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selva oscura
14 September 2017 @ 03:01 am
i don't know where you are, in this moment. but then,

i don't know where anyone is in this moment.

i have assumptions. i could call and check. at the same time, what does it even mean, knowing someone's exact physical location? what does it mean to know someone's exact physical location when you are not there with them? because, at the same time, that only means so much, where someone is. there's the why they're there. there's the how they're there. there's the how much of them is present in that moment, in that space.

i imagine my lover sitting at his desk at work, a man before two monitors. i imagine him struggling over the course of his day to meet his day as fully as he is able, whether or not it so often feels as though some part of him is being dragged along. i think of my friends at their jobs, in their classes, out in the world or not: at home, working from home, not working at home, working on their homes. i know where some of them are supposed to be, i know where some of them say they are: but the thing of it is, where am i?

if i can't know where i am, really, if i don't have a place on this map, what does it even mean, the idea of being somewhere else?

the myriad places i am instead. so i will be here, now. so i will try as hard as i can to bring myself into the present moment. i will circle the edges of the present moment. i will hold that circle in space. i will breathe into it, expand it, drop into its center. i will drop into the center of the present moment. i will recognize myself in the present moment, and i will recognize myself in that present moment again, and then i will wonder: am i really? am i really in the present moment? am i capable of being in the present moment? am i even capable of it? and:

i will fall out of myself bringing myself into the present moment with my effort.

here i am. here i am. here i am, a servant, a slave, a willing handmaiden. a protector. a victim. a patient and nurse. a rebellious child. here i am, a voice, a disembodied voice, a voice stumbling over the chaos of her embodiment. here i am. why won't you let me be? not as in why won't you leave me alone, not remotely, not exactly. instead: why won't you let me be in the moment? why won't you let me share the moment with you? what does this moment hold, that you work so hard to keep it out of my reach?
 
 
music: celer - the satisfied disorder
 
 
selva oscura
42 is literally way too fucking old to be pulling this specific manner of seven a.m. dark side up on myself

Photo on 9-2-17 at 6.46 AM.jpg

and yet
 
 
mood: this might be an odd form of self-abasement
music: i'm thinking about empty motion
 
 
selva oscura
01 September 2017 @ 12:23 am
but anyway
what's eternity in the eye of a needle?
you are not
you were never
you cannot be in any of these places i thought you were
instead of looking for you, searching out the four corners, collecting each fragment
in yet another of my strange collections
instead of looking for you, i am trying to think like you
i am trying to make myself into you in some small way
because where do you go? where would you put yourself?
who would you make yourself into
when you wanted to disappear?

how would you disappear?

the answer is terrifying,
considering how you've answered it before
but i don't know
there's always another answer than that
except sometimes i don't know that there is
every question
every answer
every place in between
it's all the same

where did you go
where did you go
god where did you go

were you ever here?

i could ask these questions
i do ask these questions
i drain the light from the sky with these questions
i peel off my skin with these questions
again and again
the hard swallow of "eternity"

you do not answer

warm in the arms

of your beloved eternity
 
 
mood: rabbit rabbit
 
 
selva oscura
1.
august 8 2000
10PM b dalton

what the reader needs to recognize is that we are as clearly defined by our failures & shortcomings as we are by our achievements and lucky gifts: okay judy? because look at it one way, and it is a shortcoming. another way, and it is a talent. works both ways.

what i am saying is that i may have found my path, spiritually. it is a slow recognition, but fast in comparison… and i've found it by looking at my shortcomings: inability to structure my thoughts according to systems imposed by society, lack of social graces; no idea how to play by "the rules," no idea what "the rules" might be, no real investment in finding out. honesty, sometimes fumbling; a desire to dig deep into everything, so deep i come out the other side. the mental translation of the intangible into symbols and the ability to translate them back. my ability to read situations and places swiftly; the gift i have in making someone look more closely at themselves. with no social graces, no sense of the rules successful people play by to ensure their success, i am able to go alone, solitary, to know myself across a crowded room. on the fringe, between the worlds - god, how do i begin?

without a society that leads me to a mentor, i don't know how i can be sure of this feeling - or how i can train, learn the things i will need to travel the path. i have books. are books enough? i don't know. i will have to see.


the gate broken, the broken gate, i sat on the bookstore floor, by the sale books, let's say 42 thousand dollars worth of sloppy grisham-steele-king-thatguywhowrotethatdamnbridgesbook seconds piled up on the middle table alone. are books enough, i wrote in my anonymous black journal, not without irony and not without hope. i don’t know, i answered in my anonymous black journal, purchased from waldenbooks, my employer’s most immediate competitor, during winter break my last year at iowa: back when i thought it would mean i wouldn’t end up back here. i like contradiction. i like when things don’t quite fit. also i liked the journals at waldenbooks a great deal better than the ones that we sold. so.

three months ahead of an election night that would run me around the subdivision loop twice at midnight, sweating even in november, crying even though i knew from a long ways back this was how things would go. sound familiar?

eleven months out of a party that destroyed everything i’d been working to heal for the three years prior. climb out from under the trauma of my life to that point: the sexual trauma, the social drama, the scholastic ineptitude: how i could never connect with my schooling in a way that remotely satisfied my desperate need to see and understand as much as i was able about the world. sound familiar?

how long is three years when you’re not yet twenty-five? a lot longer than three years when you’re not yet forty-two. it was a lot of work to have undone over the course of an hour.

then again, it also took a lot longer than that.

Outside of this room, the party keeps going. Inside of the house, the party keeps going. Outside of the house, in bursts of shouts and fire, the party goes on and on and it will not stop: not if I scream, not if I explode, not if I drop dead, not if I rush these ugly, stinking, shrieking strangers with a fire axe and mustard gas. And here I am, in this room, sitting on the center of his made bed, suffocating myself again to keep it going. Choking myself out to keep animating this ghastly corpse. [broadcasting live, episode 3, 2014]

god, how do i begin? the bookstore gate hung, angled sharply. couldn’t go up again, couldn’t go down again. the technician didn’t come and didn’t come and didn’t come. midnight approached, midnight passed. i knew this would be the case and had come prepared with a duffle bag packed with microwave popcorn, jeans and my fixer-stained joy division shirt. i listened to low and sigur ros and patti smith on my discman. i drank two cans of cherry coke and wrote in my journal on the bookstore floor. the second-shift security guard walked by at his most recent half-hour interval; he ducked down past the broken gate and waved, asked if i needed anything. i paused my discman and looked at my half-finished second can of cherry coke. i asked if he could watch the gate for a few minutes while i ran to the back.

when i returned to the storefront, a humorous observation for the waiting guard shredding my lower lip, i found him instead intently talking into his walkie to another guard. he waved goodbye and walked away without hearing my observation. disappointed, i sat on the floor and didn’t want to write in my journal any more. the technician didn’t come and didn’t come. i chose a b&n classic, the collected works of edgar allan poe, and i read.

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?



2.
i picked up the duffle bag and walked with my sister down to the car.

8.9.2001
6:58AM

my life
as lived
in hospital
waiting rooms

she woke me at 6:11 with a knock and i tried to go back to bed. now a few minutes later and my stomach hurts, my body is unsure of itself. i shift my eyes and everything slowly catches up with that movement. we have a room. a delivery room. a room in which we will deliver a baby. light is strange. color is oversaturated.

mom: “they want you there at the crack of dawn and make you sit in a corner, waiting for them to catch up with where they’ve been making you wait for hours."


mom wanted coffee. she looked at me, then she looked at my sister, then she looked at me again.

my sister, hooked up to the pitocin drip, stared at the television. she wasn’t crying, yet. she wouldn’t start crying until her chemically forced contractions really kicked in. her induction related to pre-preeclampsia; the heart monitor wasn't about to let us forget that fact. i wondered if, as a woman who had three babies now in the delivery room with her daughter about to have her first baby, my mother might have some important wisdom to impart to my sister about the labor and delivery process. operating on wisdom overload and less than an hour of sleep, i wasn’t in a space for information i’d recently come to grieve as not applicable for me, so i told mom: sure, mom, i’ll get you some coffee.

i walked through the maternity ward, listening to the sounds of the maternity ward. a woman moaned terribly less than forty yards and several worlds away. “push push push,” another voice yelled. someone somewhere laughed uncontrollably. someone somewhere moaned again.

i wore a t-shirt printed with a dragon because i tend to gravitate toward artistically rendered dragons in times of uncertainty, and i was quite uncertain about how i would react to another human being emerging dramatically from my sister’s body. also what that meant, you know, for all of our futures. especially my own, if i am entirely sincere. figured: maybe if, against all our protective measures against having my sister’s abusive ex-boyfriend show up on the scene with his new gal still on her “i wanted to have his first baby, bitch” trip, the two of them could maybe talk to my dragon.

i walked past the ward kitchen three times, twice without understanding exactly that i was looking for it. one’s purpose and function frequently becomes muddled when one is at a hospital. a nurse on her way to one room or another noticed me walking by again and wondered if she could help me not be wandering around aimlessly in the maternity ward. i said my mother was hoping for some coffee and she pointed me two doors back to the left; she said it looked like the machine was out so i’d have to brew some fresh with the packets in that box on the counter. i smiled and nodded and thanked her. i walked into the ward kitchen.

i don’t drink coffee. i’d never made it before. i’d never really even handled a coffeemaker before this moment. it really is a significantly more complicated and mysterious process than you think it is. i had no idea what the fuck i was doing.

halfway into my twenty minutes in the ward kitchen and that much further out on the brink of tears that had little to do with my task, i sat down on the floor and wished this wasn’t happening. i had no idea what the fuck i was doing, about the coffee or about my sister, about the baby or the baby’s pending adoption, about my grandmother, her two strokes, or the six days she'd spent in the ICU of the hospital where i'd been born.

i remembered watching my mother watching horrible news on television when i was very young. i remembered her taking the gold cross on a gold chain around her neck and putting it into her mouth, clamping it between her teeth. it didn't seem to help, but all the same it was something to do. i reached down into my collar for the silver ankh i wore all that year on a delicate silver chain i'd stolen from the gatekeeper of my freshman year community college social drama and resulting spiritual crisis. i put the ankh inside my mouth, between my teeth, and pressed my teeth against it. it didn't help. all the same, sitting on the floor, i rocked slowly back and forth, wishing this wasn't happening. wishing this wasn't happening, i rocked slowly back and forth for several minutes. then got up and figured out how to make coffee.

mom looked relieved when i finally returned to the delivery room. “thought we’d lost you there, for a minute,” she said.

kind of you did, i thought.


3.
august 9th, 2005

grandma died this morning, a little after five.

it is my nephew’s third birthday.

these things lead me slowly to thoughts about temperament and fortune. i keep reading people my age who feel they can find all the prosperity and success they could possibly want in life, simply by denying that anything bad could ever happen to them. maybe it works. who knows? i’m sitting here feeling like the back of my head has been used to draw a hopscotch set on the sidewalk. surfaces aren’t so much surfaces as they are a feeble promise against open air. i feel maybe like i haven’t slept in a week, maybe i haven’t, who knows how my poor parents feel.


i hadn’t slept and i hadn’t slept and i hadn’t slept and i wouldn’t sleep. i lived at the hospice, not even leaving for meals. i sat with my relatives, barely able to relate to them outside of this dreaded, anticipated moment of: she’s gone she’s gone she’s gone. i found a pack of my grandmother’s favorite lemon ices in the family room refrigerator and immediately sat on the hospice family room floor, no ankh to crush between my teeth. i only did it because i was alone.

Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!


late monday night my father walked me down to the parking lot, put me into my car and told me to go home and sleep. i didn’t want to sleep. i wanted to be with my grandmother. i wanted to be with my grandmother when she died. i wanted to feel the room change like it did when my nephew was born, i wanted to understand what that shadow transition felt like, but i was out of time and out of magic and really did need to drop out of hospice awareness for a few minutes.

so i drove home, i’m not sure how. probably i shouldn’t have driven. i took a shower, as long and hot as i could make it. i made some rye toast so i could stare at it until i gave up and threw it away. i watched stupid television, i listened to stupid radio, i laid in my bed not able to close my eyes and listened to the quiet house. i wasn't even able to pick an album to soften the atmosphere because i knew that would basically mean throwing that album on my grandmother's funeral pyre.

i felt for my grandmother living.

i felt for my grandmother living.

i could still feel my grandmother living.

it started getting light outside, that deepening blue, that slow seep in around the fabric blind. i could still feel my grandmother living.

then my body betrayed me. all at once it was an hour later. i opened my eyes and understood: i could no longer feel my grandmother living. she was gone. she was gone, and i missed her. i missed her departure. so this is permanence, i thought without thinking.

Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


i sat up in bed. i waited for the phone to ring.


4.


whether or not books are enough, i take delivery of my latest acquisition late this morning: ian curtis’ journals and notebooks, scanned pages upon pages of a handwritten scrawl that chills me with instant and unexpected familiarity: i’ve seen this handwriting before. i haven’t, but



we’re all going somewhere, we’re all doing something, except when we aren’t. too many of us are too busy with the shit that's killing us to make time for what all of us need to stay alive. magic is in peril, like honeybees, like sustainable climates: but too many of us are too busy with the shit that's killing us to make time for what all of us need to stay alive.

i’ve got contract work, a creativity challenge, and a five-week class on time magic to hold me through the first week and a half of august, but what i may have taken on in means of healthy distraction is causing me pain because: i am stuck, i can't write, i am mired in shadow, i miss my dead friend, i miss my dead grandmother, i miss the babies i couldn’t trust society enough to have, i miss all the versions of myself who were left with no choice but to walk away unexperienced, except in those cases where i slowly exhale with relief, because there is a vice to that versa. of course. there is a vice to every versa.

last night i thought i might journal my experience of developing a relationship with time as an ally as a letter to someone else i’ve been missing, in part because they've demonstrated at least as much of a problem with time management as i have: but they took exception to the last letter i sent them unbidden, and i (ultimately) made peace with their reasoning, mostly because that was the most tenable of my options.

but, then again, i do like my contradictions.

paging through page after page of ian’s uncanny handwriting, i consider making my magic-journal-letter to ian, instead. he might have been one of my readers, all things considered. all things considered, i’m a pretty good writer, for a girl.
 
 
music: karma moffett - boundless
 
 
selva oscura
that abyss of:

anything could happen
at any moment
(anything.)

that abyss of:

any moment
could be my last
(any moment.)

that abyss of:

writing over my own words
to obscure them from view
(who?)

that abyss
another abyss
(who?)

that abyss of:

piling up my words in boxes
labeled “i need you to destroy this
if i am not able to”

(who?)

too many abysses
too many sinkholes
too many places i’ve left myself to

too much unspoken
and too much unspoken
and too much unspoken again

magic magic magic
are you in there
is that a pulse, or





the ritual lists to the side
our allies have something to say about that
our magic is not enough against

not enough against
not enough again
never quite enough

the roaring abyss
of the indifferent and placated
of the walking dead

who want and want and want
and want and want and want
but refuse to receive

not so much that i wasn’t made for this world
as it is that i was made for a world
that then changed its mind
 
 
music: dark muse - ethereal alchemy
 
 
 
selva oscura
06 July 2017 @ 08:13 pm

whoa, that new post editor. i am tripping balls over here.

not that these statements are necessarily related. on that, i'll leave you to your own conclusions.

 
 
music: it better still let me type whatever i want to type in here
 
 
selva oscura
10 June 2017 @ 01:53 pm


i sat on the shore. i sang to the water, i sang for her. i sang to call her home.

i found a large rock for an altar. on my rock altar, i placed my obsidian skull besides an iridescent ammonite.

i asked: who am i? who was i then? who am i now?

i supposed: flesh and bone, ear and eye. breath and beat. taking it in. letting it back out again. i am here to convert matter into energy and energy back into matter. i am, as all living organisms, a running process. energy taking form. energy doing what it needs to do to stay embodied in form. we are always running our own processes. whether those processes make us healthier or whether they cause us to break down; whether we are moving to the center of our power or running out past its furthest edges; we are energy embodied. part of everything, bound to everything: lake eerie as well as the cigarette packaging and plastic tampon applicators littering her edges. the water and the shoreline, the sun crowning that blue horizon line. everything that i am. everything that i am not. everything i am and am not, this being, this person i have made, this person i am making, it's all processes. it's all processes. i am a living process.

i could feel her hovering. i’d been feeling her get closer for weeks. margaret atwood, you say. hmmm. quite a lure i’ve set up for you, eh?

she came closer. she circled the scene where i sat, but she didn’t sit down with me yet. i told her to hang tight. i got up and gathered twelve rocks from further down shore. i stacked them up next to my altar, seven in one, three in the other two. she liked this, right away. i could tell. she sat down next to me, but only looked at me when i wasn’t looking at her. i know this game. i’ve played it before. it’s not the funnest game there is for two people, but if it’s what you want, little one, we will play.

only looking at her when she wasn’t looking at me, i took my cord from a few years gone ritual cycle and a key that serves as a traveling representation of the key that was hers, the key that i lost. one of them, anyway. my promise to her, upon her homecoming: this is mine. so i say it. i say it so she will hear it: this is mine. we no longer give up what has meaning to us just to lull dangerous people back to sleep. i let her watch me twist the cord into a lemniscate beneath the skull and the ammonite. i pressed the key into place first between then behind them, so it was touching everything it needed to touch. she might have nodded with approval, i would like that to be mine, also, but i don’t know. it wasn’t my turn to look.

i asked: what do you need to step back into this circle with me?

she didn’t respond, only filled the air between us with questions while i was looking away.

do you remember the moment you first felt the call of spirit? what was that moment? how was the call made? did you hear it? did you see it? did you dream it? were you already remembering it? what called you to this work? what brought you into the circle in the first place?

at first i thought: i could say something really deep here, maybe about spiders. i could do a little prose dance, throw in some fun facts about weaving, show you a picture of my dog i don’t have. describe a vision i had as a toddler at the very least. but that isn’t what occurred to me, you know it and i know it.

what i got was trauma. trauma, trauma, trauma.

fuck.

i thought of names, i thought of narratives. i remembered stories i couldn’t carry to term. i remembered stories that were taken away. i remembered stories i let spill out of me unmourned, well if you don’t want me then i don’t want you.

but i did want you. and you wanted me. i remember that. somewhere, i remember that. do you?

i remembered years of broken shell fragments in between, when there wasn’t a story or there were only broken shell fragments of stories. where there wasn’t a story, there wasn’t a story, and there wasn’t a story again. i remember losing myself in bitterness and retail, a storyteller with no story to tell, a writer who only sold other people's books. i remember not writing anything and i remember writing nothing, words and words of nothing, for weeks, for months, for years.

i remembered since estranged friends, plagiarizing my broken shell fragments, all i had, not enough, but all i had: sometimes where i could see it. i remember not feeling like i was important enough to such friends to call them out on their theft: even now. because they did better at school than i could. because they had advanced degrees in a craft i’ve struggled to even describe as my own. because they deserved it.

i remember letting myself be made small by mfa holders, phd holders, people with agents. real writers. people with published work and publishable work, people who can start a story at the beginning and write it through to the end. real writers. people who feel enough pride in their work to show it to people, shop it to people; people who aren’t mortally terrified of something they’ve written falling into the wrong hands. of their own work coming back on them in the worst way possible.

i remembered when that happened on livejournal, but i’m not ready to talk about that. i did not handle it gracefully, but what else would you expect? i believed what happened was what i deserved.

and then i remembered something i’d almost blacked out: three in the morning, the night after i graduated high school. drifting off to sleep, i realized something. all at once, i understood the wicked vow of my classmates: judith lloyd doesn’t deserve that.

not talent. not friends. not love. not nice things. why? it’s judy lloyd. she’s weird. she's crazy. she’s poor. she’s a slut. she’s a prude. she worships the devil. she doesn’t care enough about fashion to be able to write like that. look at her shoes, those are stupid shoes, real artists don’t wear shoes that stupid. she’s a fake. she’s totally a fake! real artists have way better hair. let us all agree to let her starve to death in relentlessly criticized isolation.(1)

i fell out of myself for just long enough to see some of what had happened in making this promise accomplished fact. some of it by my closest friends, even more of it by myself: because of my conditioning, because of my abuse history, because i go limp, because i go nice, because of who even knows. because of my talent? no wonder i’d almost blacked this memory out.

my best friend was asleep in the room with me, so i left the room. i was violent. i was angry. i wanted to kick the shit out of something. myself, for the most part. i fantasized about stealing the keys to that navy hatchback that would never officially be mine and driving to the high school, driving into the high school, ending it somewhere between the car that wasn’t mine and that goddamn school i would have thought i’d feel relieved to have no more obligation toward. my death could be a statement, performance art, the twelve-year intention of my classmates realized: judy lloyd, getting what they always wanted for her.

but i didn’t have my license yet and i didn’t trust myself to get all the way to school without killing innocent bystanders, some of them possibly cute babies,(2) so i considered my alternatives. i wanted to slash up my arms. i wanted to tear out my hair, bruise myself over and through, riddle my flesh with tangles of scars. at the very least, i needed to scream. i stumbled downstairs and locked myself in the bathroom. i pulled a hand towel out of the cabinet, my mother had appliquéd it with an owl. i pressed my mouth to the owl and screamed. and screamed again. and screamed again.(3) screaming, i felt something break. i felt something leave.

i wonder: was it you, little one?

so: why did i step into this circle? why else would i have stepped into this circle?

i am a living process.



and so, on the shore of pelee island, on a writing retreat gifted to me by loved ones who have, over and over again, helped me break my classmate’s wicked vow, i sang her home. i drew her into the ammonite. i held the ammonite over each palm and blew onto its center. my arms tingled. i felt lighter and more substantial at the same time. i didn’t have time to even think it: welcome home, everything within me already sang.

maybe, right?



_______________________________________________
(1) not verbatim
(2) shut up, cute babies have saved more lives than any of us could ever know.
(3) “family inheritance”
 
 
selva oscura
my dreams slip past undocumented: that odd movement where such decisions are made, to not document the dream. whether it's because it will take too much time or you've already forgotten it or it didn't seem like anything significant, you know i can't be writing anything down if it isn't significant, and for some reason i believe i can take pride in my ability to discern in advance whether or not a matter is important enough to document.

it's waking logic assaulting the unknown, the completely unknown. sometimes a significant dream won't reveal itself as such for years into the distance, sometimes decades. who knows if it really will anyway, mean something i mean. anyway, i need to check my email so let's not worry about getting that one down.

it's not just time or importance that can stop things. sometimes you're uncomfortable with the thing that you've dreamed. sometimes you're left wondering what kind of emotionally sick person would dream a thing like that, much less write it down? what, so i can return to it years in the distance and marvel at my own metaphysical anguish? or

1) it doesn't make sense, or
2) you don't feel like you remember enough or
3) i don't know!
4) what's the point anyway!
5) there will be some new ones probably tomorrow.

stall, diffuse, distract, deny. it's a process. it's a slow and arduous process. for which we are fundamentally engineered to emphatically subvert. you know? you think: i really don't think there's another alarming epiphany to be had on this matter, and yet, here we are. here we are again.

it's the dream forgotten in the wake of a since forgotten dream that at the time seemed so much more significant, it's the dream you got down but in faint pencil, in an agonizingly tiny hand. it's like i was trying to prove something, how tiny my handwriting could get. it's like years of self-loathing regarding my awkward gaffing horrifically misspelled cursive exploding all over the page in this minuscule and meticulous slow crawl down the agonizing page. either i was trying to prove something or i was trying to make up for all those pages i wasted in my younger years, back when i'd commonly fill an entire sheet with thirteen words. thirteen words, nine of them spelled incorrectly, five of those to a rather excessive extent, three of those meriting an uncertain kind of interpretive theory

what's going on here? what do you think i was getting at? oh, shit, marty? not that marty! you are not telling me this is back to the future mary sue fic

but it is. at a rate of four correctly spelled words on a thirteen-word page. dream text can be a little bit like my seventh grade fascination with trying to place myself (literally) within a loved narrative. i mean, i had something to contribute. i mean, i had a voice in that landscape. i mean, i could vanish into that for hours: and it didn't even bother anyone, nobody else needed to know. i self-medicated with such writing; now i dream. dreams give me an authority in texts i would otherwise have no point of entry into. for instance. so you say. you never can tell.

but then again: i get scared that many of the dreams i've (at times inadvertently) chosen to dis may have been important, may have been a missing piece, part of my buried history abandoned on the study hall floor because when the bell rang i was too eager to get out of that stale silent room and hear people's voices again, even if they weren't talking to me. what a symbol to come back at me, at this point. wonder what that's about?
 
 
music: bruce springsteen - tunnel of love
 
 
selva oscura
10 May 2017 @ 12:59 pm
down at the bottom of it.
down at the bottom of it.
down at the bottom of it.

of what? i don't know.

four corners around me. four corners that are a circle, that make a sphere. four corners around me, and the above, and the below. i'm down at the bottom of it. down at the bottom of it, looking up over it. i'm not sure where i am. i'm everywhere. i'm nowhere. i'm everywhere, i'm nowhere. i'm in a simple dress. i'm in a simple dress, lying down at the bottom of it. and i feel my limbs. i feel the four corners in my limbs. this corner, that corner, another corner, one last corner again. i feel the ancient energy of that which i haven't experienced yet. i feel the ancient energy of that which i don't know: and i don't know. i don't know. i don't know where this is going. i don't what my intentions are. i don't exactly know what i want, here. just this crushing, this obliterating, this tsunami of desire. of unnameable desire. of unclaimable desire. of desire that i have no place feeling. and i have shame because of it, and i'm tired of that shame. i'm so tired of that shame i won't even feel it anymore. i refuse to feel my shame, but it's still there. why? why am i ashamed of this? why do i feel like want makes me a lesser person? why do i feel like i have any less right to that which i desire than anybody else that i know?
 
 
mood: mental training for insomniacs
music: dark muse - queen of the world of spirits
 
 
selva oscura
05 May 2017 @ 12:29 am
the song i am not singing
the song i do not sing
but that is stuck in my head
like a shard of glass
that wounds me again
and again and again
with its memory, cutting into me
every time i remember

i do not sing this song
this song is inflicted upon me.
i do not live this song
i am being killed by it slowly

but that’s okay
that’s why we’re here
that’s why we’re here
we are all here to be killed
slowly
by life

the meaning of life
is to use life up

echo it back on ourselves
echo it back and hear

what did not come from my understanding
what has nothing to do with me
what consummates other people’s affections
other people’s afflictions
some weirdo’s stopgap solution
to navigating the void

they’re really going somewhere
but it’s not where i’m going
at least that’s what i tell myself
when i’m pretending
it has nothing to do with me

where is this going?
tell me: where is this going?
and how could it possibly go any more wrong?

no, don’t answer that.
please don’t answer that.
i know it could be worse
you don’t have to prove it.
 
 
mood: BEEN BETTER
music: eduard artemiev - stalker 1
 
 
 
selva oscura
holy holy holy holy.
holy fuck and holy failure.
holy half beast tearing at the seams.

holy desire
holy desire
holy desire held in the palm
held in the sweaty palm of desire.

for years i thought: desire is only what feels good. i am only supposed to desire that which makes me feel pleasure. it was a bad promise i made to myself, a wicked vow. for years i thought i could only desire what made me feel good so: i didn’t believe i wanted anything, and so: i didn’t want, and so: eventually the idea of desire, simply the idea of wanting something, it caused pain. it caused relentless, agonizing pain.

because it was the idea of desire, a hungry ghost out in the barren wastelands of my lived experience: what was possible and what wasn’t, what had hurt me in its unattainable reality, what i couldn’t have, what i’d never have, what tried to kill me in my sleep. so i killed desire, or i tried to, so i abandoned abandoned in a room without food or water and cried myself to sleep with my desireless misery.

what i didn’t see, what i wouldn’t see, what i couldn’t begin to recognize is that the idea of desire is not desire itself, but desire’s ghost. haunted by desire’s ghost, i believed there wasn’t anything i could want.

except maybe what i needed was a boundary.

material to bounce off of. something coming into form. and maybe it didn’t make any sense before, maybe it seemed shallow or childish, but maybe that’s because it still needs to gestate. anyway, my relationship with desire can be immature. it is several things at once, my relationship with desire, as it should be: but what it really needs? my relationship with desire can and should bring out what is delighted and playful, what occasionally speaks out of turn, what laughs too loudly, what cries too easily, what can be a total brat: what forgets to dust and drives off to the michigan dunes for the night where all of a sudden at two in the morning a green meteorite streaks the sky, turning everything green and it's magic, all of it is magic: desire is magic. desire is the reason magic exists.

it's not a sin. it's not something you discipline yourself out of. it's not something you pray into silence.

it's a survival instinct. in order to get anything out of our lived experience, we need to want something out of our lived experience.

*


then again: have i looked at humanity, lately? i used to think people were trying to initiate themselves, trap themselves in awful situations that forced them to grow up a bit in order to reclaim their lives from this minotaur-bearing labyrinth that is contemporary living. it's what i did. in the incredibly slow and still ongoing process of recovering my self, i recognized that attempting to conquer desire meant destroying every aspect of my life that was keeping me above ground. the writing, the art, the magic, the love: of nature, of kin, of self. that wasn't going to work.

i used to think people were trying to initiate themselves. it was my understanding of Why Smart People Do Stupid Shit. why we're killing the planet. why we put an orange minotaur in office. maybe it's a mistake to think that. probably it's a mistake to think that.
 
 
music: allotrope 1 - alex theory
 
 
selva oscura
15 April 2017 @ 02:54 pm
the eye, the staring eye. the staring eye of the wounded. of the injured. of the neglected, washed out and bleached white and abandoned in a place where only the dead belong. are we the dead? am i the dead? i mean: am i dead to you? every sword's brutal intention. every blade cutting through. the eye is open, the eye stares. the eye stares, what does it see?

we arrive at the threshold of those things about ourselves that scatter unacknowledged through our fields of perception: that which we see or hear or feel, that scent that just catches the edges of our breath, that taste that sours the very back the tongue. do we let the pain in? do we welcome it into our stronghold? do we let pain become part of that which sustains us? or are we afraid of it? embarrassed by it? guilty and ashamed? do we believe not letting the pain in makes us better, makes us stronger, makes us more of an asset to the people we care about?

because a person who is lying to the people they care about:

a person who is lying to themselves:

these people are not assets as much as they are challenges. in order to tend to the wound it must be acknowledged. in order to acknowledge the wound, it must be revealed that a wounding incident occurred. and i struggle to bring it into form. i struggle to give it a name. i struggle to navigate in a world where people i love have hurt me and i have hurt people i love:

but that's the thing of it. how do i name this? how do i introduce this wounding matter to a world that rewards ignorant optimism with decadent spoils, with easy answers, with lots of friends and material resources? how do i introduce this wounding matter to a world that punishes insightful pessimism with poverty, neglect, and facebook blocks? with friends who view you as a chore? how can you be who you need to be when everyone around you has been programmed to invalidate and punish the less desirable qualities of that free-thinking authenticity we all claim to at least admire, but who can live like that?

seriously: who can live like that? what am i doing wrong? my only close friend in good standing from before i turned twenty, dead at his own hand. dreams of people i've loved since the first instance of eye contact injuring themselves intentionally, ending themselves intentionally. yet another musician who helped us come out the other side of the volleyball unit alive, dead, and so young! and so terribly! i'd say it's the rapture. i'd say it wasn't a coincidence that it was paul who first showed me that film, the woman in her endless expanse of nothing, forced to choose between ignorant optimism by denying everything she's suffered for and that insightful pessimism that made her overall living experience meaningful, resonant, worthy of documentation.

because that's the story. that's what makes good writing. that's what makes people want to read: pain. knowing that you're out there. knowing that you've been there. knowing that we aren't so alone. the story is pain. pain is the story: the creative irritant, the way things get done. the eye, the staring eye. the stories we place around what is absent, what is broken, what has led us astray. astray in a weird territory, where the things we look at are not always the things that we see. where is your pain, right now? where is the pain telling you to go?


 
 
mood: until further notice
music: igneous flame/disturbed earth - v
 
 
selva oscura
06 April 2017 @ 07:56 pm
kind of got stuck in the transition from bargaining to depression on the matter, but it isn't like i didn't have warning. it hurts to nearly a physical extent, is the thing; these non-existent pages have, in many ways, become an extension of my body. but i'm increasingly concerned: i'm increasingly concerned. let's leave it at that. more loss in a handful of years that's been bitter with it.

black's sweet sixteen would've been this may.

i really hope anybody who still follows me here is up for some bookmark adjustments. details to follow, so long as the technology falls in line.
 
 
music: deepchord - night transmission
 
 
selva oscura
28 March 2017 @ 08:21 pm
I am secretly obsessed with sounding the boundaries of my perceptions: the taste inside my mouth, the reach inside my fingers, what my eyes see looking into nothing. The places my energies go when I begin to sense a situation crumbling. What can I patch, what can I move to safety? I try to understand that I don’t need to remind myself to breathe, but then again so often I trip an unanticipated stair down at the very bottom all alone in the dark. I am a slow spiral, perpetually self-renewing, moving inward with the same momentum with which i am moving out. At regular intervals I remember that every action requires effort, even inaction, especially inaction, sometimes, or have you never braced yourself at the door against another’s charge and wondered at how little it would take to put you down? At the beginning of stillness there is often violence in long need of being stilled. At the beginning of stillness is a wounding, a place all the pressures in the room rush toward. I’ve broken the seal, the seal is broken, the night gives out beneath me in a spray of bolts and splinters: nothing’s up to code, but then again not too many can be bothered to work that encryption into a message even an eleven-year-old could explain. There is no sure key to it, I thought to myself, fighting to open our vandalized mailbox again. What I mean to say is I am secretly obsessed with keys, things that lock, things obfuscated to the four corners of the earth, but so often I meet these matters with as much delight as sorrow. What I mean to say is I am secretly obsessed with secrets, those occult gathering at the edge of a glance. After all, haven’t we all needed to reduce a few tones from the final print? Conceal some matter from the ages, press it into our most fundamental structure, our defining essence, our armature, our frame.


 
 
music: paul horn - meditation, psalm 2 (vocal)
 
 
selva oscura
17 March 2017 @ 08:32 pm


this week: unconventional methods of dreamwork
(tricking my way past a few blindspots?)

themes and lessons:

1. unperturbed reactions to water behaving alarmingly (see illustration, above)

2. incomplete/unconveyed messages that i cannot access and/or do not know that i already have

3. serving as a remarkably doomed insurgent, working forbidden witchcraft toward our cause (see illustration, above). little scared this one might mean i have an ego problem

4. i might have some issues with my family

5. there is a lot of stuff here that is explaining very nuanced information about energy work to me in a way that i might sometimes feel is pedantic, except that's one of the things that i fucking love about it? that it's taking something so incredibly abstract that you can't even explain to somebody out of the gate what it even is unless they've experienced it to some extent themselves and then there's not really anything you can actually explain. because if they know they know, and if they don't they won't, and that's just how it is, they aren't going to get it and trying to explain it is like trying to teach a dishrag to write in iambic pentameter. you aren't going to get past "this is a writing instrument that we call a pen" unless you are lying to yourself most mightily. that's the thing of it, though. you kind of have to lie to yourself a little for a productive conversation about energy work, you know? it's not like there's anything there. but, so, like, incorporating dumpsters as the conduit for making offerings of protein bars in a ritual which i am supposed to perform in the language of a canary, that intuitively speaks to you as something i'm not getting quite right in my magical practice, doesn't it? because it does for me. well, except the canary thing. that's clearly a red herring. it's also hilarious. i love when my brain goes that extra mile just to keep me entertained. which is a major reason i document dreams; this is entertaining stuff. you know. so long as i don't actually have to smell the dumpsters.

6. repeatedly the person who most wants to interact with me is never in the same room as me

7. like half of these dreams have something in them about buses. what does it mean


 
 
music: Ocean Waves With the Soothing Sounds of the Tamboura and Drone
 
 
 
selva oscura
09 March 2017 @ 01:20 pm
what else can i do? what else can i possibly do?

i don’t know. i don't. what's to know?

what i want is acknowledgement. all i want is acknowledgement. all i want is acknowledgement, but acknowledgement is one of those things that has an entire ecosystem beneath it: to acknowledge someone means to intentionally speak truth to them. in order to intentionally speak truth to someone, you must respect them. acknowledgement is a fundamental demonstration of respect. it means you value this person. it means the value you place in this connection exceeds any anxiety you might have about openly expressing your feelings.

by its very nature, acknowledging me means you cede some degree of control in our relationship. because i mean something to you. because you want me in your life. because i matter to you. because my acknowledgement matters to you,

(right. basically? i’m boned.)

and the thing i can tell you about going through important relationships unacknowledged? my hardest earned wisdom from growing up queer in a world that hated my queerness so much i tried to hide it (however unsuccessfully) even from myself?

in this sort of power dynamic, a power dynamic where acknowledgement is sealed up in a tight jar on the highest shelf of a locking cabinet only opened for people deemed more worthy than me, in a dynamic like that, my ability to acknowledge is suffocated. following that, my patience. following that, my kindness. following that, my willingness to even be around that friend anymore. my love doesn't go anywhere; once i'm truly in love with somebody i'm there for life. however, my ability to express my own feelings has been eroded away and all that love feels like is resentment, fear, and eventually rage. the only meaningful gift i can offer my friend dwindles away to nothing. worse than nothing, a few times.

it's a form of erasure. it's making me disappear: and i hate it. i fucking hate it. ending up in that kind of emotional sink hole with somebody i love, it's traumatizing. it's soul death. especially because the exchange is so simple as saying you want me as a friend when you want me as a friend, or, less simple, it's true, but easier than soul death at least: i know that i hurt you and i want to do the work i need to do to earn back your trust and make things better between us.

it seems like an awful lot of mess for

what.

i don't know.

never mind.
 
 
mood: again again again again
music: dull repetitions
 
 
selva oscura
24 February 2017 @ 02:02 am
it’s old i’m cold i’m blue, blue, blue

remember when we had a name for this? remember when we could afford to deny it, pick other opportunities, wait for better friends?

remember when we thought we were going places but we didn’t have enough momentum or gas or we did get there but what the hell is this place anyway just a merciless suck on energy and resources that’s blocking us from something we could have that might just be a little bit better and we think that’s all we need, just that little bit, just that smidge to the left, that slight step back from the center of the room and everything looks so much better! at least for a day or two. we’ve never loved like this before! we’ve never known this kind of love! love pours out of us, thick and iron rich, we’ll never know until it’s much too late what exactly it is we’ve been spilling away.

thatstheendofthehoneymoon.jpg


spill it, spill it now.

tell me where this is going.

tell me where i am going.

something like exactly, in the general vicinity of absolute precision. do i belong here? i don’t think i do. where else is there for me to go? just a merciless suck on energy and resources but aren’t all of us from time to time, at least when the path is clear, the girl is gone, the stairwell is empty as it ever was and nobody is taking your calls. double it over, double yourself through and wait, and wait, and wait and wait. there’s always more time for waiting. there’s always a chance that this time, it will be something. everything. anything better than this.

rattle out the memory
rattle it on down the line
 
 
music: popol vuh - brüder des schattens - söhne des lichts
 
 
selva oscura
19 February 2017 @ 04:43 am
my four-year-old niece navigates the fringes of that horrible realization waiting for every last one of us, whether we dare to approach it or not: there is no such thing as an assumed audience.

yes, there are always people around to care, but they aren't required to, and you might not be able to make them. people can take their audience away, and they can do it when you are breaking yourself in half trying to keep them. what's worse, many people won't notice that you are suffering because of this; many people won't care even if they do.

in part, it's awful: like an existential horror film where the vulnerable innocent is confronted with some monstrous allegory for original sin that they must accept as truth if they want even a chance at survival. even if you don't believe in the catholic presentation of it, original sin offers a profound insight into the canvas painted to match the world it conceals that is the human condition. you may not want this, but there it is. you know? i don't deserve such misery, and yet: clearly, i do. if not, what the fuck do i do with any of this? resentfully wallow in it for the rest of eternity? blast myself to bits over those catastrophic system failures that brought myself and everything i love into being?

in part, it's beautiful, and funny, and sad: because i've been there, and i am there. i'll be there tomorrow, as well as the day after that, and the day after that as well. all the days i am here, i'll be there. like falling in love or encountering true mystery, it's the stuff that binds us, that which cuts us from oblivion's swath and folds us back into it again. it's the world we're making, like it and not. it's the world we're making, 'til death do us part. it's that which does not go away.

i have no idea how to nourish that which does not go away, especially when i'm not really given any viable way in.

what about you?

what are you thinking?
 
 
music: pteranodon
 
 
selva oscura
10 February 2017 @ 07:57 pm
15.  
5. is this yours?
6. was this yours?
7. was this meant for you?
8. the holy moment, that coffin's nail, that love gone too far. into the reaches of space, into the far reaches, into the slow spiraling in of our slowly spiraling galaxy. in those split milk arms, in the milky pale arms of the mother, the mother i never was, the mother i'll never be. in this, solace. only in this, solace. only solace in this.
9. what means solace?
10. what means solace, after this?
 
 
music: tangerine dream - rubycon, pt. 2
 
 
selva oscura
06 February 2017 @ 04:50 pm
we burst with fire, we burn at the seams. we fill the night sky with obfuscating matters. we see, we cannot see. we breathe, we cannot breathe. the smoke is heavy and fades the night's resolution to a smoldering palette of ash.

how long can i hold off on writing about ashes?

there's a story in it, of course there is, but maybe the story has burned through. there's a story in it, of course, but is it my story to tell? in a desperate hour, perhaps. in an hour made strange by the passage of time. in an hour anointed with holy oils and incense smoke, consecrated in a kiss on the crown center, chanted over, sang over, wept over, wailed over.

the clamor of death among the living, the noises it makes, the attentions it gathers. sirens and sirens. sirens and songs. here is another story about the dying. here is another story summoned from the land of the dead. we are witnessed, we are always witnessed. it is the indefinite purgatory of those with unresolved business to witness the dying and the dead, at least for a time. it is the nature of inconclusive terminations. why was this life stopped? why was that heart broken?

if i am a witness, if i am a witness from my own inconclusive termination, if i am here witnessing this stranger's end i can grieve them as one of my own: though i won't know their whole story, i will only know this small part of this one aspect of their conclusion, which is for the best because i will not need to negotiate my grieving around a larger context. it is only: this passage. this transition. this coming into going out of form.

who were you, lost stranger? what did you look like before this moment of your demise, scrubbed of context, of associations, of experience and desire? what did you enjoy reading? what did you like to eat? what had you accomplished in those years since birth, what did you lose out on? what broke your heart, broke your resolve, broke you and broke you again?

these witnesses, these alignments revealed only in death. these holy mysteries anointed over and consecrated through by what cannot be known. the world of the dead is not the world of the living. the world of the dead is not the world of the living. there are no guest rooms for one in the world of the other: only day trips, only nightly rumination; only technical tours with extremely limited access. intermediaries of unattended death. death conveyed in fragments. no one being has the whole story, especially not the one who dies.

this side of infinity's twist, i light a candle and enjoy its burn. i light a candle and shortly become anxious about the candle's impending death. so i witness the flame closely, doing what i can to prolong the burn. i trim the wick. i drop in wax from other candles. i snuff the candle out long before i am ready: and then i do it all over again. i lose my meditation to the tending of candle flames: this is because, long ago, far away, i lost myself on the in between. i let myself slip into a weird atmosphere, seduced bodily by the strangeness of it. i let my candles burn into five inch flames, burn long leaking wounds into each pillar's side; i found perverse satisfaction in the sick wax splatter onto the jeweler's traveling sales case that constituted my first unintentional altar. i laid on the floor. i brought my knees to my chin. i let the candles bleed or i left them anemic, weak, barely a moment left in each flicker, a horrible loop of the end that never quite comes:

and i became entranced. i became ecstatic with the carelessness of it. at last for once certain in my greedy burn. a goddess of willfully unknown variables: and then, the next morning, it became apparent what had happened to someone i cared about that same night while i was off by myself burning candles: it nearly killed me. i wouldn't light candles for a month after. a month became a year, a year became a decade and i still will not give myself over to candle flame, i still only rarely use pillars. at the sound of bleeding wax i go into a panic, i perform surgery, i salvage the wick, i tend, i tend: all this is anymore is tending.

last january, i called the fire. last january, i screamed the fire into form. "burn it," i screamed into a suddenly silent room. did i know what i was doing? do i ever know what i am doing?

oh, holy disconnect. heart performing that ritual the head is not ready to understand. my hardest lesson: sometimes i act in truest harmony with spirit before i even understand what i am doing.

we are
as we've been
as we always will be

(except not.)


 
 
music: wdo - rise 10-15