This Body

Pesky, troublesome, capricious;

Efforts to control a wild-goose chase,

Farcical: a waste.

A strain in vain; hurts when it hurts;

Longings and desires, when and where it will,

Its underskirts.

 

It goes its way, in the way

And sometimes, thank the Lord, not…

One is forced to say,

“This is my lot.

I’ll do what I can do to help it stay

As long as possible;

Comfortable, perhaps good-looking, but

God knows, that part is least.”

This body is a beast

With some kind of intelligence that lies in destiny.

 

Goodbye old vanity,

Old friend one used to think so highly of,

Be steered by and obey.

Goodbye old energies one understood so little too.

Goodbye old you –

With arms, legs, trunk,

All of its useful junk inside;

The ride, the slide,

The destination thought its own,

Just bone,

If that.

 

You notice I don’t call it ‘my’,

Belonging as it does to nature.

‘It’ an it and ‘this’ a this; this body a bo-die.

 

This Body 7.15.2017

Circling Round Vanities II; Birth, Death & In Between II; Nature Of & In Reality;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

Selfies & The (Selfish) Need

Rembrandt painted hundreds in one medium or t’other.

Thanks to photo’s techno-grams

Selfies of all kinds abound,

Home paintboxes thick on the ground

Which begs the question:

Exploration or self-love?

Motives passive and elusive, definitely inconclusive,

Probably a votive to self-love;

The selfie shows its needs up front.

Pretext for one’s vanity, its insecurity.

 

Then there’s the blog:

A kind of selfie, yes?

There to impress via modernity’s express

A world you hope

Is waiting for your scoop,

Your dope, your poop.

 

When you’ve seen a glut of bodies

Photo-shopped and chopped to please,

Is there more you need to see?

Or is it true desire breeds desire

And that fact a warning dire?

 

Impudently, imprudently

Continuing until we rue the days that bluntly

Lead us nowhere in particular

But to the usual, predictable, familiar wrinkling

And the loss of beauty’s pull.

Selfies & The (Selfish) Need 7.5.2017

Circling Round Vanities II;

Arlene Corwin

Facial Hairs Mystify

Facial hairs mystify,

Growing how and where they will,

Which partly sheds light on reason why

They call it, willy-nilly.

 

White, black, silky, coarse,

All on the selfsame surface –

Growing inward, shooting up and outward!

It’s ridiculous!

At times I curse the space

They call the face.

It shows no logic.

It’s not magic, not strategic,

But some feeble plan of nature,

Some chaotic plan inscrutable

Whose structure is a stricture

On a want of one thing or another.

Keeping tweezer handy

Without ever understanding,

I surrender

To a power

Higher than…

And I give in,

Say a prayer for some unwitting sin

I must be paying for.

Follicles win

Hands down, I mean,

Face down.

 

Facial Hairs Mystify 10.15.2016

Circling Round Nature II; A Sense Of The Ridiculous II; Circling Round Vanities II, Circling Round Woman II;

Arlene Corwin

 

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I Like Looking Like A Boy

I like looking like a boy.

Those massive locks

That locked in looks

From boys and men –

Well, that was then

And now is now.

 

I’ve thrown out needs

And taken in

Convenience, suitability

Which looks as nice – e’en twice as nice

To those bystanders’ gawking shoulders

(Appeal’s molder in the eyes

Of the beholder),

 

Now it’s time for short and neat,

Just as cute

When coexisting with a sweet,

Kind, loving nature;

Character,

Persona’s self charisma

Which as hypnotic, gives off honey’s own melisma,*

Charm’s attraction which,

If used correctly

Does more good

Than all the ringlets ever could.

*a group of notes sung to one syllable of text.

 

I Like Looking Like A Boy 11.24.2016

Circling Round Aging; Circling Round Wrinkles; Circling Round Vanities II;Circling Round Woman II;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

Higher/Lower

Even the eyebrows lower;

It shows in the darned mirror:

Life changes constantly,

A going downward mostly –

At least physically,

For I, the inner I invisible

Am rising high,

Am rising high.

And so to hell with vanity

And negativity.

Life’s outer is a liar,

For I, I rise still higher.

 

Lower/Higher 8.20.2016

Circling Round Vanities II; Circling Round Aging; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Arlene Corwin

Trying To Stay Woman

I wouldn’t call it vanity,

More nature of proclivity,

Its natural routine:

We’ll call it femininity.

Showing up one day: testosterone, whisker stiff,

Non-specific, un-terrific.

Something foreign taking over,

Over which you’ve no control;

Identity’s uncertainty,

The struggle to stay womanly

Without looking transves-titty:

Trying to stay woman.

 

(original version found 7.22.2016)

I wouldn’t call it vanity

(though Augustine might).

More proclivity’s routine: a femininity.

Who can ignore the whiskers stiff,

Testosterone’s attack,

The fact that something foreign’s taken over,

Over which you’re no control – a Janus head,

Identity an ambiguity.

The struggle to stay woman

Without looking like a transvestite.

 

Trying To Stay Woman 2.16.2014/10.25.2014/revised7.22.2016

Circling Round Woman II; Circling Round Vanities II;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

In Life As Well As The Gym, Do It Badly

                                 In Life As Well As The Gym, Do It Badly                                        

You don’t need to train and strain to make your muscles grow. You need to repeat. That’s all. If you do a thing long enough benefit comes of it.

There is no single ‘must do’ exercise that can’t be replaced with something else.   Be clever, be creative, use your noodle. You can find substitute practices that achieve the same result.

You have a bone structure that makes you better at some exercises than others: long arms, short arms, long legs, short legs: Find out who you are and don’t kill yourself trying to put toe up your nose. Look at others, learn from them, be inspired, then do it your way. Take flexibility: there will be borders you’ll never cross.   Learn about them. Accept them. Focus on your own body and its limitations.

Take your time. Don’t rush. Slow is good. Fast makes it more difficult to focus mentally take apart what is happening in your body.

Interestingly enough, there is a gene called COL5A1 which is linked to a hereditary level of flexibility. One version of the gene means you’re quite flexible, the other means you’re not. Don’t be embarrassed or disappointed because you aren’t a spaghetti or, as an older person with less active growth hormone your muscles don’t bulk up as quickly as they did when you were young – or at all.

There is a point at which you’ll stop making obvious improvements; but don’t stop practicing whatever it is you practice. The benefits become more subtle, more refined.  More energy, stability, self-knowledge. It’s quite enough to stretch what’s tight and strengthen what’s weak and notice that your powers of observation are greater than they were. Nothing stays the same. You’re either going up or you’re going down. Even when you don’t notice either.

Resistance is a good training. Good to observe, good to exploit. For example, when doing yoga poses, reach the point of resistance and wait it out, staying as long as you can. Use resistance in your daily life too. Push against tables, your knees, the door frame. There are dozens of ways to be creative using the principle of resistance.

One more thing: if you work hard all of the time, you’ll start to notice little aches, pains and tears everywhere. Be sensitive. Pace yourself. Learn when to push and when to let go – in life as well as in the gym.

Your body isn’t a machine. Rest it. Work hard but don’t kill yourself.

 

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