I see you. I watch the orange glow in the stove, listen to the trees outside. It’s peaceful, and taut as well. The air between us is tight, it hums. I want to look at you. You look dark. I don’t look at you. I speak of when we won’t see each other anymore. I speak of the dragon, the winged serpent. I’m carried by him/her, I didn’t tell you about the pores down his sides and all the eggs which stream out, they float in the air like pollen.
Pollen that day on a balcony at the foot of a hill beneath a steep green wood, thick pollen, a yellow fur on the balcony, I stepped into it, leaving my footprint in flower. A deer at the top of the hill, above the wood. An empty dining room, animal heads, a mountain in the morning, a sewing by frost of leaves into a coverlet, and crocus candles in purple; Daphne scent gathered in goblets where the trees cleared. Pits of mud for boar beneath the silence of tall chestnut trees, early morning wolf cries across the valley. I walk there with you.
Your hands become great paws of bear when I draw them, thick black claws and a white fire streaming from their centre. It joins the fire behind your back, becomes one with orange flames. I touch the coolness of your heart with my fingertips. Gently. We kiss. My legs are rooted in that place behind the roebuck’s eyes. A great white bird flies out from my breast and dives into the blue sea of your throat. You are singing me awake, it’s early in the morning. The sun flames behind you. You don’t turn around.
I place it inside my body. It’s a phallus full of stars. It’s charged by my violet light.
Horse with a big body for me to climb into. Horse with a big body, an unmistakable love I can’t miss. Horse with a big body holding and carrying love. Horse who bends over me, who brings his immense broad neck close to mine, who bends over me with all his flesh, all his fibres strong and heavy; quick and vital, coming towards me. Such a love have I known.
And then he was a broken horse, wounded horse, close to dying, brain injury, body walking without power, gently now feeling his way with his pointed dancer’s toes across the straw. Following me with his blind eyes, his ears falling from his head. He knows me and pushes his nose against me, into the bucket. He teaches himself to drink again, bubbles surface from his nose.
The last time I saw him.
The current between us a mute umbilicus. A swan’s neck between water and sky, surface and soil, water and flesh. The tapered bill my lips. Where the neck slides into breadth, your groin. Rocks and tide. An invisible cord, pale and wound about with a kind of spirit saliva. I’m reminded of my dream of the double ended vessel with the connecting tube or membrane, or energetic throat. It is between us: rigid, coiled, silent, tiny, slack, stiff : Penetrated, both.
My antler legs growing up behind the deer’s eyes. Where the antlers end, at the tops of my thighs, eternity begins. There’s a Spirit river there, lapping at the edges.
In the new painting my right arm outstretched, it comes to rest, the palm opens on your rounded chest. Beneath the slant of your immense rib cage three penises lie coiled. Your face in golds and greens. A horse breathes you out from the immense vermilion of his heart, wrapped by leaf-shaped lungs. His lungs which carried me and propelled me, whose movement once caused my legs to open and close rhythmically as he breathed.
My survival house all aflame, the red rim open, gaping, burning.
Awareness simultaneously here and far away.
Between your brows, against your cheek, on your shoulder, in the soft air.
My vision like an exhalation, another form of breath, of breathing from the eyes, as the flocks fly this way and that, before my windows, in this dusky light. I put a match to the fire. I lie down, I stretch my body. I think of Freya riding to the Heavens on her great horses.
I dream of travelling south along the coast(on the train from Venice to Puglia) and I see many, many Orca diving and playing in the sea. There are derelict buildings, and a sense of my father.
Yesterday I sat waiting to see you. I was full of hope. A buzzard, cousin to my eagle – of great body and broad wings – sat with me as I waited. As I stirred, and began walking up your lane, so he stirred and rose on his great wings, circled me, and flew towards the east.
When I lay down the fire greeted me and became strong. I am your partner on this journey towards what can never be fulfilled. The erotic component of spirit wrapped around us like my cashmere cloth, the goat hair from the high eastern mountains.
I’m quiet as I lie curled upon the floor; my voice changes. I’m blue, you tell me about drowning and fighting for air, immobile, stiff, frozen. The air was knocked out of me.
I think of painting a silver horse amidst the blackened branches of my childhood. The one near the river, where ponies roamed and swans nested. The damp sticks beneath my feet and the falling limbs caught by their rough-skinned kin.
I wanted to touch your ankle, to imagine it and feel it a bony fetlock, my red horse’s leg standing near me. His breath heavy, perfumed with hay, drifting down over me, a loving mist. His neck strong, protecting.
I think of a painting of a tree suckling me, and a horse, and a man. How would a man suckle me? Would his answer come?
I’m going to begin a painting about baptism tomorrow. The water will stand up, the water will be changed in her nature. I’m thinking about jouissance, the flowing I feel, the ebb, the flow, being with the movement completely, and nowhere else.
In the new painting yesterday, on the fine smooth linen, the little baby might be feeling lost. She’s crawling from your phallus, or she might be on your leg. I am sad, and smaller, I look away, out of the picture. My legs are open, my stomach flat.
Did I tell you that my stomach became flat immediately after giving birth? They induced me because I was losing so much weight before my baby was born. I was thin, and pregnant. I’d been receiving blows and I was afraid. They put a wire with a hook on the end in me and tore open the amniotic sac. It hurt a lot. My body wasn’t ready to expel my baby. They put chemicals and drugs in my blood. I felt as if I was being thrown against a wall over and over again. My unborn baby wore a heart monitor. I was afraid.
A man came and pushed a fat needle into my back. He told me I had to stay very still, even though the contractions kept coming. Another man came and cut open the birth canal, I saw his big gloved hands waving in the air, and his declaration that my baby was about to be born. I remember breathing loudly, and turning my face to one side to a nurse, who held my hand. I squeezed it very hard.
Afterwards my then-husband spent the afternoon in another ward seeing a friend of his. I wanted my baby with me but he was put in somewhere else.
There’s something to understand, but I can’t see it yet. You are my birth partner. I’m sorry I didn’t ask you first.
I’m thinking of fonts that fill with river water. I’m a font filling with river water. The birds fly down in ribbony loops from the sky, they gather where the water pools, they come to drink from me.
I smooth the oil of frankincense over my eyes, over and over again. I try to wipe you away from my sight.
“When a caged bird sings, birds who are flying around in the sky are thereby summoned and gather around, and when the birds flying in the sky gather around, the bird in the cage strives to get out. When with our mouths we chant the Mystic Law, our Buddha nature, being summoned, will invariably emerge.”
(How Those Initially Aspiring to the Way” the Writings of Nichiren Daishonin vol1 p 881).
Flower petals pressed into my book, seeds on threads – ribbons from a dancer’s shoes.
P37. Alchemical Psychology
Act in. “Hold the heat inside the head by warming the mind’s reveries. Imagine, project, fantasise, think.” Cook in the vessel.
P 43 “the pelican is thus a wounding, a repetitive ritual, a sacrifice, and a humiliation all at once. And, a necessary instrument for feeling the opus from within itself. What arises during the work belongs to the work, not to the world. Before the vessel may be opened, its contents must be thoroughly psychologised, refined, sophisticated, its concretisation vapourized. Maintain the heat, stopper the vessel; find pleasure in repetition. The soul is being nourished by its wound.”
P 44 “The inside shapes around itself the outer invisible form.”
Painting with the red veil. I’m crowned by jouissance. No filter/mesh/screen. No protection.
If I didn’t belong to myself, who did I belong to?
And now I’m remembering that I was often told to GO AWAY by both my parents, but particularly my father. I was told this at all ages, but often when I was small. Maybe from as soon as I could walk, get about by myself, I was told to go away. I think my mother must have been told to go away too – but she had her cousins to go to – I had no one. So where did I go to? Who was I with?
Thinking of painting as orgasm – he draws the orgasm out of me like a baby; he takes it into his open palms. It’s almost formless, or has the potential of all forms. I’m a woman giving birth to orgasming birds, eggs, spirit, babies, form.
Babe rests on your leg, turning, with one wing outstretched.
The ecological aspect of jouissance – the feeling of oneness with the fluids of nature.
I’m woken by a dream of an electric cord tying up a gate.
It’s a cord (accord?) borrowed from the sky, it’s lightning, it’s electricity, it’s pink and silver and alive. It’s about safety, about keeping the wrought metal gate tied shut. Even though there are holes in it. And the cord has a life of its own. It could electrocute me. I’m not afraid of it. It’s part of my nature.
And then I can’t sleep, and I think of the electric cord lacing me up. And it’s a silvery snake then, a spirit snake shining.
Yesterday the paintings of the little girl as a root, a fulcrum, a stem, a trunk. She was hard to reach, I was stuck. She came beautifully at first, curled, pink and blue, rounded; with a swan stem piercing her and forming a telescope – a means of seeing – as she lay curled and wakeful, not asleep. But it wasn’t right and nothing else could work around it. The man and woman were incidental, without use or agency. Paint came, it covered the swan and turned the girl over, and eventually all her body went except for the soft part where her organs would grow; and her left arm, which acted as a balancing limb. All the picture depended on this. Her little fingers curled. Her mother balances in the air above her, and her father to the left, sitting. Both regard her with some love, but they do not help her. Their lives depend on her.
Then in the second picture with the golden flowers or stars she is also the pale root, the tooth, the stem, the finger protruding. She’s the beak, the pole, the tongue; the phallus, the proboscis, the abdomen of bee; the animal nose pushing into your hand; a rounded ear, an elderly breast; a toe, a thumb, a piece of fruit; she bends at her narrow shoulders.
Above her the mother dances in space, her navel connected to stars. Father to the left twisted in a pose, regarding them lightly.
In the third picture – on deep pink and a man with golden hands and an infant standing on his erect penis all gone, painted away, left as a ground (?) – the mother holds herself in air, her neck a creature’s umbilicus, who himself balances in the air around her fingertips. Her consciousness inhabited by animal body. The man, with creaturely knowing, sits quietly to the left, he’s wrapped around himself, yet present. Holding himself in a bundle. The infant’s golden face pressed against the ground by the weight she’s supporting.
Thinking about finding a meeting place where I greet myself: between Corbin and Kristeva, the archaic and the post-modern, new materialist world of artists and thinkers; between prophecy and science, data and dream. A site of cross-cultural interpretation and fertilisation, for the finding of lost speech, the retrieval of images, the surfacing of ancient and future.
Paintings as spiritual children.
The parents of this girl.
The testimony of a body thrown down. Dropped into a deep dark cylinder, a well without water or source or function. Dark and endless. I don’t stop falling, dropping.
I lie on your floor. Little Kate begins to come back. She’s quiet, peaceful, sleepy. She’s curled, she’s a returning child asleep in your arms.
*Dream of meeting two young people I love on a high road in the wild lands. I was fiddling with my bra as I did with you yesterday, and I looked into my bra to see there are many tiny little perfectly formed breasts there too, like doll’s breasts, all rounded and perfect, attached by tiny threads to my right breast. Like baby breasts. And of being with a large group of people in a house, which had spacious rooms and large heavy wooden furniture such as you’d find in a refuge in mountains in northern Italy. I didn’t know the Pope Leo (people). I went to the back door and I found a small narrow pen there containing the most beautiful, tall, golden horse with incredible presence and poise. I let him out, but told the people not to let him out of the house (my consciousness).
Then I was outside and all the trees and bushes were growing in the forms of deer and creatures all embracing, holding, other similar creatures – very beautifully. They were huge, full size trees. All their branches grew in this way, it wasn’t something external like topiary (made by humans).