gratitude for the poetess

a woman has walked first into every interesting corner of consciousness.

i praise those who record it & praise likewise she who walks on

walks home

makes herself dinner

and falls asleep

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diosa mio

here today

swollen in your wet grip

at the limits of poetry

begging for another chance at grace

with this bag of grit

i once called heart

&these lips numb from your name

i sink

ever deeper

into your holy world.

James Baldwin on the roles we construct

“The roles that we construct are constructed because we feel that they will help us to survive and also, of course, because the fulfill something in our personalities; & one does not, therefore, cease playing a role simply because one has begun to understand it.  All roles are dangerous.  The world tends to trap and immobilize you in the role you play; and it is not always easy- in fact, it is always extremely hard– to maintain a kind of watchful mocking distance between oneself as one appears to be and oneself as one actually is.”

from “the black boy looks at the white boy”

i found an old to-do list

i found an old to-do list, from the year i was made of the hole cut through my ribs with the loss of you.  breath whistled through me then, and i counted the miles i ran on wet streets and muddy trails.  movement became my mantra.  one foot then another.

i will reproduce it here, in the hopes that it will help you too:

 

-pray to yr holy

-use yr tools

-stay slow & feel

-practice devotion

-cultivate neuroplasticity

-use trust as bhakti in this frightened world

– remember how resilient you are

identity

the world is not friendly to your quest for self-identity.

the wheels of the world keep turning and the persona is a mask you are seeking to sell to a public that will buy anything, literally anything, you present.

the self is temporary.  this is it’s beauty and it’s pain.  it’s the reason they’re so difficult to build if you’re self aware and they’re so easy to mass produce when you’re rootless.

just remember, when they ask you to define yourself they are asking you to build your own prison so they can lock you in it.

this is a game of the world and you do not have to play.

both/and

the struggle to define ourselves in a way that the people we care about understand can drive us mad.  we want to get it right.  say the right words.  know our points so we can defend them.

beloved, i will never question you when you tell me who you are.

i believe you.   in your fluid and in your solid, i believe you.

form is just the shape that holds the spirit

the spirit is the only part that’s real.

 

 

the death throes of a dying culture

“Beginnings are important, endings are inevitable and change is constant in a universe of ceaseless transformation.”  -Raghavan Iyer, The Golden Thread

 

a teacher once told me, when i was angry about a political situation, not to get “caught up in the death throes of a dying culture.”

i was young when i heard this, in many ways i was just being born, and it has been hard to come of age in a time when nothing is certain and change happens quickly.

my generation came of age with the internet.  connectivity, net, web, link, world wide.  these words are part of the fabric of our lives.

& the methods of control rely on isolation.  the dominant paradigm is based on alienation.

they know they are on their way out and they are scared.  scared of the young, scared of the queer, scared of the non-white, scared of the polytheists, scared of the non-theists, scared of the future.

this maddening political moment is part of a worldwide shudder of fear as these powers die off.  they gasp and they turn violent, in a last attempt to hold on to the place at the top that they’ve come to believe is theirs.

but there is something we know that they do not.

there is a future beyond the grasp of capitalism and white supremacy.  there is a future beyond the lies of borders and sects and consolidation.  there is a future beyond the exploitation and destruction that fuels the financial world.  there is a future beyond isolation, alienation, and incarceration.

we get to build that future.  link by link. using the greatest tool we have — the ancient knowledge that science is slowly validating — the knowledge that we are part of something wider and deeper than ourselves.

the time to start dreaming is now.  do not get caught up in the death throes of this dying culture. put your skills to the task at hand. we are with you.