Tag Archives: inspiration

// 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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// private lives //

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We are restless and unborn. We have been wounded by over exposure, the futile beg for love denied, maybe that’s why I clench my teeth so terribly at night that in dreams they split my gums and fall out in clumps. Such brutality, such crush, we are scattered little bugs, terrified of ugliness, we want to be beautiful and strange, want to be stroked to the dripping heat of heavy crippling pleasure and left to walk the streets alone. Daylight is the flash of a screen but I escape to the dark matter of my own haunted castle mind, my crumpled writer’s room, my wrought iron winter garden, listening in stillness for the linen voice of the ghost you hung to dry on the line. Where I can stand the thrust of the words, where limbs like curtains reach for me on the wind.

My messages caress you like candlelit passageways that open onto the tops of trees and spill my lucid thoughts out over a vacant listless sky, every star a headstone carved with the crude tools of their abbreviated lives. They call me crazy but I call it hopeful, for I believe you loved my bones before we met. Someplace inside you is where I come from and where I long to return, smooth and familiar is the way you taste like liquid metal knives and the crystal jewels of molten sex, a golden chalice erects in the healing hands of God. Love is religion like pavement glitter and nuclear dust clouds, a way to glorify the beginning of a thousand setting suns.

As I’m turning down the bed, your motionless face is rain sliding down the window of this house you occupy inside me. I wish you could trade my awful secrets for something better than I deserve, but lover, I will drink from you until the moons have turned themselves to snakes orbiting the delicate feet of angels if you would only look at me. Let them wonder about us, let them spin their every seductive bedtime story from the one we’re killing ourselves to write with our surrender. All that matters is this moment, everything else is fair disease. You and I are a single tragic blink, every second is eternity, every breath between us a fragile ritual. We have birthed each other, been raised from death into life after death.

We are fading and obedient bodies, thick volumes of handwritten history buried under lock and key, plunged in glossy wooden tombs to the bottom of the ocean. Instinctively, you know when I am wet and you dangle me there on the edge of my own pearlescent cliff, my mysterious gift, until the way I crave you becomes the quiet shatter of truth at the apex of desire. I can read the casual insanity behind your devotion as if through scars and blindness the code of your flesh will finally make sense of mine. Come and bow your head into my private madness, beloved, I am the tranquil depths you seek. Make me dangerous while everyone else is watching. We are as wild as we are high, painted figures in glass boxes wearing our scratches like diamonds, feathers, swords and star dust falling from our newborn eyes.

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// lady in waiting //

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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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// iron boxes //

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You reach for me but I am a void, I am a hellish collision of dying worlds inside. These cruel words hang me on the wall and leave me there, exposed, afraid, unraveling, alone.  And I’ve been writing, baby love, writing, writing, awful, awful, terrible writing, it ought to be a crime these unforgivable lines slashed in defiance against borrowed time, wretched incoherent manic overflow like bleeding an animal of poison, I’ve written one hundred journals in a mouthful of days, page after page, one more useless than the one before, stacking them, digging them, dragging them through the mud and the rage with me. Please don’t touch me anywhere, I am fever. My eyes finally adjusted to the darkness of this strange religion, where wings are clipped and spread at will.

Still as a cradle robbed of death, but for the smooth motion of the weapon in my hand, and the raking in my brain, and the slamming in my chest to the beat of city after city dropping to their weakened knees, I’ve kept on like the possessed searching for something. Moon rise, moon set, I have not aged since birth and I have never been so sure I’ve died too many times, I am only a pale reflection of myself, the blue fade of a forgotten lust for beautiful sins. The days have been rusted white cages, feathered ink, lace candy legs, something is dark and tethered inside me, darting its many faces in and out of the brush. Something nameless in me that I can’t seem to clutch, needs a love beyond anything the world can produce; a flower opens itself to an empty room.

And I am trying and I am failing, and this thing, this need that swallows itself into me – it is still waiting. All the world is wasted panting breath and me on the wall, and these words like ears on such abysmal pages, we are all waiting.

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// 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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// pretty little deaths //

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There are secrets within me, secrets I keep alive but quiet like moth wings fluttering around my heart for protection as they eat away at my insides. The things I would die for, lay down my inhibitions for, the desires I beg for relief from even as I fiend for the struggle to fulfill them. When I grow brave – then again maybe I’m not even brave, maybe I’m just worn down by a world that abuses itself – I look at them.

Most people won’t become writers, not because they can’t find the words. There will always be words. But because they won’t look. They won’t look within themselves for fear of descending into a place where words dissolve the breath and feelings tear the curtains down from the ceiling of their heaviest sins, jet black bedroom eyes cringing in the daylight; where emotions run like hunted nymphs, naked through a thick forest of forbidden needs.

I look at other writers, too – the true artists, the ones who slide like elegant snakes beneath your chemical skin right before their poisonous spikes dig into your bones, the ones who wet you down with lust and inject you mad with a rage you never knew you carried all this time but find suddenly scorching up your limbs. I watch the words they use until I find the ones they didn’t, those are the words that matter most. The ones they hide from you to keep for themselves.

I’ve always wanted more. So often I can sense when people are holding their most useful, gutting stuff back. It’s the way watching a heavy storm rolling in makes me want to undress. It’s in my nature, something primordial lives in me and reaches out to find itself in others but there’s nothing there to clutch. People are gone. There’s a pressure rising in the air between their two faces and I just want to be there when the heavens finally break.

Feeling the mounting crush of the hoards of people who have nothing to say, a comforting sadness walks alongside me like a shadow, rising in the snow on the moon orbiting my cosmic thoughts. Wherever it is we come from, whatever it is we think we’re made of, part of us will always be lost.

Even after all this time I still think of you and the way we never understood each other. I didn’t want to tell you that I didn’t want to understand you. I wanted to maul you to pieces and take only your most infuriating bits with me. We fall in love like savages and paint our nails like a strip tease. We fall on our knees for the beautiful pain and the thrill of a few fingers in a gaping mouth, blood pulsing against blood. I could reach inside your chest even now, lace my fingers and pull my own heart out from your body.

I’ve done it before and you’d always thank me with those kisses at the end of your most punishing, adoring letters. I can do it again just as sure as I’m doing it now. Everything we’ve ever done, dust to cradle to grave to resurrection, is written down and hanging in the gaps between every moment you occupy with the things you know don’t matter as much as love once did.

I wish I didn’t still crave your cigarettes. But I guess in places beyond the years we spend hiding, we all still crave what we’re told we shouldn’t. Smoke and mirrors, flesh of my flesh, bone of thy bone, reflections of the same side of silence.

On the street, every person is a distant galaxy hurling itself backwards and dead bird feathers continue dripping in the rain. In daydreams, I touch you with everything I have as broken wings fall around us everywhere.

And no one writes anything anymore.

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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

// masterpiece //

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Your ghost wears me thin
as your hands trace my reflection
and I wait for you
to run your energy through my blood
until I’m overcome.
Stay quiet, my love, we’re not yet done.
Move through these ivory veils
and swallow the flavor of my screams.
I want to feel the claws of love
scratching at this haunted place
you’ve made
of me.

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