audrey dimola[art for the wild]

Posts Tagged ‘new blood

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HOW TO BUY:

WILDLIGHT is available for purchase directly from the author via PayPal, for $18.00.

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Please note you do not need to have a PayPal account- simply choose “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” to check out as a Guest.

If you would like to use another payment method- feel free! You can send $18 via Venmo to audrey.dimola@gmail.com, or contact me for other options.

///

the fact that this book exists means that there is triumph of the holy wild spirit over heartache, darkness, ruin, illness and dis-ease, lack of self-worth, addiction, depression, sorrow, death.

i cannot describe how proud i am of this piece of my heart, blood, and bones.

3 years, 258 pages.

i proudly present my third book of poetry and prose, WILDLIGHT.

available for you. NOW.

///

WILDLIGHT: POETRY & PROSE FROM INSIDE THE FIRE

MARCH 20, 2018 – SPRING EQUINOX

[MORE INFO ABOUT THE BOOK]

three years of blood, sweat, fire, heart, and LIVING have gone into this collection, plunging into the wildernesses of love, spirituality, addiction, sex, shamanism, mental health struggles, self-love, and rebirth.

///

“to all those
who reclaim their
spirits from darkness-
who resolve to protect
the body as an altar,
and keep the fire safe-
know there is an energy of
resilience that unites us all.
we may have to fight everyday-
but we never fight alone.

this is a book about reclamation.

about staying close to the fire. trusting in your wildlight.

it is a book about struggles with honesty, with identity. about all-consuming loves- passion, destruction, regeneration. about leaving and returning. about lack of self-love and self-worth. about mental illness and addictions. about the indomitable power of the human spirit. about reasons to live. about what happens when you break away from the life you thought you wanted- to walk into the wild. to be taught in ways only the universe can truly teach you- with blood, with sweat. with grief, and wonder. with fire. with heart.

it is a book about trying and trying and trying again…”

crack the spine of this book and the author will know it. this is an alchemical document- rubbed with earth, singed with flame. found curled inside the inmost core of an animal, fanged and feathered. each word a bone picked from an endless desert, blessed with tears and triumph from the road. “WILDLIGHT” was written from 2015 to 2017 by a shamanic poet and journeywoman who is most often likened to wildfire or supernova- this third collection of poetry and prose an act of sacred invocation that will keep howling at you even when its pages are closed.

THE POET IS UNAFRAID TO BECOME FULL WILDERNESS.

///

NYC PERFORMANCE & RELEASE PARTY:

March 24, 2018 3-5pm at Q.E.D.: A Place to Show & Tell in Astoria [Facebook]

more upcoming SHOWS

///

READ SELECT PIECES FROM “WILDLIGHT”:
+ lazarus was a house on fire (WOMAN)
+ reliquary: the body
+ blue sky
+ peter (i want to be real)
+ studies in reaching
+ somewhere else
+ two wolves

THE JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM: #wildlightbyajd

VIDEO FROM THE DAY I RELEASED THE BOOK:

XO with ecstatic love and FIREFIREFIRE,

a.

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tonight i truly felt my feet planted firmly on the ground, with my channel open to the stars. rooted and yet stretched to the infinite.

this morning i felt called to just speak. speak plainly. so often, especially as poets, we get in our own way, spin complex metaphors, sometimes hieroglyphic layers of meaning.. when do we just deliver the message- where we are, as we are?

this is what i spoke tonight at my new friend yuko’s fantastic FREEDOM show.. after which i have been vibing with beautiful and talented people i am so grateful to have in my life, new friends i am grateful to have met. and dancing around my apartment to steely dan at 2am. (yup)

***

FREEDOM is one of the divine’s broadest and farthest-reaching gesticulations in our universe.

it is an energy that- once you tap into- makes anything possible.

i personally have time after time fallen prey to the idea that once you identify and claim the precious and wild idea of FREEDOM… BANG! it’s done. you get it, and you’re free. forever.

doesn’t totally work that way.

the beautiful thing about freedom is that it finds you.

this is not about being positive, free, and triumphant forever, from the moment you claim it to the rest of your life. it’s about the reality that nothing is linear and “solvable” in that way.

freedom is really about honesty with yourself for where you actually are. and that’s why freedom is so powerful. it can find you in the darkness. at the end of your rope. inside a jail cell. in recovery. with the knife in your hand. on top of a bridge. in therapy. laying next to you in your own grave.

it’s not about being consumed with shame and fear and loathing for ending up there, for not “staying free.”

it’s about meeting yourself where you actually are and realizing that true freedom is the voice that whispers to you- get up. don’t jump. stay awhile. love yourself.

and focusing your gratitude and energy on that regenerative spirit is what will really keep you free.

**

i believe we are all messengers, shamans, teachers, healers.

the freedom in being yourself, being honest with yourself, is a direct conduit to the divine. the soul of the universe.

i say to the lightworkers, the lightbringers, which we all are- don’t get caught up in only bringing light, and the shame and disillusionment when you don’t, or can’t. the world needs your warrior songs, your songs of struggle, your trials by fire, too.

that is your real duty.

stand as you are. speak as you are. and bring it to the world.

***

and then i read this [brand new poem] written on xmas wkend before i slipped into some heavy, heavy darkness.

thankfully- i slipped back OUT from that paradigm like a bad, bad dream. and here we are. a few short days from the new year. .. still listening to steely dan.

You call me a fool
You say it’s a crazy scheme
This one’s for real
I already bought the dream
So useless to ask me why
Throw a kiss and say goodbye
I’ll make it this time
I’m ready to cross that fine line

[…]

This is the night of the expanding man
I take one last drag
As I approach the stand
I cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long
This brother is free
I’ll be what I want to be

#hello2018

XO

a.

test

[things coming soon // including CHURCH OF THE SACRED BODY]

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touch my mouth with your hands
touch my mouth with your hands
oh i want to understand
the meaning of your embrace
i know now i have to face, the temptations of my past
please don’t let me disgrace
where my devotion lays
now that i know the truth, now that it’s no excuse
keeping me from your love, what was i thinking of?
holding me from your love, what was i thinking of?

thank you lauryn. you are brilliant.

///

my words. #fromtoday.

sister fire spoke to me
she said put the antler back around your neck
know that there is a purpose in all you do
you get lost to get found you get lost to get found, girl
to show you yourself over and over that you can.
that you can.
sitting here with flickering flames in cups
salt lamp emanating radiance my hands
to your mouth put your hands to my mouth
let me remember how to pray
let me honor my own radiance
let me remember how to pray
there is darkness darkness only dark
down well-worn paths in my cognitive loops
i say pull the axe from the thornbush righteous one
i say cut i say cut a new way
you were not meant to die in darkness, my love
you were not meant to die right here
i know you want to lay until the vines steal your breath
take you back to where you came from heal the heart
returned to earth but i say i say my child
you must believe that the righteousness of the warrior
is inside your very being
i say go on you don’t need your eyes your hands
you do not need your feet or legs
you need the whole body burning spirit
led by your heart
my girl i say pick up the axe my love
and cut that new way
cut that new new new way
do not be disillusioned, heartbroken from
finding your way back here
she sings he’s just like water
she’s just like water
you are her she is him
sanctified these candle flames
in cups this salt rock glow on my lips
bid me to speak my love
let me remember how to live
stuck in the vines my girl
curled in the vines my girl
you have to get up
you have to get up
not wait for the light
cut a hole to the light
not wait for the light
cut a hole to the light
come on.
come on and on and on
crumpling days of protection
solar plexus you forget your
intention to grab your
bunches of feathers
jump that cliff and
commit to soar
the vines are growing around you, girl
the vines are stealing your breath, girl
what will you do?
what will you do?
do not be disillusioned by ending up here again
the candle flames in cups the salt rock lamp
we always heal in spirals
it’s the only way to find our way back
we always heal in spirals
it’s the only way to find our way back
do not be angry at your constitution
at your weakness at your ache
another man almost stole the life of you
but the bone in your backbone is back
not stiff but fluid not braced for impact but
impactful, my love
the only thing you can collapse into
is gentleness
is gentleness
is love
touch my mouth with your hands
my mother father goddess
touch my mouth with your hands
let me speak these words i
fought my way here to say
i will not die buried in the vines
i will not die buried in the vines
i will cut my own way.
someone once said
there is a way to die a
spiritual death
there is a way to
remember your lips
pressed
to the holiness
of a creator that
loves you
that you can finally
feel
because you finally
love yourself back
take yourself back
my girl my heart
be gentle if it seems like
it’s perpetually
on the mend
give it some time
you always fighting fires
making fires
spreading fires
keep the warmth
remember that the
next fire your spirit wants to feel is
the sun on your skin
on the other side of this
tunnel of black dark
my love
we can only heal in spirals
it’s the only way we can
find our way back.
i can only heal in spirals
it’s the only way i was able to
find my way back.

///

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“see fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need.. and i just retired from the fantasy part.”

///

“at that point, i had to do some dying.”

“artists do fall apart,” a record executive says. “the most commonly held falsity in the game is that they have it all together. they fall apart. […] they all have a moment where you go, ‘are they really all there?’ and i think lauryn chose to expose that to the world.”

bless up, queen.

bless up, brothers & sisters.

XO

a.

[[shows + events // what’s coming up]]

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i speak for the addicted
i speak for the mentally ill
i speak for those who need the woods to survive
i speak for the little girl who forgets she is a wildwoman
i speak for the lost boys and lost girls
i speak for those writing poems into a voice recorder while they ride their bike
i speak for those who won’t smile because they feel guilty
i speak for those who take responsibility for everything
i speak for the savage heart and the sacred life, the sacred breath
i speak for the roots who are constantly doing their work even though you can’t see them
i speak for the trees who are constantly purifying even if you don’t thank them
i speak for the fire on my altar who had to burn things to show them to me
i speak for the birds
i speak for nature who just states facts
i speak for all those who ride their bikes without holding onto the handlebars because it makes them remember there was a time when they knew how to be free
i speak for remembering to be free
i speak for the initiation, for the woman who was initiated, for the initiated woman
i speak for all those who are ashamed of what they’ve been through
i speak for all those who are afraid to be crazy
i speak for all those who take responsibility for themselves, who remember it is we and only we who can write our own legend
i speak for the cracking open and the sewing up with golden thread, healed
i speak for the alchemists
i speak for the wild ones
i speak for the fools
i speak for the messengers
i am the messenger
i speak for the cards in the tarot deck
i speak for the constellations
i speak for free will
i speak for the sins of the father and of the mother and how those sins are not ours
i speak for trying to take care of everyone else and never taking care of yourself
i speak for long bike rides in the cold because you know it will bring you closer to the tribe
i speak for the tribe
i speak of the tribe
i speak with the tribe
i stand by the tribe
i speak for going slower instead of faster

i speak for writing a poem on your bike and almost crashing into construction
i speak for reconstruction
i speak for reconfiguration
i speak for readjusting- to go forth, healed
i speak for the stolen generation
i speak for our shared history
i speak for the mother goddess
i speak for the divine feminine with the divine feminine as the divine feminine
i speak for finding a way back home
i speak for light, for legacy, for justice for myself
i speak for feathers on the ground
i speak for shamanism
i speak for poets
i speak for healing
i speak for trauma
i speak for forgiveness
i speak for recognition
i speak for sight
i speak for self worth- not because, or when, or if
i speak not of conditions
i speak of pain
i speak of grieving
i speak for grieving
i speak for duration
i speak for patience
i speak for balancing your elements, child
not just fire, not just wind- but earth. but water
i speak for power, strategy, and protection- of identifying your body through your body, your own body, your self
i speak for the metaphysical orgasm
i speak for the body but only because i listened when she talks i listen when she talks i listen when she talks and i hear her- now
i speak for my beautiful brain and its shadows- and its light
i speak for the altar in my heart- sacred blood that keeps it pumping
i speak for the scars
i speak for my river and my mountain and my rebirth and my reclamation
i speak for my goddess, my scientist, my wise woman, my self
i speak for all the children who think they don’t have a voice
i speak for all the children forced to keep their family’s secrets
i speak for all the adults forced to keep their family’s secrets
i speak for all the adults forced to keep their own secrets, in shame
i speak for the anesthetization of the body
i speak for the shaking
i speak for the wakening up
i speak for the howling out windows
i speak for the graffiti on the roof
i speak for the flapping of wings
i speak for the falling on your knees, praying into the earth
i speak for the cycle of life/death/life
i speak for the codependent
i speak for those that just want to be happy
i speak for those that just want to be loved
i speak for all those who think they’re not good enough for any of it
i speak for the man perched on the triboro bridge that night
i speak for my self, wailing in the night when you went missing
i speak for the sadness, for the depressed, the anxious, the manic, the bipolar, the suicidal urge- and the will that keeps us here
i speak for the hunger in my body, the restlessness in my soul that reminds me constantly there is a deeper nourishment that i must tap into- a nourishment beyond accolades, sustenance, sex, adoration
it is wild and it is free and it is whole and it comes out of me when i sing, when i let my rattle move, when i give my body to dancing, when i give my body-
safety
beauty
tribe
protection
Love with a capital L
i speak as the fierce prayer that is my life
i speak as the warrior
i speak as the gentleness
i speak as the transfiguration
i speak as the roots and the bearing fruit
i speak for the dead and for the living, and the dead who are alive, and the alive who are dead
i speak for the words on walls
i speak for the crown in the heart
i speak for the silence
i speak for the blue sky
i speak for the infinite abundance
i speak with the breath that creates the living word
i speak now and for every other day i am granted to be here
i speak for the plants that crack through the sidewalk
i speak the medicine
i am the medicine
i am the heart on fire flying eagle spirit
i am the fact that even as this prayer poem ends, it will reverberate-
create your echoes- brothers, sisters
create your echoes everywhere you walk-
find harmony
wildness
and acceptance
and bravery
and goodness
and truth
AHO.
– transcribed exactly as recorded into my phone while riding my bike, astoria to bed stuy, 11.12.17

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‘i liked what you said about rewriting your legacy.’
‘you got to. because if you don’t, someone else will.’

XO

a.

i will not die like this, the girl said.
and so, she didn’t.

the black wolf’s voice hung in the air, the char emanating from his fur melting the snow in a tiny pure circle around him.

she said she would not die and so she didn’t.

the girl was silent.
ragged from crying.
someone pressed their breath into a ram’s horn miles in the distance.

this is a choice i don’t have anymore.
she remembered his words.

how long had she been walking in multiple worlds?

two years had gone by, trying to bleed out the wound or tie it off, sometimes simultaneously.

she felt entirely mad, most days.
the other days, she wasn’t sure.

her stomach felt hollow, sick.
the all-familiar headache that comes with unrestrained tears.

the ghosts were carrying her weeping through the woods, wisping around trees.

she wished they would just bury it.

the horn sounded again- a pure tone against the crying.

all untruth is rooted, child.
just as the truth is.

a house made entirely of fogged mirrors appeared to the right.

the black wolf motioned.

following the root always goes..
somewhere. sometimes. here.

* * *

i walked the perimeter of the house. where was the warmth, what was the memory?

you haven’t wanted to look.
he paused.
find the way inside.

my anger nearly doubled me over.
collapsing, i grasped a stone and hurled it towards the structure.

suddenly i was a little girl.
or at least that’s who i saw in the bathroom mirror. sitting perched on the sink, a faraway moment, blue walls between the color of sky and sea.

i never really look at you, do i? i said, running my palm down my face. i never do. i never tell you anything- ever.

just look right past you.

i was supposed to protect you.
a voice i couldn’t tell came from inside or outside.

i watched the girl in the reflection’s mouth move and i was holding the stone again, this time on the inside.

i raised my finger and wrote in the humidity, words i couldn’t place, prayers i had never learned.

the little girl was beside me. i took her hand.

why are you so afraid of this place? i asked her, the letters slowly dripping in the heat.

because no one has told me i shouldn’t be.

my heart clenched.

no one has ever told me i would be okay.

i just have to keep moving, we said in unison- the words slipped to the ground and collected at our feet.

i didn’t want to cry anymore that night. i couldn’t tell whose voice, mine or hers.

we stood, looking at each other, infinite reflections in unfogged glass.

i lit a candle.

it pierced the endless like a burning star, streaking.

i placed her hands beneath mine on the wax.

you are okay. i am okay.
we are safe.
we are safe.
we are safe.

the horn blew again and i was outside mid-hurl with the rock. startled, i stopped, dropping it into the snow.

the house had dissolved and there were letters all over the ground. the little girl was picking them up.

i rushed to her.

we will make a new home, i said, kneeling. and the black wolf smiled softly in the shadows, stark against the landscape.

don’t be scared, i whispered, my hand on her head.

we will put these words up somewhere else.
we will make them say beautiful things.

the little girl nodded, a slight glow returned to her face. i turned and looked for the black wolf, seeing nothing.

the ghosts were burying the cries, returning them to earth.

i took her hand.

i will not die like this, i said into the air. laughter of young ones and animals curled in the distance.

and so she didn’t. the little girl squeezed my hand. we began to walk.

[see the previous parts of this story]

* * *

happy winter solstice.
happy return of the light.

in this night of seemingly endless darkness, i offer this.

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a beginning, a discovery.

see you, here.

XO

a.

i didn’t know when another piece of this story would come, but it did.

* * *

i thought i was never going to see you again.

the city loomed in the distance.
we were returning.
everything was amber. wildlight.

i thought you were in love, and you were gone.

here, whole cities are made from regrets, the black wolf said.

everything still smelled like ash.
my head burned. i was lost again.

i picked up four stones from the riverbed and arranged them in compass formation. i placed my hand over each, reciting the last prayer i could remember.

whenever you are most scared, go north.
when the darkness seems it will never end, go north.
when you are no longer afraid to die, go north.
when they tell you not to go. go north.

i lit sage in the center and inhaled until my eyes reddened.

i came upon a camp of young ones. my own child self was there, running and stomping around. laughing and barking orders. making all the plans.

plans, i thought. plans.
when was the last time you had one? the black wolf asked, eyes on the children flickering ’round their fire.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

maybe. him?

the warrior with the chipped shoulder, with the heart made of feathers. being already partly of that species, he didn’t have to turn into a bird- he just chose to burn.

some nights all i saw was his eyes. never heartbroken. just- gazing at me. infinite. in love.

i looked down at my hands. there was still a rusty colored mark around my ringfinger.

the children roared with laughter, howling and poking their sticks into the fire, scattering embers along the forest floor. tiny brushfires lit and unlit- the children weren’t afraid. i knew they would never know what it was like- the city made of regret. i wanted to smile at such roughness, purity- but i couldn’t bring myself to.

it’s happening again, i said, staring. i don’t want to keep walking, i just want to stay here. the roots, hearing this, tangled around my feet. i am better off hidden. i am better off dead.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

from the flickering lights and laughter he emerged. wings tucked behind his back, his face, gentle. he pulled me into the spine of his legend, my hands a dog-eared page. our lips parting- all warmth, all agonizing electric. his hands ran over me, filled to the fingerprints with everything. everything i had loved, let go, refused.

we were back against the ocean again after the snow, mana sending sparks into the ether, the most beautiful firelights i had ever seen.

a thousand timepieces smashed in my head and i shook. we made love for hours, explosion after explosion, one sun climbing higher than the next and bursting- harder. brighter.

i could feel the buildings cracking through the ground around us- i wondered where the throne room was and if he knew i was the king of this awful place, locked in the back of a speeding car, kissing furious through twisted neon streets. every glinting road sign cracked and fell to the pavement as we passed.

we were so close.

i want to spend the rest of my life with you, i heard myself say.

a tree lit up in front of me and my eyes snapped open.

i expected to see the black wolf and the children rushing but i only saw the warrior. standing next to the boughs on fire, the bark pulsing with words.

he outstretched his palms to me, burning red, his wings slowly unfurling as he took me in his arms. the ghosts charged through the forest, to the edges of the city, wailing.

a cast-iron crown rolled to the singed land, the dust at my feet.

i couldn’t remember the rest.

* * *

that night i dreamed of the white wolf, cloudy and hovering on a cliff-top. i called to him but he did not move. my mother was with him. my father, my siblings, my grandmother, and my child self.

i clung to the arms around me- some flesh and blood, some gnarled, some winged, some ghost. their arms, their fingers, their hands were all i could focus on.

with my eyes on the white wolf, i drowned.

* * *

i awoke curled against the smoking fire with the young ones all around me. my body throbbed. i could still taste the warrior, the visceral urge to hide inside his feathered chest. never come out alive.

i thrust my face into the smoke and breathed.

one of the little girls, moppy golden hair and crystal blue eyes, brought me a stack of bones.

this is what remained after the warrior left.
the black wolf sang you back.

i stared at her, wide eyed, accepting the bones into my palms- feeling their roughness, the archaic encryption, the fire, the salt.

the black wolf slept curled on a stone chair a few paces from the children and me. i blinked. one half of my brain walked through the city wearing the roughshod crown, forehead bloody. the other half wandered the burning woods, my own voice screaming against the promises.

how do i know if this is real? i asked the girl, eyes welling with anger and confusion.

i thought i was never going to see you again.

the warrior’s wet breath on my neck, my chest.
his hands.

where is the safe place! i cried, slamming the bones to the ground. sparks shot up and the black wolf’s eyes opened- stoic, not startled.

why aren’t you saying anything? why aren’t you letting me leave?
my finger trembled as it pointed in his direction- the tip flickering, gathering ash.

it’s because of you i’m stuck here- my own dreams touching me in the night, traveling from realm to realm, life to life. i can’t say goodbye, i can’t do anything! soon it will all be cities of regret or burning forests- i can’t keep a promise, i can’t stop regretting, WHAT ELSE do you want me to realize?

the black wolf came down from the stones, standing over the bones. he ground them up into a paste and smeared it on my forehead and tongue. he did the same to the little girl. i did not recognize until that moment, it was me.

in my mind’s eye, i watched myself take the words from the flaming trunks. standing in the city, blood dripping down my face, i repeated them.

i thought i was never going to see you again.
this time, it was my own voice speaking to the little girl.
i ran my hand down her face, crying openly.

i don’t want to do this anymore. it hurts too much.

i curled up on the floor in the tightest ball i could and the children buried me with the dead bird they had found in the underbrush.

i inhaled the dark earth, becoming a tree that broke out on the other side of the mountain.
i emerged from the leaves, calm and crying, a candle lit inside my chest.

when i climbed from the boughs, the black wolf was there to receive me.

you have done well, my child.
now it is time to rest.

* * *

see you, here.

XO

a.

things have been so difficult lately that i remember why we humans need stories.

worlds, myths, legends we create and inhabit in order to make sense of our own world, our own hurt, our own infinite questions posed to the universe.

this idea of the two wolves- the light and dark wolf, the white and black wolf, sometimes the good and bad wolf- has brought me comfort today.

spilling into another startling period of darkness, i imagined being accompanied by this dark wolf. part of the life-death-life cycle (à la ‘women who run with the wolves’) – all things have to travel with both and not just one.

i had traveled with the white wolf for months. and now that it was time to trade- they did not growl or bare teeth- they just acknowledged.

the dark wolf showed up, and it was time for me to go.

writing this brought me comfort like nothing else has over the past days.

delving into this story, processing my grief and anxiety in this way rather than through direct, experiential words the way i usually do.

although-
who’s to say i haven’t experienced this..?

thanks for reading.

XO

a.

* * *

i am standing on the bridge.

the light is piercing. blue, pervading.

can i just be here? i whisper. can i just stay?

i stare across the bridge, the river roiling on the other side. it begins to rain and all i can hear- is that. the black wolf is standing before me. waiting. completely calm. thunder cracks but even in such a way that it does not startle him. the wind rustles his fur but he stands, inert.

you must come with me, he says.

i walk to the middle of the bridge, ghostly.

i do not want to go, i whisper.
tears welling. balled, quiet fists.

you must come with me, he repeats.
the rain falling harder.
get your lantern, we must go.

i turn back towards the white wolf.
there are blue feathers tied into his fur, the same ones tied tight under my shoulder. he nods, and i feel the weight of the lantern handle on my fingers. i open the glass window, press my fingers against the wick. it lights.

the black wolf’s eyes are not unkind.
just knowing.

there are rusty remnants of flame there, discolorations of his skin and paws.

it is the nature of this life, child, he says, looking past me to the white wolf. you must spend your time walking with us both.

i closed the window, holding the lantern up so close that i could feel its warmth against my skin.

you know that when i go with you- i am almost never able to return, i said, inhaling sharply to dissolve the emotion welling in my throat.

you know that every time feels longer than the last. the candle flickering wildly.
endless, even.

i looked at him through the rain and the silence. the licks of lightning in the distance, the wind trembling the bridge.

you do not trust me the way you trust the other.

the white wolf did not move at this acknowledgement, blue and turquoise feathers dancing wave-like around its face.

you do not trust what this is, the black wolf offered again, motioning to the storming landscape with his dark, strong head.

how can i trust, i offered explosively, nearly flinging the lamp, when it never seems i’ll make it out again? i forget everything about myself, i forget my hands are for anything but digging to disappear.

the thunder rumbled low.
i outstretched my hand.

my fingers are still dirty from the last time. still tired. still split.

the black wolf smiled, fangs startling white in his shock of ashen fur.

you are afraid this story has an ending, he whispered, moving closer, touching the end of his snout to my palm.
i pulled my hand away. it burned.

i thought you were the fire, my child. his amber eyes narrowed.

it doesn’t matter what i thought i was, i said quickly. all the stories burn away where you are. none of the stories end they just burn and burn and burn it’s why i–

i steadied myself against the mind-spin.

the black wolf bowed and began walking in the opposite direction. he paused, and in a moment, he turned.

it’s why- what?

i looked at the burn mark on my palm, glowing like an alchemical brand.

i took a breath, opened the lamp window, and blew on the fire. it surged with light, with anger. with hope.

i watched it flashing then closed the door.

i turned back to the white wolf, then once more to the black wolf. the rain slicked off of me like i had a second skin.

it is why i must go.

the creature of amber and wildlight curled his jaw slightly, blinked slow in that way only animals do to say things to each other without words.

i will see you again, the white wolf said from behind me. know that i will see you again. the you that is true beyond all this, beyond this story, beyond the light we throw, the shadow we cast, how high we climb, how deep we dig.

i raised my lantern to him, shining like a beacon in the downpour.

i turned away and took a step.

i was on my way.

* * *

the silence is the loudest thing, sometimes.
he said to the wind, not turning back to look at me as we walked.

i had already begun to feel uneasy.

just hold the lantern, i told myself.
one foot in front of the other.

i didn’t say anything.

do you want some fire tea? he asked, stopping short so i almost walked over his hind paws.

i looked down. the lamp was slung around my waist on a braided rope, a small, steaming wooden cup in my hands. i sipped.

you have to say goodbye to the one you’ve never said goodbye to.

i tried not to hear him, to focus on the heat pervading my mouth, my tongue.

i looked up.

there was a crystalline room grown out of a glittering, wet cave, half covered in vines.

the man i had loved for longer than any other was inside.

the black wolf watched the sharpness of my reaction, did not blink as the cup clattered to the ground.

i neared the room, felt the rawness of its edges under my fingers. i searched for his eyes but he paced, shouting and shouting at nothing. he was still so beautiful. beautiful always in madness, the wolf repeated, plucking a strand from my thoughts.

he is here on his own volition, he whispered, looking into the crystal.
not because of you.

i raised a hand and placed it against the clearest part in the wall.

it’s me, i breathed into the hollowness.

circling and shouting, i could see he was crying. i remembered that sound like an echo i thought would never stop reverberating.

i caught his eyes.

then realized i couldn’t hear anything.

i looked down at the wolf, startled. all the sound sucked from the air besides the motion of the creature’s breath, and mine.

he is going to stay here, the wolf said finally. he will go when it is time to, but not because of anything you can say, or do.

my eyes welled up with tears. salt from those i thought would never, could never, end.

i pressed my forehead to the crystal wall. his head was against it, leaning back, exasperated. i ran my hand down it, felt the smoothness of his hair again, in the ways only memory makes real.

i am letting you go, i whispered, wanting to leave a kiss on the wall between us, but stopping myself.

this now has nothing to do with me, my heart said, quietly.

slowly i ran my fingers off the wall. the black wolf stood standing a few paces away, smoldering.

onward, his face said without words.

and i went.

* * *

i like that sound.
of pages turning in the wind.

the sky was more blue than i had remembered it.

my perception was changing.
the deeper we went, fading.
it was hard to recall.
only the painful things surfaced.
even the sky hurt to look at.

i squinted.

didn’t think this side could be so blinding, did you? the black wolf said, half smiling, sitting beside me.

we could see the bridge from here. high up, further away than i thought we’d be so soon.
i wasn’t sure how much time had passed- if any, at all.

will you always find me if i get lost?
i asked out loud, not sure to whom. perhaps talking to all the ghosts that had gathered around the hill, touching my hair and fingers, their hearts glowing from inside the folds of their ragged garments.

i didn’t have to look at them to know who they were.
i knew them all better than i knew myself.

you are not lost, the black wolf said, his breath scattering the spirits over the ridge and out along the horizon.
small strings of smoke floated from his fur, softly filling the air around us.

you are applying the laws of the white wolf to this land.

he stared out into the distance, the tips of his ears lighting up like embers in the belly of a fire.

you are not in the same place, child, he said, turning to look at me.
we write our own laws here.

and that’s what scares people the most.

i listened again to the notebook pages flicking in the wind.
i couldn’t remember when it appeared or when the ink dipped shard of wood was pressed into my hand but i wrote down his words without breathing, got up, and exhaled.

come, he said, starkly earthen against the piercing blue.
there is more for us to do, i said nodding, reaching up to flake off a few shards of the sky to keep in my pocket.

birds called from the distance and i looked inside the darkened folds at them, blazing.

yes. i know.

* * *

the next thing i knew i was waking up, curled inside a ghost.

my palm was gripped around the beating heart, words in some other language scrawled all over my arms, my hands.

a flapping of wings came from above us and i shot up, dizzy.

the spirit felt warm and heavy, the languidness of sunshine on a silver roof, a memory from far away. a shadow on the page, a heart i couldn’t keep. i kept kissing and kissing his face in the sunlight. he didn’t know where i was the night before, the anniversary of his grandmother dying. he sang the song about sunshine to me, the way my own grandmother had. i pressed my face into the crook of his arm, not crying.

everything was dark all of a sudden. searchlights swinging in the night, blinking through tall trees.

i was alone in a clearing but before i had a chance to acclimate my eyes caught the smolder of the black wolf.

i hate being here, i said in his direction.

i felt his breath behind me, the quivering flame inside the lantern again in my palm.

i know.

i gripped the handle and let my bare feet slowly maneuver the gnarled roots burning with words and incantations, snaking across the ground.

they shot up through the bark and into the boughs, igniting the leaves in bursts of flame, one by one by one.

these are all the promises you’ve ever made, the voice of the black wolf said from somewhere i couldn’t place.

i watched the letters pulsing, heard my own voice- split, earnest, crying.

don’t you remember? he whispered, tender.

the whole world caught on fire and everyone turned into birds.


Into the wild wonderland…

Celebrated as “a wildfire in a world of fluorescent bulbs,” a “poetic force of nature,” and “inspiration incarnate,” Queens, New York City native AUDREY DIMOLA is a poet, performer, curator, messenger, local arts advocate, community organizer, and lifelong artist, as well as Director of Public Programs at Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park. // Thanks so much for stopping by! You’ll find all my work on this website, past and present, as well as new blog posts. Poetry, prose, videos, events, photos, articles – it’s all here. // STAY WILD, STAY GRATEFUL!

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ABOUT
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POETRY & PERFORMANCE
Poetry & prose, live performance videos

PROJECTS
Compass Project, Nature of the Muse, THE WILD PAPERS, #poetsinthewildnyc & more

EVENTS
Full list of upcoming & past events

ARTICLES & MEDIA
Features, reviews, interviews, essays in print & online; blog posts; video interviews

CURATING
Original events I've curated like Nature of the Muse & the Queens Literary Town Hall

PRESS
Coverage of my work - print, blogs, TV!

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MY BOOKS
My collections of poetry & prose

My Books

I have three poetry & prose collections for sale, proudly self-published. Like what you read? Support an indie!

Decisions We Make While We Dream (2012)

TRAVERSALS (2014)

WILDLIGHT (2018)

Compass Project Poetry Stickers

As of February 2012, I've been sticking my Compass Project poetry and prose stickers up around NYC & sending them around the world! Have you seen some? Want some? Find out more!