brave little fool

engender my body with gesture – with the movement to move, the courage to soothe, engesture my body with gender // with the firmament to fulfill a role already rolled out of the dice / wrap me up in the wrapture of my hormones; my genital fever ; my general fear of forgetting the way i am supposed to be presenting // present me : the present prescience of my perennial pubescence (the purpose of all that period blood) // hinder me, little wheel looking for a quixote – for the quixotic narcotic of hormone that makes my body moan ; twist ; contort ; retort and rotate and tolerate | so | much | bullshit — give it to me, girls parts ; tutu hearts – too, too heartfelt; too, too full of heart – you feel too much – you feel too much little girl — be like me little girl, stuff it. be like a man little girl, swallow it whole. devour feelings for lunch. let them fill you up with bone and anger and muscle and cartilage and ledges to lean over (not jumping, just leaning, just trust me — not jumping, just leaning; not learning, just pumping, just thumping – just trust me). let them fill you up – you’ll expand; balloon outwards; topple over yourself with musculature and strain; your chest will puff up – puffin-wide and proud – you’ll look remarkable – you’ll look large – you won’t have to feel it at all – you’ll look large – you won’t have to feel it at all – you won’t have to fear it at all – just fill yourself up with it. keep it safe in your intestinal tract. don’t trust anyone, little girl. all the men you see will have a lifetime of feelings bottled tight in their intestinal tract, don’t you see? stay smart. don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. that’s the smart way to do it – you’ll stay safe. you’ll keep everyone out. you’ll keep everyone out. you’ll keep everyone out.

isn’t that quaint – she isn’t afraid to feel. how adorable.

what a brave little fool.

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autumn hands

and now the fall crawls towards me ; autumn hands like bedsheets, like linen and ash and muscle contracting. stone bones curl inwards, hurricane eyes flood skeletons of summer hammocks. the sunlight starts to shiver. the weight of color begins to hunger in the green canopies. bumblebees and busy-ness ; the buzz of horizons burning black. embers now, embers now. remember how to shiver ; remember how to clamour for heat. how to tap your feet together like dorothy in the chilled reminiscence of bare feet.

new words take tumorous shape within my brain now. new play to open, new theatre to prowl, to inhabit, to listen to. and moments and mistakes and retakes and gamble feet talking into focus.

new children who gaze at me sidelong and wide-eyed ; infant-handed and perfect-mouthed. little fears tucked behind their ears ; little dresses approaching their scabbed summer knees. little lives splayed out in front of them like a game ; like a memory ; like a toy ; like a play.

and little me and little you, and little story still hammering at my life like a memory ; like a game ; like a play // like a song.

keep singing to me.

a staggering compilation

but do you feel stimulated and does the warm air wrap itself around your ankles and whip at your neckflesh and do men hold your face in their hands with tenderness and does the wild eye of the sky keep pouring hot rain onto the pavement? happiness is trite. the world is full of color and turquoise magic – horror terror and crimson hue/blood sad and wet faced worry – do not appeal yourself to the simplicities of what contemporary modern life says is the way to measure your life. you are a staggering compilation of dissonant cells and atomized neutrons and you are a fantastic imagining of clay still fresh and unglazed and you are a parcel of bones strung together and you are a finely laid arrangement of electricity. and do you hear the insect choir on a summer afternoon and does the highway extend out beneath your feet as you fly along and do you have a brain full of drummed thoughts tapping hot and measureless? you are, you are, you are doing just fine. you are doing straight black magic just breathing earth oxygen potion. you are doing just fine. you are everything you need to be at all infinite points on a compass. you are always on the path you are on and that path is always unfolding the only way it knows how to – domino, domino, domino, stange mystery of labor twirling outward – you are always a thousand ways that your cells are not dissolving. you are still held together with invisible electron glue. little gravity sorcery. you are still a phantasm/a creation creating. you are doing just fine. you are a miraculous breathbag heaving. still, still. do not worry about happiness, or silly rulers the world tells you you must measure yourself against. you are a magnificence of electro-magnetism. the world is not spinning you apart just yet. the laws of physics are still alive in you just yet. you are still breathing just yet. you are still filled with hydrogen possibility just yet. you are still a miracle just yet. you are a human being just yet and you are strange and aflame and you are brave for still breathing. for rising to meet the day. you are enough. you are doing just fine. if you are feeling a myriad of things, you are lucky. if you are feeling anything at all, you are lucky. if you know not one thing for certain, you are wise. you are doing just fine. you are doing cataclysmic, majestic things each day. like breathing. like existing. like being.

you are doing just fine. You are alive; you are making magic.

he found his breath

rolling body, my body is a forged steelsmith from the plains of america. my heart is a wheel, i am a firetruck. you cannot always beat the monster, sometimes the monster beats you. and jamie curled himself into the fetal position in the middle of the airport and screamed over and over for me to help him breathe again. it felt like a panic attack. he was overwhelmed and overtired and hungry and jacked up and scared about traveling from here to there to there to there. and i lay on the ground with him in the chicago airport and tried to teach him how to breathe. he looked up at me, eyes all a river and tried to breathe with me. and tried and kept trying and kept looking at me for help. kept telling me verbally that he needed me to help him breathe. and he found his breath, and i held him and rocked him on the ground in the middle of the walkway until he came back up for air. until he found his breath again. and i think this is the only important thing i do with my life. and i think everything else is selfish nonsense, in the end – and this is the only important thing i can do. hold another being until they can find their breath again. teach my son about the waves and how to ride them. how to breathe through them. how its okay to feel. and hold him until he can find his breath again.


 

i am trying to be patient with myself, with my own journey towards finding patience with myself. i am trying to be kind to myself, to my body. i am trying to stay present and i am remembering, finally, what it is to take it all in. to breathe in the moment through your cells. to feel the moment on your whole body. to feel the rush and power of the ocean pummeling you. to feel a vista sweeping around you. to bow your head to the sunset. to take the five minutes to walk through the tree-lined path. to bramble through the roots. i am happy to be back home, to reconnect with my own rituals, my own processes that ground me and keep me sane. i am grateful for the summer night, for the buzz of the insect choir in the darkness. for the warm fluid air that fills and peels.

a thrilling mound

we dug our hands into soft sand – fire-beach children. my son’s pudgy fingers pressing at the earth, my fingers dancing around shells/pockets full of waves and sunken bits of salt-treasure. we made a mound – a simple mound/a thrilling mound. decadent with shell bits, ornate with pearlescent rocks – simple colors/magnetic cream and golden hue – something found, something borrowed, something blue and black and hollow. a shell, a whisper/a flagpole at the top of a tower. a firmament – a creation – a castle – a mound – a pile of wet sand/a toddler. a dream afternoon – silence, the splash of the tide, the concoction of clouds in the sky – curdling into a late afternoon storm. gathering, gathering. the sky is gathering. our hands our gathering. sandrain, we dream a wish moment. we build the captain of this ship – a tiny sliver of shell. a broken home washed up on the shore. we gather, we gather. we dig our hands in. we wash with the waves. we wave with the current. we sit in the silence – in the crash – in the din – in the storm-gather. we are a pair of sand-children, we are a pair of silent eyes creating a thrilling mound. and watching it get washed back out to sunken bits of salt-treasure.

Your mind ratchets like a sprocket
changing gears, ripping seams,
suddenly your mind sees with different ears

Maybe your body too,
feels it – the snap of sinews,
the stretch of musculature,
your chest when my head burrows, neatly into tendon and courage, tucked into your lungs, and the space between your ribcage amd your heart – cells like anything else, atoms like anything else, raging like anything else – a marching band like anything else, like everything else is only a slave to this wizard – this heart creature, swollen and incorrigible
My string of dandelion vertebrae corrode into honey and jam, marmalade words ringed like opals in your eyes
i supple, watering can, grow mountains/ i shed tectonic plates/ i am walking rose bush, fluttered silk/ i am musculature on fire/ i am waterboned and rivergasping
Thank you for this poem of a day, and the way it leaned on me

Hot blooded orchestra feet and a temperament for meat/ rich, waddling, grass-leaved eyes
The answer is I figured out how to unstopper the valve in my head

We live in the literary dreaming

soon, soon, your heart will pump clear blood again. the riptide rumble of toxic funnel will pearl its way out of your veins. i’m sure, i’m sure, love will come running – fire will come tunneling. sun will come hurling like wings. someday, someday, I’ll have enough time to tie myself to something firm and basket-sized. something i can place things inside of. something i can place myself inside of. i’ll tuck myself into bed, i’ll tuck my time under the sink. i’ll clean my blood – my fuzzy edges, i’ll clean my fear. some day, some day, you’ll hear me again – songboat melodymind and riverwide heartbeat drums. do i have love – a place to funnel it? and whose mind is it that i am always searching for?

am i always a river, headed west? will i one day funnel out into the ocean?

happy, i am a bottle of aperture and fstops – with my little boy I am a funnel of tunnel vision – satisfied light captor. i am a lens – photographizing every moment. the way the light plays in your hair. the way the grass sinks into your toes. the way your singsong voice comes thrilling through the air. i am devoted, little one. i am devoted to your heart. that is something that never wavers.

keep pulling the light towards you, keep tugging it tighter. keep walking away from the violence, keep funneling the abuse into something powerful. keep doing it, keep breathing. you have to keep finding strength in his fury. he is a victim of never having been given the tools to process his anger. his emotions. his place as a man in this fucked up patriarchy.

step back, step back. he is a victim of never having been given the tools to process his anger. his emotions. his place as a man in this fucked up patriarchy. i’ll say it again, i’ll say it again, i’ll say it three times too loud – the patriarchy hurts us ALL. not just women. and men get swallowed in the current of not being allowed to be men just as violently as women get swallowed by the back side of the shovel. it hurts us all, it hurts us all. the false pretense of the male form. the false rejection of vulnerability. not giving our men tools. not giving our men freedom. to feel, to understand, to cope. we equip and we equip and we equip women with the tools to learn how to learn how to have emotional intelligence. we practice. we say its ok, its ok, feel, feel. talk about your feelings. honor them. talk to your girl friends about it. process, process. this is part of your gender, this is good. this is good. and then we fucking send three signals three different ways with men. we shame vulnerability, then we shame them for not know how to be vulnerable.

that doesn’t mean masculinity should be shamed. masculinity should be honored. femininity should be honored. and vulnerability should not be relegated to one sex or the other. emotional tools should not be given to one sex and then used to beat the other up for not knowing how to begin to fashion tools for themselves. we feel very comfortable saying that it’s time now to teach girls to be strong, to be empowered, to fight. and we rarely sit in that place of deep knowledge of what it is we must do to better equip our boys. to let them be. strong, scared, vulnerable, manly, light, bright, dark, shadowed, rageful, hopeful, wide-eyed, fearless, terrified. it is not weakness, it is not weakness. to tremble with the recognition of yourself. to survey yourself. to understand your emotions. to reflect. to breathe, to pause. to learn how to open up. these are not feminine traits, nor are they the anti-thesis of manliness. when will we get past this? get past the “man up”, “stop crying”, “don’t be a fairy”. when will we get whole? when will we even recognize that we need to get whole in order to fix the whole problem? stop the cycles. stop the cycles. you want your little girls to stop being abused? give little boys a respect for their emotional life. teach them how to communicate, how to open up, how to be vulnerable, how to process anger. do not glorify a violent response. do not glorify violence. do not glorify an angry rebuttal, a fistful of answers. give little boys questions. and ways to walk themselves into them. to sit with them. to be patient with the confusing tumult of emotions. do not keep convincing them, through imagery or otherwise, that a violent, aggressive, or angry reaction is the manly way. and that apologizing is weakness. and that self-reflection is self-pity. and that strength lies in winning. and that your manhood can be found inside of your venom. suck the poison out. snakes can coil, but do not them choke. manhood lies in something deeper, something wilder, something free-er than the bonds of anger and the simplicity of violence. these are not the brave choices we have been taught they are – they are a trembling animals’ self-defense mechanism. glorify the real man – the new shape of manhood. the firmness of heart, the fortitude of spirit, the ferocity of forgiveness and giving and growth. the strength beyond gender. the strength within gender. the fire banked down deep. the one you cannot spit out of your mouth or cower behind meanness – the one that spills out of eyes – fumbles out of warm hands – curls over a hurricane spine. he a storm, he is a river, he is a meadow, he is a wanderer. he is his own; and he belongs to the world. he gives back to it. he knows what it is to give. to receive. to feel. to hunger. to ache. to make whole. to search. and to find.

let’s glorify that manhood, shall we? and everything in between. nothing is wrong – except the wheel that keeps spinning blood from blood. break the cycle of abuse. we know better now, don’t we?

did you not remember?

I can’t make it there by 7pm
I’m sorry, I simply cannot make it
did you not
remember by May 9th the moss his draped itself
over the swollen wooden staircase on the other side of the canal –
the sight is a devastation of beauty

the weeks have grown up over the river banks and musty shadows of the dust-flies
have kicked up a new light
and the pools of aqua-green chase my bike tires /
hungry-hued at golden hour

I cannot possibly miss this sunset / I cannot possibly miss this
please I cannot possibly miss this dusty emberglow
please do not ask me to /
Please do not ask me to

a poem regarding my anticipation of your coming comment upon my work

do I hide in my words /
do I rest on tropes /are the tropes that I rest on words that seem out of reach or splicing / do I splice myself?
Do I show enough of myself (a comment I was recently given by the aunt) (but what of that comment truly) / am I supposed to show more of myself in my work?
How about this true fear – that if I am to peel too deeply and critique my own process too profoundly that the process itself will walk away from me like an old lover I have only just begun to learn how to lie next to?

Do I feel comfortable with the process processing me – fear not of the ‘you’ processing me – but with my own capturing of the process in my own butterfly net /
is it ephemeral /
is it based on my own strange conscious concoction /
is that why I dropped out of poetry classes in college where I was going to have to stand up and read my work in front of the class / do I believe it is a strange shadow in the corner that comes right through me?
Do I believe that I write or that words just funnel / do I rest on tropes / can there be any tropes after all

This is not to say I feel uncomfortable about the coming words / this is to say – can I make your uncomfortable more comfortable by starting somewhere first / by saying what I think I run away from in my own words /

is it true that you have to pain your way through the process?

Is it organic – the process that I am?

with half the afternoon past on an April 28th

sing a little, swing a little – singe my heart, will you?

i never want to take these smells for granted – the conifer russet, the mulch iron, the fuzzy grace of the lilac and the wisteria. i never want it to be anything other than a 3pm April 28th – curled catnap cat napping in the corner of the porch (radiant and perched, he swirls his body lithe). i never want to be anything other than a friday afternoon, deep spring (phase 4 and a half of spring to be exact). i want the alwaysbreath of the willow to lie with me on the days that are not this day. i want the alwayssky of the April 28th to be my horizon, wrapping around me with silver cord. tucking me in to my little garden bed. sprinkle a little soil on my head, and send me on my way. grow, grow, little one – the sun’s come out see you. to let you see. to let you be seen. come out, come out, little one – seeds are only one of the many many’s you are. you will be. you can be.