Voiceless – A Narrative of Multiple forms of Misogyny

I wanted to yell, but I couldn’t

I froze – Why did I freeze?

When he called me simplistic

This is what happens when little girls are bad

When he said, “I think what she is trying to say”

This is what happens when little girls are bad

When he called me hysterical

This is what happens when little girls are bad

When he said that one has to smell

Wine to see if it is good

Just like pussy

And then made a loud sniffing noise

When he walked by me

This is what happens when little girls are bad

When he drove me out

Beyond the city lights and headlights

Into the desolation and silence of night

Pushed me down, laying heavy on top of me

When he pushed himself into me

This is what happens when little girls are bad

When he pulled me out of a chair

Pushed me toward my bedroom

And threw me against a wall

My body bouncing back into his hands

To be thrown again, again, again

This is what happens when little girls are bad

When he called me a manipulative little bitch

A stuck-up, spoiled cunt

Because I made cinnamon toast

without asking his permission

This is what happens when little girls are bad

When he was choking the voice out of my mother

This is what happens…

I wanted to yell at him –

At the guy sitting across the classroom

At the other guy sitting across another classroom

At the guy working next to me

At the guy who married my sister

At the guy who doesn’t believe

That I am his daughter

Because he believes

That my mother was a “whore”

I wanted to yell,

“Hey, understand this you asshole,

I get it that this world was made by people like you

For people like you,

But you were never justified

In claiming my mind and body as yours to dominate

And this world is changing, right now.”

But I froze – cold, distant, solid, voiceless

Only to thaw out later in moments of self-destruction

Scars on my body scream

Of inaccessible, inexpressible, pain and anger

With nowhere else to go,

My suffering turns back on myself

Why did I freeze?

I hear his voice calling us

Our little bodies push through the haze of nighttime

Into their unlit room

Her naked body lays over his lap

“Look girls, this is what happens when little girls are bad”

He raises his hand, bringing it down

On her bare butt, thighs, and lower back

Raising his hand and bringing it down

Again – hearing it meet her skin –

And again – smack, smack, smack…

He pushes her off of him

We follow her out of the room

And help her put band-aids

On the bruises that had turned to blood blisters

And burst open

This is what happens…

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Flesh and Blood Home

“Every [person] is the builder of a temple, called [their] body, to the god [they] worships, after a style purely [their] own, nor can [they] get off by hammering marble instead. We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones. Any nobleness begins at once to refine a [person’s] features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.” – Henry David Thoreau, in Walden

I need flesh and blood

Wrapped around my bones

Pulling me into it

Instead of this robotic shell

That echoes a metallic ting

Crying out in angry pain

Whenever a stone strikes it

I need to breathe

Pulling deep, saturating my lungs

Invisibly particle free air

Unpolluted by rational

Self-interested wealth-maximization

Oxygenating my rushing blood

With impassioned hope

I need a mind filled with heart

And a heart filled with mind

Compassion and reason

Perfectly intertwined

In willful un-ignorance

A self-reflective transposition

Of world-reflective thought

I need a home

Where nightmares dare not tread

Where I can wrap and warm my

Metal-free flesh in safety

Replenish my hope and blood

And ease my heart and mind to sleep

Comforted in having no conception of “alone”

If I Should Write Anything…

If I should write anything,

if it could be eloquent and poignant,

I would scribble your name

all across and along

every one of my walls.

In, in between, and among

the lines and curves,

the lightness and the darkness,

where my hand presses

the dripping paintbrushes

softer or harder against each surface,

would be read all the paradoxes

of love and hate,

of freedom, peace, and justice,

all the contradictions,

of action and knowledge,

coalescing with the all encompassing

absurdity and meaninglessness,

the ambiguity and nothingness,

of this embodied, situated, existence.

Hope Wears Your Name Wrong: L’art neurose

Hope wears your name like a beautiful mask,

elaborately adorned, enigmatic, enticing, and deceptive.

Hope wears your name like a smile so pure that it cuts you,

and a laugh that bleeds an innocent malice.

Hope wears your name cruelly, like a betrayal,

a lie so sweet it becomes a sugar laced addiction.

Hope wears your name like an emptiness so desperate

to be filled with anything that nothing becomes something.

Hope wears your name like a spectacular failure,

an attempt so painstaking it resonates a temporal futility.

Hope wears your name like a meaninglessness,

so derealized that it even robs nihilism of its comfort.

Hope wears your name like an isolation,

a breathtakingly detached and omnipresent empathy.

Hope wears your name like a neurosis,

an obsessive passion for absurdity.

Hope wears your name wrong.

I still dream about you.

I still dream about you.

I wanted to know you.

I wanted you to want to know me.

I dream of your hands,

accentuating in various gestures,

the tonal fluctuations of your voice,

pausing to smile at me,

lighting up your eyes,

holding me in your gaze,

as your arms wrap around me.

 

I imagine how wonderful it must be,

to be wanted to be known

to not be afraid to be touched

to not be afraid to speak

to not feel judged

to feel at ease around someone

to feel at home

to belong somewhere.

 

I imagine it must be comforting,

like a warm, heavy blanket.

I am so cold, all of the time,

so cold that I don’t feel anything.

It is a cold that numbs my skin

and slows my heart,

a heart that threatens to stop.

I still dream about you.

Nothing but a simple delusion of warmth

that comforts me as I freeze.

Of Certain Knowledge – A Perspective

Put out of your mind for a moment the concept of knowledge as being justified true beliefs of propositions that correspond to some objective reality. Consider instead knowledge as a subjective perspective that reveals to you particular aspects of your existence of which you are certain and have no doubt. From this perspective, of what do I know?

I know what it is like to be thrown against a wall. I know what it is like when the darkness eclipses your field of vision as your mind scatters in different directions and your limp body bounces off the wall back into his hands to be thrown again, and again, and once again.

I know family is supposed to build you up, hold you up, and keep you up on your feet when the pain of existence threatens to knock you down – well, at least that’s what I have heard. I know what it is like when “family” kicks your legs out from underneath you, spouting epithets of trust and love, then mocks you, denigrates you, and ignores you as you lay on the floor, curled up in on yourself, crying.

I know how childhood traumas create self-perpetuating cycles, repeating the traumas over and over, in different forms, throughout one’s life, and I know of the relentless insomnia and nightmares that follow each rendition closely. I know that such traumas change the way the world looks and how you see your place in it – it is to feel small and threatened, all of the time, by everything and everyone.

I know that you replace the pronoun “I” with “you” in an attempt to transform the abstract hidden behind these signifiers in speech and on this page into some sort of meaningful understanding between us, because you know how chronic loneliness fractures a heart.

I know the physical and psychological pain of isolation, like a garrison wall designed for war and fortified with socially paralyzing anxiety and distrust, constructed upon the paradox of self-preservation. I know of a loneliness that peers through the fissures in that wall into a world of acceptance, belonging, and love that it knows it can never be a part of, but yet obstinately clings to a hope of someday residing there.

I know of a hope that slips through your fingers, accumulates at your feet, and buries you deeper with each year. It is a hope that threatens to stick to the insides of your lungs like wet sand and suffocate you in self-delusion. I know what it is like to cling to that hope because, no matter how self-destructive, it is the only thing that gets you out of bed every day.

I know of the scavengers who circle around the corps(e) de l’amour et l’espoir, agitated, aroused, and eager to pick the flesh off of the vulnerable in order to satiate their own appetites. I know the insignificance of being nothing but a body, to be used until broken or outdated, then discarded.

I know the fear of being precariously and perilously teetering on the edge of falling but having no safety net, no net constructed of family and friends, to catch you if you fall. I know what it feels like to know that if you fell and disappeared, the world would be as if you never existed.

I know of a deep sadness that reverberates throughout every nerve with each heartbeat, locking your entire body in a pain that ruptures the poorly glued together pieces of your heart. I know the cruelty of having that pain mocked and disregarded as being selfish, childish, imaginary, attention-getting, weak or insignificant. I know cruelty, no matter how unintentional or ignorant, is no less cruel.

I know what objectifying and patronizing pity is – when you become nothing but a thing to be fixed, when your voice is lost to a despotic, bleeding heart, do-gooder who presumes to know exactly what is wrong with you and what you need but who refuses to hear who you are. I know the cruelty of a callous indifference to the voice that screams out and begs to be recognized, acknowledged, and loved for all of its pain, complexity, and longing but instead is met only with rejection and dismissal.

I know the type of “care” they are selling. I know you do not want their religious and moral-laden commercialized brand of “care.” You do not want to be “cared” for out of some egotistical and self-righteous duty. Such a duty has neither concern nor affection for the uniqueness of the individual and is handed out freely under the guise of grace to even those whom they despise.

I know that they do not know you because they never wanted to know you. They projected their privileged life experiences and prejudices about who you ought to be unto you, all conveniently wrapped up in the “mentally ill” labels they have affixed to you, to categorize you neatly into their psycho-social, assembly line, pre-packaged for the masses, McWorldview.

Above all, I know that people are nothing but consistent in harming you. I know how year after year the walls close in. What I don’t know is what happens when hope finally buries you.

Care as a Way of Being

I imagine that what it is to emotionally care about another person is physically analogous to the touch that seeks to understand, for the benefit of the other person, what it is physically and psychologically like for the other person to be touched by oneself.


I realized that I cared for you when I sought to understand, for your benefit, your world as you understand it. I realized that no one has ever cared for me when others had consistently sought to dismiss, disregard, ignore, patronize, mock, and assume the worst about my world as I understand it.


To care for another person is not an action you do unto them, as if the other person is an object that you can act upon without taking into account who they are. To care for another person is a way of being toward a thinking, feeling, and willing person. To care for another person is to embrace a way of being that precariously makes oneself vulnerable and opens oneself up to the possibility of harm, yet at the same time rejects returning harm for harm when one’s care is unreciprocated.


To care for another person is a way of being that places oneself at risk of destruction, but you embrace this destructive path anyway because it is the only way of being available to you.

It is Always and Only You

The distance between awake and asleep

becomes too far to traverse with each hour.

The darkness of the room encroaches and creeps,

it seeps with a perverse, corrosive power,

subversive in its absolute destructive purity,

with a proclivity to disguise the onslaught’s intensity.

It saturates and permeates every crosswise thought

with an accumulation of sporadic dreams,

enigmatic, beautiful, and cruel, each brought

hope to the razor edge of bipolar extremes.

A desperation that cuts across the mind and skin

stems from the horror of another night filled with you again.

Faint light bounces off the face in the mirror.

The reflection, so dismissible and ignorable, screams

“Hideous in every way!” in spite, she spits at her.

Insidious how each imperfection, even in darkness, gleams.

So-I-die, a constant option lingers.

Behind every action it triggers

memories of so many years of irredeemable isolation

that only ever tore the heart apart.

A never worn out nor understood desolation,

with no other foreseeable way to depart

from the simultaneous prayers

for instantaneous rest without nightmares,

or care reciprocated for care.

A deep need to feel, by just one, worthy.

She imagines how wonderful such a mercy would be.

This Heart

There is this heart, it beats in this chest. It doesn’t seem to know any emotion in between. It feels entirely everything or absolutely nothing. It soaks up so much love, joy, anger, sadness, guilt, and grief, that it transforms it all into pain. It overloads, burns out, and breaks down. It explodes then implodes, like a giant sun upon death. It tries to douse the flames in streams of tears – tears that dig deep crevices into the protective wall it has erected over the years. It grows colder and harder each time – soft tissue calloused by the hurt. It recoils in upon itself into superficiality, conventionality, deniability and isolation. There is this heart. It beats in this chest. It pumps the blood that moves through this hand, oxygenating the muscles in the fingers that wrap around this pen – a pen that writes this heart into oblivion.

Primal Fear

That fear of being hurt, exploding from a sense of a loss of control over one’s situation –

that primal fear we share with all beings.

If in our most primitive form, our brains were small nodules

playing out fragments of instinct and emotion

and as we evolved, new layers built up

grey matter upon grey matter

like adding more and more rooms to a tiny house –

a tiny house that originally consisted of one room with a bed,

a toilet, and a fire for cooking and warmth –

then that fear must be housed in that little room

when the fire goes out,

when someone has stolen your blankets and smashed your bed.