Crawl to Me

Time is running out, I can feel it in the way the cold air bites at my bare throat. As I walk around the lake for the thousandth time since I discovered it years ago far away off in the hills, the colors of the trees change right before my eyes. Flashes spark in my mind like flecks of flames burning; hell tongues of spiritual ritual.

The smell of damp earth, rotting leaves, firesmoke. Season of shadows which eclipse the light I once held so close. Inside of me I can feel the separation. It can happen even as it appears invisible to the naked eyes of others. I long for my secrets to be revealed if only for the intimate satisfaction of release.

But more than that, I want to keep them for myself. What is a woman without her mystery, without the dark depths of what she may or may not choose to invite you into. We say we want freedom but most of us are too weak, too terrified, to handle that in full. To be stripped of all boundaries, directions, structures or instructions.

We do not want the free fall of total limitlessness. The human mind grasps and grips for something to steady itself. Something to hold on to, to press itself against. I have had vertigo on and off for years. It’s a trippy thing. You feel like you are tipping over, as though the ground has slanted suddenly beneath you. I once set foot out of bed and fell clear into the wall. Had to crawl on the floor to feel safe enough to move.

It is a time of transformation. I do not know if we are able to choose this for ourselves. Are we all called to transform? Called by what or whom? Why now? Why not never? To be ‘re-born’ as something new is in truth to be more of what you already are. I light up a cigarette and pull my hood over my head as the wind picks up and dark clouds roll in over the open water. Mirrored sky. Gray on gray on looking-glass.

There are nights we spend alone and never speak about because no one ever asks. To see and be seen are frighteningly powerful endeavors. Most won’t dare. The hands tremble as they reach, the stomach quivers and the sex aches with need, seemingly inexplicable. The trouble is the poet’s soul is different. We suckle the flesh of the living word, we hang upside down suspended. Vampirish. Sirens. Sign posts. We invert the world and the way it sees – not so that we can be free but so that we can be sure we are true to our own vision.

“What a lot of us are seeking is the power to choose what rules us. Our world is composed of dominant and submissive dynamics. Some are consensual and chosen while most are inherited through blood, institution, or country. Why do we play this game of cat and mouse?” (Penelope Dario, editor in chief of petitmort.mag)

There are two definitions of the word true. One is an adjective: in accordance with fact or reality. The other is a verb: to bring into the exact shape, alignment, or position required.

They say the truth will set you free. But I think that is a bit misleading, or at least flat. What being true really does is it allows you to finally choose for yourself what you know – with all of your innermost instruments, sensations and intuitions – aligns you with the whole of who you are: body, mind, heart and soul.

As the rain begins to fall, mist moves in. In a far off corner of the lake where it curves its banks against the mud and trees, a gigantic bird opens its wide wet wings, lifts from the surface and takes flight. Ghostly white, silently soaring, serene.

Just the Thought of It

They say that in the end it’s all a stream of soft quiet light so perhaps work backwards from that. Like a destination where you arrive empty handed and alone. Forget it though, even just the thought of it gives me the shivers. Death is coming but no one can say when. Meanwhile, here we are.

We sip whiskey as we walk through the crowds at a fall festival way out among the rolling countryside hills. The wind is whirling dead leaves all around us in the air, which is also inexplicably full of gigantic bubbles blown by some machine far off behind the guy selling bacon on a stick. The line for that particular delicacy is endless. What is it with people losing their entire goddamn minds over bacon. The smell of bonfire smoke and funnel cakes makes me nostalgic for years gone by when all that mattered in October was a count down of how many sleeps until Halloween.

He steals a kiss as we stroll past the tiny scarecrows assembled as part of some kind of scarecrow-making competition. He likes the way my mouth tastes like raisin lipstick and peaches. It has been quite some time since we have been together and when he takes my hand in his, my heart melts which turns into the low simmering heat of lust all over my body.

We buy a handful of cigars from the local shop. The guy behind the counter is trying to be helpful but he never stops talking about himself and his odd little cigar salesman life. He asks if I would like a blueberry flavored cigar and I tell him no, to which he responds by informing me that ninety-nine percent of the blueberry cigars will go to women. I stare at him blankly because this is not useful or interesting information. I don’t like blueberry anything.

Stepping out into the sunlight with our little bag of tricks, we decide the festival is adorable and far too crowded. On the drive home we put the windows down and turn the music up as the green and orange pastures and farms fly by alongside of us in a magical blur. Autumn is ringing its gorgeous amber light through the multicolored trees and I feel more content than I have in a long time.

The wide open blue sky is painted wild with ferocious charcoal clouds, monstrous and menacing. When we arrive home, we undress and put our bodies to good use pleasuring each other. His touch is disarmingly sincere in its desire, breathtaking in its expertise. Underneath the dark grip of a late evening storm, we are alone but tangled up together. The sky turns to purple and then fades smoothly into black as he sends me into orbit with just the tips of his fingers in all the right spots. For a few sacred hours, we are the only ones anywhere for miles and miles and miles. The only ones on earth.

An Affair Such as This

In the center of your heart lies the center of the universe which beats the seconds by like a drum. You cannot hear it as much as you can feel it in the pulse of the blood as it courses through the veins in your neck. When he presses there gently with his fingers it makes your breath quicken, and he knows this. There is a perfect pressure point. He’s learned it. And so you are his but only when he’s holding you.

The dream is the same each night but with a different person. I try to kiss a faceless man. He always disappears, but just before he does, his face is revealed. It is handsome. I can never remember it. The night hangs around into the pale blue of early morning, a pink blush sky and the soaring cry of geese, outstretched and black as ink against the wind.

As my eyes flutter awake, my mind is already alight with ideas, words, tiny flecks of embers of imagination. It has been quite some time since I felt hopeful. But somehow today I do. Like perhaps things can get better for me if I could just learn a lesson I have been fighting learning for years. I’ll keep that to myself because it is, as are most lessons in life, complicated. What I can tell you is it has to do with the lies we tell ourselves to keep from accepting the naked truth.

Somewhere down the street, a dog is barking and I know the one. He’s a beautiful German Shepard puppy, maybe nine months old. I met him weeks ago but forget his name. All joyous flashing brown eyes and high perked ears, alert and a tad rambunctious. There is some kind of spirit in him that is so innocent with passion for being alive it could almost break your heart into bits. What is it about some creatures that melts your insides. Claws the iron bars away from your calloused heart. The pure charm of his oversized paws could kill me dead with adoration.

I have written on this blog for so very long now. Lately it feels a bit more like an observatory. A journal, a diary of sorts. I think of Nin and Miller, sending massive bound handwritten journals, letters, and various correspondence to one another across the sea. No subject, no observation or experience of event or circumstance or feeling, was off limits. That, to me, is every kind of riches.

People, writers, artists, have been writing for centuries and yet it is never done, never complete. The work of living as though through the pen. Mmm… the keyboard, as it were. This never ending quest to feel the words come through for their own sake. What is there to say of writing, its allure? It is an affair. An affair with all aspects of life and death and every experience inbetween. I ache for it.

What was it that Elias Canetti said over half a century ago... ‘I cannot be modest; too many things burn in me…’

Imagine all the things you could write if decency were of no concern. I do.

I pour my dark coffee and pick up my jet black pen.

Watch Her Body Move (audio)

Trash TV in a fancy hotel room. The sun glittering across the ocean outside the floor-to-ceiling window which opens to a lovely balcony on which we made love last night underneath the brilliant moon. The beach still in my hair and the salt on my skin.

I’m over the summer but it will not end. Too many expectations and not enough recklessness. He soaks in the tub as I watch two plastic girls I do not know fight over a plastic man I’d never care to. He gets a spray tan and cheats on someone. Now the tears and the eyelashes all come falling down.

The mess is all around us and now it is inside.

We share towels at the pool and pass our illnesses around. Coconut oil and painted toenails. Chlorine and cancer in the sunscreen. We protect ourselves and ignore the rest because it’s all come down to survival, baby, that’s it and that’s all. From behind my dark sunglasses, I watch her body move as she climbs up the ladder and out of the water. I was eighteen once and it almost killed me but I was too young to know it.

A little wooden sail boat floats by off in the distance. Life in slow motion. The sigh of a sweet wind flows through the silence.

We drink lime and tequila and walk back and forth across the faded words ‘NO DIVING’ painted on the tile on the walkway to the public restroom. Bleach and flip flops. Soap, sanitizer, air-conditioning.

After everything we have been through, all the horror and breathtaking brutality, this is where we land at the end of the killing season. The one the color of aquamarine like a perfect sea or a hospital gown.

I’m sorry I yelled at you so hard it broke your spirit all the way apart. I’m sorry I can’t seem to keep my shit together when the world is ending. Shoulda figured this all out by now but now keeps moving and nothing changes toward the better long enough to catch a breath.

This was supposed to be the time of my life. This was supposed to be a kind of transformation – some sort of new beginning. But I’m too tired and the circumstances we have been prescribed are far too petty and cruel. And God, how ecstatic a distraction he can be when things are rolling right along.

He emerges in his beautiful tanned nakedness and pours the wine. It sparkles a bit too much but I make do. He dips a finger in his glass and lets a drop of the crisp crystal liquid fall along the shape of my neck. As the heat of his tongue, the warmth of his closeness melts into my body, I am imagining a steamy rain forest soaked wet and slung deep with thick fog.

The sky was white like linen just hours ago and now it is orange-yellow like a candle flame, hot to the touch. I imagine, I imagine. Or is that your skin when you lie beneath me and glow in the dark. I know something isn’t right but try to swallow yourself into sleep.

In the morning, I go down on him because that’s when he likes it best. He tells me I’m a dream come true as I make the bad coffee because it is free. I wrap myself in a bright short robe and step out into the early morning sun. I wonder who will leave first, you or me, or if we’ll go together.

Eggs and toast and abandonment issues. You and me and everything we could have been, drowned in chemicals because we thought we knew better than anybody what it would take to make it out of this alive. The baby with the bath water or whatever that fucked up saying is.

Love and leisure, violence and sex and our favorite filthy mistakes to the sound of soft waves curling upon silken sand, thrown by the wayside in a toxic rush.

Creatures of Madness

Life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life. – Carl Gustav Jung

It’s not that I cannot write a nice little poem about a sunlit trickling stream, or a lovely rose, or a sweet smelling meadow. Of course I can do those things. But even when I try, something drags against me. Something is always pulling me in the opposite direction towards darkness. It wants to be dirtier. It wants to be decay and destruction. Chaotic, sensual, and unpredictable.

Even in my gentlest moments it is there underneath. A kind of prickling reminder that no matter how hard you try to pave over something with perfect order, the wilderness is always gripping you back by the hair. It will never let you forget it’s out there and it’s bigger than you ever will be. It isn’t nice about things like girls are always told to be. It’s got fangs, is not afraid of blood.

And it’s not out there. It is inside you. You are made of the stuff you think you can run from. Maybe that’s why we run. Deep down we know that if we stop we will be right in the dead center of the hot pouring rain. Fear of being saturated with the madness of daily life. Alone with its stubborn unwieldiness . Sucking on the drench of unpredictability and the jagged patterns of the inevitable.

For me writing is a kind of handcrafted wilderness. You take the beautiful filthy chaos and you wrap it all around yourself, pull it, tug it, play with it until you blend together. Until it fits. It is not pretty or safe. It’s like slipping into some racy lingerie. Intimate. Delicate. Deadly.

Streams of Quiet Light (audio)

Summer sunset is sliding along your tanned face. You by the window writing in your leather notebook. Your eyes cast downward, those magnificent fiery eyes. I want them on me. I want your gaze all over my body. Hot. Penetrating.

I imagine what you may be writing about. Something sensual most likely. About the subtle movement of a nocturnal creature, or a flower opening into the low evening light. You are always taken with a kind of softness which bends itself willingly towards the dark. This I understand with my whole being. My whole body and soul.

In a world of palpable and constant apocalyptic dread, in this madness where the height of human condition is to maul and destroy one another for money and the satisfaction of blood, here you are. Steady pulse of burning attention. Hungry mind reaching out in all directions. Pulling into you that which fascinates. That which is sinister. That which catches the breath in the throat.

Recording the way things are and imagining the way they could be.

Truer. More trembling. More alive.

For all the bravado and showmanship, the flexing of muscle and thirsty threat of war, how much more dangerous it is to adore, to worship, to drink of the cup of that which remains mysterious even after ages and ages of study.

Silently you sit alone in the elegant air. An amethyst universe, glistening, turning in the palm of your ancient heart. There are secrets you are made of, places within you which exist beyond the realm of the written word or spoken language. I am drawn to you because of this. Because you are a thick forested wood and I am a wanderer. Your rich soil flashing beneath my naked feet.

What if the heart could become unguarded. Would you know how to handle the feelings that would flood within you? What if the most powerful defense against death was complete and utter surrender to the ache of passion which begs, and tempts, and tugs at the veins without relent.

Cigarettes After Sex

Your fingers trailing along the tears in my cutoff shorts as we sit in our small garden on a Sunday evening. Sadness and sweetness hang suspended all around us like twinkle lights. Tanned knees and crisp white wine. Behind my dark sunglasses, I close my summer sky blue eyes, taste the grassy notes on my tongue and thank god for foolishness, fools in love, fools for thinking any of this was going to last forever.

The problem is you distract me. Like the constant buzzing of the rattling air conditioning in the stuffy room at the back of the house. My mind flashes. It hinders, hovers, blinks against glimpses of you and I on the beach at night, the wilderness collecting our bare feet into the soft beds of silken sand. Darkness falling behind cranberry clouds.

I remove my shirt and straddle you in your chair, the glare of afternoon light stinging my bare nipples, now exposed and hard despite the scorching heat. The trouble is I can’t stop myself and the truth is I like the trouble that you are. Hands in my hair, gripping my neck, sliding up my ass, sucking me into you like water rushing the gutters when a late June rainstorm slashes the heat from the streets.

I rise like steam. I take your mouth with my mouth and forget how to breathe.

They took bets, you know that, angel? They bet against us from the very start. Thought we were full of shit. Full of ourselves. Lost in a fantasy which could only culminate in disaster. But what they couldn’t see was that disaster was the least of our concern. Our skies had fallen ten thousand times already. We taught ourselves to raise them back up.

The other shoe was always about to drop – that’s how life is. They were pointing out on the blackened horizon while you and I were behind them alone and on fire. We were the emergency. We were the only responders to each other’s alarms.

And you can hold your breath and shut it all down or you can scream with everything that you have, with everything that you are, with your whole body and mind and spirit, and your heart racing in your chest, you can scream until the pain of the deafening silence stops. You can fuck until the tears come streaming down your burning face and you finally feel anything but numb.

You can let it all out and let it all in and crawl broken and mighty into the arms of a love which promises everything and guarantees nothing. And if you are very, very lucky, your wild desires will find you a cave in which you can duck out of the fears the world is trying to sell you for a while.

Just as the wine seeps warmly into my soft gray blue blood, you bend my body over the wooden table and make me ask for what I want.

Let me hear you say the words.

You, baby. Please. I just want you.

Fractures of Mind

I try reading erotica but nothing gets me there. It all just feels like body parts thrown against the wall to see if any of it will get you off by accident. I feel sad for the writers and sad for the characters and scenarios they halfheartedly create. I shut everything down, lay back upon the bed in my writing room, and stare out the window at a pink and blue striped sky. The lighting is breathtaking at this time of evening, a softness in the way its peachy fingers skim the leaves and pines.

On the street below, some exasperated mother screams at her kids to clean up god knows what. I never wanted kids, all I want is silence, so I slam shut the window to the outside world and bury myself in poetry. That, too, proves insufficient at getting me where I seem to want to go but now I think I can see that it isn’t the fault of the poorly written verse or the gratuitous speed with which the author of erotic porno fiction explodes her little pawns into orgasms completely unearned. I can’t get where I want to go because I am as lost as I ever have been and don’t know what it is I’m really after.

Maybe its the summertime that gets under my skin. There always seems a current of madness running through her empty tin can streets. What is it that makes us so restless, so disjointed when there’s too much light? Is it everybody or just me? Tonight the full moon will glow in all of her naked radiance. The reflecting pool face of a dead rock thing.

I read that the tricky thing about Oscar Wilde is he told stories in which the sins of the body redeemed the soul. If only that were true in this life. If only I could reach out of this cage and stroke the forbidden desires as they approach my trembling hands, my open eager mouth. Sin like the Eucharist. Passion all sustaining, a melancholic illusion, wafer thin.

There is a forest in my mind, with trees which grow so high that the sunlight barely penetrates. Cool dark earth beneath my feet. Streams flowing out from my body in all directions, rushing over rocks, cascading over cliffs as waterfalls, diving into mist. This mysterious place inside of me, the ache of my center I cannot touch.

The mother having somehow calmed her hysteria, I light up a cigarette and slide open the window once again to inhale the grassy yellow evening air. I lean my head outside to feel the last of the sunlight on my face. We are all of us lost and none of us quite at home in these body shells. Our blood is alien even to ourselves. A bunch of kids are playing some kind of old school cops and robbers bit as the mother sips something from an opaque thermos. She’s out of her mind. I feel for her, though.

People Like Us

From the night sky I pull down the last wisps of thin gray cloud and tuck them under my pillow so I can watch the stars clear and bright before drifting off to sleep. You can have all the love in the world and still feel alone and although some may read that statement as a sad one, to me it feels like it is a kind of mysterious gift. There were times, of course, when loneliness cut me so deep I couldn’t breathe. It is no small thing, that kind of weighted grieving over a thing untouchable. But to be alone is a thing which morphs. It is a shape-shifting kind of space in which you can be free of the expectations of others, even the expectations of all the ancient unwritten rules which held you down and forced your face into the dirt time and time again. You can crave it even as that kind of unbridled freedom scares you to bits.

He was a writer and a deeply introspective, intelligent one at that, if perhaps a little intense. When he would send me his stories I was always taken by their depth of connection to the physical body even as he wrote about fantasy. I always wanted to be able to reach a reader in such a way that they could feel the very feelings I felt, which seemed to me like it would be the closest I ever came to creating magic. To immerse another soul into my own, like I was a wishing well or a wide open ocean, deep with dark canyons and secret creatures of gigantic shadow and eerie though magnificent light.

In dreams I see the stories of my life play out in reverse. I see myself as a child of only six or seven, running in the grass to capture fireflies into my small little hands. Back when a moment was a moment and they all seemed to string together endlessly. Like every evening for the rest of my life would be as soft and sweet as summer, taste like strawberry chapstick, smell like honeysuckle and the coming of a night spent snuggled in blankets next to an open window above the back yard which was just a small square but to me held all the adventures my tiny heart could ever imagine.

It’s funny how we tell stories in order to entertain and yet we need them for so much more than amusement. We aren’t just bored we’re hungry and terrified and so much more intuitive than the world gives us credit for being. If you are too afraid to sit alone and let the words come, you are too afraid to know yourself as you really are. And that’s fine if you want to buy everything they try to sell you. It’s no matter if the ramblings of the pompous guy in the corner office are enough to keep you working your fingers to the bone.

But for some of us, even the faintest prospect of no story is the greatest sorrow, the deepest grief we could possibly fathom. For some of us we’d go absolutely mad if we couldn’t be alone. I don’t always know what I’m going to write until I sit down to do it. But after having done it for so long now, I know the surprises are enough to keep my faith alive. To keep believing that there is something out there in the void that keeps me reaching for the other side.

It Sticks in Your Throat

The mist over the ocean is moving onto the beach. I’ve cut the tip of my finger doing something I cannot remember and now it throbs and stings from my drenching it in the salty sea water until it shriveled. I’d tell you something clever now like healing hurts first before it soothes but I’m not really in the mood for clever and healing is such a tricky thing to actually nail down because it is not linear. The waves are crashing and breaking in very strange ways, swelling way far out and then slamming straight down quickly, suddenly, without hardly ever standing up. They erupt one after another after another up close to the edge. I once heard these kinds of waves are called ‘dirty’ but I can’t ever be sure if I am using that term correctly. I don’t surf, I barely swim, and I spend a good portion of my time worrying obsessively about death by drowning.

I know the tides. I know the way they feel inside me because I have been studying myself my whole life. Still, your insides can surprise you if you get too arrogant, if you ignore them, or try to turn away. My heart is racing from the chill of the ocean and the hazy moisture in the air is pebbling my skin. I take a drink of ice-cold gin with lime and let the sun warm me all over. There are people on the beach tanning, splashing, little kids screaming, laughing, running. Kids are forever running on the beach, toward the ocean, away from the ocean, things need to happen and they need to happen fast. One little guy wears red sunglasses and a tee shirt which simply reads DUDE.

They say a person spends something like seventy percent of their time worried about the past or the future. That the amount of time you spend literally in the moment you are in is minuscule, fleeting. I want to feel better about death, or about life which I guess is the same thing in a certain sense, so I put on my dark sunglasses and stare meaningfully, purposefully, out into the farthest reaches of the wild blue-green sea and try to be in the place I am in. Feel the salty humid air flowing through my hair. As the horizon line blurs into a soft distant kind of turquoise imaged space, I lick my lips and remind myself that the horizon does not exist. It is always out there, unreachable, untouchable. How comical are the men who think they own the world. Think they can plant a flag. Think they know what it is to die for something when they stand for nothing. Nothing at all.

In writing, you can be anything you want but you have to know enough what it feels like to have what you want even if you don’t. You can dissect a thing but never inhabit it. You can know about something without knowing of it. Writers like to talk at you, see what sticks. I like to know if you feel anything because sometimes I can’t feel a fucking thing and I am terrified it means I am starting to disappear. Into the past. Into the future. Either way, we all just want to escape. I like to think that in the words I can escape but mostly I am only revealed. Maybe that’s why they say you need to go away to find yourself. Maybe it’s a lie. Maybe you write because you hope to Christ you will and will never be found.

%d bloggers like this: