womanness is a/an:

visual exploration
poetic investigation
personal essay
intimate practice
erotic expression
performance of self-authorship
visual-verbal love song1
pursuit of a new archetype
living metaphor
nocturnal poem2
archive of female overflow
a map of intuition


1Mann, Sally. Hold Still, Little Brown and Company, 2015, pp. 208. 2Paz, Octavio. “The Kingdoms of Pan.” Translated by Helen Lane. The Double Flame: Love and Eroticism, Harcourt, Inc., 1995, pp. 18.
CHAPTER 11: NIGHT BLOOMING








1Wendy C. Ortiz: “Dreamoir, a narrative dervied from the most malleable and revelatory details of one’s dreams, catalogued in bold detail. A literary adventure through the boundaries of memoir, where the self is viewed from a position anchored in the deepest recesses of the mind.”

2“The code of union,” she says to me. “That’s why you’re here.”

3(and was my terror also a game?)

404/06/20, 03/25/21

501/06/20, 02/27/20, 03/01/20, 06/22/20, 06/24/20, 08/17/20, 10/06/20, 01/09/21, 01/12/21, 01/13/21, 01/20/21, 02/18/21, etc.

603/01/21

7Anne Carson: ”Discover all that is ‘feminine’, all that reaches forward in supplication within us——the way a diver digs his heels into the ocean floor in order to rise to the surface.”

8(by metaphor I also mean lesson, teaching, the gift from those dream depths)

9Et Dieu... créa la femme, Dir. Roger Vadim, Cocinor, 1956.

10Varela, Blanca, Rough Song (Canto villano). Translated by Carlos Lara, The Song Cave, 2020.

11Millay, Edna St. Vincent, Huntsman, what quarry? Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1939.

At the height of summer’s heat I dreamt1 of the Queen of Bondage. Bondage/ing, I can’t remember which. The code of union2. I awoke with her image still fresh in my mind amidst the smoke of morning, the smoke of fireworks, the smoldering ashes of us. Shunga photos. Peaches and plums. She was all in black atop a throne adorned with wolves and hawks and blooming hothouse flowers. Her throne crowned a mirrored floor that stretched as if forever, presiding over millions, presiding over mountains, teaching sexual divinity to all the women in the court. One, two, three beside her. Multiplicity over kingship. She was the queen of my life but even still she remains in my mind a fog of good and evil. Or rather, a fusion of dark and light. There was no distinction between. Union.

At the gentle opening of spring I dreamt of a wolf. It came from nowhere, from darkness, and I played dead while it sniffed at the edges of my form. I waited to see if it would devour me, although deep down I knew it wouldn’t. It was all a game, perhaps?3 So I played along and eventually it left me be. I forgot the dream entirely until I was walking down Sunset and passed a large, wolfish creature on a leash, its thick fur jolting the dreamstate loose from the depths like a shockwave. What else is packed down in those depths, I think. Not then but now. Dreams of mountain lions4. Dreams of houses5. Dreams of surfing waves without a board6.

In the midst of a week of blissful nothing I dream of his death. The pain in my heart is so real I can hardly bear it, a twinship to the lived pain of that spring now passed/still looping, that spring that knocked me sideways, froze me, sent me down into the depths of my own descent7. In the dream I feel desperate to speak to his mother, desperate for someone to tell me how, what happened, but most of all desperate for someone to tell me it’s not real. My grief is a storm that upends me completely, so disarming that something in my dream-consciousness is forced to alchemize it as if to spare me. I convince myself there’s been a mistake, that it’s just a game, make believe. Of course he’s not dead (or... is he?). I awake in uncertainty but with the metaphor8 clear and resonant in my bones. I walk through my neighborhood, through early morning quiet, and think how unnatural——grotesque, even——it is to keep the dying from their death. People, yes, but also selves, relationships, hopes, fears, creations, moods, nature itself.

I’m trying to write with the night, write through my body, pray through my body, trying to ask it all the questions which really just means learning to listen for a different sort of answer. I’m seeking intimacy with my own chaos. Brigitte Bardot as Juliete crying out: I want to stop thinking completely!9 And then her body wild, rhythmic, entranced, possessed by that gorgeous something beyond thought. My feet are bare on the floorboards, naked except a sweater, too much seltzer, my finger sliced open on a broken shell and raised to the heavens to stop the gush. The words are the same, they’ve always been the same, what changes is the way I need them to be felt by the world. The specificity of the intimacy and how we share it. It used to be broad brush artifice. Now it’s the soft cadence of my own voice as I perfect the music, just right, while the light beside my bed glows a soft earthy pink. Rough Song10 at the floor just beyond my fingertips. I too beneath your moon, almighty Sex, go forth at nightfall crying like a cat.11 Those aren’t my words, they’re hers, and her spirit nudges me roughly. Awake! Yes, I think, awake! My dog won’t leave my side, won’t sleep but at my feet, and together perhaps we’re calling out to the wide world of she-poets and mystics, queens and wolves, and asking for the blessing of their death. Tantric currents. Higher & higher frequencies of destiny.