WORDS

HAVE

POWER

For me, writing is cathartic. It's a healing process, regardless of whether or not the words themselves are kind, angry, sad or joyful. The power is in the process, though in the end, I hope the results of that process can resonate with and heal others, too.

POETRY AND PROSE

ON THE ISLAND

  II   III   IV   V   VI   VII   VIII   IX   X   XI   XII   XIII

 

AN ANCHOR

FOR FRANCESCA

HURRICANE

A FIRE BURNS

  II   III

BA VCS THESIS

Fun with Dick and Little Susie: The Naming of Erogenous Zones

 

I – ON THE ISLAND

 

Each day you grow further;
Each day
You stir the still air across the ocean
A sweet sigh in a pounding collision

A soul drifts
Bashing against rocks and colliding back into my memory

An interruption
Soft kissing
Broken
Still beautiful

 
 

II – ON THE ISLAND

 

As you fell you grew dimmer and dimmer
A light in my head,
Stolen by the ocean’s empty swallow
What you knew
What we knew
Faded in that sliver counting.
I was tied to you.

I can forget
Every word we spoke
Every glance we made
Every touch that grazed between us,
But you find me here,
Unbridgeable,
Wading in the untouchable state.

Could I reach you?
If I dove off mountains and stretched my palms
could I touch you.

You
Clasp you frozen
Flawless for a second in my mind
Seeing what you saw in the seconds before.
Grasping at nothing.

Soft wind and stammered exchanges,
Chance slams us between her spokes.
I am haunted by something I never understood,
A moment’s feeling stretched to days of unease.

We were ours
In the air
We were ours

Burning with it
Our lives
We were they
Passing in untouched seconds,
Beautiful in the center of a lagging heart.

 

III- ON THE ISLAND

 

They will not find me
Here with you they cannot find me.
My heart is open and they may feel love,
But they will not understand.
I am not theirs.

Smiling
I can fool
Laughing with the broken
Tender smiles to fragile faces.
But I am the snake,
Slipping through empty arms,
Misunderstood and scaling rivers to escape;
To find you.

I run it through my mind again
Kissing the sun
Exploding through clouds to touch sky
Playing with the wind as it turned the mountains below us

Everything fell away in that moment.
Everything we were,
It was enough.
And the beloved,
They will never take me.

 

IV – ON THE ISLAND

 

Why does my heart drag
Picking up the asphalt and grits from the road
Rolling in pieces you left me

I never knew you.
I knew you, never knowing you.
But there I am, pulled along by the strings that tied you over.

In my mind filled gaps and stories
Never knowing you I knew you
Your face, hands
Lingering feeling
Touching
Whispers

I can barely remember
Barely feel your breath on my cheek
Whispering things
Happy, Blissful happy
It meant
Did it mean
Did what

I never knew you
But knowing you I knew you.

 

V – ON THE ISLAND

 

Do you remember
Salty ocean air
I on your shoulders and a whole sky below us.
I remembered you and tripped
Caught by the strings in your hands.

 

VI – ON THE ISLAND

 

The sky was unforgiving.
No longer alone,
The island had fallen for you,
The ocean had touched your skin.
Daedalus had warned of the youthful fire
Melding the wax as you punctured the sky;
But she had loved you;
Feral and manic;
In jealousy she struck you down.
The island,
With passions too fierce
Wrapped you in her arms,
Pressing you to her body as your wings crumpled around you;

The ocean heaved in remorse.
Roaring.
The island took in your breath as it rattled from your lips.
A body broken in tangles of stone and salt,
You were encased in the rocks that you loved.
The sky howled.
The faces recalled.
You loved her.
Only her.
Remembered. You love her.

 

VII – ON THE ISLAND

 

In another life
Phosphorus and copper
Green as day and mossy
Unassuming
Unending
The strings suspended
Ropes and threads of gold
Tied
Inextricable
Insect wires through glass threads binding
Cold
Untouched
Glass case unfolding
Rocking you
Only warmth
A slap with you smiling
Blue eyes like water
Clear and
Limpid
Laughter
My eyes in your hands
Holding us in air roped around you
My friend, you were everything.

 

VIII – ON THE ISLAND

 

If I closed my eyes. The salt. I would feel it biting my hair, turning my cheeks sticky with the residue of sun and the pacific. I would be there, soaring with my hands bound to cords. Your hands guiding me to guide us. Spinning. You took me spinning in sky. I was flying, free from everything. You love it. I saw. Passing, you made your way through.

 

IX – ON THE ISLAND

 

Like a child I cling to your shirt
Smell the scent of sun on skin,
I hold you as a doll holds its mother.
Evan
Did you hear me?
My voice was eaten by waves;
I forgot you.
When you passed I had forgotten you.
Preoccupied
In love
I forgot you and you left
She took you.
Hungry.
The island with her stormy voice.
I kissed a child while you broke in half
I touched snow while the heat bit your skin
I smiled as her jaws ripped through you
And the island exhales laughter.
The longing clapped,
I lost you, and without knowing, you were gone.

 

X – ON THE ISLAND

 

No words can bring you back,
No wishing or soft whispers.
In honest, simple truth,
You are gone.

 

XI – ON THE ISLAND

 

What did she know when she saw you
What did she sew with the back of her thumb
Writing on the skin of your shoulders
Writing to find you

I tell you that I love you
Boiled in ink and heat like aching metal
I love you,
A memory, not a man,
Nameless, formless,
You haunt
Stinging the imagination of longing the living
Memory
That’s all that’s left.
You held me once, stroked my arms and pulled me to you.
Obsession. Ambiguous.
There is nothing here.
And still, everything depends
Caught in your hair
Eyes like spilling water
There is nothing left:
A makeshift man of memory.

 

XII – ON THE ISLAND

 

I saw home in you.
Safe, heart beat fast
Quick and soft
Warm sounds in the hall,
Craning my neck to see
The quiet creaking.
Half smiles and light windows.
I saw home in you,
Never knowing and finding you here.

 

XIII – ON THE ISLAND

 

Here, snow couldn’t fill the gap you left
Deftly floating sharp through a passage of
Rough colored mountain brick.
Sticking to the inside of the thin white membrane
A brain filled with fatty tissue
Skewed from fictitious accounts of normal aspirations

I left you as I left you
Folded with arms like paper sheets,
Sleet formed as water makes skin transparent.
Legs apparent and damp with salt, We left
Halting like a car on a road filled with
Still glass on wibbling carpets of
Dove colored asphalt; I left you there.

Chicago seems so far away as I cling to the blue sand between my elbows.

 

AN ANCHOR

 

It strikes you
holds your chest like aging iron
Sagging with the weight of water pressing down on its hips.

To be alone
There is a hole
Careful and thick like humid air
Attacking the lungs and pulling the body down,

It breaks you.

Where there was you
There was ice
Comfort cooling the fire that ate through us
Melted to a puddle at the base of the chest.
Anchors pulled tightly at the lump between these ribs,
They dragged you from the neck through the lungs.

I feel it tearing
The tissue gasps as the fibers break.
Loving too deeply the water ruptures through it.
I am dry like desert to open sand.

 

FOR FRANCESCA

 

It is nothing.
I hold you and my lungs,
Clasped between your fingers,
Claw and crack;
I am cold and the coarseness of my breath breaks against yours,

But I hold you.

The silence sways me,
The skin in his stare
And the embrace in the space between us,
But I hold you and it is nothing.

Do you hear the caving in my chest?
The break of ribs that sing in the exhale–

I breathe,
And the air,
Shaking with the weight
of water and bare legs between us,
Holds me to you.

Somewhere there is warmth
And the wax that slides from my shoulders
Forms blankets;
A shield,
And the shame that pins my eyes
To your open face.

I have done nothing.
I have done nothing and the lack sears my empty grin.

I loved
And the empty untouched space
Held me.

 

HURRICANE

 

There were cold birds.
Talking herds together on wires.
Words forming riots of ink on
Sturdy chain linked fences.

The disconnect.

Tight white knights riding
White faces on
Satin
Stain satin silk sashes
Sashes for my lady
Guenevere

Turn the page,
Satin soiled silk
Stained sex.
Singing sullied guilt
Blood.
Blood.
Stings.
It stings and I sing to sink
Deeper
Hold me
Deep
Stretched out on shards of slate
Slash slash slash
Goes the–
Wind in wood
It whistles
The cracks–there’s the

Ticket out
Ticket out
Out of hell
Elle
L

Lost
Lovers
Have you seen my lover?
Shaggy, dirty, everywhere

I lost him

Dot
I lost
Dot
I lost

Forgot

.

 
 

I – A FIRE BURNS

 

Water burns,
It rains,
The smoke gathers and weaves in tangles,
Spiders of black on red brick.
I saw him once, vague shadow
Holding my heart to keep from breaking,
Splintering bitter
The day is gone.
Nothing could hold you
Charred glass and bitter brick
Nothing could hold you
In palms of red salt.

 

II – A FIRE BURNS

 

It drowned me
Fire licking my tongue
Water breaking the bones and beams.
Somewhere flesh rots,
Fur and sunken sockets;
I hear wailing and the walls are black,
But who could hear us?
Caught in anxious waiting.
Shaking limbs staggered through the ash,
Black like tar these lives went down.
Who knew?
Who knew?
Somewhere life rots
Our hair hides burning cages

 

III – A FIRE BURNS

 

I can’t
Can’t breathe
Can’t br
Can’t see
There’s a hole ahead,
Blackness covers it,
Curled drywall makes a grin,
Black
Everything is black
Air
I smell it
Choking
Black tar
There’s
Black
I can’t
Can’t hear
Fire
The fire
So
Can’t
So dark
Dark
Black

 

BA VCS THESIS


Fun with Dick and Little Susie: The Naming of Erogenous Zones

-An interdisciplinary exploration and analysis of identity, gender, and representations of the body as reflected by the common social practice of naming and anthropomorphizing erogenous body parts.

*Archived Copy in the Flaxman Library
*(April 30,2011) Excerpt presented at the SAIC BAVCS Thesis Symposium:
In///Tensions
Art Institute of Chicago, Modern Wing
Chicago, IL

 
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© 2018 by Carisse Elaine Ramos.