“Poetry chose me, not I it. She claims me upon waking, or nowadays in the middle of my day; and if I don’t sit and channel her, she moves on.
The language of the core, the heart, the inner me is poetic. The flow from those places is melodic, imagistic. Words hold meta meanings and have little to do with my everyday state of mind, although they are borrowed from that repository. Reminds me of dreaming and how the sub-conscious uses language so cleverly to convey pertinent messages with inherent meaning if we find out how to unravel that language. In poetry there has to be enough everyday-ness to allow for the message not to become too obtuse. The inner voice seems to know this, thank goodness.
When I have finished writing, I have to read it back to see what it is that I have written. And I am often surprised by it. I find that voice is often humorous or softly sardonic; it is magical and likes to paint pictures with words that tell of a numinous relationship with the world.
I have been meditating for over 30 years. In amongst living an ordinary life, by that I mean being married, raising children and working. I have also lived an extraordinary life–as has any well-rounded woman, I think these days.
Breaking taboos is the same as breaking through any erroneous perceptions on the true nature of self and reality. There’s always a call to surrender, to empty out, in one way or another. Things unfold naturally. The challenge is to be able and willing to go with that. I have been surprised where this has taken me personally. Although writing poetry and making art has always been in the weave of my life to greater or lesser degrees, I didn’t know I would become interested in exploring the erotic so deeply. I think it was when my marriage ended that this aspect of discovery really began. The horrors of internet date sites in particular have a lot to answer for.
To be awake, living with yourself wide open to life for me meant to be very sensually aware. It feels like a natural state. And is therefore very grounded. If readers feel I am earthy, etc…I think this is what they are seeing in the work. Groundedness means both having savvy and enjoying the things of life fully like eating, dancing, listening, laughing, even mopping the floor. It’s speaking honestly of the here and now. Also I feel very close to nature. It has always been a mother to me. I mean that very directly: The relationship I have with the Earth is deeply connected in love and respect. It teaches, nurtures, protects, amazes and renews me on all levels constantly. So I think that is bound to come across in my poetry in both imagery, metaphor and magic. I discovered my connection to her as a child. We moved around a lot and I was fortunate to discover many of earth’s faces and flavors, which always opened out to me both psychically and sensually. I felt safe wherever I was, because of that, and had many amazing experiences as a result of my propensity to go off wandering and to get lost in what I later came to understand were heightened states of awareness that came very naturally to me.
(click on title to hear Freya read)
Relationships are not rocks then,
They are rotting logs
With woodlice of doubt
Trundling about their business
As if damp and doubt were normal.
Fungus grows, spreading microbic threads of
Mistrust and uncertainty
Through what was once an illusion of
Crystalline singing clarity.
Hope and joy where a sunshine that
Warmed stone for basking.
The dark dank air now settles
It’s fine veils of moisture so quietly,
So quietly and gently settles despair,
Plumping lifeless cells into a fecundity of
Rot that so slowly, eddy memories into a
An aching sludge.
Occasionally a gasp, a coming up for air
As something sprouts up from the humus of
The heart’s death bed.
A pointed finger says, ‘look, proof then,
Better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.’
So be quiet, sshhh be quiet.
This process, this slow breaking down
In forest floor silence far away
It’s natural, so shhhhhhhh.
My heart melts into liquid nitrogen
As the juice of me sours shapeless
Into the soil and love dies so quietly.
I am minutely munched by the mandibles of
Insects, small chewing and sipping noises
If you bend your head close enough to hear.
If there was anyone to hear.
Remember, remember only that
Relationships are not rocks then.
There never was any foundation,
Touchstone certainty, nothing to
Stand on, lean against,
Lordosis over trustingly, wanton.
They are trees and trees can be
Felled by fear
And split by knee jerk lightning.
Out of the bright blue – whiteness
Explodes and burns and turns
And leaves what’s left to rot.
I must grasp this, gasp this
black and gold ash,
Slash and burn, crash and burn and sshhh.
Make no sound of pain,
No howls for completion, respect, honouring,
Be as big as Nature is
In the hands of children.
I am to disappear
Into the formless larger cycle,
And become the air you breathe.
The earth beneath your feet,
The rain on your face,
Like dead people.
And be content with that.
If I find myself a tree again,
Not shiver leaf fears,
Not bear small hard sour fruit
Even though my sweet cherries
Counted for nothing and my harvest
Fed only small creatures and birds,
Not your mouth.
My juice was a red blood spilt
That fed only the land.
If my poetic sensibility has been described as occult, then I think that what is coming across is years of esoteric learning and spiritual practice, psychic ability and a rough-assed rebellious nature. Because I don’t censor that, what you read is perhaps challenging to people who have different sensibilities. I don’t seek to offend, that’s not my intention. I believe in very little these days and find I am much simpler about things as I get older. But I do believe that I should do no harm. So there could be a potential problem couldn’t there? Oh goodness, perhaps my work should carry a warning.
To write about, explore and make images about love and sex with all its variegated faces and have no fear of doing so is intensely liberating. There are many aspects of sexuality today that fascinate me. The inner archetypes that seek expression. Also the Goddesses within every woman at the center of her nature. How do they translate into actions and words in a modern woman? I want to make art that can express those in a natural way. We are more than we know ourselves to be, but not more than we feel ourselves to be. The sex industry doesn’t cater to this aspect of woman. I like to open this up in my work. To play with it. An ordinary woman in her ordinary house can get into her zone, her center and flow out from there and who will she be? what does she look like? What does she have to say? My work may challenge previous assumptions about what a sexy woman is and does and wants–and therefore how she is responded to may have to shift.
I love to record the poetry. It’s another level of expression that holds the listener closely within the experience of the poem. It’s interesting that when I was a performance artist in my early twenties, I never used to speak–preferring to create musical soundtracks for the pieces instead. I don’t play any instruments, although I have always worked with and been surrounded by musician friends throughout my life. I do like to sing, and before I became disabled, I loved to dance most of all. Perhaps it is since I can no longer dance that I have been writing more poetry? Certainly the musicality of language within a poem thrills me deeply.
(click on title to hear Freya read)
It’s taking a long time
To stop riding my gift horse,
Bridling you, no saddle
Bareback, squirming my cunt
On your ridgy spine
Clinging in your mane and digging in
Reverie riding you
Galloping across plains, through meadows
And deserts of memories
Tethering you to trees
And making your cock hard.
Sitting with you by endless streams
In endless dreams
And lakes and ponds of you and yours and us.
Dipping my face into your world
Turning over and over in me.
Basking on a blanket whispering
Listening, picnic sunshine on our lovely sex
Whenever no ones looking
No ones ever looking.
So it’s taken a long time
To park my gypsy wagon
Under our car park trees
And sit still here I, in the full moon night
One lamp waiting, half the secret bit of night
For the open moment,
to get myself here, still
and true – a long time,
To thank you for your gifting
and the gift of you.
You’ve appeared now from your stable
Quiet, Standing, large eyes liquid
In a still body of not flesh
Own self over there perched
Ready to fly.
It takes several turnings
Churnings of tummy fat moon
Invisible ululating, pit howls
To bare you, and you are watching me.
But I am determined to let
My sleeping dog who is not mine, lie
Comfortable as it can be
And to wear the jewels you gave
Your tiaras and rubies and gold.
Letting them now lend their grace
To the sway of my away
To say it was and is enough
And thank you, and hit the road
Jack happy, eating my own sweet hay
Yes, a long time, maybe forever.
My definition of sensuality:
Being intensely present in the interaction between self and thing–whether that’s eating a peach, stroking a cat, walking barefoot, listening to the wind, kissing, sniffing your lovers neck…paying attention through all your senses and enjoying the minutiae of the sensations. And not holding on to them, but letting them flow through you and beyond you in the certainty that there is more to come. Sensuality begets radiance. You become magnetic.”
• • •
To view more of Yoel Tordjman’s work:
- Sensuality: The Other Side of Healing (combustus.net)
- Sensuality: Present Even in Silence (combustus.net)