Let It Come (audio)

Just behind the hypnotic coil of her copper colored eyes, there is a door which opens into a secret universe, a garden plush with wet roses and thick undergrowth, studded with all of the stars which fell like hot amber rains long ago and then disappeared.

There is a plane on which she does not exist and neither do you, yet somehow you sense each other there in that place that is not a place at all but rather a feeling. An energy that can only come to be born out of the clutch of tension which is a promise unfulfilled. The friction of a searing desire unattained against the prison cell of your own yearning body.

Passion is your beating heart in the hands of a ghost.

It is the exquisite punishing weight of a weightless thing.

A song you carry inside of a cage in your chest like the call of the emptiness of a deserted street at midnight. The romance of the echo of the footsteps of a stranger beneath yellow lamplight. Cloaked and mysterious. Faceless.

Once back in college, I wrote a poem as part of a creative writing program and the professor made me read it out loud to the entire class. It was titled Lady at Midnight and was an intimate description of a beautiful young woman in a gorgeous red ballgown – she was in a courtyard by a fountain, then up in a hollow bell tower by the time the poem ended. I don’t remember why. It had a distinctly medieval moody feel.

I cannot remember any of the words but I know I flushed crimson having to read it to a bunch of eighteen year old college freshman who were not poetry enthusiasts by any stretch of the imagination but mostly business majors just trying to check the box and get the English requirement over with so they could move on to whatever the fuck else business majors do.

I had been writing poetry all my young life until then, but around that time my poetry took on a decidedly sexual nature. I hadn’t mastered it yet but I was committed to it with everything that I was. There was no other expression of myself so perfectly me as when I was alone writing a sensual poem.

It fit like my feminine hand in a fine leather glove.

None of the words of that poem about the beautiful lady in her state of heightened arousal described sex specifically but the entire poem blossomed with dark sensuality, it swelled with longing and the haunt of the anticipation of something I don’t know how I described back then but I remember exactly how it felt.

Like decadence.

Like sin.

Just writing about it now, I am eighteen again, palms sweating, heart racing, penning that subtly (mmm… perhaps not so subtly) erotic poem I can no longer recall verbatim. I wish I still had it in my possession. I suppose in all the ways that matters most, I still do.

Poems are not words, you see what I mean, they are creatures. They are beings. They exist behind the eyes of the mind of the universe which is too gloriously massive to even fathom, to ever fully comprehend. That is the joy of it, the dare of it. The ultimate impossibility.

Poems are excruciatingly beautiful even when they are about terrible things.

When they are about delicious things… fuck… they are annihilation.

They kill you clean and proper and then put their mouth on your mouth, their breath on your breath, their hands on your ribs, and tempt you to find the words to describe them if you can possibly think straight enough to do it.

That’s the thing about poetry. You have to throw away all the words.

You throw everything out first and claw your way into the body of the feeling.

Inhabit it, become it entirely, from head to toe. Hand your body and soul over to it and let it do what it needs to do with you. Let it tell you its secrets through forbidden sensations in your own being, skin, bone, blood, sweat. Until it seeps through your tongue and pulses in your sex and courses through your every nerve ending. Be patient. Let it come.

If you are afraid of feeling, if you resist the raw, primal, frightening, wild nature of the words, you will never get anywhere worth going with poetry. You have to want it, trust it, taste it. You must embody it from the inside out. Beg it to destroy you so that it can raise you up.

I can’t help but smile wondering where those young business majors are now. If they still make fun of poetry because it scares them to death.

Cold White Eye

I see his face in the white wide sky as the snow falls heavy and thick all around me, big fluffy chunks of it land soft and cold on my skin, stick against my eyelashes before sliding off down my pink cheek.

Ivory snow flakes nestle in my strawberry hair as my boots crunch into the drifting layers of crystal powder on the street. Blanketing the dirt, covering the holes in the asphalt.

It is hard to write when you don’t know who you are but try to pretend.

The snowy landscape is so gorgeous it hurts all over inside. It tears into the softest parts of you that have given up trying to understand, trying to make any sense, trying to try. I want the silent solitude of each little falling flake to pile up inside me because I lost myself somewhere I can’t seem to pinpoint and I would like to be buried against that feeling.

It is a struggle to understand what anything means to me as I take in the frigid scene. I can feel the whiteness of the sky like an open eye into my own mind. There is a brightness behind my trepidation which shines like a distant orbiting sun.

A rising of the temperature. A warming which threatens to melt the beauty and force it down into the gutter where it belongs.

I have become too many people all at once. I am consumed with jitters and apprehension, and the apprehension becomes a persona I can manipulate like a child builds a man made out of snow. Charcoal eyes. Standing alone in a field.

Geese cry over head, their darkened bodies soaring through a pristine sky, and I imagine the wetness of freedom. The feathered breast of the wild we were promised but destroy.

I imagine his face inside the clouded winter, the dark circles around his heavenly eyes. The mouth is moving against the air and my blood rushes faster and faster toward it. I want to be swallowed.

It’s hard to write when you don’t know what you want from life. Your own life hanging in a closet somewhere among other things – lost, forgotten, discarded things which no longer fit. You keep what you have because it’s all you’ve gotten or ever will. What a joke. What a waste.

All around me this beauty, this terrible beauty which twists in my heart like a knife.

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Photo by Micah Hallahan