Kinda Sounds Like Love

My notions of love-

I thought you had to do

something to get it,

borrow it and

give it back-swallow

it whole until

it finishes

and leaves you.

I named this hunger.

It sounds something kinda

like love;

I can see my reflection

in mirrors and rivers and

moving things–

for the first time.

I had to be my own

first witness

after and even during

the burning of becoming,

the burning of relaxing

my fists to palms,

giving away definitions

of self love.

Look at her

look at me

in the wings

and

on the stage,

giving away

old love notes

and hand grenades.

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October

Nikki and Jodie today’s always a bit rough. Love you guys. “yous girls”
For my sisters. 
Sometimes I wonder if, 

Besides your features

And your hands, 

I inherited other things

From you –

Like how sometimes I’m shyly afraid, 

Like how sometimes I escape myself

Like how I love spring and apple blossoms 

Like how maybe I’m afraid of rejection too. 
I wonder if at your funeral

I cried for myself instead

Not the beer tabs and pennies 

Found in your empty house,

Tears I didn’t mean to cry. 
I guess I think about how

I’d be different 

How I would’ve kept myself 

Instead of losing things. 

The entire act of sorrow-

I cry for myself again-

Because it hits like parts

Of my past without you

That are best forgotten 

But also traced over scars

That mean I made it. 
It’s the anniversary of you dying

Like leaves
If you were here would I be different 

Would I be braver

And a little stronger,

Little bit healthier 

Little more ok
I’m alright dad,

I found what I lost. 

But in October 

I wonder how it’d feel

To see your hands I see

When I look at my own

Maybe holding me for a sec. 
In some kind of different season

The act of sorrow 

I remember as your life 

Was maybe easier when you disappeared. 

I wonder if that’s how forgiveness works –

Not an end of grief

But a slipping away in early

Morning hours

And my own return to you

In my own early morning hours 

When I Remeber you.

Gypsy, Stripped Down

So this version, I came across it tonight and it took my breath away, goosebumps, throat hurt. Because that slow, decided piano with those lyrics, and even that low tone of her voice–

for me this song is me saying goodbye to the child/doll that has haunted me, because she was a piece of me I was terrified of, and I have come to terms with her, I stopped fearing the nightmares of her and so on, and some how, I showed her compassion. She has been quiet. She’s gone, and lovable. Damn, this song.Beautiful.

 

Gypsy, Stevie Nicks-

So I’m back to the velvet underground
Back to the floor that I love
To a room with some lace and paper flowers
Back to the gypsy that I was to the gypsy that I was

And it all comes down to you
Well you know that it does, well
Lightning strikes maybe once maybe twice
Oh and it lights up the night
And you see you’re a gypsy
You see you’re a gypsy

To the gypsy
That remains
She faces freedom
With a little fear
Well I have no fear
I have only love
And if I was a child
And the child was enough
Enough for me to love
Enough to love

She is dancing away from you now
She was just a wish
She was just a wish
And her memory is all that is left for you now
You see you’re a gypsy
You see you’re a gypsy

Lightning strikes
Maybe once maybe twice
And it all comes down to you
Oh oh well it all comes down to you
Lightning strikes
Maybe once maybe twice
Oh
I still see your bright eyes bright eyes
And I’ve always loved you
And it all comes down to you
It all comes down to you

What Do You Believe In

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I believe in. Faith is not a decision. I think it’s whatever guides you in your secret corners and what you feel when you are either terrified or enamored or content. I was raised Catholic-Catholic School until 8th grade. I studied Judaism, Islam, and Christianity in college and studied Taoism and Buddhism on my own when a while after the break down. My sister and I were talking about our dad’s death and how we find comfort in it. She said she will see him in heaven. I was kind of surprised at that thinking. I guess because a large part of me felt the scary roots of existentialism when I went mad.

I know two things about myself.

I’ve dreamt (is it dreamed or dreamt?) about a hand with an eye on it since I was a teen-never knew what it was or why. Dreamt about it again before my first break down in my twenties, and then again as I healed. So I looked it up.

divinehennaHamsa. The Hand of Fatima. The protection from the evil eye. The hand with the eye in it is a symbol throughout many religions (including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism and Jainism). This just fascinates me. It is very much a feminine symbol.

The other thing I know is that when I was in a bad state, maybe several  months after getting out of the bin, I hadn’t written in years. And I woke up one night and wrote a poem to Jesus Christ. And I cried and felt something–like gratitude. I knew I was going to make it, and that I wasn’t alone. In the hospital I saw something vast and empty–a godless world. It was horrifying. HORRIFYING. I realized my idea of faith had been utterly shattered. For awhile…

My mother has been asking me to go to Adorations at church Monday mornings. I won’t go for one reason–the few times I have gone to mass I do everything I can in there to keep it together and not cry. And it’s tears of love and home and survival. Surviving–how do we do it?

My daughter told me she didn’t think she had courage. I added to a letter I am saving for her for her 21st birthday what I feel about courage:

“You told me you didn’t think you were courageous. But Emma, you won’t know your own strength until it is called on. You will surprise yourself. Strength doesn’t require a good past or a bad past. It requires how much you love yourself, how much you want to survive the obstacle. A passion to endure.”

I do believe every religion and faith centers around the same concept. You have to look past all the crap that has been muddying it. The point of them is the same. It’s also like science. Religion and science are brother and sister in my opinion. But what is it you settle down with at night?

I see my faith in the way early spring morning walks smell, and lilacs that take me back to when I was five, before damage occurred. I see it in my daughter and how I love her and in turn, love myself. I see it the prophets I recognize. I see it in the long winding up and down crazy psychotic loving path between my mother and I. I hear it in my grandmother’s voice I can still hear even though she is gone. I see it in the depth of the hell I was in–the dark is the light, the light is the dark. Everywhere there are openings and answers without words. The point is to face every fear, every passion, every question, every desire, everything within us, because we are human and to deny all of ourselves is a good way to stay trapped.

 

Writing and Music

There is just something that happens to me with music like this–acoustic and live, the way he spits out the meaning to the song vocally. It’s raining and gloomy today and I am in my element, writing and listening to this over and over. It started with an early morning walk in the rain listening to Radiohead’s National Anthem, and I ended up finding this when I got home. I am smitten. Guitar has always felt like some form of writing to me–if I could make my memoir a song, oh how amazing that would be to create. I was inspired by how acoustic guitar and memoir connect by a video I saw on Vimeo–a beautiful song played as a tribute to a friend who passed away. The song flowed like water, like the sea, like the stories of ourselves.

That Radiohead song is what got me thinking–because I love writing about music, to music, with music. I’ve written many poems and essays that include music and lyrics, like Beauty Walks a RAzor’s Edge (an essay about my best friend with severe arthritis set to Bob Dylan lyrics), Something Dark Like Jazz, She’s Come Undone, and oh there’s more somewhere.  Most all of my essays and memoir refers to music I grew up to, like The Oak Ridge Boys, Eddie Rabbitt, Deep Purple, Carly Simon, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, The Nitty Gritty Dirty Band, The Guess Who (Undun–and I saw them live and lost my damn mind at Rockfest).

Radiohead’s song “National Anthem” is truly art in my opinion. The backdrop, steady bass is the only sane part to all the chaotic jazz letting loose in the song, but eventually somehow that steady heavy bass becomes the insanity. It reminds me of how you feel like you are holding it together, and the very steady thing you tell yourself to make yourself feel right and true to yourself is actually a rhythm you dissociate in, like that bass, and your thoughts are that chaotic mass of jazz and trombone and sax. But then a moment hits you–you are walking in the rain downtown at five in the morning and you are suddenly just a bystander–a camera to the landscape, the feel, the smells, and your own solitaire body in the street. And that always brings a kind of calm, and then a bit of awareness. The bass I’d been guiding myself by for a little while was far more fucked up than the truth, and the truth is that I am a chaotic person–in an organized way-ahahahhah. Okay, let’s just say I am a late bloomer, I am 35 and only now figuring out who the hell I am and I am solid and confident. I know it’s a lifetime’s journey, but it’s nice to finally own myself. I am also awakening to parts of myself I never knew existed. I am also finally well enough to note my responses and behaviors and reactions and accord them to how I want to be and feel, and I adapt to what serves me. These are all big new things for me, so yes. The “healing” has been well on it’s way for a long time. Now I’m sort of… I wrote a sexy, dark poem the other day (Paramour, My Lover) for the Real Toads blog, and I am surprised first, by how quickly and naturally it came out. I wrote it seconds after I read the blog prompt, it’s the first draft, and I hit “publish” before I could think twice. And I am glad I did. My appetites are…peculiar, but in no way does my past cripple me sexually anymore. Nor fear. I am…hungry. There is something so freeing for me now that I am finally opened to what I’d always been afraid of–sexuality. And back to the Paramour poem, I am also surprised I am not ashamed or embarrassed to share it. It’s a part of me.

I have rambled long enough but it was nice. Take care everyone.

 

Paramour, My Lover

A poem written for and inspired by Real Toad’s “Sunday Mini-Challenge: Paramour“, the amazing challenge written and designed by Brendan over at Oran’s Well.

(photos of eduardoizq)

 

It is like shedding light, and looking into the mirror

Naked and burning and unashamed in fever

Drop the platitudes you hide in like you

Dropped your panties onto the tiles.

Drop the cage you have lived in like you

Dropped your bustier.

Touch your curves not shyly but curiously

Looking at your body like he does. Look at it

The way you always should have, through your nature—

That wild forgotten forest.

 

The ever present burn he has shot you with-

an injection of a fine heroin

Heady and lost, but found in some

Kind of ache

An ache you’ve always had but silenced

And his mouth has opened yours

And his words that fall read like a promise

You are about to lose a virginity

You didn’t know you had.

 

“I own you.”

 

Hands, his hands everywhere, in your hair,

On your throat.

 

“Your heart and body belong to me tonight.”

 

Submit yourself like a fallen bird to something

So hungry—someone as alone and ravenous as

You are—both of you ripped open to your

Secret desires.

 

He assaults your limitations and spreads you like night,

Jabbing his arrow into your center

And giving you peace in annihilation.

 

Look into the mirror, your eyes two black

Solitaire spheres, lost in the pool of lust,

Lost in thinking how your minds unravel each other’s,

How his certainty and control only gives you

Permission to let go and be taken

Entirely, trusting the hands of your captor.

Lost in how you are driving him into

What he needs—no control, no limits, only nature.

Lost in how he is driving you into

Your needs—relief, a breaking, a release

–release from all the mirrors you’ve held

Up to yourself, back when you didn’t

Even know you were suffocating in

everything you have judged

Yourself on, everything law you

Have been governed by.

 

“You. Are. Mine. And I am going to break you.”

 

And then his sweet murmurs, whispers that

Remind you of how he read you poetry, the

Two of you naked in his white sheets.

 

And hunger grows like wildfire, you cannot get enough

Of this intoxicating strangeness, drunk on this existential

Affair, this music.

Hunger must be fed, wildfire spreads in that forest

He made you remember, forced you to look at.

 

Force yourself to keep looking into the mirror,

Imagine those dark eyes are his, imagine looking

Into him,

And it is you.