#7, book as form, intimacy as audience, all I want to do lately is write, les sentiments, LA FEELINGS


dreams on loop
Taking photos with/of him the way we used to. On a shore, sand, high drifts. He told me I had to hold him back if he started to run towards the ocean. This was urgent the way he said it, a matter of life and death.

8/13: phone off veiling private ritualistic performances for one journals Anaïs cleaning sweating heat a little nauseous a little shaky on my legs two espressos HEAT.

the whole time thinking, it really is all about love. some part of me thinks I’ve forgotten how to love (I say thinks because to love is a birthright, humanness, my namesake “beloved”, blood and breath. I’m out of practice but this is not a thing one ever truly forgets). What if: turning myself inside out through the portal of my heart. delight.

a little messiness, a little chaos. maybe even a lot of messiness, a lot of chaos. Recklessness, impulsiveness. I’ve spent the past several years growing up, maturing, taking care of, age-appropriate. and I wouldn’t change it but in some way I can’t completely explain all that clear-eyed calm, all that rational right decision making, it blocked something: feral, sexual, connective, fecund (my favorite word these days, like a bite, bright purple, tangy earth smell, a body aroused)

old journals briefly in the bedroom, moving from one holding to the other. a page written when I was nineteen, from the sunporch of my grandmother’s home in Delaware. surrounded by unfamiliar family, me/not me. writing with deep clarity + old wisdom that I knew I would never have their lives, marriages, homes, kids, happy-quiet-domestic. I came into this life made that way and never another. a woman unto herself. wisdom pre-consciousness. the destinies we can subvert and those we can’t.

Memory: I return from a train trip to St. Louis shaken & having broken through my limits. Foggy, on my knees before his body with the shower’s fall our shroud. A little frightening, how do I please it. Foggy, the empty house half constructed and smelling fresh-cut-sweet. Foggy, how long I stayed and why I was there to begin with. Ah yes, because I loved him! Loved him in that teenage way of erotic-romantic-platonic-fraternal. Loved him because he was he, and also mine, intimate-familiar. I write in my journal the entire train ride home, sense-making the disgust and resentment I now feel where before it was all ripe and flowering. I return inside out. My best friend is 17, one year ahead, and we share her bed in the purple-walled upstairs room in their new house, the strange one with the pool. She gives me my first black lingerie, a teenage wisdom ritual of sexual-mourning. She was brilliant at things like that. She tells me she knows exactly how I feel and the beautiful thing is she actually does. She tells me: it’s now about reinventing my sexuality, what my sexuality means. I hover in a state of in-between for nearly two more years, until a split-second crossing breaks me loose. The Lover.

That dreaminess that desire to be bigger the desire to reinvent to change to feel new things to experience new things to become, I’ve always sensed that is the fountain of youth. Qualities we possess early/easy but become jaded to as we age, thinking they no longer have anything to do with “us” “now”. Despite this awareness I’ve been slipping, falling asleep, feeling myself a certain size and accepting that’s it. For fifty + more years? What do those qualities of Dreaming and Becoming look like in a woman’s grasp, in the thick of life’s heat? What means more when it’s already been a long road?

8/14 sunday, “Pure Heroine” on loop. 400 lux, I can’t stop. Lina Iris Viktor, awestruck.

waking up as if from a kind of trance. I see the plants with new eyes and how much dead they hold. Midmorning, hands in gloves, cutting back leaves, sap like our bodies juices, full branches. moving the love tree to a tender, restorative corner. The front room wide open again, all access.

the masculine costume of Paris hard to shake. What does my body feel like in femme performance? I hardly even remember. my feet and hands constantly dirty windows open late summer Los Angeles’s thick dust washing four five times a day. Falling back into a supple, seductive abyss.

8/16: the deep pleasure of reading amidst late august heat. Incest, Bel Canto.

I think: embodiment, beauty, creativity, sensuality, comfort, intuition… the full activation of my heart, encompassing men and sex and women and sex and a full erotic palate but alive, overflowing with life, with big life!!

Writing myself out of the ghost-speak

The Love Book, #4

The young men like stallions between the cars as we sit red-lit on Glendale blvd. They carry identical handmade posters for funeral donations, pasted photos of a young woman, my age probably. Debra, I think? Devotion, I think, as I watch them walk proudly beneath the heat. Too many to be children. How did they love her? And why? So much so they hold her now to the heavens.

8/18: together we’re in a trance on the bright blanketed floor. windows open, music flowing, dazed, sunburnt. I play hymns, he plays highs. the bugs float in and out. I’m cat-like content amidst my creation. I didn’t need it anymore and in that not-needing the overflow (always). This is the lover: seducing without seducing, offering to unveil the prayer of my own creativity to the right presence. everything’s a spell waiting to be unlocked. I feel myself between realities, skeins, silken.


Created by Amanda Shank
womanness is interested in: gender, sexuality, mysticism, myth, performativity, writing the body, scripts as ritual, repetition, revision, transgression, diaries, the obscene, limited editions, & alternative creative economies.