ApproachOctober 30, 2006, 09:22 PM
The configuration of your desire, Monsieur, is complex. The beauty of women, how does it move you?
Scent of her kisses, tender cleavage, your lips, the way she holds you in her tiny hands, what it would be like to plunge yourself into her? She in whom you would obliterate.
Lust and bliss, loin and heart adaze. Or perhaps it is frenzy, a blindness?
Do we fall into what dissembles us?
A whirlpool, its swirling whorls,
naked against the onrush.
Is it that we are always approaching what we can never give ourselves to?
Go Backwards Along the Path to Go ForwardOctober 25, 2006, 12:00 PM
Audio Poetry Recording (9:27min): Cable/DSL
; or Dial-up
*If your pop-up blocker is over-zealous, and won't open the SoundClick window, email me at brenda dot clews at gmail dot com, and I'll send the .mp3 file - it's 5.4MB.Recorded this suite of poems in the Summer, wasn't sure, oh you know the drill, but now, sharing...
More of a drama in this reading, I think. Each poem recorded separately and then spliced, so the readings shift in tone and tenor.
Busy couple of days, and then at a conference on Thursday, where I'm presenting twice, and may or may not post again until after Sunday, but I will write in my notebook, yes!
Listen in the dark, or when you're quiet. The poems in the recording:
2. Technorati Tag Poem
3. Mantra, a Meditation
4. Painting Time
5. Without A Guide
6. What Revelations Are to Come?
7. After Watching Kurosawa's 'Rapsody in August'
8. Sultry Dark Air
9. Heliotropic Coda(©Brenda Clews)
FlowerOctober 22, 2006, 06:50 PM
Awakening to the self, but this implies a stasis, stability, security of self, that I am knowable to myself; whereas, I'm not. The mystery of unfolding, rather.
Lying on the floor, awakening, our fingers, hands, toes, feet stretch into the world. That stretching continues as we writhe across the dance floor and then slow our movement to a Tai Chi-like fluidity and finally stop. A room of sculptures stopped in motion, some standing, some lying on the floor. We are breathing, is it.
Later, to the music I unravel my sarong and wrap and unwrap it around my shoulders, torso, breasts, and then brave strangeness and wrap it around my head and arms so I am trapped. I dance like a slave trying to find freedom, from the position of stasis, stability, security of a self. I know freedom is terrifying. With nothing to constrain you, fetter, contain, weigh, what would you do, who would you be?
If we could forget about being watched, read, observed, judged, about the unceasing gaze of the other, what would we be, produce, live?
In what ways do we keep each other in check, clipped, chained, trapped?
I struggle with the sarong I have wrapped myself in, pushing elbows against the tight fabric and turning and falling and gyrating in a self-imposed prison. Because the sarong is in shades of blue I am especially reminded of the burqa, of societies which contain the energy of the woman in well-defined boundaries. I am reminded of living mummies, torture victims, Michelangelo's slaves, of enslavement from without; of the woman in the VIII Swords in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck when we are enslaved from within. I dance my life's struggles.
Twirling, fighting for release along the wall, my private anguish become visible. My upper body and head entirely enwrapped, I am enrapt with an invisibility that gives me the freedom to struggle for inner freedom, but the session is over. I peel off the sarong like a ribbon of skin and sit in the circle, wondering if any of us is closer to who we are.
We are newly reunited, this group. A flower of love is blossoming in the room in the centre of the circle and we are its petals. Here we are free to struggle with pain or joy, to wilt or face the sun while being supported by the roots, our deeper connections.
Many of us hug our teacher, who is newly returned and who holds this space of transformation sacred.
ClichesOctober 19, 2006, 11:18 PM
(I may be updating this & the next post in between calls today... they're a bit sketchy still... in this one, for instance, there was a real clash with "the muse" that I could imagine as a "scene" of some sort, we'll see.)
What made the pale suite washed out, drained, anemic? Was it the eloquent executive furniture, the large walnut veneer desks, strategic abstract paintings of desert yellow with some red drips, couches and dried flower arrangements all color-coded in muted tones, a whole suite of executive offices abandoned, places of corporate battles where victories were savoured or wounds sustained, and where profits increased yearly, ever-plundering the populace, until the merger and the redundancy and the emptiness? A commercial insurance company that banked on the stability of the world, drew profits from potential disaster, disasters that could be counted on not to happen but which could be insured against none-the-less. A wealthy world, this --- swish of fine, worsted wool suits, stout bellies and fat expense accounts, of the supremacy of numbers, the tallies of the underwriter who tabulates worth and value and what staving against the inevitability of decline will cost you, enabling an elite business corps to maintain itself, a world of infinitely regressive cliches. One that now lies empty, recently vacated, pale in the cool morning light, surveyed over a styrofoam cup of weak coffee.
What I want to say is that my muse doesn't understand that money needs to be made in order to live.
Afterwards at a cafe, the green tomato on the vine in the window box that ran around the empty outdoor patio next to the red flowering geranium. So sour that looking at it through a closed window made it break open on your tongue, green and puckering, coupled with frilly, vibrant, sensuous red petals.
interlacings of loveOctober 17, 2006, 12:29 PM
I can feel your presence, mon amour
, pressing in on me and I imagine you vividly in this room whose walls are covered in paintings, and can almost see you in the night light, as if you are present and flowing around me, but you are not here and I want to solidify in this moment, and yet I know you are
here, like a spectre, because you love me.
It is an odd thing, Monsieur
, that I feel loved by those who have abandoned me.
And of course, I love
Reading Writhing LettersOctober 17, 2006, 12:03 PM
When the letters began curling like tiny writhing black snakes on the page,
the ability to read.
The letters floated somewhere between the paper and my eyes, hovered, hallucinatory, unreadable, and I couldn't catch them or make them form words or sentences through I knew coherency was there, below the
if I could just
make them sit
When it came back, focus, and the words stayed on the page, I read a book a day and didn't stop for 15 years.
I gluttonized on words, gorged.
I pushed myself through tome after tome, hour after hour; I let books open other books; I kept ledgers of copious notes, and dozens of journals.
I read all night. I read with urgency, as if my life depended on it. All of the classics, the 'great' books, 'great' writers, 'great' thinkers. Did I waste my youth reading Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Bacon and Shakespeare?
It's all fleeting.
But when the words stayed still, lying in neat rows on the pages, I raced through them. Who knew how long I had?
EvanescenceOctober 17, 2006, 11:48 AM
It is fleeting, ephemeral, fragile --- beauty,
Silence of the deep sleep, death,
OuroborosOctober 17, 2006, 10:02 AM
Monsieur, you have been absent, I thought you had forgotten me. The spelunker of snakes? It alarms you, this imagination of mine.
All my life I have hallucinated snakes.
Even now, they come out of the shower head, slither down my back, small pythons, Black Mambas, always in stone grey or black. Sometimes I become rigid with fear, the hot hissing water.
Ground myself: concentrate on the tiles, the shower curtain, the soap, the wash cloth. Push out sensations of snakes dropping on my head, slithering down my back. Remnants of memories of watching the poor creatures swinging on sticks in the air until their backbones broke and they went limp. It was a game, in a circle laughing.
Terrors of a memory gone awry, misplacing splices of the past out-of-context in the present: I step onto floors thick with writhing serpents, but they aren't real. This phobia of mine.
Freud's interpretation was very narrow; Jung's was better, except that they don't automatically signify psychic fragmentation if they're not dynamically balanced, as revealed in spontaneously individuated mandalas, symbols of wholeness.
Once I did a long research paper on serpents and the winged kind, dragons, in Western art, and explored many mythologies. From Egyptian cobra worship, to Graeco-Roman Medusas, to the Judeo-Christian myth of the Fall from Eden due to the guiles of the Satanic snake, to all the St. Georges' and other Courtly Love heroes fighting all the dragons who had taken over the land and were demanding fresh virgins, to modern day snake cults and Goddess lore, to the R-Complex, or brain at the base of our skulls, the reptilian one, that controls automatic functions.
For me, Monsieur: the power of the Minoan Snake Goddess who holds live serpents in each hand; and the Greek understanding that serpents enable us to enter the mysteries of the chthonic earth itself. They have become a motile symbol of my creativity.
I collect serpent jewelry. Wrapped around my fingers are silver snake rings, silver serpents coil around the tubes that form my dangling earrings, another embraces a crystal pendant that hangs on a chain and falls between my breasts, and my arms are braceleted by silver cobras.
Once when I was young, in a bikini sunbathing alone, a man, himself no more than a messenger, a hallucination, approached, wearing khaki clothes and snake boots, as if out of the African jungle itself, in his hand a choke of snakes that he held over my body, and said, threatening to drop them on my skin, "Will you write?"
My muse is a Lady of Serpents.
She is the Kundalini, the lightning that travels from chakra to chakra in the awakening.
Yes, I have painted snakes, but they don't belong on canvas; rather, they are like the brushes themselves.
Monsieur, I have always known that what terrifies me is my source.
Death of TimeOctober 16, 2006, 03:11 PM
My words silt in the paddies of time, flooded with being.
Time drowns us.
Break out of time: escapee.
Leave the encircling fields of the centuries.
Breathe without tracking, calibration, rates, or seizures.
When time stops we die.
Blind WritingOctober 16, 2006, 10:38 AM
We have eyes, not to see the light, but to cry. Among the animals, only we can weep.1
Not the unblinking gaze of the ever-recording eye, but the pathos.
To undo the autocracy of knowledge, the way light has been used to mean power, imperialism, right, might, truth, revelation, enlightenment.
When we cry, the forms of the world blur and we forget what we have learnt to see. We move by touch, by the feeling under our fingers, by sensitivity, by silently hearing.
I write when I am almost asleep or just waking, when I can't see; I write in the dark.
When we can no longer see the forms around us, we forget the eternal forms, the eternal light. In blindness, we become visionaries.
Weep for the world; weep for yourself; weep because you can weep. Your heart will open; it will be raw, painful, and blissful, ecstatic: you will be the whole of who you are. There will be the other; there will be meaning in the closeness of connection.
We cannot see the images displayed, on view. We must move through life by touch, by scent, by listening. Only then can we see each other - through the veils of our tears. Our tears break down the walls of our imperialisms, our isolations, our losses. Our mourning and our joy: tears. Tears that implore.
When we have become immured, blinded to the world of cast light, our eyes will open to each other, our fingers will touch.
1Jacques Derrida, Memoirs of the Blind: The Self-Portrait and Other Ruins, trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1993), p. 126.