salt and apples

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

            Everyone warns you about the fire – but nobody tells you about the rain. Every single stolen moment is an act of war, a meeting place where lightning challenges thunder and vice versa. We are always seeking a balance, carving out a space somewhere between safety and destruction. This is what love looks like, when you place it in the middle of a hurricane. This is what desire looks like when you let it loose. These matches are mine, darling. The catch is I’m already burning – I’ve always been burning. There’s nothing left to do but greet the rain.

            Call it an opportunity. Call it release. But don’t call it anything less than miracle. I know how to revel in the quiet just as well as anybody, but I much prefer the chaos of two bodies, the way your breath catches, and the passionate vulnerability we’ve conjured.

            Love is a crossroads. I’ve always been here, choosing and chosen. I’ve left offerings in all directions. I’ve tasted both salt and apples. I’ve followed the crow. I’ve been companion to the wind. I’ve gone barefoot in the grass. This is where we are now, but not where we will always be. These candles are lit, even as the rain comes. I have lit them for you.

            O ushalin zhala sar o kam mangela. (The shadow moves as the sun commands.)

            Nashti zhas vorta po drom o bango. (You cannot walk straight where the road is bent.)

            May mishto phabol o kasht o chordano. (Stolen wood burns better for being stolen.)

            Kaski san? (Whose are you?)

            Mine.

Categories: Uncategorized

things of greater value

July 24, 2014 Leave a comment

 

I have become bottomless
in the very best way, heart open
and devouring, only to replace
what it’s taken
with things of greater value –
this is the way your hands
make me feel, a strange
kind of limitless possibility
that feels like magic.

But this is not magic,
not parlor trick, not smoke
and not misdirection – no,
this is the way the wind feels
when it’s falling, this is a bird
marveling at its wing,
this is not something
I have a name for – perhaps,
perhaps some things
don’t need a name.

It is the middle of the day
and I’m wonderfully useless, thinking
only of the way your hands braid into mine,
thinking of that look on your face
(you know the one), thinking
about all the ways two bodies
close a distance, and hearts,
and lives – sometimes,
moments crack open
and then hearts are stitched up –
that is how you’ve healed me
when I didn’t even know I’d been broken.

So, yes.
So, this.
So, everything.
I have no instructions for the way
that I feel, no excuses for the things
that I want, and no apologies
for anything. It’s been years,
and I’ve learned this:
there’s no roadmap
for the places you really want to go,
and there no previous experience necessary
when your heart whispers, love.

Categories: Poetry

Imagine

 

In all the poems that need
to be written, I find you,
waiting and impetuous,
your heart, like a hummingbird,
halfway glimpsed between
truth and trees –
my days are an open window,
and I invite you in, standing
invitation.

This summer, I want
to count your freckles
and imagine
a fate beyond a kiss; I want
to feel so alive
that all the stars break, I want
to be drunk on everything
my heart has no name for,
and

I want to dare
to drop everything – I want
to gather us up, feeling
much more than a quick step,
let’s go for a long run
and see where it takes us.

Imagine
desire, let out like steam –
let’s see what happens now,
in this space
I have cleared for you.

Categories: Uncategorized

My Uterus, My Monkeys: Why is There Suddenly Church in My Lady Parts?

July 3, 2014 3 comments

            I’ve been trying, for days, to write about the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling. It’s difficult to remain levelheaded, because I really cannot believe that we’re still having this discussion. I cannot believe that people are still trying to legislate uteruses. I don’t understand why a corporation seems to have more rights than I do. And I cannot comprehend the rampant misunderstanding regarding IUD and Plan B. Guys, these are no magic abortive devices that oust poor innocent babies with the proverbial bathwater. These items prevent pregnancies. That is not a debatable issue. That’s a fact. Of course, Alito seems to think that if people believe something is abortive, than the government has to accept that. And in other news, the world is flat, tooth pain is caused by tiny demons in your jaw, and the best way to get rid of a headache is to bore holes into your skull to release the evil spirits. Oh, wait, right: none of that is true.

            There are plenty of women who do not want to be mothers. That is a personal choice. But this ruling has made things highly problematic, because a corporation can now choose to deny women access to birth control that it deems against its religious beliefs. Yes, its – because this is a company, not a person. But that company seems to matter more, doesn’t it?

            As of this minute, a corporation can decide, “Hey, I don’t like this thing. It’s against my religious beliefs. DENIED.” This is circumventing a woman’s rights. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out, this ruling could hideously far-reaching. Don’t believe in vaccinations? Think epilepsy is caused by demons? Good news, then: if we continue down this path of Not Science, then you might be able to opt-out in the near future.

            Guys, we are living in a world where our politicians use the phrase “legitimate rape.” Hell, we live in a world where people commonly refer to the vulva as the vagina. Because, hi, basic anatomy isn’t a thing anymore. I think that I’ll randomly start referring to a man’s testicles as the shaft, because – hey, what not? If we’re just going to ignore science altogether, it sounds around right.

            But, seriously, guys – this “war on women” isn’t a myth. Consider, also, the recent court case seeking to abolish the buffer zone outside of clinics. The case, in Massachusetts, led to this as a result. Read that article. You need to. That is a dangerous thing, too – because anyone who two eyes and half a brain can see how confrontational and abusive anti-choice protestors can be. A woman should not need an escort to get a medical procedure done. A woman should not have to fear making her own choices, only to be harassed and bullied by people who don’t agree with them. Last summer, I attended a state fair in which a pro-life group set up a booth and harassed me, randomly, as a walked by. There were figures and models that I could’ve done without seeing. There was also no way to avoid this particular booth, if I wanted to get from Point A to Point B.

            I’m all for freedom of religion. Believe what you want to believe. Practice the faith you want to practice. But your faith doesn’t belong on my doorstep. And it certainly doesn’t belong in my uterus. You know that Polish saying – not my circus, not my monkeys? Well, my uterus, my monkeys.

            I wonder, lately, what someone like Alice Paul would’ve thought about our society, which is trying to cull women’s rights at every turn. Yes, she fought for the right to vote, but she Women still get paid a hell of lot less for our distinct lack of penises. Slut-shaming is a rampant thing. When watching tv for an hour, I see approximately 87 different commercials for drugs to treat impotence. I can’t even remember the last time I saw an ad for birth control. And until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know that a copper IUD existed – which is non-hormonal.

            Freedom of religion means that we all have the freedom to choose which religion we practice – or don’t. It doesn’t mean someone else’s religion is supposed to govern or dictate my life/choices. If that was the case, we’d have to force Quakers to dance, Muslims to eat pork, and during Lent, I suppose Catholics would be forced to eat meat on Fridays.

            I honestly don’t know where we go from here. But I do know that we, as a nation, need to stop backpedalling. 

the miracle of small things

July 1, 2014 1 comment

            There’s something so wonderfully magical about appreciating the little things in life. An unexpected whatever that fills your heart with a crazy song and unabashed joy. I am a huge fan of the small things that, like the stars, light things up. A phone call, a text message, a nickname – these things are tiny, but they’re bigger on the inside, so to speak. Unexpected little miracles.

            I’m always on board with celebrating the small joys. They can make the difference between a terrible day and a brilliant one. It baffles me, sometimes, how often people forget (or, perhaps, overlook) the impact of little gestures. For instance, when my grandpa was still alive, I called him every Wednesday night at a specific time. We never really spoke that long, and our conversations weren’t very deep, but that made him happy. He used to, I was told, sit there with the phone in his hand in case he fell asleep. He was always waiting for my call. The conversation always started like this:

             Me: Hey, Grandpa!

            Him: Hello, Granddaughter!

             The way he said it was adorable. He was always teasing me. He had the best laugh and a wicked sense of humor. I like to think he passed those things on to me. But back to the point: it didn’t take much to affect him in a good way. That’s the same reason why I like to send people letters or small presents, randomly – and occasionally without warning. There’s so much crap in the world, sometimes, that it obscures our view – like when the sky is overcast and full of clouds, and you cannot see the stars. Yes, you know that the stars are there, but you’re still without their light. It is my belief that the little joys in life chase those clouds away. It’s so important to appreciate them when they happen.

            The truth is that I will always celebrate the little victories. I will celebrate the hell out of them. Today, I have so much to be grateful for. A whole list, really. And a whole heap of wonderful people. These aren’t things you can buy from a store. They don’t come wrapped or wearing bows. Some things, darlings, are far better than that.

             

This Is Not a Test

June 27, 2014 14 comments

 

“I realized that God gave breast cancer to women because women can handle it.”

Guys, no. There is nothing okay about this statement. And yes, it’s something I just read on Twitter this morning. And yes, the person in question HAS breast cancer. I get it. It’s scary. And it’s good to find ways to be strong about – positive things.

But I have so many problems with this statement. For one thing, God – if you believe in God – is not giving people cancer. Cancer isn’t a challenge one overcomes. It’s a disease. Not a test. Nothing about it is a test. It’s certainly not a test of will to see if a woman can handle it.

Let’s break down the language and suss out the implications. A woman gets breast cancer as a challenge, and it’s a test of strength. So, if she handles it well, she…what? Gets to live? If so, that would imply that every single woman who has died from breast cancer couldn’t handle it. And thus, they were punished.

That means the strongest person I’ve ever known (my mother) – who had more goodness and decency than 100 people – failed the test of breast cancer. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have died, right?

NO. This is not okay. This is not okay to tell every woman who has, or had, breast cancer. You don’t defeat it through righteousness. Cancer is never a test. You don’t handle cancer. You have it.

As someone who lost her mother to it, I find this view insulting and insensitive to the memories of everywhere we’ve all lost to that disease. And we all know SOMEONE, don’t we? We’ve all lost someone. We’ve all suffered.

Breast cancer is not a test. It’s a tragedy. And that’s all I have to say right now.

Categories: Uncategorized

I Miss Lloyd Dobbler (or More Reasons Why Robin Thicke Is a Creep)

June 24, 2014 5 comments

            Alright, y’all – we need to talk about Robin Thicke. His new song premiered recently, creatively titled, “Get Her Back.” I’m not going to pull any punches, here: it is an extremely pathetic attempt at guilt tripping his estranged wife, Paula Patton, into getting back together with him. Guys and girls, this is no Lloyd Dobber, holding a boom box outside of his girl’s window, playing “In Your Eyes.” This is a complete and utter fail.

            Forget the fact that “Blurred Lines” was pretty much a douchebag rape anthem, with a stupidly catchy beat that even I found myself booping along to when it explicably ALWAYS was on the damned radio. Put that aside, okay?

            Presumably, Patton and Thicke split after a photograph came out in which has hand was groping that ass of a female (model? Who knows. Doesn’t matter). This was after that disastrous bullshit of a Beetlejuice suit performance with Miley Cyrus and her inexplicable tongue/foam finger nonsense.

            Patton left Thicke quietly. Like ninja quiet. Just, “Okay, I’m done. Thanks, bye.” And looking at all the public evidence, one can hardly blame her. If there’s that much stuff that’s leaked into the public sphere, I can only imagine the stuff we aren’t privy to, the things that happened that the maddening crowd never saw.

            Now, there’s this freakin’ video (there’s a great analysis here). In it, it appears that Thicke uses text messages that he and Patton exchanged as some kind of bizarre coercion tool. Because, seriously, nothing solidifies the “Take me back” sentiment like airing your private messages to the world. Sexy, right? And not at ALL invasive, sleezy, or creepy?

            In the video, there’s a woman who is supposed to look like Patton. She’s naked. I’ll repeat: the chick is naked. Because, hey, way to oversexualize the person you’re supposedly trying to apologize to, right? Thicke, as far as I could tell, is also naked. Or at least shirtless. I tried not to look too hard, because honestly, the very fact that he has a ‘successful’ music career pisses me off.

            As the blog I linked to points out, this entire video is an exercise in public shaming. His private pleas to Patton must not have worked, especially if his lame-ass texts in that video are actually his. So now, he’s thrust her into the court of public opinion, tried to paint himself as an apologetic victim, and dragged their private situation into the public sphere. This, plain and simple, is bullying. It’s manipulative. And it’s utter bullshit. Yes, artists write about their lives, sometimes. “Cry Me a River” comes to mind immediately. But Justin Timberlake never went on TRL (remember when that was still a thing? GOD, I AM OLD.) and sang a song called, “My Hoebag Girlfriend Cheated on Me.” That’s a wee bit too on the nose, yes? If you look at the track listing for Thicke’s new album, it’s really all about HIM. About what he wants. Not about what she wants or needs. And the album is basically shoving their relationship, and the horribly difficult situation in which they find themselves, in her face. Constantly. Because, hey, it will inevitably end up on the radio.  It’s a whole new level of humiliation.

            Imagine you’re engaged in a messy divorce. Now, imagine the other party’s warped feelings about it ON THE DAMN RADIO. No. NO. NOPE. Not cool. And not okay. This isn’t merely an artist venting his poor broken heart. This is the person in the wrong trying to gain public sympathy and shame his wife in the process. That video smarmily says, “Look, I’m sorry! See how sorry I am? Now, you have to feel bad for me, because see how sad my eyes are?”

            Honestly, I’ve never seen something so epically douchey AND hideously desperate at the same time. I don’t know where all of Thicke’s friends and family are, but maaaaybe someone should tell him that this is NOT the way to gain friends and influence people. Ever. If I were Patton, this dickbag king of the asshat parade move basically would reaffirm my decision to leave him and not speak to him. Because the maturity level, here, is befitting a five year old – except, hey, five year olds aren’t SUPPOSED to know better. Because they’re FIVE.

            Ultimately, this relationship doesn’t affect me. But the dynamics of bullying and abuse should be talked about. They should be analyzed. This isn’t art. It’s emotional propaganda. And you can argue that art IS emotional propaganda, but art itself never has an agenda. You basically make something and shove it out into the world, hoping in affects people in some way. Not necessarily a specific thing. Art shouldn’t have a thesis statement. It should just fucking be art.

            I usually like to have a good ending, but I don’t. Mostly, I’m too angry and annoyed to be clever. So, until next time, folks – same Bat time, same Bat channel. OR SOMETHING.

Categories: Uncategorized
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