mardi 2 février 2010

in a nutshell

watercolor: crow goddess by moineau

i was born knowing everything and nothing at all, i was comedy and drama, i was the serendipity of falling in love, i was death by drowning, i was the pride of the yankees, artistry of the french, wisdom of the indian, zeal of the japanese, but never, never the ignorant american or divided nation, i lived in the creative moment called lies and chaos until it exploded, raped and goaded, i became something like original sin and would live with it for something resembling forever and a day until the lights went out but that takes time,

i'd written several novels in my head yet committed nothing to paper but wretched poems, i knew nothing about the origin of stars but knew them by heart, for i loved the night, the silence, although prone to verbal processing and monologue, a glutton for punishment, i was both venus and her devotee, supreme lover, frigid bitch, switchblade sister, sinister character and character actor, never quite myself or whole, but i knew it and it caused an ache the size of a plum pit, yet i could feel it,

i was psychotically depressed and painfully preserved like a pickle, i couldn't die no matter how much i wanted, i had to stay alive because i had a purpose, even though i never knew what that purpose was, everyone told me they could see it through praise and abandonment and a good bit of sexual antics, so i stayed here, thinking about everything and nothing, my thoughts reached out into the universe like some perverse amphibian, i was a living lump of glum with purposefulness, a shining chevalier at war, a dirty pæon in revolt, and worse, a slut with a big mouth,

even as a baby i had an enormous sexual appetite and rocked every night in my crib, i was orgasmic by three, had my first love affair by five, by seven i had lived through four divorces and umpteen fathers, none of whom stayed in my life or paid child support although they had signed agreements, they all became night creatures, they even threatened to kill me once or twice,

i had a movie star mother that was in love with love and shone like broadway neon and worked hard, and if that doesn't get me published nothing will, "the drama of the gifted child" by alice miller, "varieties of religious experience" by william james,

"no exit" yet always "waiting for godot", doing aarthi at four a.m. like a sexless priest and hooting and hollering with vedantic bliss, brainwashed and often pedantic, worshipping brass idols that i dressed in lace and satin, eating their leftovers, because afterall i was in love not with human beings but with gods, masturbating to "courage to heal" before an altar built floor to ceiling, no respite from the guilt of not looking the part of the celibate but being in love with a cloud-colored god and imagining myself his ravaged consort, but i got over myself just in time not to become the world's biggest asshole and religious hypocrite, wrapped in a cellophane sari and playing peek-a-boo with peacock-feathered fans, i refused the rooster, i refused the ego play of light and curtains, i ran from the mob of saffron-clad fanatics and wife beaters,

i hitchhiked the new england coast and found a teenage indian living in the woods, made love in his pup tent, waited for him at dunkin donuts the next week but he never showed up, i didn't care, i was still in love with my best friend's brother who had moved to montana to become a hard-drinking lumberjack while i got drunk on a single heineken and couldn't keep up,

i took a greyhound bus to miami and saw the poorest of the south in broken, rotting shacks and it changed my life, in one breath i became black and jew, confronted the truth of my birth and, yes, i was blood jewish and the birthmark on my forehead, through which all knowledge entered and left, grew to the size of middle earth, i was impressed with my growth, i sprouted sparrow wings and set out to change everyone else but forgot one thing: that all change begins with self,

i married the saddest men i could, gave myself fully and soon became bored as a caged wildcat, i ate myself for breakfast lunch and dinner, the cat in me attacked while the bird in me fled into work, and it was a hilarious circle of abuse and mental pain until my heart turned red and furious, on the road twixt toronto and portland my first child was born and i settled like a stone on the opposite side of the world in a midsized northwest town,

i found shelter with other abused fems and fell in love with a like-minded soul-sister, raised her beautiful brown children with my beautiful blond and learned fast that all marriage was same sex, the same abuse and blame and cross-eyed jealousy, and after five years of that--i'm actually a slow learner in affairs of the heart--i did it again with the indian i had forgotten back in the rhode island woods, but he'd changed over ten years of separation, he wasn't even the same person, he had a different name and face and different parents and many children that he couldn't handle and the saddest past of anyone i ever heard, so of course i fell hard in love, another cloud-colored god whom i worshipped at the temple of his whispery words,

i had another son, beautiful and blue, who never could get along with the first, and after five years of breaking up fights and hiding from my crazy god who was having me followed and who mentioned he would have me shot if and when he found me out, i left him, pure as snow, and decided to just engage in casual sex, and anytime i felt anything at all, i ran for the door, left all my spices in her kitchen, kicked the shit out of his lame excuses, fled like the flighty sick sparrow i had become, through all those years of abuse, all those shit-kicking years in my ribs, those small hands around my throat, all those endless questions, and i trusted no one,

until a muscle-armed musician came along and i threw myself at him like a rotten tomato, and poor guy, he loved tomatoes more than anything else in the world, he saw my purpose or at least the purposefulness, and he dived into blind water, le pauvre, he rocked me through my tears, ran away from my rages but only as far as his bed chamber and only with a single-latched door that i could break through with my illustrious mind, he saved my life several times only to watch it break for damned sure under the gravity of perpetual virushood,

we didn't know what it was back then, only that formidable bodily pain had entered our world and stayed for thirteen years, i changed, became less flighty and weightier, i dropped the idea of the great french novel--snobbishly french, never american--and dribbled poems from the corners of my mouth as my brain became more jello-like and sober and i realized how little i knew except how hot the room got under the flashes of autonomic distress and how cold i felt in the places where i once lusted for embrace, hard hard hard this knowing and nothingness, so hard the days, months and years that dragged broken wings behind them, and so i said "call it a life" and drank a bowl of eggnog and cream, ate a mound of toddler bars as we were wont to call swiss chocolate and slept until the day turned to night and into day again, that is unless i didn't sleep at all,

he changed too, became a sadder soul, but i don't want to speak for him, i'll let him crack his own code if he wants and if not, please pardon him and me too, i never meant to dissolve his joyfulness, it just happened,

the telephone rang but no one was home so please leave a message, i'll call you back when i can if you leave a number, i had all the numbers still in my head but couldn't remember the names or words, everything i wrote was a sad sack of the wreck of the hesperus, everything and nothing as i said, in a nutshell.

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It was the schooner Hesperus,
That sailed the wintery sea;
And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
To bear him company.

Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
That ope in the month of May.

The Skipper he stood beside the helm,
His pipe was in his mouth,
And he watched how the veering flaw did blow
The smoke now West, now South.

Then up and spake an old Sailor,
Had sailed the Spanish Main,
"I pray thee, put into yonder port,
for I fear a hurricane.

"Last night the moon had a golden ring,
And to-night no moon we see!"
The skipper, he blew whiff from his pipe,
And a scornful laugh laughed he.

Colder and louder blew the wind,
A gale from the Northeast,
The snow fell hissing in the brine,
And the billows frothed like yeast.

Down came the storm, and smote amain
The vessel in its strength;
She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
Then leaped her cable's length.

"Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
And do not tremble so;
For I can weather the roughest gale
That ever wind did blow."

He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat
Against the stinging blast;
He cut a rope from a broken spar,
And bound her to the mast.

"O father! I hear the church bells ring,
Oh, say, what may it be?"
"Tis a fog-bell on a rock bound coast!" --
And he steered for the open sea.

"O father! I hear the sound of guns;
Oh, say, what may it be?"
Some ship in distress, that cannot live
In such an angry sea!"

"O father! I see a gleaming light.
Oh say, what may it be?"
But the father answered never a word,
A frozen corpse was he.

Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
With his face turned to the skies,
The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
On his fixed and glassy eyes.

Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
That saved she might be;
And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,
On the Lake of Galilee.

And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
Through the whistling sleet and snow,
Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
Tow'rds the reef of Norman's Woe.

And ever the fitful gusts between
A sound came from the land;
It was the sound of the trampling surf,
On the rocks and hard sea-sand.

The breakers were right beneath her bows,
She drifted a dreary wreck,
And a whooping billow swept the crew
Like icicles from her deck.

She struck where the white and fleecy waves
Looked soft as carded wool,
But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
Like the horns of an angry bull.

Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
With the masts went by the board;
Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank,
Ho! ho! the breakers roared!

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
A fisherman stood aghast,
To see the form of a maiden fair,
Lashed close to a drifting mast.

The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
The salt tears in her eyes;
And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,
On the billows fall and rise.

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
In the midnight and the snow!
Christ save us all from a death like this,
On the reef of Norman's Woe!

19 commentaires:

ottodachat a dit…

In a nutshell is well er ahh quite impressive. Nice piece I must admit and terribly honest. Also you are a bit hard on yourself. But at least you tried to love people, I gave up and grew fond of cats!

Max Babi a dit…

Laura dearest,
This is a megatonner, a nuke ready to blast... but remember all this writing is cathartic. You must not give up on people. When the caterpillar goes through unbearable pain, it is only to emerge as a butterfly, which you are.... so fly away... keep singing, keep writing, keep producing creative stuff...

Moineau En France a dit…

always cathartic, no question, but i do sppreciate the sentiments, max, so much. as for hard on myself, dear tim, my mother said i had it on the nose. (she knows me, and herself, pretty well. :>>)))

Jan Hersh a dit…

pas mal
mais c'est terrible
tel vie incroyable
meme le diable
n'a rien sur toi
la poesie de l'inferme
rien n'est plus bizarre
et l'ange avec guitar
tous histoires sont la meme
l'amour , le chaleur, la mort
et la peur
Genius writing, my friend

Moineau En France a dit…

"même le diable/n'a rien sur toi"--je vais me souvenir de ces vers pour toujours. :>>)) merci pour la lecture et ton poème, chère sœur. X/O

Anonyme a dit…

Extraordinary, Laura! I am deeply humbled. Max is right, 'a megatonner'. And while following it up with The Wreck of the Hesperus was absolutely appropriate from a literary point of view, once again I agree with Max and beg you to set your mind on the butterfly.

Moineau En France a dit…

you know, this was so cathartic for me; i feel better than i have in a month. for what i always seem to end with in my head when i write the sad poem is "up until now"... i feel hopeful about the future. poems of my joyful life will be felt again. xoxoxoxo

Stirling Davenport a dit…

Brilliant, Laura. Only you could deliver such unabashed highs and lows. I especially resonated with this: "i ate myself for breakfast lunch and dinner, the cat in me attacked while the bird in me fled into work" ... I have done the same and know the feeling. This catharsis feels important somehow. A revealing prelude to ... something else. Smiles.

Moineau En France a dit…

"something else"... sounds VERY good. big hugs. xoxoxo

Audrey Nicholson a dit…

Through it all, the injustice and suffering of it all, an unseen power breathes below the surface, relentlessly fighting for freedom. The frankness and your insight make me feel like the fisherman witnessing the survival of the maiden’s soul, drifting towards him. Her beauty, untouched by death, your beauty, untouched by so much underserved pain. Your words, too powerfully compelling for the title.

Moineau En France a dit…

chère camarade, il n'y aucun express (mais le travail nous aide beaucoup, n'est-ce pas?). merci pour tes mots si tendres. une chanson pour faire tout vivre mieux que moi... je t'aime. ~laura xoxoxoxoox

La voila: Aucun Express

Kate Champagne a dit…

Oh my. What I love, love about this Laura, is've done what memoirists should but rarely do - Writing is about grief, not about grievances. Too many write about griences, pauvre moi - but writing about grief - that is about the perspective we gain from that grievance. Megatonner! Keep it up!

My name will post as my pen name Kate Champagne.

Moineau En France a dit…

and bring it on, kc! (can't wait to read you and find ye ole libido.)

thank you for your reading. i love the black humor in this, the objective stance; and yet i'm left with the feeling that it will get better and worse. bring it on... :>>)) xooxoox

Anonyme a dit…

Dearest Laura ... I love that Max says that this is a "Nuke ready to blast." I say "Whew! It is time for you to rest ... you deserve it." What a magnificent and painful whirlwind." Well done. Much love to you.

Moineau En France a dit…

i had an epiphany today, a humbling moment, a coming down off the cloud after the rainfall. i am grateful, i've had as much joy as pain and it's time to write about it. and i shall try--after i rest, liz--to do more of it. inspire joy rather than pain; wouldn't that be wonderful?

LOVE. i think perhaps that is all there really is. the rest is a dream that weaves in and out of our lives to reveal it. voila.

Mary Stebbins Taitt a dit…

I LOVE the crow goddess with the colors radiating out of her head! YES!

Anonyme a dit…

Dear Laura ...I forgot to tell you how impressive your painting is. Wonderful. I have long had the sense that your art perfectly reflects you precisely where you are at the time. I like that. I appreciate your epiphany. Love to you ...

Mary Stebbins Taitt a dit…

I came back to see the painting! :-D


Moineau En France a dit…

thanks sooo much, mary and liz. wish i could get myself to paint more. i'm not very inspired right now, not much concentration... maybe painting would be better than writing, given that... xoxoxooxoxox