Everybody plays along and nobody fits in but oh how desperately they try, how they let the fears of being left behind fry their nerves like shredded electric wires underneath their skin. It’s not that I don’t have it in me to get on well with others it’s just that the others exhaust me with their unspoken angst as they chew it and swallow it over and over again. You want to go and you want to stay and you want it both ways without letting go of either until something inside of you that used to sparkle and dance turns motionless and cold. What happened to the girl who looked so lovingly into her own shy heart? Where do you go when no one’s around and the shadows want to play? Who have you come here to save and are you doing it now as promised or are you just killing time until the next shiny object comes along? It has been so long since I’ve felt invited into a day’s unfolding hand. They make the rules and you say you’ll break them but you won’t, you never will because the fear they fed you is working and you’d sooner die than risk the safety of the monotony of one foot in front of the other, dead on arrival before you even step outside. The sun is shining bright and cruel upon the pavement as I make my way toward no where in particular. The air is excitable even as it smells like a coming frigid rain, not a cloud in sight though so maybe because of all the holiday drama my instincts are off. All around me are the little rich sporty people with their green smoothies swearing up and down about dry January. Why don’t I just give in? Why don’t I just suck it up and be like everyone else, stop thinking so much and just do the things which somehow make you simultaneously attractive and invisible. The world being far too beaming a place for me to stomach at the moment, I arrive back home and open my laptop. I think about a winter morning sky that was blue enough to blind you if you took it in straight. Razor blue, the kind of blue screaming so loudly of perfection it cuts at the veins like knives. A perfect lover’s mouth without a face which spoke about sex acts and death and whose infectious words dripped all over my body like warm honey. I know it’s tough out there and even the things you thought would save you have left you broken and afraid of your own footsteps. I know there are dark urges the mirror cannot reflect. I know sometimes out of nowhere your insides twist and it gets harder and harder to breathe. But if I could find you, touch you where the pain makes you exquisite, if I could catch a glimpse of the fire in your dark sharp eyes, I would give you everything I had left in me that hasn’t yet been ruined. I would write you a story which would quiver and shake inside of you, cause your beautiful blood to burn, your senses to rise to pulsing attention. I swear if you just let me in I would kiss you sweet, I would spread my ivory wings and split the blackened sky. I would risk it all to bring us back to life.
If you want to write you have to cut them off. You have to crack a window in a room where no one else will find you and you have to learn how to expose your soul while at the same time disappear completely. You have to understand how to make love entirely inside your mind, feel her softness as it parts for you, blinds you, envelopes you. How will you approach? How will you ask the ask and see the thing through? As the cool air sifts in over the windowpane, it causes your skin to tingle, bare only at the wrists, ankles, and face. This is how we let the world in, in small waves swallowed slow. I have seen a lot this year, yearned perhaps for too much but I think that’s just the way I’m put together and I’ve long since stopped apologizing. On this final day of a made up expression of time, I don’t feel much like reflecting. I do that every day of my life, it is exhausting. The trees are still black as fresh tar in their stoic silence, the sky is still a dirty kind of white. What do we set about trying to discover when we writers try to write? Is it all just an attempt or do we ever get to it? To where we think we need to go with words, with our incessant thinking. Observing. Mutilating. You create such elegant imagery when you tell me about a thing, the colors of the words you choose, the soft curves and jagged edges of the stories you tell with such incredible ease, grace, fire. As I listen to you, watching your mouth, your fine hands, my eyes are drowsy from champagne and firelight. Somewhere inside of you the universe is spinning about its endless sticky web, I can feel it in you, moving. Please, oh please, entrap me, bind me up and keep me. I’d like to be yours for a while. I’d like to be a succulent dreamy thing like you. Glistening. Aching. Prismatic. I’m reading Bukowski because I have all of his works and am taken by many of them, some will spit on this. But there was in him a way of nailing loneliness to a barren wall like a naked crucifix that strikes me as beautifully perverse. I hate the way it feels. I want it all over and inside of me. I want the way it hurts as the currents tear through me. I read it on repeat at the end of a year that is any year that is a string of heartbeats falling soundless upon sweet grass.
the beads will swing
the clouds will cloud
and the killer will behead the child
like taking a bite out of an ice cream
more haters than lovers.
people are not good to each other.
perhaps if they were
our deaths would not be so sad.
meanwhile I look at young girls
flowers of chance.
there must be a way.
surely there must be a way that we
have not yet
She believes in angels but only when she is so afraid of the shadows stalking her in the dead of night that she cannot find peace enough to even close her eyes, let alone sleep. Mostly her days are thin fog, rum raisin lipstick, the smell of warm rain in the air at the back of her throat. He doesn’t believe in anything though he thinks he believes in her. Her pale skin like silk as he tongues and tastes her yielding body until she is supple in his merciless hands. He makes her move, he makes her weak, he makes her come repeatedly for him to observe. And though her flesh reacts as she knows it should, her soul swims so low beneath the surface it has remained untouched for nearly her entire life. There were moments, to be sure, many in her younger days, of glimmering light, moments when the soft ache of a fading purple evening cut the glass in her chest, her naked love cracked, trembling, still beating. She will offer you her honeyed sweetness even as she hides away her finest fruit. She doesn’t know any better because some creatures are born unprotected, they arrive to earth different from the rest, unprepared, strange, withholding, and spend their lives searching for something they cannot name. The words they use are searchlights, the wet language of poetry. She keeps her gaze to the sky more often than most and as the autumn winds burn frost into winter, her crystal blue eyes turn gray and wide, as though she can see the many things that you cannot. She takes it all in and swallows it whole. Hurt and pain, lust and life, passion and death. Her heart is a graveyard hill covered in fresh white snow, a song of mourning in a land far off. Cloak and dagger. Hands clasped and cold in the valley in between her tender breasts. I think of her as I walk alone under a winter washed sky, my eyes to the heavens as the slim black geese soar high overhead, the hollow of their shrill cries coming close, closer, and then moving off. Lighting a cigarette, I tighten my coat against the freezing wind. There is a warmth in me that I keep to myself. There is a woman inside of me, I can hear the way she moves toward me, graceful footsteps falling into thin air. She speaks to me in dreams which call me home. Into her lips, into her ribs, into the heat of her disarming caress. As a mist moves in, I turn away from a world so cruel. I pray to nothing, breathe for no one. As the hour grows tall against the darkening hills. As the woman inside me waits, eyes upturned.
As a hard rain slashes down the windows forcing cold air through the glass, I’m reading your poetry in the dark as I sip red wine. Feeling the heady essence of both slide deep into my veins, I’m thinking about the way some people never really see the world which flutters at their fingertips at all. They have white eyes like marble, unmoved, stiffened shoulders. Bodies like corpses, shells. They cannot smell the sweet menace of a coming storm, the way that I can. And then there is you, rich, elegant, wild, impossible you. You see everything, touch each detail with marked attention, turning it over and over in your capable hands. It is evident in the words you select, and the words you do not. You are a master of choice, of precision, of pace. My bones react to your imagery, sensations flicker underneath my skin as you collect me easily, eagerly, breathlessly. Poet, sorcerer, hunter. I have spent many days alone studying, writing of the desires of the flesh, what the body craves. How many ways to describe the soft curve of a lush pink mouth as it parts itself to wet, suck, and give pleasure. But what truly fascinates me are the private needs which simmer inside the mind. What you tell me by not telling me. How you touch me by withholding touch. The human heart a glistening cluster of dark secrets you fold yourself inside. I’m not sure the world can ever hold us, you and I. We will never be satisfied, we struggle and we attempt and as the blind ones rejoice for the rotted nothing they administer, we crouch into our own shadows, make love to the sinister. Kiss our own knees. Lick our own wounds waiting for a dawn we know in this life we will never see. But when I sit alone in the stillness, late at night with candles dancing and curtains drawn, I bow my head to drink of you. I catch a glimpse of that burning rose gold sky.
People are complicated and they are everywhere and these two simple facts alone are enough to make all the tender frightened bits inside of me claw for solitude. I don’t know who I am more afraid of the crowds or myself when I’m being swallowed by them but either way the sheer overwhelming magnitude of people reflecting on their year as the next decade approaches has my skin crawling with angst. Up above my little useless worrying, the winter sky spreads itself in gray washed white, draped like a dusty old curtain behind the pointy beckoning reaches of empty trees. The soul which is stirring, breathing, in my lungs is attentive to the strangeness of the moisture in the cold spring-like air. The scent of decay somehow intermixed with the dew melting like icicles nestled in brown grass. People are alone. They are alone inside their bodies and even when you are with them this is so. Even if you think you know what they are like or what they are thinking you are only ever one percent right at best. They are a million times more complicated on the inside than they are allowed to be on the outside. I do not know if this is useful but it is a thing I learned this year. I also don’t think I want to focus so much on being useful anymore. Useful has broken me so hard so many times. Useful has severed me from myself and made me into nothing. Isn’t that just a way to make a human a commodity? When you behold a beautiful flower and marvel at the red velvet of its soft petals bursting forth like cherry, the very last thing you would ever say is, Oh my, how useful. No, no. As the wheel turns, as time inevitably passes and skims its faint fingers along your tingling spine, I want you to hold me and think of me like a beautiful, intricate flower, unfolding just for you to lose yourself in, to drink from, or the rain coming down in the heat of summer, soaking you like the dark wet soil, to your mysterious intimate core.
There is a quietude I crawl inside with my whole body. It is the taste of ivory snow falling from a black navy sky. It is the scent of perfumed blood on a sacrificial night. In the mirrored mist, the silent sensation of your stoic face, featureless and dim. There are cruel eyes which search me from behind your eyes. In this place I am motionless as you part my lips. Clutch your cold hand upon my heart, fingers groping the soft firm curve of my breast. There are shadows which clasp like scissors, hinging my pulse to the throb in your veins. Your vulgar whispers, gunmetal chains which encircle me. I catch a glimpse of you turning, turning. When it all becomes blindness. When you call for me and I acquiesce. Naked. Curl of a spine at the foot of your bed. I open a palm to receive you. You shed your cloak and I drink from you. Breathe for you. Die for you. I feel your feathered darkness flutter against the cage in my chest.
As I walk home bundled up to my eyelashes in hat, scarf, wool coat, mittens and the whole works, the snow which had been falling swift and heavy since noon begins to change to an icy rain. I can hear it as it lands in thick chunks on the pavement, the smell of spiced wood and wet winter in the air. The bare inky trees seem to turn even darker still as they stand erect and immobile, the freezing coating coming down like a gray mood which seeps into your skin and sort of sloshes around in your veins. Inside my bones there are a thousand tiny question marks swirling around like minnows, making little mosaic designs with their quivering hyper bodies, kaleidoscopes of all the things within me which remain unresolved, undecided, agitated but with nowhere to go so they morph and shape shift into images of lust and love, war and cruelty, passion, hope, despair. Back at home I’m peeling off the wetness in soaked layers. I open a bottle of buttery white wine and run a bath to warm my chattering body, hoping it will also soothe my jittery obsessive mind. Closing the bathroom door so the steam begins to fog the mirror, I stand naked while piling my damp waves of blond hair up in a mess atop my head. Even though I’m pale and my eyes are little puffs of fading blue, I like what I see so I lean a bit closer and trace a small heart in the mist on the glass with my finger. Taking a swallow right from the bottle because I’ve broken so many a glass in the tub before I’ve learned my lesson, not to stop drinking but to stop being so quaint about it, apparently, it dawns on me that the year is coming quickly to a close within a matter of days. Not only a year will have passed, but an entire decade in fact, and I try to feel something special about that but nothing much surfaces. I am not convinced we are moving forward into greatness but rather backwards into a scorching apocalyptic demise and each and everyday it seems something happens to prove my theory spot on if not also advancing at a speed neither I nor many others could have predicted. What does still surprise me is people’s ignorance, their refusal to tell the truth about what is happening right before their very eyes, but maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe I should know better by now for I’ve seen four decades through after all. Stepping into the hot water and sinking down low, my body relaxes deeper than it has in weeks and for a moment my mind is sweetly suffocated into silence by the scent of the milky lavender heat. I’ve tried to follow the call of my melancholy soul, that much I can say for certain at least. I’ve a collection of erotica I’m working on which is a more beautiful and more difficult endeavor to produce than I thought it would be. This is what keeps me going, the words. Thinking back on how I’ve spent my days and nights, the loved ones I’ve lost and the ones who are still around, I am touched with a hint of nostalgia for the years when this season meant magic, wonder, enchantment. How we have traded it all away for a game there is no way to win, and no way to stop playing until it’s all over for good. We posture and we pose and we pretend and we throw tinsel and down champagne as the stars pierce the skies with their dead light. Then we go home to burn our listlessness into the ground any way we know how. They tell you it could be easier but it’s not because you pay attention. If there is a God, it must feel our sadness, too, if it has any kind of heart.
He had a steady way of describing fleeting things which she found both fascinating and sinister. A mind so dexterous was dangerous and she knew it but the way he touched her with such command made her feel weak and alert at once. His ability to reflect without distorting, to bend without breaking, to manipulate at will. His disposition strong and calm enough to send her own skittish nerves into a quiet excitable humming which cascaded through her entire body in warm pulsating waves. She had a thing for men who went after what they wanted without apology and he possessed confidence in spades, stopping just short of arrogance. Not that spilling over into arrogance would have turned her off. She’d have licked, sucked, and swallowed that as it dripped off of him as well. Pouring a glass of rose wine as she walks slowly across the bare wooden floor in her new apartment, she leans against the window frame and watches as the fading evening light splays itself along the walls, still empty as though everything in the room, inside of the woman, were waiting. She is not sure of his whereabouts these days, he being a well traveled man not fond of leaving tracks. He was only a memory now. A shadow in dreams she longed to touch, to stroke, to please. In the darkening room, night falls in around her alone upon her bed, the aching between her thighs begins to liquefy, a sweet flowering swell. She touches herself at the precious wound, consumed with desire to penetrate the luxurious depths of its softly unfolding petals. Muscles flexing, her dewy body enraptured with the imagery of his hand upon her jaw as he pinches her breasts, holds her hips in place while taking her again and again without relent. Inside of her she hears the groaning whisper of his voice, tastes the wetness in her mouth, panting for the heat in his words. Beg for this. Beg until it’s hard for you to breathe. He made the world spin upon its tilted axis. In his eyes were the dark secrets hidden inside of the universe he fed to her as she offered herself up to him completely. How he had shown her the wonder in so very many things. A man who could somehow inflict pleasure like a knife, pain like sick heaven. A man who knew the words to use with such precision he barely had to speak at all. But the moment he did, how she fell, instantly, expectantly, hungrily, upon her elegant knees.
Never enough time to do what you want, you trade a flashy smile for a few moments to yourself in peace. Is it you or is it them or is it the encroaching of everything that has you short of patience with the mundane? You know the stares and the blankness which surrounds you so well you can see it with your eyes closed. It curls around you as you sleep. You feel it in the backdrop of the dreams you once had which you let fall away like tissue paper snowflakes disappear on the warm cheek of a woman you once knew to whom you no longer speak. All of those wishes for grandness, for a way to touch the sky and dance along the edges of a drunken starry night. The way your hands slid easily up her shirt and encircled her perfect milky breasts as she straddled you in the backseat of your beat up old hatchback, Radiohead, vodka, cigarettes. One at a time your tongue thick upon each nipple, your teeth sunk deep into her cinnamon flesh until you felt her pulse quicken as she sucks at the empty air for breath. You with your angry bloodshot eyes and she with the tight body ticking like a clock. With every thrust you make her count backwards from the end of innocence. Now there is no time like the present and there’s so little hope for a future as the world drapes a noose around itself while humming holiday classics. Sinatra, martinis, pantyhose, mobsters, excess. And for all the elegance she displays somewhere out there where you’re not allowed to be, you can still feel her trembling skin underneath your fingernails, taste the sweetness of her heavenly folds as she lay open, blossoming before you, begging for you to stop. Not to stop. The mind is a dangerous place without escape, your addictions spread inside your bones like wildfire. And as you walk along the streets the swollen winter sky turns from white to gray to black. The traffic lights blinking are signals you’re sending to your own tired heart. Walk. Don’t walk. Yes, no, maybe, try again later. Go, baby, go, and don’t you ever, ever look back.
It’s after midnight and I’m curled up in the green velvet chair I never sit in writing in an old leather notebook I never write in, skimming over the many thoughts in my mind one of which is that I’m so tired I can’t sleep, another marvels at the fact that despite my exhaustion something in me is still highly aroused. Pouring a glass of crisp Australian wine, I down two large swallows letting the cool liquid slide over my throat and seep into my bloodstream. It happens quickly as I’ve not eaten since I grabbed some noodles and tea at lunch. Rarely am I up so late but there are thoughts of you shifting around in the shadows, someone I have not yet met but feel I have known intimately for all my life. A man or a woman or an apparition or perhaps all three, I think of you, somehow, as a manifestation of something I cannot name but wish to worship at its dark forbidden altar. You drink in my words like licking honey as it drips from my fingertips and just as I melt in response to watching your divine mouth sucking on me, your tongue sliding up and down the length of my fingers, your throat pulsing and flexing as you swallow my sticky sweetness hard, you pull the black satin ribbon from my hair and use it to tie my hands firmly behind my back. I am not able to write, I am no longer in control, which causes my heart to race in my chest as I bend my neck and lower my eyes to the wooden floorboards. Tipping my chin up, you place a finger in my mouth and ask me if I enjoy writing erotica. Flooded with sensations which make it hard to breathe, I nod, unable to speak as you keep the pressure upon my tongue, eyes wide and fixed upon yours gazing down at me. I know you have posed this question because you already know the answer. You have known it for quite some time and so have I but humans are intricate creatures, full of mazes, twists and turns, corners, edges, fixations. What is erotic for some is disturbing for others, while for others still the disturbance is what gets them off. I am writing for you on this very late night because I have been a servant of the sensual all my life. Such is the lifeblood of the poetess. And as you stand before me, observing my nakedness, my eagerness, the fear swirling in my burning desire, you can see the flames dancing behind my eyes, and you do not look away. I can see the wicked in your smile. How it excites me. I can hear what your body wants, what your soul craves, I have heard it calling to me for ages. I have waited for a long time now, to speak of these thick passions, these heady secrets. And as is true for so many desires people try to restrain themselves from touching, the longer I have waited, the hungrier I have become.