Pornographia

If you and I are talking, there’s about a fifty percent chance I believe anything you tell me, which, for the most part, is more about my own uneasiness than yours, although it may also be that the seediness in you is reflecting its menace in mine underneath the words you rattle off thinking you can put me in my place.

Explain at me. Educate me. Enlighten me. Tell me how it is, I can see you are quite concerned that I come around to the way you interpret the world you seem to own, seem to be in charge of, seem to be the one it was constructed around.

Around and around we go, wherever we stop, you’ll be the first to know. Won’t you. Decide. I take a drag of my smoke and I wait for it all to end, while penning a love letter in the garden under the shade of a mighty swamp maple which shields me from the oppressive sun but not the scorching July heat.

The heat curls everywhere inside my skin.

You ask what I am thinking but it doesn’t matter much unless it props you up. In my mind, the red hot summer sky blooms ripe like drops of blood billowing in water. A mother loses a child. A writer makes her bed in the corner of an empty room, typing out tragedy, stabbing out hope, letter by letter. Explanations are excuses and I don’t offer either anymore.

I watched a young woman in New York get thrown into the back of an unmarked van and driven away by armed men in plain clothes in a cloud of fogged distraction and rage, before I even had coffee this morning. The birds sang as the trees were rustling in the breeze which made a sound like the rush of a stream running by, sloping along a steep hill. None of which actually exist.

She writes like, you know, I don’t know, some stream of consciousness type shit like that. Just from one thought to the next, on and on, and half the time it doesn’t make sense. I don’t know whether to believe her. She claims it’s saving her life.

 

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Photo by Allan Filipe Santos Dias

Pleasure Cage

Darkness rolls in overhead, and I am hopeful. They have been promising rain for days but, so far nothing. This day, though, is different. The air all around is thick with the smell of it, the muggy scent of wormy earth and lemongrass wind. All that is missing is the fire but that’s not out there, it’s in here. In me.

The rain water balances my insides, cools my burning, wets my heat.

I dim the lights, pour tea with honey, and pull a single tarot card, which I do daily as part of my spiritual ritual. It doesn’t always ‘work’ but I don’t know what that even really means except to say that some days it doesn’t resonate. Sometimes the cards and I are at odds and I have to remind myself that I am not so ordered, so simple as a deck of cards, no matter how thorough they may appear to be. No matter how organized or random, I am even more exponentially so. More organized. More random.

I ponder the intricacies of the human organism.

The exact weight and design of the internal organs.

How they fit together in a slick stacked pile.

The card I turn over is The Devil. Fifteenth of the Major Arcana.

The Devil resonates fiercely and exactly, like the precision of the sting of a cut on the blade. Immediately sliding parallel with every vein, every artery in my system, everything which flows into and out of the heart.

The Devil rules the underworld where there is eternal darkness.

Finally. Finally, the benevolent, merciful, enveloping dark. Finally, I am alone with it.

I watch for the whiteness of curling bone around black eyes. I sense the liquid silk pleasure of the void. Here is the life of the hallowed shadow, here are the hands of the wicked: slender, long. My hands and all which they have touched, harmed, caressed, stolen, violated, destroyed. My hands and all they have done to soothe my own aching body. All they have done to dismantle my mind.

The darkness is sensual, forbidden, tempting. Looming. It is all I want inside of me. I light a candle and summon it forward, unafraid. Wanting.

The rain moves in as I close my eyes. I listen to the hypnotic sound of it. Gratitude. Relief. I want to be taken into that place which quivers and trembles. I feel him now, his mouth of soft crimson at the base of my neck; the ecstasy of my self made sacrifice, of my aroused surrender. In the mirror I observe my own reflection: pale, detached. I seek the fire in the cave of my being, I press my swelling emotion against the walls of its womb. I am the host and the parasite, the mother and the strain of her milk; the burden of the infant and the blind fear of its infinite scream.

Madness is nothingness, this is why it echoes into itself.

During my meditation, there is an internal struggle against binding forces. We are killed by love and killed by no love. We are abused by fear and abused by no fear. We are beyond all of it, and encompass it. The Devil liberates by showing us ourselves from all sides, showing us the illusion of the separation of sides.

Fix your eyes. All light contains within it darkness. Within all darkness, light.

In a kind of ethereal trance, I lay back upon the floor as my beloved Demon pulls me close, whispers to me softly, seductively. With him I am serene, supple, yielding. Beautiful. He requires of me only that I show him everything.

I swallow his poison, taste his succulent death on my skin. Let him devour me whole.

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Photo by Richard Jaimes

 

 

When I Think of You

Time is running short and the day is closing in faded pinks and blues like an eyelid over a dying world. I could not chase you without the strength and so I let you go. But I never forgot what you told me, in the quiet light of midnight fire, about beauty, about the value and nobility of listening to the harvest moon. It is wrapped within the silence, this is the way I feel you now inside my skin. Untouched, untouchable, and pure. My way of moving through the world is at times waif thin, at times so quiet you could swear we had never even met at all. But you remember when you see my face in the mirror beside you, a ghost of the way we once were, radiant, magnificent, two voices tangled in laughter down the hall as we passed through one another into the rest of our lives. When I am alone, I light a cigarette and fill my lungs and the air with pain, sweet, burning pain which crushes out the embers of illusion. I cannot get you out of my head and yet I know my heart is only the more tattered and torn for it. Perhaps what we savor the most is the dread, perhaps it is the poetry which breathes the aching in our ribs. Little cages full of roses and water. In my mind, your hands encircle my throat and hold me beneath the ocean waves. You, like a baptism by drowning. You, like blood in a vein, a body pulsing with pleasure, sound, and magic.

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Photo by Mahir Uysal

But I Keep It to Myself

Jr Korpa

As you tell me a story about your messed up college days, I’m watching your full lips mouth the words you throw away. Imagining your tongue down my throat, I try my best to concentrate on the story but it really doesn’t matter to either of us so what’s the use. I know sometimes I’m too much. I know I should hold back. I know sometimes I’m too intense, I can be obsessive. I try to pass it off as artistic fire but the only place you seem to appreciate my inner animal is in the bedroom. Beneath the sheets you worship it as though it were sheer elegance, pure grace. Perhaps it is after all and you can see it better than anybody. My obscenities alchemize, become holy, become electric liquid heat. You were raised right, you were not raised with God nailed into your bones. I was raised up so high on prayer and sacrifice I was bound to come undone. God wrecked my sense of boundaries, pushed my face into the thin metal bus window frame. God put me in a dark tight box with a strange man and forced my mouth to open. God punished me and I liked it. God was humiliation, degradation, masturbation, fear. And I walked single file in skirted linen and lace straight into God’s unkind, unforgiving hands. God is dirty. God is bad. God is perverse. God is ferocious. God is pissed. The only difference is, She has no issues with any of it. Not like you think I have. When we kiss, the night sky inverts itself and pulls the air from my lungs in waves. And just when I think maybe I shouldn’t write the things I do, maybe I talk too much, you open me so deep I know it’s too late. Every word, glistening in wide constellation, is laid bare for you. I bite you for the blood not the bruising, trace the sweat along your thigh as a veil falls away between us. As every cruel ecstatic thing we do, God sees.

Blood Is Red In the Open Air

Alexander Krivitskiy

Unsure of how to begin, I dive right to the center, or the middle, or the edges, I am never exactly certain which but I begin the nibble hoping to progress to a full meaty bite. Chewing on this life, this life the whole of which stands trembling before death as it has and does and always will on any given day of the week until the end. The Rest. The Final. I would tell you all about me but I fear it would shock or bore you so I dress it up as best I know how with a textural mix of sex and violence and drama and then try to weave my way back to the intricacies of the beginning so that you, and I, and we, the collective, can feel some sense of closure as we drift inside a tiny sliver of space within a world which is a never ending labyrinth of potential openings, doors, some already opened, some closed, some locked, some unlocked though we never know this because the fear of the other side is enough to keep us from even attempting to turn the knob and see. The terror of the blank page. The white blazing blindness of the vast empty and the threat of the desire to fill the void. To drain and fill the mind. Consciously. That of which we are aware. That which we deny. To re-fill the mind. To discard the old, not bury it, no dirty fingernails or ceremonial tears, but to stride deliberately into the darkness and set it on fire, thoroughly engulfed in flame and watch as the smoke rises into the hollow midnight sky. The piercing through of the ancients. The cutting of the heart, the suffering which is cathartic, which is relief. I am asleep, however, and unaware until dawn. I am clean. I am pure as in the womb, voiceless, warm and alone. The blood is red in the open air, it runs the distance which is blue, which is the track of the tubes of circulation which is a prayer, the prayer of kinetic energy, the prayer of budding teeth, a rosary of extending bone. The embers glowing as splits, flecks of eyes simmering out in the cold. Looking down into my own palms, I am this body and this age. I am beyond this moment as I am under it as I am moving toward it and away. I am these dreams I am desperate to speak of, but hold back. No more. No more, when there is no future whispering in the olive distance. No more, when the mist of this morning is a hall of mirrors hung upon the backs of doors which close and open, close as they open. Look into my eyes. Place your fingers in my wounds. Spread your lips beneath the wild gaping charcoal sky. Are you thirsty. Are you willing. Open, open, open. 

One Wing Would Break (audio)

Do you suppose
there is any difference
between
delicate and fragile?

Is it possible one wing would
break before the other,
even if by just a hair
line crack,

a whispered single
breath
beat
sooner?

I know you can’t understand
why I would concern myself
with such a ridiculous
question

in times like these.

With a matter so
utterly
useless
thin, insignificant.

Words inflicted upon
an age
of switchblades
victims and guns.

It’s just that right now
every fine boned thing
feels like an open
ivory wound.

Feels like a cut glass
slipper just about to
drop. Slice,
shatter

like a heart would,

before she could catch herself
shivering in the blackness
wet against tear
stains

running fiery tracks down breasts.

I want to know the
difference,
am I delicate or fragile
in my naked

foot steps
running, running.

Running.

Perversions

You tell me that when you read the poem I slid underneath your office door you had to take a seat and read it over multiple times. You enjoy the way the words taste like the sin of flesh and bone and youth. You do not smile at me and I do not smile back. I don’t want your happiness. I want to tear you into a thousand small pieces from the inside out, set you on fire and leave you there to burn. As you say encouraging things to me about my work, your gaze travels over my body slowly, drinking in my subtle movements, the crook of my wrist, the bend of my hip, the cocky way I tilt my head against the paint chipped door frame so my long wavy hair falls over my elbow just enough to skim my waist. Your eyes like two beautiful blades slicing me open, exposing me without even a touch, coming back up to meet my eyes. You stay there forever etched in my brain and even all these years later I recall you sat back like a very bad man who wanted very bad things. I miss the poetry and I miss the high of seduction, intrigue, play. But I am not me anymore and you are not you. Now the world is upon its knees as angry mobs line up together and demand their own execution. Make it grave, make it public, make it hard and make it hurt, how bored we are of the lives we don’t even bother to lead. Now my dreams are screams, I can hear them so clearly in their vivid colors. Sex and death. Bright fires flaring up along the empty streets of my skin, my soft blue veins engulfed in thick tongues of flames. My image fades in and out of a mirror which stands still against a blank wall, as the wind moves shadow into shadow. Intercourse. Dark moon. Nightgowns on pale women, singing on the lawn in the haunted hush of night. Their black eyes reach out like claws, they touch one another. The clutch of a bare hand to my chest. A fist of long fingers gripped tight around my throat. I need it, can’t you understand that? There is a cord which runs invisible from the pulse in my neck to the heat of my sex. I need to feel something which honors the fear. Something which penetrates the veil. I have such nightmares of late, and wake washed flush in a sweat, in the kind of glistening tears a whole body cries. I have these mad times threaded through the hallways of my ricochet mind. We cannot return to the way things were, but I’ll be alright. I don’t miss your eyes. They are with me all the time.

How Far Gone

Good enough isn’t but you continue to pretend because life is complicated and you aren’t as strong as you wish to be. You want to write about anything else but this is what keeps bubbling up and it’s trash and it’s useless. You pour the coffee and check the news. Social media. Prophets. Sages. Hand sanitizer. Beach wear with no where to go. Money where money always is and poverty everywhere. You scroll through your phone too many times a day and make tiny calculations in your mind. What am I worth. What is art worth. How do you cup the meaning of a word in your hands. How do you explain you can’t help the ones who need you most. What is the weight of the poetry on your tongue, and what would you sacrifice to ingest it. Would you dare let the past burn down to the ground right where it’s standing. Would you light the match. Do you trust yourself to see past the flames, watch the heated burning smoke blurring the tops of the pines. I remember she said to me: This too shall pass. Stay close. I remember her dress caught on fire, I remember the sound and the smell and her face. Fear. Indifference. Infatuation. I remember. Underneath the screaming is the anger and underneath the anger is the sadness which just will not shift, like a lump in your throat on the cusp of the tears you try so desperately not to cry. Don’t let them see. Just don’t let them see what you see. Where has your soul gone in all of this. Can you turn your back on your self, the ghost of your body, a severed head. A severed heart, alone in a far off field, still beating. Each night a dream takes me to visit my desire. Each night an angel kneels next to me, repeating the words my blood knows by heart. I speak without speaking, my voice is the pulse in her chest, the sound of the beginning of time, the music woven into the fabric of every star long faded out. How did I get here, why did I come. Where am I going to rest my tired bones, will it be safe there. In my own womb. In my own hands. In my own head.

Lucifer (audio)

Leaning up against a massive gravestone, thick gray marble half as tall as you are, you light up a cigarette and pull the collar of your long coat tighter around your neck. The mist in the air is cool as it mingles with the scent of damp grass, mossy earth. It’s too late to be out here in the pitch dark but as I wind my way through the cemetery, I can just make out the outline of your tall slim silhouette as my vision adjusts. Watching the curve of your hand move slowly from your mouth to your side, all I want is to fall into you like death. Even my ribs yearn for you, even my gums itch for the chance to sink my teeth into the stoic heat of you. I walk with a metallic heaviness no one in this world understands, it is mine and mine alone to bear. Such is this life. Such is the nature of pain. In my soul I carry the bones and the secrets locked away in order to keep pace with a world which has been lobbing off pieces of itself for ages. My heart aches but only as often as it beats. Maybe that’s why this soft wet burial place enraptures me, the cold seduction of the quietness of the ending of everything. I listen to the branches of the sodden empty trees which creak without motion, I can feel their wooden lives stiff and rigid in my veins. Coming up close to you, I take your cigarette between my fingers. Our breathing mingles together. Standing so close to the animal in you is surreal and yet it snaps my entire being to immediate life. Have you any idea the blade that you are, the knife which twists and grazes all over my skin. You touch me without a sound. With your feathered breath you enter me deep and spread your glorious wings until I am stretched with this wild beg I have become for you. You do not say anything because everything that you are pours forth from you without relent, without invitation or coaxing. Cloaked in a black hood, you are a shadow in the flesh, the skin on your face, your neck, your chest, dewy and flawless, your eyes shine and flash like search lights as they flicker over my body. If you are the cup, I will kneel down and drink of you. If you are the answer, I will open my wrists and bleed for you. I watch as you trace an outstretched finger along the name etched into the headstone. With the same finger you trace my lips slow and I begin to tremble. It’s the way you handle me like dangling me over the edge. It’s the things you do to me, the curse of the seduction which I seethe for and I dread.

Prophets, Gamblers, Circuitous Routes

Like fresh fallen snow which blankets an endless field beneath a heavy gray winter’s sky, the page spreads itself before me in all its pristine whiteness. As would a child, I want only to run right into in, stomp my little feet right through its glorious empty perfection, dig in, disrupt, burrow, tunnel, build, destroy. Leave tracks. Impose my footprints over and over just to see what they look like trailed out like alabaster snakes behind me for miles. My mind is a meadow of infinite expanse. I write because I am trying to touch it everywhere all at once, like a wild tentacled beast. I trace my fingers over the mouth of it, open wide. Alone with myself, I scan the dim backlit horizon looking for shapes of things I’ve long forgotten but would somehow recognize, I’m sure of it. There are shadows which lengthen out upon the snow like fangs. A full moon rising as the stars begin to reach out in all directions. We forget the way the universe extends itself from every angle. We think everything is pointing toward us but it isn’t. We are not the center of it all, much as we would like to imagine ourselves to be. I watch the people who can’t see past the end of their nose. I see the people who cannot see beyond themselves and these are the ones who terrify me the most. The blissful, the unaware, the ignorant. The ones who have all the answers. The ones who care only for the sick bulk of their wallet, get off over the throbbing size of their stock portfolio, thinking all the while they can separate themselves from the obscene indignities of the rest of the world. Stone hearts and hungry mad saturated eyes. Living for greed as though it won’t be that same disease which annihilates all of us in the end. Meanwhile, I sit in a small room and listen as the geese cry their shrill cry, soaring past the clouds in the sky overhead. Somewhere across town, the sign on the front door of a small cafe flips from Open to Closed too early. Two young mothers fight over the last small tin of tuna fish. And the earth somehow stands still in its spinning; darkness, like an eyelid tired, swollen, descends all over the globe.