Friday, July 15, 2011

Ritual Sacrifice

I will end this, my very first blog ever, with a ritual sacrifice, which is pretty funny for a 99.9% vegetarian and 94.5% pacifist. Give or take a little. What I mean is that I'm throwing an early draft of a poem out here to you, knowing full well that it will decrease my chances of publishing it in a journal. Why would I do something so seemingly stupid? I do it to show you that, as the site name implies, there will be no holds barred in this exploration of creativity.

The poem "Bareback Alchemy" is the namesake of this blog, and to me it represents the facts that 1) when we create we tap into the divinity that lies within ourselves, and 2) creativity, strength, and life force can be born of pretty much anything, even the most profound suffering. For, while the poem grew from heartache, it ends in transformation to power and strength. And this is real power - not the fleeting, unimportant power over others, but the power to create, the power to romp with the gods on the playground of being and becoming, the chance to find out who you, yourself, really are.

What you can expect from me at Bareback Alchemy: deep and honest discussions about creativity in art and life, excerpts from my interviews at Tiferet Talk and my reviews of others' works, news about my own writing, discussions about spirituality, and more.

So, I offer you this poem as a brief and heartfelt manifesto - that out of the suffering and complexity of experience comes not silence. Out of the suffering let us instead raise our human voices, call up to the gods, sing to the goddesses, peer inward at the ominpresent, scratch at the dirt of divinty, and marvel at the boundlessness within our fellow humans and our fellow creatures.

Descartes said, "Cogito ergo sum" ( I think, therefore I am). Let us say, "We create, therefore we are gods." Blasphemy, phooey.

You knew where to look all along.

Bareback Alchemy
Bring on the cold.
I'm going to meet this life
without gloves or scarves or boots
and ride bareback through the cobbled
streets of time, howling incantations into the mist
and threading mystery through the folds of day.
Let the ticking minutes land where they may:
I point my heart at an uncharted
path, lift from the earth,
trot on the wind. No Nostradamus
could predict the intricate
twists and turns this horse will take
down alleys and through storms,
shaking its magical tail,
its righteous mane,
clopping the cobblestone
and trying, trying like hell
to buck me off. Let it
snow and sleet. I've got no fur
coat to meet winter with this year,
just a raw and broken heart
and the waterfalls in my chest
where my lungs should be.
So go ahead. Bring it on: cold
and heat, hurricanes, tornadoes, quakes.
I've got the freedom of the dispossessed,
that fire in my throat,
the lick of truth,
and I'll sing it loud
because I wear
the philosopher's stone
like a smile, don a raven
on my shoulder, sport the alchemy
to transform my demons into gods.


  1. The poem is inspirational!

  2. I found it!!! I love the percentages :) And yes, the poem is absolutely lovely. Congrats on the new blog, Melissa. I look forward to future posts.

  3. Great start. Good luck, Melissa.

  4. Not sure what kind of music I'd score to it, but I would score something to it. Very nice modulations

  5. Thanks for the wonderful comments! I'm so glad y'all are here at the blog :)

    PB, I would love to hear what you can do with this!

  6. The flood gates have been opened! We would love to hear more from you, I dare say we expect it! I shall definitely be following your blog (though I wish we were still in last semester...). May your Muse shine it's blessings upon you!

  7. Thank you!! So happy to hear from you!

  8. Excellent manifesto, Melissa. Welcome to the blogosphere.

  9. Thank you for the warm welcome, Erin!

  10. Oops - I just noticed a typo. Does anyone know how to fix that after the post has been published?

  11. I like these lines
    "streets of time, howling incantations into the mist
    and threading mystery through the folds of day.
    Let the ticking minutes land where they may:"
    and I love this poem.. pretty good.
    Sajumon Ashan

  12. Great blog, Melissa! I love the poem. But then, I love all of your poetry. And your fiction. And now that you're writing a blog, your nonfiction as well. Anybody ever tell you you're a very talented lady? :)