and do that.
freedom seems terrifying in comparison, like the difference of being in a lush and comforting forest versus facing a great wide open plain. it is easy to see which i prefer – the forest is as a womb to me. the field has nothing to hold up the sky and is too full of too much possibility. and again, i’m likely operating from my amygdala. i’ve done a lot of work the past several years on rewiring some things around that, but at one point in our evolution, we shifted to bipedalism so we could see over the grass and better keep ourselves fed and out of danger, so… it’s in there, that fear of the hunted, and it’s more about collective species damage than individual trauma (add that to our united misfortune, though, and that person suffers even more than most. they are always watched). It might do me some good to channel the raptor, to fly over the plains searching for prey, but i am not really interested in hunting anything, and I do not want to kill.
what i want is trust, strength and indulgence and a consciousness that has a very sharp eye. i ask myself what it is that i want from other people. the next step is to cultivate those things in myself.
when i remember to do this, i’m forced to be honest about what it really is that i want from others and what is mine to fill. what comes next then, are those joys that can only be shared through conscious communication with others, endeavored and indulged in with a much higher level of clarity, sincerity, and courage. and maybe some dirty words (actually yeah, definitely some of those. i’m a fan of spoken word).
oh, courage. one sometimes needs so much of it to be vulnerable. shame is maybe the biggest curse to befall us; it cuts us off from joy and catharsis and the sloppy wet sounds of life. we lose out on the answers to questions we don’t ask.
i had some ladies from the town over tonight, and it was giggly and there was wine and cheese and lots of salad and chocolate and a clothing exchange which was also friends running around on the deck in their underwear because who the hell is ever gonna see us back here and is this cute on me?
and more than one of us said this was SO FUN! i have a sink full of dishes, always a sink full of dishes and there is never a day in or out of time when there is not a sink full of dishes. Tomorrow I will rinse the remains of brie cheese, sunflower seeds, strawberry leaves and tahini salad dressing off of them. I will wash a sink full of dishes as I do every day, and i will stare out the kitchen window like everyone does when they do dishes and this time i’ll see this collection of women from New Jersey, California, Long Island, Pennsylvania, New York all sitting and laughing on this crumbling old back deck with the massive old braided floor rug covering up the boards so no one gets splinters, the bright orange patio umbrella and the crappy little folding table, lacy underwear and a bottomless bottle of wine, some cannabis passed around, dogs at feet and cat in a lap, tobacco flowers glowing in the new night under this dome of stars and space. Oh, the stars.
And then here I am a few days into this cycle now, as things calm and relax and I don’t feel so… inflamed. It’s becoming an integrative time, a time to open the hips just a bit more, to sink into a deeper and more extended exploration of pain and release.
This is my process and it’s so personal, and it’s rational. The rational must remain dominant in order to keep from going over the edge. I’m building something with pieces salvaged from the things i am tearing down. It requires all of me right now. I am not ready to come to you yet but when I am, my desire will be pure and fierce and unattached.
it’s a quiet corner to practice in with no one really listening in. it’s a large, serif font, which for some reason encourages me to scatter things with consonants. also, thought journeys, mind wanderings, those are one of my favorite things about this human experience. i am compulsively inclined to share mine.
i’ve been getting my space in order, which is a frantic morning endeavor on weekends when my daughter goes over to her dad’s. my day of order is destroyed within an afternoon of her return, a massive art project spread across half the living room floor but who the hell am i to deny that process?
she’s eight now, and her latest passion is drawing sacred geometry mandalas with compasses and rulers and coloring them in and so that just lives in the living room and i am okay with that, because that makes so much sense. by all means zone out on that, kiddo. heck yeah.
but on the other hand, disorder outside reflects disorder inside and I have lost the balance between responsibility and recreation because the most responsible thing to do, really, is to enjoy life and make art and be outside and have water running over your dusty and sunbaked skin and also you gotta work, mama, and you gotta study, and you also need to see every single long-lost friend that passes through, because people always pass through in the summer and it’s good to connect and reconnect with people and so here we are. and if we enter the system we are trained from the start to struggle with working during the summer and then eventually there we are, thirty years later, going crazy on an afternoon in june while the world comes alive and the flowers start to bloom and i’m sitting in a windowless office with fluorescent lights.
i am resilient but in a different way. i strip down to my skin and spread my legs in the sun.
everything is a cycle and it flows like that, the rise, the rise, the rise I got and then that great release or maybe death, and this cycle, for me, is also changing and behaves now as it never has before. It is always new. It is all so intense, from the various places my body presents discomfort to the little sensors on my skin, to the way I handle it all, yes, all of it, and form a state that is just another little layer of barrier because of the hypersensitivity that presents, because of the set of tasks required. i can handle these things with a toolbox.
But this is who I am: I am made up of things that bubble up and pour out of me when their names are called. This blood drips out when i stand, copious and dark, and the first time it came out like this it frightened me. i thought i might be dying.
i’m not, but the crones are waiting for me, so now that i am alone again i take it out to the garden. there are plants out there that love the moon and this land is still so starving and dry. this is now the chosen duty of my womb, this metallic and irregular offering of gratitude as this process and i prepare to part ways in the coming years. we will learn new rituals for these 3am journeys when i wake up with the moon shining into my bed, but the moon will always kiss my face gently, she’ll kiss my face like she’d fucked me blind just hours before. wake up, wake up, that was so rich. let’s do that again.
that’s the thing right there that i was looking for, working toward. i was riding an edge as long as i could until i couldn’t anymore. i fear for my high-thread-count sheets but what delicious and intense release: i feel as if i have cultivated something, and wow it’s 11:11 right now and i wish for all the good and wonderful and beautiful things of this world to be of their most radiant power.
i had to let go of thinking i might be a narcissist for wanting the very large space required for more deeply examining myself. my therapist says that if i have to ask, i probably don’t have to be too concerned that i’m a textbook case, but likely i’m far too self-absorbed and should be less worried about the lint in my bellybutton or these thick thighs that grew up around white people too long. i spend a lot of time alone though, on purpose, and i’m learning so much, and it’s all useless and important. Some things: a) examine patterns of abuse more deeply because you haven’t graduated yet and b) there is great value in a good energetic fluffing, in working with tension as a fuel for creativity. yes. what would you call that? sapiosensual? that’s me, tho.
i smoke a joint in the back yard with a friend and then forget for a minute that she’s standing there because i’ve started to remove the dead flower heads from a big sage bush. she stands in the dry grass next to me and i think oh god, i gotta not do this right now, no matter how compelled i am. i want to stand here and groom this plant, to encourage a second round of bloom. I am intoxicated by the scent of tobacco flowers nearby that open each evening for the impending moon and i drift easily. I sometimes go to such pretty places this way. also there are oars in the boat.
and so i reframe this whole situation, just like everything else recently that i “want right now” and realize that if i don’t obsessively trim back the sage bush while my friend stands around bored, I will have several more opportunities to groom it and breathe in the jasmine-y scent of the nearby tobacco plants, which have produced all these otherworldly white flowers that awaken several of my senses. of course, this could all be different, too, if my friend was intoxicated by the scent of these tobacco flowers, if my friend wasn’t bored by plant pruning. it’s a big plant. we could have really been going at it.