The first half of the movie A Quiet Place is the closest thing I’ve experienced to an accurate metaphor of what it’s like living with C-PTSD. It’s like that, all the time, except no one is there with you, or understands at all.

Friends if this is also you, you might want to skip it. Personally, I found it relieving, less isolating, to see something portray this experience.

part company

then the ground

was shatter and smooth

over something harder.

the same as my chest

filled up tar molasses;

before that, heavy cream,

sand, ornaments.

 

I pointed up, slow,

second place fireflies–

my body strobing

memory drum and limp nails

on floorboards, the ceiling

hit between tasks,

time measured off.

 

a heat register’s cloud

and fall from standing–

speaking glued shut.

synapse panicked syllables

a metronome’s tick

repeating at the tremor

 

 

(2004. 4 of 28 drafts I’ve never done anything with, being resolved into notes and outlines.)

Linden

 

leaves stick

the dog paws

soles gone

seasonal slippers

Wasps test

nurses, guards

defended entrances

flex dread

I pull blossoms

weeping sap tea

aphid trails

transformational honey

steep the

brittle end

 

(8/18. 3 of 28 drafts I’ve never done anything with, being resolved into notes and outlines.)

 

 

 

 

women at the hellmouth

First season, that hasn’t aged well, and frosted lip gloss. The slayer dropping her bag. The wardrobe was never good. Solids are characters in their power. She says James Spader is hot. This ages well.

Our first combat, our first use of the library, I’m nervous about Jenny. Patterns are hormones, textures anxieties. In being taught how to watch, every escape is natal. Devotion is at the earth’s threshold.

Darla is brilliant, her trajectory beyond the half season. Watch this sire, common-law, sex worker. This will come up again, how-to stratify women, their sex a map legend. How she is the entrance and exit.

This is our first hero shot.

 

 

 

(2 of 28 drafts I’ve never done anything with, being resolved into notes and outlines.)

solar return

the best birthday I get

is as many loved

ones since the Sun is

lucky, and better than

being at the doctor,

So, success. It feels like

tripping thanks &

correct begin. So much

honing off of, shivering

in alignment.

 

(1 of 28 drafts I’ve never done anything with, being resolved into notes and outlines.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

canticle of the turning

With thanks for the out of bounds angels, poets with visionary limbs, the manifesting ultra pisces, the old woman in the purple jacket’s hand on my canary sweater, and her fine hands holding my head, my knees, this hound, that child.

Blossom

Dorianne Laux -1952

What is a wound but a flower

dying on its descent to the earth,

bag of scent filled with war, forest,

torches, some trouble that befell

now over and done. A wound is a fire

sinking into itself. The tinder serves

only so long, the log holds on

and still it gives up, collapses

into its bed of ashes and sand. I burned

my hand cooking over a low flame,

that flame now alive under my skin,

the smell not unpleasant, the wound

beautiful as a full-blown peony.

Say goodbye to disaster. Shake hands

with the unknown, what becomes

of us once we’ve been torn apart

and returned to our future, naked

and small, sewn back together

scar by scar.

Sun in Scorpio

I mean, as long as we must be here – our emotional innards scraped raw and smooth like a pumpkin’s hollow – we might as well use it.

While I work now, I watch different versions of Wuthering Heights. I’m trying to watch them all. There are a lot. I’m looking for something, but I’m not sure what. It’s something about younger me, something that slipped off and fell. I’m trying to figure something out, methodically tendriling through the floor of a dark lake, searching for something rare I lost. I’m not sure what. A will or a desire or a spark, perhaps.

One of the times I miscarried early, I was alone on the floor, losing it, writhing in pain. Both of my dogs stood over me. The one, the small one, the Pisces Moon, concerned and tending me, the other, staring at me, her will and force telling me to get the fuck up.

I didn’t read Wuthering Heights until my late 20s which was like reading under a spotlight just turned on, angels trying to teach me something, pushing my head closer to the page, saying ‘learn.’ Wuthering Heights should never feel autobiographical, and, one should never have to consider the cost, decades later, a cautionary tale you arrived at too late to heed. What was dropped in the process of faith and karma, twinning and isolation, toxicity.

This protracted Scorpio season due to Venus’ retrograde through, then Mercury, now the Sun, has stretched our emotional excavation past a short season into an extended exhumation. Denying the work would only leave us lingering in ignorance later, less transformed, less faceted than we might shape ourselves now. That doesn’t mean it’s emotionally without cost. Excavating in the dark means we’re residing there, feeling our way versus seeing any dangers. We need to go back for everything we forgot, pick it up, or at least gather it so that no one else can have it without our consciously sharing.

Simon the Good

– – Joyelle McSweeney

I’m the matron-king of hell
In yoga pants and a disused bra for a laurel
& shatter the scene inside your simmering year
 
Like a ransom scene filmed through shattered transom
I smear in my glamour
I make as if
to justify the ways of God to man
That’s my ticket in
That’s why God lets me speak here
Crystostoma’d
on his couch
Even though I’m derived from Hell
Hellish Helenish Hellenic
 
I’m the hanged man
in this version
pegged up
in mine pegged jeans
by mine ancles, an inversion
mine manacles are monocoles
I spit out the key
and squinny through the keyhole
back at the unquittable world
 
In my rainment
of gummy sunglasses
and crows wings for epaulets
I delicately squawk from the edges of things
balance unsteadily on the bust of the goddess
 
squawk:
Aeschelus Euphorion Aeschelus Euphorion
 
&:
I’m going to tell you something so bad that when you hear it you’re gonna know it’s true.
 
Like all the worst stories
It comes from the heart
& it goes there too.
 
Back here in St. Joseph County
a struck duck flies crown first into the asphalt and is stuck there
with its brains for adhesive
like someone licked the pavement and sealed it
a postalette
with its cartoon feet in the air and its Jeff Koon wings
that’s roadkill for you: realer than real
and the cars mill by with their wheels in reverse
heavy as chariots
in a dealership commercial
and I am walking my dog by the river
a matron from hell
 
look on me and despise
I am like the river:
thick as beer and with a sudsy crown
there polyethylene bags drape the banks like herons
and a plastic jug rides a current with something like the determination
that creases mine own brow
as I attempt to burn my lunch off
the determination of garbage
riding for its drain
hey-nonny it’s spring
and everything wears a crown
as it rides its thick doom to its noplace
 
gently brushed
by pollen
by the wings of hymenoptera
like a helicoptera
performing its opera
all above Indiana
bearing the babes away
from their births to their berths
in the NICU in Indie-un-apple-us
Unapple us, moron God,
You’ve turned me Deophobic
the greasy tracks you leave all over the internet
the slicey DNA
in the scramblechondria
the torn jeans
panicked like space invaders
in an arcane video game
oh spittle-pink blossom
the tree don’t need nomore
shook down to slick the pavement like a payslip
you disused killer app
 
each thought strikes my brain
like the spirals in a ham
pink pink for easter
sliced by something machinic
each thought zeros in
flies hapless and demented
festooned like a lawn dart
finds its bit of eye
spills its champagne
split of pain
 
then we come to our senses
suddenly alone
in the endzone