Dervish, Dahn (Yoga) and Duende
Spectrums have the power to take us over; so much is included within them.
Whirling dervishes have been whirling (as devotees to Rumi) since the 13th century: since an impassioned dervish advocated for activating the healing capacities of the body (by turning his own body forcefully toward whirl) in the moment when he overheard gold being beaten in the local marketplace on a fragrant afternoon. The dervish concerns itself with concocting curve as a way of moving time. The brain rhythms are slowed as the breath increases. There is more to be done than to simply allow air waves to whir and wither in the mere-ness of time passing (as a type of matter that remains inactivated, unattended to).
Unresolved past-life trauma is believed to make phantom pain in the abdomen. Can interaction between a mental state or an emotion (presenting itself as ailment in the body) and what might relieve it be forced? A conflagration is being intentionally instigated in the lower abdomen: see me stoking the flame. The third chakra (that exacerbating city of suckling jewels) needs to be burned again and again in order for it to become tender, healable.
“Tener duende: to have soul.”
From dervishes (who spin) to practitioners of Dahn (who focus on generating qi in the lower abdomen) this commitment to duende abounds. Provoke by quake and sound; learn to slacken as you shake; insist on singing in the dark. As a shepherd or as an Upanishad, actively shed stagnation and unintentional storage. Choose your looseness; stun by fervently stinging the seed-syllable “Ram” (with your tongue) as you house it within your mouth.
Did you notice the feral goblin that gobbled up the house as a way of showing that it possessed it? Did you feel its emoting from within the obscure, frothing centers of boulders as you shoved yourself into a rocking framework? Did you feel Dwende take the past-life versions of you (the parts of you that remain in you as entice-able children) toward the sea caves in the hotspots of the deep?
Tired of feeling tired? Exhausted from the haunts? Instead of avoiding the intensity of the emotion, join me: let’s jiggle and rake, let’s intentionally increase the qualities of these disturbances, treat them as opportunities to elate. Shake so hard that bruises begin to appear. It is possible for us to perceive ourselves as prevailingly powerful as we tremble, weep so hard that the troubling emotion (the crease) eventually extricates itself from us.
Sometimes the dawn’s most authentic blush is blue.
Sometimes my erections are less between my legs and are more like subliminal erosions which extrude from my third eye. That kind of position (paradoxical boner) imbued me with a sudden power to push down the two opposing sides of the brick wall. I began by lying between them (which required that I jump atop of as if I were going to leap over but instead lowered myself within).
You have to follow the image all the way through in order to have image become the capacity (in you) for prophesy. Sperm and seed abound, capable of being buried. See my follow-through like implanting strings and strands within the impetus of sperm and seed, inside of what writhes between my own legs, what bubbles over from my third eye. See me literally sewing strands and strings in so that I can marionette my own genitals by way of my accurate genders.
With my hearty arms flexing, I press the opposing sides. I do this, offering the walls no reprieve and the walls do eventually crumble. As they crumble, an unexpected floodgate is opened: bleached gristle comes pounding out over me as riven, as wave, as wash.
The foot’s placement is a floating door, an intravenous Big Bang.
To become by way of a grinding nature requires a blatant stare into essence. Is essence inherently sexed? If it isn’t, can essence be sexed? Does it even want to be? Yin and yang are a carmine sense of place; yin and yang have bloodshot genitals. I am fingering the shapeliest edge and its shape is severe, piercing.
Last night I was visited again by angels hell-bent on activating atrophies. They appeared to me as bridges, batting their widening eyes. An angel who is not self-aware is of no worth to the body that it is attempting to inhabit. I want to know what you are planning to do with me from within me. Warriors and angels who use the sharp ends of the pages of books as their swords are attempting to bring cosmic DNA out of the unseen vault of human DNA. The fascia of this lotus posture is angular, making me evermore aware: severely aware. The swords that the angels of atrophy possess continue to strike me: swords in the stone, brutalities never to be removed, evermore to be retained.
I vow to always eat my atrophies as a way to make more ground in me in which to lay prostrate, in which to lay me down as seed.
“Dance with my Father Again”
Who knew that while deep in meditation, contemplation and self-revision I would miss my father so much? When contemplating whether or not god is a manmade mandala, I could not help but wonder on my father’s possible disappointment if that proved to in fact be true. He will have made his way around and around the curves of the inherited shape for a whole human life; he will have wasted. I wondered if he would find that all he ever did (by “praising” and “worshipping” his Mormon god) was man a manmade mandala.
Watch my father proceed from the strong calves and quads of his teenaged years to the injury (in high school) that ruined his knees; from seeing his two male children move into respected positions (“High Priest”) in the Mormon Church, to his first born (which he called “daughter”) finding their way without him, without much respect from any of the men in Mormon-esteemed positions. See my father’s future wherein he is barely able to lift his Vitiligo-ridden legs as he continues to walk as the man, the manmade.
As a child, I often stared passionately into the Vitiligo spots on his legs. I did this without him even knowing it. I am sure I even stared when he was leaning (in his shorts) to buckle the infant-me into my car seat before taking me around the block for a drive in an effort putting me to sleep; the wind of his convertible, pounding me in my face (which made me feel at such peace). I did not even know that de-pigmentation was an option for people for whom this disease occurs, but had he decided to go through de-pigmentation processes, they would have halted my vision, crushed my altar early on, put a clamp on one of the first locations in which I divined images. It is amazing what you can find in the continents on your father’s taut legs: constituents and clamor.
In my mountain cave, Luther Vandross was singing very loudly because I had turned him way up. Moving with my hands around a phantom form (hands placed in the way that the one leading the dance would place them) I pulled the phantom (at least temporarily) away from the mandala. If I was going to “dance with my father again” it was going to be a dance of mutual honor and I was going to lead.
Man to Man?
When I was in my he (M) my father came to Colorado to visit me. It was interesting how he did not treat me with aggression (in regard to my aesthetic) upon seeing me. He even wrapped his arms around me which of course, allowed me to wrap mine more deeply around him. I kept mine poised there, right at his low back.
We stood together in a drained out lake amidst fish bones and he asked me about my synesthesia. I talked with him about the deteriorated leaves, how the small stems of the leaves paralleled to the fish bones and how I could feel that coupling as chords. I talked with him about removing inhibition and about the constant translation I am in, forced to engage. As our feet were sinking in the mud I tried to show him how it is possible to know oneself by sound.
I wonder if my father felt my strap-on against his leg at that time. I preferred boxers and boxer briefs with open flies (not sewn shut flies) so that I could keep the tip of my dick outside of that little hole, poised, ready. At that time I saw myself becoming the contour to a femme’s needs and that name, that idea, generated such creative impetus in me.
When I was younger I had to stick to an intense practicing schedule (by my mother’s demand): violin, voice, piano, homework, chores. There were times in that process when I literally lost it. I would open up all of the doors and windows during storms, did this as rebellion so that the wind would blow the sheets of my music around the room. My mother admits to me that she often tried to make me angry during those times. She considered it a kind of success if she could make me mad because that supposedly increased the quality of my playing: at least it did to her. As for me, I felt like diving out of the screens and into the air, riding the waves of one of my reoccurring dreams up into the sky never to return when she provoked me.
During one of such experiences I ran away from home, beyond the corner of the street where I was told with force that I was not allowed to move beyond. I ran and ran until I came upon a church with huge stained glass windows. This church was not a Mormon church. I recall being stricken by the dusk light darkening the colors in the stained glass windows. During that night I waited there on the steps until my dad came to find me.
On that same visit my father and I were on a hike in the forest. The aspen leaves were changing, some of them still aflame with color, others resting in rich mulches in piles on the ground. Part way through the hike my father recited one of the Mormon teachings about never straying from your family or from “the fold” of the church. His recitation of “bloom where you are planted” at this moment felt really odd and forced to me. I gently retorted the dogma by emphasizing that there are some trees that cannot even reproduce if fire does not liquefy the wax that surrounds their seeds. In this retort my father was stunned: not at my thoughtfulness or spirituality (because those were things that he and I shared since childhood) but perhaps because he saw me for the first time as something separate from him and independently beautiful.
Wanting to be Called by a Different Pronoun
By this time, I had bicked my head, had a tattoo of a plump Earth balancing on the outstretched finger of a hand (the head line and heart line were identical) and had thrown away all of my traditionally feminine clothes.
Wanting to be called by a different pronoun than “she” and “her” I recall a specific time when I stood with my girlfriend as we watched a plethora of Colorado hail pound down and pierce the surface of the water of a pool. “That is what I want my pronoun to feel like,” I said. She looked at me like I was crazy (a look I would repeatedly be on the receiving (non-reviving) end of for many years to come when I attempted to explain my pronoun experiences to others).
I was interested in a pronoun that would enable, enliven, empower me in regard to my own specificities: different than how traditional pronouns are normally attributed (binary, polarity). In other words, I believed in one scene or sense of me coming into clarity, vividity or stability by way of vivisections: by way of making other parts of me unstable.
j/j hastain is the author of several cross-genre books including the trans-genre book libertine monk (Scrambler Press), anti-memoir a vigorous (Black Coffee Press/ Eight Ball Press) and The Xyr Trilogy: a Metaphysical Romance of Experimental Realisms. j/j’s writing has most recently appeared in Caketrain, Trickhouse, The Collagist, Housefire, Bombay Gin and Aufgabe . j/j has been a guest lecturer at Naropa University, University of Colorado and University of Denver.