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Romanticism and the Female Writer Romanticism and the Female Writer
by Abigail George
2015-04-19 09:28:45
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Grief is waving at me. The animals with their gobbledegook. Geese with their social cohesion.

Master of love what has become of you now that years have made us much more remote from each other. We are through with playing games of love. All that is left is pain after giving up and trying to keep the love alive. All that is left is for me to swim in the street of crocodiles. Beauties and foes everyone. They live and die in the same way that I live and die for you. I have words. I steal them like an apprentice thief. My misanthrope, my fundamentalist I hope that you will read this and weep. You were always my kind of man, my kind of highway. I was always your kind of soul, your kind of woman. I never wanted to be alone but for now, I am. I think struggle always comes with poverty, any kind of poverty. You fill my every waking thought and hour. You are all that I want, need and desire. You that belong to another.

It seemed from a Khoi perspective as if each wall had a bright force in the rooms of the house. Each wall had a brightening force. Maybe they all thought that our family life was enchanting. We were on holiday. Love did not rule. It just provided an experience. I did not think of making love. I did not think of love affairs. I only felt disembodied. I could not write. What happens to writers when they cannot write? Despair and hardship. Depression and suffering. A hidden sadness becomes exploratory history, sensuousness, waves most intense, and of course loneliness. The colours were brighter. The sunlight, the afternoon light was brighter. My heart was a poem. Literature. My heart was an elegant mathematical equation. Science. It was factual. It was a narrative. It had the sensation of a novella. Golden. Illuminating. Clean neon and luminous like all the night spots in Paris, France. My heart was created in nature.

In a winter environment distinguished by bedtime, by the goals of dreaming, by the roaring-violent sea, and by Virginia Woolf’s Jinny, Rhoda and Susan. I am a young bird compared to my sister who belongs to the elite. I long to be good. I do not want to compete anymore. There is no longer any sibling rivalry. You name it and we have every kind of addiction in this family. The sun is hot. The air is even hotter. The air is an egg. The air is world-shaped. The air is a hot air balloon. This is supposed to be a holiday. It feels more as if we are in the wards of Dante’s hell scraping silence and watching it peel off the flaming walls. Trees have no flaws only gowns. Madness has picked a location. It has picked me. It has mapped me out ingloriously. Nothing resembles the two if us anymore. She will have sons and daughters. Infertility and I will be inseparable.

In the middle of the night, my father makes his way down the stairs when the whole beach house is asleep. He makes a beeline for the dark kitchen and feels his way for the light switch against the wall. He makes me hate him. He makes me hate his hairy potbelly. My father eats the thinly sliced ham with his fingers. Not gingerly. The spotlight of the refrigerator shines a light on his sin. Does Christianity fill the void of family life? My sister has more of a maternal instinct than me as it turns out. My sister decided that instead of Tsitsikamma we would go to Plettenberg Bay again. It was a cool evening when they made the fire. The air smelled like rain but it did not rain that night. Dad drinking beer. Son looking after fire. Brother swallowing pharmaceutical. Daughter sweeping. Daughter making salad. Daughter making cold bean salad.

Daughter making creamy potato salad, preparing parsley and garlic bread to be roasted on the coals. In my head, my mother is smoking a cigarette (I used to smoke menthol cigarettes when I was an adolescent. Two a day just for the hell of it because my lungs were not filled with water yet). In my head, my mother is passing the cigarette from one daughter to the next. Father is eating crisps. Seymour is slurping his juice. Is this what is meant by aura cleansing? My mother is a free spirit. My sister is a free spirit. My sister make wild gestures with her hands when she talks. Swims in the sea with makeup on. I feel too fat to make much of an effort to do anything. I lie on the beach like a corpse. Son takes his shirt off. Mother looks after Seymour. Feeds him mashed banana. Seymour eats sand. My sister’s arms are toned. She is healthy.

I guess money can do that to you. They talk about the medium but I pretend not to take any notice. They talk loudly so that I cannot remain completely indifferent to them. All I see is the blue of the sky meeting the blue of the ocean. The plastic flowers in a vase meeting us on arrival. The pictures on the wall. Paintings of whales, stones that look like peanuts floating in air, Picasso’s fish and an abstract collect the dots. All I see is the rules about arrival and departure times. The words ‘Tree Haven’. They said nothing about monkeys or load shedding. They said nothing about cleaning house or that people, strangers would be viewing the property while we would be staying there.

Frangipani met us on arrival in a small vase. Scenic views of the sea and mansions. Horses and cows. Boats. Trees. The restaurant menu has names like chick-o-naise, capsicum heat, cheese mecca, sweet chilli chicken, and chick dew. On the bookshelf, I find myself staring at one book in particular. The pages are yellow with age. Has it been that long since I read Memoirs of a Geisha? Did I read it in high school? At St Thomas or Collegiate High School for Girls. When my sister was mother hen. It was too hot to swim we discovered when we first arrived in Plettenberg Bay but it was not too hot to eat. To binge eat my way through hummus, snoek pate, and cold cuts. My hair was pulled back from my face into a greasy ponytail. I had put coconut oil on my hair. I was a female writer impersonating, living vicariously through David Foster Wallace. I wore my hair differently. I became a different person.

The beach is for a younger generation. For younger people with a joie de vivre for life and laissez faire.  I think of my sister eating a monster burger and that makes me reach for my second packet of biscuits that I am stealing from Seymour, my nephew. I open the bag of crisps my brother has been saving for his films coming on later that evening. It is futile to curb my enthusiasm. Waiting for inspiration to hit and not curbing it. My sister henpecked everyone to death. It does not matter where you are, you are still the same person with or without the cigarette dangling from your slender fingertips, the pearl earrings at the lobes of your ears, hanging there as if for dear life but that belonged to another. Another life. Days went by and then it really started to feel as if we were on holiday. I watched a sunrise. I watched a sunset.

My father and I sat outside in with our bare feet on the cool cement surrounded by hedges, mint, enchanting flowers, the wind, the sun speaking about every topic under the sun. Speaking about the family holiday. The solar system of Atlantis, which was code for family life. The Ambronese George Project. Yes, the family had become something of a project like Seymour. The baby would sleep intermittently. He would explore. Stick his sticky fingers into wall sockets and rejoice when we scolded him. Cried aloud when I hit his hand. All I wanted was to protect him. He was not my own.

I had never seen anything as beautiful as the view of the sea. Gorgeous. Blooming with people. The nights would bloom with confessions and laughter. My brother’s confessions. My mother drinking with us. Her three children. I found a book on verse the second day of the holiday. I loved the paintings. I would stare at them. Picture myself in them flying. A bird with wings. A bird with a mythical Chinese encyclopaedia between my ears. This holiday was really Ambronese’s rapid-fire journey into hell. Noah did not have a rapid-fire journey into hell. I really am doubtful about that. The trees looked different in the morning. Everything around me did. The environment. The mushrooms growing outside my window. The air felt different here. We had brought a baby, Seymour, with us on the journey, my nephew, my brother’s son. In the evenings with the television turned down low, everyone falling asleep, my brother smoking his last cigarette on the patio I would wonder as I watched my father inhaling and exhaling in the bed beside my own what the wind was like on Atlantis. What was the sun like on Atlantis? Did people drink and covet watering holes on Atlantis? What kind if any of alcoholics were they on Atlantis? I am already dreading the trip back home. Restaurant here have names like ‘The Skaf’ Tin’ but we did not go out to restaurants.

I wondered to myself who would have a chip on their shoulder. Who will give whom the cold shoulder? I shudder at the dreams I have been having. How real they have become. Taryn crying. Percy pushing me aside to protect his wife. What kind of a girl am I who will choose not to go to the beach but stay here and babysit my parents who sleep in separate rooms and write in her journal. All I can eat now is two hard-boiled eggs and tuna. Sliced tomatoes and cold lettuce. All I can eat now is healthy. Is the solar system of Atlantis anything like the renal unit at the Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth? Out of this world with scary nurses that wear shrouds, masks, and staff the halls with them on? Nurses that will shout. I sit and wait my turn.

The clinic will only open at eleven o’clock. The doctors are as handsome as Deepak Chopra is. They will listen to you but you know that you will have to assure them that they know more than you do about what is wrong with you. Am I dying? The doctor tells me I have water in my lungs but not to worry I can still go home and chew calcium carbonate pills in the morning but am I dying. Nobody can tell me anything for sure since my previous doctor did not send the ultrasound scan with his doctor’s letter. The doctor that is as handsome as Deepak Chopra is cannot make out anything that the doctor has written. He even makes a joke out of not writing neatly himself. Inside the passage stands a deformed child. Every time they jab the needle into his arm he makes a face. I do not make a face. I do not think that this makes me brave. I am ready for war. I am ready for anything at this point really. I am so hungry that my hidden sadness has also seemed to take a family holiday.

‘Do you have a vein?’ the nurse that shouts asks me.

‘Yes, of course. Anything for you. I always have a vein.’ The sun has disappeared behind a cloud as she takes the bloodstained tissue taped to the counter off and puts her disposable gloves on ready for war.

There is no time here. No lizard’s master here. So I think of paintings instead and of how I want to escape and hide in the Hamptons or in the painting of that naked fat lady in the main bedroom of our rented beach house when we went on holiday in Plettenberg Bay.

‘That man must like fat ladies.’ My mother guffaws. Not very woman-like.

All I can think about is the jab. How many times a day in a week, in a month the nurse that shouts must do it. The trail of blood that the needle leaves on the tissue paper, on the arm of the person. In two months’ time, I think to myself will there still be a vein. Not to worry there has always been a vein. I can only drink a litre of water now. I still drink too much. I drink water like there’s no tomorrow. Like I am living vicariously through a living Tennessee Williams. Instead of alcohol, whisky, the single malt kind, water is my drink of choice. Drug of choice. I am sick. I am dying but for now, I am okay whatever that means. Nobody seems to be too overly concerned over my welfare. I am scared doctor man, watermelon man, nurse whose body is built like a whale’s carcass, who has a voice like a wolf’s howl and I want somebody to hold my hand and tell me that everything is going to be okay and not pandemonium.

For now, I think I will pray. For now, I think I will meditate a little. For now, I think I will look into the eyes of the other outpatients at the renal unit waiting to be seen by the doctors, piss in a cup, waiting for their blood to be taken. For now, we are in this struggle together. We are comrades. My mother leaves me here. My father, my father is an old man. My mother has to fetch my toiletries, my pyjamas and fetch my pharmaceuticals for my bipolar. Is it not enough that I have a mental illness and a host of other illnesses caused by the bipolar?

No, God said it was not enough.

Home. I killed for my brother. I killed for pleasure. My brother would gather virgins around him. The gathering of virgins I would call it or them. At the end of the day, they would leave our house without a stitch of makeup on although they would arrive with creamy lipstick on. When they would leave, their clothes would be ruffled. They would have missed a button on their shirt. Every one of them a diva in their own country. Some would talk a lot. Others would say nothing at all. Do not look at me, I would think to myself. Do not talk to me, I would think to myself. They would be announced. My brother would open the door and introduce so and so to all of us. I would forget them or at least try too. Can you ever forget sirens in youth? They were winners on the surface of things but I knew that like my brother they were dreamers. When I was a child, I knew what love was.

I looked at her not for her day in and day out. Love was mother. Nothing about the reality that young lovers lived in was real. There was always conflict. In our house, there was always conflict. I imagined there was conflict in the girls’ homes too. They satisfied my brother in ways that were unimaginable to me. These mermaids had mansions and I think if my brother held them close enough to his chest, if he held them in his arms then he could hear the ocean. Taste the salt in the air. Feel the breeze in his hair. What people could never understand was what I was really writing about? Was it my family or the men that I had loved, something that I dreamed about the previous night locked down in my subconscious or something that I had imagined? Was it pain, was it laughter, and was it fear, vulnerability? Oh, do not trouble yourself with thinking so hard. It is and always will be all of those things.

A mother’s love will keep on feeding you, nurturing you, be your caretaker. She will see you through all the days of your life when you are selfless, cold and composed. Sleep is the elegant answer for everything. It lets you forget and in the forgetting there is both a surrendering and a letting go. What is death? It means we finally meet our destination. We finally meet our ancestors, our people that have passed on to the hereafter. We finally meet our tribe of people. We finally meet God. The future haunts me. Ongoing lighthouses. I am in love with lighthouses and what they represent. To me they represent life and hope. The proof of both which is sometimes unreachable. The loneliness of the lighthouse keeper. Longing that is the future of life. Of our survival. We can call it many things but it goes for the most part by the name of ‘humanity’.

I do not mind the stars out. Out of the frozen wilderness came my mother and father experts of the bare bones of my childhood. Mum is all the shades of a lighthouse. Dad is the ship with a dumbed down crew whose bellies are filled with wine that passes in the night. Loneliness flowers and I become like driftwood. They are still there and all the time. They are ghosts. Ghosts. I can never, just never get over that and I do not want to be bitter. God, I do not ever want to be bitter. An amazing triumph. I have not come to that yet in my life. Have not experienced that yet to say. As I write this, I am lying on my bed. I love this room. What was my itinerary today? God, what would it be like not to be me? It was exciting when I felt the first stirrings of it. Desire. Desire was a man’s world. It was different, much more difficult to understand the word ‘intellectual’, even harder to understand ‘existential phenomenologist’.

I love words. Even ‘perverse’. Can an intense love be perverse and misconstrued? I always find you in war movies all dressed up in camouflage. The husband and wife. Protector and mother. This union shall remain forever like a winter’s tale or the arrival of winter guests or the history of a suicide. The more things change, (the more they stay the same) you will mature like birches and willows, the grit of granite, the codes that trees keep to themselves. The girl in me remains a perfectionist for the rest of her life. Her sister will never telephone from Johannesburg to speak to her. The one with the gorgeous dance. The flaming halo of golden hair. The one who is praised when she is standing near the mouth of the river’s edge with her pose or the shoreline with the breeze blowing through her posture. I cannot understand the attention that she gets. I cannot understand her glitter.

I remember the humiliation. I was brave. I was strong. I did not cry. Not then but now, things are different. I have become much more fragile. Illness has made me fragile. You will always remember being humiliated by someone you have loved with your whole heart. That energy that filled the hours that you thought about him was never wasted. Mum said when you came home; give your heart peace of mind. Even at high speed, not everything is lost. The sparks will make you shiver. While I am the drowning visitor, my sister thrives. People thrive all the time why should I be any different. Instead, I feel it acutely. This lesson on constellations. Why one star shines brighter than the next? My sister is the tiger’s possession. My sister is lying down in the playing fields of green pastures. All I can think of asking her is how does she endure this planet when I cannot. She lives. She lives. She lives.

I know she means to harm me. There is a sugar coated moonlight, wasteland, a wilderness history of daughters and mothers in my storytelling. I remember the sweetness of childhood. How I long for those days again. To experience that kind of ongoing joy. Never thinking of the distance that would rule my poetry and my stories between my mother and me in adulthood. I am living a lie.  I can tell you I am happy. Perhaps you will believe me. Perhaps you will not. I can smile but you will not see my pain. I can laugh but I can tell you that my life is a torment. I do not know cannot recall when I first realised this but I was very young. A child. I wrote it in my diary and then I burnt it until it was a black and charred mess. Something inside of me too was scorched, and I thought of Lord Kitchener’s scorched earth policy. I can feel the stillness of the earth and everything is beautiful. My life is unfinished.

I know that I am living in a world of artists, writers and poets who are interlopers where everything that is anything to do them, with futility, loneliness and solitude is a great source of inspiration and even the smallest thing, a speck is a wonder. Mothers and daughters do not love each other all the time. Sometimes they are rivals. All beautiful women are rivals. All beautiful women are insecure at some stage in their development of their formative years. Every woman is a romantic. Love when it comes there is always a barrier. You cannot always go in head low or high, chin up gracefully. You see you are always at the mercy of something. The man is a mirror. The woman projects herself onto him. What she sees in his eyes is what she will become in the end. Lover or wife. Mother of his children or mistress of his house until the early hours of the morning.

A woman will always be left with the questions of how will he empower her, uplift her, lift the veil and sometimes, just sometimes a woman will be a child in an all-powerful man’s eyes. I see men from a great distance. Almost as if I am anticipating showers of rain or if I am going to weather a storm. As if, two halves make up the whole of my identity. The half of me flowers, blooms multiply very quickly out of my heart, my lungs and then you know the rest of my body comes of age and matures very quickly. The other half worries me though. It has so much insight. Sometimes I think it has too much insight. It tells me I am already shot to hell in this relationship. I cannot stop loving him I tell this part of my identity. I just cannot. I wanted to grow tomatoes I said to the living. Give me a perimeter, the chilled earth of this planet, yellow gloves to plant haywire and haphazardly.

romantism01_400Instead, this identity said to me, if you want to grow something grow courage because in the end when this relationship stops working and starts hurting you are going to need it I am afraid for you. Do you want the seeds of joy, and then go home. Therefore, you will stand at the burning portal of love saying repeatedly to someone who is no longer there. Who has already left, who has already left you, you will say this repeatedly.  I love you. I love you. I am sorry. I am sorry. I am sorry. All that is left for you are replicas of the perfect man standing, waiting for you in a succession of lines. You will soon discover that this is not enough. You will not be hurt, wounded, caused pain, humiliated in the same way no matter how very much you will want to be. There are stars. There will always be stars. You can count on that but love I am not so sure of that.

I cannot make you any promises about love appearing in your life again. He resided in a dream world. He still resides there. He makes it a point to take girls to bed. You tell yourself with this key information that nothing can hurt you anymore meaning he cannot hurt you anymore but you know that you are telling yourself a lie. You know you are both a coward and a fool. Love is an offering. The night is meant for anointing. For pleasure and pain. Considerable suspicions, existing to discover treasure after treasure, and what of ignorance? How could that ever harm me? I am immune to light and to the discovery of that noble light. The power of missing the war in the fire of human relationships, dancing around the bear of that dynamic, seeing the distance in the eyes, the gaze of the lover with the arms and the skinny legs of a gazelle. I knew I would and could never enter his astonishingly white world.

The same way I knew he could never enter my astonishingly coloured world. So I tell people all the time, do not feel compelled to love me. I will never love you back. You are never going to be good enough for me because all my life people have said that to my face. You are never going to be good enough. Now it is my turn. Just because I can. Men can do that to you. Men tall in their office space. Radiating wives, children, bread and milk. Men who love fast cars. Men who love the word ‘sexy’. I no longer have any illusions about love or men. I know where I stand now. On the shoreline is where I want to be. In the foetal position under the duvet. Men have hurt me. You have guessed right. Have they loved me? No. What Camelot and what they have done is damaged my soul, the memory that I have of it and destroyed my spirit.

It has withered away into cloud people. The sky is nothing but a repetition of blue. They have destroyed that too. The grass is a marathon of green river underfoot. They have destroyed that too. The flowers in my mother’s garden is a progression of little souls. They have destroyed that too. Possessions. My own material possessions, branches with their songs, the cigarette with its own suffering, impoverished assignments of a female writer, insects in a hinterland of their own making they have destroyed that too. I keep my distance now. I know my place. Next to my father’s side. In the beginning, you would think that suffering would be brief. Well, I have news for you. It is not. It can sometimes last a lifetime, the only way you can get it out of your system is to go the Goethe, Hemingway and the Rilke way, and that is to write it out of your system.

I watched my brother. I watched his virgin suicides. Every single one a game. I am pain. You, only you will know the kind of game that I am talking about.  Girlhood, the pain of being torn apart, torn from your beloved mother’s apron strings, finding closure in a stranger’s arms, films about war, cold men in camouflage. Anita Brookner became Anita. She became the protagonist of a novel. A novelist in the novel of someone else, a young woman who admired her a great deal and who admired her writing a great deal more also. You will be all you want. I wanted to tell the girls who disappeared with my brother behind his closed bedroom door. Just believe and you will be all you want. Read plenty of books even the ones you do not really want to read all that much and you will discover who you really are. That you are beautifully wise and talented even though your mother might not think you will not amount to much.

If you do not marry the right kind of man, which means a religious man or a man who is older than you are so he can mould you into the perfect wife. ‘Anita’, you are not as flawed or limited in your thinking as you think you are. You are important to the survival of the species, to your future children, to this envious planet, to your own self. Self-doubt, selfishness, frustration, unreason will kill you. Be happy ‘Anita’. You have this one unspoilt chance at life so be happy. I called all these girls ‘Anita’. Not one of them stood a real chance with my brother. I mean a long-term chance. ‘The Anita waltz’ when they went away and I never saw them again. ‘The Anita phenomenon’ when they left messages for him that were never returned. Anita, I want to say. An older sister to a younger sister, do what I did at your age. Improvise happy if it so damn hard for you to be lucky at it.

You, Anita of all people are not arbitrary. You, Anita of all people are not lonely. Anita you are lovely. Anita becomes the voice inside my head. I saw a silence branching out of my head. Gosh, it was beautiful. Beautiful and extraordinary at the same time. I know that one day like all of these divas that expand their loveliness as soon as they enter our house and sirens with gloss on their lips shatters something inside of me. I know that one day my skin will wrinkle and sag. I will grow old. I will no longer be golden but for now, they are lovers. Youth is still on their side.  I am in shock because I love him, my brother so much. This fisherman with his love-sickness, this ugliness that pours out of his soul, this dark space of this dark horse like my cramped sentences, and I hear the voice. It says quite calmly, it is my nerves that are on edge but was not your man like this.

Johannesburg. I like you. God, I like you. I like everything about you. Your hair, your eyes but my ancestors say that we are not made for each other. In life, in terms of that great human commitment called marriage, I resemble nothing of it at thirty-five and I was not made for the artificial life. For everything that is fake. Life did not go around saying I was doomed. It showed me what living inside a work of art meant. In my case a self-portrait. It taught me many, many things and I soon turned from girl to woman. At the end of that journey then those words came, you were doomed from the start. Sorry I am only telling you now but I did not want to hurt you or else you would not have realised it far too soon. There is intellect. It is beautiful. Something is missing. I am missing. Intellect has perspective. Intellect has splendour.

Intellect has depth on its side leaving you to ask was that enough? Am I enough? I said I could not love you. I said I could not go the whole way through loving you. I knew what I was up against. Watch me. Watch this. Watch this transformation from a girl into a woman. I led you up the warpath with your sweet tooth. I want to live. You are too much for me. I am too much for you. You are too intense. Shine your sun on a girl who needs her personality to be rubbed off on the people around her. On her world that needs to illuminate the people around her. I am not that quiet girl anymore. I am a woman demanding to be taken seriously. Stepping into a room. Your girl has a lotus blossoms for hair. Your new girl no longer needs the bare bones of childhood to hold her up. I am all wrong for you. Elegantly and gracefully so.

Accept the fact that I must exit now. I want to be reminded of love, of having experienced it but I do not want to necessarily be reminded of you. The seeds of crocodiles and nightingales that you planted inside me, its harvest, its repeated harvest. Well, go ahead then and call it poetry if you so wish. Just do not be dramatic about it about the longing and the loss. I will take my cue from you. You are a unicorn, which is what you are so accept it. If you want, take it and accept it as my parting gift. I am sad when the light is sad. When I think of Hemingway’s Paris. Hemingway driving ambulances during the war. I cannot love you anymore. I just do not have it in me anymore to love someone who is not capable of loving me in return the way I want to be loved. I do not with moonlight and roses. Not with pizza and red wine for two.

Love someone else. Love someone else quickly. Let her be the lucky one. I have seen girls come and go. I always knew he had a voracious appetite for pretty girls. All of them were pretty. All of them had perfumed hair. They had trust written on their faces for the whole world to see. When they left, I could almost see them blinking back their tears. Stunned as if someone had slapped them in the face. All I could do was feel sorry for them as I imagined that I was felt sorry for when I left Johannesburg. You want love to be more than the rub of intimacy. Sunlight was a performance of a sonnet. Birdsong was a refrain. You walked all over me to get to me and get at me, to me you did in the end Lothario. I am appalled at your skill. You are an island. All men are islands and all women are birds. Life can be lonely that is why we need each other. Why men and women need each other.

Writing is wonderful. Writing is fabulous when all I feel is pain, sorrow and suffering. Man, you are in the wrong country if you ever, ever fall in love with me. I am alone here with my map. My map is your mouth and that is all I need. Words come out for your mouth. Poured out of you like weather and rain. That is when I fell for you even when you were saying nothing. Laughter and prayer is wonderful but only if you are in the right mood. There are mansions in the diagrams of poetry. You are a wolf. I am the sheep’s clothing. How can a person limit all the poverty in the world? With your mind, dear. Only with your mind, I am afraid. Behold memory. She is a gift just as much as the words tranquility and sanctuary is.  Books are like white picket fences. Are you happy? Are you happy? The voice says. I go inward. I am numb. I am frozen.

I am a wild iris. There is nothing but blackness all around us. It consumed me for a while. The trouble with this all-consuming blackness is that it brought with it poetry. I loved the face of this poetry. Trapped its every collective. I wish I could see you Paris, I asked once but now I see Paris wherever I go. Hemingway’s Paris. This kind of poetry has spheres that ask me to travel with it all over the world, across the ocean-sea. Lust has its own engineered oxygen here. It hurts when it goes away. It lives and it dies with its own regrets. With its own failures and velocity. I saw its smile for the first time. When poetry smiles at you it is like the first cry of a newborn when you bring them home, the cry of a broken heart. It is a miracle and a half. Do you know what perfectionism is? You do not want to know the half of it.

You push yourself to perform, to win at all costs, whatever the cost, the next day you wake up, and you do it all over again. I forgive you. That costs me nothing but I will never forget. That will cost me my heart, the personal velocity of everything that I believe in I am afraid. I hope you will have a better time at forgiving me. You wrote me a story every day I spent time in your company. Stories interwoven with losing a beloved, regret, remote cities, distant lands, countries, Transylvanian ghost stories that enchanted me, left me feeling elated, a devil in a blue dress, and then desire woke up inside of me and I did not know what to do with it so I gave it back to you. I am sorry. In the end, this is all I can say (it is not easy for me, all I can tell you that I am sorry I did not love you. I am sorry I did not return your love because I was ill prepared for the repercussions. 

What do wild irises do when it comes to planting season? I dream about them at night when I lay in the dark in my bedroom. The garden is dark. I breathe in the dark. These kinds of nights seem to have a dawn of their own making. Winter, is only like some kind of predetermined destination that I thirst over. I imagine it as a neural pathway or a scientific theory. I love it best like any guru and his enlightened search for self-help on that predetermined destination. I love winter best as if the scientist loves their algorithms and equations. Give me winter over you any day. I promise you I will never love you. I seemed to have started out at the ruins not the castle for some reason. The forecast said it would rain so I took an umbrella. Although I am no longer half-alive sometimes when I breathe, I think of the way you looked at me once and how the floodgates of my heart just opened up.

A man will never know how to love a wild iris. A man with swagger does not want to hunt for a wild iris in the dark. He wants to forget about the wild iris in his youth because the wild iris is the one who never loved him back.

 


     
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