Up from all fours (ten for today)

January 3, 2017
 
Peeling back the layers, easy as waxy adhesive pleasingly pulled back from a band-aid strip, you might find underneath

the muffled amniotic sound of my mother’s fear, my father’s absence,

and her mother’s lung cancer, his two pack a day habit, 

her father’s leukemia, his brother’s stomach cancer,

my sister’s jealousy, me, smack dab in the middle, ordered 

induced, long-labored, lost virginity to a lie,

adolescent somnambulant, anesthetized

plucked peak, poised, cut in half, abandoned childhood

love, anger, pain, salty wounds and tears, trials

errors, risks and high cliff jumps, all of it, all of the skin’s striata.

 
And yet, and yet, still, it’s the new year, and 

I’m dressed in the same uniform, repressed ire,

suppressed desire, tempered expectations, doubt

longing, trust, fomenting flames, and churning torrential inward glances.

I’ve heard my ancestors’ voices mute, in a gesture, a turn,

phrases never uttered, lovingly eked from un-warmed fingers tapping. 

Beneath the eviscerated bowels, below the libido, homonidae snapping heads aside, 

peer over their shoulders, wide-eyed, and slack jawed, unsuspecting 

after all, for who would have known, how could she predict, she just up from all 

fours, awaiting death-birth, a notion less cerebral than pelvic, yet 

surely her demise and liberation? No, her gaze reveals she never conceived, never saw me coming.

 

ape-monkey/pixabay

Heritage Now

image

With fever and chills, my father lies in a hospital bed and

fights invaders ransacking his cells while we, her dad and I,

Share ancestral history over wine and braised Brussels sprouts.
 
Her father pulls out an album of black and whites painting shades,

Faces that look like his and hers, she who hungrily leafs through

Her fore-figures shepherding precious genetic messages, DNA,

Carried on lines like cargo bins rolling down mining tracks,

Straight to the mountain’s core, our heart’s beating back minutes

Through rock and river, rice paddies and leper camps, continents

And decades all swum, waded through generations of race, religion,

Geography and cultural diaspora, lost at sea; my people roamed.

I tell her we were gypsies and exiles, imperialists and colonizers,

Journalists and piano-tuners, soldiers and artists, musicians

And doctors, lawyers, painters and prisoners; we sailed on ships.

She eats the images page after page flying and flashing ghosts

In pressing drive, primal ranging expansive lust for connection,

An answer to why she is, these cellular haunts flooding her veins.

She wants to know the stories that she belongs to, her threaded

Braide-links to French, Spanish, Vietnamese, Rumanian, Russian, Latvian
 
and German world walkers. She doesn’t know yet, which link connects them all,
 
all the grandfather’s fathers and their fathers’ fathers before.
 
She doesn’t know the whole story and she can never know.

Monogamy on the Ropes Again

  
credit:  https://polysingleish.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/1003954_1423682221182522_1247773358_n.jpg

This time by Salon.com’s Anna Pulley in the article 4 Reasons Humans are so Bad at Sexual Monogamy, which faults our natural proclivities and our ancestors. According to Pulley’s resources, we humans crave variety, get bored easily (especially women with sex) and hear the call of our collectivist primal ancestors who lived, parented and copulated communally. Her cited resources are a few notable books on the topic, including Chris Ryan’s Sex at Dawn, a synopsis of which you can find at Ryan’s site among other of his projects, to bolster her brief scan of the huge monogamy balliwick. 
In the end she echoes a call to action I myself have made on this site–more tolerance and less dysfunctional belief when it comes to sex and marraige.

To say we are bad at monogamy isn’t an indictment of monogamy in general. Of course, people can and do succeed at life-long monogamous arrangements. Non-monogamous arrangements aren’t inherently better or worse than monogamous ones. And yet, just because we are monogamous with one person doesn’t negate the fact that many of us are still and always will be attracted to other people. As German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer put it: “One can choose what to do, but not what to want.” We’d do better as a culture if we could exercise a little more tolerance, acceptance and honest discussions around sex, desire and marriage, and try to be less rigid in our idealistic views of monogamy.