In the Radiant Afterstorm

Aja Moore

 

Everyone has a horror story that makes us look
like soulmates. In other words:
this is not that bad. Yr not
so bad.
I repurpose
a word a place
a phrase an act
my whole fucking
body. I wanna repurpose this
whole month my whole mouth this whole
city. But leaving
is suggested without speaking
about the conditions required for its execution. Like success
or salvation. Of course I would like to have money and its contingent
mobility but this is not a luxurious poem so I won’t
pretend getting away is an option for me
or that I’m not thinking
about you. Instead—
Turn toward pain.
Yeah it’s here
but so am I. Today
will be inspirational.
I remember feeling
this. Not only
feeling it but
naming it too
so I don't need
to understand
as much as I need
to remember. I revisit
my thoughts on repulsion. I have them
while you sleep. I search
my own feed for how weird
and get two results. On my
mom’s birthday: “So weird
how the moment you become unlovable is also
the moment you refuse to take any more shit.”
Upside down and smiling—it’s not
unlike me to be thinking of myself when I should be
thinking of others. We nicknamed the process
through which I bind myself
to others by pulling out all
the untreated pain like threads from
my hoarse throat until they surround
us—this flourishing
nest. The hitherto unimaginable
pleasure of telling everything
detonates. I really feel
that if I wait
for understanding I'll be
waiting forever. This is how
I learned to accept consistency
instead. It’s easiest
to write when I’m disappointed. The words
just come and come. Still, there are some
things I can’t say because they never
feel like mine. Maybe some ideas
are just like that. The amateur
writes about the inevitable
unravelling, especially
of those things you consider
indestructible. Forgive me, every era
has its drama queens.
Rilke put it: “Beauty’s nothing
but the beginning of Terror
we’re still just able to bear.”
When will you
get terrifying? I can do it
on command. When I feel fear
and love. People don’t want to
say I love u. It’s a whole
genre of writing, what
deteriorates.
If I never love u
I have nowhere
to fall from, only
towards. You say “you just want
to be mad” and you’re right
insofar as I’d rather be angry
than taken for granted. An amateur
would quote herself I hope
I am an amateur
forever. Consider that I believe in myself
in poems which is why
this is where I put my
lies. In an earlier draft
I had written, “consider that
I’m not drawing from the cannon
because the cannon makes me
feel even more suicidal
than usual.” But I caved
and was calmed
by Rilke’s anesthetic
elegies which do nothing
but tell me about living,
a subject I never want a man’s opinion on. Rilke,
who hailed the “heresaid, remote, incredible
War God” he saw as an “opportunity
to learn about suffering.” Who endured violence
so rarely he considered it poetic. I read him three times
today. He can do whatever he wants
to me. It’s easy to say that
about the dead. It’s advantageous
to be caught in a lie because then
you are not the one burdened with its articulation.
All poetry is touching yrself—I keep
making templates. The amateur tries to
make everything theirs. I’m a hoarder
of meaning and its amplifications. I wait
to hear from u and imagine
not getting angry. Which will involve breathing
and weed. I try not to yell. I make everything less in my head
by putting it on paper. Later, I take it away
from here too. If I could make you
see one thing it would be: After you got upset
is the same as saying After I hurt u. I know
you know that. This isn’t
sex poetry, thank god.
Let’s call it something else.
Accountability poetry. It looks
and sounds bad because it feels
worse. If you refuse
to be accountable I will hold u
accountable here. If amateurs
want everything and so do poets then amateur poets
must really be unbearable. I went to the zoo by myself
and felt jealousy. There
has probably never been such a
symptom of privilege as
the desire to be held
captive. That’s not so bad, I thought
watching the animals I couldn’t name eat
decomposing fruits. Is this a form
of simplicity? No highs
or lows just dirt water food and
us, the gentle
spectacle. Children grab
our hair screaming
Do something.
Do something. Everything
sleeps and eats and stays
where it is. I thought there would be
no tigers after the scandal during which a flood
released the animals
from their enclosures.
A tiger killed a person and then a person killed a tiger.
When I googled it
the first picture was of the zookeeper
holding one tiger cub in each hand.
Underneath it the story of how
he and his wife hid on top
of the cage once the beasts
were given opportunities. After
Religious officials said
the flood was caused
by sins, specifically
those of the previous
communist government
who apparently liquidated
holy relics to pay for the construction
of the infamous zoo. I don’t know if I believe that
but you have to admit
the events were biblical. There’s always someone
out there ready to show you the way
you've misunderstood being
“treated like shit.” It can always
get worse than its ever been. So thanks,
because of you
I read Rilke.
The tweet
beneath the one I was originally looking for:
“Weird how being treated like you don’t matter can make you realize that you do.”

 

*Quotes taken from Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies

 

 

Aja Moore is a lunar Aquarian.