Thursday, August 31, 2017

Feminist Poem #1

Something happens to me
When I chance upon that street
The arrival of conviction
That I'm right to move my feet
To rhythms old, made new again
Previously disparate experiences meet

I'm the agent, look no further
Self-assurance has been found
With each step, a brand new hunter
Operates discreetly on the ground

But where to now, as
The end swiftly looms
I must bottle up the essence
Before my blood begins to boil

Locked into feminine grooves
A choice we make that's easier made
When we turn to patriarchy for protection
The willingness to open herself up
To criticism, no matter the occasion
Automatic self-hatred, it comes with the territory
Until you turn it on its head
Speak without hesitation
Expect no interruption
Assertion is the scheme
Under which you operate, till
They turn away, uninterested
Knowing that you don't cave
Knowing you're not in it to be disrupted
Sometimes aghast at the boldness of your defence
Sometimes already not listening
You're better off without them
Increase the volume on your shout
Bask in a self-love that's showing
And won't be contained - it's out!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Untitled Prose Post #1

Starting a post without a title is sometimes necessary for a stream of consciousness to form. I'm listening to Swedish radio and thankful for the interconnectedness of the world, whereby I can choose which cultural frequency to be on. Sure, I can't understand the words, but I can be inspired by confident female laughter, a strong sense of assertion, and a heightened sense of female authority emanating from my laptop.
I'm thinking about why I find it so hard to articulate my sexual needs. This is a hypothetical personal query, since I am not dating or sleeping with anyone. I can pinpoint specific absences of being taught agency in regards to sex throughout my life, starting from the family perspective and continuing on through sex education, conversations with peers, and messages from the media... I'd like to build on whatever sense of agency I do have, which may not feel like much sometimes (especially if I'm comparing myself to my progressive social circles). I'm afraid of getting punished, I guess. But by whom? Anyone I invite into intimacy would be someone I trust not to use my sexuality against me.
I was listening to Britney Spears' 'Hold It Against Me', and while Britney is pretty much the postfeminist posterchild, there's a plea there for something that's often on the gender equality agenda. So often, women are shamed for communicating sexual interest, let alone a 'plan of action'. I, for one, long to take a page out of Lady Gaga's book and 'not give a fuck' about misogyny, but I'm afraid of being raped again, or beaten, or even killed. Perhaps I fear the force inside me, instinctively acting in more cowardly ways so I can evade the worst of the backlash. I feel like there are two "me's"; one is learning all the ways she can possibly be empowered in private, and another is systematically watering it all down. When I started spending most of the night awake, I felt more connected to my furtive sense of emotional growth, and it's for this reason I loved it. But I need to be part of the world. It has things to offer me that I can't find by myself. Even if sometimes all I want is to be left alone.

When you're (for a lack of a better word) not neurotypical like me, writing is intense. I find comfort in the turbulence of my own mind, owning it and packaging it up for the world (or thirty persons) to read. Turbulent mental patterns are part and parcel of being a 'woke' human in 2017... but so are peace and delight (though the latter may not be as frequently present). I've articulated here many thoughts I couldn't bring to you before - there's always a fear about writing about sex and whatever other controversial subjects I naturally gravitate towards. I hope you'll contribute to the narratives of the people in your life by creating something similarly honest, brave, wild and free. I love you. 

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