Bodacious

abstract-art-canvas-prints-p3

(by Brishti Guha)

She thinks of an evening
An evening of spring showers
When they laughed, their faces in the rain,
riding steel –
Black steel on red dust.
Their contours welded together perfectly
Muscle against muscle. Tyres against tar.
Later, their contours merged again
As the thunderstorm outside raged
It seemed created for the
express purpose
Of matching their passion.
And she thinks of his back
The broad back that she loved to hug from behind
The back that bore her nail marks
And that he turned on her one summer day
To walk away.
And she smiles, thinking
Of the rain, the storm-
Of poetry, and of her love
For life and all that it offers
This bodacious babe.

.

*Brishti is a dear friend. She is an Associate Professor of Economics at a prestigious university. Apart from her research and writing in Economics, she is an avid reader and a practiced poet as well. You can read some of her papers and articles here.

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Prince Mihailo’s Street by Oloriel Moonshadow

I am really excited to have a guest share words on How Anxious. She is one of my favorite poets, with her words that wield the power of her emotions and wondrous imagination and observation. She is also an editor of the recently launched e-zine, The Tophat Raven. And if you want a fresh perspective to your view of things, then her photographs are a feast for your eyes. Many of you must know of her already. She is Oloriel Moonshadow of Color me in cyanide and cherry

Without further ado, I’d like to give the writing space to Oloriel, whereby she shares an exquisite poem and her inspiration and story behind her composition.

~

© Oloriel Moonshadow

 .

I fiddle through counting my footsteps,

through how many I will dissolve

and dissolute

and deny the photosynthesis,

become a single digit

on a monument for hours lost

from switching back and forth

between tiny Mesozoic lives

measured with fire

and with white.

Everywhere,

I am that stranger,

the guest in your house

that prefers to keep his shoes on

and will rummage through your drawers

desperately seeking signs of life.

.

But here?

.

Here I have a duchy and an orchard,

one step and I am granite,

as the boulevard of twisted hope

competes in marketplace with purgatory.

Each of my conquerors

erected towers here,

and I am as tall as the blood of their war,

as uselessly strong

as their statues

that spar outstretching their stone limbs from the facades.

The child fishes for our wishes

entombed in rust,

with a piece of a string

tied to a collarbone,

I can play the pocket harmonica

with the decade old lunatics

and convince you they’re historians.

But here I am both young and old,

both a whore and a virgin;

a goddess of spray-paint and the neon hobo,

with my stomach pulsing the arrhythmia

of skeletons

dressed in vomit, wrapped in lomo,

photographs of where the cordon used to be.

.

Now,

you have to understand

that I have been dead for so long;

this is my concrete coffin,

this is where I smoke

and breathe out whatever else remains,

this is where you get to know me,

this is where you fall in love with me

and ask my hand,

this is where Snowhite makes pizzas on the corner

and I look at windows,

screaming for Juliet

on very bad Italian,

wondering

who behind those walls is playing Mozart

by pulling the bow across their pubic hair

while angels weep and snort cocaine

and leave me always

a little bit of winter

in the air,

the thin horizon line between the flesh and bone.

This is where you’d walk beside me,

but I’m not really there;

I’m breathing in decimals

because it hurts too much to care;

it hurts to accept the solitude

when you are dry.

.

I am just another idiot

in the headless fish parade

.

and this goddamn musician

knows my favorite songs

and he keeps strumming,

his voice keeps bleeding

Technicolor palindromes,

the soundtrack for the starving artists

painting black and red

one thousand obituaries

for Marilyn Monroe,

with spared change for beer and popcorn

cause their portraits

hit too close to home.

for anyone to buy them.

Here, you are alone,

the frozen orphan in time

that trades his voice for legs,

and bows his head

behind the bookstore shelf

as he rummages through chapters

hoping to find himself

in a past life.

.

There,

at 165, 27 meters above sea level

is a glass door

draped in headlines

radiating cold

and behind it a staircase

of iron;

165, 27 meters above the risk of drowning

adorned in the only honest confessions

posing as graffiti

is where I’d have a studio

full of blank canvases.

I’d rediscover coitus there

with my lover,

I’d stand on the balcony

naked,

sweaty and heaving

and my heart rubbed on my hair

and leaking from my breasts

and people would look at me

in disgust,

and call for my god,

flirt with my demons,

pray, persuade, stutter out

their request

for a pinch of my dust,

knowing nothing of it is mine,

except the kiss that passed

and can’t fit into bags

and that I can’t take this damned street

with me.

.

But I have been dead for so long

and I have been here for so long

that I am afraid I’ll die as someone else

wherever else I go.

~

I am to talk about my inspiration now, for this piece.

It might sound selfish, but I write a lot about myself. My childhood, my surroundings, my bad choice of people to put trust in has shaped me into a person that has an excess need to care, nurture and love, but an honest lack of partners for it. So I have turned my love towards things. Each building, pencil, a pair of sneakers, the computer and the keyboard on which I am harboring these words – they are all alive for me, and being alive, they are my companions, brothers, loves, my children and my grandparents. I see their facades as addictive cryptic messages.

This poem is dedicated to one of the most famous and visited streets in Belgrade called Knez Mihajlova street, but selfishly, it is as well dedicated to me. In a cliche way or not, as it was intended by the builders, conquerors and city planners, this street was my refuge. Looking strangely alike a microscopic view of alveoli in a lung – it branches out around the heart of the city and believe me when I tell you, if you would to set your foot there, a part of that street would snatch you forever. If you walk it from the start to end, through the central path – it changes you.

The many bookstores, caffè and bars have been my refuge throughout the years. It is the safe spot which knows you that you keep returning to whenever your soul seems to be dazed and blind and insecure. I have spent a lot of time in this street. When I was denied education and carrier choice by my parents and forced to go to school which was not of my choosing, this street would see me – alone, forlorn and desolate, in a jacket that was warm but too big and with a backpack full of school books, I would wander it at 7 am, often, completely alone. It was winter and it was freezing cold and nothing was open except McDonalds and bookstores, and I would float from isle to isle, read from cover to cover, and wonder do the clerks and librarians know that I am an outcast.

When I have denied Christianity and first time placed a pentagram pendant around my neck, I have been looked at with disgust, I was young and unwelcome in society. Not in this street. The artists and musicians that play and paint here will often ask to draw you and wont charge you a damn dime. They are bearded and they often look dirty and some of them are entirely crazy man that yell at air, some of them, damn it, are even children. But they hum like a hive and nobody cares if you are Roma or not, if you are from Scandinavia, rich or poor, or pagan. These faces are here for years. They have painted me, my father and some of them,even my grandparents. Same old soul traders, faithful and chained to the granite blocks that make this street, just as much as all of us. There is a guitar player there, and I do not know if he knows I am coming,but in 99% of cases as soon as I step foot on the first block of this street, in the distance I can hear him start to play that song that bloody breaks me apart!Dare and tell me that ain’t magic!Snowhite is the name of one of my favorite caffè in the street and I sit there, eat pizza and listen to this song.

As you approach the street end, a plethora of restaurants emerges on the central path. They are always packed full in good weather. My favorite bookstore is there. A little further, everyone I ever knew lost their battle against drugs, at least once. My best man lived in an apartment above it all, and he is a violinist that abandoned his craft and now mourns forever. I was always in front of that door, the only one clean, waiting for my relatives and for my friends to stagger out, bloodshot eyes, so I can take them home. Always in this street, that’s where they would start and then shimmer of for renewed doses somewhere else. I would stay, alone, eat a hot dog. I was a different kind of dry. I hope you never get to meet that moment when you lost everything, buried it and wept for it a thousand years, that moment where everything that people tell you sounds like a static from a radio, when it changes you beyond your control.I would walk the street up and down at these times a lot.I kept hoping that when I reach the end and I cross the street to Kalemegdan fort, I will suddenly be in a different life.

This was my drug. I tried to kill myself emotionally, and become what everyone else wanted to me be – a shallow minded dipshit backstabber. But even the thought of it would make me want to puke. I was lost and I did my best , but I couldn’t stop caring. So I would bring the people who wanted to shape into cocaine induced mirages to this street. I’d walk with them, hand in hand, from start to end and then I would let go. Forever, because I could not bare to hurt them by showing them how big of a shit I can be on purpose. I wanted to be who I am, the honest girl and the amorous girl that this street knew.

You might ask yourself, why all the desperation?

Well, I can finally grab the chances denied to me and continue my education. I can finally become a chef. In Australia.

Don’t get me wrong its a beautiful country, but Sydney is not Belgrade. I cant take this street with me. I have this feeling people will still treat me and dislike me the same, but what if buildings too?Now, each walk down Knew Mihajlova is a goodbye with a sick person on its deathbed, you kneel and you pray to whoever listens for just another hour, while all the balconies look like the one from which Juliet gave herself to Romeo. Its a suicide love story, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And there is a building I must come back to, because I dream of having an artists studio there. It hurts because I don’t want to be the one that leaves the ones she loves. If its bloody, keep moving. If your legs get cut off, keep crawling. I am not a quitter. So this studio will one day be mine. And I will go out to the balcony and show to people how I am this street, which is also them, and thus we are the same. And it wont hurt me anymore that they never let me in.

~

Wasn’t that spectacular? I am always left amazed by the riveting and emotive nature of her verse and to know of her inspiration behind her creation… what could have been better!? Thank you so much, Oloriel, for sharing words with us. And let us all wish her the very best of the times ahead and good luck for all her endeavors.

If you would like to share words on How Anxious, don’t be shy and drop me an e-mail at hamusesanewtune@gmail.com.

World of WP by Ramblings From A Mum

We have another wonderful poet today, sharing words with us. She is a writer, who incorporates one’s feelings during various situations in life in a really tender manner. You want to savor her words and listen to their music as they flow down the course of the poem smoothly. Some of you must know her by the name of her blog- Ramblings From A Mum. Today, she shares with us her experiences of blogging and what she thinks about the writers from all around the world connecting with each other through the wordpress domain.

Howanxious or HA as I refer to him wrote a post on the 30th September, 2013 and in this post he mentioned that he shares Guest Blogs on his site, well one thing led to another and I ‘volunteered’ to write.

So it’s a good morning…afternoon…evening to everyone, wherever you may be. I am ramblingsfromamum from the Land Down Under.

I have read many a guest blog since commencing with WP over a year ago and have often wondered, if asked or in this case put myself up for the challenge, what in fact I would write about.  So I will do what I sometimes do when writing my poetry and let my SOC (stream of consciousness) take over & see where we end up.

If any of you have read what I write, you may know that I am diverse and somewhat prolific. The subject matter is not confrontational, political, or that life is a bed of roses and we should all be hugging trees and each other for that matter.  What I have learned since blogging is that every single one of us is so unique in our posts.

We should never judge another writers style, rather we should be respectful of each others work.

I thankfully have not born the disgruntled reader of my work (as yet) in fact I am delighted to say that I have had nothing but a ‘pat on the back’, support and admiration from my readers & this as we know makes our ‘addiction’  even more worthwhile.

I commenced writing ‘mum’ articles  hence my site name.  This then progressed to dabbling in poetry, then about my family, my weekends. In fact anything that pops into my head, when I sit in my study in Melbourne Australia, this is what I write about.

Gradually I found myself writing more poetry, dabbling into forms such as Haiku and Sonnets and Nonets …what some of you may ask? Google is a wonderful tool, you certainly don’t need me to tell you what they are, if you don’t already know. I found myself however being drawn further into the poetic pool as it were, wanting to see how I could write, was it worthy, was it acceptable.  I write as most poets do, from raw gut emotion, from the heart, from the soul. My site now probably consists of 80% poetry and the rest,  well simply day to day ramblings from a mum. If people follow and enjoy what I do, I am a happy camper as they say, but I’m still in the pool and I am swimming in circles until I climb that diving board and perform a triple backward, with a half turn pike twist (whatever that means).

Being an Australian, I am down to earth, I hide nothing, nor do I pretend to be someone I am not. I do not lie, cause trouble for other bloggers, or stir the pot.  I believe in blogging etiquette, I am a firm believer however that if you are following someone, that you should be respectful in commenting on what they write. The writer has poured their heart and soul into what ever context and this should be acknowledged. I will say that I do not read every single post that comes out, I used too but I found myself burning out and stressing because I simply could not keep up.  So I try to read as much as I physically and mentally can manage.

Out of the followers that I have, there are my ‘regulars’ who comment, these are folk who have been reading ‘me’ since my sites inception, others hit that like button within 5 seconds of posting an article (I think we all have witnessed that happening) others never visit, which makes me wonder why they do follow?

Does anyone have answers, as I am sure there is many a ‘blogger’ (I do hate that word) out there that asks the same question.

Why did we come onto a blog site? I ask myself many times. Being human, that pat on the back or recognition for what we do in life is always appreciated.

Could we not sit at home and write in a journal all that we do on WP?  Yes indeed we could, but we all like to have some praise in/for whatever we undertake, writing on a public Forum such as WP grants us that. The other reason is that it opens many doors for all of us to meet others who have the same likes as we do ( & no nothing to do with that button).  I have met fellow poets and brilliant ones at that. I have met writers, photographers, all have a life story, all have something they wish to share with the world.

If we were to write in journals alone in the privacy of our room, who would we meet, how would we learn what others are doing? How we would establish friendships with people that have the same interests.  This avenue is a remarkable way of meeting similar others, learning new skills and becoming part of a community.

It can be obsessive, it can be time consuming, especially if you wish to follow many, it can be your life at times, the cooking can wait, the laundry doesn’t need washing, the list of our everyday can be put on the back burner as we delve with our muses into the writing or blogging realm.

In saying that – this is what we love isn’t it?  We are givers  of the world to share sometimes even parts of our lives which would be considered boring or mundane.

So I shall close now, stay true to who you are with your blogs, challenge yourselves. If you write short fiction write poetry, if you don’t enter prompts or challenges try them. Share your lives or interests as much or as little as you wish, but remember to connect with those that follow you and who you follow – after all we must play nice 🙂

The world of writers & people from all over the globe with like interests is only a name & a password away.

Thank you HA for the opportunity of being your guest, thank you for your marvelous poetry that I read (most of the time) may all of us continue along this wonderful path of opening our minds to others, learning and sharing, supporting and encouraging!

I thank you for sharing your words with us. It was so good to read your viewpoints. And I do agree with everything you have discussed with us today.

She has such a lively personality. Don’t you think so? She has a wonderful poetic voice. Do go and visit her website;  you are definitely going to be impressed.

If you want to share your words on this site, just write to me at hamusesanewtune@gmail.com. If not, I would anyway love to hear from you. Come on, say hi to me and introduce yourself on my facebook page.

Red Clay and Roses: The Story Behind the Story

As promised, here is the guest post by the author of Red Clay and Roses, S.K. Nicholls herself, where she discusses the inspiration behind her book. I have already reviewed the book myself. If you haven’t read it, you can read it here. To know more about the book, please click here. Without any further ado, I hand over the writing space to her.

I am honored to be invited to do a guest post on the site of Howanxious.  It is a privilege to be on the same site with so much beautiful and spiritually moving poetry and some very thoughtful and honest book reviews.  I first want to say that my book is a faction; a cross between fiction and truth.  I wrote what happened and did not set out to write a novel.  Publishing was not planned.  I was encouraged to publish after friends read the manuscript.  I have learned so very much from the WordPress community since that time and feel honored also to be among so many talented writers.  I am planning to write more and with serious thought to design and construct.

Howanxious and I discussed a topic for today’s guest post and we decided that a post on the inspiration behind the book would be appropriate.  As I mentioned, the book is fiction based on a true story, otherwise known as a “Faction Novel”.  For that reason, I had limited control on what would happen to the characters, and basically wrote about things that happened based on a collection of stories from my own experiences in getting to know the characters in real life and the characters they exposed me to through their own stories, their tragedies and triumphs.

Finding the Ledger in 1992 was the impetus for the story in Red Clay and Roses.I did not want the stories of the real people and characters to be forgotten.  The book has two primary themes:  Racism and women’s reproductive rights and responsibilities.  These are two themes which are sensitive and delicate, and often ignored in literature or skimmed over briefly.  I sought to provide a more in depth and personal examination.

There are political and spiritual overtones in the book.  Much research of factual historical matter was woven into the story for posterity’s sake.  My inspirations for writing this book were twofold:

1. Civil Rights: The love of my grandchildren and my desire to see them grow up in a world that is not only tolerant, but accepting of people of color with full integration and understanding, and without bigotry.

I have two mixed race grandchildren.  I raised my children to not see color in their observations of people. White people often do not understand the anger of blacks or other people of color because we have not suffered the oppression and effects of bigotry.  Red Clay and Roses examines the history of those oppressions; the bigotry that existed in the 1950& 60’s, the dilemmas faced by those who suffered through the era before the Jim Crow Laws were repealed and then enforced in the South, and how life was for people as they attempted to acclimate to the new law. I wanted to record that history of the Civil Rights Movement in context to the characters of the story. People tend to forget that it was once not only inappropriate to mingle and mix with people of color; it was actually against the law to do so in many places. I want my offspring and others to know and understand where they came from, and where they need to go if we are to more forward and progress to the point where we are truly “post racial”.

2. Women’s Rights: A strong desire to present the realities of the world as it was for women before Roe vs. Wade.

In Red Clay and Roses, many women from many different situations and backgrounds are faced with the issue of pregnancy when it was not expected.  There were no birth control pills in that era (until 1960), and women’s rights and resources were minimal.  They often resorted to unimaginable tactics and were faced with unmentionable horrors in their plight to assume some sense of control over their lives.   Chauvinism perpetuated those horrors.  It was not my desire to choose sides with respect to the prolife or/& prochoice movements, but merely to give examples of the reality of the world for women when their choices were so severely limited.  It was also an opportunity to demonstrate the complexities of adoption and share how that option changes outcome.  I had worked with the National Organization for Women (NOW) in my college years and had much experience in working with young women who were like-minded in fighting for women’s rights.  Those rights are tempered with major responsibilities and the book explores those.

Finding the ledger, hearing the true stories of the history of it from the real people who were involved in its origin was most inspiring.Real life is not always pretty.  Red Clay and Roses was my way of recording what the ledger truly represented in my mind.  The ending was bittersweet, and my only regret is that in the writing of the book, staying true to the story, I was unable to dedicate much upon the many positive effects of our history and of our progress away from that which was about to destroy us as a free society.

That really makes us think about the society and the various notions which can make life a difficult prospect for some, doesn’t it? I know you are now interested in reading the book. Grab a copy for your Amazon Kindle. The book is also available in various other formats like pdf, epub, etc. So you do not have to worry if you haven’t got Kindle. Moreover, a paperback version of the book will be available soon. Visit the following links for more information regarding the very same-

Smashwords

Amazon

iTunes

Barnes and Noble