Tuesday, September 09, 2008

There's something to say

There's something to say for waking up feeling completely obliterated, right? There's always something to say, something to say, something to say, and isn't that just lovely? Don't you adore the ways we use language to silence our own language?

There's something to say about falling out of a plane, right? Or, about getting hit by a car. Or, about falling off a cliff. All this falling today, and there's something to say.

My point is that there was a time when my body could help, these beats I'm living for in this moment, these beats to open my head make me feel something other than shut-off overwhelm sadness and dread, there was a point when shoulder to the left and head around hips moving feet in ground and up, back down, up -- there was a point when such movement, the movement of body into beat into and out of this world yes in and out back in -- there was a point when this movement could rescue me. Not just give me a glimpse and then swallow me with pain and exhaustion and everything else I'm always trying to overcome. Today is one of those days when I wonder if I'll ever get back to that point, past that point into something like hope, hope for a way towards splendor not only mind or eventual crash.

Two days ago I felt better, it was a clearer day I was starting to fade but still there felt like space in my body for movement I wanted movement I went to Buena Vista Park. Sometimes I forget how much of the beauty is the walk up the hill, ready for that path through trees at first it seems too dark for safety except memory then it gets lighter. Climbing up those steps a bit too far apart for comfort, when you get to the top you're out of breath which means there's more breath. Exercise I miss that.

Up at the top, at first it was the usual, guys trying so hard to look like something else, someone younger butcher healthier no edges or outlook just grab for the crotch or even worse the ones who look like they're participating in some kind of sketch comedy about abjection. But then, wait -- wait for these lips this hug, rubbing this guy’s head and pull and push and pull and yes for laughing, it's me who's laughing and oh no, do I really come all over his face onto shirt? I would write more, write with more detail, except now it's the aftermath, face closed off again it was the nap that did it why do naps close off face it’s sinuses what is it about sinuses and naps and closed off?

But no, no what I mean to say is yes so much beauty and not pain, presence in body a strength that leads to sky that’s desire oh give me that desire that desire that's me. And then, the next day, the next day is the worst, the worst day, jaw so much tension and sinuses blasted in and yes, the weather has changed but also that dangerous angle from sucking cock, a different environment of trees and why so much hay, hay covering the ground almost like snow reflecting moonlight, don't slip. At least there are no mosquitoes, I kept thinking ouch, bug bites, but no it was hay, probably better unless hay causes hay fever. Jaw to sinuses to the middle of the night, wired middle of the night but no, no I won't get up although now I'm starting to reevaluate that strategy. If this is how awful I feel when I stay in bed until eventually back to sleep, disregarding that general sleep hygiene strategy that says get up and walk around because if I get up and walk around then I need to eat and I hate eating in the middle of the night when I'm supposed to be sleeping, it just makes everything worse, or who knows what worse is at this point.


ohthehorrror said...

How do you deal with the dread?

I know dread all too well from getting severely beaten by my father over and over again. But that was so many years ago. Why do I still feel this dread?

I can live in the rage and make it mine. But the dread lives in me. It owns me.

ohthehorrror said...

One last thing and then I will shut up.

One of the things I absolutely adore about your writing is the way you have broken free from the shackles of grammar in order to give voice to a reality that exists beneath its confines. I can see how some people might think of it as "stream of consciousness", but that's not really what it is. It's definitely NOT a stream. It's more like a rushing torrent of truth finally bursting free from a dam.

Maybe it's because I relate to your writing too much, but I always cringe when someone describes your writing as being "impressionistic". Impressionism is used to describe a style of painting (or writing or whatever) that is used to _capture_ reality. When I read your writing it seems like truth, not something that merely _captures_ one particular person's view of truth or reality. When you talk about your father's eyes and you say "his eyes are caves are claws are holes" (I am probably misquoting you) I feel the terror of the dawning recognition of being made less-than-human as it actually happens in what I like to call REALITY. Calling your writing impressionistic almost seems like a form of violence being used to bring about silencing, or maybe it just seems like a co-optation of the truth in order to render it less powerful.

That probably makes no sense at all. Anyway, I lurk on your site a lot and never say anything, but I wanted to say all of that. I also want to thank you for breaking all the fucking rules that gag us and keep us from speaking. Hell, you even point out shackles on me that I never knew were there. Thank you.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Ohthehorror, one of the reasons I blog is for the beautiful moments of understanding and support that I got from comments like yours, thank you I'm crying!

I used to "live in the rage and make it mine," but now I feel like I'm not quite there and I want to get back again. The dread for me becomes anxiety, a fear about the tiniest things, I guess for me I deal with that by speaking anyway. It doesn't always work, but I tried.

Now, this, is stunning:

"One of the things I absolutely adore about your writing is the way you have broken free from the shackles of grammar in order to give voice to a reality that exists beneath its confines."

I mean stunning as in gorgeous. You're right that it gets called stream of consciousness a lot I think because that is a familiar term to people and in some ways it starts there but then goes elsewhere, I'm looking for precision that sometimes looks like messiness. So no, that's not necessarily "impressionistic," although to some people it seems that way.

And this:

"you even point out shackles on me that I never knew were there."

Also beautiful and inspiring and helpful for another hard day -- thanks for saying hi!

Love --

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Affirming, that was a word I was looking for.

Love --

Lisa Harney said...

I agree with ohthehorror, and it's why I've been spending as much time here lately.

I feel inadequate now because I couldn't say those things, but it's true - and ties back to what I was saying about my reactions to your book in another post recently.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Oh, Lisa -- there's no reason to feel inadequate -- I've so enjoyed all of your feedback!

Love --