Tag Archives: blog

// the writer’s room //

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I think the toughest part is accepting that you have to write all of it for any of it to be any good, just like you have to live all of it if you want to be alive. There is no good and bad there is only the sacred freedom to experience everything.

You have to be able – not even able, you just have to be willing, the muse / gods / universe / angels will take care of ‘able’ as long as you show up – to write the deep and the shallow, the real and the surreal, the pain and the joy, the light and the dark, infinitely. To keep moving your hand across the page is to get out past the fear, shame, and judgment that swipe at the throat of every artist all the time.

You don’t have to publish or share all of it, but you have to write all of it. Somehow. You have to find a way to do the work :: doing the work is the way.

It’s all part of the movement of the energy of creation. It’s all part of life as struggle, as play, as an act of worship, reverence, and humility. The degree to which you cut off the limbs of your feelings is the degree to which you will remain stuck. Art, spirituality, love, pain, it’s all about movement, that’s the Must.

Keep moving.

Whatever it is, open your veins wide, your mouth, ribs and eyes wide, your heart wide, and let it all move through you. The journey of the writer is the journey of the warrior. They are the same.

Butterfly wings, beloved, that’s all. Little tiny beats. The more you move your hand across the page the more you move the words that move the world.

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// feed the beast //

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Poetry is not dead but it’s not leather candy bodices laced with perfume either. This is what seems to be so hard for regular people to understand. That if left to our own devices, we crave the things we seek to destroy.

The way your fingers pressure the small of my back is the frothing of words I cannot find. Somewhere in the soft haze between sleeping and wake, I confuse the hum of your body in the dark with your desire to fill me, and we become a puzzle I can’t make fit. It’s the cruelest kind of poetry, the kind you mouth the words to in daydreams as you watch your own reflection splitting across train car windows but cannot force into existence.

Slow motion tears peel down your face, a fist comes through the bulletproof glass of my breaking heart.

Is it still poetry if I spell it out with paper straws in a language you didn’t study close enough? How can I help it. When love is the last word on the walls of a house that’s crumbling it sounds like renovation but out in the world no one seems to agree what it means. I’m only satisfied when the rain moves in and I wish you didn’t have to understand that when I tell my story I’m trying to give myself to you and spare you the weight of me at the same time.

The temptation is the trap; new lovers naked at the tip of a thousand knives.

You seduce strangers without losing sleep and still walk me home, chain-smoking cigarettes, talking about the way you used to make love to other women you thought would have been more tender at it. The ones you see in me when I curl up and threaten to leave. No one wants to believe that part of staying on the upswing of this pendulum life is to fall for the way it knocks the wind out of you when it slams you down. I avoid the fire the same way I walk into it, by shutting my eyelids over my feet. In the wake of the words I am the casual turning of corners, trust is a maze kept secret from me.

Words are to anguish as they are to ecstasy, a race without legs toward a freedom you’re never quite sure if you deserve. We are lions caught in butterfly nets, admiring our paws, licking our bloodstained teeth. All we want is to get close enough to abandon ourselves, to give everything away so we don’t have to eat what we’re worth.

I hand you my skin and ask with my bones if it is love. You hold tight, tell me it is warm whiskey charm, and don’t answer the rest.

In the vacancy of night, the moon washes over me a pale blue angelic light and I remember the way your beautiful jaw fits in my hands, the way the motionless bending flowers on the bookshelf mean someone’s in love in a vase, alone. When the soft creep of morning comes I’ll spend it sunk low in the hot soak of a pink salt bath, trying to be too many things. Cold cream: every face I try on feels closer to who I think I’m supposed to be, so I wear all of them at once.

No wonder it’s so hard to read me.

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// lady in waiting //

weeds

I sit down to write but the only thing that comes to me is everything I’d rather not say. Writing is just like anything else, the hardest part is finding a way in. Shadowy advances, wet wide eyes, shattered hearts, lovers stalking alley ways, all come in jars they hope you can’t see, but writing is tougher to open even on a good day. A drink and a half later, I’m undressing in the doorway, watching you as you absorb the fading evening light that drapes itself around my body. I wish you thought of me as a temple, intricate tunnels adorned in golden dragons with emerald eyes, ferocious winged mystical things, but delusions like these are just a way of shadowboxing with the truth. Even in this heady haze I know what we want to be and what we are is split by glass of a thick and distorted kind. You ask me to spread myself over you and my skin is hot pricks head to toe, the way you barely touch me makes the beginning taste like spiced flecks of the afterglow, just the way I like it.

Under your command I am a dove, an alien, a robbery, a beast because I have learned to stay awake even in my sleep. Once you become aware of the ground beneath you in dreams, the rest is simply sleight of hand. We try to shift ourselves wide enough to take more than we ever thought possible but it’s hard when you’re certain there’s a message tucked behind the eyelids of everything, and you’d swear on your headstone that the rain smells of swollen lips and secrets you thought were buried inside someone else. Seven minutes in heaven, spin the bottle, the time you skinned your knees on ice, slammed back to life by the sting. Your first kiss stabs me in the back, spills blood across the time before all the times you can’t stop sifting through now.

Be patient with me, angel, even in expert hands like yours this doesn’t get any easier. Winter seems to follow winter, all the seasons of dying and frost take place at once like a crystalline nest of frozen trees that crush your tender throat. Time is a gift and a thief and a scream and I promise to collapse the minute you leave. You wrap my hair in braids tight around your strongest arm, the pain is just enough to catch my breath on a single hook. This bizarre strain of release, a decadent thorn. There will be rug burns and bathtubs but my mind is walking on the street counting black birds on a wire over the railroads tracks I was framing for photos; five, six, seven of them in a crooked row and one far off, alone. This doesn’t mean anything, of course, except that I am not in the world the way I’m supposed to be; I’m in the one I resurrected from cut-out dolls, cardboard panoramic scenes, living in the cream-colored curl of imaginary pages.

Pain comes to me daily but I trust it, I let it lead if it wants to, it teaches me not to hide as much. The way you slide into me is a forked tongue, one side torture, the other ecstasy; I have to take them both or deprivation. As night takes over the moon, the salt in my veins sparks and flashes all around us like colors from the dark side of rainbows. You need not cry for this strange love, I like to watch the pieces of me fall, it’s the only way they catch the light. I’m stronger now. And even though generations of misguided wars rupture themselves through me before you can even say my name, it’s beautiful madness to hear you try.

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// evidence of bodies //

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I don’t want your body, I want your secrets. I know the games you play and why you play them but you’re so lovely it makes my mind bleed. Even the dreams in me have dreams and yet I can’t manage to extract a single one. Of course, no one ever said love makes sense. I pour a glass of Merlot and my insides are a relentless penetrating bloom of thick red roses groping their thorny vines around the veins that push my blood toward a heart that knows no boundaries.

When the last sliver of daylight finally fades across the grass, I can feel the setting sun unbuttoning my inhibitions. The way you wait so patiently for me binds me with threaded ropes, framing erotic images that deepen my darkening mood. You want to touch me but I’m not where you thought I’d be; my mind is seductive but it’s always somewhere else.

Using only the memory of your hands, you wrap me in crimson ribbons of delicious heat. The swift movement of your body sets me free to water midnight gardens of savage desire in beautiful rings around the moon. I’m ugly in ways only you can make an aphrodisiac as the twisted things I long for hang suspended from the ceiling, purple faces tongue the agony of my ecstatic soul. Everyone seems to think they know how your life will end up if you’d just sit still and listen but most try very hard not to understand anything that could make a difference.

Sliding past everyone else’s better judgment, I light three rows of candles and drop into a darkness that is not sleep. It’s more like a strange way of awakening in order to hold hands with death and own him before he owns me. We all worry about being invisible; that’s why we hide. I devour volumes of ancient spiritual texts and Bukowski, they seem to break me apart and deliver me back to who I am in a package I almost recognize. Deciphering their codes is the plot of every gutting love story ever written. The Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life grow like inverted mirror images, side by side. To be human is to have a grasp on neither.

I drip hot lavender oil into a steaming bath and sink in as I envision you with cake in your hands. I’m kneeling at your feet licking icing from a dozen silver spoons between your fingers; the sweet life is not always what it seems, but we do try. At the center of something more encompassing and brilliant than we can possibly fathom, everything is submerged. Right here. Everything is different and the same. Every safe choice should make us more and more afraid.

It’s warm underwater and even though I drown my head in thoughts of self-defeat to keep from slipping into the vacant sky where I might finally be free, I trust being alone more than I trust anything else. I don’t know if God is alone but I know this world is mass murder on painted screens that cover up the truth.

In my makeshift blackout room, spinning pins and needles on the windowsill of the universe, all I ever wanted was to make a spark that would catch the hills on fire.

It’s not hard to breathe in the dark, it’s just that you see so little of who you really are.

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~ Allison Marie Conway ~

My book of poetry, Vein, is now available on Amazon here.

Signed copies are available in my Etsy shop AllisonMariePoetry here.

All my deepest love and mad affection. x

// of thy flesh //

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aren’t we only here for so long, angel,
aren’t we only a lonely nighttime street
stacked high with patterned silhouettes
of celestial bodies wearing blindfold eyes
no words left to speak.
do you taste me like traces of fire blood on lips
pressed against the looking glass
strung up above intimate scenes.
aren’t we only a mouth full of whispers
panting on the feathered tips of forbidden things
while other people
scream.
aren’t we only the siren curves of an hourglass
sifting through phases of the moon
from the grave to the skies
i wear you like an echo of time
when the soft in the skin
that drove you mad
was mine.

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~ Allison Marie Conway ~

My book of poetry, Vein, is now available on Amazon here.

Signed copies are available in my Etsy shop AllisonMariePoetry here.

All my deepest love and mad affection. x

// black holes //

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Lining my eyes with charcoal and the scorch of tears,  I can’t escape the immovable truth that whatever your twisted secrets, you are the one who makes me glow.

The human mask ruptures by its own flawed design and I am reminded that the flesh was created to crumble; for our own protection, we are not shatterproof.  I am as fragile as I am supple, I am the fading trace of whispered delusions, echoing through the dead of nights hanging from trees, their slender roots planted firmly in the sky. The cracks in the vessel of my soft skin are beginning to show. I do not cover them. I do not fill them in. I am coming apart; I am lost. I am without a single answer of any kind. I know not where I have been, how it is I have come to be here, where I will emerge again, or if.

I am muted and surrendered to the rising flood waters of my own weakness. My hesitant steps are taken in timid stumbles, but mostly not at all. I am still, motionless, patient, obedient, rebellious, as the windows of every castle we ever built come crashing in.

Becoming the sound of the explosion itself, I watch for the light, the way it catches, the way it reflects.

What right have I even to be here in this obscene manner, in the way my gray animal eyes flash in the headlights, grow angry, distressed, and combative in their hunger? Who am I in my shivering thoughtlessness, in my primal confusion, in my wide and defiant uselessness?

I search the halls of ancient cities buried under the ash of a thousand graves upon ten thousand years with a heavy heart and burdened mind for a thing I cannot grasp. My soul makes its truest offerings of itself in the shelter of this darkness. Shadowy figures are at play, the way my exotic spirit dances in the flames of the fires she feeds mercilessly within. My satin hands touch themselves to my throat and I am ecstatic for the mystery I am suspended within. Consumed to the core with liberation and unworthiness, I am a dewy web of prismatic shine at the center of your calculated chaos.

I am alone, defenseless, in this ruined room with trembling walls; stripped bare of arrogance, pretense, and facade. Here I am tested, made to look upon my own frustrating limits; I tug with my teeth at the threads of a thick cascade of drenching compassion for a woman on the precipice of life and death, staring out into the Great Abyss.

Here I am made ready. Here I am destroyed and rebuilt as I confess that I do not know the way, I do not have the answers, I would not know how to open my mouth if not for Love’s insatiable desire to burn me with Her beautiful, healing grace.

From the depths of this blind wilderness, I am grateful. I am richer for the shadows, for that which is hidden must have its way with me.

In my nakedness I am the ritual. In my emptiness I am the gift.

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// blood of the innocent //

chandy gb

The steel bars of the past are only shadows now, still I close my eyes, press myself against them and romanticize the sting. When I’m alone inside a mind that too often slips out of her black leather cuffs and escapes me, I fantasize about the way you were the first to bite my lips. How every bone in my new body loosened from its hinges and fell away, how I watched from screened in porches by the light of glass jars filled with fireflies and marveled at the ravenous creatures we were becoming. Awakening together an iron taste for worship of a similar strangeness. Pain forever threaded with pleasure, licks of orgasmic death cradled inside a private nebulous universe just ripening.

The world burns itself for entertainment but blessed are we the holy ones who are bred without lungs and breathe steady underwater until eternity collapses. Bodies marching to the sound of distant trains running off their wooden tracks offer themselves up in sacrifice that we may be born to wander an alien earth. I’m tired, beloved, tied to a tree and your stomach in knots over watching me, so close in dreams you become aroused as the ropes and my wrists struggle to break free. Lace nightgowns, black ink roses on fevered skin, instruments of blind release and trading your safe place for a stab at the ghost of the way we used to be.

You were a fetish I couldn’t put down until every bedtime story began folding us into the pages of eternal dust. You and I, we were born thirsty.

The relentless plunge of your expert fingers is just another hypnotic link in these chains that pull me back to who I was before cruelty ever touched me the way you never did. Who are you that owns the body in my mind? Where have you been leading me in darkness all this time?

As I walk through the days after, every empty street slides up and away under my bare feet. Beneath a concrete urban moon I hold still before you as ten thousand broken cups shatter against the wind. I sip like an abandoned animal the tears from the lines in your hands.

I remember the way we grew up seeking fire and it illuminates the ancient codes carved deep within my cells: skinning our naked knees, crossing my heart and hoping to fly, running, running, running through fields of falling stars across an endless sky.

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~ Allison Marie Conway ~

My book of poetry, Vein, is now available on Amazon here.

Signed copies are available in my Etsy shop AllisonMariePoetry here.

All my deepest love and mad affection. x