ribs

Your restless legs jump as you
sleep in our bed. The cold sheets
cradle your dreams, and your
breath is deep and clear.
Your nose is a gateway to your
brain, where your big thoughts
form and disintegrate into
infinitely flickering particles.

Your lashes flicker lightly over
impenetrable dreams.
I venture to whisper into
your ear and change your dreams
with the soft songs of our waking
hours. Stillness, I wonder what
fills your mind, as your leg stretches
and then recoils languidly.

Your breathing varies as you seem
to encounter something behind
your eyes, and your hand lands
near mine. Gently, so as not to wake you,
my fingers trace their glacial pattern
over your warmth. Like frost upon
a window that protects the warmth inside,
I long to peer inside, but only succeed
at making my view more opaque.

I roll over, nestling my back into your side
and as I reach into my own impervious
night visions, I feel you running your fingers
down my spine, as you count ribs,
resting your hand at the end of your count,
and, together, we trek into our dreams,
patient and expectant to meet on
the other side of night.

© Kat Manica 2017

giphy3

art by: ELENOR KOPKA

Dance, baby, dance

I just don’t understand why
everyone isn’t always listening to
music and dancing in the cool,
damp air.

I want to see your arms move
through the air, as though you’re
floating, luxuriating in water,
Your lips stretching into a
smile, your eyes closed to external
realities, stars twinkling through
your whirling ecstasy.

Your hips sway out of beat,
sometimes, hitting the mark,
music utterly filling you,
peaceful serenity or rapturous
jubilation bursting forth,
You could change seasons, dear,
with those hips.

Fly, baby, fly.
I’ll catch you if you fall.
You’ll tumble
into sweetly-scented fields
of green and purple blooms,
into my soil-scented arms.

You float through great puffs
of smokey clouds, that suspend

y  o  u

in the many universes in which
you dance.

 

© Kat Manica 2017

 

giphy2

(gif by LIBBY VANDER PLOEG )

wander home

Walking through the darkness,
with you occupying my thoughts,
and music consoling my ears,
I feel the power of each step,
and the resolve that glistens on
my brow.

And, as I walk, headstrong against
the wind, the cold, aching, yearning
wind, the sonorous melody of a
blustering breeze accompanies
the tinkling sounds that clutter my ears.

Darkness fades into more darkness,
but now are our bodies embraced,
dancing to the beat, humming
against the buzzing bees that touch
golden suns in dizzy, somnolent sighs.

The wintry air dissipates as
shadows consume our borders
and, like smoke, we swirl infinitely
intermingled in the aether;
Our vapours sympathetic to the
haziest euphonic vibrations,
we disintegrate into each
other.

The soggy earth beneath our feet
pulls us back to reality,
the overcast midnight sky
opining confidence only in that
rain shall fall, but your warmth
reverberates viscerally,
as the last notes finally
wander home.

 

© Kat Manica 2017

 

giphy1

Measure

In suspended time, I watch
the gears kiss, intertwined, their
teeth fitting into one another
with perfect ease. Metal mouths
in shared labour, producing
objects lesser than the sum of
its parts.

A mind tinkers away at the machine’s
organs, tip-tapping the beating heart
abreast the congested breaths
heaving in an over-boiled temper,
monstrous,
seething in gasps and grunts, a glint
of threatening metallic fangs.

Time swims languidly toward the shore,
Unsure of direction, meaning, chronology,
Biting my flesh, leaving lines for
my recollection.
In laughter, they are clearest,
thrusting their happiness into
my being.

A mirror reveals them, a reflection
that is me, but not me. There but
also here. Reality slips into
a displacement that soothes
my soul, for it finally shows
the chaos I know,
suspended in uncanny
being.

© Kat Manica

Inscrutable

There are words here, pasted on the
walls, dripping onto waste-paper floors,
dissolving into pools of serrated,
gnawing letters at our feet.

Letters that once signified,
lose their thingness as they are
abstracted into nothing but
peas and queues, eyes and
teas.

Dreams lost, meaning
jettisoned
away…

Into that place where secrets
are kept, locked, nuanced and
scented with the sweet perfumed
day dreams of our conspiring
unconsciousness.

Out stumbles hope, to soothe
our tired feet, which have trekked
over bladed pens and sharp-witted
words, with heavy burdens
and little respite.

Our tummies full, fluttering
with gratification–delayed and
fulfilled– Sleep-filled lids drop,
taking us far away from
prescribed meaning to
inscrutable delight
to be.

 

© Kat Manica

Rethinking Kristeva, with dog poop • Unpacking Theory

Dear Friends,

So, a long time ago I wrote an “Oh Woe is Me” about what it’s like to pick up dog’s poop. Well, we’re going to really get into it, today. Okay, not really, but I am going to examine what I thought was correct about Kristeva’s theory of abjection, and apply that learning again. It will be fun; there will be dogs involved! 🐶

Okay, so my initial premise was taken from the fact that Kristeva says that “defilement” and “shit” and “pus” are the things that invoke abjection. Abjection is the affective (emotional response) feeling of deep repulsion, of gagging, and that which causes you to question existence and meaning. Importantly, that which exposes the fragility of borders is abject. For example, Kristeva says that if you see a corpse with pus and wounds, the response you have to the pus and wounds is abjection, for it exposes what keeps us alive and the fragility of life in the face of death/mortality. However, “signified” death is a whole other kettle of fish. Signified death is the flat line that shows you there is no longer brain activity. You are being shown that death has occurred, and you can process that information in different ways. It is not the immediate confrontation of death, but the confrontation with that which tells you death has occurred.

So, let’s think about dog poop. I made the argument that picking up my dog’s poop was uncomfortable because of its relationship to abjection. However, I believe that this example was incorrect. Perhaps, for my tiny little dog with her superego structure, being confronted by her own poop might domino into an existential crises of meaning and being, but, for me, her poop signifies. Let’s think about that, I am not being confronted with abjection because fragility is not being exposed; her poop signifies her health and her continued existence for me. However, the confrontation with the abject occurs when we walk and other owners have not picked up after their dogs. Just thinking about it makes me unwell. This is because this poop does not signify, but it invokes death and disease and defilement.

So friends, pick up after your dog because your relation to it is not abject, but think about all of the abject people walking about exposed to the fragility of meaning because you’re too lazy. You do not want to be held accountable for that, do you?

 

 

***

There are likely going to be more of these philosophy bites coming your way. Brace yourselves.

Number the Stars

O! that I could but count the stars,
Like the the sparkle of thine eyes,
An accountant of the highest order
Would fail to account for their beauty,
Their infinite capability to see
Goodness, where I have only seen
Pain, decimation, and abuse.

Constellations vie to amuse this pen,
As though Heracles vanquishing dragons
Could embolden the wittiest thinkers
Past cosmetic literary contrivance,
When, in your eyes, dawns ebullient
Metaphysics and epistemological truths
that inspire at their core.
O! what a muse are these eyes,
That alight from temporal existence
To celestial spheres.

Fluttering amber light unfolds,
Deep pools of reflective light,
O’er which fairies dance in exultant delight,
As pleasure decants in mellifluous tones,
Roses unroll their coiled petals,
A fragrant dance of perennial buds,
And sweet perfume intoxicates,
The inscrutable chasm between us that
Binds us in our reticence as incessant
Mortal hearts thud on.

O! that I had but immortality to
Stare into the skies evermore,
And see the sharp glare of thine eyes
For hours, days, and years;
The sweet taste of five minutes
Is a rationed sup over which I relish
In perpetuity.

O! that I could but count the stars
On this cold, cold night.

© Kat Manica 2017

Vivification

And from the throes of deepest slumber,
Mine body was awoken as a viscous smoke
oozed under doors, through unconscious
splendour, polluting their peace with prickled
corruption, an oppressive tyranny over the senses.

A window yet provides deep solace to mine
fired-filled flesh, flung open, shifting spheres
from private longing to civic determination,
A cool wind kisses my strainèd brow, easing
tension that rises from my heart, a heart whose
beat wishes to reign over time by killing me
with anguished speed and by setting a new pace for
the fastest ticking clocks. Oh! my breath is but shallow,
as a temptress wind splashes ephemeral relief
upon my furrowed brow. The reviving draught
is but medicine for my disobliging body.

Breath imbibes, percolating lustfully into my
being, drinking deeply, I gulp the crisp, snow-
filled air. How I long to be floating in the aether
among the burning-cold stars, the curd-like
moon, and the lone bird, who, too early, looks
to sup upon the worms that will turn my
tempestuous body into soil.

 

©Kat Manica 2017

A clouded weight…

I have not been here for a while,
and this feeling is neither
new, nor nostalgic, but elemental.
As sleep evades mine dusted eyes,
An agonistic beat marches nonstop,
Left, right, right, left,
Enchanted by the militaristic
might of my dreamless phantasms,
Stoney fingers, waltzing over
dew-kissed leaves that serve
as chalices to thirsty
butterflies, are poised in
the certitude of my ache
to create.

Pressed against the spaces
between
touch.
The heavens’ eternal sigh,
a clouded weight upon my
wingéd soul, entreats me
to deny the pleasures of
the sickly sweet, saccharine
devotion of the immortal nectar,
For sweet ambrosia, once tasted,
yields intoxicated madness
in this mortal toil,
where this union is but
a fairy’s dance upon a stage.

Ah, but fairies dance upon the
soft dew that butterflies imbibe,
and there, in the moment of
atomic touch, is markéd the
the greatest of all consummation,
The delicate wings that embolden flight,
ripple like soft tides against a sun-kissed
shore, Oh! those lips betide of honeyed
hours yet to come.
The drum’s beat winks away rigidity,
and the fairy’s dance
enchants.

[fin]

©Kat Manica 2017

[part of a project to create when I can’t sleep.]

Gobble Spiders

I wish there was a ghost
who would walk beside me,
gobbling up spiders
into the ether, quietly.

I don’t wish the spiders to be dead,
Okay, it’s complicated,
but maybe
I do.

I know they eat the other things
that are too small for
us to see.
I also know that centipedes

hunt them, rather–
rather gleefully.
I don’t want the ghost
of a centipede to walk

with me.
Maybe just an arachnologist
who isn’t finished her
work quite yet.

It would be harmony
and synchronicity,
and there would be less
spider corpses

hiding under
the spines of
the brave books
that protected me.

Yes, I wish there was a ghost
who would walk beside me,
Then my cold hands,
Would simply mean

our hands were interlaced,
and the shivers of my spine
would signify a spectre
of warmth hereafter.

 

 

 

 


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