Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Strong Clasp

How I suffered to give you Sunday.
You’ll never know, I suppose, since
most of the sorrow was my own mix:
Guilt from betraying my current
lover, slipping out of my once
strong clasp, and that thorn
of hurried worry to catch you 
before you left the station,
to give you this piece from under the bracken,
this part of my own heart’s song that hummed
off the blasé beige bricks wet from a dull rain.

My man picked me up—stopped for coffee
to wait out the storm—slow low clouds.
I could barely see him,
blurred through my urgent mission.

Don’t go, yet.
I was breathing to you,
I need to give you this
talisman, this beating beauty,
my prayer for your journey.
But I had to wait wait wait
Ungrateful girl,
living in the somewhere,
not in the here.
How I burned both ways
with desire
and shame.


And what gift did you hold for me?
The strong velvet marble vein
standing in a shaft of light.
I didn’t even know.
I stood at the opening

longing to undress.
yet so afraid of my nakedness.
Something kept pushing me
though these clouds

I dreamt of mountains
and then I could fly~~

 I could fly!
Why hadn’t I known
So softly were my ankles held,
I didn’t need to be afraid~~
I was cradled in light.

How could it be otherwise?

And I broke open for you
 by the fire
where the Celtic gypsies were keening.

You knelt and unhitched the black lace mantilla
that held my breasts.  I still recall your lips
shushing the floating plum isle
of my left nipple
while you brushed my thighs,
my rippling new-born flesh.
How could it be other
than this?

Caught and released,
tip toppled
wasn’t it, then?
As I sang out into
your arms your mouth
your hands?

Hold me again
in your eyes
so wide.
Oh, darling,
how did it
how could it


  1. jane, i don't quite know what to say. you do this to me. is it only because i lived it? i'm not sure. i don't think so, because of course i never lived it with this language. once you have - no one ever can again.

    How I burned both ways
    with desire
    and shame.

    it is an unbuttoning, this piece, of more than a body, but rather of a soul.


  2. jane, i wrote this the other day. i don't know where to put it. i hope you don't mind that i brought it here.

    there was a night
    did you know it
    there were no birds
    only a grid metal fence like a mask
    two feet before me
    i looked up
    you were behind me
    a plane passed overhead
    i didn't know if you might kill me there
    hands around my throat
    or perhaps with the butt of a shovel
    and i didn't care
    overhead a plane cut the distance
    a white sentence in the black night

    the sentence read
    i love you no matter what

    that is how i loved you
    i loved you with disregard for life
    within the bounds of tragedy
    i loved you destructively
    as though life were but a cotton cloth
    and the world a scrub board with an old woman's tight hands
    surely it would wear through
    and i didn't care

    i put my heart out there like the cloth before the sky
    and dared it
    to be ground


  3. And, now, I don't quite know what to say.
    Your piece seems much darker to me, but I can feel the thread of destructive desire--burn me, consume me, grind me down, bury me. And what is that? Something so strong it feels elemental, as though we were born with a self-destruct switch inside.

    Thank you for saying "unbuttoning," because it is. This piece surprised me. I hadn't realized how easily I slipped into an "affair." I had to put the ~~~~~~~ break to ease my own mind of some culpability, but I was already guilty before I even met the new lover. It also shows me that no matter how much I may wish to deny it, I am dangerously and passionately in love with drama.
    But I'm not throwing myself in front of that train, not yet.

  4. jane, that you said you were in love with drama...!!! on a trip back from the east coast this past fall i read a beginner's book about Buddhism by Pema Chödrön. she warns against being addicted to drama. i had never thought of it before but i saw how it both infused my days and confused my path. i am wary of it now. i love that i can now stop and question my own motivations where once i was lost to heightened emotions no matter the outcome. i'm not healed by a long shot but it was a dangerous way to live. it brought me to that black night. and even now i don't regret it. those times, as dramatic as they were, as tumultuous, they offered me my largest growing session.

    i wrote just recently to a friend that i watch myself now as though i am an animal in the bushes, wary of myself. i too never believed never-ever that i would enter such a relationship. and now on the other side of it i know that everything i was was screaming out for it. i needed to destroy my life, not just leave it. i didn't know how to leave. and oddly enough at the time i didn't have the language to even understand that i wanted or needed to leave.

    thank you so much for sharing and allowing me to share. there's not much a venue for this kind of discussion:)


  5. Thank You Thank You Thank You

    Awareness, Acceptance, Action
    That's from the 12 steppers.

    Awareness is huge. I know I commented on another post that I didn't know. It was so shocking for me to discover all that I didn't know or understand about myself and my actions. And at times it can be pretty rough. And ongoing.
    I bitched in "emily strong" about everything being a "fucking process" as though I wished to be struck with a blinding moment of grace (as though I could handle that!). But the universe is showing me something--a lesson in tenderness and patience and compassion. I'd like to live in the land of wonder and love as well.
    My writing is troubling and exciting me right now. I'm so glad to have someone who hears and sees me.