day 7: glitter

Not so deep in the bellows of my belly lives a disco ball. At night, I can see the illuminated squares rotate from within and when I pinch my skin, I can see the reflection of all my meals. Neon dinner. Rotating snacks.

Look closer, and one can see the ransom notes I’ve sent to various parts of my body. Over the course of many years I’ve patched together letters, addressing my bones and bends. But today, I want to turn my body on. I want to celebrate the glitter blinding me. Bits of confetti exhaling out from my pores and pounding me into a new shape. Skin looking a bit more like a holiday collage of colors.

Several night ago, I watched a human on stage dressed in so much glitter, one might believe they were a flesh-covered disco ball, spinning and singing about the history of their body and gender. I sang along because sometimes bodies share songs like maps in glove compartments all across the country and beyond. So many of us are looking for the same road…it just takes us awhile to get there.

Detours.

Potholes.

Road blocks.

Poorly lit roads.

At the end of this human’s performance, there was the repeated mantra that sometimes we must leave things behind in order to move forward.

I have traveled with this disco ball inside my body for many years. Perhaps since birth. I went years with it laying dormant inside me, barely reflecting anything besides the confusion of my blood. Only recently, have I rewired it, shining squares that never saw light.

I agree. Sometimes we do need to leave things/thoughts/humans behind in order to come closer toward an entry point.

Upon rummaging for this disco ball, I found more EXIT signs than I could keep track of. I went on a long walk in search of an “S“. Put on two scarves and two pairs of socks. Two pairs of pants and several sweaters to keep me warm– I had no idea how long this journey might take.

It had been several hours and hunger started to arrive in my system. I ignored the growls, and suddenly noticed something beside a pinecone. It was what I had spent all day searching for. The “S“.

When I got home, I slipped off all the layers and found my nude. I dug deep inside my body and could feel the rotating disco ball. This made me smile. I grabbed as many EXIT signs as I could find stuck to my bones, and pulled them out. I found one stubborn one behind my ribs; I pulled it out and stuck the “S” to it.

Sometimes we need to leave things/thoughts/humans behind in order to remember how to EXIST.

forest on my throat

“forest on my throat”   -Dan Dissinger

Do not speak about this. Do not explain this as a tickle or gargle of maps reminiscent of five years ago. This has been diagnosed and shelved. This has been neatly folded and attic’d. Throat cannot be a place where campers go. Throat cannot be a jungle of peeled species. Just call it passageway or tunnel toward trachea. Call it a situation for swallowing but do not do not DO NOT call it greenwood or bushland. This will make others want to navigate your coordinates. This will call too much attention to what drips in there. You call it swimming pool of muscle. Call it tongue, please. Do not glamorize the strength of your mammalia.

Put away your colors. The roots of your state lines. No one needs to know about the lineage of your wrists. Your belly is just a belly; it is not not not blue-lined construction paper with scratch outs and hauntings. Your face is just malnourished of symmetry. There is no need to beg for awards just because your lips exist and your moles follow a pattern parallel to constellations. There is no magic in you. Use your toes for counting. Put away your scar tissue, covered in shadow’d faschia from that time that time.What are you looking for have you found it? No, you may not use your knees as a tax write-off, nor your gag or eardrums. You may fold, but do not call yourself paper or weekly or subscribed or footnoted. You are not a thesis, nor an essay worthy of citing. This is not a metaphor. You are just body. You are just em(bodied]. You are just that.

we arrived in this naked

There is no idea but to cover up or clarify how those folds got there.

And if belly is soft then explain that a baby once grew inside it or if breasts lack complacency, make sure to convince them that it’s from feeding or genetics. Or lie about exercise regime or explain that work hours overlap possibility of sit-ups or weight lifts.

Bodies are like snowflakes are like fallen secrets pressed against windows are like reflections are like sharp implements are like dangerous exaggerations are like predators.

And in a room full of humans, take note of the shapes that take shape within the shape of a space.

Ninety-degree angles and triangular justifications and octagons and rectangles and its been awhile since my body existed inside a classroom where numbers were examined but I’m quite sure there is a reason for all these symbols and figures to differ.

I disrobe and replace mirror with an audience / distract eyes with poetry so stretchmarks are an afterthought.

But don’t all our bodies stretch and without those marks couldn’t we assume that body as one of static…no movement…no evolution of self?

It’s ok that you notice the blurry lines on my body. The ones beside the scars. The ones that arrived as I arrived into my bones.

We all began as nudes. As empty. As exotic folds. Put away your irons and embrace the wrinkles and grooves.

Clothes are just an accessory; what whispers underneath is the truth of beauty.

how to find metaphor in my belly folds

I can call it wavy like my hair right now, pushed into ponytail to control the mess of knots.

I can call it lumpy like gravel road leading toward mountaintop.

Should I call it sloppy?

{now I’m judging it}

I keep talking about bodies.

White male professor suggests I choose something else to ruminate on.

enough already

But perhaps I keep preaching until I get it right.
I haven’t gotten it right, so I continue.

*
Woman touches my stomach while bloating my mouth with her tongue. I flinch, suck in, cannot relax now.

Woman wants me on top of her, wants me to straddle her hipbone.

How does my belly look to her, I think.

How can I choreograph my body to look its best at all times?

What is (its) best?

I remove my shirt.

I am left with bra and tattoos.

I remove my bra.

I am left with sweat and hair.

I wipe away the sweat.

I am left with skin.

photo by Francesca Woodman

photo by Francesca Woodman

*
I think back to moments when I felt most beautiful.

Several summers ago, canoe trip in Western BC, Canada. Watching my body grow strong with each stroke. Dancing naked beneath the sun and moon, while pup trampled land that felt deserted and discovered.

Having my scars traced and kissed by a woman and sharing stories of how each one got there.

That time on that stage when I announced who I was and allowed my nudity to be an understudy to the language that announced it.

When she noticed the hair beneath my arms and asked if she could kiss me there.

I feel beautiful when I don’t apologize away my flaws.

My body is an animal feasting on weather patterns and love and sadness and my body is an emotional landscape of splattered paint. My body is a Rorschach and it’s OK if we all see it differently.

My body is meant to be (re)interpreted and (re)translated and (re)minded everyday that it is meant to fold and flap and creak and stretch and feel excessive at times.

Yes.

My body can be excessive. In its hunger demands. In the ways in which it wants sex. In the ways it demands to be touched or ignored or pressed against.

So, I scream out toward the west and see how far my vocals get. Wonder about all this obsession toward smoothness and flatness and thinness. I am going to keep this extra five pounds. I am going to allow this belly to be flimsy. I am going to turn around when you ask to see my bum and not hide the fact that cellulite gathers.

You can call me a tree.
With rings and ridges and splinters and rough spots and smelly parts and sap.

You can call me an elephant with curious skin.

You can even call me beautiful and I will try not to question it.

And I will try not to question it…..