Solid Quarter

Blood Jet Poetry Series in New Orleans, weekly poetry and music as well as open mic performances

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017



Memory: I was felt up for the first time by a boy in the back of a movie theater while the film “Ghost” played in the background, the song “Unchained Melody” echoing into this space. I read somewhere that not only could Demi Moore, who plays the lead female role of Molly in “Ghost,” not only could she cry on cue but she can choose which eye from which one perfect tear will slide. Her tears fall from the middle of her eyes it seems in one perfect glistening trail down her cheeks and no other part of her seems to be disturbed in this process. When I cry sometimes I can’t stop. I cry a lot in the car while driving and at home in the bathroom, under the shower. I have cried on the floor of my kitchen, and I have cried so hard that my eyes have swollen shut. Sometimes when the tears are sparse and they do slip slowly out as the saltwater fills my eyes, I imagine I am having a Ghost cry. It is the shallow, unconcerned cry of ennui or exhaustion and never the cry that happens if your lover is murdered in front of you. It is never the cry that accompanies deep grief. Deep grief is the wailing moan of your soul breaking, and it shatters your face. It can’t be made beautiful because it is terrible. Terror/able

Sanskrit has 96 words for love. Does the English word for love descend from the Sanskrit word lobha (trans. greed) rooting in us a desire to hoard: A desire to possess, our special beloved who can love no other. 

I've been reading the book DEBT by David Graeme and thinking about how we keep track of what we are owed. We do this in love all the time. We do this, and it is not a thing that can be calculated. What a strange species we are. 

I think a lot about Shame and how the root of "it" lies there. And by it, I mean the thing that has knocked us so far off balance.

How can you possibly know what love is when we are born into cultures/religions/ belief systms driven by shame... shame for the body and shame for the need that you have to be seen and loved. How does that debt ever get paid? Who do you owe from the beginning? 

This strangled female emotion of beautiful tears became the epitome of female fragility in the 90s. The boy haircut, the perfect pair of tears and the somewhat scratchy voice embodied everything that was both tough and yet vulnerable, a nonhysterical theatric of femaleness. Molly’s belief is the epicenter of the tale, her ability to believe in love is what haunts the story. From the encounter before the murder where she asks why don’t you ever say: “I love you” to the final parting scene where she is kissing the air to say good-bye to her lover, the idea of belief in the solidity of love and how it manifests is what wars inside those pretty tears. 

Tradition of the idea of the ghost story where the female character is not in danger from the ghost but is in danger from the real men who surround her, and the ghost offers protection or warning to that reality.

Do people believe in ghosts in a way that they do not other supernatural entities?

Are ghosts monsters?

Selah Saterstrom quotes Christian Hawkey from the book Ventrakl in her text Essays in Divinatory Poetics

"And in taking up multiple procedures of writing and translation- transwriting, transrelating- one aim was to prolong the friendship of our ghosts as long as possible" 

Tori Amos has a lyric that says: "I'm trying not to move/ It's just your ghost passing through" 

 Do we let our ghosts pass through? Do we allow them to speak or do we take up all the room with living? 

How will I know you as I have always known you? How will I manifest the liminal space? 

My friend Michelle Embree says: the words have to do something. 

Yes, the words have to do some thing. Yes, somewhere between memory and imagination and all the sounds and the silences and the trap of language, yes, we are all doing and undoing something. 

Tell me how many times have you said the word love and it did something and how many times did you say it and it did nothing. And what can we say in its place...

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