Monday, August 21, 2017

Untitled Poem #1

Sometimes I feel like a winner
Sometimes I feel like a loser
Ah, but in search for such categories
I lose out on the complexity

I neglect the victory behind the latest descent
How I'm wound up with elation and torment
And while I can't claim to feel more positive emotions than bad
I've got some kind of balance, compensation for the sad

Search for me and you'll find me elusive
I'm never more compelled to change
Than when I aim for unequivocal emotion

The solace of certainty
Quickly reveals itself
To be anything but

Transience may make for niche reading
But it's the sense I keep returning to
The state I can't write my way out of

I doubt you're reading this, so

I doubt you're reading this, so
I have permission to break away
From your cross-continental pull
The gravity you represented
Made you someone I resented
And the longing for an anchor has to stop

Why is it so hard to stake my claim
Or even recover my instincts
My creed
Once writ large?

I fear they'll never understand
That my high ideals are just a shadow
Of the faith I know is possible

What passes for the sensible
Was counterintuitive for so long
They've tried to blunten my sensitivities
But I'm still holding on

Motivated anew
I'll be the traitor if I must
Seeking life-affirming motion
Little left for me here

Still I must haunt these streets
The end is not yet in sight
To this commitment to a beginning
That can only be known in the moment of its occurance

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What does it mean to be single for me?

Sometime at around March this year I peacefully ended a long-distance, long-term relationship, having decided singledom was the state I needed to inhabit for the time-being. I do have mixed feelings about being on my own again, but that's okay, as a part of me welcomes the chance to rediscover myself and what that will mean for future versions of me.
I was savouring a sandwich at my favourite cafe a few weeks ago, when I heard 'Hunter' by Dido over the chatter of the customers. 'I want to be / a hunter, again / I want to see / the world alone, again,' swelled the song, and made me pause the consumption of my savoury treat so I could better vibe with the vocals. 
Being co-dependent meant that I was always ready to alter my plans, if it meant it would please the other. As pleasant as the healthier aspects of the relationship were, this created anxiety often, and made me feel somewhat stifled. I put my own needs second more times than I care to admit. 
I'm going to try to grow my self-esteem with therapy and self-care, but until I do, any relationship I enter into will be much the same. 
One of the most formative things I intend to do in the upcoming years is move. I've finally figured out a way to do it on a pragmatic level, but I still haven't decided exactly where in the world to plant roots. Being single means that I can choose a location based solely on my internal compass, and not proximity to a romantic partner. 
It's not that I'm not that I'm not looking for a relationship - if one were to develop I would be happy about it. But being single is also liberating. It's not an inferior way of being, any more than being in a relationship is superior. It's simply another state of being through which I can flourish. And in 2017 it's a good cultural moment for being a solo poly who celebrates their achievements, is compassionate towards their weaknesses, and aims for equanimity, harmony and inner peace. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Towards greater acceptance

When I was a teen and exploring my attraction to women, my father would spit out the word 'lesbian' with such venom that, to this day, I feel afraid of claiming the word. I can passively elect to identify as a lesbian, particularly if someone else is leading the conversation, but I think I need therapy on this point, because using the term to describe myself fills me with dread.
I feel much safer identifying as gay, queer or non-heterosexual. These words were never demonised, since they had evaded my heteronormative, non-native English speaking parents. Things have changed significantly at home, particularly with my dad. But old fears still lurk and threaten to ruin the party.
I suppose I need positive reinforcement. To find a queer therapist who can help me find the inner safety within, and help me tackle my fears head-on.
My ex-girlfriend (let's call her Z) had no such fear. She proudly made her lesbianism a focal point of many a conversation. I enjoyed it, even though I knew I wasn't prepared to 'come out' in this most basic of ways.
(At this point I can assure you that everyone I know knows about my attraction to women - my online identities on Facebook, Twitter and OKC carry this knowledge, and are one of the main ways I meet like-minded people. But...)
I'm afraid to flirt with cute women when I meet them around Sydney and I don't know that they're clearly attracted to women. I've experienced enough prejudice over flirting with the same sex to feel incredibly possessive about the wonderful thing that is being lesbian-esque.
I have other issues with flirting as well, but I'm not going to get into them here.
I suppose I'm self-counseling because I've known for some time that this issue must be dealt with at some point, and I've been putting it off. I still feel young, and maybe I'm even hoping that I'll meet a monogamous guy who will deliver me from having to deal with all this disturbing stuff (that society has made disturbing - homosexual attraction is in itself just another thing we do).
And yes, I realise that I've verbalised some problematic narratives, because I've chosen a poly lifestyle which, on better days, I am quite committed to having women be part of (to name just one example). I worry that it's weakness to admit to all these insecurities, but I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't know that exploring vulnerability is also strength.
I have hope for my ability to adapt to a world which may not be changing fast enough for my liking, but is still capable of providing me with nurturance and love, especially if I'm proactive in seeking it out. And even if I'm single for the rest of my life, that won't be such a bad thing, because I'll be working on loving me, the single most meaningful and important relationship I'll have. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

In search of solace (poetry)

Where will I go? 

In this bluster of a solution
I'm aching for the urge to cower
Back down from my mission statements
Go forth without a decree

Permit myself to breathe

It's going to be fine
We're going to go far
Whether we're on 
This continent or that

I've got people powering my journey


Searching for a site to interrogate
Searching for the recognition
That could make it all worth it
Searching, trying to accept the tragedy
Only so much remedy
To go around

Accept dissatisfaction
As a near-constant state
I cannot be stateless
There will be a rule of law

Interesting how I fear disintegration
My own personal slavery
Where I am the owner of my own captivity
Traumatised by glocal misogyny

I sought relief from the harshness
I sought perspective and space to build my dreams
I still seek this so-called indulgence
But less frequently share said dreams

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pulling back (poetry)

I've softened
Looking for the keys
To the room of contemplation

The special space for igniting enquiry
It's to be waded into at all cost
And enjoyed

I've missed the kaleidoscopic clutter
Swirling about my soul
The way I mould it into the finest figure

Dramatic news must be embraced
As earthly as the world's rotation
Balance is an ever-shifting concept

Can't always be
The personification of calm
There are windows to erase

When pre-arranged vistas won't fit
The compulsion to explore
It's time to explode old frameworks

You'll find me pulling back
It's not a role I cherish
In recent times it's been restricting

But I've found a way 
In which pulling back works
In the way I alienate the hysteria

Find me impulsive in new and welcome ways
I'll chase the fireworks until they make good haste
Again restore equanimity to my days

Monday, June 12, 2017

Shifting identities

When I'm around women, I tend to be more assertive than I am with men. I am more likely to make a bold point, demonstrate leadership skills, and generally be more in touch with and exercise my sense of agency. Around men, it is a struggle to perform just a fraction of the same self-assuredness, because they operate on the assumption that they will be taking the lead.
This is one reason why I prefer talking with women.
I believe a same-sex high school education has led me to appreciate the company of women from an early stage. I learnt that there are greater possibilities for personality development if I'm in the company of other females, free from the pressure to reproduce the structural inequalities deeply entrenched in our society. We are still to be found working within limitations of what is socially acceptable, but there is less of a male presence to worry about appeasing. When the guys have left the room, we are left on equal footing. And I like being in the company of equals. I value it a lot.
In a very practical sense, I am gay. I identify as bisexual officially, however it's mostly in theory that men remain viable alternatives. To be woman-focused is to prioritise my own self-development, to fiercely guard my ability to actualise parts of my personalities scathingly regarded amongst mainstream masculinities.
To live in 2017 Australia is a kind of social hell, which only medication and the company of feminists helps me survive. This is why I make very clear on my (OKCupid) dating profile that I'm only interested in dating feminists. And even amongst feminists, there is a lot of appeasing the patriarchy going on. I am looking for one in a million.
I'm not perfect either; a reading of Bad Feminist, or Roxane Gay's statements on how impossible it is to be a perfect feminist, will enlighten as to how we hold feminists to an almost impossible standard, which I'm sure contributes to a lot of insecurity amongst those who internalise the need to be immaculate in their personification of the role.
What kind of feminist am I? I'm doing my best. I'm soothing myself as needed. I'm being as genderqueer as I'll allow myself to be. Sometimes I cower. Sometimes I'm proud of my bravery. It's quite gray and messy, often ingenious and sometimes daft. This is not definitive. Nothing I write about anything is intended to be definitive. I reinvent postmodern feminism as I dare.