anonymousblack: (into the woods)
to make an offering: to make an offering of one's self, one's intent. to offer one's own body as a vessel for spirit: purified and consecrated, returned to the singularity of devotion and intent. to purify through offering. to understand what an offering is. do i understand what an offering is? i struggle with it: what to offer, how to offer it. i struggle with allocating resources, with finding space on the altar, with what to offer and how to dispose of it when the offering is done. when is the offering done? sometimes i struggle simply with timing, the how and when, the who and why. i'm getting better, i guess, but it's still a fight and a chore when i'd like it to be a pleasure i willingly embrace. i'm getting better, i guess, but there's still a lot of work to do.

that's part of the offering, i guess.

*

1. still the rushes, still the body, hold the body and wait. hold the body. there is something here, something comprised of fragments and whispers, half spoke, half neglected, half clutched to the heart for much too long.

2. and then in the distance: for it is always in the distance.

3. and then in the distance: for it is always a long way off.

4. and then in the distance: there are answers, if not questions. there's forgetting if not something to remember. in the distance, there could be multitudes, there could be any number of things: so count them, count on it, count and count and count and count. keep counting. count still. make an offering of the count

5. holy mother, i spill myself before you in offering. i spill myself at your feet. i pray what you receive will not be taken lightly. i pray there is some other answer gathering itself up on the inbetween.

6. hush, it is important to tread lightly. to not speak a name until it is time for it to be spoken. to not be a stranger among even stranger. to count and be counted, to dream of countless things; to let the wind blow through, to let the wind blow out, to blow with the wind, with that kind of release, with such intense fervor

7. and yet we do not know what there is to know.

8. and yet we could not say what we needed to say.

9. and yet and yet and yet and yet: qualified to nonsense, we rattle down the hill in a rainwater barrel.

10. oh to be remembered, to be remembered for who i am.

11. oh to be desired, to be desired as who i am.

12. oh to have you lean over me half-dreaming, to press against, to press into me, to have you taste and bite and remember

13. remember me, my love, remember me with your desire.

14. but that's not the half of it: the half of it remains: rattling down a hillside in a rainwater barrel.

15. what will you do, when you hear? what will you do next?

16. i cannot know what will happen but i can trace the threads as they weave in and out of space and time, remembering to forget, forgetting to remember.

17. for nothing is truly forgotten, just as nothing is sincerely remembered.

18. and with that and like that and my dry scratchy eyes and my heavy tipping head and my aching bones and my aching head and the crick in my neck and the stitch in my side

19. for to answer without a question is a form of attack.

20. and to question, repeatedly, where there is not an answer is a manner of assault.

21. and you could have kissed me, but you did not kiss me, so what does that mean?

22. we are full, we are full of wind and circumstance. we are hot and hard and blown right through.

23. we are remembered. we are forgotten. we are an unasked question. we are an answer surrendered in offering of, in offering to, oh holy, oh holy holy, oh holy most holy to:

24. shh, the answer is coming.

25. hush, the offering is made.


anonymousblack: ([mom] boys and girls)
look into the eyes, look deep into the eyes, look into the center of it. the origin of it. into the deep and the dark of it, the place where there is no thing to see, no thing but the ultimate function, the reason this matter exists. mother darkness, mother darkness. from whom all things come into being and to which all things will return: in a state of absence, in an absence of being, as and could and perhaps will be:

mother of roses, mother of candle flame, enveloping mother of red velvet folds. mother of the center, of the point of all tensions, at the point of transition, transformation, of transmogrification: feeling become flower, become a kind of opening blossom, become a place where the light changes, transforms into color, takes on a texture. at one level, all creativity is, the basic function creativity serves, is taking some form of action to bring light in contact with some matter that has not had that sort of contact with light before. so light, be with us. so darkness, be with us. so light make your otherworldly mark against the darkness, offer us some depth, make the light work its way back toward: something.

the light loves the darkness but all they ever do is circle one another for they manifest as antagonists, as one thing intended to obliterate the other. and yet in that knowledge they are bound, and yet in that very knowledge they are married: one cannot exist without the other, the very nature of their vehicle needs its opposite to come into form. you feel it. others around you feel it. still others feel it but are in denial, still. this birthing process has been strenuous, dangerous, in play for early decades now but now about to come to crisis. will the scarlet woman birth this child from its secure darkness into the naked light? will the scarlet woman survive the birthing process? perhaps we were intended to die in childbirth. perhaps i would not have survived my firstborn. perhaps it all goes back to that oldest of old human conflicts: the desire to bring new energy into the world versus the desire to cleave to that which we love to the extent of making it sacred.

listen, daughter, every piece fits into every other piece of this. if a piece does not fit, this means you are looking for another piece, not trying to puzzle together that which cannot come together as it is. so, daughter: and so, daughter: and so, and so and so: beautiful light and beautiful darkness. holy darkness and holy light. the warm slippery cling of light to all the aching places. the gathering womb of darkness surrounding that which has been broken and needs time and love to come together again. the dark can wound and the light can wound. the dark can kill and the light can kill. good and evil are a concept entirely removed from darkness and light. an object's surrounding factors of visibility have nothing to do with the virtuousness of that object:

listen. listen. the wind prods at the sheltering canvas, picking at the desert traveler's sheltering darkness. the wind blows in light and sand. the wind blows the curtain free of its hold, dropping the bright room into wavering darkness. what is coming could be on the scale of the difference between light and darkness: imagine a third state, a third relationship. that is not light, that is not dark, that is entirely distinct from light and darkness yet impacts the environment to a similar extent? notice today the interplay between extremes: how one crosses into another, how one becomes its opposite, but then again not really, but then, again, of course.
anonymousblack: (asleep in back)
anonymousblack: (logarithmic spiral)
1.
true sacred fire: the contact made in congress, the place where lips meet. the fire of permission, of intimate unspoken pleading. the surface lit bright before charring to ridges and swirls. the sacred fire: the moment of contact. we've come to this moment willingly. in a desperation of senses. no knowledge of what needs to be done or how we will go about doing it. we come to this moment naked, if not from the start shortly into proceedings, as the undressing is one matter that can be disposed of without a second thought or thoroughly luxuriated, one moment after the next, teased over and under expectations like a dish of fresh rose petals held under the nose of a blindfolded playmate. the sacred fire of play, of teasing. of making childish games ritual in the honeyed sway of desire.

and like that we are equals and like that you are in my power, and like that again i am in yours: beautiful goddess, jewel of the heavens, mother of agony and ecstasy, mother of pleasure and shame. ecstatic mother of beautiful agony, listen: listen: torn to nudity in a minute or gently undressed over the course of an hour, it matters little: for each pleasure balance itself perfectly on the scales of true sacred fire. we light up this moment, we light up the sky, we light up each other, over and through: light alight in lightening, a rage of storm-clouded snakes, light alight in the beloved's strange gaze.

how you are in so many ways an abstraction, a pile of self, until the beloved's gaze snaps you into a context where you can see, all at once, who it is that you've become.

who you are in so many ways as an abstraction


2.
in the beast's castle, beauty cannot see herself taking form. in the beast's castle, beauty has not so much forgotten who she was as much as she rebels against new information. for the beast tells her one thing and her prior experience another. for her experience tells her one thing and her pain another, yet. beauty only believes the pain, at first: that's the thing about pain, you can believe in it. you can always at least believe in your pain. anyway, anything worth having is going to be painful: believe it.

beauty in the beast’s castle, alone but for the beast: but beauty is never alone in the castle, for she has her beast. beastly beauty, beautiful beast. it's all leading up to, what is it leading up to, where is this going, what do i need to figure out? surely, i am under some spell. an ancient enchantment. punishment for some sin committed not by me, but my lineage. i am responsible for some long-ago stranger whose wrong i must now right: or the consequences will be grave. my death alone will not be enough. entire townships, innocent villagers, think of the children! my family my family my family, so often the story's hero must resolve a family member's mistake for their own best interests, you know the way of it, or you do if you've been there and most of us have at least once.

and, here on this side of the story, our most important if ill informed quests to put things right have been triggered by a mistake less poetic than plucking a rose off the wrong garden gate or wishing for a daughter at any expense in front of the wrong witch. some of us are trying to short circuit centuries of systemic oppression; some of us are being crushed under the weight of just trying to get people to simply observe systemic oppression: and then there’s the casual "those people," the heartless “not us.” most of our ancestral error is ugly, slippery, uncomfortable: and emphatically unacknowledged. it is costly to speak truth to power. it is very costly. but the truth is: we have turned profit from evil. all of us have. we have luxuriated carelessly in the suffering of others. most of us have. we didn't necessarily know at the time though that's the thing of it: you never know when the shadow realm is about to swarm up in your face with a karmic privilege check, however this year's trend seems to be "must be tuesday."

and we are left, wandering the woods, lost in the castle, circling down the labyrinth. we are left sleepless on the karlstad, staring out over broadcast towers in the dark. we are left strange and miserable: we don't know who to be, we can't understand who we've been, we can't begin to see where any of this is going and as it was, as it should be. our nightly broadcast tower pulse melancholy doesn't necessarily have a lesson all it's own, but it prompts us along the path.


3.
why can't i go back to school, i lament, i ought to have a masters, a masters in creative writing at least. stronger credentials seem like they would be helpful in standing down a few mfa-possessing critics who think they have something over this writer who's bled herself out like clockwork in the course of her independently studied initiations: and they're absolutely right. an mfa is a tremendous accomplishment. won’t help you out as much on the job market as it might have five or ten years ago, but that’s the thing. nobody in power wants to admit it, but that boat broke in half on the way down. it’s not coming back up as a functional vessel. i don’t know that we’re going to have a true renaissance of employment opportunity in the united states until after venid a ver la sangre por las calles. which has been and continues to be something of a problem for those of us who are functionally lovers, not fighters, and chronically ill besides, but.

back to what i was saying: a creative writing mfa is a tremendous accomplishment. unfortunately, it is diminished somewhat when one writer who needed or believed they needed that initiation and were able to rally the resources wields the finished product over another writer who either didn't or couldn't. creative writing is one field sporting that unsporting reality: school only helps to a point. then, you are on your own. on your own to keep challenging yourself. on your own to find meaning in what you achieve. on your own to simply keep engaging with the writing craft. you gotta figure out your own initiations, once school is out, and that’s arguably why i’ve met so many academically successful writers with very little in the way of post-graduate work. sometimes too much school is a method of silencing resistance. self-injury, even.

initiations are a personal matter, best performed in the service of your specific path. there are universal initiations, matters we negotiate by virtue of being human: death, individuation, love. there are others that we choose, and still others that choose us. as called as you may have felt to school, there are other writers who feel equivalently called to something else entirely, and here’s rule one: neither of you has any authority to pronounce the other’s method invalid. schooling can help a writer in many ways, especially those writers still inside their first decade dedicated to learning the craft. the problem is that advanced education has also annihilated more than its fair share of extremely important writers, and not just with student debt. not all of us can survive that much more institutional bureaucracy. not all of us can endure two more years of unholy workshop echo chambers. i examine my own experience against my longing for institutional recognition and see: i’m doing the work of learning to write (i pray to continue doing so as long as i live) and i’m doing it my own way. the reason i’d go back to school would be for the credentials. i hesitate not simply because i don’t have anything even vaguely resembling the monetary resources. the experience itself could have an extremely negative impact on my work.

how much my initiation meant to me, that's how little it means to anyone else, because: we make our own path. we tend our own path. we create and maintain the people we are so we can travel our own path. we determine with our living what our lives will be. an mfa is a tremendous achievement, but it is lessened when a writer uses it either to stop showing up for our craft or for the craft of others. in both cases, it means we’ve stopped showing up for the craft on the whole. in both methods, it’s only a matter of time before the shadow realm swarms up with a karmic privilege check.

then again, maybe it’s just tuesday.




ETA: yeah, i submitted a fifteen page poetry sample in the hopes of maybe getting some MAAF grant action. yeah, i did it on deadline day, at nearly four o'clock in the morning, after deciding NINETEEN TIMES that i wasn't going to be able to pull anything reasonable together in time.

not entirely sure what i submitted. uh oh. but send a good thought. i could really use this.


anonymousblack: (fire)
1.
  1. i anoint you with cypress and juniper, i anoint you with benzoin and myrrh. i consecrate you by the light of the waning moon in the smoke of cedar.
  2. i summon spirit to this mystery of mysteries, this place between the worlds, this line between the words. spirit be with us now.
  3. i laid you down in the long grass.
  4. we would not make it back to the house.
  5. and here among our numbers, here among our most intimate ranks. and here in the hallways, on the stairs and in the common places we cross paths and eyes, wondering all again: what are we capable of in our worst hours?
  6. the rim is chipped. the handle counts seven glue lines. the surface frays, a kind of panic:
  7. rattling in an empty room.
  8. except no room is empty of our assumptions about it. who else has stood here? who else remembers this space? who does this space remember?
  9. anointed with cypress. with juniper and myrrh.



2.
  1. listen:
  2. no one is two. no two is one. one cannot be two.
  3. one and two can be three.
  4. three aspects of the goddess.
  5. two cannot be one.
  6. eternity out the backwards eye.
  7. grass pressed flat beneath us.
  8. orifices ruled by the moon.
  9. each finger tipped by galaxies.
  10. each finger crookedly on its path.
  11. the path strewn with rags.
  12. the rags stained and saturated.
  13. the sound of someone running away.
  14. holy god.
  15. holy scripture.
  16. holy crown of roses.
  17. holy out and out chaos!
  18. holy fuck.
  19. benediction, cat's eye marbles.
  20. absolution and thyme.
  21. rinse the throat of bitterness.
  22. clear the throat and wait:
  23. what do i call you again?
  24. i call you shame and i call you, meandering. copper hairs gone silver in my sweater's loose weave. i call you eternity and i do not call. i call you eternity and i do not call. i call you into eternity:
  25. listen! listen:


3.
  1. his daughter does not respond to the call.
  2. his daughter is not with us at all.
  3. at the crossroads.
  4. on the path.
  5. arms open and eyes lifted:
  6. burn it. bury the ashes. bury them at the crossroads. bury them and seal the grave with consecrated water. seal the grave and call the storm: bless the storm. pray that the water flow with your intent. pray that the water falls on the ones who must hear. pray that the ones who must hear will:
  7. listen.
  8. do you know who you are? do you know what it means?
  9. do you understand what i am searching for?
  10. the wind rattles, the wind moans.
  11. his daughter stands, half in light, half in shadow. his daughter waits to be seen.
  12. who is she?
  13. and who is she?
  14. and again, who?



4.
  1. spirit thanked.
  2. spirit released.
  3. go if you must. stay if you will.
  4. hail and farewell, spirit

*

love and many returns to you all on this summer solstice.

anonymousblack: ([rollins] iron rose)
alone on the shore, seeker gathers up shells. alone on the shore, seeker gathers shells together, shells and coral and ocean-tumbled stones, smoothed into simple shapes, smoothed into pale colors, into colors that are only just there. seeker seeks seashells on the shore: walking along the tidewater’s perpetually shifting boundary, a place where things wash up to wash back out. such a beautiful analogy for seeker’s unconscious and yet what does she find? things are different near the ocean. the ocean peaks and recedes. the ocean has its own shape to reveal.

gathering shells in the hem of her gown, seeker looks out into the ocean and sees: how the nature of the water’s surface changes in the distance. how the sound of water changes with its volume. the ocean churns and rushes. the ocean is always on the move. seeker clacks and rattles her shells, herself an altar, herself an altered matter. herself the point where water, wind, stone, and flame conspire to manifest experience. but then again: and then what’s more: and then: and how:

ribbons and scarves. something about seeker is always trailing along. answers and questions: seeker often can’t be bothered to experience them in an examined variety of sequence. what do you know, what do you expect, what are you looking for?



seeker wants everything you would expect seeker to want. she wants to be beautiful. she wants to feel beautiful. she wants to share beauty. she wants to remember almost as much as she wants to be remembered. seeker wants to walk at the endlessly shifting tide line and believe there’s a reason she is there: a reason she is here: a matter being communicated: information that needs to be conveyed to her and needs to be conveyed to her in a meaningful way. her shells are colors of flesh. her shells are colors of teeth. her shells are the color of bone, of things stripped to their core essence, of things stripped to the elements of form: the elements of form, exposed to the elements: water and gravity, water and salt, the moon’s pull, the sun’s fade, tiny waters splashed and gathered in a clam shell’s flipped dish. gathering water and sand. gathering microbes and salt.

the ocean trails on about it like the ocean does. scarves and ribbons. always another inhale, always another expanding sigh, always another seeker looking out over the water wondering what it would be like: to look back over the water, to look back towards shore. to rise above, looking down into the sloshing shallows, the sandbar’s steady rise. sea creatures click and moan. sea creatures shimmy and undulate. seeker leaves the sea creatures their shells or the shells that could be theirs:

seeker only takes what is partial, what no longer constitutes shelter, what she can bring together incomplete to make into a new sort of whole. this is seeker’s purpose: bringing together what does not satisfy in a satisfying way. seeker finds the farthest flung pieces. seeker brings together what is broken and lost. broken and lost until seeker pieces it together in seeker’s distinct manner: what seeker is most often looking for is a new way of looking at something lost to our understanding of it: a new context, a new arrangement. a new use, a new way of thinking. seeker wants to show me there’s a place for everything and everything has its place: the snail shell broken and tossed over itself over and again over until every broken place slides smooth beneath the thumb, smooth beneath the thumb in spirals and twists: twisting into a kind of portal. a new break in reality. a place you did not know you could go. a place you did not know you could find yourself in. a place with no coordinates, no address, no zoning code: where you are when you are not really, or the place you’ve always been.

seeker wants to bring what is broken together. not to piece it together as it was. not even to remember it as it was: seeker sees her own reflection in what is broken and worn smooth, what is bleached lifeless and riddled with holes, what constitutes mystery, obstruction, revelation, and release.

the pleasures of what cannot be completed, the pleasures of what has already begun to break down: the pleasures of halfway lost, strange and scattering, already broken, already breaking down. seeker knows these things are not the only gift the ocean has to offer her but in this moment she is sustained by the gathering process. finding and gathering, observing and remembering. how observing calls memory. how memory calls. how memory calls.


anonymousblack: (magdalene)
and then in certainty. and then like that. the puzzle, the mystery, the building scrutiny. how to be who to be when it all comes together to all fall apart. the movement of breath from the surface into the depths. the movement of certainty from what is hoped for into what is dreaded: and the full count of that, the accurate one and two and three of it, who we are in these constructions, what it means, where it goes.
we're going to begin this slowly. by asking for our names. by remembering our names. by accepting our names. who we are, how we got here, where we are headed and where we have been. i'm walking towards the opening, towards the black space that represents the transitions between this world and the next world. i'm going into the lower world but first i am entering the place of transition. the place that i often neglect. the place many of us have entirely forgotten. it is an ancient cave. it has not changed since the beginning of human memory. on the walls there are drawings, scratchings. at first shapes, symbols - at first shapes. that could be an animal. that could be a man with a spear. that could be a woman with a swollen belly.*

i'm tired of many of my questions, but what does that mean? it could mean i'll begin to assume answers that do not exist. it could mean i'll start to act like there isn't uncertainty. answer my biggest questions with wasteful acts of psychic vandalism: pretending the question was never there in the first place. i've seen former seekers do this sort of thing with the idea of god. i've seen former artists do it with the idea of creativity. i've watched people i've loved and people i could have loved vanish into their worst fears about love and emerge as total strangers. because: what did they see? who stared back at them in that cave where there was only enough light to emphasize that there really wasn't a lot of light?

that's the way so many of us can be about it, at least in the first round. we look around ourselves in a dark cave and terror at the dark. it's not even totally dark yet: we haven't gone more than a few steps in. we just assume we have no resources for this. this is horrible. this will destroy us. i better not even ask any more questions about this or this will eat me alive.

you know it's like that. it's like that in so many ways.
blotches and smears and shapes, twining and intertwining. flaring up into each other. blotting each other out. the web of humanity. the way we try to obliterate each other. the way we obliterate each other by simply trying to live our lives. i am surrounded by these swirling, blotching, smearing, vanishing forms. i am overwhelmed. i fall to my knees. i clutch the sides of my head. i press my forehead to the floor of the cave, both resisting and accepting the forms that push into me, that press into me, that press me into a new form, a new self, a new name. i stand with all of these forms around me. i take a step forward and these crude representations that are at the core of everything we do become more refined symbols, become cuneiform. i am witnessing the birth of language. fathered by need. born of desire. it is private and it is transpersonal. it is everyone's story, claimed by no one.

the deeper we go, the more it can build up on us. the deeper we see, the more likely we are to tug at the cord and beg to go back up. and yeah, there's relief when the crew above responds and quickly pulls you back up. but sometimes you were meant to explore deeper. sometimes you were meant to go further down. sometimes you feel that, in a pang, in confusion, in frustration or anger or fear: what are you missing, down there, out here, around this corner, on this path? what won't you now be able to learn?
and as i walk to the point where the cave widens, where i know the altar waits for me, i am surrounded by words. words that are trying to get in. words that know i am a point of entry for their transmission. that i am a storyteller. that i have been put here to craft words into shapes and release them back into the wild. to return them back to those amorphous inexplicable, inexpressible forms that were at the front of the cave. i can let the words assault me or i can accept the words. i can move with the words, i can join with them, i can let them become part of me.

so the questions you've denied become questions you've denied. "cannot allocate resources toward further exploration" shifts from the pat answer you were supposed to drop all your expectations in, shifts into a burning sensation you can always feel but never locate. that's because it tends to settle into the spaces where there are meridians, the ley lines of the self, points of tension between tectonic plates, lines of transforming fire that could lie in the heart but could just as easily engulf the spirit whole. anyway, where is the spirit? anyway, what is the spirit? wasn't that one of your original questions - at least where one of your original questions was headed to?
i am a child in the face of it, a wounded child. a lost and wounded child. who doesn't know why she's here, who has been denied at every turn. and i gnash my teeth and i tear at my hair and i make angry noises. and it doesn't change anything. the cave is there, the candles burn. the end of the cave waits. it doesn't matter if i won't acknowledge my transitions. transitions are still made. the place at the beginning and the place at the end still wait. the place at the beginning and the place at the end are still inevitable. there's always a path. even i won't accept that i'm on it. i sit up in the circle, and i look back. i look back at where i have come from, through the cave. i understand that was the process of my birth, my adolescence. i don't know what that means or what waits for me at the end of the cave. but i get up. i am alone. i walk out of the circle. i walk to the end of the cave.

sometimes we don't realize the question that haunts us is actually a developing thread of questions that's only ever asking one thing: is there god, what does life mean, why can't i have love? sometimes in our lives every answer leads back to the same unanswerable question. and so, you know, and so, you wonder, and so what could that mean? it can be strange to watch a cluster of questions fold in on themselves, line up, take their places in position around the one question you were actually asking all along. strange as in exhilarating, or painful, or absurdly hilarious. strange as in: where else do we even go?
it's night. the wind is blowing. it's night. there's a moon. there's a path, dirt. grasses bent low in the wind. i gather myself and i walk. i walk in the night. there's a lake. as i walk down the path, the path goes closer to the lake. until i can see it, on my right side. i can smell it. night moisture. night. the water, the crickets. i kneel down by the lake. i can hear the water lapping the pebbles under my bare feet, now under my knees. i look out over the water. will the lake speak to me? can the lake answer my questions? does the lake know my fucking question?


*indented text excerpted from journey transcript, 2-19-2016


anonymousblack: (painted lady)
draw the intention back. back to the point of entry, back into the build up, into the moment of anticipation, when there is no other answer but what is about to occur: draw it back.

we are repeatedly alarmed by noises and occurrences.

we are ever misdirected into the fixations of strangers.

draw the intention back, back to the beginning of things. back to when you first understood the intention was there; back when it was simply an understood desire. there have been a lot of failed efforts, aligning intention with desire. there have been a lot of complications, needless qualifiers, there have been any number of ways in which this matter was dragged away from itself, made into another matter, made into another issue entirely, made into something else: and so fed into strange behavior, seemingly unrelated activities, sons and daughters of one very important initiation who have splintered into factions that don't necessarily support that which they were put here to support.

draw the intention back. draw it back and hold it in space. use the weight of it to calibrate your balances, your manner of presentation, who you want to be the way you want to be it. there is always a scale to put things to. there is always a result to examine.

and in the morning when you survey recent changes.

and in the morning when you look back over what has occurred.

and in the morning when you witness who you are with fresh eyes, building into it, building into the who and what and why, shape it out, draw it in, sculpt the matter into a matter you would involve yourself in.

craft the situation into your situation: it's all you can do, making life into your life. there are so many things that can only be seen one way. there are so many things that can only mean one answer, but the thing of it is the context surrounding such matters are infinite, so even when it seems as though there are no other answers to be had, there are too many to count in a different dialect.

distance changes the read.

distance changes the intent.

in one way, denying yourself something you truly desire when you are young and denying it successfully will change the nature of that desire. put it in a cocoon. break it down to fundamental components that no longer resemble the original matter. in some ways, repressing a desire will destroy it. silence that desire effectively, release you from the pressures of it. and the energies around that desire will stiffen, lose malleability, become a hard shell that presumably contains nothing because that is what spurned desire would like you to believe your rejection has left for you: nothing. no thing. not the matter you desired, not some workable proxy in its stead. you killed what you were gifted so that's what you have earned: silence and death.

but such matters are never so easy among the aware, whether they want to acknowledge and act upon their awareness or not. in a way, it can be argued something you haven't observed yet: placating one who refused to act on desire with the idea of death is one of the oldest tricks in the book. instead of staying dead, the matter has been transforming, and it has been transforming into something with infinitely more mobility.

desire that could become airborne.

desire that can now soar.

now in its uncracked cocoon desire isn't sleeping, but is transforming on a fundamental level, dying to its former self and becoming something that cannot be forgotten, becoming something that cannot be hidden, becoming something that changes with a look, with a touch, at a word. at a moment's notice. all at a moment's notice.

draw the intention back.

take aim.


anonymousblack: (then again maybe i won't)
because it's always water with you. rainstorms and rain showers. rain and rain and rain and rain. rain, but also rivers and creeks, lake shores and flooded quarries, rising tides and receding shorelines. the inundation, the slow rush in. the trickle, the stream, the building roar. institutional swimming pools or broken sump pumps, there's always water, there's always more water, there's so much more water than either of us can take:



still we want more. or still we needed it, or still we have all become acclimated to a certain way of living in this world and how do we navigate on dry land? where can we go without the tides to take us there? yes it is always water with you, tears and tears, the congested sinus, the salivating mouth, the building urgency to urinate. and yet we splash through, soak it cold, let it go to drift: and yet we lose count in the chaos, the rushing in from every direction, the rushing over, the soaking through.

of course it is always water with you because where did we come from? where are we now? where are we going to? creatures of water, swimming to the surface, creatures of water, sharing the womb, creatures of water, twinning into lovers, twinning into that which can be alone in order to compensate for the loneliness of the singularity. lovers in water, passing water between themselves: sweat and tears, blood and semen, goddess of primordial waters, grandmother of primordial waters, grandmother outside of time, grandmother there is no time for water: it moves through us, it moves with us for a time. decades or minutes. into our most secret places or barely rippling the surface:

of course it is always water with you. we pass water between us. we divide and separate, only to roll back into one another as we bead down the window pane. water remembers just as easily as it forgets: water remembers and forgets. water combines with poisons, water carries poisons far and wide: water is a conduit for poison, be it the carrying agent, be it what gathers around the tongue to transfer the poison down the throat: and yet, just as easily, water evaporates from a matter, leaving it dusted and dry, waiting for water to return and move it again. every molecule in a swallow of our sacred waters, that countless eternity in a single drop. where has it been? who? was this once a tear i kissed from your brow? was this once the beer you pissed into an alleyway? no drop of water belongs to one of us if it hasn't belonged to all of us and not simply as a possession but instead a possessing force. water controls our behaviors. water makes us who we are. without water, we aren't anything but then again, what is water without us?

water, i suppose.

because it's always water with you. every half dreamed flood, every imagined rushing over. every drop and every deluge. every flood and every drought: every droughting flood. waters rush up around us, waters wash us through. purified in an instant, purified slowly, subtly, ages and ages. a water's age, which is not a matter i've been prepared to understand. a water's age is eternity. water is always dying and being reborn. on the shore by the ocean. in the dunes on the sand. how the water carries the salt on the wind, making the air mealy, heavy, something to swallow, something that springs forth from the core, something that rushes forgone conclusions back up to the surface.

because it's always water with you.


anonymousblack: ([Franz Von Stuck] Judith)
knock the table stain the page scratch the letters into order on the board: hand clutched and wide eyed we presume to know a thing with no way to shake out a thing to know. the eyes of the dead gleam from the farthest corner. the fate of the unborn curls up in tendrils around the medium's fingers. and then.

the room is roaring but the room is intolerably still but there's a steady drone of conversation, questions digging up answers, questions sprinkling conjure water on answer's grave, answers projecting specters that are actually a combination of materials from the atmosphere and our clothing.

it's a trauma, it's a trance, it's a tracing out of what might have been, where we are really, and where we could go next. projections and predictions. a safe place to land. three cards representing the past, the present, and the future. three cards, representing your perspective, his perspective, and your perspectives combined. three cards: knows, believes, expects. three cards: where you are, where you're going, how you will get there. three cards: father, son, and holy ghost. isis, judith, and all our unnamed intermediaries: of which there are multitudes, i know. light the damn candle, get this shit: i'm a fucking trinity, i hollered over milkshakes and paul almost wet his pants.

there are so many answers for those things that should not be explained. here, i will tell you one for the special one time offer cost of never calling even the most tangential aspects of what i believe into question. i didn't understand the game i was playing when this was still a children's game. now i need to play again, but my hand is scarred over and through with burns from the spirituality stove and i don't know that i have the wherewithal for anything more serious than an alarming light show.

other people strive for solace from their spirituality, or discipline, or a code, or the template for their afterlife day planner. me, i seem to have been born knowing that it's chaos on this side and chaos on that side and chaos on the in-between so you better embrace the absurdity of it and never stake out a territory of knowledge as your own without acknowledging that doing that will call the very fabric of unrelated realities into question and peel that last shirt right off your back. better instead to make the best of it, partake at the altar of my unanticipated gospel: sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll. there's a three card spread for you.

there are some homilies i might like to share. let's call the dead into this coffee can and scream into it for a bit. but only the dead who deserve that kind of treatment, okay? the dead we love, we'll grieve and grieve. we'll write them poetry, dedicate that book like i wanted to do, remember all those times we nearly made each other piss our pants with laughter because, at the end, that's all we're really here to do. make each other laugh. how's that for a killing oversimplification?

i laugh until i stopped. and then i stopped some more. i'm always stopping. and then i'm starting. i'm always stopping and starting again. i'm always starting up: the long slow prepare, a thing another thing, a thing again a thing, now where did my glasses go? what about the candle lighter? i need a drink of water, i need to fill up my klean kanteen, oh look here there are dishes in the sink and where are my damn pants? chaos outside chaos inside the very structure of this structure chaos and we say: still yourself? clean your room? find the place of peace within yourself and reflect it in your living space? give your sadness to a blade of grass? give your insanity to a sheath of wheat? give your virginity to the flowers? i'd say that would've gone better for me but to be as sincere as i seem to be capable of being, i have absolutely no memory of what it was like to be a virgin. the flowers didn't want anything to do with it.

it's all in circles, anyway. sand mandalas of self we pour over for a human's age: once completed, or maybe, once it has reached whatever stage that must by necessity be considered completion, because we need to leave for another appointment and will typically miss the part when the wind blows it all away.

swept up and vacuumed clear. extract the dust from my home, suck it out with electricity and pour it down the drain with gallons of potable water. put it in a plastic bag and ship it to the dump, viable land turned to poison with our disrespect, so we can pile up our plastic-bagged dust onto countless other plastic bags of dust and declare this a proud monument to human sanitation. you can see the absurdity in that; in fact, i openly encourage you to find that hilarious, i mean, what the fuck else are you going to do? verbally assault a twelve year old girl for saying she's excited a woman might be president? set a church on fire because its attendants, while believing the same basic principles about god and love that you supposedly do, aren't believing it with what you feel is the right skin color? demand gender verification to let one of your customers use the toilet then rant on facebook about how you can't stand the government getting all in your business? vote for trump because you can't have sanders? it is hilarious! it is hopelessly absurd! also it is killing me! and it is killing you! it is killing everybody! what else can i say?

that this could be our ultimate legacy. that this could be all that's left of us in some thousand year's time: everything we were so disciplined to purchase, barely use, and ultimately dispose of in indestructible reliquaries of heat-sealed plastic. what once gathered dust now leaches poison into the water supply. how did we get to "maybe imminent extinction is actually in our best interests, karma-wise"? chaos, chaos, chaos. amen.


feast day

Feb. 14th, 2016 07:56 pm
anonymousblack: (rosewater tarnish)


the candle i decorated for my imbolc pledge did not get enough love on ritual night (i mean, it could be argued that i was largely the source of my own distraction, what with my salty pledge and setting fires with my mind and such) so it is presented here, far left. love it, please. that's the point. several layers of repurposed gift tissue torn up, tie dyed, and occasionally stamped around a jar covered with a layer of red glass paint.

today, probably for the first time, i had another magic worker perform a small service for me. i wrote out my petition last night and felt the deity tugging at me, wanting to ground her ritual in my own space, so i set up a spot for her on this little wall shelf i got for yule. immediately beneath that, almost a serendipitous aspect of my petition, we have:



i've been meaning to write about the blooming burning corazon piece since the beginning of the year. i'd ordered it a few weeks before my thyroidectomy, in part because something about the design reminded me of a thyroid and i thought, well, at least i can have an analog around the house. it arrived with an element of the design missing, which felt like a bad omen - just... trust me on that.

i went back and forth on whether or not i should complain. my inner american consumer was all, assert yourself! get all the tin wing-like leaves that you paid for! you deserve perfect! don't dare settle for anything less! at the very least, i worried that i should demand a partial refund (or have the vendor check to see if the missing piece was lying around somewhere in their warehouse), but in the end i didn't have the (ha, ha) heart for it.

deep down, it's always felt like the piece was meant to come to me broken. that it came into being for me, specifically, at that specific point in my life. it was where my own heart was on many levels. still, i felt self-conscious about the whole matter. the imperfect art, my lack of plucky american-go-for-it-aggression in not even attempting to correct that imperfection; then this lopsided thing that was supposed to be a comfort while i was in recovery from cancer treatment that, instead, made me feel guilty every time i looked at it. i spent the following three years positioning it to hide the missing element and contemplating some variety of surgical intervention.

then, on a bad day this january, my eyes fell on it and something whispered: hold the wound. i thought about the japanese discipline of kintsugi - repairing damaged ceramic pieces with gold leaf - and realized that i shouldn't be hiding the missing element or feeling any kind of shame about it. instead, i could emphasize that absence, almost celebrate it; use that lack in a prayerful way.

so i present to you: my traumatized heart, in all its poorly lit glory. three pheasant feathers replace the missing element.

anonymousblack: ([mom] boys and girls)
[11.23.2010, journal 10]

i want to be newly falling asleep. easily falling asleep. pleasantly slipping from awareness, sliding down those smoothing surfaces, wrapping myself in the soothing darkness of: sleep. pull the blanket up to my chin, up over my ears, slip down between the cool sheets and make them freshly warm. i do not think another decongestant will improve my mood. at least i'll be able to breath. break it down break it up break it out, refrain refrain, that refrain means both to halt and to repeat. to halt through repetition. to stop again again, to stop again stop. i'd really like to be falling back asleep, i said. outside strangers are shouting.

i'm putting on the crown. you know what that means. do you know what that means? ten years ago, just short of that friend's most recent post-break up pregnancy scare. not realizing my sister was pregnant, unsure if i even had an inkling, though my post-production team will observe that i certainly wrote some uncanny things on the matter, like i do. my oldest friend, arguably my closest friend, she kept going to my ex's parties. i can't complain about it. i never asked her not to go. maybe if i had, she wouldn't have gone, but something in me doubts this. i hadn't told her everything. i'd told her enough, but i wasn't ready to explain everything. around that, i was still intractable and obfuscating. intractable, obfuscating, intolerably intense. all the i and o and oh not now i'd become to her. you see, his parties were something to do. all her friends went to them. all her friends were his friends, too. it's foolish to think she would've chosen me. why do i think that thinking that is foolish? why did i break myself, trying to repair a friendship with anyone who i believed, deep down, wouldn't chose me over my ex-boyfriend's goddamn house parties?

i'm putting on the crown.



don't try to stop me.


all this time, i just wanted to be chosen. refrain: i wanted to matter. i wanted to be a desired presence on my own terms, not another piece of social clutter she couldn't use and couldn't release. i was a good friend on my own terms, taken for myself, not as another compulsive accessory in an already overpopulated entourage. she seemed to have more friends than she could deal with. she certainly had more friends than i could deal with:

and that's the hitch. it was blameless. it should have been blameless. it could've been blameless. she needed something else. something i couldn't understand. i was the obvious excess, the most easily excised. it was in her best interests to be rid of me. refrain from the destructive language: it was in my best interests to be free of her assumptions, of the obligations she insisted. of the endless bowing out of myself. of the shame for who i'd become. of her necessary friends that were his, too. of the possibility that he might become one of her necessary friends: of her insistent lack of understanding. of her emotional clutter piled up on her social clutter piled up on her material clutter up past the skyline up level with the tinfoil moon. pile it up: she didn't honor me. she couldn't see me as a gift. i can't blame her for it, i don't blame her for it, but then and again, why? why? why did this turn into that? refrain: i don't want to be writing this. refrain: i don't want to be thinking about this. refrain: yet here it is again.

in her party dress. her wings that don't lift or bear. unconcerned how my malingering connection to her might, in her superfluous and coincidental connection to him, might drag me back into his life, might trap me under his rock again, might punch my lungs, drag me under, that this time i might not come back. refrain! it didn't matter to her. i didn't matter to her. not like her actual friends. i'd become a concept, a principle, an object. i'd become another thing she didn't want to lose. refrain: i don't want to be writing this. refrain: i don't want to need to write this. refrain: i don't need to write this. i need to be chosen. i need to matter. refrain. stop. refrain. repeat:

i'm putting on the crown.

i don't know what it means or where it might go. what i know is i'm sick of being a queen without a crown. without the straight back, without the towering confidence. i'm sick of being invisible, left between the lines, left of center, left out. i have a crown. it's time for me to wear it. in the back room of the craft store, on highway eighty-three. alone in the grocery store parking lot tears dripping from my fluorescent strained eyes, howling into my dark locked car: i'm putting on the fucking crown and don't you even try to stop me. you don't know anything about it. you've never seen a crown much less saved one in the closets and crawlspaces of your life, you don't know what it's like to have this thing, this certainty, this strength stuffed at the back of the linens that you know some day you'll have to claim but still but wait but now is not the right now i've got to now instead there's something else. or maybe you do, probably some of you do, possibly you're reading this and thinking: yes, that's me, that's true, that's been me all along, but listen: this is about me. this time. this once. so. refrain: shut it. it's time. i'm putting on the crown.

you don't even know.
you won't even know.
you can't even know.


2016 eta: and what about me? because there's always something. that i don't know. that i won't know. that i can't know.

and yet.


40

Aug. 24th, 2015 03:28 pm
anonymousblack: (into the woods)
birthday, schmirthday. anybody else more interested in the current state of my bedroom altar?

anonymousblack: (darkest leaf)
it's old. it's worn. it's going nowhere, fast.

and yet.

it's writing and writing and writing. everywhere i can find, everything i see fit to put down: which, on balance, may be several hundred pages of absolutely nothing.

but at least it's something.

i write it. maybe later i type it. i type it into m.s. word, software programmed for enthusiastic auto-correction of my assorted stylistic vices; software refined into increasing difficulty around manually changing things back to the way i want them to be. don't you see? i want to do it wrong. i want my writing to look immature, solipsistic, lost to itself and others because that's what it is. that's what it's always been. that's who i've always been. it's one of the failures from which i draw power. i understand that there are check boxes i could untick - around capital letters at least - but it's probably for the best that i don't, as the whole matter of professional presentation remains a deep pool reeking of human weakness for me. i am not like some of you, you authorities in the court of reasonable grammar; those of you who observe and actively speak concerns about passive voice, flubbed punctuation, whom or who or you or me or i or i or if

always if

i before e except in any instance where i am using a word that puts one right next to the other

i trail ink into the void. i whisper into the void. always whispering into the void.

always whispering into the void.

always whispering into the void.

maybe, someday, my words will echo back upon the ears of someone meant to hear them.




maybe not.
anonymousblack: (WORSHIP ME YOU SNAKE!)

shrine cabinet in august 2013


wednesday i moved the shrine cabinet (need to show you some even newer pictures) into the study. i thought it would make it easier to use actively; give me somewhere to put the zafu or witch table if i want to meditate or work in front of it. the only real draw back is that i won't be able to sit with it on the couch--sometimes when i can't sleep i'll go into the front room, light the butter lamps and listen to music while they burn down. sometimes there's enya. it's nice. but really, i've been concerned about something with so much that is important and breakable in the swing radius of the porch door and it really was difficult to actually sit with the shrine, you know, as it was, actually meditate or practice. you were sort of jammed up strangely in a corner.

so on a fiercely bad suppression day, i disassembled the shrine, piled up my relics into ikea boxes, moved the cabinet into the study, smudged, then put everything back together. i'm not sure yet. it does have a strong presence in the room, but it's awfully close to the computer. i mean from the whole "some days it is a lot easier to fuck around on facebook than cope with spirituality" perspective.


slightly blurry reference shot i did not end up using


for the equinox, i started a releasing ritual, very loosely modified from here. (was angelfire actively target-marketed toward neopagans, ceremonial magicians, S&M practitioners and punks or was that just how it turned out?) wrote intentions, burned intentions. used a bit of quadrivium's cut and clear. started on the fringes with the names and the externals, worked my way through to the underlying issues; what i've been using the externals to distract myself from. cried, of course. threw the ashes off the balcony.

it occurred to me that the reason ritual always feels so awkward and unsatisfying is probably because i still have to roll that learning curve. the legacy of the bellydance video has been humbling myself to the idea of "i'll try again tomorrow, and if it still doesn't go the way i want, i'll try it again the day after that." instead of giving up, i try again, maybe this time with more realistic expectations regarding my aptitudes and ambitions. so maybe if i can actually do a ritual more often than when something has become entirely unbearable, i'll be able to get more out of the unbearable rituals.

we'll see.


second slightly blurry reference shot i did not end up using


*

wednesday night i started the ecstatic poetry class. i am astonished and slightly ashamed at some of the weird habits i've developed in writing poetry. yes, i suspect that needing to run an internet search on a term, concept, or reference is something that should happen in the revision process, but i seem to have grounded myself in the habit of stopping everything to look the term, concept, or reference up while i am trying to connect with the spirit of a piece and damnit, i should know better than that. i used to.

i just need to stop trying to "protect" myself from certain types of criticisms with research while i'm still in the delivery room, bringing forth the first rush of inevitably imperfect language. a lot of my best work--particularly in prose--does come off the pen without needing a lot of polishing. i'm not (exactly) bragging, it's something that's occasionally a real pain in the neck, especially for creative writing teachers and workshops. and for switching back to poetry. it's like learning to walk again, scribbling down something so undeveloped and letting it exist like that, at least for a time.

duende

Nov. 19th, 2013 06:58 pm
anonymousblack: (WORSHIP ME YOU SNAKE!)
i was given a relatively new scanner earlier this year; we've stalled out in a bit of a "hole in the bucket" situation with regard to the connectors. it's a situation i would like to remedy because some of the new work looks like this:

swirl


and snapping at it with my eleven year old nikkon doesn't quite do it justice. we have the port to route the thing into the computer, but the friend who gifted us with the scanner shipped it with the wrong kind of power cord so we have no way of turning it on. ben's pretty sure we've got the necessary cord in the big box of wires in the utility closet, but entering the utility closet is not a project undertaken lightly. maybe later this week.

i sent a terrifying followup email to the editor who accepted my chapbook in 2011 (who, as it turned out, was fully aware of my journey to the cancer underworld and was patiently holding on to my manuscript until i could enjoy it) and she is still on for publishing it; now just the cover art and, ush, "about the author," a smattering of text that tends to make my toes curl inward involuntarily. it's like writing my own obituary, except worse.

i lit candles all around the medicine cabinet shrine this afternoon and let the sun go down around them. the two butter lanterns from nepal, lit with tea lights. a black blessed herbal candle, crafted by witches for protection. flickering over votives of persephone and st. francis. i'd turn and look out the window, see the broadcast towers blinking in the distance, behind the tree whose yellow leaves keep blanketing my car, all of it trying to tell me something. i guess it could be said that i cast a wide net, spiritually. how else would i be?
anonymousblack: ([tarkovskiy] the heart)
last night i set up the turntable and broke the seal on voice of eye's "substantia innominata" 10" (i've had it, now, for three years and never been able to listen to the vinyl.)

i smudged the apartment with an old wand of white sage, needing to relight near the kitchen sink (where i'd sat on the floor, nauseated, in a cold sweat, a few hours earlier), over the bed (where i've spent many muddled and dissatisfied hours), a few lingering unpacked cluttered spots in the study, and, of course, the bathroom.

i only walked through once. if i had more energy, i would have circled counter-clockwise three times, then walked through clockwise with sweetgrass, but i figure i can do another pass tonight; then finish out the triad and walk my sweetgrass tomorrow while ben is still at work, tomorrow. this has been a month-long convalescence, after all. i can't transform all that stale energy at once.

after my smudge last night, i turned out the single light in the living room and sat in the couch, listening to the record in the dark. with the radioactive iodine still running through my system most of my bodily fluids are probably still mildly contaminated, so i did what i could to keep the tears in check.

please tell me spirit did not give me cancer so i'd finally get around to listening to my record collection.

landscape

Mar. 2nd, 2012 04:47 pm
anonymousblack: (darkest leaf)
woke up wanting to seal myself in a sonic bubble, with a particular urge to listen to nothing but coyote oldman albums. acoustic fasting, purging the sonic complexities in my environment with hours of nothing but flute and reverb. what is this, 2001?

of course, back then i was single so this played out unchecked: less and less television, no radio, barely any outside media at all; odd hours of deep night. the music went from coyote oldman to carlos nakai to riley lee to nawang khechog to, when all of that started feeling too burdened with activity and artifice, singing bowls over water, low bells in open air, then just water, then field recordings. nothing but field recordings. oceans, swamps, crickets, brooks and gentle rain showers. every few years i seem to need a sonic detox. just the simplest recordings, the most earnest recordings. nothing that is trying to compete with me for attention, just something i can flow into and connect with by being present and listening.

honestly, i'm relieved to have my flutes and singing bowls. in the sixth grade, i knew nothing about music alternatives and ended up listening to elevator music for nearly six months. nobody i knew listened to the stuff so it was secure, no one could find me there, i could hide in it, nobody would try to take it from me. and, in it's way, in an absence of the music i'd find much later, it had a very particular sort of appeal. 101 string renditions of the main theme from "terms of endearment" still make me a bit misty eyed. but mostly, it was about having an island on the radio dial i believed no one else in my peer group would dare visit. i could be alone with my music. eventually, i go back, i need to; the summer filled a half dozen walgreen's cassettes with los lobos and madonna off top 40 radio. i think my father nearly cried in relief.

so there you have it: to an extent, my musical fasting is escapism. disassociating myself. i know this. i understand. on some level i feel rejecting popular music--or maybe, more, the energy and politics of popular music--will protect me from society. or heal me from society. or allow me to fall through the looking glass at last, into a universe where effort equals return: you know, you do a job, you get paid for it; you create something meaningful, it provides you with solace; you move across the country to take the next step in your relationship, and, well, you get my drift.

however, i think if everyone could or would take a day or maybe three to exclusively listen to flutes and breath or crickets and brooks, really, really listen, the world would be a better place.
anonymousblack: (everything she wanted)
is longing more important than connecting?

is unrequited love more noble than returned love? does nobility really play into it? how about: is there more growth, more evolution, more power in the experience of unrequited love?

what do i want, exactly? to get what i want, or to be left wanting? satisfaction without lack or better learning to iterate what is truly desired?

the empty page or the page ready to be filled? the filled page or the filling page?

finally seeing the words or wondering what they could be?

the naked page before me, or trying to make out the words printed on the other side?

remembering happiness or forgetting pain?

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