CHORDS

We are discussing the nature of biology and the origin of words. She tells me my name means song, and beyond that, chord, and this makes many connections possible.

In my dream
I am walking with a man.
I catch a feather
which prompts a chant,
while I repeat it,
a flat headed man
enters the dream.
He sneers,
pressing a nerve in my neck,
that he will put me under.
I awake in a desperate struggle
not to be murdered in my sleep,
killed within my own dreams.
I awake repeating the chant,
trying to commit it to memory,
in order to trace its origin,
saying, “I used to be a witch,”
answering, “of course,
and you are still quite
involved with magic.”
Repeating the chant
to trace its origin,
forgotten by dawn,
except for the phrase
in English:
MUST TO DIE
MUST TO DIE
MUST TO DIE.

i

There is always the cutting
of the ch/ord,
the severing of our own connections,
for women who must move to new chance.
I have cut away my original self,
my family, my culture,
the necessities of the world.
I have cut away everything
that connected me to life,
in order to know living.
I do not like cutting,
I have a fear of blood.

I explain this rationally,
the necessity to sever
in order to survive,
every evolution of self
has required cutting away.
But it is hard being disconnected
for a woman who wants all humanity
to come to dinner.
There is no rational explanation
for the necessity of blood,
and the sound of human flesh
being severed from itself.

ii

The cat is giving birth,
she bites the ch/ord
and this allows new life.
I wonder if woman remembers this,
the necessity of breaking the ch/ord,
a connection which left past its time
is lethal to both mother and child.
The cut ch/ords wither,
heal and drop off with time.
She forms new bonds, more appropriate,
teeth to flesh.
There is always blood with birth,
cutting ch/ords with life.

A woman with strong legs
is dressed in burgundy.
She wears a white ch/ord around her waist,
and only I can see its meaning
in the pain of severed flesh,
a daughter who should have been
named Katherine, who will never be,
this loss of life
that cannot be explained.

The woman with bright colors,
whose paintings are full of ch/ords,
who cannot connect to the future,
the materialization of her great love
lost in a pool of blood in her bed,
her paintings filled with ch/ords,
ch/hords in her hair,
her hair a braided ch/ord,
gold ch/ords tied in circles
around the waist of her red dress,
the woman who cannot create life
from her great love.

Years ago I saved from the garbage
a bag of ch/ords,
held in circles by silk beads,
not knowing where they were from,
what their purpose was,
waiting to know the origin
of the meaning of the ch/ords.

iii

There is pain in bleeding.
Men explain it as the price
for the power to create.
There can be no rational explanation
for blood,
for the loss of life that was,
for the loss of life
that might have been,
for the loss of life
that will not be.
There is no rational explanation
to dispel the fear of blood.

There is no rational explanation
for the agony of loss.
I cry over everything
that has ever left me,
that it has ever been necessary
to leave behind.
I cry over French hair combs
crushed under cars.
I cry over stolen dolls,
and the music teacher
who died before graduation.
I cry for people who will not be back,
for children unborn,
for chicks who died in the rain,
and bunnies who became someone’s dinner.
I cry over the end of stories,
the changing times,
for people and things and places
which will never be back.
I cry over the agony of loss,
the necessity of cutting ch/ords.

iv

I fill my life with things
created from pieces,
some would call it eclectic.
I see it as the necessity
of a severed life,
the fractured image of a woman
struggling to become whole.

There is a woman who says
her poetry seeks to make connections.
I repeat the chant
to trace the origins of my self,
to fuse the four aspects of my face,
wing and foot,
the pollen and grain.
I bite the ch/ord to allow new life,
make new connections,
appropriate to the time,
ch/hords which are chosen
as an affirmation of free will,
ch/hords made of silk and music,
ch/hords of flesh and braided hair.

My mother had a twin sister
who died at birth.
I imagine her searching
to regain this loss,
from the cutting of the shared ch/ord,
which could only be gained
in the severing of the ch/ord
to her future.

I look for the other side of myself,
lost at birth,
who is everything I am, in man,
who is wing and foot,
the pollen and grain,
who will help me create
the connection to the future,
who will help me fly,
who will help me weave whole ch/ords
of earth and sky,
of music and mortality,
who will help me weave
strong ch/ords.

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