Category Archives: Love

My love is not aesthetically pleasing.

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I offer only gristle
Because in bleeding there was nothing.
There were no flowers in our lungs,
No sweet green tendrils twining our lips and tracheal cartilages;
My anatomy is not so illustrated
Ill-defined and wet,
A mess of acrylic red and kidney maroon.

And my tendons twanging, twinging,
Stretched taught against yellowing bone-
I am not clean and sun-bleached.

I wrote a poem once of lovers in the kitchen,
Dusted with flour, a delicacy.
In this body a slab of meat, calf muscle and tender heart,
But fat and connective tissue also;
The less palatable with the rich and bloody.

If there is art in my physiology I struggle to find it.
There is no melody in my movement,
No marble to my flesh,
No recycled literature to be splashed with paint
In depictions of my ribcage as a vase.
Rough-hewn I am rickety
And stagger in the dance.

Even with flour and a sprig of rosemary
There is little craft in the making of me.

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Alive – The Glut

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I like living, I really do. I’m hopeful. I hope the world learns from history and things are actually getting better and we just can’t see it yet.
I’m hopeful for a future where things are different and good and that humanity is evolving toward a better, kinder existence. I don’t actually believe so, but I hope so, and that’s close enough.

Today is a nice day, it’s sunny and clear and I’m talking to a beautiful woman across the other side of the world who tells me she loves me and has such a big heart and is excited about going to dinner with another beautiful woman

And there are colourful yarns and I’m listening to music, music that is so bountiful I could listen to a new song every three minutes and never ever have to repeat one

And I am healthy, and relatively young, and I have touched and been touched by some of the most brilliant minds ever to be totally unappreciated by the world, and there is art, centuries of art, cataloguing all that the human race has ever done

There is architecture and philosophy and poetry and cooking tv shows and Gordon fucking Ramsay and christmas carols which I hate except for when I don’t and people crying at airports and orgasms and news anchors who burst into tears on live television because they saw a picture of a dusty young boy pulled from the wreckage of his home and

metal rulers and movies about slavery that make me cry at 2 in the morning and memes and stupid articles about Apple headphone jacks and beach breezes and a Cute Pancake Girl who may stay or go but right now she kisses me

And family, blood and found and chosen, and pretzel sticks, and drinking water from rivers and bacteria and very pretty rocks and very plain rocks and wine bottles being recycled into glass walls for glass houses and cruel politicians and the goddamn KKK and whirling planets and songs about Voids and boys with body issues and girls who write porn

And dalmatians and pallas cats and wine and anthrax and
This world is a glut, my loves.

None of it matters, and all of it matters. Everything hurts and there is joy all around. We’re all going to die someday. The whole human race will die someday and all of this? Everything? This is all history that we’ll leave behind, and whether we’re alone in the universe or if there’s some kind of life out there, these abstract passing functions of our existence will outlast us.
Is there a word for being simultaneously hopeless and hopeful?

This is what we are. Neither good, nor bad, just… Alive.
For a brief moment. Alive.

Hush, the loop.

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Somehow we clash, we come together. The violence of our selves fuses us and forms a functional machine.

You with your lethargy, the clarity of your sharp blue eyes, the smooth movements of your hands, and me with my frenetic energy, the uncertainty in all things that makes up all of what I am. I fluctuate and flex around your sharp edges. You maintain your rigidity, your walls give me form.

I find myself falling asleep in your arms, your lap, your embrace. My eyes flutter closed even as I press my lips to yours. You flush pink. You flush pink.

I sleep. I don’t dream. The sounds of the world filter in and convince me that I am awake, truly awake.

I sleep. You flush pink.

Spirituality and the Land in Australia

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Recently I have been seeking to add an Australian aspect to my European-pagan-esque  spiritual practice. I have been researching- did you know that here, in south-west Australia, we have six seasons?- the land, the people, the language, the beliefs of the land and her people. I feel distinctly disconnected from any real ‘roots’ for my spirit. Am I English? A Viking? Anglo-Saxon? Australian? Does my biological grandfathers blood-only relation to me give weight to my interest in Welsh mythology? What about the language, the culture, the things that are the meat to the bones of cultural behaviour and belief? Do I have a connection, a right, to any of these things simply because of birth or blood?

I find blood relation, land relation, to be deeply important. So I looked into this wide, sunburnt land I have been born into and love with all my heart. I have researched it’s people. Now… I am troubled. Conflicted.

“Noongar people lived under severe restrictions whether on missions or reserves. This included not being allowed in towns at certain times (we could be arrested if found there after 6pm) or having limited access to services. See the Perth prohibited area map. Noongar people mostly weren’t allowed to drink alcohol, unless we had citizenship. But even citizenship brought with it restrictions on our freedom and identity. Those who had some access to towns had to go to a window at the back of the pub where ‘blacks’ were served, and then you could get one bottle of beer.”

Identity, Noongar Culture.

I have seen buildings, especially old pubs, with the one random window up the back. I’ve always wondered why, and now I know.
The history here is… horrific. I keep reading and I feel like I’m standing in pools of blood. I often think about what it is to be white Australian, to be the offspring of the people who invaded here. We don’t have Stories. We don’t have Dreaming. Then I read, and I don’t think we’d want them even if we could.
We came here and we killed a lot of people. We caused, and still cause, unforgivable suffering. As much as I might wish sometimes that I had the same connection to the land as our indigenous population do, the same understanding of the Stories, a Dreaming… What history have we got but that of blood and death and cruelty? We have no right to this beautiful land. We certainly have no right to adopt the beautiful world of the Noongar. I feel the rootlessness my ancestors condemned me to is deserved, a fitting punishment for what they did and still do.

I am neither here nor there, and that is how it should be.

 

A Home I Make in You

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I have to step back sometimes.

I want to squirrel myself away inside him. I feel myself changing, mirroring, mimicking. Seven, he says. Seven, I say, later, in the kitchen.

Ireland, he says, with a proper ‘r’ so that it doesn’t sound like ‘island.’

Island, I say. I miss the r. I can’t quite catch it yet. I’ll try again later without realising, and come a little closer to the sound that sounds more human.

We curl up in bed and murmur into pillows our dreams, hopes for the future. Weddings we talk about with awkward forewords: “And if, I mean, not being assumptive here, if we get married sometime in the future-” and children we talk about like some vague half-concept, unsure if we want them but certain we will have them if we do want them- and death we avoid, both too raw to discuss it at length. We will live forever, and the pain of grief will never touch us. Safe beneath the blankets our loved ones will never leave, illness will never take us, our brilliant minds will never fade and our bodies will stay strong. We laugh about boxes, and cats, and the house we plan to build but know we may never be able to afford.

All this while I can feel myself reaching out and thinking, is this safe? Can I put down roots here, can I grow inside his kindness, will he give me form?

No, I cannot spend every waking moment with him. No, I will not allow him to look after me. The creeping needy child in the back of my mind grows ever more insistent and wide-eyed as it watches the way he mends my wounds and kisses my scars and whispers forever in my ear, like forever is a thing he can offer me. Nights I spend alone I spend in tears. He’ll leave. He’ll stay. I’ll break him, I’ll need him, I’ll need him.

I have to step back sometimes, or I won’t know when to stop.

Harlequin and Columbine

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I’m awake.

In the mauve haze of summer humidity it’s difficult to sleep, and so I lie there, speculating on the time: is it one am? Two am? Perhaps earlier. Your body heat makes the bed insufferably warm, but I won’t kick off the blanket, even though I feel as though I’m about to combust. A breeze from outside wafts humidity and exhaust fumes with the smell of night blooming jasmine- your favourite plant- and does little to cool the room. Sounds of the city seem far off here, in this concrete box. I think it’s the white noise of civilisation that keeps me conscious. That, or the feel of your skin so close to mine.

I know you’re awake.

If I rolled over now, would you be looking at me? Would your eyes paint the canvas of my face, the threaded angles of my hips? Perhaps your lips would remember that dusty smile I fell in love with, that dusty smile like a phantom now, a ghost beneath your sad blue eyes.

No, you would be watching the ceiling, if your eyes were even open. You know I’m restless and you pretend to sleep. I know the sound of your breathing when you sleep, love, I know when you are tricking me. Trickster, my carnival clown, my harlequin. Pin your heart to my door, Harlequin. Am I your Columbine?

I turn the words over in my mouth and my body follows suit, twisting me, twirling me in the sweat-slick that was once your bed. I find myself facing you. I find myself dreaming of kissing you; kissing you, your scarred shoulders, your hidden collarbones, tracing silver stretch-marks and olivine tan lines. In my dream I find your skin clammy and cold, hot beneath the blanket, wet with sweat. I slide against you like a fish, my hand skating across the expanse of your belly, latching beneath your far hip to pull myself close despite the stagnant heat. I rest my head on your chest and feel the weight of your hand settle on my head. I hear your heartbeat! It still beats for me, relentless, inexhaustible.

“My Harlequin.” I whisper before I can catch the worlds, tumbling from me like jumbled confessions. I love you, they sing, I love you, I love you. You read my voice and I feel your hesitation through your fingertips in my hair.

“My Columbine.” Mechanical. The response comes so swiftly and so naturally that the words should shine, polished with constant use. Instead they fall dull, slabs of fat slipping from the lips of a glutton. I clutch to you and feel you slipping away, never moving. Black dog, they call it. The deepening dark. Come death or dark water, we used to say in secret behind cupboard doors and backyard bushes. To the end of time, forever and ever. This the dark water, your wretchedness and mine.

The dream breaks. I’m on my side still, hands tucked close. I have become my own cocoon. You gaze at the ceiling unaware that I watch you, your fingers scratching unconsciously at the blanket above your breast. You seem so sad.

I want to tell you how today the Earth pounded with billions of feet, dancing to a rhythm we can’t quite feel. A billion voices cried out in song, a billion hearts beat a bloody beat like a billion meaty drums. Within a billion chests, behind a billion ribs, between a billion lungs blossomed life and memory and old quiet joy. Here bloomed humankind, flowers at once brilliant and beautiful and excellently lethal. Here groaned the weight of time, the airy pull of the future. Here, a string to tug you from your shade, as if that could return you to me, bring you to me.

I hear you blinking.

“I don’t think this is ever going to end.” Your voice startles me and for a moment I want to shuffle closer, feeling an unexpected agony. The finality in your voice echoes with defeat, a desire to give up. It’s the worst thing of all about the darkness. A disease came one day and took your joy and left you empty. I find most days that I miss you, even in your company.

Your hand slithers from the blanket to touch my fringe. You stroke my hair- once, twice- and tilt your face to the lavender light seeping through the curtains, your own hair mussed and unwashed upon a flat pillow. I half expect you to say something more, as if that fragment of conversation weren’t all you could offer up. Your body slumps in exhaustion just with that one confession. I’m left drifting. Unbidden, a torrent of thoughts cascade through my mind: a funeral, stumbling across your body hanging purple-faced from your bedroom cupboard, the feeling of living a life where I don’t wake to you every morning and fall asleep to your breath every night. This life, this life forever. Waking one day too late to tell you the truth, my truth. Terror takes the place of dull longing for a moment and you remain silent, unknowing.

It has to end. It has to. “It has to end.” I don’t know if I’m saying the words for you or for me, but I say them anyway, whispering them against your palm like a mantra. “You’ll come out the other side, my love.”

You give a short, curt nod and close your eyes.

How many times have I dreamt of kissing you? Of sleeping in this bed, waking to you, lying drowsy beside you on a Saturday morning, avoiding your cold feet and your hands smelling like rosemary. I’d like to help you with your braid every night and to kiss your forehead before our morning coffee.

Children. I’d like to have children. With you.

The night drags on in silence and sleep doesn’t come. You are finally heavy and still, truly sleeping. I can prop myself up on one elbow and watch you, like protagonists in cliché romance movies do: eyeing lustfully the faces of their desired in the half-light, the twilight of an unknown hour. Is there an hour, a specific hour, for romance? This could be it! An hour of unexpected courage. An hour of foolish courage. I can almost see it! If I lean here and kiss you while you sleep, our worlds will change. Your eyes flutter open as you are, I’m sure, a light sleeper; however, I daren’t guess your thoughts. You grow pink, your lips will fill and shift beneath mine to form a kiss or a curse. We stay awake through sunrise and birdsong. I confess my love, a heavy burden finally set upon another’s shoulders. You whisper to me of confusion. Whore! You spit. Freak! You scream. You chase me from the sheets, you throw me against a wall, you kiss me with the passion of the horrified and the joyous.

You love me too. You sing it beneath the cries of I hate you and how could you.
Your rage abates. We curl together, new, gentled, loving. I hold your hands in mine and breathe against your fingertips. Your dusty smile returns and the rising dark finally breaks, leaving you forever.
We live happily ever after.
It is a nice dream. I could make it happen. I could act on it now and bring our fairytale to light! My heart skips a beat at the thought. Oh, to kiss you, to have you as mine! It seems almost too good to be true.
My courage falters. What if it is too good to be true?
What if your cries of hatred and disgust are genuine?
I must take a chance. I must! Your life could be at stake. If I find one day that the world is without the glory of you because of a lack of love, I could never forgive myself. The world would be worse for wear in your absence. I must tell you! I must give you this gift, if not for your sake then for the continued health of our little planet.
Nerves steeled and trembling, I slide closer to you. I daren’t breathe. Your face is lavender in the filtered light of the moon, your lips a darker purple, your eyelashes like ash upon your cheeks. Beneath your eyelids tiny mounds shiver and twitch- you dream! I think of how I will tell you that I watched you dreaming, or perhaps I won’t, perhaps I will allow the kiss to be the center of attention for tonight.
I hover for a moment, doubting. I take a breath.
I deliver my one, perfect kiss to your sleeping mouth. Your lips are cold and your teeth are hard behind them. Oh Harlequin, my beautiful Harlequin.
Your brows furrow and I withdraw, awaiting your awakening, awaiting your delighted recognition of my love.

You sigh.
You rub your eyes.
You roll over, and continue to sleep.

Gay Marriage on the news today.

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The Catholic, Anglican, and Greek Orthodox churches are uniting against it.

They had nothing more to say than “You just can’t change it. If you do change it, then bad things will happen, and it’ll be in our schools. Marriage is between a man and a woman.”

You know, I read it on the net all the time and it doesn’t get to me so much. There are morons on the net. There are morons in the real world, but I never really run into them.

Somehow, actually hearing someone say it- their actual voice, as I sit and watch their actual face on television- causes me great pain. It’s not like reading it on the internet. On the net, people are faceless. I can ignore them. When they’re right there and I can see them, and see that they are human beings, it hurts me. I recognise them as other human beings. I know, if I hadn’t heard them say that, I could be friendly to them. I could treat them with respect. I could smile and charm and we might have something in common.

I like to believe that all people have some good in them.

Watching their faces and hearing their voices as they protest so loudly, so ignorantly, against marriage… Against letting people who love eachother to swear to eachother their eternal devotion, to visit eachother in hospital, to have children, to feel safe…

Listening to them say that, it takes a moment, but I realise that it’s me they’re talking about. That it’s my closest friends they’re talking about. My father, my mother, my family. My sisters. Good people. Good, true, strong, honest people, who love just like they do. People who might even believe in the same god, and go to the same church as them. People who breathe the same air. People who deserve the same level of respect as these people on the television take for granted.

The person in the screen is someone I would go out of my way to treat kindly, and he is telling me and mine that we are wrong.

That we do not deserve to be treated like he and his wife, his children, and grandchildren are.

That we are threats.

That we are abominations.

That if we were somehow born to fall in love with someone with different genitals to our own, that only then would we be worthy of kindness and respect.

That because we were born (or made) as we are, we are less than human.

And all I can do is sit there and try not to cry, and wonder, “What did we ever do to you?”

It’s just love. Just… love.

What is so scary, so threatening, about love?

Silk

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I feel her shiver as she curls against my collarbone, tears stilled, cheeks still damp but flushed and hot. Her hair smells like almonds, wrapped in the length of burgundy fabric she uses as a head scarf. It itches against my skin but I say nothing, letting her fill the silence with fragile confusion.

“Isabelle,” She murmurs after an eternity, sending shivers down my spine, “Isabelle, why do they hate us so much? What have we done?”

I feel I should offer comfort, some words of solace, but none come. I have no answer. I place my kisses on her forehead, her eyelids, her lips, and slowly she ceases to shake, falling still and quiet in my arms. I bite my lower lip to stop it trembling.

When I had met her she was carefree. She had been so beautiful, holding a snowbell to her mouth, her brilliant green eyes hidden behind those enormous beetle-blue sunglasses, smiling and singing in the sun. Instantaneous love. I fell for her so suddenly and completely it felt like drowning.

It occurs to me that if I had left her alone, she would still be like that. She wouldn’t be curled in my arms bruised and weeping. She would have a home and a family and someone to promise her that the world could be hers. I felt I had taken that from her in a fit of selfishness. My Sara. My beautiful Sara.

Her breathing slows and she becomes heavy with sleep, and I lay there beneath her, stroking her hair, still searching for answers. None come. Slowly I drift off into troubled dreams, empty comforts on my lips and a broken heart in my hands.

Tidbit: Flesh

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I love the rampant destructive eroticism of this world.

Only humans could look at their existence and see the beautiful in the obscene, purity in excess, completion in termination. Excellence in grotesquery.  Sadomasochism is inherent in every thought and movement and we spend our lives studying ourselves, learning what makes us tick, wondering why something provokes awe while another provokes disgust, and often, why the two emotions can be connected to the same object. Religion is as perfect an example of self-torture as any, depicting intense suffering as holy salvation. The concept of revelry in excess applies still to the denial of all but the necessary, an excess of puritanism, an excess of resistance to temptation. Likewise, spiritual wholeness can be found in loss of control and release from the concept of ‘too much.’

No other creature is as immaculately drunk on its own senses as a human being. No other creature seeks as tenaciously to complete and understand itself. No other creature will hunger so voraciously for the suggestion of perfection, and no other creature is as willing to gently hold death as a symbol of the unknown. It is a fascinating, awkward, gibbering philosophy, and I adore it.

When I found her, she was curled upon a decrepit garden bench beneath a streetlight, glittering pink heels hanging from two crooked fingers as she stared in wonder at the stars above. Her white gown was filthy- green and brown grass stains, all over her knees and shoulders and, I guessed, her back- and hitched up over her thighs, revealing flashes of threadbare Hello Kitty underwear as she kicked her toes up in the air. Her thighs and knees were smeared with hour-old blood, but it did not seem to bother her. She was unaware of me. The faintest tones of a broken lullaby drifted from her lips, accompanied by the sickly sweet aroma of vodka and vomit that never failed to turn my stomach. I continued to near her regardless, fascinated, entranced by her messy copper curls, her brilliantly painted neon-pink nails. She seemed to vibrate with the effects of a party drug I was unfamiliar with.

“Don’t you know it’s dangerous to be out here alone?” I threw out my voice as clearly as I could manage it, still a few paces from her bench, pressing my hands into the pockets of my jacket as she lolled her head to the side. Her eyes glittered as she struggled to focus on me in the dark. A dizzy grin spread across her face, gaze finally locking on my form, carelessly free and heavily drugged. I swallowed rising bile. She was more than a little drunk. I could forgive her that; I was more than a little thirsty.

“Thass what I came here for.” She barked a mirthless laugh. “I like the danger. M’names Lucy. What’s yours?”

“I try not to give my name to girls who court danger.” Melody. My name is Melody. I bit back the words in favour of self-preservation and walked a little nearer, offering an apologetic smile as I entered her little hemisphere of light. She was even more intoxicating up close. “May I sit with you a while, Miss Lucy?”

Her grin spread wider and her cold, clammy fingers found mine before I had even lowered myself onto the seat. “Be my guest.” She purred, resting a foot on my lap. “I don’t bite. Much.”

Why I paint people.

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Not paint on bodies, although that’s fun, but I like to paint bodies. People.

I like the shapes and tones and curves and variations in bodies.

I would paint them all the time if I could.

Erotic paintings, nudes, clothed, silhouettes, religious paintings, closeups and distant hints of skin…
Thin and fat and muscled and slight, everything in between. Finding beauty in monstrosity and ugliness in perfection.

These are things I like to paint.

I want to study Freud.

and I want to study Michelangelo.

Maybe both Michelangelos.

(this one is by Michelangelo Pistoletto.)

I like bodies.

I don’t even have to like the person inside the body, although, sometimes they show through and make it even more amazing.

Steve McCurry did it pretty well, I know you’ve seen his “Afghan Girl” photo…

See, isn’t that just beautiful? Isn’t she stunning?
What a brilliant work of art.

I also like little pieces of bodies.

I like hands. Escher did hands:

And I like feet, too…

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”

You know who said that?

Leonardo Da Vinci.

I like dancers bodies, and I like little old bodies, and I like those moments of movement that are rarely noticed-

like the ones that Muybridge caught:

So.

If you were wondering.

That’s what I like.