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Musings, Revelations, and Art

Yesterday, I went dancing with girlfriends. I prised myself
off my couch and away from the gathering winds of chaos of the 2nd half of Harry
Potter
’s final book, and actually put on
make-up.
The thing about being unemployed, not having requirements on
my time is that I’m free to walk around make-up free and sneaker-clad for as
many days in a row as I’d like. But, I’ll admit. This gets boring. It was fun
to get dressed up, try on different heels, put in some gel inserts so as to
soothe what would be rioting feet, and hop in the car.
I could see from my place on the couch what my evening would
be like if I didn’t go out – if I did as I usually do, and flake out. It would
consist of a Saturday night with me, my cat, and a book. Not a bad evening, but
not a social, outward, expansive one either. Even from my lethargic vegetative
state, I could see that should I go out, I knew I’d smile. I knew that likely,
I’d smile like a grinning fool the entire time. And what do you know? I did.
There’s a funny thing that happens when girls go out
dancing, and especially when they aren’t drinking. We all tend to dance in a
circle. Some brave guy will take this as an invitation to step into the middle
and dance his peacock dance, and we’ll all dance a little “ha ha, very funny”
and smile, and eventually, the guy will realize that none of us are stepping
forward to grind with him, and he’ll leave. Looking a little chagrined, but
also a little cocky at having been in the middle of a circle of attractive,
gyrating women.
This is no knock on men. It’s more just a show of why we women go out dancing in the first place. Sure, it
used to be, years ago, about grinding, and finding someone to go home with, but
that’s just not what it’s about anymore. It’s much more fun, and much more
engaging and community-making.
I was dancing with women who were all older than me, but
could cut a rug eagerly and enthusiastically. The great thing about dancing
with other women, is that you get to observe the moves they do, subtly copy
them, incorporating their moves into your own repertoire as you see how they
fit on you. It becomes an interplay. A collaborative dance, in a way, as each
of us watch the other, copy sometimes funny flailing, sometimes a specific arm wave.
I love it. I love to dance. My hips and back and neck are
feeling it today, but, my feet are not(!).
The t.v. screens all showed the videos of the songs the dj
was playing, and they were weird. Weird motherf’in videos. Having fallen out of the tech
generation without a television, cable, or even the ability to watch shows on
my laptop, now that everything else has been upgraded and my laptop can’t sync
with it, I said to my friend as I watched the screens showing strippers,
animatronics, and a rather weird video where men realize there’s another human
male head at their crotch, that it’s like a revelation: “Images!” I yelled.
Moving images. It’s honestly something I rarely see anymore, and these were
such unusual ones that for minutes at a time, half the dance floor would stop
dancing, just to watch the extreme oddity of whatever was happening on the
screen. It was
weird. Things
change.

I won’t tell you that I’m not a little trepidatious about
what I wrote yesterday about sex and whatnot. That I feel a little wide-eyed at
the fact that I wrote so honestly. But, also, I realize that this is why I
write here, to put down things that will help me in the rest of my life, as a
record, or a guide. Because of having written what I did yesterday, I feel
it’ll be easier to say these things out loud when I read in a few weeks.
When I was taking a poetry class at school, a teacher said
to me, if you’re writing about a blow job, then write about a blow job, don’t
talk around it in obscure or flowery language. I was aghast, and taken aback,
and more than a bit hurt. But his criticism helped to change the face of my
writing immensely. In vehement “I’ll show you” reaction to his feedback, which included the words
sentimental and cliché, I started to write starkly, unemotionally. The emotion
in it certainly conveyed, but not because I told you “how I feel.” It changed
the shape of my writing.
As I was thinking about it this morning, in reaction to him
also, I wrote a poem called “Titillation and Censorship,” which wrote closer to
what I was talking about. It’s title also brings up one of my fears about writing about
this stuff — it’s not intended to
titillate. It’s not intended to be erotica. It verges on that. It may indeed
titillate you, and that’s a perfectly fine and welcome reaction, but that’s not
its point. And so, as I think about reading this stuff to an audience, I
imagine some uncomfortable squirms in chairs, or maybe an unconscious adjusting
of a crotch here and there, some pink-cheeked flushes of embarrassment. Will that happen? I don’t know.
But as I begin to write or am writing more specifically about
my thoughts and experience about sex than I ever have, I’m writing words that I’ve likely
never said out loud except maybe to a
lover. And that’s another part of the liberation of these poems.
I will rarely tell you what it is that I’m wanting or
needing in bed. I close down, and I feel too shy or ashamed to tell you what I
want. In the times when I feel I have expressed it, I’ve felt disappointed, and
so conclude to continue remaining silent. In fact, I had one lover who I told
what I needed, and who actually said, “Too bad.”
Writing poems that include language that you might find in a
smut magazine or an erotic story means that I have to say these words out loud.
Not yet able to say them in my intimate life, I am forcing myself to say them
in my poetic life, to become comfortable saying them – or at least not mute.
Does it still scare me, thrill me, and sure, even turn me on
a little to write and read these poems? Yes. Am I going to do it anyway?
Apparently. 
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