Evergreen

We swayed to the beat of reggae,
touching,
both willing surrender to closeness,
hearts booming,
soaking the love like a sponge

when the music was done,
the crowd walked away,
even as we lingered looking at stars, holding closely to moments
profound and fleeting

the weight of the crash
came over me,
thinking you said words you
didn’t say,
fog clearing,
realizing you did just mean
for us to be a summer fling

maybe not,
if I adopt polyamorous views,
couldn’t sink into you,
if only given permission,
a request you can’t bear,
wounds and scar tissue prevent you,
caught up in what ifs and defense,

a replaying of history denies life opportunity to hurt you again,
if you just had a child,
it would all be worth it,
to be left by a lover
you willed to stay,
a lifetime connection formed

children teach the purest love,
motivators for hurdles,
mountains to overcome,
but take it from someone
who has her own,
they solve nothing of pain
or festering wounds

abandonment, ghosting,
they’re here and then gone,
each new knife in the heart,
should keep me by myself,
but it’s just like you said
when we talked on the hill,
my heart stays evergreen,
renewed,
ready for the next break,
in hopes what I’m seeking is real.

Emily Cloward © 2018

Mending Heart

Last night I saw a friend of mine, one I once wrote a poem for, I shared with him when wonder was new, believing he could be a final destination,

but someone else was also there, taken by surprise at his attentive nature, sweet messages throughout the day, unafraid of filtering words I say, consistency building moment to moment, blissful being in his presence; my friend, he likes me too, a burden I hadn’t felt before, instead of acting as if all was well, I spoke to him with words sincere,

I don’t know how to navigate these roads, I met you first and felt a bond, so new, no promises acquired, now meeting him, it just seems there is more compatibility, can’t see two at once, that’s not my style, I free flow with brutal honesty.

It’s probably all for the best, I can’t provide you what you wish, a family, a child of your own, allowances not on the table, I can’t expect for you to change, nor I. Needy and expectant, I could soak in endless amounts of attention, from someone willing to provide and receive the love I wish to set free.

I thought this would silence him, most confessions do, but he replied soft and sweet, a feeling rare, accepted, new,

I hear the words you say to me, I bonded with you, truthfully, I don’t want you out of my world, or mind, if that means we’re friends, to me, that’s fine, let’s meet and talk, laugh and cry, I’ll hold your hand and kiss your cheek, respect your choice and honesty, just don’t let go of me.

and so we met, spoke as I wept of life and stories past, I begged him pardon for my tears, he had no fear of them, catharsis for the weary soul, indicative of hearts not closed, when seen with empathy and care, now harder to leave a kindred spirit,

we hugged, I kissed you on the cheek, then sent you on your way, you messaged me what you thought of our wonderful, lovely time.

I responded that I wept some more, not wanting to hurt his beautiful soul, a soul who cares enough to try, his words a calm, gentle reply;

I’m not hurting, I like when you are near,

now my heart floods with joyful tears.

Emily Cloward © 2018

Ray LaMontagne

Hope to mend from festered wounds,
fill empty voids with love and light,
a choice to feel the weight of worlds,
aware of humanity’s frightful plight,
he won’t be bent like a paper back,
he sings in echoes, raw and right,
yet when he speaks, he’s shy, succint,
his voice at best through chords he sings,
guitars and lights, solos and riffs,
shivers running down my spine,
frequency tuned to what he says,
tears streaming down my troubled face,
like healing balm to keep my voice;
raise it fierce, soft and sweet,
grateful for the gifts he brings,
oh, Ray, you mean so much to me.

Emily Cloward © 2018

Curious

No longer am I curious about stranger’s faces, their stories unwilling to be told, unwilling to listen to mine. The energy needs to be there, for curiosity’s sake, or what are we here for? It’s been a long year, an even longer winter, and I feel myself changing from what was; accepting parts I didn’t know were there, rejecting others I now see as stale. I’m changing as my words flood pages. Maybe my senses are overwhelming to some, but others understand and will ask for continued clarity through the mazes in my mind. It can be exhausting, but if I’m willing to do the same, it stands to reason someone would be willing for me. As for the past ones, the ones who left or had little capacity to understand; I wish them well. They’re not for me, and I’m not for them. Hanging onto a hope of changing with one moment of clarity is foolishness, they shouldn’t have left in the first place, and if they would, could’ve told me why. Maybe then we could have corrected the downward spiral and found higher altitude again. That’s not how it works, we have scripts in our minds and hearts that prevent from brutal honesty, vulnerability, companionship. It’s too easy to miss someone, to think of how they peered into the deep wells of my soul; lonely and aching for them to stay. Easier still, is coming back after time has been lost, time that could’ve been spent slowly building tapestries to change loneliness to trust and blooming love. Afraid of the bloom, some hibernate instead, wishing only to partake of forbidden fruit when it pleases them. Forbidden now, because I forbid it for good.

Emily Cloward © 2018

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Drama Free

Void

What a pretty picture painted by society’s traps, these fucking phones attached to our hands like life depends on them, failing to see what’s right in front of us, and maybe that’s the point, to consume fake love, fleeting lust, and endless emptiness.

Awareness doesn’t stop the actions, cause everyone’s there, on the same sick cycle carousel looking for mirages of hope that someone will care, stick around and be in tune to the one that catches their attention, pursue friendship and love without distraction, but it’s there, like a monkey on the back of a cocaine addict, to woo away the weak, something’s better, list still long, seeking perfection when it doesn’t exist. Intrigue, the new puppy love.

Should’ve been a pick-up line, “How are things, any new emergencies, any first world problems still pressing? We have air, water, health, and that’s what matters”. Yes, it fucking matters, those in power making it more difficult to meet those needs; baselines of human existence, and what of connection? It doesn’t change chronic loneliness in the equation, the pressure to be someone other than who we are, a beacon of hope and ray of light, unfucking ourselves from our past traumas. They exist, they’re there, taking many forms, if I can’t speak with my voice to say what they are, what’s the point? I need connection, validation, I’m not meant to self-soothe like an infant crying in their crib who wants to be held a little longer, until they fall asleep next to their mother’s breast; or a loving father who doesn’t quiet the tears, won’t walk away because he’s fearful of how to handle them. Tears, I’ve cried many when in the presence of men; of joy, hope, fear, overwhelming sex. Each one of them walked, not knowing what to say, “We’ll talk about this another day”, but that day doesn’t come, they’re more interested in the storm passing so they can think again with their dicks and come inside me instead.

I notice I’m rocking back and forth, memories flooding of all the hope, squashed in mere moments as I reflect on my choice in these matters. I’ve been as strong as I feel my guts can take, feel the weight of the madness, deflection, we don’t communicate with our hearts and souls, smooth sailing is the mantra, good vibes too, when all it really means is “painted smiles wanted and no complaints”. I’ve stuck my head in the sand, can’t possibly take it all in, the world and its tragedies never ending, but if I would make a difference, it would be by hearing the voices of those perpetually ghosted, mine included in boxed screams and whispers, and yes, even love.

Despair

Blueberry sunsets frozen on screens and romances inspired by hyperbolic clickbait. The buzz and the feed; eyes lost in transition, swiping people like they’re pieces of meat. We’re ever knowing more, but also ever seeing less. The songbird loses her charm when a lover wakes after his one-night stand, dresses and leaves forsaking intimacy, and embraces polyamory. We’re broken with guilt, but still look for salvation in cheap sex.

Life goes on, people move on, self-medicated and booze-ridden with pouchy folds under eyes, blackened with insomnia’s despair. Friendship reduced to use, crush and toss, or ‘elevated’ to elitist cliques, and love? What about it? It doesn’t exist anymore. We’ve abdicated it with a pornographic mutiny and placed voyeurism on the throne. I often wish I didn’t exist because eventually it gets to all of us – this façade of together forever and xoxos, which is such a far cry from real commitment and continuity. I’m sick of these, ‘awws,’ which are simply paws and friend zones and stereotypes. They’re all foolish ideas of what relationships are, and bland simulacrums of cheesy Rom-Coms.

We’ve conditioned ourselves to hate baggage. All these ‘motivational speakers’ and ‘life gurus’ tell us we’ll become what we think and we’re willing to pay them big money for one session. Everybody’s eager to embrace happiness and think ‘positive’ thoughts, but the truth is that though we’re thinking positively or pretending to, our core shows itself each time we pop a pill, or sleep with a woman for the pure sensual gratification. If love took the form of a person, she’d be sacrificed in the most brutal way, putting torture devices to shame. They’ll hang, draw and quarter her. And it’s not like we don’t do that already even though she exists in the metaphysical realm. We hang her each time we squeeze all affection out of someone and make them dependent on us through deceitful, manipulative ways. We then draw her through sordid streets, fastening her to the horses of our malice, each time we suddenly cut ties with that person, tearing them inside. Finally, we quarter her, when we go back to them, win them back, only to repeat the cycle again. And this is natural to most people except a few souls who give up on everything.

Am I one of those souls? I’ve seen too much. People have hurt me enough and though acceptance is integral I find myself teetering between it and solitude. I want out. I want something idyllic even if it’s a delusion, because dreams at least offer a semblance of solace. I’ll take my cup of coffee and my cigarettes and my books. The women in my life have left enough scars, and I’m not one for using people, although there was a time when I was just as twisted as the people I condemn. But I’ve made my mistakes and learned from my crimes. And so, I sit with my back against a wall, lost in thought – the thousand-yard stare embodying the loss of catharsis and hope, but also embodying the loss of anger and hate.

Roles

I’m the sassy emo girl, he thinks it’s sexy, wishes I was okay with casual while sending me vacant emojis with hearts that mean nothing, then when called upon it, a black heart instead, “you love it,” he says.

Won’t matter what I say, it will all be endearing, no evidence that my depth is making a dent, he has tunnel vision, and that’s all I’m good for, an Amy Lee role play to check off his list.

Sadness is sexy, just more vulnerable prey for those who wish to manipulate, but now I’m awake, more than before, and if some new version of me is created, sees lies from eagle vision before they can hurt, rejects the ones who miss me, they’re sorry for leaving me like all men before, I’ll jump ship in my imagination and hide where I am now, spilling words that give little comfort, only some elusive strength to keep my voice from turning into muted surrender.

Theatre

In the end, it’s just one big fucking drama with Zannis feigning normalcy, and intuitive, genuinely creative souls stereotyped as lunatics howling at the moon. ‘I need to think before I post something on Facebook because I’m scared about how I’m perceived,’ says everybody except those few vagabonds who stay true to themselves. Since when has how people perceive you become the norm, the standard you use to measure yourself. It reeks of superficiality and is insipid. But try voicing yourself, go on, and watch as they ostracize you; sever the umbilical cord that connects you to society, just because you didn’t conform.

But say you rebelled in such a way that you started counter-culture, and it grew like Grunge rocked Seattle in the early 90’s, all those ‘friends’ you lost will come back, and all those beautiful women who said, ‘You were never on my list,’ will beg for a chance to suck your cock.

It’s a pretty picture that society paints indeed, filled with cool kids getting Kurt Cobain tattoos, and millennials romanticizing depression, oh, so very theatrically, slitting their wrists because of relationship ‘issues.’ So, I guess I’m giving all you duplicitous, hypocritical bastards a swansong that’s really a middle finger and finding my own.

© Nitin Lalit Murali and Emily Cloward (2018)

This is the second collaboration between Nitin and I. It’s always such a cathartic experience working with him. Genuine and honest, he speaks from the heart and soul. Please follow him. You’ll find him at Fighting the Dying Light.

Manifest

memory of heaven,
skies above,
seem abstract pieces of my being,
I look to you,
the one I love,
to quiet ancient suffering,
break through my chains,
enter my heart,
eternal,
there you will remain,
be still my soul,
within your arms,
manifest,
please come to me.

Emily Cloward ©

#JiltedVerse 32

guide words: celestial desire, faded kiss, mystical bliss

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