First Peson Singular: A Confession

I dislike writing first-person singular. When my pen initiates a page, paragraph or phrase with that monolithic, icicle character I, I cringe. Yet, for a confession, first-person singular feels appropriate.

This is a confession.

When writing, I seek playfulness, beauty and interest. In my poetry, I try to share the awe and wonder Universe inspires in my small Mind. Up or down, joy or despair, attraction or threat matters little. All tones and timbre reflect complexity, mystery and evoke reverence. Intuition and intellect wrap experience with mysterious ribbons of interpretation. All my relations to all the nouns dance like moonlit gossamer yarns lightly tugged by breezes. In prose, I attempt to catch more elusive but equally beautiful efforts of human spirit; patterns we create with symbols, logic and critical thought.

I must walk with the words written but not dominate. They are the stars and I am small, the universe huge. When I see first-person singular crop up, I know I’ve wandered from the path. I walk into the small room of IMeMine.

As I write the irritating series on pornography featured in my previous few posts, I feel lost in the IMe of Mine. Not just lost, but off the path, over the cliff into the raging torrent. Jammed against fallen trees of triviality, my foot wedged in river rock ambiguity, I flounder. I read no beauty, complexity or wonder in my pornography posts. 

In my defense, before writing, reviewing paragraphs in my head, the words fit together, make me laugh and give pleasure. On paper, not so much. They lose all charm.

I cannot blame the topic. Some pornography treats subjects beautifully. If we adhere to the dictionary definition, one could argue the pornography I find beautiful is not pornography but art. I cannot be certain. What level of artistic merit does a photograph of labia enveloping a penis require before it can cross-over to art?

Therein lies my obsession. When does explicit depiction become art? It never stops being explicit depiction. 

Who decides when it becomes art? 

Where do they go to decide?

When will they tell us what they have decided?

Making pornography more artistic, in my experience, fails to reduce the level of excitement felt by the audience. The opposite, in fact. Sexual works created without talent and care, created to display sex with no concern for lighting, composition, form, color or poetry, are less likely to excite. Harsh ugliness acts as a cold shower to the imagination. The more artistic the pornography, the more exciting. (except, I suspect, for fetishists who live for the harsh in art and pornography)

My sample audience was quite small but I did record a 100% agreement. Beautiful is more sexy.

I could go on for pages. Oops. Done that already. 

I apologize. I feel pressured against my better judgement, by some hidden neurosis, to continue writing the smut pages. At publication of each post I feel relief. I sigh “Now that is over I can get on with with nice writing.”

Next morning, I wake with pornography blocking the poetry. A wall that threatens to remain until I satisfactorily explain to myself where the line is drawn between pornography and art. I bore myself, and you too, until I know where pornography stops and art begins.

I cannot see this coming to a success ending.

Ah. Good. Now that is over I can get on with my own writing.

Pornography Prologue: Take 7

Several years ago, looking for an excuse, perchance, to surf some Internet pornography, the idea came to write an article or series concerning the dysfunctional relationship between society and pornography.

It seemed a good idea at the time.

Pornography permeates our media. Has done since the Victorians invented pornography.

Controversy surrounds pornography. Some consider it a destroyer of youth. Others a bulwark of free press.

Not one person can define, clearly, where pornography begins and art ends. Facing that question, the highest court in the land retreated behind nonsense.

“I shall not … attempt … to define … [pornography] … perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it …” 

Thanks Potter. “I know it when I see it.” No ambiguity there. Helps a lot.

Ignoring the explicit intent of libidinous arousal, pornography becomes a genre that, weighed intellectually or as literature, evokes every emotion.

Certainly those who hate sex in general, same sex sex and nudity feel outrage and anger to see what they hate plainly depicted in print and on the screen.

Tragedy must fill those who love sex when, as they consistently do, pornographers overtly weld sex to violence.

When, again common, pornography depicts women in poses and roles suggesting they are no more than receptacles for the desires of men, advocates of sexual equality must feel sadness that the neurosis continues.

Yet those easily moved to laughter see that, beneath the arousal and passion, sexual activity in pornography, as in life, amuses with comedy akin to slapstick: How does she, from that position, manage to look into the camera?

Given the richness of the topic, why have years passed, empty waters flowing beneath an incomplete bridge, since the idea for an article or seven emerged? Fear and loathing. Fear that writing about pornography exposes the hidden attitudes, at once outside social nicety and conservative. Loathing the topic deserves more words and cognition than a lazy writer feels comfortable committing to. 

Finally, the research. Unwritten, the articles justify seeking, studying and annotating pornographic works. All in the name of good journalism. To publish cancels the reason, transforms what was yesterday a noble pursuit of knowledge into just another old perv staring at delicious body parts.

Enjoy the sacrifice. The research shall be missed.

(to be continued – maybe)

A Bit Of Imaginary Silliness

If you belong to a social network you have likely seen tag-requests, a post with a list of things with a paragraph or two in which you are named and invited to create a similar list. The tag-requests float through the sites like chain letters.

A while back, quite awhile back in fact, a poet I read, Melfamy Melfamy tagged me with a tag-request.

Normally, I do not respond to chain letters, digital or otherwise, but I enjoy Melfamy’s poetry. I read but seldom make comment praising his work. Hoping to atone for not providing deserved, encouraging feedback, I decided to respond to his tag-request.

The tag-request urged me to write seven things about myself and chain the tag to seven friends. Following you can read my attempt at first half of the request. I fear I cannot fulfill the second half. I do not have seven friends I feel comfortable chaining to.

I found the first half challenging enough. I and other alter-egos were not raised to discuss ourownselves. My initial attempt to publicly expose seven personal tidbits took, as you can see, a weird twist or three in short order. 

In truth, you really only need to know one thing about me. Like Dionysus, I was not born but erupted from a thought filled forehead.

Unlike Dionysus, I do not attract singing swarms of swirling, twirling women who, overwhelmed by my presence, offer themselves to goatish paramours and in throes of ecstatic bliss, scratch loyal, human lovers to bits.

Additionally, unlike Dionysus, the forehead from which I sprang belonged not to Zeus but to a hick farm kid known to local women as somewhat tall and somewhat gentle with strange eyes and equipment falling well within the measurement of normal. (1)

In the wee hours before dawn, from beyond the silvered glass called mirror, I peek at this curiosity from which I sprang and whisper to him he must watch his weight (2) … as if one could miss it. 

In passing decades since first I looked out from behind his eyes. I’ve watched his beard, beneath which he hides a slightly weak chin, become more salt than pepper. (3) A result of long-term exposure to corporate, florescent panel lighting, blonde, tastefully groomed to social expectations, hair dulled to cubicle beige. When he escaped at last, sunlight, open skies, age and wisdom brightened beige not to expected Danish gold but to the cumulus white of childhood. (4). 

I sense from my place behind his eyes the number of  his days and from them know the number of my days (being a voice for inner dialogue, his days are my days), and the measure of my universe. He passed beyond life once while we, his voices watched helplessly. We, that is he, tasted utter nothingness beyond ego and language. Reluctantly dragged by medical hands back to the living light, he never forgets that neither he nor I nor our universe can survive. (5)

He suffers a peasant attitude; his personal albatross; limiter of life and opportunity; an artifact found in the luggage of immigrants and passed down, father to daughter, mother to son.  From first wail he learned the Great things in life, opportunities that knock, deeds of knights and kings, lovers from outside the village and world changing ideas, “Ain’t for us. We don’t do that. Look around. Those things, other people do ’em. Be  happy with what you got and get back to work.” (6)

He grokked dysfunctional speakers, parent, teacher and preacher, accepted peasant obligations with blind obedience but without joy and happiness. They pretended and promised, one of the obligations they accepted, but without genuine joy and happiness.

His awareness that neurological poison tarnishes synaptic paths and pollutes subconscious whims and desires does not provide antidote. Knowing does not undo damage. Imprints etched in the virgin panels of his undefended, infant mind solidified in time. 

Rewriting ancient imprints and life-games requires therapy and psychedelic excursions; remedies ironically belonging to the list of things that “… are not for us … ” (7)


One or three things about me and seven more concerning the owner of the forehead from which I jumped. 

This exercise produced a few stories, memories adopted to the non-confrontational Zeitgeist of the twenty-first century, post-post-modern spiral toward the neo-Dark Ages. Should I overcome inherent laziness, perhaps, before February brings the false thaw, I can share those as well.

© 2008-2012 Chromia Poetics