Unsure of myself, I jot down a few words and then stop. I scratch them out and instead listen to the angry crows screaming at each other from the trees across the street. A waning summer at the hands of the turning. Time is a sweet and merciless thing. My coffee is cold and my hair is a mess. The house is empty but there are creaks in the walls coming from somewhere downstairs. The sound of the clock is soft and deafening. It’s only been a few days but the lines of the time between us stretch all the way to the stars and back. They come back, do you see what I mean. Patience is a virtue. Patience is the way I wait for you in dim paled light like a shadow. Like a secret. Like torture. I miss you in places I never knew existed inside me until they began to ache.
For me, writing and words are everything. They are breath and breathing. Skin and bone and life ever-lasting. If I had a faith, that is to say, if I believed in anything at all, it would have to be in poetry.
There was a line in an old movie, something about the only thing that can turn the darkness into light is poetry. I love that thought but I also love the reverse of it. Poetry which turns down the lights. Poetry that washes over you like the most decadent dark summer storm, forces you inside, into yourself. Into your perversions and your secret delights.
How many run from even the slightest thought of being alone with themselves. Fear the intimacy of their own exotic souls. Maybe that’s why I share my words even when I am sure they are not perfect, not exactly where or how I want them to be. I want to show you it is possible.
To get up so close it burns you.
To touch so softly it murders all the parts of you that resist.
But you will be baptized by the fire which consumes you. You will be made to suffer and to be renewed. You come so close to God that everything anyone ever told you you were falls away entirely and you become emptiness, freedom.
And if you are scared, it’s okay.
I’ll go first.
I can see the way the world ends in your eyes when you look at me like that. When you let me taste you it’s like candy-coated annihilation. You kill me and I like the sound of you when you breathe heavy and hard, so hard you can’t say a single word. You just let my moans fill your mouth. Fill the whole fucking house with the scent and the disgraceful noise of it.
We’re only at the beginning but let’s not ever let that part end. Let’s stay right here on the razor’s edge and let it cut us up real thin. I read everything you say later when I write it in my diary. Not with hearts around it but with swords because I can draw swords really super tiny and make them face any way I want. Sometimes they go right across the neck. Like crossing the letter t but with a blade between its teeth.
I guess you could say poets are strange that way. Words are so much more than words to us and what we say is only a sliver of what we really mean even when we get it just right there’s always something missing, or at least it feels that way. Kinda drives you mad but then we work around that, too, by diving right into the center of the chaos and standing completely still.
If you can’t keep up we will leave you fast and never look back. It’s not cause we’re mean, well, maybe it is, maybe it is but that part’s just by accident, really it’s because we know if we stick around with you you’ll kill off all the good stuff before it gets a chance to surface. You’ll keep us from getting where we need to go. Where’s that? Well, if you have to ask we might as well just leave it right there and let it shrivel up in the bright light of your innocence. And I bet innocence must be really super nice.
Give me more. Give me everything I want and then add extra on top of that. When I was growing up they promised me bigger is better and whoever dies with the most toys wins. I want more shit to cram into my closets with more shit. Bloody shoes that click across the pavement like crucified extravagance. I want face creams that light my skin up like the motherfucking sun. I want attention and the goddamn riches that come with it. I want my eyes to turn green like American greed.
Starve me, fuck me, drown me in the finest things. Lay me on expensive sheets and kiss me all the way down my waxed and oiled airbrushed legs. Make me a commodity, turn me on by watching me take it all off. This plastic life of trash and violence. Kiss me, baby, I like the way your sadness tastes like some kind of nuclear reactive rain. What we want is what we want because we want it and we want it now. Look me in the mouth. Force your way to the top and take me by the hair until it hurts. Watch my five thousand dollar mascara run down my plush smooth cheeks. I know what gets you off because it gets me off, too.
We haven’t a clue, baby, what happiness is like. We run and we jump and we let them say how high. Powder and power and sex and guns and money and the biggest goddamn swimming pool on the block. Touch me until I’m fancy enough to trade in for something better. Lie to me until I’m free of the madness of the motherfucking truth. All you need is everything as long is it stays dark out all the time.
We can have anything we want as long as we don’t want it to come cheap. We can fuck around forever and get famous on the degradation. We can be neon stars that never burn out in the chemical laboratory jar they call the sky, little pink fatalities, angel, skinny adorable casualties. The life of the party of sanctified ruin, just you and me and everybody, sweet thing, dance til the world ends. Riding out this shit show til we die.
. . . . .
Added audio kinda late, felt a little punchy.
Crisp white wine, crystal blue water, and the kind of existential angst which feels so familiar as to almost have become my signature vibe. Summer skin and the warm scent of coconut oil. He tugs me close, turns me around, and ties the strings of my bikini bottoms back together after having untied them an hour or so ago when passion had blossomed, lush and intimate, into an entire mood of late afternoon desire.
When we make love, it’s like a kind of smoldering apocalypse, everything comes crumbling so beautifully, ruinously down, down, down. Out here on the water, the sway of the boat on the rolling swells rocks us hypnotically into a place where alone means something you can reach out and touch, a kind of freedom you can almost hold onto forever.
He says something innocent and filthy that makes me laugh and I turn up the music as I pour more wine. Laughter feels like heaven. It feels like a rumbling, delicious breakthrough. The orange sun is heavy into its evening show of heat rays, glittering itself in lavish peaches and watermelon pinks all across the dimples on top of the light blue water. It’s funny the things you swear you could taste even with your eyes closed.
He takes a swim and I watch his smooth body slip into the coolness of the lake. Fixing my wide brimmed hat to shade my eyes, I can feel my insides are the kind of low humming snug that comes with sweet satisfaction. I think briefly about how lucky I should feel, swallow my drink. Run an ice cube down my neck and drag it across my collarbone until it all but melts completely and disappears.
On the tip of my tongue is a poem I would give anything to speak. But the words only hover and will not repeat. I curl up on the long bench seat, pull my knees to my chest and concentrate on the rise and fall of my own breath. You never escape the dreaded thing, but there are techniques. You can try to tame it. The heat is letting up as clouds thicken, darken, extinguish.
As the clouds move in and the gulls swoop closer and closer together in a soaring circular ring, time slips away on the breeze. The trick is time is always there. And they will tell you it waits for no one but the truth is that it waits for me and I can feel its jaw widen against the atmosphere. For all the permission we give ourselves to forget the world and all of its madness, this life is an abyss. My lover and I riding the tide toward the wide open mouth of the end of the line and we’re slowly sloping in
You have to write for yourself if you want to cut through the noise. This world is full to the teeth with attempts to extract you from your own essence. Your own wild scent. What you want is to be alone in a field with the soft rain on your skin, listening. Keep your eyes trained upon the blue-gray blur in the distance, the washed out curve of nature into sky.
I have held so many a hand which meant me harm. I laughed into the pain and breathed life into pleasures I had no right to claim. You cling to bodies which are no match for your prismatic mind. In the dead heat of night, I moan into your palm, psalms of otherworldly desire, naked, vulnerable, soul bared before the strength of your need. There are ways to be free and ways to be chained to ill-fated alliances. I struggle with and against both.
What I know is there is so much hidden from us. What I believe is the trap had been set since before we could understand those who encircled us like vultures, hunted us. What I sense in the marrow of my being is that we are handed, from the very beginning, too many locks and not enough keys. Treasure chests sunk to the bottom of the indifferent sea. Heavy with jewels never once seen.
When he drags his fingers along my jaw, the sensation runs the entire length of my body. A single touch unlocks my most ancient and timeless of secrets. His hand on my throat. I become the instrument, ache to offer him the music of my devotion. I remain motionless as I learn to weather the storms which are taking over the fields inside me. I always knew they were there. How I longed to return to their heavenly waves.
What I know is there is far too much I do not know about the ways I am capable of expanding, of being reborn, of becoming new. I write to keep close to something which turns in my blood. Which trembles and shakes its own walls until it cannot be denied. To write is to surrender to yourself inside of something much bigger than you can possibly understand all at once. If you find it hard to do, perhaps this is why.
Deeply fascinated by the mind of C. G. Jung, I have taken to reading his Psychology of the Unconscious over coffee on Sundays. I turn what he writes around and around in my own thoughts. There’s a lot to take in but I fixate on the way he speaks of nightmares and their feminine nature. I’d no idea that was a thing, though it’s not lost on me that a guy would somehow deem the source of terror to be female.
It’s convenient for a million reasons not worth getting into except to say that they can turn you into whatever they want in their fantasies but only a woman knows exactly what she is and, believe me, terror isn’t the half of it.
Lilith. Female as murderess, mother as blood thirsty. Isis. Trickery and mayhem, slithered within new life, rebirth, womanhood. All the while I wonder why as sexual a creature as myself has never once had a dream wherein I was riding a horse, apparently, according to Jung, an indication of one’s sexual desire. Nor was there ever even a single horse in any dream I have ever had that I can recall. Horses are lovely. And I never think about them ever at all in the least.
The day is coming on sticky, humid, heavy in the way heat is heavy right before it really knocks you out. I can’t decide between the blue floral printed bikini or the olive green high-waisted one, so I put both on my new credit card because they are on sale and I am admittedly not the most disciplined when it comes to impulse buys nor am I quick to make any kind of hard decisions on a hot summer Sunday in late July. Come to think of it, they might look cute mixed and matched. I am a genius but only by accident.
I put some laundry in the gentle cycle, pour another cup of coffee and wonder about the way our minds wander all throughout the day without relent. We sink into music and poetry. We think dirty thoughts as we touch ourselves in the dark. We paint strange murals on the walls of our private dreams. But all the while underneath, there we are, alone with the tangled up complication that we ultimately will always be.
There is something about this day I don’t want to start. I don’t know if all fright is feminine but I do know that lately it’s been harder than usual for me to relax. I abandon Jung and Freud and all the rest of the human race living and deceased and begin to browse through a website for sandals with a high wedge heel. I’ve given up cigarettes and my anxiety ebbs and flows through my thin simmering veins. I need something to gnaw between my teeth. I feel it now in my fingers as they click across the keys but maybe it’s just the caffeine. Either way I think I need a new lipstick. And hair cut. And maybe a lavender night cream. Something to help soothe the panic in my horse-less dreams.
Everything he writes is an ache in your being that won’t let up. It just wants and wants, tugs and gapes and pulls at the strings inside of you you never even knew you were made of.
It is a thickening madness. A gift for which you pay a decadent price.
You become as though a key which does not fit its lock, for the lock cannot exist.
When you reach forth a finger to touch that which you desire, the object will not recoil but must disappear. This is the way of it as it was meant to be from the very beginning.
Your wanting as wide as an ocean, menacing, mysterious, and deep. His existence as a fork-tongued punishment, forever at the edge of your quivering soul without reprieve.
The Mesmerizing Coil of the Serpent. The Glistening Curve of Golden Chalice.
The release which never, ever comes.
As you wish.
Writers mess around, and they are deadly serious. I juxtapose the weighted movement of the midnight pulse against the concrete light of the harsh swath of day. It doesn’t help to tell a thing unless it feels fatal not to tell it.
I once begged a lover to tell me the truth. Tell it to me so completely that when we both looked back over it, we could never go back to the way it was before the telling.
He couldn’t do it.
A well too dark.
The future too much of a cumbersome thing.
There are those among us who can tolerate the suddenly cruel, sumptuous licks of passion, of luscious chaos, and those who can only be crushed by such inconvenient protruding.
The way you find out is in finding out the hard way.
The trick is that there is only one way.
Desire is death.
It cries in your chest.
A crooked wing, a melancholic thing.
The haunted, aimless arching of sweet withheld caress.
I rub my lips with my fingers until the friction starts to really burn and become too much. I bite into the agitation and think about the taste of blood. I admire a new stem which sprouts from an old root buried deep in the rich dark earth. I read your words and select a few that turn my fantasies into physical reaction. I am a miner and a thief. I am shameless. I take everything I see.
Full moon in July: The Buck Moon. The male of the species in full-on growth mode, antlers jutting above the tall thick grasses, proudly pointed for all to see. The sinister supernatural spark in the eyes of the natural world. We train ourselves to un-see, what a nihilistic privilege. As I walk past the fields, there are three of them standing stark still, staring directly at me. Frozen in place with picturesque poise. Three bucks in a perfect row, roaming beneath the afternoon sun.
I take myself to the new hipster bar, it’s all craft cocktails, lavender infused ice cubes, homemade liquor. Organic or some shit but I like the way they pummel the actual herbs while you watch your libation take on a signature little life of its own. Give me something strong and interesting. Spirits and distilleries and the heated, aromatic subsiding of the edges which never seem to let up on their jamming me beneath my skin.
It’s a cooler afternoon than we’ve had in quite some time, a welcome relief after weeks of the oppressive kind of heat which can kill off a good time and scorch the living hell out of a pale complexion like mine. I find a burnt orange leather armchair by the open window to the street and sink myself into its buttery softness.
When I watch people, sometimes I wonder if their insides are as manic, as calculating, as curious as mine. When they smile do they mean it because so often it doesn’t look like they do. Here comes a shy looking girl with a short lace dress and long tan legs. There goes her fuckboy sliding his beard along her bare shoulder as she stirs her old fashioned. Oranges and spice and a goddamn waste of time.
I sip on my drink and drag my eyes across the full length of the hand-carved wooden bar. Remembering a thing you wrote once a while back, I pull up the notes app on my phone and type your words into the glow of my electronic memory. This life is so fleeting and so vacant. How rare it is to find even a few little bits of anything that cut through the static. Some shreds of the soul left in anything to cling tight to.
I wake up late because last night we got into the gin, though it wasn’t the gin so much as the conversation which blossomed forth. Juniper and trading secrets. Palms against flesh and kisses that somehow quench as they leave you thirsty for more. There is an effortlessness about you I wish I could inhabit. Crawl inside, live inside, never leave behind. I know you think I could do it but don’t on purpose, as if flicking off a switch. I promise you that if it were so easy I’d have done it decades ago.
In the dimness of morning haze, I pour my coffee and stare out the window into the garden. In the darkness, I can just make out the white cuts of feather on a single blue jay which is perched upon the handcrafted bench, facing the roses. Its long pointed tail stretches itself all the way out, up and down in a startled motion, before he flits off under a low bush. There are creatures of night and creatures of dawn and for the life of me I swear I’m one when I could just as surely be the other.
Nested in blankets and pillows in an upstairs room, I grab my laptop and begin to type a thing I don’t see coming but let unfold anyway. Writing is a bit like improv. You just get in there and say a thing and something else related until you look back to find you’ve strung a piece together like a dangle of party lights, the ones which lit up your backyard when you were a kid. Pink and orange and yellow together were always my favorite. Summer grass and shadow puppets. Knees in the dirt and eyes wide beneath the stars. Lanterns, swimming pools, fireflies. How can it all sail by so quickly. These are the thoughts of a woman of such an age as mine.
In the back of my mind is the idea of you. You are faceless, though not without form. A beautiful, majestic form, like something cloaked in the darkness of a thousand exotic nights. I try to write but my fingers think only of typing you into being. My fingers breathing into your lungs and your body even now. My breath at the parting of wherever you come from, far beyond the deadness of this ordinary place. Dawn cascading her ribbons of soft creamy light across my skin.
There is something about you I don’t think you even know is there but it wraps itself around me, flutters itself through me like the winged expression of a sensation forbidden, the pulsing threat of the catastrophic truth of it. Its existence, a burning impossible to survive. Something which cannot help itself but to rise, up and up higher and higher, into the waiting, sun soaked sky.
. . . . . .
The title of this piece is the title of a song by Cigarettes After Sex, with whom I remain obsessed.