I bow and crumble-
your knuckles are blue and gray
like a howling sea.
I bow and crumble-
your knuckles are blue and gray
like a howling sea.
No one wants to be selfish
it’s just a consequence of loneliness.
I stir and stew, eyes woven,
knuckles drawn like a veil.
Every other word is “no”
there’s no compromise at all.
I am a serpent, a road
undulant and without map.
As defiled as the swastika,
no news leads to interpretation
and I’ve reason enough to rant.
Your heart is only for show,
I stroke my memories
through the aftershock
a shell entranced by the peeling patterns
of my recumbent cell.
The moon never leaves my side.
I wrestle your mass,
your mighty inertia
silencing my retreat.
We do not flow
but stick together,
two sheets sweated through.
Your name arrests me,
a chant grating to the ear.
I hate you every bit as much
as I love you, perhaps a little more.
I’ve blocked all the exits,
your leavenings left to lie.
The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being.” The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. After WW2 we came to, at least in the West, associate the symbol with terror and genocide. That is what I meant by “as defiled as swastika”
Joachim Buecklaer, 1560
I went to the market today,
Gathering a feast for the week’s apologies.
I am not wrong, I have always been civil,
Poised even when tempered under your misogynistic boot.
I held my breath waiting for you to come home.
I held my breath until the brume of my misplaced tears
Summoned the four walls around me like a bodice.
You were drunk and curd-faced on arrival.
I forgave you the lack of conversation.
I forgave your piss-soaked trousers and slovenly dress.
I forgave your irascible humor and ingratitude.
I even forgave myself the arsenic employed
to rid me of your pestilence.
I dance this path
Of fire with you
By the failings
Of an incurable youth
Though the heart
My bones do not
An unmade bed
My animal instincts
So we lie
Captive in the rage
Of a muzzled spine
From your sharpened tongue
I gather defect
Like bread crumbs
Drive me back
To this house
Of dangerous angles
This one is 5 years old and from the catacombs of my blog. I am preparing poems for submission to The Newyorker at the moment =)
Dear Nameless you are my progenitor, my faceless amnesia, my curse.
Dear Mochai unlucky girl, you paint rainbows on barred windows and run from thunder.
Dear Ei Vene my beautiful corpse you speak only to yourself.
Dear Varian trickster, psychopomp you slip through doors three sizes too small.
Dear Theron you are my sanity, my humanity, my ability to function in a world gone mad.
Dear Yves speak to me only in poetry, you are my ink, my blood, my raison d’etre.
Dear Nikolai you are voodoo manifest.
Dear Dread you are the darkness, the wall-crawling shadow, my rusted clockwork heart.
Dear Mollie there exists no grudge that you have not borne.
Dear Kesai you keep your fangs tucked beneath an alluring smile.
Dear Kimaxsis your tongue could slice through barbed-wire, you are my fire, my anarchistic heart.
As far as poetry goes this isn’t really but it is deeply personal. The above characters are me, every one of them. Some time ago my therapist asked me to make a list of my different “aspects” so that we could discuss them and perhaps in time reintegrate them. When the exercise was first suggested to me I was terrified. Did I really have multiple personalities? In truth I am not sure if what I have could be considered distinct personalities. They do not identify themselves by name. I do not forget my loved ones, my blog, or certain aspects of my life. I have memory gaps certainly. I have mood swings that alter my personality. I have variances in my medical results and performance/skill sets. I am inconsistent but do I really transform into someone else? For this exercise I have chosen to flesh out what are in truth rather ambiguous characters. These characters do not all manifest with the same frequency and not every trait assigned to them is always outwardly apparent. There is some wrestling/arguing that goes on between them as well.
I have used game characters to represent my internal personas in some instances because they are so closely matched. All the characters I have used come from Planescape Torment, which is why I am so drawn to the game, it is the most myself I can possibly be.
So now I will introduce you to the “aspects” in summary and expose you to my deepest weaknesses and most disturbing behaviors at the same time. Do not read further if you do not want to know because unlike me you probably can’t unknow things.
The Nameless One is an amnesiac immortal. He has literally been through hell and back. Each time he “dies” a new incarnation rises up within him. These “deaths” are gradually unraveling his mind and eventually he will lose the ability to pull himself back from the void. I think it is more than a little obvious why I relate so strongly to this character. I am this character or rather this character is a fragment of me. I have the amnesia, I have the traumatic PTSD-inducing past, I am slowly but surely losing my mind. The Nameless One draws suffering souls to him like a magnet. I draw suffering souls. He is charismatic and has a strong influence over others. I can be dangerously persuasive both intentionally and unintentionally. This aspect has a strong will and therefore prefers to keep company with strong-minded individuals who are not easily molded or broken. The Nameless One is also sarcastic, he sees the absurdity in life, and is known to play the devil’s advocate. He is physically strong and has a high threshold for pain. This is the part of me that falls down a flight of stairs, stands up bruised and bloody with no fuck’s given. This is the part of me that heals obscenely fast. This is the part of me that was physically stronger than all the other kids in school. This is the part of me that stopped bullies dead in their tracks and made them back off without so much as a word. The Nameless One marches to the beat of his own drummer.
Mochai is a weak character and represents the more pathetic aspects of my nature. Physically she has large brown, heavily-circled eyes, dresses in over-sized rags, and has thick, brown shaggy hair. She is superficial and easily influenced by other people. She is needy and suffers from two conflicting impulses to be invisible and to fit in. She has really bad luck and is regarded by most to be annoying and unlikable. She is irresponsible, dependent, lazy and mooches off of others. She complains a lot. She avoids confrontation whenever possible and has a hard time assuming responsibility for her actions. She is jealous and has serious trust and abandonment issues. She is the part of me that is terrible with math and is always getting lost and overwhelmed by the basics of daily living. She is of low intelligence. She is socially incompetent. She is the one most effected by my father’s brain-washing strategies. She has next to no confidence and lives in constant fear. She is the one who became afraid of Freddy Kruger.
Ei Vene physically: tiefling, corpse white, bony, black hair, orange sickly eyes (nearly blind), talons for fingernails. Like Mochai Ei Vene is socially incompetent and isolated but unlike Mochai she enjoys the solitude and does not seek the approval of others. In fact she is largely oblivious to other people and talks primarily to herself/inanimate objects. She is grumpy and accidentally insulting. She is also bossy. She is creepy/weird and likes scary movies. She is also the part of me that excels at medicine. Ever since I was a girl I have had an intense fascination with all things medical. She is the part of me that aced the military placement exam in medicine right out of high school.
Varian is one of the more mysterious aspects of myself, the part that leads people to think I am a ghost and/or that I have supernatural powers. Physically he is very tall, white hair, jagged teeth, one silver eye that sees into other dimensions and one gold eye that sees into the past/future, he wears a top hat, carries a cane, and has a Steampunk style of dress. Varian is very curious and inquisitive. He is peculiar and has no understanding of personal space. He can sense spirits, predict death, and helps people to crossover. He moves oddly and seems to be out of sync with the rest of time. He loves sweets and cute animals. He has excellent coordination and is very graceful and quick. He can appear out of nowhere and disappear half-way through a conversation. Varian is insanely lucky and when he wishes for something it almost always comes to pass. He has saved my life more than once. I am not really sure if he is a guardian or if he is an aspect of myself. He appeared to me in a dream once.
Theron is the most normal of all the mes in many respects. He is sweet, laidback, considerate. He is a good listener and tends to be on the quiet side. He is good at school including mathematics. He is very patient and contains a good percentage of my wisdom. He has recovered from my past trauma or perhaps is unaware of it I am unsure, he is like the me I might have been if I had not been traumatized. He has a quiet confidence and enjoys trying new things. He can write but does not contain my poetical muse, so he is not the me that writes poetry. He is is the me that functions as an adult, the one who got me through school, he keeps my relationships from crumbling. He is loyal and compassionate. He is passionate and generous sexually.
Yves is the writer hence her being the one who bares my pen-name. Yves loves reading, loves hearing other people’s stories, is obsessed and consumed with writing poetry. Yves is often caught up in daydreams and like Mochai tends to be avoidant (largely because she is lost in thought). She loves long walks. She is very passionate about her favorite topics but when out of her element she is easily distracted. She loses track of time and tends to run late. She is sensitive, prone to melancholy, stubborn, attractive, and prefers a Bohemian-style of dress. She is the me that as a child went around knocking on doors and asking people their stories. She sometimes forgets the aspects of daily life. She takes people’s pain into herself and feels very very deeply.
Mollie this is the aspect of myself that comes from my grandmother. As you know my grandmother raised me partially and kept a very watchful eye over me, she was in every aspect of my life. This is the part of me that has the same conversation 15 times in a row, the part of me that holds grudges, the vindictive, intense, needy, jealous, manipulative, and inappropriate part. This is the part of myself whose love looks a lot more like obsession. The part of me who is moody and tries to micromanage the lives of my family. This is the part of me that wants to know everything about what a person is doing and where they are, the paranoid and suspicious part. The part of me whose fear of men has become angry. This is also where my coldness comes from.
Dread is the aspect of myself that holds the bulk of my self-loathing. He is tortured and unstable and like Ei Vene talks to himself. He is that scary ambiguous part that contains all the traumatic things I cannot remember. Dread is the one that holds my suicidal urges and a portion of the rage that occurs with abuse. He is not a human he is more of a scarecrow hybrid (he is tall and thin, tan, weathered-abused skin, long black dreads, somewhat pointed features, and strange purple eyes). He is also a an ascetic by nature and deprives himself of those things which he needs to function/be happy.
(She has white hair cut in punk-style, piercings, tattoos, extra appendages, fit body)
She is aware of her demonic heritage/traumatic past. She strives for independence. She is assertive and confident and though a loner is capable of socializing. She is alert and has a lot of energy she is my powerhouse when I need to get something scary/daunting done. She is not very patient and detests personal weakness and excuses. She is the driven ambitious part of me. She is tough love and no-nonsense. She is the part of me that is good at training. She is a rebel and an individual and stands up for me when peer-pressure gets too much. She does not care what others think but is not randomly violent. She is feisty and has a sense of humor (that is also the easiest way to get her to like you is to be funny/sarcastic).
Kesai Mixed Demonic
(alarmingly voluptuous, thick curly black hair, fangs, red eyes, blue/grey skin.)
Kesai is the part of myself that is in denial about our past and our unsavory genetic heritage. She is interested in dreams and tarot and various forms of mysticism. She has not followed in the foot-steps of our parents and is the one who cut ties with our dad. She is flirtatious, sociable, and charismatic. She is also the more girly side of myself, the side that likes to have pretty things. Though not conventionally beautiful her personality makes her interesting. She is a mix of vulnerability, passion, strength, and anxiety. She has a touch of naughtiness but is essentially good. She is fearful of hurting other people if her powers get out. She is the part of me that my acupuncturist declared was a succubi.
(dark red hair, green eyes, sometimes wears a black mask over his mouth)
Nikolai is an unusual case because he actually does not share my past. He was close to his father as a small child. His father was a quiet man but never harmed him. His mother was young and disinterested in family life. When he was 8 his dad was arrested for murder. His mom abandons him because of his similarities to his father. He is tormented much of his adolescence for being the son of a murderer. He is a self-destructive boy, who does not know how to feel about his parents. He is tormented and misunderstood and outright hated for things beyond his control. He is eccentric and likes games. Despite all this though he retains some sense of hope and humor that keeps him always on the edge of sanity, just managing to eek out an existence. He is very intense and his love is obsessive but it is love. He does not ask for much, almost nothing. He does not speak ill of others either despite all they have done to him.
Now you may wonder how he fits in with the others stemming from what seems a different past
The how is very painful but here goes
My mom was young, often absent, and emotionally distant.
My dad was in jail for a very long time when he was young for attempting to murder a man by setting fire to him, another man I believe he ran over. He also nearly beat his first wife to death. As a kid the police would sometimes come looking for him or stop him for various things that I never really did understand. Let us just say they kept an eye one him.
My dad could not pass as normal, he never fit into society, could not maintain employment, and people where scared of him wherever we went. In fact he outright repulsed everyone.
While my dad would beat an adult as soon as look at them he did not beat me, my mom was the physical enforcer of punishments. I think Nikolai might be the side that tried the hardest to understand my dad even though he never really succeeded. He was the part of me that learned to cope without a role model, without necessities like food and safety, without even basic human kindness. He learned to see the good in others, even when others could not see the good in him. He is also the one that got stuck caring for my dad and talked him down from harming others.
I am a thousand needles
Persuaded by degrees.
Dishonesty is my tribute
To years nestled naked
Between the floorboards.
My visions stem
Of the heart.
I have come
To expect violence,
Periods of fear
In which not but dreams
If I stay “I” will perish
And “We” will rise
Hundreds of unfinished faces
There can be no space
For your perversions
If I am to live
And I will live.
Your virus supports
The frame on which it preys.
I have a heart full of tricks,
Of safes that open at the nudge
Of your hard-pressed ear.
I receive no wages for enduring you
Though every now and then my mind
Goes up in flames braving
Your funereal breath and the refuse
Of its own failings.
When you die I’ll throw a party
Like none hitherto witnessed.
Your portrait a chameleon,
A constellation of pitiless courts
Dead center like a sulking deity.
Later I’ll weep, the pus
Of these troubled wounds
Leaking riotously over your effigy.
The moment your eyes close
Mine will again open
Full as they might be.
Your sluggish sockets tiptoe
Across the flagstones.
Face-down, tongue wadded
At the cusp of speech.
Your chitin flakes,
Messages ill-intended seep
Into your heart’s binary call.
Cruelty breaches and sickens.
Your jaundiced ego
Shrivels on the stalk.
Emanations carmine and ash
Drip from the bubbling curdle
Of your untenanted smile.
The hours reveal days
And even the day are long
When all that proceeds
Them is humiliation.
My bones crawl
The spurious extraction
Of clay from collapsing flesh
Leaves me dirty, empty.
My escaping heart cracks
Under the murder of will.
Your crow feasts
Blood as dense as grain
Blood splintered in
The calcification of pain.
A quilt stitched of veins,
Blue-walled and intrinsic
I seep with sophistry
And criminal illusions.
I chase the malice
Of your open interest
And we are nothing
If not inexcusable
Nothing if not deserving
Of the ache that follows.
Her unseamed flesh suggests neither
Fall nor insurgence but a sorrow
More prolific and pandemic than grain.
The dirty halo of her ancestors afflicts
Not through acquisition but through attachment.
A slavering of words unfit for a child’s ear,
A slavering of fists unfit for a child’s possession.
They’ve pierced her heart, worms
In the apple of eyes too blind to glint.
A key scratching door after door
In hopes of reconciling the fit.
There are no players in this game
No levels and no present moments
Worth the labor of acquisition.
Her mind approaches the air
Drinking in each passage, each tornado
As if it were a fever, a phase
In the consistency of consciousness.
Her red shoes splinter the ground
On which they rest, the unseen dervish
The mangled bike in search of vagrancy.
Her dress woven of snow-white cotton
Does not chance upon the sun
But on the slow and singular articulations
Of a moon half-risen and slightly strained.