Sunday, September 18, 2011

Disaffection: a deconstruction of lyric

I move as slow as geology the morning after a long day of music,
walks, making photos. It's raining, just a little spit on the window,
which always slows and dampens the mood. It's called a comforter
because you curl up in it, get warm, be comforted. But I'm alone.

Which is no comfort. Nobody love me. Nobody wants to. The inane,
almost comical voice of self-pity, as sincere as a five-year-old
that fearful morning before the first day of school. That voice inside,
no matter how old you grow up, still there. We can always revert.

A man says he wants to come meet me, maybe for a sensual date.
When do I tell him the things that inevitably turn them all away
from my doorstep, the truths of suffering and ecstasy
that have become my new daily life? Rejection seems inevitable.

No one wants to play around an ostomy bag. I try not to blame them,
but damnit I do. Now that I have my life back, scarred as it's become,
I have fifteen years of damaged libido to make up for. Freud no doubt
would have something pithy to say, but I stopped listening years ago.

Sexuality and surgery lurk on the same playing field. My skin
is full of holes, meteoric pockmarks, troughs and long grazes
of near-misses of the familiar scythe. I can objectify; can you?
I'm going to spend this morning, like every morning, alone.

It's not that you had to leave so early. It's that you never stayed.
How can I regret last night when it never happens? No chances
to linger over theory. The minute they find out about the scar
and the shitbag they suddenly remember a forgotten appointment.

With destiny, I suppose. It drives them away. Do you expect sympathy?
From most men the most you ever get is mutual temporary lust.
Asking for deepset, durable, rooted emotion, you need a bard.
Or a shaman. Just not that hero, with his thousand faces turned away.

Some monsters he won't conquer. I feel some mornings a grendel,
a wyvern, a manticore. Some cold nights the sensations are more wendigo.
Anything to make the hunger stop. You eat out of the freezer while
there's still time. Hunger become emotional purge, a twisted balm.

Ask a bard. Only someone who's seen the world, and maybe seen my skin
unscarred, can see it that way again. Maybe he can ignore the bag.
It's certain no one else will. I expect to be celibate for a very long time.
It's good I can still love my own skin, despite all scars and meteors.

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Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

I guess it was only a matter of time before this one appeared. I imagine there are many similar poems where a mastectomy was involved. When Carrie first came over here she was a little worried about breast cancer. It turned out she had nothing to concern herself with at least as far as her bosom was concerned and her crumb-catchers are still intact; she did have two other cancers eating away at her though and so two other chunks of her had to be surgically removed. I cannot pretend I wouldn’t have problems with an ostomy bag because I would but I guess that’s why God invented darkness. I knew a young girl – by young I mean early twenties – who had one. I’m not sure if she’d just been married or was engaged at the time but I did feel for her. And I feel for you. I think things would be different for Carrie and I now. For starters our passions have diminished and if we never had sex again it wouldn’t be the end of the world but more importantly we have a solid, established relationship and no matter what happens to either of us it’s part of the deal and we get on with it. You are luckier than some; you have your art. When my father lost his sight I’d go over and visit to find him sitting alone in silence in the living room and that was how most of his days were spent. My mum went out doing the rounds of the charity shops – that was how she coped – and he sat there on his own pretty much waiting to die.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

I feel like I've written parts of this complaint several times already, but maybe I haven't. It's been on my mind, and finally made it into a poem.

There are whole books of women's poetry about their cancers, scars, and recovery. I've read a little of that literature, and some of it is very moving, some very hard to read. There is also a whole literature about AIDS, whole books of poems by the dead, the dying, and the surviving. Some of that stuff is brilliant, fierce, wonderful.

Thanks for the understanding. You're right, everybody has their own way to cope. I can't stand to wait around, and I have all this renewed energy now that my ailment has been removed. Part of the problem IS the restored libido; it can get frustrating. LOL Not being in a stable longterm relationship, I look where I can for connection, for solace. And sometimes making art about it is the best way to cope, as I've said before.

10:04 AM  

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