Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Love in the dark, for we are the dark

During the languid and serene nights of February, I have amused myself with a curious pastime. The poor, obscure, plain, and little creature in me has been inflamed by the continuum of dark and spirited wanderers, come in the flesh on-screen. Regardless of the blisters and sores of Antoinetta Cosway, and the unfortunate habit of keeping lustful madwomen in the attic, I am drawn to the Rochesters: the predatory sexual prowess of Michael Fassbender (2011), the lecherous vanity of Toby Stephens (2006), and the melancholy irony of William Hurt (1996). The image of blotting out the moon and pulling down the stars comes as easy as snow.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

That whore's black heart

For months and months I have been bound to the songs of 'Have One On Me' (2010). My affair with Newsom's poetry has evolved into a love-like liaison; a sad story unfolds, riddles unravel. Autumn, winter and spring were wrapped up in 'Easy', all the lovely intentions and yearnings beyond which mere desperation and forlornness lie. She is already worn to the bone by the river, a little life-giver devoid of edibles and nurture, symbolical or otherwise. In the end, it 'Does Not Suffice'. Nor was she that easy to keep, but a burning, twisting and grimacing creature; a spider-dancing woman not having her way, burdened by the uneasiness of trying to love a man who is badly hurt, a silly goose. She is eaten and drained by a Bluebeard character and a butcher-boy, for there is destruction and annihilation in even the less-than-mighty men, leaving behind streams of untidy furrows and the broken necks of jackrabbits. 'My faith makes me a dope', she says.

In addition to love's godawful lawlessness and all the dulling and dumbing in the service of the heart alone, I am aware of how I think with my cunt. I'm a blow-up doll, a test-dummy for pleasure production. Then why would I like to dwell in this generic love shit, as Bianca and Sierra so deftly put it? Why, instead of taking rides with deranged and vampiric men, would I like to tremble like a kitten? And boy, do I tremble: I shake and quiver like Lola Montez. But how can I be such a dope and throw myself at fickle arms that constantly recoil in terror?

In Atwood's 'Bodily Harm' (1981), Rennie is being put down for her want:

'You were too obvious', Paul says. 'You were doing everything right out in the open. You were too nice. You were too naïve. You were too easy. Anyway, you wanted it too much. I can tell when a woman's faking it.' Rennie puts her fork down carefully on her plate. Something is being used against her, her own desire, she doesn't know why. 'I'll do the dishes', she says.

For Rennie, her sexual encounters with Paul have substantial meaning. She enters her body again, she can still be touched. For Paul (admittedly, a 'careful' and 'intent' lover), her desire is ridicilous and lucid – a manifestation on female excess. Lust is something to be used against a woman (a wench, a slut, a harlot). Eventually, doing the dishes and carrying the fate of Two begins to grow on her, on me. There's a tiresome weight and languish in my body; my warring heart turns black and terrible. To save face and career, one must flee like Lola. And yet, I prefer succumbing and vulnerability to a fairy paradise.

Will Matthew ever speak to me, I wonder.

(Ms Montez photographed by Southworth and Hawes of Boston, 1851.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Kathy (down there)

'All right, Tommy. I'll tell you. It may not make any more sense after you've heard it, but you can hear it anyway. It's just that sometimes, every now and again, I get these really strong feelings when I want to have sex. Sometimes it just comes over me and for an hour or two it's scary. For all I know, I could end up doing it with old Keffers, it's that bad. That's why... that's the only reason I did it with Hughie. And with Oliver. It didn't mean anything deep down. I don't even like them much. I don't know what it is, and afterwards, when it's passed over, it's just scary.'

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bodily Harm

I called him a poor man's Edward Scissorhands. I can't remember why, but this is what he tells me. "You are hungry", he says. He is not mistaken: I am hungry, famished, starving. What he doesn't understand is that he's not the object of my desire. I yearn for something vast, sentimental, grandiose, technicolour, magical, ridicilous. This is not hunger. It's my attempt at meaningless sex, a detached display of lust and appetite. I try to use my body as a vessel; I perform like an animal. He regards me as locker-room material, smokin' hot and raunchy. I'm a top-notch lay and a talented dish, a fantasy from the past. The guy's into pornographic aesthetics. I am into ravishing bodies, tangible or otherwise.

There's an unbearable sense of lack and alienation. I hope I could say: "Let's get this over and done with. Please, don't hold my hand like that."

Abruptly and in a somewhat bizarre manner everything comes to an end. Years ago, I would have gritted my teeth and remained anxiously in my place. I have changed, however, and there's no need to be polite or embarrassed: I don't want this. I want to go home. On the street I smile a little, for I am a contradiction in flesh. Laughingstock, an object for mockery and ridicule. A lewd, itchy woman with wanton desires yet lacking the qualifications for casual sex. Why can't I be one of those emancipated vixens who take pleasure in banging faceless strangers? I don't have anything against no-hooks and no-strings, rope quartets and book-clichés there's room for the jakes, the pauls, and the daniels. This is, nevertheless, not enough for me. I long for conversation, intensity, fervour and heat.

Thus, do not slander yourself. You had to be reminded of this. Your emancipation lies elsewhere.

*

I know what hunger is.

It's lying in the arms of another on the Mayday night, lips slightly touching each other, a slow burn at the bottom of my stomach. It's painful abstinence and restraint, the man beside me striving to conceal his desire. It's waking up in the morning hopeful as ever, or is it hopelessness, I no longer know. As much as I cherish the concept of fucking, when it eventually happens, it's not fucking but making love. I touch him slowly, intently, carefully. When he touches me back, I want to cry. Oh, I mumble. Oh.

Afterwards, when the intimacy and pleasure are discarded and thrown aside, and he has reduced me to an object of his bodily functions and whatnots, I take my body and run. I don't need another man I'm not supposed to expect anything from.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lynx and bear

In the dream there's a lynx and a bear and a tree.

The animals struggle high up in the dense green, clots of fur and blood colouring the leaf veins and oak branches. I'm observing the battle from the balcony of a very tall building, a hillbilly skyscraper towering over the godforsaken woods. It's a remote place, a site of infinite solitude and creeping sadness. The sounds of the fighting reverberate violently through my vital organs. I think about the cravings of my body, the uselessness of this womanly frame; my soft limbs going to waste, the slow decay and disintegration of my disposable breasts. Once, there was immense wetness and lovely breathing, but in the dream I have committed myself to a kind of celibacy.

The quarreling animals are interrupted by a hand a God-like hand, my hand? – and fall down, crashing heavily to the ground. Their bodies seem whole and intact, but I know they are suffering from internal bleeding. It's a horrible intuition, an unfaltering diagnosis. The animals begin to drift up the river, the female following the male. The lynx and the bear are lovers, and soon they will die.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Soft as Chalk

I used to love the feel of this language, how it pawed like dogs and made me dream of Orgonon – a fathomless, magnetic field of iron and lodestone. It was the language of my desolate childhood fantasy, the mother tongue of Annie Wilkins and her devious pack of kin and concubines. It was a language of play and ploy, a means to mouth out the longings and desires of a certain protagonist, whose life and actions were relentlessly surrounded by quotation marks. Years later, I would discover myself in various, uncomfortable positions, having an endless, soft-spoken monologue, taking comfort in this language of nautical nuns and Easter-named cats.

My first blog was written in English, under a pen name stolen from Vonnegut. My language was clumsy and awkward, and before long, I was determined to retract to writing in my mother tongue. Or perhaps, to do it justice, it was another beginning in the vast and challenging process of thinking and writing. The blog title was a reference to Angela Carter and her wolves or, rather, to the emancipated Red Riding Hood figure in Carter's fairytale of sexual desire and womanhood. Yet again, I appear to be prone to favour animal names, calling my scrapbook or log – well, Bear. A female animal with diluvian shoulders and a life's-worth of hunger, stepping clear of the insatiable shadow.

I'd like to think of my writing in terms of courtship. A taste of the treasured language, a mouthful of bees.