Flame

Your rage strikes my heart like a lightning bolt

Cracking it open and setting it afire
I am at a loss for what to do, so I warm my hands over the embers and wait
To transform, part of me must die
I cannot rush, only trust
How many times can one heart break?
As many times as it takes
To learn the sacred lessons
To consciously unite with the divine
Time and time again
Pain is pain, sensation is sensation
No matter the form or formal education
Lucid dreaming just before waking
I see a sea of broken hearts glowing in the dark
Each a floating lantern offered up
Burning with the same flame

Samurai

Before I knew how to love,

I freely offered up my heart

Blind shot in the dark
I was the one who dropped my heart on the floor
From my open hands
Not knowing that I had smashed through a door
Not knowing what I would gain
Not knowing what I could never lose
No one seemed to notice, no one intervened
As I set out on my own
Lifting the veil, stepping through the screen
It wasn’t easy
I made every possible mistake
Burning my fire to fulfill other people’s desires
I was able to do everything and anything,
Because I already felt dead
From the heartbreak which split and throbbed in my head
I flipped circus tricks in the strangest of beds
Unscripted, I drifted
I met so many people
I worshipped under unconventional steeples
Life is my book, my science, my art
It all started when I sacrificed my heart
Everyday I learn how to love more
Love myself, my life, my family
Love even the dregs of humanity
Those who have yet to wander away from themselves
Those who have yet to realize who they really are
Because they cling so tightly to their identity
I’m privileged to live like a Samurai; at once warrior, servant, and free

What I Learned in College

What I learned in college:

I learned that suicide hurts forever in the hearts of those left behind.

I learned the sweetness of Spring after the darkest Winter night.

I learned, too late, not to drink too much alcohol on a date.

I learned, too late, that not using condoms can lead to more than AIDS.

I learned, the hard way, that HPV can cause cancer.

I learned that I am too generous to make a living as an exotic dancer.

I learned that even the finest meal doesn’t taste good when my body pays the bill.

I learned that slow and steady is my pace.

I learned that life is not a race.

I learned, through time, what friendship looks like.

I learned that self/spiritual love is the most important relationship in my life.

Room at the Table

To learn medicine, we spend years

Carefully cramming knowledge between our ears

Medicine is a hoarder’s paradise:

Constantly changing like the ocean, ever-expanding like the universe

In this shifting, growing, mass of information,

We hold dear each grain of sand and each countless star

Keeping them for future use

Welcoming new knowledge as it surfaces

There is always room for more at our table

Bra-less and Lawless

 

Bra-less and lawless
That’s what I am
I solved the problem of my poverty creatively
That’s code-speak for ‘illegally’

Because prostitution
Isn’t recognized by the institution
Ironically, it’s the same men who rule the world
Who pay money to have sex with girls

I’ve jerked off CEOs of international companies
Wildly successful ones that you might support everyday
In our inevitable, consumeristic way                                                                                           Like common street pimps, the government and corporate thugs take the money they want, leaving the rest of us just enough to stay alive so that we keep making them rich off our blood, sweat and tears all the years of our lives                                                           We break our backs while their bank accounts grow fat collecting tax

Sometimes I break the law                                                                                                        When I was a sex-worker, I limboed around the law by making a living without paying taxes on my wages, unless you count the immeasurable tax of physical and psychological trauma, which like a war within me rages

Sex work was an avenue to do what I could to improve my reality
With a heart of gold: I did it without hurting others, young or old
I even donated some of my hard-won earnings to charity
Robin Hood is a hero to me

Sometimes I let it all hang out and go bra-less
I am a woman in a man’s world (though we’re fighting for our human rights!)
Taking my bra off feels like exhaling, ‘Yes I am!’

Letting my breasts fall forward to where they naturally lay
Feels like the first time I did sex work and got paid
I could finally afford to buy food instead of scavenging through the trash,                         no more would I dine on the stale leftovers of rats
All I had to do was survive an hour behind closed doors with an asshole rapist                   it was like any other day, except that I got paid a livable wage

Poverty feels like an uncomfortable bra
That is two sizes too small
It cuts into you and suffocates you
Until there is only one thing left to do, if you can
Break free

I’m not saying that everyone with financial difficulty should find employment through illegal activity, although that seems to be the only option at times
I’m saying that feeling comfortable
In your body, your mind and your life
Is something worth striving for
I hope you feel comfortable in some way every day

Freeing myself from poverty was not quick or easy,                                                      Although the lucrativeness of sex work at first made me believe it would be.      Sustainable change takes time                                                                                                         In the long run, it took a lot of hard, unpaid effort educating myself to reach a place of true comfort; for austere years I lived without many things I wanted because most of all, I wanted to be free                                                                                                                                I wouldn’t change my journey for anything                                                                                    I am grateful for all that I learned, the profound ways that I healed spiritually and am healing still, the people I met, the goals I accomplished, the places I’ve lived and…

how good it feels to finally come home to myself, to my heart and my body                     The journey isn’t over, but I know that whatever the future brings, I am ready

…and for the moment, bra-less

Finding Sukha

Sometimes I feel angry
I could blame my parents for the anger they passed down to me through their nature and their nurture
But they are only survivors of abuse and neglect themselves, victims of inter-generational psychological torture
I like to think that they were doing the best they knew how
With limited resources at the time
It was a different world back then;
There was little awareness and poor preparedness,
Less information and more isolation

Sometimes I feel sloppy
My movements get choppy
I crash, splash and make a mess
I only hope that I don’t take anyone down with me
When I slip and fall
Reminding me that in my haste, I don’t save time at all

Sometimes I feel on edge
I am irritable and my mind carves a ledge
Off of which I can easily slip
Into a hellish well
Of memories echoing back at me
Little things that seem big disproportionately when viewed at close range

Like the time an ex gave me condescending lip
When he proudly pronounced the word ‘dukkha’
Then judged me on how the Sanskrit word (not the concept, mind you) was unfamiliar to my vocabulary at the time

Dukkha is commonly translated as ‘suffering’, which is an important concept in Buddhism because the Buddhist path was designed to liberate people from suffering by helping them first overcome their desires/selfish cravings

I am all for liberation, but his elitist attitude was not resonating with me
That fool tried to school me on suffering like I’d never suffered a day in my life, when I’ve suffered every damn blessed day of my life

So I gave him a lesson in letting go of attachment by leaving him

I thought he could stand to benefit from the lesson and

I don’t need to take shit from a privileged prick about fancy words that I was too busy earning a living through sex work to have the time to learn from a text book

Books are hella expensive anyway

That’s why I gladly share my writing freely

Cuz I want it to reach people like me

People who were born into economic or emotional poverty

Through these simple words I string together

I humbly hope to help alleviate suffering in others

Perhaps it only helps alleviate my own suffering, but even that would be enough

I am a person, too

Also, writing feels like free therapy to me

I’ve still never been to actual therapy

I hear the prices are crazy

But I digress…I don’t have the energy to deal with fits of vanity

from spoiled boys who get off on looking down on me and the rest of the world

I think that instead of judging anyone who hasn’t heard the word ‘dukkha’
It would’ve served him better to find sukha
Sukha means ‘ease’

My point is this:
Everybody experiences dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness or stress) and hopefully sukha (happiness, ease, pleasure or bliss) in their lives
Everyone around the world attends the school of life; we are born, live and die in that classroom
But not everybody has access to the luxury of learning outside of their immediate human interactions
However that makes them no less educated than those who have the resources for recreational reading
At least in my book

So I’d tell that ex (if I could stomach the thought of communicating with him, which I presently don’t)
That if he thinks he is superior to others
Because he’s so well-read
Then maybe he should know
How to fit his ego back inside his head

With compassion, I recognize that fear of inadequacy lies at the root of his speaking boastfully

Here are some lessons that I’ve learned, and they aren’t in Sanskrit:
The ego inflates easily but deflates again eventually, and when the ego balloon gets stabbed by a needle it can be a long, hard fall down to the ground                                                                                                    Liberation from our egos and freedom from our desires is the ultimate gift
Money can buy a book but it can’t buy wisdom
Material wealth will get you inside the ivory tower but it won’t shelter you from suffering

Just look at my ex; he was rich in his wallet but impoverished in his heart-mind
Leaving him so that I could be poor but happy
Was a decision that put me at ease,
At ease like sukha

Sometimes I need a lesson in letting go too

Sometimes I find sukha