March Chapbook… Words & Images…

Another slow dive into self. Every time I think I’ve embraced my darkness and am ready to re-emerge into light, I go deeper still into the murk. It’s not pretty here. It’s lonely. Frightening, sometimes, but no matter how hard I try to turn away from peering at myself a little more closely, I look again, awestruck, sort of like when you drive by a traffic accident and your head swivels of its own volition. Is there any blood? Any deceased? Curiosity tinged with apprehension, as the eyes survey the scene to take it in… but hurry! You don’t want to hold up the traffic; we’ve been waiting long enough already, stuck in this traffic jam of life.

I envy the “whimsy” art girls. They remind me of the popular girls in high school, dressed in Lacoste shirts with upturned collars, hair flipping just right, Farah Fawcett-like, banding together in their dimpled butter cream frosted cheer. I tried then, to be part of the crowd, but I never did pull it off. I didn’t fit in anywhere, really. Defiantly, I just stopped trying, instead embracing my deviance. But I’m quiet so who could tell? It was a silent revolution.

Why can’t I go there, to the bright and cheery part of the garden, where all is light and airy? I coo with the rest of them at the pinks and oranges, the gingham and flowers, the ribbons and ruffles and swirly things. I just can’t make them. When I try, they look like I tried too hard, and I never quite succeed in getting ‘there’ wherever ‘there’ may be.

That stuff seems like foreign artifacts from another civilization that I just can’t grasp. Like the natives in South America that were surprised to have men from a Spanish armada show up on the beach when the vessel that they traveled in to get there was bobbing offshore in plain sight, but their minds didn’t recognize it as a boat and dismissed it outright, seeing nothing but smooth ocean. They thought these men were gods instead of their impending oppressors. Amazing, the brain… isn’t it?

To me, color has meaning in a visceral sense. It slugs me in the belly, like Alex did, when I was four; he was trying to be a bully and succeeded, since he was already in grade school and whooooshed the wind right out of me. I got to slug him back, in his big fat jelly belly, because our parents ‘talked’ and it was deemed appropriate punishment. Betchya he wasn’t so happy to be slugged in his belly by a little four year old girl, intent on inflicting pain in kind. Call it instant karma. Wind for wind.

Color rattles through me like the wind and carries on conversations with my hands, with or without my intervention. Sometimes, like Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, I can see colors when I close my eyes; sensations translated into streams of light, swirling through me like vortices. There is a word for it, though I can’t remember what it is. There is a word for everything.

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