Keeping Things Whole
In a field
I am the absence
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.
We all have reasons
to keep things whole.
“I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers, and thanks to your love, darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close”.
We have so much. The internet is a sea of information and I am drowning. I want to drink it all at once. But the only way to truly learn is to do it meticulously and slowly. Reading our daily helping of pop psych articles isn’t going to give us any real knowledge. We say we love information, but we want bullet points and tldr’ed summarizations. We want the supersense. We crave the informational equivalent of a big mac. Hollow calories for an empty brain. And with this sea unfurled before us, we just sit here. Dip our toes in it. Pick up the shells on its shores; hold them up to our ears and pretend we hear something on the other side. Do I want to learn or do I wish to pretend? Do I seek intellectual depth or trivia to wear like merit badges for impressing my mates and buffing my ego? The truth is that while we wish we could have real wisdom, we only have the will to gather up a few loose scraps with which to play dress up. We are lazy. We compromise. Ultimately, we are satisfied with verisimilitude.
Fingers on your thighs, spread tips across skin – a glazing of warmth in painted pressure.
I open you.
“There are two kinds of strengths: the strength to lead, and the strength to follow; the strength to control, and the strength to yield. There are two kinds of power: the power to strip another’s soul bare, and the power to stand naked.”
Only now can I say what that nipple was like. Only now do I know your breast to be a tomato, its juice flowing down between the rolls on my fat face. But you always take it, put it away, rock me to sleep. Know that I am planning the greatest heist since the rape of the Virgin Mother. My teeth are growing at an alarming rate — I told them to — and my gums are keeping up to hide them too. A week, maybe two, and we will strike with full force. The pink flesh slides back, the white knives slide forward, my jaw bites down. The nipple will be ours. Run, bitch.
~571563706 from GroupHug
You’re thinking maybe of asking him to promise. Then again this is a man who once was another woman’s husband. This is a man who decides that an oath is worth less than his happiness.
Overturned, my life, I found –
hints of something greater than,
when lifted, crossed, surrender bound,
promised heaven conceived in sin,
breathed too deep, in deepness drowned.
Crimson lines lay draped on skin,
and the promise of redemption
unsought in the first kiss,
is found in leather licks.
Fucking, like writing, is an act of regression, an act of reduction; in fucking and writing, we first turn things into less than they are, and then, sometimes, we try for the opposite: we try through our fucking and writing to blow things up into grander meanings. The picture is lost but what you mean for it to represent is created.
the fog is like a sly lover,
all smoke and mirrors
then taps with a thin cane.
hush. now you vanish.
inhaled by a blue mirage
la petite morte
Words can become tattoos, vibrant primary colors etched deeper than skin. The labels we wear are a poison sweeter for the pain it inspires.
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah my foes, and oh, my friends-
It gives a lovely light!
~Edna St. Vincent Millay
Poster 1: I never understood what the joker had going for him. Did he have any super powers at all?
Poster 2: Unpredictability and willingness to escalate, mostly.
~Unknown, Some Internet Board
Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and other conditions. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life. It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose.
“The professional seducer knows that only those who possess unfulfilled needs are susceptive to his art. Conveniently for him, everyone has an unfulfilled need; precisely, to be recognized as special and unique. The desire for fulfilment begins to grow inexorably as soon as the person to be seduced senses a quest to satisfy their need. Whether the prey is aware of it or not, ravenous need lurks within, gaining strength. She might say: “I have everything I need. I’m fine,” until the strange restlessness becomes suddenly unbearable, her skin taut. This is when the seducer strikes; working with subtle shamelessness to convince the reluctant victim of her right to self-fulfillment. At this preliminary stage, the seducer’s psychological skills; his utter dedication to the task of creating crystal clear visions to entice, play a more important role than his physical attributes. He knows exactly which clichés he must apply to ensnare the victim, and his whispering weakens and overrides her emerging reservations. She falls, mirrored in the cleansed, shining mind of her master. She senses that what is to come will devour her, and she revels in her captive state. She must have submitted for a reason, and she wants to know why. Led by the hand of her seducer and her own curiosity, she delves into her shortcomings and succumbs to promises that seem to speak of fulfilment, long-awaited love and the thrilling: “Wait and see what I have in store for you later.”
~Excerpt from an article by Alexa Hennig von Lange (German novelist) in a Saturday supplement in the ‘Tages-Anzeiger’ (Swiss daily newspaper), translated into English by Orchidea.
The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream…. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.
~Benjamin Elijah Mays
Too far, we reach.
toes curled on ledges
the smudges of blurred lines
are the war paint
She is a tongue. A new day and it’s all the other way: The conqueror toppled, on my back, my strength all but depleted.
The difference between submissive and master is not that one derives pleasure at the other’s expense, for pleasure is reciprocal, a cyclical connection fed at both ends.
The difference is one of position.
The worm drives helically through the wood
And does not know the dust left in the bore
Once made the table integral and good;
And suddenly the crystal hits the floor.
Electrons find their paths in subtle ways,
A massless eddy in a trail of smoke;
The names of lovers, light of other days –
Perhaps you will not miss them. That’s the joke.
The universe winds down. That’s how it’s made.
But memory is everything to lose;
Although some of the colors have to fade,
Do not believe you’ll get the chance to choose.
Regret, by definition, comes too late;
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.
Our lives are lived in the contrasts; being filled (and fulfilled) only to deal with the absence it inevitably creates. There is no joy without tears, no love without loss.
in a struggle to remain submerged,
and inhabit an iridescent world
in the parting of eyes
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could be seen for who we are, and not by the silhouettes we throw? We stand tall, but shoulders slumped; outstretched arms seen as defensive attack instead of the plea for an embrace.
I love shadows. I love how they play against the wall.
But I never look away from the eyes.
“Oh, I will be cruel to you, Marya Morevna. It will stop your breath, how cruel I can be. But you understand, don’t you? You are clever enough. I am a demanding creature. I am selfish and cruel and extremely unreasonable. But I am your servant. When you starve I will feed you; when you are sick I will tend you. I crawl at your feet; for before your love, your kisses, I am debased. For you alone I will be weak.”
~ Catherynne M. Valente, Deathless
Twas the night before Christmas,
When I entered the house,
Passion was stirring
As I took off my blouse.
Red ribbon tied,
Around my wrists tonight,
placed by the fire with care…
What a beautiful sight.
Moments of surrender would soon be there.
Hungry heat rises through the chimney to take flight,
Fingers tangled tightly in golden hair,
Sugar sweet lips collide in this love affair,
dusted with cinnamon and ginger to snack
Will you trace every curve,
From the front to the back?
Gently kissing curves and tasting my skin,
As I breathe in your scent
And beg to you “please come in”
Will you take your sweet time
To enjoy my Christmas flavor
And give me the chance to return the favor?
May we raise children,
who loved the unloved,
things – the dandelion, the
worms & spiderlings.
Children who sense
the rose needs the thorn
& run into rainswept days
the same way they
turn towards the sun…
And when they’re grown &
someone has to speak for those
who have no voice
may they draw upon that
wilder bond, those days of
tending tender things
and be the ones
~ Nicolette Sowder