Ironic Tenderness

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We gather wounds but soon they scar.
We tend to each and one of them with affectionate precision.
So they can sink in oblivion like sugar in cappuccino froth

Until …
on days when weather changes briskly
(As it would, right? in a city like ours)
A fluorescent thud alights under each memory of a scar
Filling the city people with iridescent melancholy
that gathers in the middle of our chest
It pulsates, 1, 2, 3 …and maybe 4
Into the rose buds of our hearts
Fringed by etiolated petals.

The Little Mermaid (who eventually grew up)

What if we’re actually withholding something worth saying but we’re petrified? What if we are worthy?

When I first read The Little Mermaid ( Hans Christian Anderson version, not Disney) I cried. The mermaid in the original story trades her voice for a pair of human legs. So she can be like the Prince she falls involve with. Now, that in itself is sad but she also feels immense pain with every step that she takes. For the sake of clarity, let’s think about the mermaid as the person which goes through a series of transformations and the Prince as the goal we are trying to reach( job, promotions, projects, unleashed creativity)

That’s how I felt before having a real conversation: in pain and with the certainty that my voice won’t be heard.

That’s how I felt in primary school. That’s how I felt when I tried to speak to my parents. I then started writing(what can a mute mermaid do? I discovered a sense of freedom in that)  But it still wasn’t a conversation. I decided to go to the creative writing group at the university and read my first attempts. When my teacher told me that my writing was awful I stopped writing for 3 years.

(After all,  what was I trying to add? And who was I, anyway?)

Now, that’s how you break someone’s legs! That’s how you reduce to silence…

So the mermaid walks aimlessly and painfully. Has employers, some good, some bad. I had 2 bad experiences when it comes to  jobs. The first one weighed on me until I couldn’t take it any more and I left. (I wrote about it some  years ago) The second was bad but I decided to speak up. I had this belief that things will never change unless I spoke up. And I did. I still quit but I was different, transformed. I started to imagine that those legs belonged to me and I stopped walking without purpose.

Am I still scared to speak up?

Of course!

But every single statement that I make makes me.

I am scared about being harshly criticized.  When I started this blog I had to imagine no one would read it in order to post something but the feedback was so touching, it reduced me to tears.

What if we’re actually withholding something worth saying but we’re petrified? What if we are worthy?  How many people actually believe that they will not only be heard but actually be listened to?

When we were filming for “Forgotten Song” we met some children. They were begging. I came out of the car and I asked if they wanted to play. They forgot  what they were told to be:i.e. beggars and for a second returned to who they really wore. They played hide and seek with me. I asked their names and I saw the happiness illuminating their faces. It was heart breaking. These children were happy because I was interested in their names. What would happen if I told them that I believe in them. That I am listening to them?

We often  say that children are attention seekers. But how many times do we step into their vision? The mermaid in the story, in order to step into someone’s shoes gets a pair of legs. And yes, the truth might be uncomfortable but I believe that within the little mermaid something clicked the minute she found her voice. But the real alchemy  occurs when one listens. I suppose that makes us all human.

Wombs that Carried Me

15252650_1342980552419809_5979692732006251785_oMy grandma never wore a bra

she wore her bare feet on the ground

I remember the heat in the dust

and that I couldn’t bare it

with my city sensitive skin.

But she did.

She carried 7 siblings in her womb

5 girls, 2 brothers.

the brothers died

young

Ignat -starting his toddler smiling charm

The other

too young to bare  a name.

My grandma never wrote a word

but she rhymed for the dead

at funerals

like a poetess.

My mother never wanted me

or never knew she did

before she had me.

Tough times, you know

communism and all that Hell

she laughed like my gran

who was paralyzed by the time I was 10

It’s funny how my laughter changes into hers

As I grow older

Like an echo of herself.

I never quite decided

whether it was a symbol of granma’s Death

or Life itself

I see her often,

looking down on me from  Heaven

She said  there’s place there  for alcoholics too

as long as they were saintly.

She also told me that IT had no gender

or a womb for that reason

Or at least that’s what I wanted to imagine.

I

because of pure luck

learned how to read and write

I read all right

though slowly

like when I’m eating good food…

I write questionably

and very ocasionaly

My mum is reading more and more

when she’s got time around her caring jobs

she speaks two languages

one ok-ish

(I always corrected her and then felt bad about it)

one broken

the language of obvious immigrants

who got humiliated  by men and women

entitled and more “civilized”

and who was loved

by many

despite of her broad accent

or simply just because of that.

Who knows how many wombs have carried me?

As I look further back

I start seeing myself

More and more

And start birthing myself

anew and anew and anew

until I shed the skins of mine and their pain

After Pecan Pie Question

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“When tears gather up hurriedly up into your eyes-
Like platelets in their quest to seal a wound-
Is it because it is unbearably beautiful
This salty show we’re living in and watch?”
“Maybe…” said the strange Angel
“Or maybe not’ she continued with an ironic smile

“Tears must be free
They befriend your eyelids with gentleness
Their soft courage never harms-

I wish I cried sometimes-it’s a beautiful thing…”
She looked at the crumbs from the pecan pie and bitterly smiled
“Don’t leave them behind! When you become spirit
You’ll yearn for pecan pie sweetness and tears saltiness”

She looked like she was going to cry but didn’t!
All too ethereal for material tears

Is it because it’s unbearably beautiful
The salty show they’re living in and watch?

 

shifting title

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Before your image rolled around in my mind
Like a story with a shifting title-
Afraid of its final chapter-
There was that night…

The night when we spoke
As if there’s no tomorrow
(Because we knew there wasn’t going to be one)

We exhausted life stories
The books on your shelves, some jokes…
Like alcoholics draining the last drop of wine before collapsing.

I said, remembering my friends’ words:
“We’re pioneering a new state of mind!”
And I was filled with elation.

You uttered a compliment I couldn’t hear
Then embraced me.

Your kisses fell on me
Like chocolate mousse

Covering caramel Mermaids
Until our bodies were clad
In the skin on skin velvet.

The dawn fell upon us –
Cruel
And broke the spell with unsure words

My knees went soft.

I left
Going in the wrong direction
And on my way

I crafted a new anecdote to tell my girlfriends
About the night
Before your image rolled around in my mind
Like a story with a shifting title

 

Crushed Apple

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The white noise of my room is looming.

My chest feeling like  a crushed apple.

Memories, like sharp razors

Cut through certainties.

We walked hand in hand 

Across the frozen lake. 

you watched me drawing  funny little people in the snow 

and I was yours

Delightfully 

Utterly. 

Your astringent absence grows larger by the hour

Long, salty tears melting the lake we walked on

Our story drowning.