Elevator pitch

Darkness. I remember the darkness. Soft, warm, and extremely volatile. Fragile. With the smell of freshly washed underwear. Naked. Without feelings. Just holding curiosity with my small clenched fingers.

Break. I don’t put together. I break. Not to pieces. Not to particles. To invisible and back. To deflated Super Nova. I am wrenched. I am dishonest. Dissociative in the warm darkness. Now with the smell of freshly picked roses. I am invited. I am called out.

Even though I never wanted to begin.

I am pulled. But I am not scared. My scream protects me. Brings me joy. Brings me ecstasy.

I walk barefoot. But I feel tingling under my tongue. Tongue is curled, bent, stretched as it hatches a like hen’s egg into words I finally roll out. In bravery. In mastery. Of the incoming daylight.

I still walk, as coldness envelopes me. There is a sudden nudge. I stand still now. Like a proud trunk of the tree in the cold winter wind. I stand and withhold. I stand, but darkness moves upwards, in the delight of echoing noise coming from beneath. Buttons are lit on my left side. But only number 5 works. I press it gently.

The door opens to a garden by the river. There is a flock of magpies lying around. Mating. My father takes me by the hand to search for dandelions. Their yellow, perching, capricious heads open and close, fast as the minute goes by. I smile.

I blink and coldness envelops me. The nudge is even stronger this time. I crouch to remain still and by accident, I press button 17.

The rhythm of drums seduces me. I move in a trance as wet bodies, reckless limbs, and disjointed intentions rub against my pale and bruised skin. The kisses fly around me. Some I catch and wear instead of lipstick. Some I imprison and they wiggle in my mouth like a drunken moth fantasizing of a broken bulb. Some I lose in the distant gaze of dim lights and beer stains.

As I breathe I am in newly found darkness. I need rest. I need to put my beating heart in retard fast. I lean on a cold wall, but suddenly there is a hand against my neck. To my surprise is gentle, slick, and tracks my arrow bones so tightly. As it founds the way to my pants, parts me with all my will and his experienced skill.

As I moan in fervor, the nudge double in amount. 34. The strange new land in front of me. The network of water, out of this place tulips pauses, smelling of early autumn and forgotten spring. Rain pouring flinched in pondering little lakes. I jump over. But I never get it there. The jump. The step. The walk. The run. The fly. The wings. The pace. The padding. It’s so saddening. Never enough.

I crave coldness. Under my nails. Above my eyebrows. In between flickering lights on my left side. I crave going down. The stairs. At my own pace. Without wings and safety nets. I crave zero. Below zero of Russian taigas and Norwegian tundra’s. I crave below the earth, where there is only 1 sun to admire. One basement to wish for.

The Wind is still Strong

The container of time lost by the wind. It escapes the boundary, as I float towards my culmination. Twists and turns in red lights, no floors in between, bends at her own knees, lovingly seeing true colors of the day. The morning has the smell of fear, the one that sticks to your nostrils, and as much you try to exhale it, it plaques stronger to your bones.

The say resilience is the savior, many moons looked after. And I miss, like a Halley’s Comet I miss, once, again, just like 40 years go, to be fully me. To accept myself. To value myself. To honor myself. Fear is ever-present, it’s my new air. I don’t know of anything else.

I try to remember in my own container of space how can I collect myself and knot the peace out of pieces of my broken soul. My head was bowed for too many suns and my back only recognizes heaviness and disappointment.

I often write of happiness, of that meeting, collided opportunities, where your true self shines, as you embrace your shadow. But nobody tells you how to tumble in the dark in the meantime. How to find a meaning in rhythms, as you try to fathom repetitive cycles of lessons you refused to learn – or your teachers were simply lousy?

I laugh at myself often, as the wind kicks me in the chest, still I swallow my fear, cannot spit it out fast enough. In the remnants of what I would like to be my old self, I find trails of never-forgotten childhood stories and anecdotes, so finely wrapped in the middle age tears and regret.

I lost my gravitational tides, I recognize only one e-motion, as my moon has dissipated far away. I don’t know how to rise again. As everyone around is so neatly pulled together, I break, once again, I break and there is no end.

I am a bat, carved in my cave, there are no senses except for my heart that beats so loud and relentlessly in hope it will frighten my fear. Will it ever run away?

The wind is still strong. Maybe if I hold on tightly for just a second will I become more resilient. More real. More me.

Poet and the sky: Poem by Charlotte Amelia Poe

As part of mentioned research, here will be featured poets who agreed to participate.

This poem is an excerpt from Even those some Flowers only bloom at Night:

and i know my light
is dull compared to yours
you are a flower
you are a sunrise
you are both delicate and powerful
the source of your own strength
and i wanted you to know that
because it seemed important
and your light allows me to reflect
and turn my own light back onto the earth
and i can’t make flowers grow
(even though some flowers only bloom at night)
(i don’t know why that is, do you?)
but i can make sure that you know
we may be a sky apart
but sometimes, you know, during the afternoon
you’ll see them both in the sky

Charlotte Amelia Poe

For more, visit her blog here.

Early autumn grapes

They say, if your life

is too bitter then you crave sugar.

And I do remember the acerbity on my tongue

when my father told his diagnose: bladder cancer.

It was like someone filled my mouth with pile of old, rusty

coins and I couldn’t breathe, just in awe, with crucified

jaw I stared at the telephone.

 

My father soon got better,

yet my body had its own trouble digesting truth:

leaking gut poured all the bitterness of previous months’ uncertainty.

I began to grow sugars, tiny special sugars, cleverly hidden in the pores

of the synovial lakes and joint meanders.

 

These tiny special sugars, grow and mature

with each season, unharvested,

developing tear membranes,

disguised purple knots in my throat.

 

Involuntarily nerve-pulsating dreams remind me

how clumsy beginner I was.

Now, with years my skills improved:

I’ve learned with one hand to

keep my stomach intact,

with other to lift my neck

just enough to catch early autumn grapes

in my father’s vineyard,

to erase the bitterness from my head.

Maja S. Todorovic


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Variegated

It starts with a spot.

One tiny spot.

Soft and gentle,

red, transparent and liquidly

like a drip from a freshly

pressed strawberry juice.

 

The skin unveils the doors,

releases pressure

and suddenly I’m on the boat

the boat slightly gliding, swaying and my

head tilts to enjoy crimson landscape.

For a minute I think there is

a sunset, reflecting blushing chicks in the water.

Warmth tingles my eyes.

 

Finally I am wearing that red dress:

red dress made of pleats cascading over the stairs.

The stairs, neatly arranged blocks for kids

to jump, run with their tiny feet,

to scatter red petals and

peals of spring radishes.

 

The dress grew with each waterfall

and the breath, the breath is a

variegated butterfly trapped in the glass jar.

Maja S. Todorovic

The Duke of Burgundy

You know how I love it:

tie me up with your purple silk scarf,

cold glide that tights my skin,

pull my hair with your fingers

and lay down my head on a wooden pillow.

 

Turn off the moon:

invite darkness,

leave two holes above my nose

so I can breathe in freshens of the night.

 

Place my feet

in a rectangular position:

let them linger just a bit

as you wrap me in the song of

night owls and chirping crickets,

my breasts kiss the feathered leaves

scattered like ornaments around my chest.

 

Lock me up in the trunk of your soul,

empty tunnel echoing my heart beat

as I bath in the burgundy light of your eyes.

 

Use me, accuse me, lose me,

amuse me, confuse me, seduce me:

 

that’s all I’ve ever dreamed of.

Maja S. Todorovic

Curled,

stiff and strong:

your claw plows my soft skin,

where red streams

follow the trails,

succumbing to tearful river,

as droplets gravitate towards the floor.

 

My eyes are riveted to the closed door.

I can always wear another skin, fur:

dress in feathers or thorny petals.

But how my scarred heart will

continue to beat,

in between these lungs

as it is like raw egg

smashed against the wall?

 

Maja S. Todorovic