Subsequent To


art Shang Chengxiang

1.

I’m not interested in teaching ways to love or even how to think it up.

2.

I can’t teach you about sacrifice or about how many times we die in this life while we’re alive raging in this deteriorating flesh.

3.

I want the unreasonable and clever aspects of existence to clinch among the goodness and omitted parts of one another.  I want for them to discover the undiscovered.

I want to be taught and be on the receiving end of the million and one things I don’t know like why roses guard themselves by using thorns or why immortality comes on slow but heavy with disdain.

4.

I won’t allow others to share my prayer rug with me if I love in greater ways than them for I would be unfulfilled at an uneven heel feeling the disgust of unjust.

5.

I don’t want to feel less is more when it’s impossible for me to give in smaller amounts as I evolve.

-Pennington

BLINK FITNESS


1

Yesterday I made a decision to rejoin the gym again.

I had many reservations about it.  Okay, it only lasted for thirty minutes, but those small reservations felt like an anchor that was going to last longer than twenty-four hours, which is unlike me.  I think I’m going to blame it on the miasma of depression and the uncertainty it causes.  Now I know to most people joining a gym doesn’t sound even remotely significant, but when you’ve made the gym half your fucking life – it’s a big fucking deal!

Joining Blink was a happy accident if I believed in accidents.  I didn’t know they built a spanking new gym walking distance from me.  So could you imagine how big my heart swelled as I sat tipsy nursing my white plum wine across from the gym Pre-Valentine’s Day eating like a silly pig at my favorite Thai restaurant?  The thought of the gym alone gave me enough excitement to give my entire body a staggering erection.

Old memories flashed before me in all my assertive and madwoman training and the way I felt empowered simply by owning truck loads of ego and exhibiting strength and personal space in the weight room alongside the brutes of men.  It all rewound itself to foggy windows, smelling the dampness of other people’s sweaty gloves, headbands and fabric while zoning out to chalky protein, diverse tunes, and colossal sounds of iron clanks as well as cardio machines that squeaked for mercy and oil.

But since I broke my ankle I’ve become somewhat of a recluse and kept myself as inaccessible as a teenage girl in her Gothic room.  Over the course of two years I joined a gym twice and canceled the same.  At first I liked the idea of going back to who I was – the full time badass who wanted to spank everyone in the gym while priding and lifting for power, mass and size.  Until I realized I wasn’t the same woman.  I transitioned into something else (I don’t fully understand yet) and my goals did too.  The thing I do know is over the course of time I wanted to default to a natural size, lose a substantial amount of weight (still do) and still keep a lot of the strength I’ve earned from a decade.

Plus, I got used to working out in my own personal space at home.  I was made aware of my troubled hermit existence only after I started to go back to the gym and notice whenever someone would come near me I would practically hiss, sneer and snap at them if they even asked, “Are you using this mat?”  I think I lost some social/interactive skills by being a recluse.  Well, I live and I learn and I also change.  I’m at a different place now mentally, emotionally, spiritually and especially physically.

So once again I’m here joining a gym.  I know some of the good involves:  Being able to strengthen more of my ankle by using certain machines like the Treadmill and I’ll also lose weight quicker by devoting longer and steadier sessions instead of doing HIIT and circuit (strength) training multiple times a week.  I burn myself out all the time.  The bad is being around people and their bullshit, whether they say no when I ask to jump in with them on any given machine [or insert any other annoying gym attitude/behavior here].  Is this something I want to deal with?

More importantly joining this gym is about reflecting harder on the possible notion that I’ve outgrew the gym.  I may no longer find the gym a daily requirement in my life.  If there is a chance I don’t feel like I need the gym anymore, then I have to learn how to come to grips with that instead of wasting precious money trying to figure it all out.  However, if I wind up falling in love with the gym all over again, then that’s just true love that feels like sticking and I’m with it either way.

*

At this moment I’m setting up to go on my date with Blink Fitness.  I haven’t decided on the time yet.  It’s not only about Blink impressing me; I’m not above impressing Blink.  Don’t ask why.  It’s a gym.  I believe in making all kinds of impressions.

The gym from what I assessed is on the smaller end with just two floors.  The people there seem somewhat motivated, but they lack passion, which I’m surprised about because I guess I expect more out of people.  But I can see their blank faces droning whether they’re weightlifting, cardioing or stretching.  I’m telling myself it’s just the weekend and perhaps the energy is different during the weekday.

I’m going to shower, put cold cream on my face, smooth it over with some serum, and shave my underarms and legs.  I’ll slick the ends of my hair with protein polish and a flat-iron only to hide it’s slickness in a bun.  And although I have lots of variety (DVD’s, YouTube and paid Fitness Streaming Subscriptions) working out at home, everything is much different in the gym – energy, friendly competition and even meeting people or bumping into a gymrat I used to know takes place there.

I’m hoping being at closer distance would keep me motivated at first and I’ll have fun second.  I want to remain a gym member in my heart of hearts.  Also I don’t want a third cancellation on my gym life resume.  I would say wish me luck, but I don’t believe in luck.

Crazy excited,
Pennington

Bedevil


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It’s your birthday month.  Will someone bring on the Bacardi rum?  I no longer feel the sun since you’ve been gone.

 

I want you to trouble me, puzzle, muscle and rebuttal me.  I want you to disturb me, discern, immerse and return to me.  I want you to haunt me, taunt, flaunt and want me.

 

I think I found love with you.  I spoke to mourning doves about you.  I swear I found a home with you.  I even ask the honeycomb on my altar about you.

 

I think I found wholesomeness with you.  I’ve been at homelessness without you.  I swore I kissed the skies when I was with you.  I even ask my thighs why they cry now that I’m without you.

 

You put a love inside me I can’t get rid of and at times, you were my antidepressant drug, the one I sometimes dream of handcuffed, strangely enough.

 

I’ve been cold since we both disappeared.  I haven’t found my heart in two years.  Won’t you appear with your childlike light in my sullen atmosphere?

 

I had a boyfriend who cared about me but he came with his own limits, his own gimmicks and every minute he’s attempting to disguise low spirits with a million cigarettes.

 

He’s nothing like you and you’re nothing him and that’s just one problem.  You barely came with conditions or superstitious wishes, but you were the warmth and blood to my heart even when it rocked bottom.

 

And I look to the sky and I ask why.  I look far and I look wide and the answers were because I cried honesty rather than decide to spend the night with pride.  You made me work for forgiveness like I was some damn spy.

 

What if I asked you to send for me?  What if I asked for your body?  What if I admitted to my monstrosity?  What if every fear we own were given to prophecy?  Would it change the divinity of possibility?

 

I can’t forget the first glance that cemented our song and dance.  I can’t clean the scent of your home from my hands.  I can’t eradicate the taste of you from my throat glands.

 

What if I still loved you beyond this distance and chip on my shoulder?  How am I to know when my heart froze that last time in October when my entire life as I knew was over?

 

And if I show up at your door, will you come?

 

Trouble me.

Disturb me.

Haunt me.

 

-Pennington

Thai Terminal


friends

Written previously, recently revised.

We welcomed each other first with high spirited voices talking into our cell phones and waving from across the street like lost little kindergarten classmates.  Then we greeted like sisters with tight long bear-hugs in the same way we always have because there are a few things in life that never change.  I could hear her wailing happiness beating from her gut than her chest and out into the public and onto my ear.  I smile in her hair with immediate joy but reserved the sound of my joyfulness.

Xyza is an undercover mentor, a maternal-like figure, full of flashes of hippie love, extraordinary kindness and massive angelic light that illuminates from her aura.  I’m also an undercover mentor, half in age, full of loyal compassion, extraordinary hospitality and thoughtfulness that leave the innocent light on in the darkness of which I grow.

In the center of this embrace I reflect over our countless meet-ups and how it never fails, my constant awkwardness in the hub of sharing love and how despite iself, I’m genuinely able to digest her white magic, even if it leaves me depleted afterward.  Xyza looks tenderly beautiful with her strawberry blonde shoulder-length bob.  I compliment her on the new length when she declared, “I had a vision of myself twenty years from now, me with long gray hair and a flower in it off to the side.”

I love the visions she shares with me.

We settle in a Thai restaurant not far from her parked car.  Upon sitting, the server asks, “Are you tourists?”  “No”, we replied.  Xyza turns my way inching up her nose until it crinkles with a question, “How come everyone thinks I’m a tourist?  I was born in New York, but live just outside the city.  I guess.. because I travel a great deal.”  I nod in agreement and chimed, “Your aura never has that grounded feel from being in one place too long.”

But, with me it’s totally different; I’m a New Yorker who’s considerably considerate whereas I allow people to hit me with their bags as I stand overt with an introverted atmosphere on the train or bus.  Unlike Xyza, my roots are established in New York and it’s on display when I talk about my suspicions concerning the worldview.  I may come across as myopic, but I consider myself to be purely grounded.

Thirty minutes of conversation and I’ve been following Xyza’s lead because she’s paying so I never lay a finger on the menu.  The server comes over to nudge us politely – then Thai Chive Pancakes, Vegetable Spring Rolls and a glorious Mango Salad along with unsweetened ice tea lands sweetly before our eyes.  I continued following Xyza’s lead and didn’t touch a single carrot slinky.  I sat glued in passivity to the tales of my friend.

*

I listen to her speak about her ex-husband and how she’s pretty sure a demon owns him.  I listen when she said she knows of two men who have transcended beyond the physical and how they both married wonderful women, but not perfect women.  (It made me wonder, what constitutes a perfect woman according to a sixty-year old woman.)  I listen on in when she said she doesn’t want to play the romantic game from a male’s physical perspective, nor does she have any desire to play the woman’s perspective which is to trap a man in a relationship.  Of course, I agree.  I believe life is too short to live conventionally.

When Xyza decides to come up for air, I volunteer my own discourse.

I speak about isolation from the world and if canceling my gym membership is the wrong thing to do because at least this is a place where I can maintain some social skills.  I speak about having elevated to a place where physical sex is no longer an obligation of mine, nor is it ever a want.   I speak about the tiny things that make me happy like being by the water, the vision of living in a beach house single with two pets:  A husky dog and a petite cat.  I speak about not understanding the point of being in a relationship with men when being the opposite gender I’ve yet to connect and remain on the same wavelength.  I always feel superior.

*

We understood each other the way women and friends frequently do and we continued to eat, sip, laugh and talk the summery night away.

-Pennington

Mindset


pop 10

It doesn’t matter how many bodies fill up the spaces around me
My brain doesn’t brim with poppies, it doesn’t brim with poppies
It never mattered if I had love or bask in it
I don’t recall asking for this:  Planet earth and masking business
It never mattered how many accomplishments I’ve chased
How many lovers I taste or how many thoughts were displaced
All those hugs I received, all those pets peeved
All the hands I’ve ever held, all those black magic spells
All the apartments I’ve entered, all those heartless tempers
I grew up without a mother’s love created by the slough stuff
I grew up without a childhood – long lived misunderstood!
I grew up without a future, without dreams of stupor
And other people talk about advantages
And life is what you make it with or without bandages
And others go on to say you were born in America
As if you couldn’t somehow be at a disadvantage?
But maybe I’m destined to feel nothing
Or destined to keep reaching and running for the invisible
Maybe I’m destined to self-destruct based on principle 
Or maybe I’m destined to be alone listening
To sad-core, humming, ever so lovely, to the ugly
Mindset

-Pennington

Quote


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“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language. Next time, ask: What’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end. And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”

– Audre Lorde

An Open Letter to Indifference


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It took me a good length of time to warm up to your hands and be open to your kiss. I never imagined the day. That one time when we took time off from seeing one another – a month and a half – I had far-reaching sentiments wrapped in a box with ribbons that glowed of reasonable expectations and hopes. I loved you.

And on that altered afternoon when I came to visit, I went with every intention to slowly pull away the gift wrap that was you – emotionally speaking. I fancied to display how much I missed you and your darling face and your scent I consider home. I looked forward to quality time and a world of welcoming love same as usual. And perhaps it was my mistake – expecting you to always be on the identical page as mine? We were disconnected.

And my eyes were wide open to your loud actions and your words failed me because they were of a sexual nature and your hands no longer defaulted to being warm. They were indifferent now. And with an energy of a wolf, you came onto me and unwrapped my clothes with hungry claws leaving me bared for a moment just enough to capture the view of the voluptuous latina you glared as feast.

You walked me to your white door and pinned me against it with heavy aggression and kissed me with the same force with a tiny dollop of love inside your breath. And you groped every part of my meat and ate from it as if you were in a state of panic, of pure desperation, of a teenaged boy whose hormones got the best of him – just like a wolf taking over its prey.

And boy, I wish I left. I wish I could take my heart out my chest and stomp it onto the ground until there wasn’t a beat left – how it hurt like the day I was five years old and my mother first broke my heart with parental neglect. Because between loving you and the three hour trip it took to travel made even my thoughts feel small until they disappeared like smoke, like white lies, like happily ever afters.

And in this instance, you didn’t understand – how my sensible feelings have changed and how they buried themselves in deep despair and how anger created a shift in perspective; how these sentiments were relentless and at the same token – unforgiving. You didn’t realize the crime being committed; the way I was dramatically falling out of love with you; how this time when you cupped my face, kissed me deep and served me pleasure in the bedroom I was gone. I checked out emotionally and felt like freedom contained in the wind.

It was easy to become the watcher and observe from the outside in how you made me feel – like a woman selling herself off Hunts Point Avenue, like friends with lewd benefits. There was a dangerous courage in your behavior because of all the history that came before and will continue after us. I’m in disbelief and I can never feel the same way about us again. However, this has been a long winded way of saying: I’m not a maximus call.

-Pennington

Repel Crazy


This is the latest poem slash song (because I could sing it to the song below).  Evidently, this poem is based on the current events of my life and has been inspired by Lana Del Rey – so don’t be surprised when there’s like one or two lines I borrowed from her.  Still, this is my original work.  Hope you enjoy until next time.  Thanks for reading everyone. 🙂

Repel Crazy

I can hear the rhythms in my head.
Love is what’s unsaid.
Everything else is dead.
Glad we made our beds.

I shed my heart and soul for you.
That’s what we allowed.
Time is comfort glue.
But we’re so over now.

I shared my body and life with you.
It’s all over now.
There’s nothing we could do.
I feel like such a fool.

You like your quiet and your distance.
And you’re happy without missions.
And you like sex and video games.
And I’m finally happy we’re up in flames.

I’m a little bit wild baby.
And you’re a little bit famous for your vanilla. (Yeah, yeah)
I’m a little bit hazy baby.
And you’re a little bit lazy baby.
It’s crazy. (Yeah, yeah)

I’m living.  I’m wild.  I’m free.
You’re dull, old and grumpy.
It drives me crazy. (Oh, oh)

Pain is steady, what can we do?
Forever and anew
I’m so withdrawn.
I’m going to be happy once you’re gone.

-Pennington©

Nymphomaniac


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It’s wonderful, in my opinion, to see how much of myself I could relate to in the character of the film Nymphomaniac throughout both volumes, from growing up and taking charge of every decision, single-handedly based on her terms, her rebellious nature, her moments of aloofness, her philosophy of lust and her avoidance of love, her emotions being thrown like a whirlwind into the act of sex, her destructions of interpersonal relationships, her views on society and how humanity can be summed up in one word:  Hypocrisy.

So much of me, belong to this character and it astonishes me that a director has taken the time to put together the story of this woman who I look at as a heroine.  I never once pitied or judged her although she managed to critique herself harshly and understandably so.  But what I do take away from the film itself is, in society, I think people are given two choices.  The first is you could play the game based on the terms and conditions of society as long as you’re faking happy to keep the image of conformity intact.  Or the second:  You can be an outcast.

I think her struggles are very real and of course society doesn’t let up on the notions of how she should behave, for instance when one of her bosses demanded she get help for her sexual addiction.  Its constant questioning, steady debating on what’s right, what’s wrong and according to whom?  The beauty is in how she stands up for herself in her ball of strong integrity despite the gnawing loneliness she possesses or those in the path looking to disgrace her light whether done subtle or forwardly.

She fights for herself because to put it simply it’s about survival.

-Pennington