The Show Tell Project

For Seymour's Fat Lady

Tag: life

The Walls We Are Inside

by fyarlgiles

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For the man who doesn’t need me,

I am a million wanting hands growing from stones

too hard

and impenetrable to sprout

anything at all.

Against me, an ocean.

–cold.

–grey.

It is a mirror

unconcerned with the self I want to see

–always

I am facing the wrong direction

and so is he.

Sometimes,

I am an open mouth

wrinkling for lack of moisture and he is the whale’s tail

fanning warm, salty air against my tongue.

It is then, that wet and dry are the same to a wanting body

and survival

is in a difference I refuse to know.

If only I could sink beneath the water

where his eyes are.

Would I know him then?

-Angie Hoover

Art: Goodbye by Michael Harford

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That Kind of Girl

by fyarlgiles

That mouth hanging open

-dripping

like a soiled dish rag–

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–she is porn

–she is titilation

she is the repulsion that

comes afterward

with green fingernails and wet, dying eyes.

Sweet, cherry nipples

stuck on Tender breasts

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She’s here

for you

sweaty–

greasy–

limp with filth.

  salty fingers on her tongue

she wakes

alive again but at the bottom

–where hell is

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defile her-

Life says its safe to make her stink

to make her cry

She’s made for this.

On a good day

she feels numb

cause

She knows how

To be

A thing with no center

There, but not really.

a rusty red husk

drying

in a shadow

by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork by Keith P. Rein & Cassidy Rae Limbach

The Silenced Wound

by fyarlgiles

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A scar

is yesterday

It doesn’t stab through lonely bones

or bite at freckled wrists.

It only

sits–

flacid.

— The corpse of a memory

that I have

forgotten.

Callous and benign

 in a garden of  blooming nerves–

Trying hard to imitate

the rosy shades

of life being felt.

But still-

it does not fit

Still

it does not See

that

it is not the same

 and it

can never  be—

“The Scar” by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork: The Rising Sun by Peter Campbell

Of Empowerment

by fyarlgiles

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Being in a gi again.

Tying my belt, again.

The meditation, knelt, eyes closed

As on the precipice of a great plunge.

 –

I am changed now :

My skin is not as young,

Not quite as pretty as I was.

My joints not quite as limber.

But my sweat still smells the same.

A clenched fist – remembered – is the same.

“A fist is a fist is a fist.”

Five years ago, when I began, tying my white belt, that’s what they said.

And now, dusting off my green-brown, I hear again

And again:

“A fist

is a fist

is a fist”.

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I look at my fist.

I remember keeping my nails short.

I remember wearing no makeup with confidence.

I remember

Balance

and

I could defend myself

if I had to.

Bowing into this keyhold door,

This is my dojo

my school

my home.

Deep somewhere in the roots beneath the floor boards

and the fibers of the carpet

is engrained my sweat

and my blood

and my tears

And there is magic here

underfoot

Because it is here I first saw

The glimmers of who is my true self.

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And I miss it

As a tree after a drought might remember its first bloom.

A level of introspection unparalleled as

what you do when a punch is coming at you.

I miss the intimacy of Kumite

Because to fight in this way is to know someone better

than a lover might know one.

I set my hands on guard,

I look you in the eyes,

and it is essential that I know you.

A strike and block exchanged —

The wing of a crane

or The bite of a snake,

and I know you.

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Oh, and I would rake as tigers claws might do.

I flew on wings and “rode the wind”.

My feet they moved as leopards do.

“A fist is a fist is a fist.”

And over clenched fist is set

an open one.

This means “Peace over Power”

To temper jagged steel

as I might have been.

But I’m back now. Things are different,

as I’ve said —

Ephemeral things like

the skin around the eyes.

But there are other things that are just the same.

And in these timeless stances,

That’s where I will find myself.

Untitled Martial Arts Poem by Vanessa Cate

The Way it Happened

by fyarlgiles

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Cold sands

rolling

over dents and dunes

silent as death

and

only my chilly lips between to feel them pass–

At once, light

and stiff- a densely packed strip of shoreline

 separating east from west.

spit from swallow

speak from sleep.

I recognize this place.

It is where pale

strands of life

rest

on my nose

exhausted after being pulled

and stretched

It is where fingers sag limp

from grasping the wind

too tightly.

And you cannot help me

because only I am here

with my voice

breaking against that relentless wind

that tells me

I can never know the truth

though it is buried somewhere near

“The Way It Happened” by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork by Agnes Cecile 

The Gymnast

by fyarlgiles

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In the evening,

when her elbows grind into the gravel

beneath whirling toes

and plump, freckled cheeks,

she is alive

in the world with the rest of them.

She is the bringer of motion

of percussion—

of lightness and music–

she

is

everything.

But when the faint moonbeams recede,

she is a hardened lump of throbbing thighs

and raw skin–

stiffened scabs

and sleepy hands wrapped up in sheets

longing for the comfort of

adoring

eyes to tell her that

She Exists.

“The Gymnast” by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork by Hugo Barros

This piece will be featured in an upcoming stage production called Cat-Fight, which explores  the complexities of womanhood!

Support Women in the Arts! Donate to CAT-FIGHT !

Rouge Illusion

by fyarlgiles

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with blurry fingers

and white shadows

she beckons me

to her

mirrored hall

of

—-  madness

————

–I won’t go

no, I won’t go–

but  you are always in my eyes

spinning shadows

into

fire

underneath your

bloody rose

“What it is to be Red” by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork: Rouge Illusion by Elle Hanley 

Where it’s Safe

by fyarlgiles

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I am here–

No hands to grasp

the prickly air

or

limbs that long

for impossible

love–

But

I

am

here

— a face stuffed 

with pale, white

mud

–so that the world

will never get in

or out

of me.

-“Where I am Today” Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

I will Protect You

by fyarlgiles

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My gaze–

brown and hard–

poses on

your

tiny

 back,

piercing holes

into those

that you

do not

wish

to face.

“Safe” by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork: Immunity by Filmout

Art Heap: Jenn Mann

by fyarlgiles

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Bubblegum

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Sea Gal

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Pomegranite

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Mars the Grackle and the Two-headed Girl

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Milkweed

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Bear Mountain

See more of Jen Mann’s Art Here