Does it matter? Do apple cores or cucumber seeds or coils in mattresses matter? The inside is never investigated. The inside is hidden. Stuffed into smaller sizes to reduce the swelling of life. The inside of the earth is filled with jam and I am filled with solace. Discuss.
Virginia Woolf dug out the emptiness of her pockets and filled them with death. Sometimes I want to alphabetize her exclamations, shelve her alongside Anne Sexton and Plath even though their names are so far apart.
It begins with a room. A room large enough to house a typewriter and cotton. Those voices. The overweight entity of sadness. A room where ovens and rivers and pills have no invitation. A room only for words.
My room is 10×12. It is white with smudges of previous tenants on the walls. It is only my own if I pay my rent installment. At this moment, I am too big to fit here. I cannot leave the pills and scars on the other side of off-white door. I am too distracted by woman in black with scarved neck and historical rhythm. She advises me to write my way out.
Write. My. Way. Out.
In a room full of student loans and academic breathing patterns, I am told that I am too feminine. My character is too feminine. For a body to think IT is in the wrong place, it’s clothing should be more gender specific.
I walk my way out of my uterus. My blood stains. My throbbing reminder of baby hips and procreation and genitals. I try to walk my way out of IT.
“Unless men and women can be androgynous in mind, literature itself will be permanently flawed.” Virginia speaks of the need to remove clarity. Circumcised language. I dress up my sentences in ties and skirts. I braid its hair and then remove its larynx to alter its voice. My poems play with dolls and trucks.
Write my way out.
If I had a room that was my own. Where I could pierce the walls with grotesque poetry and musical instrumentation. Where I could behead language and intention. And consistency. Where might that room be?
New Jersey. Colorado. Massachusetts. Standing on that bridge in Northampton. Hiding by that creek in Boulder. Dancing beneath the rain in Vancouver.
I cannot write in one place because I cannot breathe for too long when stillness is my option. I fear being known. Was Virginia learned? What she interpreted? Was she broken apart by symbols and expectations?
I am trembling from lack of moisture to my lips and lack of holding to my hands. This room is lying to me. Brooklyn is shaking me, stealing my rest. Did you take naps, Virginia? Did you hide out on benches to run from the wind of rushed commuters?
I am afraid to sit down for fear of the bed bugs, Virginia. They are everywhere.
I/I/I………….“’I’ is only a convenient term for somebody who has no real being.” Did you feel that, Virginia? Were you lost inside yourself, digging your way out with words?
What is my own? How can a room be my own—something impermanent and borrowed—when I can’t even call this body my own?
I am afraid to sit down for fear of these bed bugs. They will survive far longer than any of us. I am jealous of their persistence.