EXISTENCE IN ALCHEMY

Ⅰ Unconscious Wholeness

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We’ve all played dead at one point or another. Lost to our own truths. Rolled up like the Dead Sea scrolls. Kept away in secret caves. Black listed and Red lined. Appropriated and mocked.

Let me siphon out the unnecessary, scrape the salt off the top and paint the walls with it all.  Split the sugar cane. Grind the coffee. Sift the tobacco leaves. Wear the cotton. Grit to grit.

Everything is better with seasoning. It makes things easier to digest. It makes things easier to hold.

 

Trade is trade is trade.

 

Our bodies are mostly made of water and skin. Dream fibers flowing, working their way on the inside. Acting as the scaffolding of it all.

 

I’ll fall asleep every night to meet you in your whole state. Meet you where you can wrap your words well. Meet you where you wrap them up with intention and care. As a garment to wear, as a truth to hold. Words; they come through you. Stomach to throat to mouth to world. They tear through what you can’t see. They are a shield. They are a comfort. They are a dynamic force. They are a leader.

 

I tattooed a compass on my foot to find direction, to find value, to find ritual in my life. My body soaked up the ink. I dug in hard. I wanted to stand with purpose. My eyes searched for a fixed point. A semi-precious stone to hold. A vantage point over the clouds.

 

Ⅱ Conflict of Opposites

 

When you said my arms had gotten darker, and held them out, examined them and made me a spectacle, I adjusted my glasses a little more. Glossy and opaque.

 

Fog is fog is fog.

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I’ll hold on to the tension set, rubber-band tight. I’ll grip it like I need it to survive. I’ll circle around the clock if I have to.

 

I’ve eaten at the table many times. Drank copious amounts of water. Drank coke till I’ve drowned and beasted sourdough.

 

My soul heavy, lovely, tired, full. My eyes heavy, lonely, tired, open.

 

I’ve buried that weight you dropped on me, carelessly. I read it all. The Street Roots and the New York Times. The National Geographic and The Vogue.

 

Pages on pages on pages.

 

I turn them. No paper cuts, and no guarantee of resolve. Tie me to something. Dye my hair, my perception, my worth.

 

Ⅲ Psychic Function

 

The house I grew up in was full of malevolent spirits. Lining the baseboards and torn out tile. All beige and mauve reflecting.  Camped out in the insulation as residents. Never welcome, always present, turning and twisting around rusty nails and poor drywall.

Reflection after reflection after reflection.

 

My mom would tip toe around. Scared in secret of them all. Hairs on the back of her neck, arms wanting to be brushed down and smoothed over.

 

I housed my safety in my imagination. Time passed in twos and fours. I would walk around the block. I would walk around the world. Backyard my fortress, front yard a daunting empire.
I’m learning to unpack it all. Suitcase full of stories, postcards, trinkets and traumas.

 

Riding the bus all day to pass the time. Looking at people’s eyes who can’t look me in the eye. Foreign to their own secrets and pain. Sleeves inched passed, finger to hide it all. Passports pushed into floorboards. Stepped on and overlooked.

 

Allies are allies until they’re not. Let me draw a line around you. Let me brush the dust off my fingers without reprimand.

 

Community comes and goes. An ebb and flow. A basket full of food for the taking one week, and empty the next.  We all gather in a back room. Sitting at a table, being quiet, holding the tension of our fears and efforts. Not letting them crumble and take us under.

 

We’re carving out a way to disappear behind trees or bury our heads in the sand. Don’t let safety rule you. Learn from the opossum that had his tail and paw cut off. He did this. He did it well. But not well enough to marry pain.

 

Ⅳ Transformed Consciousness

 

One day, I turned up at an art exhibition. Walking through, I saw that all the paintings were mounted close together and colored in black and brown tones. The photography was all portraits facing each other, boldly. Eyes with value, love, strength. Spirits powerful. Souls read in vanguard.

 

Text between text between text.

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You asked me for advice, so I suggested the following:

Hang a hanger outside of of your closet because, it is vulnerable too. Put a plant in the atrium. Water it. Talk to it like it’s your lover. Fill up the green house with air plants, moonstones and desires.

 

Stir the soup on the stove. Pour cups of hot black tea. Mix in honey. Paint the table around it and over and through. Let the water run over you. Realize your nakedness is enough. Settle like wine. Red and full. Age as the mirror sees you. Sing in an empty concert hall. Rafters listening, enamored, soaking up your melody.

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Follow the metronome, then break off its stem. Time is just a cloak in the closet. Rearrange the process of consciousness. Realize that slide shows can only go on so long before they become completely vapid.

 

Hang macramé in the kitchen. Fill it with spices and mystery. Let it all spill on the floor and work its magic. Season the journey. The future is brighter that way.

 

Think of how life is like a panel. Think of how life is a discussion, a joining of stories, choices, voices and existence in alchemy.

 

Exit through the classroom window. Learn The Axiom of Maria. Drop into a freezing river. Catch your breath in panic. Let your body decide. Let yourself co-opt visceral ways. Let yourself be free.