Monday, February 22, 2010

stigma

 "Dreams of Flying" by George Grie

after they have gone
i am alone with the words
the words they said
the words i heard
the words i imagined
the words i said
the words they heard
or perhaps did not hear
because they were not listening
though they pretended to listen
and in sinks this feeling
i know it so well
like the brown spot
on the inside of my left step
a beauty spot they call it
a mark i say
this feeling of something
this feeling of nothing
this feeling of a wet whip to the brain
this feeling of a white shock to the eye
and then i dream they will go away
not the whips or the shocks
not the words
but them
i dream they will go away forever
that i may rest with the words alone
and so i sit by myself in this darkness
that is broken by an artificial light
that i have allowed
i sit in this room
and the walls grow taller
and wider
and tighter
i sit in this chair
and the colors deepen
and glow
and pool
i sit
and my shallow inkpot becomes a well
i am a diary filled with words
filled to the brim but not overflowed
and yet locked
and the key discarded
and i dream they will return
not the walls or the colors
but them
i dream they will return
that i may think of something unsaid to say
some words with which to pretend a conversation
but why do i wish my words their own imprisonment
and with this distracting thought
the words are scattered
and my face smarts and my eyes sting
and the moment of my collapsing heart threatens
and i am mortified
with shame and humiliation
though i am with my Self
and She is with me
i am stumped
at catching my Self in this weakness
and my eyes want their explosion
but i do not allow it
i do not allow
this involuntary expression
that deforms a face beyond recognition

because i am afraid to cry

even with my Self
because somehow
if
if i should cry
i might lose a measure of pride
as if this measure
whatever its weight or size
can somehow save me
from the stigma
i do not allow
this involuntary expression
and though a measure of pride is retained
something in my heart is heavy
something in my mind is dark
with the
weight size
of this mark
of this stigma
of these tears unshed

but then comes Love

my love for me
because who will love me like i love my Self
and narcissus loved himself
so what of it
only an imbecile does not know
                        he loved the water too
and i wish i could live
and i wish i could die
and i sit by myself in this darkness
that is broken by an artificial light
that i have allowed
i sit in this room this chair
my tears like rocks in my eyes
and outside the moon sits in the sky
and glows like a polished crystal
but only an imbecile does not know
                        the moon does not glow

and my tears will not flow

no imbecile will see me cry
no imbecile will extend
a mocking finger and pretend
to dry my tears
only to lick my agony
and learn how salty my soul is
no imbecile will touch
no imbecile will know
my stigma is mine alone
hidden
like the brown spot
on the inside of my left step
and i sit with it
and it sits with me
and the walls grow taller
and the colors deepen
and my shallow inkpot becomes a well
and both diary and inkpot overflow

this is my infernal pleasure
this is my delicious license
this is my stigma
and mine alone

44 comments:

  1. and mine alone .....

    you are describing a huge part of my life and days .
    the beguining made me think about how haunted i was by words , mine , other people's ... a hell .
    thanks Nevine .
    hugs .

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  2. This was wonderful, as always, Nevine.

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  3. I find it optimistic, Nevine, Loved the stigma(Greek word), Who doesn't have a stigma, a mark , a haunting story a memory. afterall, we have ourselves.
    I extremely love the repetitive words,and the beat of this poem .Astounded!
    Betty xx

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  4. How early you are up, overwhelming us like tropical rain, with words that flow like a flash flood, with feelings that run deep like seams of coal in a coal mine, with heady emotions that send us soaring and plunging...

    How good it is to be back and to be out to begin visiting again some of the wondrous places that the blogosphere has to offer, how good it is to reach out a hand and wave, to reach out a hand to wish to squeeze a distant hand and say, "I know, I know".

    From a favorite song of mine comes a line that I can't help think of often, for I too have a mark... a stigma... but that is a secret, ancient history that I prefer to forget about mostly, except when the ghosts come out to whisper :

    "On the day that I was born
    My daddy sat down and cried
    Had the mark just as plain as day
    It could not be denied..."

    Nevine, I hope you've been wonderfully well these past couple of weeks, I've missed reading you regularly, and will be going back to see what you've been doing while I was away... peace to you, stigmas burn from time to time, but can be forgotten for long stretches also...

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  5. some prisons are self-inflicted, some prisons pleasurable...i like this very much!

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  6. "filled to the brim but not overflowed"

    What a lovely rendition. Long and unwinding like the wallowing of the mind which finally comes to a resolution saying:

    "this is my infernal pleasure
    this is my delicious license
    this is my stigma
    and mine alone"

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  7. Wow. I would offer you open arm in which to pour yourself - a place to hide from the imbeciles.

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  8. mine alone...somethings we must hold close, so close that no one can take them away, even when painful....

    I love this piece my friend, very telling;)

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  9. Sometimes, the familiarity of a voice can drown the words it carries. More often than not, we are merely taking turns to speak.

    Our words have a weight, and we need them to be carried accordingly.

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  10. Nevine: This builds really nicely to that really powerful last stanza. Along the way, the phrase "wet whip to the brain" was an original and interesting phrase. So, yeah, I liked this a lot, especially the cadence that you were able to sustain through a rather long effort and the naturally meandering aspects of what is essentially an inner monologue. Also, I think most of the repetition works in a way that suggests a "sacred chant to oneself". Which is kind of cool, really. Thanks. And Bravo! Regards, Gerry

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  11. So many great lines and references in this one... I love it.

    Speaking of Narcissus: http://www.salvadordali.hit.bg/gallery/Metamorphosis%20of%20Narcissus.jpg

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  12. There are times as a reader when one feels they connect completely with the writer, this is one of these times. You write beautifully my dear.
    Oh and also on my bookshelf is a few copies of Roald Dahl works both his children classics and adult adventures.
    Warm regards,
    Simone

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  13. To be with you is to be with the subtle , with passion...your words are like the gypsies feet they tap,tap tap to a crazy rhythm...i can see Horla, Esmeralada...frenzy, even where things are difficult to express...they tap, tap tap my soul off....and when it stops, the silence is so dizzying, its spins, and i spin deeper into these secret winds from the pyramids....
    Lets me watch your words thrown in the air for my Falcon beaks to devour them!
    Nevine, behind the sandunes the beautiful glow of Egypt, its mesmerising magic......i wonder what Freud would say about this?? ;-)...i m sure he'll be your fan!

    love and warm hugs to this crazy brain of yours!
    col

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  14. Such a familiar feeling. You have a talent for delving into the depths of the human mind and pulling it apart. I loved this!

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  15. I felt the pressure behind my eyes, the same pressure that comes from repressing tears. You have been there you have been afraid to cry. I feel it.
    A marvelous writing, Nevine.

    Secretia

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  16. Caio – There, I’ve gone and written something about ME. Now I’m a member of your “Me” club. You always accuse yourself of writing about yourself, but there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s quite liberating, actually. And I can imagine that you’ve experienced some of this, Caio. You are a sensitive person, and it takes a high degree of sensitivity to be haunted by words. Hugs back at you!

    Christopher – Thank you for that.

    Betty – Ah, yes, it is a Greek word, isn’t it? And it is optimistic, though only towards the end. I am, in essence, an optimistic person, though sometimes it may seem otherwise. ;-) Thank you for the “astounded”. I really appreciate that.

    Owen – You’re back! How wonderful to see your black & white head on my blog. And speaking of your stigma, we all have them, both literal and figurative stigmas. I hope your stigma doesn’t haunt you often. And I have been well, yes. Though I’ve been submitting less regularly than before, I think. Still, I’m not feeling pressured about a time schedule, here. This place is for fun, and I’m keeping it that way. It really is so good to have you back, Owen. I hope you had a marvelous time on your break! I’ll be visiting you shortly… :-)

    Kay – Thank you, and I do agree that some prisons are self-inflicted. Why would we do that to ourselves, though? A million dollar question…

    Susan – You did get it all entirely. But I guess there wasn’t anything tricky about any of this, was there? Pretty straightforward, and this is what happens when I stream… That’s why I love streaming so much. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it, Susan.

    Zuzanna – Thank you.

    Lou – Oh, that we could all have a place to hide from the imbeciles. But, they far outnumber all of the rest of humanity. Thank you for the thought, Lou.

    Steven – Yes, it is. And I almost didn’t want to post it. But, hey, Nevine is letting go of those freakin’ inhibitions, right?

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  17. but then comes Love...

    and who will love you besides you...Me thats who..

    This just is so damn good I can't stop reading it...

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  18. Martin – Your comments always resonate. You always do understand, and you always do share. And I always appreciate it, Martin. Thank you.

    Gerry – “wet whip to the brain” Sometimes it feels that way, you know? And it was certainly an inner monologue, and like you mentioned, a chant. That’s how some of those conversations with oneself sometimes sound and feel… like a chant. We always seem to repeat the same things to ourselves… like a mantra… a mantra we never seem to memorize. Thank you much, Gerry.

    Bard – Thank you. And guess what? I almost used “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” by Dali as my image. But then I said, “Let me try an artist I haven’t used yet.” But it really was one of the top images on my list.

    Simone – Thank you, and Dahl is one of my favorites. His style and his surprise endings are always such a delight. And he’s equally talented with both children’s and adult literature. See? One more thing we have in common. ;-)

    COL – Oh, you make poetry out of your comments, Joseph, and you make me smile, as always. What would Freud say? Hmmm… sometimes I wish I was a fly on his wall. And sometimes I wish I could conjure his spirit. Though many of his theories have been tossed to the four winds, one still has to give him credit for coming up with some amazing ideas for analyzing human behavior. COL, it’s so wonderfully good to have you back. You’ve been gone way too long. Bisous back to you from the girl with the crazy brain!

    Eva – Thank you. I figured you would relate to this piece… you would understand.

    Secretia – Yes, I have. I’ve been afraid to cry, and I admit it. Sometimes crying makes us drop our defenses. But then, if we don’t cry, what relief is there for our troubles? Thank you, Secretia.

    Reaper – Thank you for that awesomely sweet comment! You’ve really made me smile… not with my lips only… but with my eyes, too! :-)

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  19. To cry, even alone, would be an admission that the pain is real, and a wound, and not just another challenge to be overcome.

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  20. But HEY
    You said you did not know yourself... Who YOU are!
    you do-better than anyone! As anyone...No one does , though they try their best... HERE i bet you got it girl
    ;)

    How I love to read you QUEEN!

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  21. "something in my heart is heavy
    something in my mind is dark"

    So true, alas*

    ***
    Gros bisous et que nos étoiles nous protègent*******

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  22. Do you know Nevine, that I would love to quote a favorite line here and there of yours. But if I write all my favorite words, I should rather just copy your whole posting.

    Being a man, I yet identified with so much of your thinking here...I was "alone and lonely" for so much time. However, you taught me here that I did have as compnay those words which never be lost nor forgot. (Never, Nevine!)

    Yes, I have been your so-self-centered "imbecile" frequently, in the long past. Hopefully, not more of that behavior is mine. So long as I examine constantly the motives for my actions.

    By the way, my diary overflows, and so does my inkpot--grin!

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  23. Très très joli Nevine, cette fois je ne résiste pas à laisser un commentaire. C'est vrai que tu écris merveilleusement bien, je l'avais déjà constaté, même si comme je te l'ai dit, ma lecture de la poésie en anglais est plus, disons, "compliquée", que celle de la prose. Mais cette fois, aucun problème... ça coule comme de l'eau de roche, ça se laisse descendre comme une petite pente douce à vélo, et on se liquéfie peu à peu pour ne faire plus qu'un avec non pas les mots mais l'âme de ces mots, celle que tu nous y a dévoilée.
    Amicalement, Marie K.

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  24. What an extraordinary piece of writing! It's amazing how you tap into people's feelings so easily. You'd be surprised to see the emotions your poem triggered off this morning. And amongst so many well-written verses, this brief line made my eyes moist:

    'but why do i wish my words their own imprisonment'

    Why, indeed? Let your words slap the offensive party (which you did in the latter part of the poem, but I had not got there then yet).

    I am so lucky to read you and blogland is so lucky to have you.

    Greetings from London.

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  25. oh, these interior journeys you allow us - always illuminating - always thrilling - always beautiful! thank you!

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  26. oh what wonderful description of our own neuroticism. going from pessimistic to optimistic to a mingling of both, capturing what most of us (if not all) feel - a very natural feeling, reading it feels like you're describing exactly how i feel with my unsaid/imagined conversations at night. Excellent!

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  27. Jason – Admissions are sometimes so difficult to make, especially to ourselves. Most of the time, we try the shortcut – denial… to our own detriment. And crying is such sweet release, when we allow it. Sometimes we can be shortsighted.

    Dulce – I know, I know. Trying to get to know Nevine better is an exercise in madness, Dulce. You just don’t know, Sweetest! I haven’t “got it” all just yet, but I’m trying to get there. ;-)

    Cremilde – Je suis désolée de savoir tes nouvelles, mais j’espère que tout se passera bien. Je le sens, au profond de mon Coeur, Cremilde, que tout se passera bien. Que toutes les étoiles du monde te protègent… et qu’elles protègent aussi ta famille. Je pense à toi, Cremilde. Bisous.

    Steve – And do you know, Steve, that you flatter me no small amount? And I know that you’ve been “alone and lonely” too. We all have, and sometimes, we all are. And it’s in our loneliness that we find out who we really are. Our diaries overflow with life… and I suppose that’s a blessing, too. Even those things that hurt us in the past, Steveroni, they are an intricate part of who we are. Thank you for your warm visit. :-)

    Marie – Tes mots sont comme de la poésie, et je l’apprécie. Tu as noté que c’est toujours l’âme des mots qui conte. Et c’est quand je me trouve toute seule que je dévoile l’âme des mots, et l’âme de mon existence. Merci de ne pas avoir résisté à laisser un commentaire, Marie. ;-)

    Cuban – Thank you for sharing my feelings, here. Every now and then I have a rant or two, and this type of writing results. But we all need one of these self-exposures every once in a while. And damn, it feels so good! :-)

    Jenean – The interior journeys are always the darkest, but always the best once the trip is over.

    Khulud – What in the world happened to your blog? I went to click on the link yesterday because I saw that my sidebar had updated with a new post for you, and I got a message that your blog doesn’t exist…. And I just clicked on it and there it is! But I don’t see myself as a follower of your blog anymore. I’ve just added myself again! What in the world is going on? Anyway, I hope that’s the end of that confusion… As for the neuroticism, yes, we all go through those moments of mixed thought. I get that affliction when I’m up by myself late at night being my usual night owl self. The darkness unleashes my imagination, and I get to thinking about all of these crazy things. But that’s such a necessary part of our existence. I know I can’t do without my night thoughts…

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  28. oh the confusions of technologies... "all" I did was change the URL of my blog... before the URL included my whole name, which I realized lately isn't such a good idea... so I changed it... and actually you are the only one that stopped being my follower... so that's weird. anyway, don't worry, we're not going to lose each other that easy! hugs!!

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  29. Beautiful words as usual !! This is so amazing !! Thanks for sharing..

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  30. Khulud - I'm glad I found you again. My next step was going to be to google you. But everything worked out. Salaam! :-)

    Unseen Rajasthan - Thank you, and it was my pleasure to share.

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  31. powerful piece and razor-sharp - i love how this begins focused on "them", then tightens until left with self - and the "mark" - which is largely hidden, sometimes seen, but only really known to person of the poem.

    it's amazing the journeys you take us on. thank you.

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  32. Nev- wishing to live, wishing to die. wondering do I hate myself or love myself to much? No wonder they made rocking chairs. I wonder these every day. Brilliant journey. ~rick

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  33. Intense and dark. I can't tell you how connected I feel to this poem, and for many reasons. Actually I can tell you but not here. I can tell you that I felt an intense feeling of compassion for this person you write about. I was reading an article in Psy Today, a stupid article about recognizing narcissists so you can avoid them, and my heart just goes out to people who are so closed off that they just can not connect with another. I have always had this driving desire to fix! But what do we do? Is it stigma because we just haven't an F-n clue what to do? Such intense questions... Brilliantly asked in the form of poetry that asks someone to think.

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  34. Hi Nevine I already left a comment on this beautiful poem but it has vanished! I said that , as a rule, the rhythm and intensity of your lyrics is overwhelming. This is what strikes me most and goes straight to my heart.

    Felicitations pour ton talent inne' de poete,
    bisous

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  35. I cry too easily and always lose that bit of pride. I wish I didn't cry so much and so often, it makes me feel too vulnerable. That's what I take from the 'imbecile' section - the feeling of not wanting to be seen as weak by people.

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  36. Joaquin - I'm intrigued by your "razor-sharp" comment. When I wrote this and went back to reread it, I had the feeling like it lacked that sharpness, and was rather dull. But I told myself it was a streaming activity and I didn't want to "fix it" too much - then it would sound "fixed". So thank you; I appreciate that a lot.

    Rick - And I wonder them every day, too. Maybe we can get together and "rock" in our chairs together, one time, and just wonder these things out loud together. Imagine that... You're awesome, Rick!

    Cat - I'll tell you the same thing about your "intense" comment I told Joaquin about his "razor-sharp"... That was truly not how it read to me. But we're often so critical of our own work to the extent that we become the bad critic, I suppose. Narcissists, huh? I think we all have a dash of that in us... And this was the point, though. Because this was actually me writing about myself, when I get into my "wanting to write" darkness. But the point is that even though I'm a bit of the Narcissist when I'm writing, it's only because I'm defensive, and I still can love the Other. I see beyond only my image in the stream. But I still see my image, and I feel compelled to love myself. Oh, well... just me being me, I guess. It's stigma to want to cry and hold it in... that's stigma to me. The pain I feel when I hold it in... that "hard candy stuck in the back of my throat" feeling is the stigma. See, Cat? Now you're making me write a book. ;-)

    Lorenza - I'm sorry your comment disappeared; I'm not sure what happened, but I never saw it. So thank you for coming back and leaving another. And merci pour tes felicitations, et pour le commentaire. Bon week-end, Lorenza! :-)

    Mme. DeFarge - All I can tell you is that crying, while it does make you lose a bit of pride, is the biggest liberator in the world. If you can cry easy, then that's probably a good thing. But I know the feeling of not wanting to seem weak, too. Maybe the best way to cry, then, is to cry alone. Always my first choice, if I can help it!

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  37. Nevine you could not be any sweeter... i keep coming back to see if you have a new post... no. but I get to read this one again...

    still beautiful...

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  38. This poem is intense Nevine. The inability to
    become known and to eventually revel in this
    feeling of walls enlarging around your being.
    And utltimatley your personal ink well, your
    soul fill up and releases through writing.

    Nevine, would it be possible for me to interview you for Dialogues at Poemflesh2.
    The interview will only consist of four
    questions. If interested please email me here~

    sleepingfaith@yahoo.com

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  39. Ya know? Like Sir Thomas (above) I came here to read again your post of several days ago. Your writings are best when NOT newly posted daily--BECAUSE, dear soul, That would overwhelm even a modestly-slow-reader (like me). I can take only so much, then must go back, re-read, and digest again (like an animal, who eats fast, and chews it later)!

    However, I DO now await the next 'vene-post.

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  40. Sir Thomas - I'm sorry... I'm a bit of a slow blogger. Writing doesn't come easy to me... it's a daunting process. But, I'll be posting something new soon... I promise. And thank you for stopping in to check... Really! :-)

    Cynthia - You always get to the heart of the matter, so effortlessly. Yes, the inkwell is my soul, and the stigma the writing I'm afraid to allow out, the tears I don't want to release. It's amazing how you "get it", and that's why I appreciate your visits. And, it would be my pleasure to be interviewed by you. Truly. I will be emailing you soon. :-)

    Steve - And thank you to you, too. I know I'm a bit of a slow blogger, but like I told Sir Thomas, writing is a difficult process for me, and I don't take it lightly. So I'm happy to know you come back and read again. No, I'm more than just happy. I'm elated! You make me smile, Steveroni. And, the new 'vene post is coming soon. Promises! :-)

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  41. Miss,
    excuse this interruption, may I just tell you that your poetry is both alluring and atractive. You're a very talented wordsmith.

    Kindest Thoughts,

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  42. A lovely piece and I love the graphics.

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  43. Dean - Thank you for your kind visit, and your even kinder comment. I appreciate it.

    Middle Ditch - Thank you much for the visit and the comment. I hope you will visit again.

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Your thoughts are deeply appreciated.