HomePoetryThick Skin Makes For Lousy Sex

Thick Skin Makes For Lousy Sex

Stop putting armor on that fancy suit, love.
The plate mail,
it clashes with your eyes.

The world is not asking you
to be tough,
to be disengaged,
to be pulled back from the shit show,
to be numb to the psychic screaming
of chainsawed trees
and finless sharks.

The world does not need
one more leaned-back pontificator,
one more dissociated intellectual,
one more slowly decaying know-it-all,
one more dispassionate bloviator,
one more sexless, artless thinkbrain,
one more unfeeling scribe
of the left hemisphere.

The world needs your heart.
It needs your guts.
It needs your passion plugged in
through the soles of your feet
and connected to each gasping fish.

Thick skin makes for lousy sex, love.
Art cannot pour through that breastplate.

The world is not impressed with your ability
to remain stonefaced while it dies,
to compute beneath a reddening sky,
to meet the emotional turmoil of a panicked civilization
with cool indifference.

Metamorphosis is irrational.
Salvation is contained not in the known,
for the known is what got us here.
Our transcendence lies cocooned
in the unknown.

Do you want to make yourself useful?
Really, truly useful?
Then feel.
Care.
Lay out naked on a large rock in the sun
and let that thick skin peel away from your body
and leave it in the weeds
to be reclaimed by the earthworms.

Listen, man of steel:
I see you.
I see that the ‘S’ on your chest is made of wounds
and your cape is an old coat
patchworked from learned flinches
attached by barbs embedded
in weeping sores.
You can’t fool me.

Take off your coat,
my precious wild-haired boy.
Let me see your ouchies.
We will clean them up.
See? Not so bad.
Now, unclench your fist
and show me the bird you hold in there.
Kiss her tiny forehead,
and let her free.

Feel.
Care.
I love you.

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Latest comments

  • “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” is the title of a film this year, 2018. “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” was named single of the year by the Academy of Country Music in 1984. Albert Hammond’s lyrics were hardly improved by this rendering:

    To all the squirrels I’ve chased before
    Who hoarded all their nuts galore
    Who wouldn’t share a one
    (But chasing them was fun)
    I dedicate my song’s encore

    I pro’bly need to sing some more
    I promised them my song’s encore
    But now I’m really stuck
    The whole thing’s gone amok
    It shouldn’t be a dreadful chore

    Why don’t I just sit on the floor
    While everyone runs out the door
    They know now that it’s me
    Whom they would rather flee
    Than hear such stupid stuff some more

    • PS
      Nothing besides me remains. Round the decay
      Of my colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level floor stretches far away.

  • So beautiful, Caitlin. As the mother of 4 young men I was deeply moved, yes, yes, it’s what I want all of them to hear!

    Only now am I wondering if it was weird I forwarded it, oh well, they’ll roll their eyes and chalk it up to “you know Mom!”

  • II was honestly, truthfully enveloped by your courage to disclose the compassion that resides within us all. Perhaps I will show this compassion instead of pity to the next libtard NPC. Perhaps compassion can begin their process of healing

  • Nice Caitlin, when you rouge journo career ends, your poet career begins, or OK maybe you can juggle both. I think both poets and journos, particularly ones who are interested in truth, have to be pretty tough folks. thanks!

  • It was revelatory when someone whose opinion I valued once asked me, ‘so, what is the opposite of love?’ I quickly said, ‘well, hate.’ He said ‘no…it’s selfishness.’
    I wonder how many fists would reveal a bird when opened, or simply nothing at all. Birds are such delicate things.

  • Very nice! Just thought your readers might want to know that Israel bombed Gaza–coincidentally– the day after the synagogue shooting! I wish God’s Blessings to the families of both jews and gentiles [Palestinians].

    This conflict dates back to biblical history– starting with the two sons of Issac: Jacob and Esau–the jew and the gentile. In my eyes– the battle is still on–as proven by both history and current times. Like a forever divorcing husband and wife–it’s just to painful and uncomfortable to discuss.

    Off course there are bad apples in both camps–who are no doubt creating the chaos among the masses–and so we will have to bypass them [the 1%]. They are injured puppies with a self-destruct propensity that might do us all some harm. We’re going to have to build the new structures [Berners-Le’s sovereign internet–block-chain, bio-intensive food production, public infrastructure, etc]. to facilitate a more sustainable– and environmentally compatible way of life. We might not get another chance!.

    So, ladies and gentlemen–we have got to come together–and we’ve got to move–[that includes alt right and leftist gentiles–women–Arabs–Jews–Asians–Mexican–Canadians–other–etc.]–we’ve got to come together to initiate the required changes and create the vision of tomorrow. The environmental picture is not looking good–with or without anthropogenic complicity–while it’s unclear on the amount of real time that we have left.

    Lets start the process by opening up the discussions on this dead-locked conflict– while we still have the resources and capabilities with which to address it. Let’s force the issue of accountability on those who serve on our behalf. War would come in last in terms economic activity [rate of return, expected value] if looked at from a systemic– country wide basis.

    So time to change up! Oh yes, I should mention this–you’re/we’re probably going to have to give up some coveted things/positions–but 50% of something–is better than 100% of nothing. And with today’s technologies-we can do way more efficiently and productively with added knowledge, insight and innovation–were everybody gets to participate.

    So all we need is a platform–that can’t be compromised–which provides for consensus communication–development–and plan articulation [including all costs and benefits]–and ultimately a participatory Business Plan–with each citizen a voter and shareholder.

    Okay, back to the piano.

    • What is the “common ground” or “foundation stone” upon which humanity can build a better way of living than the rapidly deteriorating one humanity HAS CREATED FOR ITSELF now?
      ..
      I suggest a concept that has been proposed for thousands of years, but to this point in time never been universally practised.
      ..
      “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
      ..
      IMO, unless and until every individual human being comes to realize that that MUST BE the foundation stone, war, and war now means nuclear war, and nuclear war means the extinction of the human species, is INEVITABLE.

  • Thank you.

  • Thanks for letting me peak into the other side of the reason, emotion!

  • If more people of the world could feel & care the world would be much better place unfortunately the majority seem to be able to dissociate themselves from the pain and suffering of mankind. Easily distracted by entertainment and the media circus of propaganda and lies.

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