Autonomy

In Week Eleven of The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron says: ‘The idea that money validates my credibility is very hard to shake.’ I’d take this even further but substituting ‘money’ with ‘suffering’ or ‘childhood sexual abuse’ or ‘conformity’ or ‘pick your own.’ There are so many sets of standards to measure validation that one can always find one that deems them not deserving. Maybe its the nature of ‘credibility’ that needs to be examined. Perhaps validation & credibility a manifestations of co-dependency – the need for a sense of self defined by outside forces.

I know we are ultimately defined by our culture’s standards but that is no reason not to question or even resist those perimeters. Sure, making money as a creator is a good thing, I’d love to get paid for blogging 🙂 Very few poets I know earn enough $ from their actual poetry to made a decent living – they struggle for grants, teach creative writing, edit for other writers. But that’s a rant for another post 🙂

Watched an amazing interview/biography of Toni Morrison. One of the things she talks about is writing for the white-gaze & when she stopped doing that her writing took on a a different sense, she was freed of needing to satisfy that gaze. This resonated with me as an issue of autonomy. In looking over my archive & greater depth than ever I see how much of what I wrote was written for the heterosexual-gaze.

Work that I pushed to make universal so the emotions were human, as opposed to being specific to me & my sexuality. Not that there isn’t an intersection of those emotions but I was suppressing direct gay sexuality to be more accessible, acceptable?

When I stopped suppressing my gay-gaze my poetry became more personal, more honest & so direct that my performance opportunities declined. I was a bit disappointed but who cares, right? My writing is what it is. I once had an agent tell me my sex scenes were too explicit. I guess was not writing for the heterosexual-gaze anymore 🙂 Autonomy 🙂

One of the tasks is another list of dreams but dreams in different categories – health, possessions, leisure, relationships, creativity, career & spirituality. Wishes with no thought as to practicality. This was a challenge in the light of the covid pandemic – every list included covid resistance, vaccine in first spot. It’s hard to dream of a future with this sort of threat – much like the 60s fear of nuclear holocaust that coloured our lives. But I survived that holocaust & I’ll survive this one.

 

Beyond Instinct

1 – ode to didgeridoo

<>

we are invited to travel

along a river of breath

chatter fades after the first vibrations

as we immerse in the deep C

notes below the harmonic of hearing

dark trilling the mud mind

the ear canal overfills gently

no room to hear anything more

a wordless dialogue in sound

digs us deep from the moment

into pre-animal instincts

the music before birth

beyond notes seeking a sharp landing

<>

2

<>

someone asked me

where did these words 

‘dark trilling the mud mind’

come from

<>

I wasn’t sure what to say

I’ve spent to many years

deconstructing the dictionary

there was nothing left to say

there is no where

there is no way to take you there

I’m lost in this horizon

setting you straight is beyond me

can’t tell where I’m coming from

not quite sure where I am going

but I know I’m here

caught in a fulminating flux

by a power greater than myself

something I’ll never understand

as long as I open the the experience

there is no logic to capture

the freedom of the flow

the where words come from

isn’t up to me

anything I say will only disappoint

or turn into my weaving

some self-indulgent web

a wordless dialogue in sound

to lead you to my bed

in an attempt to humanize myself

so you see the me beyond the dictionary

July 2007

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee
sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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