Going Inside

  
Tomorrow I will walk off into the flourescent light for good

never again wearing the same shoes, thoughts or smile.

The clay shapers will mold another figure, thinner, weaker

shaken and crumpled, in need of a step stool to peer out.
  

With re-formatted database, my memory sense will falter

feed me implanted lies of the consensus, a replacement

childhood, substitute story of a life never lived, imagined.

Read me all around the sphere, then, see what you think.
  

The words that will cut and shave, clip and trim, make me

appear like the tale of an other who skinned another ideal.

And there will be no return to the sanity of reality, no truth.

For tomorrow I walk inside myself–again–for the last time.   
  

Awakening

 
Credit:  http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/jjba/images/a/a9/Vlcsnap-2013-01-21-00h58m20s23.png/revision/latest?cb=20130125202637

Awakening prompts a glancing checklist:

Same place as last consciousness–

Darkness or light–

Feel my bones collect, my eyes adjust–

First blink: lids dragged over gravel or oil?

First move: any pinches, aches or strains?

On my feet, the day’s first inhale, 

a wet finger to the wind.

Last night the pings of paranoia 

called through the curtained phone

closed down for good–for the night,

disturbed the blank peace of erasure,

electric muted screams of digging rebuke

nagging disappointment and broken rules

known only to those who hide them.

Ping: You don’t know…

Ping: You don’t have…

Ping: You are not…

Ping: You … 

The device pinged and dinged, 

begging me to bury sound deep in darkness.

And I did.

The morning checked in misaligned,

a misstep of hungover, awed silence.

Roaming the days hunkered inside me, 

downward dream-filled head of cotton

clear cuts paths of fallen dead trees; 

upright sight, moving back like Mercury,

the illuminating specks piercing a miasma

best trailed in side-step unresolved truth,

prick the skin like sand in a wind storm

abrading hope-possible of reconciliation.

Taking the High Heels Road

  
Do we really need feminism any more? I mean, women work outside the home when they choose to, are protected by laws against discrimination in the work place and other places, and can vote. Isn’t feminism more about choice now–for both men and women–and the freedom that comes with choosing each his or her own happiness?

Just last week I brainstormed with my college student daughter for her speech class presentation over this very question. Together we offered instances beyond the blatant: sex trade and slavery, genital mutilation and pornography. Yes, we concluded, right here in the U.S., where genital mutilation and a thriving sex trade do not lurk in every corner of the country, feminism has work to do. Sure, equal pay for equal work slogans, body image and slut shaming come to mind as battlegrounds for feminism, but the more insidious poisons that preserve patriarchal prejudices work more subtly. 

Take language, for instance. Something as simple as “Hey, you guys!” may seem harmless as an expression. But most unconsciously respond to that call without thinking how the phrase beckons males and females alike while there is no feminine counterpart. “Hey, you gals!” would not turn a single male head. 

And then there are high heels. Given that most anyone can merely look at a pair of high heels and foresee the long-term damage of daily wear or even the short-term calamity that could befall a novice wearer, forcing women to wear them to suit the tastes of a few male gatekeepers smacks of sadism let alone sexism. That such footwear would be prerequisite to female attendees of such a prestigious event as the Cannes Film Festival, upon which some fates and finances depend, can be perceived no other way but sexist–wittingly or unwittingly.

However, I cannot imagine the headline, “high-heels gate”, to a BBC news story about flat-wearing females turned away at Cannes a few days ago–even if one of the refused flat-wearers (though later admitted entry) had a partially amputated foot too unstable for heels.

Ironically, one of the headliners of this year’s Cannes festival was ‘Carol’ the story of a 50-something lesbian.

Although the festival director denied a “ban on flats,” apparently the festival has a history of ‘partiality.’ 

The festival opened with a female-directed film for the first time since 1987, and organisers have endorsed a series of “Women in Motion” talks by stars such as Isabella Rossellini and Salma Hayek.

One former attendee noted the fashion bias existing for decades:

Wendy Constance, a children’s author who attended Cannes in the 1970s, tweeted the festival had a less than stellar reputation when it came to women’s clothes.

“Back in 1971, when I started work I asked for [the] rule about women not wearing trousers to be changed. It was. Forty-four years later.”

“It’s ridiculous that women are still being expected to conform,” she added.

Those subtler forms of sexism perniciously pervade, permeate a society and motivate conscious or unconscious acts of sexism that may seem small but, in their accumulation, grow large in the long-term consequences. Sexist attitudes have been known to influence the line of questioning by a male detective to a female rape victim or a male judge’s sentencing (two positions empowered with a great deal of discretion within a realm of rules), actions with far-reaching effects to that victim and women generally.  

So what if Cannes bans flats? Aren’t we being too sensitive? Nothing to get our undies in a bunch over, right? Wrong. 

Conduct of a nation, including its laws and commerce–daily practices–are predicated on the stuff fed to our brains sometimes in blasts of shocking information and trauma, sometimes in long steady courses of study and living, but mostly in imperceptible increments–like subtly sexist language, pictures, and gestures, such as silly dress codes at Cannes. 

Feminism means freedom; freedom means choice. We cannot choose if the knee-jerk reactions of our conduct are pre-programmed, unconscious and unchanging. We must question our behaviors, the reasons for rules we set and how they are enforced, not take accepted practices for granted. A simple start? Ban the arbitrary bans on women’s fashion choices.

Ananda

  

Pleasure: watching the mercurial orb gurgle to and fro inside the glass of an old-time thermometer, the gift of orgasm from an-in-love-with lover, the runner’s high

Delight: the last piece of the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, the unexpected twenty dollar bill in your jeans pocket, the lightbulb moment when it all makes sense


Happiness: skipping down the path just because; lightness in your step, in the being

Joy: turning from busy-ness to spy your infant’s gaze following your every movement  

Cheerfulness: the unforced mental smile naturally unfolding at the thought of another day as another opportunity to get something right

Sensual pleasure: the house-filled aroma of garlicky tomato sauce simmering; the sweet, milky scent of an infant’s head; your mother’s finger tips lightly caressing your face 

16th MuhUrta: the last sliver of sun that paints the sky magenta

End of the drama: resolution after the struggle, war, riot, tussle, tragedy–triumph in acceptance

Enjoyment: a book to live in for a while; the first bite of deep, dark, smoky chocolate; poetry’s silent spell 

Thing wished for: Satisfactory endings to poor beginnings, if not understanding then acceptance

Beatitude: Break-through acts of kindness, a helping hand when all hope is lost, a miracle, nature’s whisper

Kind of flute:  hollow, wooden, champagne, salve to the ears and mind

Sensual joy: Late Friday afternoon nap, unclothed and entwined

One of the three attributes of Atman or brahman in the vedAnta philosophy: the oneness at the tip of the final exhale concluding meditation.

Name of the forty-eighth year of the cycle of Jupiter: the comfort of order, prediction and patterns; the recognition of the unknowable vastness of that which we are particulate matter and the burden that relieves

Pure happiness: Seeing the fruits of your efforts to help others thrive or blossom, the awe of creating another human being through unimaginable struggle

Kind of house: All shelters that provide the safety and security that you imagined as a child gleefully building blanket forts in the living room.



Note: Classifications of Ananda are in the Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit; definitions are in the mind of the Gaze.


Happy Belated Birthday Adrienne Rich

An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

BrainPickings

  

Apophenia

  
Credit:  http://www.creativitypost.com/images/uploads/psychology/249_2nd%20place.jpg
Constructed from smoke and mirrors, us,
ideas floating around bodies, 
expectations wherein others’ unfulfilled 
desires, prejudices, hurts and dreams 
hurled at us in continual bombardment 
so we in the end do not know how or why 
we possess our minds with determined drive 
to become “successful” defined by they
who came before us in a long line of delusion. 
Why did I “choose” to become a lawyer? 
Because I argued my way through youth, 
and my mother capped it all in a sigh, 
“You should be a lawyer. 
You always have to have the last word.” 
Simple cause and effect?
A match of my talent with a career? No.
Parental desire, a definition of success,
a dream of security and hope for respect.
All myths. The mold makes more models. 
An inundating lore trails every profession: 
lawyers are sharks, 
doctors have god complexes, 
plumbers are slovenly, 
and no one rises more than the level. 


Human propensity to stereotype, shortcut, 
satisfies a deep need and biological destiny
human patternicity or apophenia. 
But the appalling truth, each arcs complexity 
requires attention, examination, exploration 
work, in other words, to evaluate
the fount each encountered being springs. 
Only few venture willingly to invest time. 
Thus, the disconnection prevalent 
in polarized politics and social media, 
hatred on roads, in parking lots and 
on grocery store lines. 


Sneers of indifference pollute.
The pool of difference is tepid.
Come in. The water’s fine.

The Twin

  

Many days ahead still 

to break down a body takes time
to break down an image built up 
so long, so many fucking years, 
a plan, a pattern, a steel will and 
hard head, soft with romance, 
adventure and fury, a stubbornness 
fiercer than a mother’s, 
she who endured the beating 
neglect of everyone who ever 
claimed to love her and never stopped 
gaining on them all, earning by degrees 
and respect, even if she came late 
to loving herself.

Many lessons to learn 
how the humbling of a human 
being slow-stodgily sinks in, 
brick by brick pitched at a head, 
to break in the wall of a notion
make it understood that 
leading life in a spin 
loses the ability to take notes, 
to catch up, remember it all 
the test failed, no doubt. 
for it cannot be otherwise 
in learning how to be someone else, 
a someone else, and merge her 
to the pre-existing other.
 
Impossible to grow two people 
as one dies to feed the other, 
but to kill a person is not easy, 
interminably terminally long,
unlike the beginning, 
life bursting on the scene in violence, 
painfully spasmodic spilling 
into the suffocating air,
and bleeding out 
in infinite incremental specks
unseen, unheard, unrealized
only now and again spying her
a twin, creeping along the fence
in the yard peering out cracks.

Patterns of Memory Seize

  

credit:  http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=2216

A static image floats fuzzy still life before a mind’s eye

–mine.
Lips crushed in grimace foul, screeching silent panic
a movie memory sans sound features a small face
wet with tears, her curls raging above and about her
head brown with ratted coils
and a dainty, tender, fragile forefinger
one finger enlooped by layers of hair, an index finger
struggling, captive, to untangle its freedom locked in 
a strangling tress much to the horror of its owner.
That image, that girl, that finger flashes before me
now, you, whose wide firm hand with digits like
iron stuffed leather rods rummage through my 
hair gripping the base of the rubber band that ties
the tail to my head, tighten your grip, finding 
the loops for your yanking intention 
my head poised, still, steeled up to constriction
and confinement.
All hands reach back, pull my trussed will, memory-
bound to arches circumscribing the view
of the celestial seascape’s cliche’d vision:
a man, a woman, trapped in time and hair-locks.
A choice, ownership and recognition–
a cerebral passion, homo sapien adores patterns.

The Will and Testament of the Last Living Fortress 

 

credit: http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pictures/o/1218990307/Durers-rhino-1515.jpg

Hunkered down, head hung low in modest consternation,

a lonely ever lost lover has forgotten the link to his future.

Huge burden for squat shanks sunk in steely toed hooves

–the line of his kind–for the heart-white tank rests stilled

uncomfortably complex for a survivor’s fatigued fortunes.

The will to seed his fate is buried beneath a tragic query,

the horn of desire splayed as aimed weapon and snared

drum beats pound defeat and despair of all whose greed

swallows a species in unsurrendered satanic usurpation, 

a reply to which singes will: Why do we kill what we love?