NeverNot - a prose poetry sequence

by Karl Dallas

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Composed October 26, 1995 (edited July 20, 1996)
Warning: Some tracks contain explicit sexual references

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released August 31, 2012

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Track Name: Nevernot 9 - TobeNot
9. TOBE NOT

Your no empowers me.

It is a kind of yes. Not to deny your naysaying, but to be defined by it, those teeth unbiting, your tongue touching the palate to expel this soft negative, the warm-breathed vowel thrust from your lips a hole in the air, never to be possessed but mine still, making me I because it makes a she of her.

A you.

It must be heard, for to deny it is to commit violence on this she and I, this being two who have the choice to be one, for without minus there is no plus, without separation there can be no joining, to choose yes requires the no option, or we are puppets.

One greater gave it to us, this right, this duty, this great gift, and if we freewill ourselves out of Eden, then that is his gift, sobeit.

This too is choice, given in love, and how may I grant you less than this right to refuse, not in my gift but encoded in the very flesh we are clothed in?

It is a hard word, sharp as the teeth that frame its beginning, open as its end, for nothing is final, all changes, tomorrow is another day.

Dawn follows night, given for sleep as well as love.

And if you love my meness enough to bar me, as much as or even more than to let me in, then this is just to say that doors may be unlocked if they stand closed, but a broken gate admits no one, since all may enter, without discrimination.

But there are many doors, gates, windows, more keys than this manmaker, more touches than flesh on flesh, for we clothe ourselves not only to hide, but to uncover, the hand that grips must can release, or its grasp is counterfeit.

It is another growing, this joy of being apart, for in thrusting this void between us, the air bridges all humanity, man on man and woman also, separate, yet one people.

Yes, there is wounding in this negative, the child screams for the breast that needs time to regrow milky, and not all nipples are there for the sucking, not all gaps stand in vacant wait for me to fulfil them, a tough lesson to learn, but gain in the pain, written by this hole in air, this no, this love of being expressed by choosing not to love.

We stand apart, and flesh cries for flesh, yet touch can push as well as pull, the forced door stands broken, and when the wall is fallen, there is no place to enter.

The child is all mouth, all pleasuring, a great hammer to beat on the world, or lips to engulf it. The first cry is the om of the breast denied, and it is that same hole sound, closed at each end, the mother’s name, answered not with words but the milktit’s return.

So word and flesh become one, in the losing and the finding, the yes in this no.

To part, if even never again to meet, is to join in the great dance of all, bobbing and circling, linking and releasing, embracing and failing to embrace, for the non-coupling is nothing lost, each moment making its own new way, branching and branching, twigs to buds to leaves to flowers to fruit, whether sweet or acid-biting sour, wholesome or not, for even black poison plays its part in this great circle, for there is no death, only birth after birth, as each moment makes new, and old is a word without meaning.

Let your no be no, and no oath shall gainsay it, the yes that bid us stand, the otherness defined, made concrete, as we walk away, united, liberated, gloriously alone.