Get out of your head, they say.
Get out of your house.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Well, I did all that last week, when I stepped towards the microphone at pspoets "Night of Love".
The bar was packed. The lights were dim. My heart raced high up in my chest. For a moment it was hard to read what I put on paper two days earlier. Something that surprised me while I wrote. Something I did not know was in me. Something I now know carries layers of my life in it.
It was really helpful that my best friends were sitting in the first row, at Gravlax. Once I started, everything just fell into place.
I felt the room go silent. After the last words I looked up, and I knew, my poem had touched some of those gathered around me.
It is a very different feeling from sending a radio story or a print article out into the world.
I always avoided direct reactions to my work, to my words, to my voice. This is a new phase. It is terrifying, mind-blowing, exhilarating.
My poem even made it into a poetry lover's home! I created an art piece out of it as part of Mar Vista Art Walk Community Gallery's 'Love Bites' exhibition. And it was sold the first day!
Out of my head. Out of my home. Totally out of my comfort zone.
I have no idea where this journey takes me. I can only recommend to do the same!
And here is the poem:
Body of Love
May smoldering coal sycamores
Line your thorny paths and
Meadows bereft of light
May rainbow marine layers
Arch from translucent skin
To old bones freedom
May boiling water burn your hands
May raging desire tear the flesh off your nails
May you scream in your dreams
Swords stuck in your throat
Begging for someone to help
to bend down
to surrender with you
May you shower in molten gold
May you cover your layers of fat and flesh
In money lava
May you find that you are alone
May you tear your heart from your chest
May you carry beating blood in the palms of your hands
May you offer it to the flames of ancient pyramids and sacred wood
May you serve your soul on platters of rubies and diamonds
At banquets to Queens and Kings
Only to find thieves
Behind their elaborate masks of Hollywood smiles
Their perfumed disgust
May you stand naked between oak trees and pines
Hunters advancing fast
Arrows and rifles pointed at you
Bloodhounds following the scent of your sweat
May you hunch
Under stares of lions and three headed deers
Until you are totally bare
Let go of that armor
Let maggots and moist leaves
Fall off your skin
The animal that you are
Scars on your face
Coal on your skin
Stomp your feet through cold dirt
Until earth’s magma
Boils the blood in your veins
Fills your fingertips
Let the roar from your loins move cloud mountains
Send a shiver through the planet
Ring into the universe
Push off the ground
Spread your arms
Rule the world
Find companions of all shapes and forms
From ashes beneath you will grow
Flowers and creeks
Music and stillness
Oceans, valleys and hills
Know, that your wings
Your beaten flesh
Your skinned heart
Your burning blood
Are your body
With nothing to spare
Nothing to receive
Nothing to give