I’ve been having a bit of a hard time putting my thoughts into coherent words, particularly for this blog. I mean, it’s strange because I think personal blogs like this are supposed to be something of a stream of consciousness, but they’re public for a reason and they’re largely tailored for readership. A lot has been bouncing around in my head recently. My life has been so busy and so surreal, in the best way.
My number one form of escape during this Piscean season (but always, really) has been my journal. I am full of broken entries and pseudo-poetry. The roles of fiction and certain embellishments are always present in these escapes, these revisions; I’ve found that absorbing reality in an inner realm is entirely impossible if you try to face it head-on. But journaling almost seems like escapism in a half-hearted form, because I’m not trying to slip away from reality, but rather process it in a conversation with silence; a small howl in a faraway one-person monastery.
But isn’t that the whole point? Most important to me in this dialogue about escape is the concept of solitary coping. In a recent article/review for The New Yorker about Helen Oyeyemi’s new short-story collection, “What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours,” Morgan Jerkins writes that keeping a diary is a way to get your feelings out “without feeling vulnerable to someone else.” This is especially important, as Jerkins points out, for women (and even more so for minority women in a world of white privilege). It allows those who are subjected to societal expectations and narrow paradigms to rewrite definitions for their own selves: “diaries are the only places where these women can simply be—where they can hold onto safety for a little while longer, in order to face the world anew, again, some other time.”
Alone time is absolutely essential in a proper handling of the human experience; it gives you a protective skin, like those rubber gloves you're advised to use in chemistry labs, protecting your grabby, curious, already-wrinkled hands from unexpected chemical reactions. As Sylvia Plath wrote, sometimes you have nothing to do with explosions. Sometimes it is entirely the mystery of the outside world that just happens to you, and all you can do is sit in your wallowing and feel it. For Sylvia, and for myself, confessional writing is a way of facing reality whilst simultaneously finding a way to remake the self in a defiant act of resilience: "Out of the ash / I rise with my red hair / And I eat men like air." (The most legendary mic-drop ending of any piece of writing, ever? Quite possibly).
After all, any form of escapism—that is to say, anything that helps us "forget our troubles" for a while—is just a glorified form of masochism. Why are we drawn to specific art forms like books, paintings, sculptures, performances, poems, etc? The other day on the metro, I was having a conversation with Tara and Dan about movies. I mentioned that if I ever need a good cry, I watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I also largely consider that my favorite movie of all time—which seems strange, as they pointed out to me. But that’s exactly why it’s my favorite, I said. It fucks me up, it moves me.
I’m going to make a more comprehensive, thoughtful post on that concept later. For now, I just want to share bits of my last couple of weeks in direct Diary Entry Format (transcribed as originally written. praise me for my ~openness~ pls).
prelude to spring
I am the shape of the void that holds me and I am undressed by words, by looks. I NEED TO BE CHOSEN is the rosary at my lips, the angels poised on top of possessive tendencies can fall, they are not easy to hate, but necessary. las mapas y los barcos alrededor, a mi corona. quedate, luna. la mer te necesita. eres más que tus cráteres y tirares. todo el mundo maneja en esta manera, de ola y fuentes y dar/recibir. I’m trying to push through various walls and empty thrones, to ignore various urges. It’s so hard to grant reality to “the right time,” it’s so hard to be motivated by anything other than hey, you smell like either violet or violence and what is the difference there, really. I think we are two fumbling hearts.
i wanna talk about it but i don’t really
I wish i could’ve been loved now that I am no longer waiting to be called. now that I am not harvesting heartbreaks in my neck like a beehive; skin like honeycomb; swarms of the forgotten and light tunnels and pleading in waking dreams. I followed a warning that I thought was a lighthouse. I whispered bitter suggestions: i am yours when ever you want me again. i love you. don’t you mind? my heart trembles in my soft and chilly chest. now I drown outstretched clawing thoughts with mixtures of wine and whiskey and forget, in some kind of fucked up treaty. I am trying to coax the monsters to fight for me. I’ve said too much. I’ve said too much. you’re supposed to pull back my skin from my bones and tell me ‘beauty is terror,’ that it’s time for my coronation in the storm clouds and that your chariot will take me there. Chivalry is not dead but i am. I have lived one thousand years more than I had planned but it is still not enough. it is not enough to have power over hearts or to believe that words mean more than eye contact can. there is so much more to see and life changes all of us, it’s not my fault. words crowd around my head in no perfect queue.
el 28 de febrero
between my anxieties and my pain there is a body broken up by light. I know that the world is a place where I belong because I have been given this machine made of soft and round which is mine and only mine / mine to command and mine to hold / mine to fill with disappointment and indecision / to smile at in the mirror / to watch decay.
look at that robin’s egg-tinted sky, roots twisted and frayed nerves like the colour of copper.
we are drops in the ocean and paradise. i am worth the risk.
you deny this orbit and this caffeine high / but i notice when your eyes get wide
and now I write dialogue with myself in poems because I don’t know how to talk to anyone else.
there are other boys who look at me like a view / but I am not here for them / or you. I am here for some sonnets and some mortgages.
I want some new drawings on my body so I can continue staking claim to this skin.
mine, mine, mine.
I dare you to call me selfish.
March 6, 2016, 11:31 pm
my role today is a momentmonger with no apologies left. in another world in another life i still think you’re beautiful.
with your razortongue, tell me how to become a roar. there is every way i am becoming saturn instead, devouring my own sons. embracing the obscene waltz of death. the third act upon us because every creation process is a process of destruction.
i feel like a smolder, i feel like wrapping your useless words around me. this is what i feel like. it works and i love you