“Man is not free to refuse
to do the thing which gives him
more pleasure than any
other conceivable action.” – Stendhal

III 1: Pure potentiality and suffering

forceps bruise her unformed head
Shakespeare’s extraordinarily gifted
sister is born, made aware
of her conscious mind, she will
now address the reader as an I
already creating lexical lists,
exploring the avenues
of concurrent thought
am I dreaming or the
universal dreamer?

III 1.1: Anything can happen

it does

III 2: The sanatorium collides with the imaginarium

I keep you under lock and key
like the Marquis de Sade
my kaleidoscopic star,
you blow my mind
and arouse my (curiosity)
I’m repelled, terrified, and
utterly besotted by your shenanigans

III 3: Neologisms ignite the thaw

I will write my way to freedom
into or out of sanity depending
on the size of my nonsense
dance to the compelling
beat of semiotic erotica

IV 1: The awakening and immersion

Your image arrives in my mind
and I realize what it is
to melt in the presence
of another’s beauty
travelling an infinite distance
to caress the contours of your face
embrace your anarchic heart

I make no claims upon it
will not burn it or suck it dry
before you are gone
only I want to see it beat
and respond to the world
its liberty astounds

IV 2: Without a room of her own watching the procession of the sons of educated men

a spiritual medium scrys:
you know nothing of the frustration,
the rage to master
crushed by the tides
of apathy, misogyny, and abuse
my ferocity burns mountains to ash

your terrors haunt you,
mine devoured me long ago
I am free of fear but dead
yet continue to believe
I am alive

IV 3: Conflation of the immensely attractive and talented jester genius, the teasing diver, the downtrodden poet philosopher, the spiritual professor, a faithful cuckold (almost), a foreign artist, the intriguing flatterer/thinker, all the gods and monsters, matter and antimatter, and me, the one who refuses to be cast as the observed

Hofstadter laughs at my quandary
we no longer need to get together
fuck, or even exchange e-mail, now
that we understand that our consciousness,
our ‘I’ is distributed among all our brains
as part of the ‘strange loop’
it makes human interaction redundant
I’ll keep to my cave
Zarathustra Rapunzel
consummate performance artist

unless, of course, mind melding
isn’t the primary agenda
linguistic experimentation is
akin to sexual creativity
was Joyce masturbating
or gifting us a vital energy?
(he so wanted to be natural)
will my art be tainted like Bronte’s
with rage and sexual frustration?

I gave up everything for you
but gave it to someone else
who shattered it into pieces

V 1:Fluid cyclicality

an enormous aureate ouroboros forms
and proceeds to consume itself –
it’s in its nature

V 2: Chameleonic desire, a great daimon

the most profound expression of the self
or even more ontological than this ‘I’
the loam out of which a self emerges
Plato’s divine spark longing
to unite with ever more
transcendent forms of beauty

V 3: Interstices and penumbra of the soul

Eros awaits in the density of allusion
cartographic intertextual patterns
that gather in erotic cathexis
vast ecosystem arises
integrates with the eternal

V 4: Skeleton key

for a moment I thought
you caught sight of
me in the corner of your eye,
availed your coruscant intellect
and emotional intensity to really see –
not observe but engage,
an eye that challenges but invites
a look that doesn’t degrade,
demand, or destroy but makes whole
a look of recognition
often only given by
an inner paramour

V 5: Anything can happen

I will live here in the poem
and begin to see what is possible

Notes: This poem was written for Victoria’s excellent prompt on literary allusion at dVerse Poets Pub. It makes allusions to James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (perhaps the most allusion laden literature ever written), Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and the philosophical writing of John Riker. The title Saudade is Portuguese and means the feeling of longing for something that you love and is lost. Another linguist describes it as a ‘vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist.’