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There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home

And I built a home
For you
For me

Until it disappeared
From me
From you
And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust

Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
There is a tree that’s as old as me
Branches were sewn by the color of green
Ground had arose and passed its knees

By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world

When the gusts came around to blow me down
I held on as tightly as you held onto me
I held on as tightly as you held onto me

And I built a home
For you
For me

Until it disappeared
From me
From you

And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust. 

                             -the cinematic orchestra

The Sea

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There is something so intensely beautiful about the ocean. Something so calming and cathartic. No matter how bad I am feeling, the sea knows how to heal it. When I swim in the ocean, it feels like mother nature is giving me a hug or that I am returning to the womb; it is the best feeling in the world. It is comfort in it’s greatest form. The Sea is a giver and taker of life and I know she has saved mine, many times.

The Surgery of the Sea
From How to Save Your Own Life

At the furthermost reach of the sea
where Atlantis sinks under the wake of the waves,
I have come to heal my life.

I knit together like a broken arm.
The salt fills the crevices of bone.
The sea takes all the fragments of my lives
& grinds them home.

I wake up in a waterbed with you.
The sea is singing & my skin
sings against your skin.
The waves are all around us & within.
We sleep stuck to each others salt.

I am healing in your arms.
I am leaning to write without the loss of love.
I am growing deeper lungs here by the sea.
The waves are knives; they glitter & cut clean.

This is the seas surgery.
This is the cutting & the healing both.
This is where bright sunlight warms the bone,
& fog erases us, then makes us whole.

© Erica Mann Jong

The wonders of a woman like Erica

1406-06

 Erica Jong is brilliant. Her poetry will leave you breathless and standing in a field naked shouting praise for your femininity. She is a constant inspiration to me, not only as a fellow writer but as a woman. 

Blood & Honey

I began by loving women
& the love turned
to bitterness.

My mother, the bitter,
whose bitter lesson–
trust no one,
especially no male–
caused me to be naive
for too many years,
in mere rebellion
against that bitterness.

If she was Medea,
I would be Candide
& bleed in every sexual war,
& water my garden with menstrual blood
& grow the juiciest fruits.

(Like the woman
who watered her roses with blood
& won all the prizes,
though no one knew why.)

If she was Lady Macbeth,
I would be Don Quixote–
& never pass up a windmill
without a fight,
& never choose discretion
over valor.

My valor was often foolish.
I was rash
(though others called me brave).
My poems were red flags
To lure the bulls.
The picadors smelled blood
& jabbed my novels.

I had only begun
by loving women–
& ended by hating their deceit,
hating the hate
they feed their daughters,
hating the self-hate
they feed themselves,
hating the contempt
they feed their men,
as they claim weakness–
their secret strength.

For who can be crueler
than a woman
who is cruel
out of her impotence?
& who can be meaner
than a woman
who desires
the only room with a view?

Even in chess
she shouts:
“Off with their heads!”
& the poor king
walks one step forward,
one step back.

But I began
by loving women,
loving myself
despite my mother’s lesson,
loving my ten fingers,
ten toes, my puckered navel,
my lips that are too thick
& my eyes the color of ink.

Because I believed in them,
I found gentle men.
Because I loved myself,
I was loved.
Because I had faith,
the unicorn licked my arm,
the rabbit nestled in my skirts,
the griffin slept
curled up at the bottom
of my bed.

Bitter women,
there is milk under this poem.
What you sow in blood
shall be harvested in honey.

© Erica Mann Jong

Folks

perfect summer days“Folks, I’m telling you,
birthing is hard
and dying is mean – 
so get yourself
a little loving
in between.” – Langston Hughes

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