Cuts

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You may not be able to see it,
but these new cuts are deep.
I don’t have a tough exterior.
I’m not some warrior woman
wearing armor to protect
myself against love’s blades.

I am strong, a fighter, yes,
and maybe also naive.
I’m an idealist armed with trust. 
I am ink and emotion and poetry–
wild, and winged, and free.

These are my strengths,
the best gifts I can offer
in this game of love. 
Striving to be true to me,
I extend a beating heart
in trembling, hands.

I take up magic and hope,
and words instead of armor.
I reveal my fear and weakness,
show the best places to wound,
ask you, trust you, not to cut me.

I trace my scars with your fingers, 
tell the stories,  the lessons I learned.
I believe that you are different, 
worthy of my trust, man of your word.

I’m learning, that your silence
is a razor blade I imagined harmless.
I believed it safe, maybe even dull.
Maybe you did too? And maybe you
can’t see it, but these new cuts are deep.

Love and Lovers, Sex and Bisexuality

“I want a life of a million lovers. I want to love you.”

“When I see you we will embrace and hold a hug long enough to glimpse some insight from each other’s heartbeat.”

“When we walk down the street we shall link arms, pause frequently, and turn our toes and noses towards the other to speak directly without modesty.”

“I do not think that our connection is somehow weakened because we do not share our bodies with each other.”

“For love is love is love is love, and that is what I want.”

“I only want us to fall in love.”

~Can We Be Lovers & Not Have Sex? on Elephant Journal by Brentan Schellenbach

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“A bi person has the capacity for romantic and/or sexual attraction to more than one gender.  For most people, that simply means that you can be attracted to both men and women.”

“As a bi person, you do not have to feel the same kind or intensity of attraction to all genders.”

“Understanding and acknowledging your own sexuality is a personal process and is about living with integrity and being true to yourself.”

“A sexual identity is about who you want to romance. Romance does not equal sex. Romance is who you want to hear laugh, who you want to give valentines to and breakfast in bed and comfort when they’re crying.”

~Bisexual.org

I have been falling in love with boys since I was six years old. I know well how to do this. I know what excites me, what intrigues me, what attracts me to men. I know how to flirt with men, how to use my mind and my body to turn them on. I know what works, what gets their attention, what keeps it. I celebrate that power, and try to use it wisely. I am confident in my sexuality when it comes to members of the opposite sex. I’m a sometimes messy, jealous and difficult human. I’m also a sexy, attractive, loving, passionate woman, who builds relationships with men that are fucking amazing. (It helps that I choose some pretty kick-ass men.)

I began to be curious about romantic relationships with women, about fifteen years ago, in my early thirties. Today, you see a lot of media about being bi, and there’s a very strong message about bisexuality not equaling confusion. I agree, people should not be asked to “pick a team”, that’s just silly. But when you set that argument aside, I can say that yes, I am bisexual and I am confused.

I think often about romantic and sexual interactions with women, and I long for that tenderness, that affection and softness, for that sisterhood and connection that don’t come from the men in my life. I have entertained sexual fantasies, and learned to build strong, enduring friendships with just a handful of women. I have even attempted romantic relationships with women in the past.

The most significant attempt was when I fell deeply and vulnerably in love with a woman, about three years ago. It was an awkward situation, as we three, she, our shared male partner and power-dynamic-dominant, and I formed a polyamorous triad, that was terribly imbalanced. There was a great deal of jealousy and comparison… we both had intense relationships with him and our romance with each other was hampered by miscommunication, unmet expectations and insecurity on the part of all three involved.

I can say now that whatever her faults or mistakes, (or mine, or his, for that matter) though my heart was smitten, and I very much adored her, loved kissing her, holding her hand, cuddling and sleeping in her arms — sexually, I always felt like an awkward virgin. I think she interpreted this as rejection, and it became one of several eventually insurmountable issues that led her to calling it quits.

Today, I still long for that feminine heart-closeness, that easy affection. But when I think of trying again to build a relationship with a woman, my head spins and I panic. I still feel like an awkward, nearly fifty year old virgin. Maybe I always will. Though I am at ease with some simple things, like the romantic side of female to female connection, when my mind shifts toward the sexual, or the energy from a female love interest shifts toward the physical, I shut down. I feel the weight of expectations I might not be able to fulfill. I doubt myself.

Maybe I am never going to be fully comfortable being sexual with a woman. Maybe I’m just going to need some time to heal, and a safe place to explore without feeling like I’m a disappointment. Maybe my relationships with women are never going to be as intense as my relationships with men. I can guarantee that they will be different, because both my heart response, and my physical attraction are different, in so many ways. Am I just inexperienced? Am I bisexual in a romantic sense only? I don’t know. I do know that I find myself falling in love with the heart of another girl. I am both captivated, and afraid of disappointing her. This is hard, and I’m a lot more confused and insecure than I’d like to be.

A Moon-Flower Nest

MoonFlower

 

She’s a blackbird perched in shadow
of a fragrant moonflower vine,
as dawn bruises the horizon
like the blush of cherry wine.

She’s been sitting through the darkness
breathing in the sweet perfume
of moonflowers blooming gently
by the light of lady moon.

Stretching tendrils have been reaching
toward the raven, slowly curling,
and her ruffled, ragged feathers
are becalmed by scent unfurling.

Soon the vine speaks, voice entreating,
“Trust me, I will be your nest.
You can stay until you’re ready
for the blue skies — come and rest.”

Tell Me

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Tell me about the word ‘trust’.
Does it rapidly dissolve
on the back of your tongue?
Does its bitterness burn
in the hollow of your cheeks?
Tell me, would a glass of water
help to wash it down?

And if you give it time,
will it silence the pounding
in your head, ease the pain
that settles itself like a
snoring bear between
your shoulder blades?
Do you think before long,
you might sleep through
the night once again?

Tell me about the word ‘trust’.
Is it potent enough to need
a prescription, a physician?
Can you buy it in a back alley?
Can you grow it in your
basement from tiny,
sticky seeds of doubt?

Battle Weary

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Maybe I’m naive.
Maybe I’m ink
and emotion and
too much trust,
too little guarded.

Maybe love isn’t pure,
can’t be, maybe
I’m bleeding
all over this floor.
Maybe I’m just tired.

Maybe I’m lost and
maybe everything
gets diluted, deluded
by reality. Do you really
belive in magic?

Because maybe
I’ve been up all night
arguing with my doubts.

She Swallowed the Moon

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The night when she swallowed the moon,
its light gave a glow to her skin.
She felt transformation begin
at midnight the second of June.

She hummed a sweet song, out of tune
and danced like a top set to spin.
The night when she swallowed the moon,
its light gave a glow to her skin.

The stars all about her were strewn
like fireflies drunk on sloe gin.
Though she had no ink for her pen,
silvery words dripped from her spoon,
the night when she swallowed the moon.

———-

POETIC FORM: Rondel
A French form, similar to the rondeau and the triolet, consisting of 13 eight-syllable lines in three stanzas.
Rhyme scheme = ABba/abAB/abbaA

Joy Lessons from a Child

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When you are four it is
noteworthy to own a key that
might open a magic door.

All maps should have wheels,
and discovering a car in
Your pocket is a surprise!

When you are four and you find
a penny in the carpet, it’s good to
share it with someone you love.

Having a puppy on your shirt
is the very best kind of funny,
and hugs are better with growls.

When You Let Me

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When you let me —
I will love you fiercely.

I will be deliberate
aggressive and honest
in my commitment
to your good, your health
and happiness

When you let me —
I will love you relentlessly.

I’ll tell you with words
with ink and paper
and poetry, how
my love for you tastes
looks and smells,
sounds and feels

When you let me love you —
I will do it holistically.

I will let you inside my mind
show you my fears
and convictions

I will share all my emotions,
ecstasies and disappointments
my sorrow and my joy

When you let me love you —
I will surrender my body.

My arms and shoulders
all the breath in my lungs
offer up my ample hips
strong legs and my sex

I will lavish you with love
from my star-filled eyes
my mouth dripping words
and my ink-stained fingers

When you let me love you —
I will open my sacred spirit.

I will pour out my dreams,
my whimsy and wild-child imagination
I will love with all the magic and
wonder a universe can hold

I will love you, truly,
all your broken bleeding pieces
with all my cuts and bruises
we will be two breathtakingly
vulnerable lovers:

your different-drummer musical beat
and your paint-spattered heart
my bare feet in the grass
pure poetry in my veins

When you let me love you–
I will inspire you.

to dance with words
to spill your own ink
and you will move me to dance,
play with color, paint
with my own vibrant hues

I will borrow your convictions,
your mantras and passions
use them to fuel and alter my own
I will grow and evolve,
sculpt better versions of myself

I will share each and every one
— when you let me love you.

Orbit

passing (2)

We are two celestial bodies — like ships —
weighed down with stars in a vast galaxy,
bursting at the seams with a cargo
of explosive, universe-creating energy.

Yet we cannot connect long enough,
to make exchange, to offload our cargo.
We pass each other –sailing in circles,
and occasionally our shadows kiss.

Our respective holds strain, and shift,
inner-voices — sailors to man rigging,
and mend sails — they grow tired
of these circling, endless journeys.

They are tired — I — am tired,
of seeing your smile from afar,
feeling the wake of your orbit,
and yet not casting out a rope.

I long to haul you in, to pull myself
into you. but you pass so quickly,
the briefest glimpse is shadowed
in darkness. So, I busy myself —

I check my charts, devise clever signals
to launch into the sky. Your response is
always, “Soon…” as bewildered by weather,
star charts, and creaking ships as I.

To Tie the Moon (a chance operation poem)

ropemoon

Women who tied
the moon, wrap it’s heart
strings, lows.
We dance, have
you again.

You rare body, to father,
belongs — but sorrow
on a shawl. Keep you
to you now.
It is a book of poems,
worked from your stay.

You loved man — absinthe,
poison and god.
Sweeten you — to
have your heart
to yourself like a diary.

Like ocean.

—–

POETIC FORM: A Chance Operation Poem

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PROMPT:

SpacedOut

 

To earn the “Spaced Out” badge, start with two dice and your source text. You’ll want to work with a smaller section of the text for this one. For each line in the text, roll the dice. Erase or remove the word in that line that corresponds with the number that comes up (i.e., if you roll an eight, erase the eighth word in that line). Continue to work through the text, re-rolling the dice for each line, until you’ve reached the end of your source text solution. Repeat this process, rolling the dice and removing additional words from each line, until you arrive at your poem. Experiment with space, illustration or other visual presentation to engage with the relative silence created. Post your poem to the site, accompanied by a source text citation.
—–

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson,  is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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