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10 June 2017 @ 01:53 pm
don't be afraid, it's a harmless moon  

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.


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”
translucentflowerfalls on June 13th, 2017 11:51 pm (UTC)
This inspired me this morning to get to work cleaning the upstairs part of the garage to turn it into studio space. I had been all "well I have my office I should be happy with that" but I want to paint BIG and get messy but then it was all "oh that's so much effort for me to do nothing worth anything" then I read this. So yeah. Thanks. *love*
castrationfear on September 9th, 2017 09:15 am (UTC)
unsolicited hassle
Hello there
I am so sorry to get in touch with you like this but i am (clearly) a desperate music geek. I came to your blog by way of discogs where i saw you have a copy of prolixity by black humour. you are one of the few.
I was wondering if you would consider parting with this for trade or money?
Again apologies again for contacting you like this.
best wishes
selva oscuraanonymousblack on September 10th, 2017 07:51 pm (UTC)
Re: unsolicited hassle
unfortunately that particular release lies at the intersection of emotionally significance and physical inaccessibility for me in this moment, though that may change in the foreseeable future. if you could drop a line to my livejournal handle @livejournal.com with an email addie you’re likely to have for a bit (and a trade list or link to your discogs account) i’d be much obliged.