Saturday, May 2, 2009

Raptor Grrl vs. Coma Boy



I was having a conversation with a man in a persistent vegetative state.

Am I too harsh?

All right.


I was having a conversation with a man who claimed he had found peace and joy by releasing desire.

I ran my fingers through my hair and said, "You're shitting me. What's the deal with that?"

He told me that despair and elation are twin beasts.

"They will leave you as nothing but bones and regrets, every inch striped and scored by their teeth as they devour you. Each is as savage as the other. Don't invite them in. Don't pursue them. Their Master is named Desire. Eschew him.


I crossed my legs and jiggled my foot the way I do when the train is late.

"You don't say," I said.

"But I have to admit, I've been those bones.

I know despair--

It burns.

When it is done with me, I am nothing but a fine white dust, I can't get out of bed, or up off the floor. Someone has to come around and feed me, like a fucking baby. I am barely a heartbeat. It's like getting carpet-bombed from the inside out.


I also know elation--

It burns.

If you see me dancing, it isn't because it's springtime;

It's because the floor is on fire.

It's the same as despair except much louder, and my heart just loves the stuff."


He said, "That's not serenity."

I said, "What the fuck's the matter with you?" and I brained him with a paperback copy of that Gary Snyder shit that he goes gooey for.

He just sat there and smiled.


I thought, yanno...

Yanno...?


I said, "When I am burned down to nothing and the beasts have gone,

It is only desire that refleshes me

I want I want I want

Pounding in my dainty little ears.

I want a big meal,

I want the woman (or man) I just met,

I want to quit my job,

Go to the beach,

Drown in the surf,

And come back again better than before."


He said, "That is not realistic. There will be a price attached to every desire, and each one will break your heart, over and over again."


I said, "Each 'I want' is a feather in my great glorious black wings."


He said, "They will not take you where you want to go."


I said, "Then I will just stand here blocking the noonday sun," and I ruffled my wings meaningfully.


"You're nuts," we both said together.


Fuckin' right.

__________

13 comments:

Kay said...

very witty and enteratining

Mama Zen said...

I've never been able to buy into the whole "desire is the source of all suffering" thing. Absence of desire does not sound like serenity to me; it sounds like being dead.

Scarlet said...

Don't ever lose those glorious black wings. Ever!

Kristin H. said...

I agree with Mama Zen.

nollyposh said...

i get this as i have come to realize that my greatest joys always leave me as torn and jagged as my deepest grief... funny that X:-/

K said...

Definitely keep the wings.

pheromone girl said...

No wonder my wings are so gloriously full of feathers! And imagine... they're black.

I want something today - do I get a new feather?

Riot Kitty said...

"I ruffled my wings meaningfully..."

I LOVE that line.

Kelly Dickson said...

ahhhhhh - this poem is right where i am at in my process... good timing... and by reading it, it has made me realise that it's not about the absence of desire, but the absence of grasping for something, that is as certain as breathing... so trust that everything is all and it will be yours again in light and in shadow... and as i leave this comment, i decide to let go of someone's affections that i have been trying to control.. wow the power of your poem has brought so quickly to that realisation... fabulously written and conveyed. Ty x

Shadow said...

he's nuts!!!

Fireblossom said...

Thanks, Kay, and welcome to Word Garden!

Mama Zen and Kristin, I knowwww!

No WAY, Scarlet! ;-)

It is indeed, Nollyposh. Nice to see you!

You know it, K. :-)

Oh yeah, PG. I even shined it up with featherbrite for ya. ;-)

*ruffle ruffle* Hi RK!

Never mind all that, K, hand over the hoofsnax! Actually, lovin' the long K comment. ;-)

Yup, Shadow. ;-)

Daryl said...

Ruffle those wings, woman!

Jannie Funster said...

To me he is just an old stick in the mud.