La Loba

 

My mother collected the pieces

one by one

in the desert, the sand and skulls

cutting at her feet.

The Bone Mother, they call her,

La Loba

La Que Sabe

the Wild Woman.

Piece by piece she collected

the bones of the wolf,

her ratty cloak sweeping the dunes

behind her, her weathered fingers

clutching those indestructible pieces,

never resting until each one was accounted for.

Patience, she’d whisper to me at night

My love, you’re going to need patience

as I lost count of the scars

as I lost another piece slipping

out the window toward the moon.

Once she found the very last bone, the paw,

she’d take them to a fire, lay them

in place, raise her arms, and sing. Read More

Reinvent Yourself Endlessly

Every time a professor asked me or my peers what my poems meant–I never quite knew how to answer. They’re comments led me around and around the center of how I always felt about it but couldn’t word,  I just acted like I already knew. That’s why it was written–those were the words to what it was, what the truth to me was. It’s not that I didn’t know but that my body or mind seems to piece things together with words and images before I can catch up. My first poem I ever wrote was Vapor in 2005. And I’ve held onto it. It’s even been published. That poem still holds true–it’s some kind of core belief I have but I didn’t have a rope down into that well to truly grasp it. I am writing to you guys tonight because this is happening again in a way–I don’t know what I am thinking until I write it down; I have to write to a someone, and I hold you guys with affection, because I am not willing to write to just myself. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my honest attempt to stop escaping myself. Because I try to be as honest as I can on nights like these. I’m so tired, but I can’t stop feeling words that are coming that I am trying to prepare for. I’m not eating, I’m not sleeping. This is what happens every time before something real is written, and I don’t know what it is but I know my fingers will type it out for me.

Everything I have written so far–planning my grand, tragic memoir–is/was really, I am realizing, a desperately structured narrative so I could validate it the events, find order in the chaos, and so I could actually feel for the girl in the story because I have a hard time doing that for myself. Or I did. That’s changing. I am changing, and everything I’ve written–none of it is going into whatever it is that I am compelled and pulled to write. What pulls at me has been pulling for almost a decade, but it’s even stronger now, the words waiting, because I have been watching it unfold and the words only gradually come.  Call those vignettes, that attempted narrative structure, a healing process, call it a coping mechanism, call it a perceived truth (as all truths seem to really be), it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because how I write it and how I remember it has been two different worlds. The memories and images, feelings (mostly physical, body feelings, frozen emotional states of the past, etc.) and events of course are as true to myself as I can be. But my life is not a linear, chronological tale-it is a history of flashes out of order. And the flashes are what I look to when I write, involving my one fail-safe–my senses and body memories. I’m more tied to the smell of lilacs, tractor oil, Old Spice, the weeds along the path to the baseball games I went to all summer when I was a girl, the milkweed, trains, the iron ore at the dock, old books, the perfume I wore when I was being abused, the feel of water and wet skin on me, physical alarms and instinct, than I am tied to actual happenings or events. And that is a blunt truth: dissociating your whole life–you live in fragments, just like how I remember it. And I have changed and do so constantly into something that makes me feel alive–and I never really felt alive before, not for this long of a period. I am in love with the simplest things like blue, deaf mornings in the winter, the way the telephone wires reflect in puddles, the smell of a storm coming, white seagulls on dark clouds Read More

Constant State of Flux

A hot summer evening, hot enough

to lay my tireless, unending head

on the pillow for its coolness;

thunder cracking down

my avenue

and the rain slanting in sideways, wetting

the paisley curtains.

Somewhere out in that dark the pine

that surrounds me soaks.

 

These nights I am not climbing up

the roots of forgotten things,

I am not clawing

for something solid to breathe my air into,

the old familiar ache of

wanting to feel through my own skin so hard

that I push through like a broken bone

 

because I am here, in a

constant state

of awakening, sometimes only to another dream

only to wake up again

and I stand in the mirror across the room,

and the lightning

floods the black kitchen

and I see a flash of my eyes in the reflection

–my image, so alive that it’s white

heat snags the clouds in a jolt.

There is a calm that never seems to tire,

embedded in my veins, the blood flowing

and I wait

for my mind to revert towards the habits

of self negligence and fear

 

but I am a cyclical rhythm

that sustains itself

and I know a small part in me believes

that I have won something with

my own two hands and tampered mind

when I had had no hands to grip with–

a blind privacy and a last call out to the only thing left

 

my will

 

I had left for dead in the gutter,  camouflaged in an alley

as elegant graffiti, crumbling brick, a broken phone booth–

the shards of glass scattered out across the pavement

and potholes–

    “did you see the moon? in the pieces of glass?”   my will asks me

“I wasn’t looking down,”     I reply

      “so then you looked up and saw the moon instead, love?”  my will is relentless

“No, I tired of dreaming. Hold it up to my face, the glass, and see if I shake,”

         My will  smiles, “straight ahead then, love, beaten and brighter…”

 

And my daughter is asleep tucked away

in the corner of the house;

the coffee is off,

and the flowers I just planted

out in the window-box

are getting beaten but maybe brighter;

it is enough to have these nights.

 

We are not born with a religion in our mind.

We are not born with a narrative or a script.

Tell me you have the courage

to scrawl across your own body

the tattoo of your story,

and would you let someone read it?

 

 

 

*image Noell Oszvald

Star Charts

Sobonfu was an African healer

-a keeper of the rituals of Dagara—

rituals of preparing and healing

mind, body, spirit

to receive.

 

You went to her with my letters.

 

You carried my pain in envelopes and journals.

 

And that alone cannot reveal enough how much I love you.

 

 

You combined our written grief

and went to her, placing and meditating

at the altars. Whispering through tears for

me to find my strength. For me to heal.

For you to heal. Heal from the madness

we had endured.

Heal from the sores this world

bit into us.

 

You were never as afraid of the world

I felt so swallowed up in. Read More

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.

 

Poet Scott Hastie Writes “GRACED”

Image by Scott Hastie
Image by Scott Hastie

I have been fortunate enough to meet and chat with this talented poet over at LinkedIn.  Amazing, sincere, and a damn cool guy–poet Scott Hastie wrote this poem GRACED.  It’s beautiful.  Be sure to check out his blog Scott Hastie for more stunning poetry.

This poem is published HERE, at his blog. Click the link and he will take you to a youtube reading of this, as well as a ton of other amazing poems

…GRACED

Graced with the chance to be here,

Even if only fleetingly,

Embrace whatever comes your way

And, in so doing,

However enchanting

Any treasures you uncover

Might be,

Their loss should never be your concern.

.

In this matter

Make your heart your queen

And follow her as faithfully

And bravely as you are able,

Just as swelling fruit

Hurries towards its own sweetness,

Shine whilst you can,

Without fear,

For nothing is as inevitable

As it seems here.

No, not even the fissures

Of loss and decay

We are oft led to expect

In this temporal world.

.

For whilst we fuss and fudge

The lines we are given,

Above, below and all around us,

Lingers the energy of countless others

Who already know for sure

That, just as it was long, long ago,

When they first found themselves

Enraptured,

So it is for them, again and again…

And now with only a dark empty hollow,

A feeble space of earth left in between.

.

Such is true joy’s absolute certainty,

Its slow lit fuse that burns holes

In the shabby shroud of death forever.

by Scott Hastie

this poem is written and owned by Scott Hastie, any copying is illegal, …so there

Beyond the Border/Hamsa

(published in Frigg Magazine 2014)

HAMSA

The pop and snap of prescription pill bottles,

swallow, light, inhale, scrape of the chair,

cluster of tap-tap-taps on the keys, a silence—

beyond this room, beyond this wall

I can almost hear you—the soil

sifting, seeds spreading out, dry in your palm;

folds of light robes around you like

birds’ wings—your child

asleep on your warm back,

your sky a sea, an earth, a breath

 

because you’re there I’m less anxious

(as I palm another pill) because I rely

on sedated time I sit in my chair,

lost somewhere before the border,

where I see myself later—aged and worn away—

walking to you, palms up.

 

“Here, here I am…” only you aren’t waiting

for me, time is something else to you—

so I see I don’t have to tell you

where I’ve been or why I am here

but that I’ve arrived

out of the cement tomb.

I see there are no distractions in the sky;

the rise and fall of my chest is all,

seas of breath and I am.

 

I know the scent of your skin,

the feel of your warm, bent back

beneath my body, I know necessity.

 

I will arrive

when I am not so afraid of myself.

When I am not so sick.

I will cross into the motherland.

I will go home.

I will leave what I’ve built behind and

I will take my place

among the living.

 

I can hear you beyond this room.

 

 

 

Save

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Jung and Alan Watts

So I’m reading up some more on Jung which led me back to Alan Watts The Way of Zen.  It’s a great book but I prefer (here’s a PDF version) The Book: The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.  Here’s a snippet of what The Book is like:

If you haven’t read these and are interested in healing and finding your way than these are the books for you.  I’ve been a long-time fan of Watts and now my self-study to occupy my days is Jung.  One part I wanted to share with you is Jung’s Psychological Types (a brief intro).  There are 8 psychological types according to Jung: out of the two ATTITUDE types and the four FUNCTIONAL types it becomes theoretically possible to describe eight psychological types:

  • extraverted sensation type
  • introverted sensation type
  • extraverted thinking type
  • introverted thinking type
  • extraverted feeling type
  • intraverted feeling type
  • extraverted intuition type
  • intraverted intuition type

I’m the Intraverted Intuitive type (to read what these are check out in brief JUNG: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION):

“Introverted Intuition does not concern itself with external possibilities but with what the external objects has released within.’  People of this type are inclined to make use of the mechanism of reification (i.e. they treat ideas, images, or insights as if they were real objects).  ‘For intuition, therefore, unconscious images acquire the dignity of things.’  Like Jung himself, who was primarily an introverted intuitive type (with thinking as his auxiliary function), they have difficulty in communicating ideas simply and in an organized way, for they pursue image after image, idea after idea, ‘chasing after every possibility in the womb of the unconscious,’ as Jung says, while usually overlooking what personal implications these possibilities may have.  ‘Had his type not existed, there would have been no prophets in Israel.’  They may have brilliant insights, which, if they can be bothered or sufficiently organized to communicate them, others proceed to build on.

Shadow: extraverted sensation.  Because this is mostly unconscious, they are constantly in danger of losing touch with outer reality, and if they break down they become schizophrenic (oh so true).  Many have schizoid personalities, as did Jung himself as a boy.  Vague about practical details and poorly oriented in space and time, they tend to forget appointments, are seldom punctual, and easily get lost in strange places.  Their poor relationship to reality, combined with the depth of their insights, causes some to experience themselves as belonging to the ‘misunderstood genius’ category.  Their attitude to sexuality can be crude and inappropriate, and they tend to make poor lovers 😦 since they are unaware of what is happening in their own or their partner’s body. 😦

Examples: seers, poets, prophets, psychologists (not experimental or academic ones), artists, shamans, mystics, and Read More

Divinity in the Self

I owe this blog post to WIL over at Write into the Light, in her post “My True Self is Not Mentally Ill” where she begins by listing what she likes about herself (a hard thing for us all to do) and discusses how we see our true Self and then shares an amazing video by Mooji from Mooji Answers (you can ask him questions, read his Buddhist (?) insights and all amazing shit). It’s centered on how our Self is NOT ILL, our person, our body is, not who we are.   Go check out the video at her blog.  After I watched the video I went like crazy over to YouTube and looked Mooji Answers up and I came across this video of his on fear, called “What are You Afraid Of?”  Some parts that really, really struck me were:

“The mind must have something to threaten you with in order to hold you hostage…and only when you, the beingness, the consciousness,  the presence, which is not a person, believe yourself to be a person, believe you’re merely the body-mind instrument and functioning then this thing comes out of fear–once you touch “I am the body”…What is innocence? it’s useful because it is required by consciousness in order for consciousness to taste experiencing (without the body, no experiencing) but somehow something takes places–identification with the instrument and then the consciousness falls into this modification : “I am the body this is me” and then a TRAUMA ENTERS INTO THE BEING, IT FEELS “NOW I’VE COME INTO TIME” THE TIMELESS BROUGHT ITSELF INTO TIME AND ANYTHING THAT TOUCHES TIME, FEAR WILL COME, BECAUSE TIME HAS BEGINNING OR SOME END.  THE BODY HAS BEGINNING, HAS END. …

When you believe “I am this body” then fear comes and can continue threatening you.  How can the being-ness that has fallen under the hypnosis that “I am the body-mind” wake up from this?  Setsang.  In setsang, the waking room.

…how can that which is unbound have no beginning? no real concrete existence? Spirit–comes into fear, by holding onto time…NOT FALL ASLEEP INTO THE HUMAN MODIFICATION, IT MUST REMEBER WHO I AM, AND THAT IS DISCOVERING THE DIVINITY IN YOUR OWN SELF, THE TIMELESS AND THE DEATHLESS…”

CHECK IT OUT: