Biting the Hand

Where does the border between history and memory belong and who owns it? They tell me that it’s a constant negotiation of space. Belonging is a funny term anyway. Where do you belong? Does this belong to you? I’ll be longing for you as I fall on my back in this landslide of negotiations.

He stands above me in the doorway, just a mouthful away. ‘You belong to me’ you say. No. No. No… sushhhh… we belong here together.

I close my eyes as I reenter the site of trauma. Do you remember our orchard? I heard someone else tends to the apples now. It’s an ancient variety, you can’t buy them like that anymore, so they say. Don’t you remember the apple tree? I climb over the fence and run my hands across the branches it feels both alien and familiar. I bite into the apple. It’s flesh is hard and bitter and leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. I swam through the river, head submerged as a figure watches me from the sideline taking pictures with his iPhone. I want to drown him so I reach out and the rain cascades and a blackness takes over. I spit the apple out and fall into the earth. ‘breathe darling, it was only a dream - hold my hand.’

I close my eyes as I reenter the site of trauma. My hand becomes fist, becomes rock, disappears before me. It’s no longer clear what is mine anymore. 

 

 

 

I swallow, I spit,
I swallow, I spit,
I swallow, I spit 

I swallow myself up and spit myself out,
Wading in the spaces where it is no longer clear what comes from inside of me and what comes from outside. I am these eyes, I am this mouth, I am this cunt and yet I am none of this. Skin touches skin. Skin penetrates skin. Skin itches. Skin sweats. Plastic bags float on water; We vomit life into each other, crossing the borders between self and other, us and them, me and you. 

If I open myself up will the world fall out?
I said, if I open myself up will the world fall out? 

why are male artists so obsessed with fucking the dead girl? I search for the ghosts of those who were swallowed up before me, taking a mouthful of air in the hopes to resurrect them, the waves not quite rolling off the tip of my tongue, they fall inside a gasping mouth and they turn instead to stone, 

We become petrified.
We drown in our own image. 

I swallow,
I spit,
I swallow,
I spit,
I swallow,
I spit
and become not stone, but the sea itself. 

I am going back to the source.

Resurrecting Ophelia

If we could go beyond the archive, I’d be a diver instead; taking out a searchlight to look for the women who drowned deep at sea, but are still confined within the tombs of ‘the sad woman’, ’the mad woman’ and ‘the bad woman’. Virginia Woolf’s ghost regularly comes out of her watery grave to haunt me. Sylvia Plath’s visits too sometimes. Perhaps their graves have been visited enough, and yet when a female raises her voice to document her own subjectivity, it’s still dismissed. We have fetishised these figures and turned them into cultural objects  and, after all, we all love a good female victim spectacle. What’s more glamorous than a tragic dead woman? 

 

 

Desire is Liquid

 

I’m starting to feel like there’s something liberating in making my body disappear. Because I’m starting to feel like it is weighed down by a history of looking, or more specifically a history of men looking, that I have no access to. A history with a code so complex that I don’t know where to start when it comes to trying to understand my body situated within this. Perhaps it is a bit harsh to say I want it to disappear completely, after all, this body contains everything I hold dear, and surely I am enough. I don’t want to fall into that trap cause right now the pulse of my blood is making my fingertips quiver and I like the way it feels and I can’t imagine how I’d feel without sensation. After all, who doesn’t find the curve of a hip pleasing? But I do feel like when I look into the mirror my gaze is not my own. That I’m looking at myself through someone else eyes and that makes me feel powerless…

 

…Then again it turns me on to think that I turn you on, and maybe that makes me feel powerful and after all, nothing exists in a vacuum and everything references something else. I just wish I referenced something else. I think a lot about what it’d mean to have a radical body, which disrupts all of this history, but I’m not sure what it’d look like. At least I’m not sure what it’d look like on me. I think I conform a lot to gender stereotypes and I love all things femme and I won’t apologise for that and I love a good cliche. But really when I think about desire I think about a body exploding or erupting. I think about the skin as a border between myself and the rest of the world and I wish I wasn’t so insular. So when I imagine exploding or erupting, I imagine crossing that border and becoming one with the rest of the world. I imagine not disappearing but becoming something fluid. Perhaps if I explode I will become the sea itself. And really, that is my biggest desire. 

 

 

Fall Through

 

This is not my hand

No this is not my hand 

there are too many cracks between the fingertips

I might just fall through

Caught between a safety net

I exist in the inbetweens of a no place or no space

So I’ll shape myself anew

You say that this matter is so solid, so tender

but open arms make for open wounds

And it was 6 degrees cold that day

And I was 6 degrees under, 

looking for ‘it’

And the colder I got, the closer I came 

And the closer ‘it’ got to finding me

 

Becoming the Hysteric

I’ve been looking at images of the Hysteric and I’ve started to identify within them. When I think about the Hysteric I think about the displaced, restless body. I think about the idea of the unfixed womb cursed to eternally wander the body causing sickness and chaos in the patient. When I look at the famous image of the arched-back hysteric it’s ambiguous as to whether she’s possessed or caught in rapture. Her body has become a question mark. I see myself as eternally/internally wandering. That feeling of nausea  as I realise how caught I am within a certain history, tradition and language. This body is contained by a semiotic code that I didn’t consent to. This code or language becomes so limited when trying to express my own desires. I wish I could transcend beyond gender, but to do that we need a new language. And to have a new language we need a new history, a new world. My body is a question mark, but it’s also a wave.

 

God won’t save me

I realised several years ago

That God wouldn’t save me.

I haven’t figured out how to save myself yet so I turned to you,

God 

Father

Man, it’s all the same really.

God = Love

Man = Power

And maybe love and power are interchangeable here. 

Nevertheless I’m always disappointed.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be a stronger woman

I find this all very tedious.