Poetry (47)

A very useful reminder to self, from Pola @ The Escritorium.

The Escritorium

Hello Escritori,

Here’s this week’s offering about the importance of having compassion for yourself.

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Hurt

Do not make a pet of hurt.

Let it not become a familiar

To caress

In complicit

Symbiosis.

Do not sit

And nurse it,

At (and in) your breast:

So that it tinges the milk

Of a moonlit night

With an edge of darkness;

And causes memories of curdled love

To leave a sour gift of sleeplessness.

Do not make a pet of hurt.

Do not give it nourishment.

Each better day to come

Has its potential present:

But left unset.

Do not let regret

Be the single pea,

Hidden under a

Heap of mattresses.

Those mattresses are practical

Emotionally necessary,

But made out in yards of silk

To swaddle a dry legume

Coated in its age with dust and dirt

To make a pearl out of your hurt.

But you still feel it.

You do

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fighting words

[Woke up after a very strange evening yesterday and I needed to write. Sat down, typed without thinking. No filter, no edits. And yes, I seem to have worked myself up into a frenzy. Again.

Alright, I will go and put my brain on ice now, wear it the right way and come back later.]

‘Calm down.’

‘I don’t want to fucking calm down!’

Actually, that’s a lie.

I am calm. In this moment, I am extraordinarily calm. Calm as an assassin before a crucial hit. Adrenaline pumps blood through my veins like a war drum; loud but steady.

I may have failed in many things, but my hands are steady. Look, no trembling – see? Look, no hands! Risk under supervision – is that a risk at all?

Vision? Clear. Eyes? Unblinking. Heart? Cold. Mind? Empty. I know what I have to do. Precision is all. Precision of a neurosurgeon.

There’s no thinking here, just doing. Isn’t this what you want? What you wanted? The ‘real’ me? Well… surprise! You ain’t getting any help this time, sunshine.

Be careful what you wish for.

On four or five hours sleep. Most would crawl back to bed, I’m up and about, functioning at optimum capacity in the silence and darkness. I’ve begun to think I should just do away with sleep altogether. But alas, it is one of the things I need. Medicated, mediated reality needs sleep to function properly.

I come from that place ideas go to die. Spouting fury, philosophy, death. A mantra. A virus. Language is a virus – that’s Burroughs for you. He shot his wife, didn’t he? Oh no, this isn’t a work of fiction, my dear. A work of art, perhaps.

Morning pages, pages in the morning aren’t supposed to be like this. No. Nothing’s supposed to be like this. Pages, stages, cages. Poet’s rhyming words – not angry words. Chant rhyming words. Rhyming words will keep you safe. Rhyming words will keep her safe. Safe from me.

Repeat after me: rhyming words… rhyming words are fighting words.

A prayer? Oh you want me to pray? For my soul? Not in this world. In this world, you have to have a soul to pray. Only animals and plants don’t have souls. Well, that rules out most of the planet, then. Go back to your rhyming words; words, birds, curds.

Does word rhyme with dirge? The most important question of the day.

Write, write, write. Do or die. Kill a character, kill a man. Google search how to-? Internet fury. Cyber wrath. Oh, they’re just words; they don’t matter. Squiggles on a page. Can’t possibly mean anything. Can’t possibly… can’t possibly kill.

‘You’re just saying that to make me feel better.’

No, I’m not. Trust me. If I wanted to make you feel better, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, darling. Our paths would never have crossed. It might have been best they hadn’t.

‘Everything matters.’

If everything matters, then nothing matters. Nothing else matters. What else matters but the words? After all is said and done, what is left but the words? What inheritance have I received but words, words, words, and even more words? Words almighty.

I come from the place ideas go to die.

Some call it Hell.

I call it home.

 

#rage

There’s a place I go to sometimes.

It’s beyond words, beyond rage, beyond all help.

The shy child of the past drowns in a vat of acid fury.

Clarity impeccable. Focus unwavering.

I know what I must do.

No uncertainty, no fear; just do or not do. Break or not break. Smash or not smash. Kill or not kill. Hate or not hate.

No fear means no courage, no courage means no love.

But when you’re this far gone, it doesn’t matter. Untouchable – hands aren’t even trembling, see?

Rage is all, flexing dark muscles within, a panther stretching out before dinner.

I am the broken mirror.

I am the monster under the bed.

I am the nightmare that haunts your dreams.

I am the poison in your head.

I am the demon no one can look in the eye.

 

And it feels good.

#angels

[Apologies for disappearing – been working and writing loads (or, well, trying to…). I have to get back to it soon.]

‘When you sleep, you look like an angel,’ she said.

I smiled an empty smile at the words.

‘Please don’t call me that.’ I had tried to draw the line, to stop her before she stumbled into my darkness, but she continued.

‘Why should I not call you that?’ The challenge rose immediately in her question, just like I knew it would. Thus far, she had stubbornly refused to let me wallow in self-loathing.

‘Because I just don’t like being called that.’

I was foolish to think I would get away with it that easily.

‘Why not?’ Her question hung in the air, like a bomb ticking down to detonation.

‘Because I don’t feel like an angel.’ Lucifer was an angel too.

daily haiku #7 : stars

[Today’s haikus (yes, two of them, I think I owe you one for yesterday) were composed at 5.45 a.m. on the balcony while I stared out waiting for the Sun to rise. I woke up at 5.30a.m. and couldn’t fall asleep again, so I wrote]

stars

a blinking teardrop
set in princely black waits still
for sleep’s last rites

Adult content and NSFW – #vocabulary around sex

[I’ve added NSFW in the title because I guess this isn’t something you want your employer to see. Having said that, it’s not pornographic in content. At least, not a lot. 😉 ]

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Years, actually.

I’ve noticed that words relating to pleasurable experiences of sex (or masturbation) sound quite… forbidding. Not just in English – this is the case for Greek as well (I can’t speak of other languages, cause I haven’t expanded my vocabulary that far – yet). I mean, for example, in English you have:

  • masturbation (and the verb to masturbate)
  • to jerk off
  • to pleasure oneself (??? that just sounds weird)

I can’t think of any more right now but come on! I mean, this experience is one of the most natural (if not frequent…for some) things for a human being to do. For some people, it’s even more pleasurable than the act of sex itself. In fact, let’s do a bit of ‘market research’: I dare you to ask your partner next time you’re in bed with them (if you have one, of course. If you don’t, ask your closest friend). Ask them to be honest – and for those in relationships, don’t be offended if they enjoy it more than sex. Such things are not something to hold against anybody.

So…what was I saying? Ah yes! It’s possible that I’m exaggerating here or just have a very prudish ear, but if someone tells me to jerk them off, it kind of puts me off.

Or imagine this scenario: a couple are in bed and, after a bit of foreplay, they are both very turned on (or aroused, as I might say…depending on the day *). Let’s assume they have no inhibitions and are willing to do whatever their partner asks for. Therefore,one of the two says:
‘I want you to masturbate for me.’ (Or ‘Jerk yourself off for me’ or ‘Pleasure yourself for me’ [the last one sounds kind of Victorian… or is it just me?])

I don’t know about you, but for me, that just sounds either very sterile or clinical (masturbate/masturbation) or just very crude (jerk off). I’m not saying I want something that reminds me of puppies and roses, but it would be nice to have a word that actually is a pleasure to say.

Like the word… orgasm. Or…er… let’s see… titillating.

Reading and saying those actually feels good, doesn’t it? (Or is it just me?)

Ultimately, my question is this:
Why is it that the vocabulary around sex and masturbation makes them sound so unappealing – and sometimes even painful? There are millions of examples that I could list here (the only one that comes to mind right now is ‘fisting’. It is exactly what it says it is, but it doesn’t exactly encourage anyone who isn’t into it to try it).

Aside from this, there’s also the vocabulary intertwined with female and male sexuality and organs respectively: for example, cunt, muff, snatch, dick, cock, slut (because obviously only women who enjoy sex are to be shamed in public)… Again, I may be being prudish, I don’t know, but I don’t like writing these in a story. The acoustics/aesthetics of these words just don’t sit well with me. Of course, it does depend on the effect I’m going for; sex – like so many other things – can be slow and gentle, or rough and fast, so I do take advantage of the variety on occasion. Maybe I shouldn’t be complaining.

For anyone who’s read even just a bit of feminist discourse on slut-shaming or a woman’s right to her body, consent, and sexuality will probably recognise that I’m not the first or the last person to bring this to anyone’s attention. Also,it’s possible that we will end up agreeing that such words shouldn’t be ejected from the language, but rather reclaimed.

Nonetheless, I would say we need a new vocabulary for sex or a more sex-positive language.

At least, I do.

 

 

*For some reason, the aesthetics of the word’arouse’ (aroused/arousal) have always sounded and looked better to me (maybe it’s the ‘r’ or the fact that you can make it sound like a wolf howl if you exaggerate the ‘ou’ sound). I have been made fun of for this, but I still love that word.

daily haiku #6: spider

[I started working on this yesterday and forgot to post it! Oops. Also, apologies to people with arachnophobia; I asked a friend for a random topic for my daily haiku and ‘spiders!’ was what they came up with…]

spider

weave your wondrous web,
my sweet, and I’ll be yours to
hold forever more.

daily haiku #5 : daybreak

[As promised, second haiku. Yes, yes, I know, dawn and daybreak aren’t very different from each other, but daybreak sounded more pretentious and dramatic, so I’m going with that. Also, as far as I know, not all haikus (is that the plural?) have to have 17 syllables; they can be shorter, right?]

daybreak

molten fingers
dissolve misty-eyed stars
in Neptune’s cradle.