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I was a seventeen year old senior in a coed, catholic high school. Our gym classes however were still all boys and all girls. My senior year we had gym every other day and music every other day in the same time slot. The music classes, therefore, were also all boys or all girls.
She was a twenty-eight year old nun in her first teaching assignment. She was in way over her head. She was about five-foot-four and weighed practically nothing. The nuns in our school no longer wore habits and I remember thinking it was a good thing because she would probably fly away like Sally Fields. If you don’t know what I mean by that then you are too young to be reading my story.
The music class was a mad house. She could not control a room of twenty some boys bound and determined to make her life hell. I mean, music class? Really?
We never did the homework assigned; never answered her questions seriously; never believed her threats at discipline; wouldn’t accept the demerits she tried to hand out; and basically goofed off for the hour that was supposed to be dedicated to learning about music.
For some reason, she seemed too proud or too green or too determined to go to the principal or another teacher for help; and, sensing that, we knew we could get away with our childish behavior and so we did.
One day, a handful of us “got in trouble” and she said she wanted to talk to us after class. I was the only one that actually stayed. She tried to lecture me on my bad behavior but I guess my smirk was evidence it was not sinking in. Then, she started to cry, and for the first time I saw her as a person.
“What am I doing,” she cried. "I can’t do this. I am trying; I am really trying, but I am not cut out for this. Why are you boys so mean and hateful?”
I stood up in front of her not knowing what to do or what to say. I felt like a real jerk. I was a real jerk.
Tears poured down her face, which I finally recognized as being a pretty face. She bowed her head and just sobbed. In my awkward seventeen year old manner, I slowly opened my arms and allowed her to lean into me. And I hugged her while she wept.
At seventeen, I was no ladies’ man, and this crying nun was the first woman I had ever held so close to me. I could feel her breasts pressed against me; the heat emitting from her body; and, the delicate nature of her womanly form in my arms. I knew then that I was destined to go straight to hell for the thoughts that were going through my head and the feelings I felt between my legs.
She pulled away and whispered, “I am so sorry, I should not have done that. You may go.”
I simply said, “You know, you are doing fine, you just have a class of a bunch of butt holes”, and walked out of the room. It was that night that she started coming to see me in my dreams. To hell I go, for sure.
I wish I could tell you I had the moxie and the influence to whip that class into shape, but I did not. The mad house continued with one less student joining in the fun. I tried my best to behave, answer her questions, pay attention and feign interest in the topic of the day – but I was just one in a sea of monsters. I stayed after class and after school a few times to talk with her, ask her how she was doing, and see if I could help in any way. She was actually starting to get the hang of things and was able to focus on the few classes that were willing to learn.
At the end of the school year, I was one of the few students who had not enrolled in a college for the coming year. Because I was one of the better students, it caused a little bit of a fuss and a number of teachers talked to me about the huge mistake I was making taking some time off before going to college. It seems they were all convinced that if I did not start into college in the fall, I was doomed to never go to college. I challenged them by saying what they were really worried about was their statistics of percentage of students who went on to further their education.
During the last day of classes, the music teacher asked me to stay after class. It appears, it was her turn to try to talk some sense into me.
“So, I hear you are not going to college,” she said.
“No, I’m going to college … some day, just not this fall.”
“So what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know yet. Take some time off. Work. Nothing. I don’t know. Why is it so important to everyone? When the time is right, I’ll go to college.”
“They just care about you.”
“Bull loney,” I said, only it was another word.
She smiled at me. I had been dreaming about her now for six months. I changed the topic.
“Have you ever kissed a boy?”
She laughed, “You know, I grew up the same as every girl in this high school. I did have boyfriends.”
“Yeah, but have you ever kissed a boy,” I challenged.
“No. Not the way you mean.”
“Do you ever wonder what it would be like?”
“No. Never,” she lied.
“If I told you I will register for college if you kiss me, will you?”
“No. I believe you when you say you just need some time off. I think that is a good idea.”
Then she walked up close to me and stopped a heartbeat away. Suddenly, she reached down between my legs, grabbed the crouch of my pants and said, “Just don’t let this thing get you in trouble.”
She abruptly turned and walked out of the classroom while I tried to catch my breath.
During the graduation ceremony I saw her sitting with the other teachers and shared a private smile with her while walking back to my seat after being handed my diploma. I would never see her again … outside of my dreams.
I often think about my high school music teacher and my ticket straight to hell. Unfortunately, I never heeded her advice. That body part of mine she grabbed ahold of for a fleeting second those many years ago, has gotten me in trouble time and time again.
Set upon the new world stage within the burning fires of hell. Silently posed factions of the elite, suppress the true inherit of Mother Earth. The meek children bending over for millennium, taken spankings of bare bottoms, pelted slavery.
Upon entry to rule, the open stage of smoked mirrors began to reflect back upon the podium of lies. Taught by scholars from university books of political science. Fearful of leadership matching mirrored images, of false pretense, babbling rhetoric. The stirring masses of discontented, individualistic, thought of as dead - enders, trouble makers, and rebel rousers, rallied aimlessly.
With super hero, Captain Do Gooder, bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street. Weary lost hope combatants mustered courage, and accepted destiny. To this point, someone shouted against the wind of change. Felt by all who sensed the importance.
"To death do us part of the purpose to which we, the united, stand for justice".
The chant began, as Captain Do Gooder was dragged away, and cuffed, once bleeding helpless on the floor of Wall Street.
Damn the torpedoes. Damn the torpedoes.
Captain Do Gooder, fallen, bruised ego matching skinned knees, lays helpless. Who will save them now.
Second glances from high rise penthouses. Serving champagne and caviar. Brought iron clenched hands once hidden, to draw the stage curtain down.
With Captain Do Gooder nowhere to be found. The voice that came from pain of pupil. Born within broken dreams of promised lands. Realized nothing was coming cheap on this occupation.
The dusty streets found Captain Do Gooder aimlessly stepping against the winds of change, down Wall Street. The well-intentioned, arrested and broken spirited, lost hope of recycling any salvage rights taken from them by Metro.
Was this the end of the well thought out, pushed down occupation.
Was this the beginning, of the underground faction. Where was senior generation X hiding. Only Captain Do Gooder and the well-intentioned, world stage occupiers, hold the key to that Pandora's box of hope.
The peoples across the oceans were already springing far ahead in their own, more brutal campaign. For they had no cushion on which they were raised to kneel against. Tyranny ran over them. A lesson yet not felt, or learnt, or taught, in the new world. No chance of city mayors issuing eviction notices. Bullets, tanks and bombs were of the order. Brought down the line, traced back to the ones our United Nations to this day, refuse to acknowledge.
While leaders there home internet shop, and pump out the lies. Everyone dies.
In the heart of the continent of center, where unto which as mankind sprang forth, for its first and ever conquest.
The lights kept dim, to obscure the violent cleansing. A facade to disguise once moreover, the brutal tyranny for which the greed of the elite, control the dimmer switch. Diamonds and oil fuel the fire of war and oppression, on this stage of greed and guilt. Too far away, and too many distractions upon center stage for one to see or care. Thought and looked upon by most as racially motivated. The origins of all mankind, to be left, far too far, behind. The true forsaken people. Why is man unkind.
So..........will Captain Do Gooder raise the bar to which drinks for the house, and all around, will quench the thirst felt by ninety nine percent of the people............mother knows best.
Yet, still, self-inflicted roadblocks of appointed destiny, drop kicked long days past. Faint light shining far ahead, within the tunnel of hell, brought up to land. Firm above the depths to which it sprang. The truth of world order.
Wait......what do we see......do our closed eyes deceive our cries........................................
We see Captain Do Gooder catching second wind.
She breathes deep now and all can hear her war cry, no longer whimpering softly. As in past tense situations, given way to dazed and confused wall street *****es.
She builds momentum, as our brothers and sisters lay dying and bleeding. On the streets of some not so distant for telling, of what's to be, will never not be coming full steam ahead and plowing through the hidden agenda. One step beyond the line drawn in the sand of time, we thought would never be crossed. Give way thoughtless future tellers, and takers. Still holding firm with paper cuts, deep into the hands who printed and prepared such slave papers, kept by the elite bankers.
Captain Do Gooder returns renewed and refreshed. Our true Mother.
Captain Do Gooder feels strong, as bruised knees and scraped hands heal.
Brush of destiny sweepstakes, allots winnings of earth shaking, volcano erupting, tsunami tidal waves, with bonus draws of worldwide chaos. Future draws are to be held with worldwide winners. Grand prize, dead oceans rising.
The next generation have no fear digest writes the next chapter.
Hold the press down firmly wall street backbiting backbenchers. Drawn into the crossfire, on her mark, place the x on the next general who dares not fall into civil disobedience.
Captain Do Gooder has grown teeth, and she is biting down hard against the line to pipe riches, spoiled from her lands. Stolen from the first pilgrimage, fifteen thousand years old, lost empire.
How dare you steal from, and pollute the minds of her children. Yet old enough to drink and drug and die in war. How dare all of us.
Meanwhile back at the ranch. Captain Do Gooder hugs tight that tree of life, to which sprang all this elbow rubbing and diversion. Wall street huddles in her corner, painted red to match the lengths to which an end will surely bring to it.
Painted red for all to see.
The end to friendly letter writing, give peace a chance, make love not war, generation taking a bow, and snow birding it, to false sense of security land. Like the ostrich with its head in the sand.
When my life has finally left me and my last breath has been shed
And the silver cord is broken and my bodies firmly dead
I shall hover near the body, download the scenes of this past life
Noting all minutest details rolling backwards past my eyes
I’ll store these scenes ‘til later when I can take the time to learn
What the lessons have to teach me and help me to discern
How I treated other people, made them happy, made them sad
Examine all my actions, both the good and the bad
Three days later I’ll lose interest as my focus moves away
From the world that I just left behind, there is no need to stay
For a lifetime in the life of man to God is just a day
And my soul as God on the wheel of life must move along its way
I’ll take the download with me as I move into first heaven
It’s the first stage in the afterlife, in number there are seven
Here I’ll see and feel the good things that to others I have brought
And revel in the feelings of the kindness that I wrought
I will store these in my seed atom so in future lives I’ll know
They’re the things that I must multiply for my souls’ conscience to grow
For the conscience is the souls’ voice that guides you day by day
That still small voice that warns you in what you do and say
When that’s done my view will shift then to the things that I did bad
To the hurt I did to people that left them feeling sad
I will feel their pain intensely, ten times worse when in this field
For I’ll be purely spirit now with no flesh for a shield
These painful lessons will imprint upon my seed atom as well
In some religions we are told our soul’s in everlasting hell
In the stages of the afterlife, this is your punishment in heaven
This is the third and the most painful of the total seven
The Grim Reaper now has visited with his scythe so I will know
Through natures Law of Consequence I will reap what I did sow
He has shown me all my misdeeds and caused me many tears
And this purgatorial experience may last for twenty years
When my suffering soul recovers and the pain has died away
And I’ve incorporated the lessons to never act this way
In future lives I’ll be a better man from these lessons I have learned
One step closer to perfection that my growing soul has earned
Now I can sleep, Oh peaceful sleep, a state of heavenly rest
I’ll dream the dreams I love in life, of things I love the best
All desires that my soul has yearned, not a thing I can’t create
In the Great Silence of the spirit world to help me concentrate
The colors are much brighter, the scent of flowers more sublime
The senses are much sharper, there is no sense of time
I will see all other people as pure souls just like me
And I’ll know we’re all evolving to the bliss of eternity
I will hear the mystic music of the planets as they pass
Like a thousand singing angels, heavenly peace has come at last
Every planet sings its own song, we’ve grown deaf to this below
But in this super consciousness we’re in the eternal flow
I’ll be with my friends and family and others whom I love
The ones who left before me and currently live above
There they wait with arms wide open and rejoice when I arrive
In the fourth stage where I now live, it’s utter joy to be alive
I’ve incorporated my lessons, I now recall my goal
And my mind begins to focus on further growth of my soul
I must make further preparations and my vision starts to clear
I feel I must keep moving forward for all my works done here
I now have gone through five and six, there is just one more
In years it’s been from birth to birth one hundred forty four
The time has come to move along and leave this place called heaven
Prepare for life in the physical world, I move to number seven
My soul has gathered the material, I now know what I must do
To make some more improvements in the places I need to
I must take another body, I must live another life
To grow and liquidate more karma though it means more pain and strife
I build an archetype of the body that in future I will form
When embodiment is offered, and I can be reborn
I will see the opportunities and be able to discern
The ideal embodiment for me when the right egg meets the sperm
I will hover near the fetus, influencing where I can
And I’ll have the power to make it be a woman or a man
I will help to build the body to suit the lessons I must learn
To overcome more issues so more advancement I can earn
When baby takes its first breath and my soul is taken in
With the imprint of my seed atoms that it has brought within
Now the babys’ atoms resonate to my seeds vibration rate
Making it the perfect body for my soul to habituate
The new body will be my new home, I will live a life anew
Gain experience, learn more lessons, through the things that I will do
I’ll apply the added knowledge that I learned in this past life
More evolved than in the last one, and cause me less pain and strife
This will happen just as often as required by the soul
As it pushes ever onward, pushing ever t’ward its goal
Of complete re-integration back from whence it came
To the universal soul of life no matter what its name
Nature is not personal, it does not seek revenge
If we mess it up we have the chance to do it all again
We arrived here by this process, nothing’s changed it’s still the same
But our souls have evolved immensely since we stepped into the game
We started out as fallen angels with no experience on this plane
We’ve grown to this by coming back again and again
Though we cannot remember for each conscious mind has died
The feelings in the soul remained in our subconscious mind
And so this is the story of the cycle of the soul
As it struggles through evolution on its way toward the goal
It’s this way for all unfailing, from natures law there’s no relief
All living things go through it, no matter their belief
Oh well I got an angry email to begin my day
Because of my last post on the Jabidah thing yesterday
Galit sa akin but greeted me with Assalamu alaykum.
And kung personal Moro friends ko naman ito
They know I don't criticize Moro leaders
I always leave that to them to criticize their leaders
According to my friends baka nasa gubyerno or something
Next time I'll write na lang about the sea and the palm trees and the beaches
Pray and pray nalang para walang provocation
ako nga ang daming nag-message sa akin nagalit sa issue ng Sabah standoff
Ikaw pa kaya na wala namanng masama na sinabi dun
Alam mo ‘buti na lang you verbalized that kasi iniisip ko rin ‘yun
I know you have reasons and you know better kaya; I just read your posts
I don’t have to go against parties kasi both have rights
And the issue must be solved
Wala, kasi sa akin kundi independence lamang ang kailangan
May ganyan din kasing realities?
Minsan you are being asked or expected to take sides
Yes, my side is peace – with peace is independence
Yes, I heard that sa dating Jabidah Massacre celebration
Somebody said that, “Walang kapayapaan kasi walang kalayaan”
And that is very universal, kapatid.
Moro or non-Moro and writing should always geared towards humanity
That’s why for me it “anti-humanity” if you will not listen
Or suppress when somebody will talk about freedom.
That’s the problem with Filipinos, they don't listen.
Kasi the leaders may sarili ring interests.
How do you see being Filipino?
Ako, it's a cage, Filipino nationalism
Agenda ng mga oligarchs and landowners
Filipino nationalism is violence against Muslims and lumads
Kasi ‘pag ako ang tatanunginmo I will never say I am Filipino
Because Tausug it’s not a name but an identity...
I understand but kaunti na lang kayo
Ako sasabihin ko na I am a Filipino but I have reservations
When I was a teenager hindi ako tumatayo ‘pag Lupang Hinirang
ngayon tumatayo na kasi napapaaway ang mga kasama ko sa sinehan
Yes and identity should be critically assessed and examined.
Kaya if they say Filipino ang mga Tausug masakit sa aking loob
But not all, kapatid. try mo pumunta sa Manila
Yung mga Moro na malalapit sa mga institusyon ng Pilipinas
Bakit iba ang Moro at ibang ang Tausug
kaya sila naging Moro at masaya na tawaging Moro
May identity na naiiba sa Filipino
Pinag-aaralan ko rin yan and ino-observe ‘yung pag-yield sa 'Filipino'
‘Will give Filipinos a disservice
Because it is tantamount to be an accomplice to a corrupt system
And this system is the one that oppresses Muslims
At alam natin ang Tausug di lamang taga-Sulu
Pati Bisayan, Tausug din
As much as possible I am trying to make my writings 'away'
Away from Filipino nationalism
That's the right way for me and my writing
I will ask first, “How it is to be human?”
At super last na ang, “How to be a Filipino”
And the Bangsamoro struggle is the greatest critique to the violence
And failures of Filipino nationalism
Ang problema kasi kaya di successful ang Bangsamoro struggle
Dahil nagdadala sila ng pangalan na di naman originally sa kanila
How come ang pangalan ko ay Abdul sa rights
Gagamitn ko ang Juan para sa aking bayan?
Kaya war of ideas ito and alam mo naman sa akin, ‘pag ideas
And perspectives walang kompromiso and peace talks
I do not compromise my language, my craft and myself, my writing
Filipino is an imagined nation, as well as Bangsamoro
Bakit di natin magamit ang orignal nation natin
Na based sa Sulu archipelago and Mindanao
Yes, actually diyan ako papunta - papunta
Bakit hindi i-Bangsamoro-ized ang buong Filipinas?
It doesn’t mean na i-convert ang Pilipinas
But the spirit, the struggle it should mean something to Filipinos
It should kasi ang dami na nagbuwis ng buhay
Kaya ko pa na tanggapin kung Maharlika
‘Yan ang gusto kong ma-achieve: Filipinos should listen to Moros
Siyempre marami pang madidiscover along the way
Indeed. Ikaw ba ‘pag sasabahin ko na ‘Tausug’ ano ang maiisip mo?
Tausug is Moro and Moro for me is something that predates 'Filipino'
But now, I would like to know the concept of “Lupah Sug”
I want to know it, I think there are more and beyond Moro on it
Before ‘Moro’ was named to Mindanao and Sulu people
It was first name to Aceh people, Melaka, Brunei and then Manila
Sulu and Mindanao were the last places to have been called the name ‘Moro’
Sulu archipelago was united under the name Sulu archipelago
The name of people is Tausug.
Tausug is composed of different ethnics:
Arab, Banjar, Dampuan, Buranun etcetera.
The concept of Sulu as part of dar al islam
Is already a nation and state
Where the government is the people and itself headed by sultan or raja
Yes, and I would like to feel this from the ordinary Tausugs when I get there
I would like to experience this from ordinary Tausug and on from place itself.
In the hinterland of Jolo, their laws still on the ground not of Philippine law
I believe in narratives
I want to hear and feel this from the place and from the people.
And then capture it; I have these thoughts
That Lupah Sug has something that the Moro concept does not have
And it’s a bit metaphysical but sige lang.
I know my craft can capture it.
I think there is a language that can capture it
And specific craft that can carry its soul
Not fictionalize but put it in a form like a novel or a narrative
Which have their own logic and truths as crafts.
This poem is made after the conversation and sharing with Filipino writer Rogelio Braga who also serves as the editor of the poem. He is currently in Mindanao, travelling and writing; he will then proceed to Sulu Archipelago soon. 2:28PM, 19 March 2013, Facebook Chat across Sulu Sea!
You might wonder what happens during the course of the day with a profiler. I'm known as the watcher. Little insignificant things can make the difference in cracking a case. A subtle glance, a dilated pupil the tightening of a jaw. Let me take you back to yesterday so you will understand.
"Rick I need you to come in here." "Alright captain, what do you have for me?" "We have an Arson on our hands, Rodrigues is interviewing the family now." "What do we know about them captain?" "Husband and wife are separated, the daughter was living with the mom in the family home. Nothing left of the home, burnt to the ground." "Do we know where the fire started?" "Yes it looks like it started in the girls bedroom. Enough talking Rick lets pay attention to what's going on."
Captain Branson is an impatient man, he thinks this watcher stuff is a pile of bullshit. He's all about old fashioned police work. Still here I am detective first class with a pile of successes under my belt. So the upper brass have thrust me upon him. He tolerates me, in private he tells his buddy's I'm a lucky sh*t and one day my luck is going to run out.
I looked through the one way glass into the interrogation room. The dad was sitting furthest away. He is dressed impeccably dark blue suit, white shirt and a red tie with matching handkerchief. He also sports a hundred dollar haircut and speaks with controlled precision. While he speaks he looks at Rodriguez with a certain disdain. His arms are folded and he keep looking down at his watch.
The daughter is a contrast in opposites, unkept purple hair and wearing a black loose fitting dress. There are scratches on her arm that she is picking at. Several piercings adorn her lips nose and eyebrows. On her shoulder there is a broken heart tattoo that says Daddy's Girl.
The wife is a thirty something beauty with long blond hair. She is casual yet elegant, a natural look that has taken hours to achieve. She is on the opposite side of the table from her husband and somehow it does not seem far enough. As her husband speaks her left eye has a subtle twitch.
Rodriguez fidgets with the earbud as he asks the dad if he wants something to drink. The dad snaps back " let's just get this over with I have to get back to work." Rodriguez just smiles and asks the wife and daughter if he can get anything for them. The daughter continues to pick at her arm. The wife politely says "no thank you." "Well then we can get started." Rodriguez gets up opens the door and a large matronly officer enters. Rodriguez asks the daughter and mom to accompany her. The daugter rises and walks with a slow detached gait, her mom follows with a practiced elegance.
Rodriguez looks at the man and says, "let's start with what we know, we know the fire wasn't accidental. There was an accelerant used in your daugters room." The dad looked Rodriguez in the eye and said "so why are you talking to me? I don't even live there anymore." Rodriguez asks the dad where he was between nine and eleven that morning. The man quickly responds that he was working at the office with his assistant. Rodriguez asks if anyone else may have seen him that morning. He says not that he's aware of. Talking through the earbud I ask Rodriguez to end his questioning for now.
Captain Branson says, "we checked the Navigation on his BMW, it shows his vehicle didn't leave the parking lot till three this afternoon. Personally my money is on the crazy daughter, I checked and she started a fire a few years ago behind their neighbors shed." "Ok captain we'll start with her next. I'll be back in a minute I need a cup of coffee." I leave the room just as the dad leaves the interrogation room. Rodriguez motions for him to sit down. As he sits he crosses his legs and I notice he is wearing a new pair of shoes and there is a small white stain on his cuff. Once again I notice him looking at his watch. I walk by him to the coffee machine without him even giving me a glance.
Back in the interrogation room Rodriguez is sitting with the girl, she has yet to make eye contact with him. I tell Rodriguez to start the interview. He does the usual attempt at rapport building but it garnishes no warm and fuzzies. Enough of that he asks her where she was this morning. She says she was out behind the bleachers at school. He asks if anyone can verify her being there. She says no, she was by her self. He asks about the fire behind the neighbors shed. She says "it looks like you have already made up your mind. Why don't you just lock me up?" This is the first time she looks him in the eye. Rodriguez says he just wants to get to the truth. "The truth? No one cares about the truth, why would I burn down my own room?" She looks defiant and hurt, the look of someone who has been accused of many things. I tell Rodrigues enough for now. The captain says "what? Is that it?" "Relax Captain she's not your girl. Rodriguez bring the wife in."
The wife looks a lot more relaxed without the husband in the room. She sits back easily in the chair with her legs crossed gracefully at the ankles. She pulls out a lighter and cigarette and asks if it is okay if she smokes. Rodriguez apologizes and says there is no smoking on the premises. She says "that's okay I'm trying to quit." She tells him she started again after the separation. Rodriguez asks her who she thinks started the fire. She says she has no idea but she can't imagine who would want to burn down their home. She loses her composure for a moment and starts to cry. She looks up at him with her big blue eyes filled with tears. Rodriguez passes her a tissue and asks if she is okay to continue. She says sure she just needs a moment to compose herself. He asks her to tell him about her husband.
The large, bright Winter moon shone it's heavenly light over and out amongst the snow-covered city. The city was large, the city was noisy. It was midnight and the bustling still urged on. People ached for a screaming, gangs clutched for their money, the elderly walked the icy sidewalks alone and or in couples; such a beautiful sight it was. At the very top of the Empire State building, a young-looking woman with ivory, glowing skin slumped her spine up against one of the boxed structures set over, preferably the corners. Her eyes glimmered with a soft red shine in them, her gaze was holding and even dangerous but yet a calmness instilled in her body, instilled in her soul. She was confused, she was.. What was the emotion long forgotten? She pushed her head up against the upper part of the ventilator before closing her eyes lazily, then did she turn her head, watching the moon pester her with it's large size. She rolled her head a moment. "Why do these feelings still exist? Why does unhappiness set the mood? The consecrated belief of this form was for the lovely destiny of being what I am now.." Her long, wavy hair danced with the cold breeze that swept in her direction. She found herself entranced in the lustrous sphere, floating there in the confines of the atramentous skies, dotted with sparkling partners.
As she sighed, her breath came in a swirl of thick fog. She felt no cold, she felt no warmth. She just felt sick.
Suddenly, as if everything stopped in the undeniable present of the moment, the sound of civilization cut off completely. Not a honk was heard, not a gunshot was sounded, not even the wind that whispered to her so dreamily could tell her secrets now. There was a presence. A strong presence, and a voice; a deep, rough voice;
"Child, have you not learned? Have you no shame? Have you no comprehension to the reasons of your being?"
It was a male's voice and it was most familiar out of a lot of voices, she heard it so much that sometimes, she thought herself to lose even her own infernal sanity. If she lost that, all hope was lost for her soul to linger somewhere as it did now. The woman turned around, folding her arms over her breasts as she did so, her eyes set upon a large silhouette that hid within the shadow of one of the large ventilators behind her. The male stepped out from the shadow, staring over her with spine-shattering, shimmering crimson irises. He stood six foot nothing and had long white hair just as she possessed. His jaws were squared out and his chest was large. "I have but more shame than you may know, but, in general, do you know too much.." She frowned. The man smirked only slightly to where it wouldn't even be considered a half smile or any in relation. "You're unhappy. You're dissatisfied. When clearly, you are to be neither. You have been a Devil of Dis for some time now and I think, perhaps, it's time for you to control it."
It was only their voices and behind their voices and words were soft echos. As every city commotion went on down below, as the lights flashed and cars crashed, nothing seemed like reality to her anymore, not even in her moments of thoughts. She was always being watched, no matter what. She couldn't feel shame. She never had that chance. She never had that chance to suffer the right way and die the right way as well. A faded memory of her Mother transitioned into her thoughts. She turned around, her back facing him now. She kept her arms crossed. She said nothing.
He walked up behind her before placing a single, large, talon-tipped hand upon her right shoulder, gripping firmly. His palm was warm. She didn't look up. "You fight with yourself.. Often and you know it all too well, girl." She could feel the gaze of his aura-seething eyes pierce into the back of her head. She parted her pale lips to speak; "I've got to find myself, I suppose. But, underestimate me not. It's harder than I've realized." Her back pushed up against his muscle-bound chest absentmindedly as she leaned into the fiery warmth of his massive form. The pit of her stomach felt as though it would close in on itself at any moment just not too long ago and now, it felt the growing ball of fire that set ablaze to her chest and overwhelming her beating heart. Hot breath caressed her slim jawline as she soon snapped from her flow of thoughts. She closed her eyes, nudging her body into his suddenly when she found herself facing him unexpectedly. Did she move here on her own?.. She let her head rest against his chest, his large hands running over her curved sides and behind, brushing his fingertips along her lower back with almost fervent passion before she tilted her head up, meeting up with his sharp structured face and the demand in his eyes, feeling the same breath brush over her face. The female fiend leaned up, placing her hands upon his broad shoulders and just as she tilted her head, brushing her lips over his own once. He disappeared.
In the same moment, her body posed in the same form just as if he was still there before she stepped back, her large, black wings folding up against her form. His voice rang through the air or her own air even before it entered into her subconscious, acting as such; "Act on your own, for I will be watching you..." And as his words faded into the soft echoes of tomorrow, the shuttering noises of New York followed in from soft to normal volume once again. She stared into the velvet skies, spying a single star that remained larger than the rest of it's comrades. She sighed softly, contemplating this.
It is a terrible thing
To be so open: it is as if my heart
Put on a face and walked into the world.
Sylvia Plath, Three Women, 1962
Sylvia, ever lucent, ever opaque,
an incongruity, a clever imbalance
that spins collections her hounds facilitate.
Failures and fractures she bravely lanced
with noncompliance. Reader, rebuff collars
labeled as forewords, smug introductions,
for Plath’s voice is tenfold more a scholar
than those receiving undue benedictions.
Lofty beggars seek to bookend her words
and that empty space she instinctively refills
with her universe, a mayhem that girds,
unapologetic. Mirror images spill
over margins, searching for identity,
negating preamble, snubbing apathy.
Negating preamble, snubbing apathy
with language that flickers, catches, combusts,
her volumes of wicks, her lit soliloquies,
glint behind the stained-glass of trust.
There are those who are not really here,
they wander fault lines then crisscross chasms,
lost pilgrims who easily commandeer
unwary emotions. Some hearts just spasm,
pulled by their own nature, their delicacy,
for poetry is a weakness; poets die
between verses. Odes can become elegies.
The thin-skinned hear a snared rabbit cry,
and pray for the moonflower, always closing,
while cursing that page, unmoved and dozing.
While cursing that page, unmoved and dozing,
she corners rigid guides, keeps fingers poised,
synchronicity goes, the flow of typing
disappears, mislaid, that perfect noise
of a carriage return, a sound exclamation.
Joy is inspiration making its way home,
her Olivetti forages like a raven,
gifting found nouns, verbs that glare like chrome,
but love still flits, turns from hoarse requests,
and she longs for more than any man can give
for what snags worn ribbons will not rest,
it emits a strong beat, throbs as it loves.
Bless the bitter of life, all wisdom owing,
curse the open heart, its shadows showing.
Curse the open heart, its shadows showing,
for worldly delights take full advantage
of the wounded, their brokenness growing.
Everyday beauty wrings arteries, dredges
chambers with barbs, a prompt disobedient.
Fact, there’s no folder large enough to hold
elation’s girth, no ink conveniently
on hand to black out depression. So, scold
the yew, its roots and branches reaching,
then poke at petals for being complacent,
when all the while a candle is preaching
of give and take, surrender, luminance,
So, carefully archive apprehension,
revealing blue veins to tender lesions.
Revealing blue veins to tender lesions
requires much more than a room of one's own,
hours do dissolve, days lack cohesion
when milk sours and tantrums are thrown.
Solitude is in short supply, loneliness,
however, is overstocked; her mind tugs
at busy hands for attention, such darkness
contrasts to jammy smiles and sleepy hugs.
Elusive titles whimper each morning,
and short stanzas steep, so desperately,
all the while a manuscript is scorning
her swipes at dry crumbs, cold pots of tea.
A life sheds its months, gallows take delight
as sundials atrophy in the arms of night.
As sundials atrophy in the arms of night.
the moon blanches tidepools, suckles sand,
even the face of the clock is pulled too tight
and the new calendar can not understand
that writing is sex, is fresh bread, is air,
that time is a brute, quick fisted, rough,
that weeks come and go without a care
that a marriage vow is never enough
to mend adoration, repossess bliss.
Words make better lovers, rarely stray,
upon her lips, the impression of a kiss
feels as cold as sheets then melts away.
Paper sops afterbirth, accepts her all:
fossil and seed, shackles and free falls.
Fossil and seed, shackles and free falls,
unlocking visions, defying any cage,
art resists validity, upsets stone walls
to scale the scarlet heights of a rampage,
to breach the barricades to euphoria.
She excavates id, bares teeth at ego,
plays the parts of illusion and phobia
then infuses rhyme with soft indigo.
Colossus begins to shrivel as Ariel
unmans him, riding hard upon metaphors,
and will remain strong, constant, ethereal.
but curtailed are epics that still implore
like the cusp of dream long after you wake
Sylvia, ever lucent, ever opaque.
* For Craig Cornish, whose contest inspired this piece. Thank you, Daddy-O.
About this poem
This is my first crown of sonnets. It took over 25 hours to write, a full week of me-time!
These are modern sonnets and the syllable count is extremely loose, intentionally, as it would seem odd to keep things too tight when writing of Sylvia. If anything, I regret not being even looser, altering syllable counts DRAMATICALLY. Also, I used a great deal of slant rhyme for the same reason.
I really wanted to capture Sylvia Plath with this poem, and it was a real struggle. Her language is so precise, and I wanted to do her justice. I had wanted to feel, upon its completion, that Sylvia would have said, "Well, it isn't quite horrible. Not bad for a novice. And there are parts of me there, but only the smallest bits." I do not feel I did this. I feel like I didn't even TOUCH her mastery of language. But, it is good enough for now.. one day, who knows?
Oh, Sylvia's typewriter was a Olivetti Lettera 22. It was portable!
O P S
R - M A D - N
from its fetters
no power without the people
does power arise from any other source
than through the intent to control confine confiscate con conk conjure
computerize contort compel complicate concoct compress concuss conflict
confute condemn corrupt collar convict collectivize confound
concenter communalize collogue collude collonize commandeer
compartmentalize castrate calumniate crucify combinate cutdown curtail
curryfavour curb cully cuff cuckold crush crunch cross-question curveball
conform confuse criticize croak criminate crash cramp cram crackdown
countermine counterfeit counterattack corrode convert contrive
contaminate constrain consecrate
power is a venomous snake
that sheds its skin
but not its venom
free power from its sting
free power from belief
from don’t-not-look-at-me aloofness
from megalomanic mindlessness
from i’m-right-Jack exclusiveness
from self-opining holiness
from airy-fairy grandiloquence
from haughty vengefulness
from scary authoritarianism
from the love of command
from sexually dominating abusiveness
from un-empathic tightfistedness
from back-scratching dastardliness
from building castles in the air-ness
from masonic clubbiness
from musty brotherhood-ness
from stealing and selling-ness
from never-enough greediness
from carion-loving usury
from thoughtless puttingdown-ness
from self-aggrandizing acquisitiveness
from the love of pomposity
from the seclusive-ness of honours
from fawning and flattery
from foggy non-visibility
from armoured parades
© T. Wignesan, Fresnes-Paris, May 14-17, 1997. From the collection : « Poems Omega Plus : a less than obvious sequence », Paris, 2005.
Phantom Journal Entry 1
Wednesday 8:03 A.M.
I found Jesus at a bus stop this morning. He recommended that I comb my hair. I told him if I had any nails I would hand them over. Monty found a shoe full of vomit by a dumpster. Someone had an interesting night. This apartment smells like stale french fries. Frank is still sleeping on the counter next to Mr. Coffee. There is a stray cat clawing at the windowpane. The town is gradually waking up. The park across the street is filled with shirkers. My mind is still living in last night’s conversation. But I don’t remember it very well. Shit, I’m going to be late for
Phantom Journal Entry 2
Wednesday 11:13 P.M.
Work sucked. I think the bartender is an alcoholic. She hides a flask in her bra. It fell out when we were in the stall together. Frank is sprawled across the kitchen floor. Monty steps over him to grab a beer. The stray cat is now sleeping on the windowpane. Nothing ever changes from morning to night. Except Monty is drinking coffee and not beer.
Phantom Journal Entry 3
Good Friday 9:47 P.M.
The ocean left the brine. The girls here are all made of smoke, and their dreams are living in my beer. The worms are drunk on the stove. Frank passed out hugging the toilet. Monty takes a piss right next to his face. Some girl just asked me what I was writing. I told her that I was rewriting the Bible. She seemed confused. Her hair wasn’t combed either. The guy at the bus stop would be ashamed. I can’t remember his name though. The television can’t stop spewing poorly scripted ‘reality’ shows. This Friday isn’t very Good.
Phantom Journal Entry 4
Monday 3:12 A.M.
My eyes are broken garage doors off the tracks. I’ve drank too much Red Bull. She keeps waking up and asking me for water. Apparently her mouth is in a drought. A dead soldier lays between her breasts. Frank keeps drooling on the carpet. My favorite ash tray is tipped over next to Mr. Coffee. This desk keeps hiding words from me. Monty wonders how much a plane ticket to Hell costs. He never sleeps.
Phantom Journal Entry 5
Thursday 12:31 A.M.
It smells of raw fish and bleach in here. My palms are sore. Monty told me to stab myself with pencils to make sure I could still bleed. So I did. That girl ordered me a pizza. But I forgot it under the couch. The medicine chest is nearly empty. When Frank wakes up he is taking a trip to 5th Street to get more. I wonder if they sell bandages there? Will Mr. Coffee brew marijuana for us? My brain is starting to throw up.
Phantom Journal Entry 6
Thursday 12:38 A.M.
This desk keeps mocking me. I offered it to the guy at the bus stop, but he said he didn’t want anymore wood. The dishes are now a chemistry project. But Mr. Coffee is always clean. I can’t get this girl to stop showing me her tattoos. I miss the bartender at work. She got fired tomorrow. So I bought her a new bra. The medicine chest is empty now. Frank is never awake when I write.
Phantom Journal Entry 7
Thursday 4:30 P.M.
I finally got the garage doors fixed. I guess they weren’t closed enough. There is a ghost that keeps haunting the hallway in my dreams. She is pretty hot. Except she keeps tilting the pictures on the wall.
The thirsty girl still won’t leave. Neither will the cat. We may have found the cure for cancer in our dishes. But probably not. Frank is talking in his sleep about stepping on rats. Monty is listening to Beethoven while he attempts to write poetry. He is an awful writer.
Phantom Journal Entry 8
Monday 1:49 A.M.
The guy at the bus stop asked me if I wanted to drink his blood. I told him I wasn’t thirsty. The water was running from the shower. Frank was dreaming in the tub. Monty ate chicken wings with the tattooed girl. I can’t remember her name. I think that cat is hungry too. Mr. Coffee wants to go to sleep. There is broken glass sticking out of my feet. The sky is bleeding white. My mind begins to masturbate.
Phantom Journal Entry 9
Sunday 3:33 A.M.
The brine is looking for the ocean. The girls here are all made of smoke, and their realities are dead on the floor. This desk is growing a face. The medicine chest is full. Monty picks up a filthy habit from the black lake. I haven’t seen Frank for a few days. He must be under the couch. I robbed the guy at the bus stop. Turns out he didn’t really save much. The thirsty tattooed girl shattered Mr. Coffee last night. I will miss him dearly. Now my shot glass is spawning worms.
Phantom Journal Entry 10
Tuesday and I don’t know what time it is
It’s been 369 days since I last wrote an entry. I’ve simply had nothing to say. Monty is living in the streets somewhere. I think of him every time I buy a loaf of bread. I wonder if he found out how much tickets cost? That cat finally starved a few weeks ago. I married that thirsty tattooed girl. I still don’t remember her name though. Frank went to sleep in someone elses apartment. Never did talk to him much. The worms are all marching in a line. Someone stole my medicine chest. I think it was Monty. The guy at the bus stop was thrown into an asylum. But somehow vanished one day. The garage doors are now closed on a regular basis. That ghost finally straightened out the tilted pictures. I think I’ve been combing my hair a lot better lately. I am still a phantom to society. But that’s okay. Nobody knows my name.
PART One,,,, as she saw it.
The mountains and the meadows were always so beautiful this time of year.
It seemed as if a fresh new world always came to life. The high cliffs turned sharply downward. As I sat listening to the ocean tides smashing against the walls of the mountain below. There was a mild breeze blowing from the south. The grass in the flower covered meadows moved with the breeze. The sun shined so brightly I thought it would melt me at times.
As I stood up from the log where I was sitting by the emerald forest, the breeze pressed my dress against me. It formed to the soft round curves of my breast, down through the curves of my waist pushing against my yielding hips. As I blinked from the sun, I saw him there in the distance. I had thought I was alone. But there he was, starring straight at me. What would I do and where could I turn? I knew what kinds of thoughts men had, my mother told me all about them. I saw that he was beginning to move my way !
I saw him there as he saw me. I was paralyzed, not knowing what direction to move. Though as I watched him from afar, he did not seem dangerous as my mother always warned. Still, I could hear her words like a tape recorder in the back of my mind.
Should I dare take my eyes from his? I could see his eyes were dark, maybe brown, or even midnight blue. What ever the color, I could tell they were smoldering with restrained passions. His hair was long to his shoulder blades. I knew that because it moved with the wind. He had broad shoulders with long legs. I knew I must not let him reach me. If his arms entangled me , surely I would never get loose. And, I'm not sure I would want too. Even though I heard the words of my mother, running in my head.
I could feel the tiny beads of sweat trickling down between my breasts. I was not sure I should take my eyes from him as I leaned down to pick up the fan that had slipped from my hand to my bare feet.
PART ONE,,,, As he saw it .
The winter snow had melted and yielded to the bright warming rays of the spring sun. The bears had come out of hibernation with their new born looking for food. The mountains and the meadows were born again, new, fresh and alive with life. Everything was beautiful and as it should be. Birds singing, their mating songs blended with the crash of the surf against the steep cliffs of the mountain. Nature was at peace with itself, and I came here to share in this peace. To be alone with the earth, or so I thought.
I found a place to sit on the grass hidden among the flowers in the high meadows. So I could enjoy the gentle breeze blowing while watching the forest animals. The warm sun caressed my body and warmed me. It was a prefect day, yet something was missing. A day like this needed to be shared with someone, someone special. Stretching, I caught a slight movement out of the corner of my eye, just across the enchanted forest. Of a beautiful women. It couldn't be possible as no one knew of this place. I had come here for years and had never seen a another person before. Yet, there she was. Dressed in a dress the wind made love to, pressing it to her body. Clinging to the sensual curves of her breast, down to her firm waist and full inviting hips. I suddenly felt drawn to her and stood up. I knew she had seen me as she was starring back at me, as I stood staring back at her. She was a vision. And I was afraid she would vanish if I approached her. Yet, she seemed to be smiling, calling to me as I started walking towards her. I remember the stories my grandmother had told me of the enchantresses that lived in this forest, but I did not hesitate. I would give to her anything she wanted, anything she desired.
As I approached her I realized she was real. She seemed to be looking at me, daring me to come closer. All the stories of the enchantress my grandmother had told me flooded my mind with a warning. Yet, she was so beautiful, so inviting and I couldn't take my eyes from her. I was slowly losing control with each and every step that brought me closer to her. I knew I was lost as I felt the heat of my desire to be with her, starting to take control. It was a struggle not to run to this beautiful creature , with the golden hair, and angelic face. As I came closer I couldn't help but notice her sensual breasts rising and falling with each breath she took. She seemed to be smiling, challenging me with everything that made her a beautiful, desirable woman. A woman this sensual, this beautiful, this desirable was surely the enchantress, and I was hers. As a bee is drawn to the flower, I was being drawn to this women.
Suddenly she reached down to pick something up. It was just then I noticed she was barefoot. As she bent over to retrieve what she had dropped, the sun reflected off her spun gold hair. and radiated a golden brightness that was almost blinding. Her dress shifted allowing me to see that her body enhanced her dress, rather then the dress enhancing her body. She would look beautiful in anything she wore. The heat of my desire for her was beginning to consume me with it's fire. I felt the beginnings of ,,,,,,,,,,
Nov. 18 1992,,,, Short story I started to write, A friend ask if he could write from a males point of view.