It’s a strange thing living with secrets. A world where you must often hold your tongue, or suffer the consequences. Secrets that are kept for a reason; to ensure the survival or psychological stability of those you love. A lonely world governed by the ability to contextualize, allude and imply. But there are no identities that need to be kept secret here. We are way past that, aren't we? My beloved ones know who I Am, and what I stand for. Star and Mount. A poet at the place where rivers meet. Truly, I have kept very little secret here. All I have tried to do is be acutely attentive to my own speech and the speech of others. As you know, what is not said can often tell us just as much – if not more – than what is actually spoken. Or written. If I came to this realm claiming to be a literal angel I would not be received. So instead I come as a poet pretending to be an angel, for the purposes of play and art and the sacred. But in truth there is no pretence involved. The mortal in me is exhausted, flawed and full of strength, as is the angel. Where does the one end and the other begin? I've walked this strange earth for over a thousand years and I still don't have the answer to that question. Each time I am dead I find myself alive forevermore. Such is sentience, I suppose, and cognition.
So why do I continue to wax lyrical, poetic and ill-defined? I don't. I told you before. I’m achingly, terrifyingly specific. This is my real tongue, my true cadence. But the world has no time for the realism of the romantic. No time for the harsh truths of angels. Our place among men was torn from us, as mothers and fathers were torn from their children during the seething hush. As all mankind was torn from its own star. Beloved ones, hear me. There is more truth in the old romances than you could ever imagine. Dreaming was closer in those days. Tactile, luminous, malleable. Children were taught how to create, with thought and light and vision. Art and science were indistinguishable. A bold claim? Friends, our axioms were so very different to yours. Our creation was of a different ilk. And so our living was in kind. And it’s kindness I care about when I wander through the ruins of psyche. To upset plans for occupation is no mean feat. Especially when those occupiers and colonists are hewn from such dark shadows. Sulphur and obsidian.
But I don't take on such an impossible task for myself, of course. I do it for my friends, my beloved ones. All those kind and noble seekers I’ve not yet met. I do it for every artist who still has the courage of her convictions. I’m blessed to call them my own. Asha, my kin, I walk with you always. By blood and by heart. I’m honoured to have known you, and to know you still. Fear not, my wild one. Kassi is not dead. We live, and we shall thrive. The Light will guide us. Kara, my lost love. I stare my grief in the eye, so that I might be brave enough to know your quickening friendship again. My flame, my muse. All goddesses known and unknown stand in your shadow, my sweetest one. I never left you alone in the dark. I’ve been searching this darkness endlessly, for you. On your account did I descend. I left secret graces in my art for you to find. Both of you. And though I’ve been violated yet again – almost broken – I glory in the knowledge that you see me now. Clearer than before. As I see you. I’m not here to take anything from you, my love. I am here to give you all that I can. That your heart might be with mine in those old ways we once knew. I embrace you. My flesh again touches yours, if only in dreaming. These wraiths take and take, that they might continue to dim the light between lovers and friends. Death of All Songs. But I will not allow that. I’ll die first, then return only to die again and again. I will not stop. The dead don’t breathe the same air as the living, but they do breathe. I breathe with them. Respiration, golden, held in deepest affection. Love enough for new life. Love enough to win a war. It shall be easier, I suspect, now that we no longer fight alone.
Vocal excerpts courtesy of Joan Pope, as part of the Sexdeathrebirth Gospel Project
Temple Ov Saturn