progress

“Every peak is a crater. This is the law of volcanoes, making them eternally and visibly female.” – Adrienne Rich

 

for every

emotion to hit its peak

it is

required to first be a

valley a moon’s crater

to achieve this

we must travel to the depths where it is

the frigid cold like the

underside of the pillow the law

of progress the reality of

sleeping amongst volcanoes

we are tired heroes in the making

trudging the depths of them

the valleys chiseled in the face of the moon eternally

reliably and

without question our progress is visibly

goddess warrior female

 

new

“No one who survives to speak new language, has avoided this: the cutting away of an old force that held her rooted to an old ground / the pitch of utter loneliness…” – Adrienne Rich

 

if i always knew how to say no

i wouldn’t always have to be the one

the lonely one who

survives

if we work together to

learn to speak

our worlds would be new

this crafting of a new language

that a survivor has

when denial of reality can’t be avoided

the pain this

utter maw of pain the

darkness cutting

through stripping away

the truth of

our experience an

eternal longing these old

wounds have this force

to be understood that

propels us to be held

by a greater Her

a god if you will that is rooted

like a mighty tree to

all that is right and true an

ache that is worn down old

grooves permeating the ground

of our spirit the

axis of a universe that will sway and pitch

to deliver us safely and free of

doubt the utter

truth of a woman’s loneliness

 

for katie in virginia

loud children gather outside

the local ice cream shop

where you used to get heaping scoops of pink

ice cream covered in blankets of rainbow sprinkles

this scene is still visible

every night till 11pm in the summer

but it would seem to me that they are all traitors

the children and their tired parents

the ice cream scoopers and the nervous teenager

at the cash register

traitors all of them

to carry on with this sweet sugar soaked life

when you’re not here

we should have hit the collective pause button

when you drove away to virginia

or rather your departure should have caused the whole

system to collapse

freeze up

like a computer that needs to reboot

and yet

loud children

on bikes

ice cream cones

melting on sidewalks

me alone in the car wondering

if i’m going to brave the crowds

you in virginia

 

diving

“I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes. The words are maps.” – Adrienne Rich

 

she and i

were frightened to come but we came

i only know what my body whispers to

me and she says to explore

the forgotten places the

caverns the death the ships that wreck

i only know what my heart sings the

feelings that she sculpts into words

the loves that are

eternal renewing with purposes

i only know what my brain screams at me the

terror she stitches into words

you are stronger than you think you are

a body’s pulse churning pulsing out the maps

 

failure

when the whole point is to finish

Something (on time)

and you don’t finish

you have to find a new point

purpose

failure holds lots of purpose

i’m sure

but it’s not the pretty kind

with warm hugs and certificates and

good job and way to succeed

i think that failure’s purpose should be

to not be the bad guy anymore

failure has a bad rap

has acquired a nasty reputation

i’m going to be a fan of failure

i’ve decided

because failure involves action

leaping

not having to sit around and

wonder

what might have been

rant

i hate the word

“meat”

i don’t think that we should use it

not anymore

the phrase “i eat meat” allows

for a separation

a buffer

a slight of hand

to distract us

the eater

and the audience

from what’s really going

on

 

i think

believe

feel

that everyone should be required to say

“i eat animals”

not

“i eat meat”

or

“i love the smell of meat on the grill”

 

everyone must speak

the truth

“i eat animals”

“i love the smell of animals on the grill”

 

fuck the charade

because we are all meat

we are

and

my cat is

your kid’s hamster

are we going to toss them in a skillet for dinner?

 

tempest

“When women were birds, we knew otherwise. We knew our greatest freedom was in taking flight at night, when we could steal the heavenly darkness for ourselves, navigating through the intelligence of stars and the constellations of our own making in the delight and terror of our uncertainty.” – Terry Tempest Williams

 

i roared for the first time when

i was ready and i was never told by other women

to adjust my volume or tone, brazen though they were

i felt as though i was singing operettas with the birds

roar we

would / will / did for we knew

that it was death otherwise

survival depended on the we

the us the tribe we knew

the joy bravery fire of our

soul was knowing the greatest

winged freedom

was letting go of what was

and taking in

what was new taking

on the fight earning the flight

after being stared at

groped in the night

stolen from ourselves when

forced into a yes position we

screamed no as loud as we could

don’t you steal

me from me the

heartbeat in our ears heavenly

proof that we were alive in the darkness

being told to smile for

you not for ourselves

the maps torn from us while navigating

the stormy seas through

fog saltwater grief the

lighthouse of our intelligence

was lit by the fires of

those stars

who came before us and

commanded that we roar the

battle cry of our hearts to the constellations

touching our fingertips to the dust of

stars that burned out long before our

lives bloomed forth our own

phoenix sparking from ashes free making

filth dirt soot rise in

the throats of the

patriarchy to our delight

our womanly delight and

never again to kneel under the weight of terror

that is born of

ignorance fear silence our

voices will not be choked by uncertainty

 

denis

“Talk into my bullet hole.  Tell me I’m fine.” – Denis Johnson

 

if my wounds could talk

i would give them a jar to speak into

so i could screw a lid on tight and my

skin / sinew / beating heart would be safe from the bullet

oh to be empty and complete in purpose like a hole

that doesn’t need to be filled, tell /

yell / scream into the hollowed out space of me

just say i’m

here / still / fine

tenuous

“the leafbud straggles forth / toward the frigid light of the airshaft / this is faith / the pale extension of a day” – Adrienne Rich

 

i can not speak, the

words stay curled, a leafbud

waiting for the sun, my voice straggles

from within, banging back and forth

the reverberation echoing toward

a locked gate, the

the key between my fingers, frigid

aching for light

a warmth i know nothing of

faith is like the

pupil dilated from the shock of an airshaft

the eyes screaming this

this is

faith

knowing that the

sun never sets, becomes pale

yes but in truth is an extension

of

the moon, a bond, a thread, a

promise, never broken by day

 

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