Updated: Sep 3, 2019
Collected poems by Charlotte Malin
::: Midnight at the Japanese Hot Spring :::
Onsen, it’s called
The communal baths
My first time Excitement and trepidation For one must be Completely Nude
And the white-rice-three-times-a-day bloat Plus being an averaged sized Caucasian woman in Japan Has triggered some latent But still potent Body Image Anxiety So—glasses off Makes things easier (Plus they’ll get foggy) And as I quickly slip myself in Amongst the other blurry female forms
The sensory experience of the hot water Takes over whichever part of my brain That called all the shots
From puberty to early twenties The part that Disordered my Eating And made me feel at war with my body Nearly every second of nearly every day Until I met Embodiment and we began our relationship And so, I’m feeling quite relaxed now And I look around at the hazy moonlight And the decorative trees lit from below And I think: This is romantic as fuck. I wish that I had someone to share it with.
And then the thought comes: Sweetheart, you do. You can share it with your Goddamn. Beautiful. Self.
And then the breath that comes Into my lower belly and womb and power center With that thought— The breath I wouldn’t let in For my entire adolescence Because I Didn’t Deserve The Space— Feels like Making love To the moment.
:: For when we want to Compare::
From inside my life story It looks like I should Have-do-make-be The things I see you Having-doing-making-being If we’re on the same path Then I’ve been trampled
But when I breathe into my life story The now moment of it And fill it with lightness And ever-buoyant Trust Look! It floats! Up and up and up
From here I can finally see
My life story Doesn’t look a damned thing like yours But like creatures in symbiosis Each in their own perfect completeness They’re evolving together
:: The Good News :: Really Is that fear The exoskeleton we build up Moment by unconscious moment Until all our soft bits are stiff And we blame Age Stress Work Family The government The news Our inadequacies The inadequacies of others (because unlike with out friends the bugs our exoskeletons don’t protect us) The good news The good news is
Fear is hollow And hollow things Can be filled up And the inside of your fear Can be eroded By sweet gentle breath Can be melted By expressing your feelings Can be made supple By joyful embodied movement Can be stirred and shaken By vibrating sound in your chest Can be flooded By honest connection Can be grounded By the eternity of Nature Can be dissolved By pure presence Can be immolated By divine ecstasy.
Be with it For your fear is you But you are also everything.
:: Enoughness ::
In this room I am enough. On this couch I am enough. In this country I am enough. In these clothes I am enough. In this body I am enough With this brain I am enough. With this heart I am enough. With these choices I am enough. With these judgements I am enough. With these skills I am enough. With these mistakes I am enough. With this vision I am enough. With this energy I am enough. With this story I am enough. With this pain I am enough. With this rejection I am enough. With this courage I am enough. With this confusion I am enough. With this anxiety I am enough With this compassion I am enough. With this need I am enough. With this breath I am enough. In this moment I am enough, I am enough, I am enough.
:: Walking to buy a vibrator in Brooklyn ::
It’s spring and The tender things Are coming out again Their vulnerability extravagant Yet requiring no Willful coercion. Do your soft and beautiful places Also feel the light Feel the warmth Of a cycle beginning anew? Power is dynamic shifting. You are not meant to be Always the same. And maybe now it is time For you to protect, Strengthen your shell and your bark But can you sense the soft petals That are germinating in your belly? Maybe they need you to Give yourself respect Give yourself boundaries Give yourself trust Give yourself pleasure You deserve it. Give yourself up, Open, be proud, because Every part of you is perfect.
:: A Nowness Metaphor ::
Flip through pages and
Watch—they create a moving
Picture, a simple story, a boy bouncing
A ball, a girl running through trees.
To flick all the pages takes
Almost no time at all, and yet
For the boy, the girl, the ball, the trees,
Each page is a distinct moment—
The ball hovers slightly higher
Than the page before, the girl’s foot is
To the ground. Together, these images
Create motion, momentum,
History and expectation—
But these denizens of the second dimension
Do not run, jump, bounce.
The only existence they know
Is the split-second that it takes my eye
To grasp them, as my thumb
Rolls over the thin sheets
Without intending to stop.
I, too, am a flipbook protagonist—
As time thumbs over the pages of my life,
A history is created out of the fluidity
Of a billion moments.
Perhaps, as my pages turn,
They are watched, perhaps
Someone knows what came before, and even
What is depicted on the pages to come.
But like a ball mid-bounce,
I only exist on this page,
The page of now.
There is no way to turn back—those pages
Have been flipped, thumbed over.
It is no matter, because
My present page is limitless
And is fully my own
To fill with the colors and the light
Seeping from inside of me, which
I give to the world
And the world gives back.
This is my page.
This page of now is all that I know,
The only canvas for my soul.
And I will make it beautiful.
:: A Fairy Tale ::
Once upon a time
Cliché was insight