Mirror repeats night

Avoiding the mirror,
the ritual repeats:
she drapes it with linen every night
while the magpies sing.
She doesn’t want to see her broken
self. She shuns her body.

The same body
that once seduced the mirror,
back when nothing was broken.
But cruel time repeats,
the days add up and soon there is nothing to sing
about. Bodies fade like curtains; they fade like the night.

She hides away in bed at night;
fat layers of feathers stifle her body
so it can no longer sing.
She has failed to mirror
the love she gives back at herself. Self-loathing repeats
and amplifies until she feels broken.

Her soul, it is broken,
needs elevating on pillows. It throbs in the night
while the pulse in her veins repeats
the pain. Heat swells in her body,
her mind a cool mirror
that refuses to sing. Read More

By extension

Let me be:

Your flashlight, to guide you through the dark
Your highlighter pen, to illuminate thoughts
The keys on your typewriter: push all my buttons
Your arms as they reach out empty and yearn

The password that opens the vault to your feelings
The file that scrapes away at the rough
A sling to support while you heal your cracks
A bandaid to cover your canker sore

The axle that turns your wheels to drive
The cogs in your brain that fire cognition
The rails you glide on to keep going straight
The skates that you don when you want to escape

I’m a chock-full feed-sack, receptacle for fodder
The pot that feeds so you’re nourished and fat
The depository that nurses all of your words
I’m the eyes that saw and the ears that heard

I’ll be your home, your walls, your safe
The windows and doors that keep the bad out
The chair that you sit in to bolster your body
The cradle that rocks you asleep from this world

Incumulonimbus

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How does one love a cipher, spook or fraud?
An incubus who wishes he was dead,
Yet penetrates his succubus in bed —
Such symbiotic nurture I applaud
How does one grieve the loss of an illusion?
Can one apply the real to the fake?
Twin vanishing, chimera, come awake!
Must I consume and purchase a delusion?
This thing was never real, was just a gist
Infection with such vaguery I purge
And cleanse all lingering of fantasists
It’s time to salve the lesion of this scourge
To dress and heal the wound that does exist
Rebuild, let light and good again emerge

Parasite

The empty parasite stumbles my way crying mama let me drink from your breast
Sucked together like magnets, I need your hollow mouth to suckle at my wellspring
Such a beautiful fantasy to nurture two lost souls denied their birthrights
Love’s absence is a pain I have known and never want another to endure; I can heal all of you and in it heal me too
So I give it up, I give up my breast, align my hollow parts with yours and watch our naked anti-matter bounce off each other’s dead cold skin like radar pings from alien lifeforms repelled from Earth’s atmosphere

Mother Gaia is on fire

fire

Mother Gaia is on fire
In her womb it burns and twists
Her flood of blood our exit wound
We are haemorrhaging
Caia Caecilia, goddess of fire
Protector of women
And hearth of home, container of fire
(Element of Gaia)
Save us all by shrinking flames
Create a heart(h) for our home
Our Mother Gaia
Contain the flames
But let the fire fuel our fight
Let it stay in our hearts
But not destroy us
Our anger’s bright
Our anger’s the thing that fuels the fight

While Gaia twists in uterine torsion
The head of her baby is squashed and dead
The brains of our leaders no longer work
They protect the tumour instead of the source
High ranking socios, psychos and pimps
They dance with the devil
In the dark of the shadows
Strangers to light they wander blind
Like moles out of tunnels
Can’t see what’s right Read More

Hallelujah

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The day of loss-tinged love is here, but
we all remember
when we were whole, when
things were real, if only in hope, if only in heaven; I
remember when you moved
me with your gentle glance, your tight embrace in
strong warm arms, you
and me, just us two and
a return to the womb, the
return to spirit both holy
and relieved like a released dove,
pure white and reaching for sky, our union was
moving towards thin air, moving
ever upwards, as we must too,
out of the darkness and
allow the light to enter every
cool wide breath
every heavy deep plunge. As we
moved in sync I drew
you deep in my lungs like air and it was
like life, it was like Hallelujah.


A Golden Shovel poem based on the following lines from Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (via Jeff Buckley’s version).

“But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah”

Online culture, narcissism and the death of human connection

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What are we doing to one another? At a time when we have the capacity to connect more than ever before in human history, we’ve come undone. We pull away, we ignore, we miscommunicate, violate basic, shared social codes and manners that were the norm only ten years ago. We blame the technology (which we created), we blame age (it’s old fashioned to treat others with respect, and totally “normal” to treat others with disdain), we blame anything but ourselves, our own choices, behaviours or cowardice. We fail others online by failing to see their humanity, by failing to employ empathy, by treating others as flippantly as if they were products on a shelf to be chosen from, picked up or rejected, consumed, returned, exchanged, liked, disliked and thrown away when we tire of them. We idealise, devalue and discard both strangers and friends alike*. We hide behind screens, pseudonyms, and advertisements of our selves. We play up our good bits, hide the bad, and some of us outright lie and manufacture false selves. We are commodities, we are products. We are the pawns and by-products of late-stage capitalism. We perpetuate and feed the finely calibrated machine of consumerism that we created by selling our selves as products to one another. We publicise and perform our selves in ways that were previously only available to the famous, to celebrities, to performers. Andy Warhol’s prophetic 15 minutes of fame has morphed and mutated into fame all the time for all of us. Fame 24/7. We filter and pose our exteriors into acceptable versions of us, dictated by still-more-famous-than-us plastic people who have literally sculpted themselves into non-human, semi-artificial life forms, people who define the new “beautiful”, who define the new behaviours. People who seem to do nothing other than perform false versions of themselves to high acclaim. These are the people we emulate in this visually-focussed, superficial, virtual, performative, narcissistic world we have created.

We are all performers now, all the time. We willingly gloss over privacy agreements and give consent to god-knows-what’s-in-the-fine-print, not being fully aware of what’s being done with our information, our representations of self, our most private messages and photographs that we exchange without a moment’s care with strangers, all because we are so desperate to connect, to belong, to love, to share, to feel included. We are attention hungry and many of us are not prepared to do the self-work required to improve our selves and our self worth. Self worth is more dependent on ‘other worth’ than it has ever been before. We are addicted to it. The chemical rewards from the dopamine and oxytocin hit we get every time someone “likes” what we do, while intermittent, is enough to keep us coming back like junkies. Intermittent reward is a principle casinos operate on to get gamblers addicted, as do psychopaths and manipulative abusers. The principle goes like this (and it’s been studied): give someone a reward, randomly, but not always and definitely not consistently, and they will return to you, or your pokie machine, for more of that reward, no matter how infrequently you give it, and no matter how much it costs them, and no matter how much you violate them in between the moments of reward.

What are we giving up in the desire to connect, and why are we so blind to the fact that we are in fact, more disconnected than ever? Do we think that 24/7 connectivity in the palms of our hands via multiple social media or dating platforms makes us connected?  Messages stunted by limited character counts ping out on Twitter, bounce around the virtual walls and echo before dying, largely unheard and not responded to. Not only can we not say as much as we want to, the tiny messages we are permitted to send get largely ignored in the ever-flowing stream of self-expression and content-rehashing that whizzes on by. It’s overwhelming. I believe (and hope) we’d all rather cuddle up on a couch with a loved one, breathe in sync with one another, heart rates aligning, sharing words and experiences. I also believe that’s all we are seeking from these technologies and platforms, which promise so much, but deliver mostly heartbreak and superficial human connection of a magnitude I never witnessed in the pre-internet era. If I have this distance and perspective by virtue of my age, then what on earth is happening to “digital natives”? Have their brains developed in atrophied and stunted ways? Do they even know or appreciate the depths that friendship or intimacy can plumb if conducted offline without technological intervention? Or only as an adjunct to the shallow online default we’ve all become accustomed to?

All of these outbound one-way, superficial messages, all of the filtering and commodification of the self that is encouraged by social media, has led to an unnatural growth in narcissism, which is endemic to and epidemic among, such modes of communication. Narcissism has become normalised through social media and online dating interactions and threatens to become a global disorder that ruptures the fabric of society as we know it. The tech tools we’ve created encourage it and social media fuels and exacerbates it. Narcissism, in its most extreme form = the death of relationships. You cannot have a relationship with a narcissist, or not a healthy one anyway: a healthy relationship is one that goes both ways, in which both people’s needs are met. Narcissism is a solitary mindset that involves self-promoting to others or manipulating others for the sole purpose of receiving attention and admiration. It is a one-way transaction. Without attention the narcissist feels empty, hollow, meaningless, like they don’t exist. Just as we all feel when our posts don’t get “liked” enough online. There is a real danger in this way of thinking. With a narcissist, there is no genuine exchange; the narcissist’s disingenuous attitudes and extreme fakery render any authentic exchange or connection totally void. The equation goes like this: I pose, you applaud. There is no depth to the exchange beyond flattery and self-congratulation. It is a toxic and addictive cycle for those devoid of self worth or internal fulfilment. Read More