forbidden fruit

a rotting apple

lies upon october earth

having fallen not too far

 

never will she be

something satisfying

although perhaps she once

was juicy

 

prior to the bruise

prior to the trauma

prior to the fall

 

promise

turned to shame

tossed aside as worthless

 

with neither man nor beast

willing to take pleasure in consuming her

had she purpose

for becoming fruit

 

or is she merely waste

as they presume

 

she alone

seems to know the secret

of the seed

she bears

      

good enough

1.

there’s a girl inside

she longs to play,

to laugh, to sing

 

but she’s afraid

her hope and joy

are not allowed

 

cause she’s been taught

her worth depends on those

who choose for her

 

if she is good enough

 

2.

to laugh and sing

to dance and frolic

in the field

 

to love this life

and all the beauty

it contains

 

but all she sees

are children living

in the hunger

that she feels

 

the starving in her soul

 

3.

and she believes

that pain is always

all her fault

 

and that if she

were only perfect

life would be

 

without this pain

without this hunger

and this strife if she

 

were only good enough

 

4.

she never hopes

because to hope

is to believe

 

that life is good

in all its horror

and its pain

 

and she refuses

ever to believe

that this is so

 

and god to hell can go

 

5.

because if god

were any love

worth fighting for

 

then he would see

this desperation

in her soul

 

and send her some

just one who loves her

just the way she is

 

to see the beauty in her soul

 

6.

and so she screams

in silent desperation

songs

 

in dark of night

when no one comes

to hear her truth

 

she knows that if

she only weren’t her

then this would not

 

be pain she had to bear

  

7.

she moves through days

being the one she thinks (they say?)

they need

 

bearing the grief

of being outcast

by the world

 

inside her heart

so tortured by

the ugliness she’s born

 

she wishes

she were good enough

 

8.

and that the world

would love this woman

that she is

 

and all rest

who live in suffering

and pain

 

because of those

who label

what has worth and what has not

 

and toss aside

 

those who aren’t good enough

              

lamentations

there is a sad too deep for words. a deep, deep sad. a sad too deep for words to even find, let alone to bathe in comfort or to heal with their corrective sort of medicine. too deep to be released by the impotency of words to grasp it, to reach the rawness of its truth. unspeakable, unnamable, unexplainable, inexpressible. beyond any knowing that can be specified or identified by words. a pain that simply is. without explanation. beyond remediation. perhaps it is the sheer despair of life itself that settles deep into this silent, wordless space. words. words. words. what good are you? always far too inadequate to express, as i, always you come up short. and so i lose myself each day, sifting through these empty letters, feeble combinations, searching for the one that will bring feeling into form so that i might begin to grasp this with my mind, to see it with my eyes, to hear it with my heart. continually i strive to communicate with the pain that lies beyond my ability to name. to speak to it, to hear it, touch it. but no words can ever sink into its depths, they skim across the surface like birds over the ocean, as if their kind is not suitable for diving, not capable of breathing at such depths. as if the pressure would collapse their ability to be. and so i waste my time, day after day, playing on the surface with these words, pretending that i am swimming in the deep, and i wonder if it is all merely distraction, every consonant and vowel. if i were to stop engrossing myself with amusing diversions such as this what monster would i be forced to face. when i lift my pen from the page, my fingers from this keyboard, it opens up to suck me in….when i sense its overwhelming presence drawing me into its nameless, silent pain-filled lair, i pick up the pen. and i wonder, is it to give to it a name or to avoid the ominous and foreboding ‘i don’t know’. and yet this pain, (or is it sad, despair, or neither/all) which is somehow prior to and beyond language, somehow primordial and ineffable at once, is somehow bearable with this pen in my hand. perhaps not bare-able by it, but at least withstandable with it. and yet still, i wonder if that is all i want this life to be, endurable. is this pen, which forms these random words upon this page, in anyway connected through my fingertips to my heart. is there something incoherent flowing from within regardless of the fact that these words express nothing. does the act itself bear a portion of the something that is too menacing, too burdensome to hold within. could this great distraction, these very words, this thing that carries me out, away from this body, take a portion of the pain with them each time? or is it mere addiction, one more way to numb the inescapable pain, which refuses to depart its home in me, which refuses to flow out of me with words because it is wordless. no. it will not be captured on this page. i fool myself believing that so many empty squiggles of my pen can begin to contain it, that it will be so neatly wrapped in a pretty package such as this when it want to be ugly, as it is, unbearable and un bare-able as it is. it will not be revealed this way. it wants to sob, to scream, to be violently rended from this body, but i want its name. and so we are caught in this psychic battle in which we both withhold what the other needs. i yearn for it to show its face so that i can understand this feeling. it wants to sneak out the back door without being seen…. the door which i have locked and bolted to prevent its escape while it ravages my insides. and i cry out to it, ‘just give me a word that i can scream!!’ perhaps then i can let it go. but it refuses to give me even one syllable, not one sound, nothing to express its rage. it is far too primitive for guttural manifestations, far too primitive for even sound itself, and it will not be wrapped up in such civility. “ah, what are you?!! speak to me, give to me your name so that i can let you out?!” and still i write. i write and write, for to stop is to feel you, to feel the force of you, the power of you, the disabling, overwhelming, all-encompassing inundation of your fury. are you fury then? could that be your name? or are you fear? some combination of the two? is there some word for that? terror, maybe. terror, could it be? terror. ferocious terror. and yet that feels too wild a term for that which i sat down to write, this sad that longs to bury me deep beneath its silence. could terror ever be contained by something so mild as this pain? this pain that wracks my heart, my gut, this body that i am, this pain that is compressed beneath this weight of silence. this silent, wordless, laden heaviness that slows me, buries me, immobilizes and paralyzes me. yet somehow it is me who feels so heavy underneath it, as though the burden is not on top of me at all but is within me. as if it is some heavy substance at my core, pressed into such density beneath the sadness and the pain that were it to be released it would explode. is that how fear, fury, terror, whatever the beast must be, can live within me so inertly, so sluggishly, so lifeless and so still. what is this fear that dwells so deep in me? also, i suspect, it is very old, most old indeed, much, much older than the nameless sad that fills me until i can’t move. as if it is the fear of ‘to be’ itself. this ‘to be’ that somehow has annihilated me and that continues to annihilate me each time she comes forth with her request. as if ‘to be’ is too great a fear for me to withstand in this container that i am. life itself is terror for this me. to live is to be annihilated, is to be afflicted and inflicted, is to die a painful death upon your birth. so great a pain is living for this one that she prefers to stay inside, never to be born into this place, never to exist in this lovelessness. and so perhaps i write and write to escape the fate of being, to escape facing this fear of life itself. i write so that i might avoid a birth into a life of pain. and yet, i have been born, and i am here, and i wonder how i survived the womb of my own mother without this pen in my hand. how did i ease my fear? perhaps that one was much braver than i, facing it head on, without these means to distract, divert or numb reality. perhaps that is why i write today, to write what she could not, to release what she once had to bear and contain in her body without help. how much is there? (how did i bear the pain without this release, tiny though it is, like letting out mere wisps of smoke from this fire that rages within me. there can never be enough released this way to put it out, i know, but perhaps i can manage just enough to keep me from exploding from the fear inside that expands into terror with its heat. so perhaps the words are like safety valves, control mechanisms of some sort for pain.what would happen if i stopped? stop offering the vent. what happens when fire is no longer given air? would it suck all the breath from me? would this body that i am, which contains the fury of this fire, be consumed with poisoned gases until at last they put the fire out? and what would be killed by such a stoppage? the terror? or would it be me who slipped into unconsciousness to die to pain at last, back into unawareness of her truth? but then, where would the terror go, would it escape to run rampant in this body that i am? would it finally find its own release, unmanaged by my words? would i feel its fury? …. yes, somehow i know, or do i fear, that if i don’t write it, it will destroy me.) yet, i wonder. if this pen releases any of her pain, the one who bore it all alone without my help. can it ever begin to tell her story, to give words to her terror and lament. lamentations. lamentations. does anybody hear her lamentations? or is her crying in the night like trees falling in the forest? does it matter? does any of it matter? oh, why is my heart breaking so? and why will no words arise from this broken open space? why can none get in? no words to ease her helplessness. no words to offer hope. no words to change her reality. no comfort and no understanding. no love. oh, why must her heart bear so much despair alone? please, words, won’t you come to take some of it away? but there are none. not one. here in this pain there is utter emptiness. the silence and the darkness are complete. a blank space devoid of expression. as if this heartspace’s sole purpose is to contain the infinity of her sorrow and there is room for nothing else. and she screams for me to just shut up!! to stop covering her over with this fluff. to sink into her pain and be with her, just to be with her at last. although i fear that i will drown within her depths, i have no choice. she has been broken open and i have seen too much, known too much, felt too much. although i yearn to sew it shut again to stop this ceaseless flow of pain into the rest of me, i cannot for it will not be recompressed and it fills my entire being with its truth. and there are no words to repair it, or to touch it, or to clear it. i think that i can only hold it inside me. and there is nothing else to do but be.

calla lily

calla lily

 

she appears upon the stem

as if formed about the appendage

of god’s self

as i glance fervently about

for it seems

he has most recently withdrawn

and she has been opened

and abandoned

sculpted by his love into this silhouette

of grace

 

her heart-shaped gape

becoming vessel,

white and fragrant, deep and

yearning to be filled

she draws me in

as if this is her purpose

this op’ning of herself in time

to being filled again.

 

exquisiteness enhanced

by thirst,

her contours capture water

let it trickle and then flow

from this, the whorl of her unfurled

depression

 

into which she further draws my gaze

into this virgin

beauty of her depths

where at last i see

the seeds of her own self

upon her erect stamen

         

dunes

 

i try to plant it

but the wind blows

the soil from these hands

that wrap themselves about my roots

as if the soil is sand

 

soon i am buried to my chin

immobilized and wondering

when the next gust will arrive

to cover me completely

and steal my breath from me

 

but this is merely sand

surely i should be capable

of rising, standing, moving

catching up with one

who walks away from me

 

across the vibrant field’s

oasis kelly green

moving ever farther from

the running woman

that i am

            

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