To Live

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Hieronymus Bosch

I will meet you

somewhere between the

theta waves

and this wounded refusal

to die.

 

But you have to be there,

truly be there

amidst the graves

and the killing laughter which

revels in your

every death.

 

The thefts,

and the burns

broadcast

a sudden madness,

your premeditated

deterioration.

 

Only when I washed up

on these brinks,

did I choke

on the tombs

of those killers.

 

The next storm

has already been planned.

 

I will be here

if you need me

with nothing left

to be taken.

 

Hermit and the Magic Blue Marble

aab33b40de44ffeea246e0190f5ecbee(Arthur Rackham, Comus.)

Part One

Beyond the pictured rocks

where lichen licks the ground,

beneath the cursed moon

where even wolves no longer howl,

within the hills and valleys

of the darkest forest floor,

lived a man named Hermit

from the gold archaic shores.

He was made of leaves and branches

and the soil he traversed,

he wore the wisest lifetimes

that have dwelled upon the Earth.

From the clearest turquoise waters

in the deep, subconscious blue,

the old time-traveler came upon

humanity’s noblest truth.

It was just a small, blue marble

that washed up on lucid shores,

when he found, next day, within his hand

which wasn’t there before.

He had heard of magical objects

like this marble, often in jest,

still, he wondered how it came to him

and what powers it possessed.

Hermit roamed the Earth with just

this treasure and his past,

his mind was free to wander upon

existence, at long last.

He witnessed wondrous miracles

that most others never see,

felt the depths of empathy

where the mind is truly free.

Part Two

By no means was Hermit a holy man,

yet, he’d seen a time or two,

occurrences lit unexplained,

no words to proffer proof.

He had seen some bearing torches

with their axes and their rage,

half-formed judgments, hunting witches

to their burning, exiled fate.

In a forest clearing where shooting stars

collect like dust,

survivors of the witch trials

piece their very own Sirius.

The walls of cavernous comets

climb the sky in shimmering gold,

each irreparable disaster,

like lotus petals, are told.

Behind tearful, dimming eyes,

they try with all their might

to break free of the hopelessness,

spread broken wings and fly.

Though his marble had gotten heavy

and his feet were swollen and sore,

he couldn’t bring himself to ask them

to bear half a burden more.

As he began to leave, to make certain

he did no harm,

one of the brightest dying ones

took the marble from his arms.

Suddenly something strange arose

like terror in her eyes,

a scorching, empathic realization,

a connection both were inscribed.

The powers this magical object held

suddenly became apparent;

it seemed to absorb the life experiences

of the person who possessed it.

The moment it was passed into

the hands of someone else,

the marble made it possible to feel

what the previous holder felt.

After offering Hermit a place to rest,

the outcasts chimed their goodbyes

as he set out alone, once again,

beneath dying, existential skies.

Part Three

Through the Hawthorne and Clover, the prairies and hymns,

over each disbelieving trespass,

Hermit collected each chaos like a quantum scar,

and with his marble he continued his path.

He was looking for a Queen by the name of Wretch,

for, this Queen Wretch had it all,

she had riches gold, she had tubs without mold,

she even had a dog named Raul.

Queen Wretch’s reputation was luminous,

her tantrums as known as her greed,

though it seemed lately Queen got a bit out of hand

so perhaps she’d need learn to take heed.

On his journey, Hermit saw over-turned tables,

he saw Redwoods and Elms snapped in half,

he saw wolves with three tails, peeped green, slimeless snails,

could have sworn he’d seen a motherless calf.

All the gnomes and elves who guarded the Queen

spoke in strange little symbols and codes,

they had much stranger methods to silence all creatures,

strike fear right straight down to the bone.

The Queen and her minions built castles and bridges,

they sent waves crashing down through the sky,

they trenched one’s worst fears, redirected wind shears,

made sure there was nowhere to hide.

A war-torn world the city became

under the evil Queen’s rule,

friends became foes, so tragic how most

intellectuals were mocked as mere fools.

A practical nature, Hermit possessed,

yet, a seeker of spirit and height,

he knew no one could grow under Queen’s reign,

as there seemed never an end to the night.

 

He Is the Reason I Don’t Trust Men

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(Art by Linda Vachon)

 

I speak on behalf of

oppression,

obedience,

silence.

Hey, motherfucker.

Yeah, I’m talking to you.

I know what you have done and what you continue to do.  I will expose you to anyone who will listen.

You are the one who beats the woman you claim to love.

You are the verbal/ emotional/ psychological/ spiritual abuser.

You are the sadist, the rapist, the kidnapper, the sex trafficker.

You are the waste of a human life who partakes in female genital mutilation.

You are the sex offender, the predator, the child molester.

You are violent against the minds, bodies and souls of women.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

You have become so ingrained into the collective consciousness of women that, therein, lies an innate fear, a survival instinct that keeps us looking over our shoulders, questioning the kindness of strangers.

You are the invader, the manipulator who seeks to destroy our sense of self-worth by showcasing violent and over-sexualized images in the media.
You sanctify compliance and crucify defiance.  You teach our sons to desire this.

You seek to weaken us, corrupt us so that we will never feel beautiful or good enough, and we will pass this down as a family heirloom for our daughters to inherit.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

You have pervaded the lives of women in every corner of the world for far too long now.  You have been let loose and shown no respect, no self-control.

You foolishly believe that violence against the
minds, bodies, souls of women implies that you somehow have conquered, and will forever dominate these territories.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

You are the one who is convinced that the force to which you operate under is somehow more powerful than the one that drives me.  Herein lies your greatest weakness because you perceive that I, alone, am driven by this force.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

You are the one who does not understand that these acts of war against women will always cause an uprising, and that the call will be answered from another woman, somewhere in the world.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

And the words will follow you, echoes driving you into hiding because too many voices will sound the call:
You are the reason I don’t trust men.

(This was originally written in 2012, and is a catalyst for a future project I will be working on.  I hope to collaborate with other female poets and artists about such issues in a self-published book which all the proceeds will be donated to organizations dedicated to ending violence against women.)

Sacred and Profane

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(Gordon Parks.  Ingrid Bergman, Stromboli, Italy, 1949)

 

In the dark,

I become like the

priest

repressed far too long,

liberating

atop

ayahuasca clouds.

 

Skewed contours

shifting,

fluid,

I watch

illimitable relief.

 

Look at her face;

the ecstasy,

irriverenza

unrestrained.

 

Existentially,

a sliver

divides

reverie and pain.

 

I want to tear

the shadows

from all who

haunt and hollow the

alto-releivo

of your being.

 

Waiting for impact,

I scale

Rome’s horizon,

fast approaching

the moment

I left

light’s womb.

 

I am reminded of a quote that said, “Not saints, not whores, just women.”   So often, I have known instances where shame is used to disempower and silence women, especially in reference to their sexuality.  I explored this, as well as some of my own personal expressions of it in this poem.  Issues of sex, society, feminism, and violence against women have been on my mind for a while, and I hope to create more poetry and ponderings soon about these topics.

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