While reading “The Argonauts” by Maggie Nelson I had the image I once had while I was high bursting open through my head. It was a demon again, in the shape of a man I have recently been infatuated it. Long hairs, long fangs, all boring into me pulling me onto myself, folding time and life into intricate folds of passion. It was a vision of me that I suppressed, this is not something you tell your friends, it is not normal, it is not something they would associate themselves with. Then again, it is simply expressed by how we explain bisexuality to some friends of ours, “You know, it does not matter what genitalia they carry because I am attracted to the ass”, however, it is not like that.
“The Argonauts” is not simple either. It is not possible to contain it with simple connotations of good and bad, it is beyond that. I believe that poets are the hardest souls to categorise on any given day anyway. This book will probably come under romance, or probably even poetry. It is a look with the author’s relationship with the world really, with motherhood, with people, with Harry. Harry, her partner in this journey is an enigmatic personality, it’s a joy to see the image he draws, it’s terrifying to see the world with the lens of a person who has been in literature so long.
In one long paragraph she tells us of Harry how the Ms. had to be fixated onto the name because otherwise, New York Times would not publish the article written about the person. A prison released and another built because there is no other way about it. It made me realise how scary classification, labelling becomes and how some times our complexity cannot be treated simply with one word or a few. For me “The Argonauts” is not simply a meditation of a person and their relationships, it is the eternal meditations we all have, this urge of breaking free that we all cherish in our souls.
You see that is just it. I don’t want to conform anymore, to the traditional ideas of relationship at the very least. I wish to love for the sake of loving and that some days requires a partner and some days it does not. Some days are whole night orgies in to the beats of a Ginsberg poem, and other nights are days where I would torture my soul till it breaths out of myself. I wish to leave gashes on the lovers body, a mark of me, a territorial cut of the wolf, and I wish to leave lipstick marks on his or her soul that they would not be able to erase. I want to do this all for myself, not because some guy imagines me this way.
I do not seek validation for my passions from you in the form of labels. I wish for you to understand me yes, but, I also want you to understand that most days understanding my sexuality is not a study in academia but, simply a practice in letting go.
Words have a power to free, and they have a power to contain you forever into their boxes.
In a passage where she describes Schyumayer, the author goes into talking about the flaccidity and impotence. It is left there to hang, and his poetry is a testament to that.
We’re obsessed with different things. I am supposed to like the breasts and labia and I appreciate them but, I don’t like them. I do not love the male genitalia either. I like the body and the way it fits into pieces of a puzzle when it is late at night. I am turned on by the birth mark down the side of my butt that watches the open worlds hoping that someone would find it and bestow a kiss.
Heck, even kisses change. I wish that some days I could kiss like the whirlwind my lover and I lost in the intricacies, and other days it is me softly bending over the mirror to leave behind a lipstick mark that I spend the other half of the day in erasing.
Conformations hurt I believe, because we are not chemical structures bound to reacting in the same way.
There is a talk about a performance artist who through her act of blowing dildos to the eternal tune of rude voices repeating “Suck it”, “You bitch” and other expletives, and yet, she only gets up to receive prizes and adoration. She was a prostitute earlier, but, the performance, her past, does not define her now. She is more and she is complex.
We’re human before we are fitted into any of our labels. Some days my sexuality is not defined, my love for a person might be more than my love for a person overreaches the conformations that my labels give to me. Thus, labels can’t describe me, I’m not a bisexual I am a terrible poetry written out in anger and passion over the face of my lover with yesterday night’s ejacuate. Yes, that is me, unadorned by labels, thorns and roses and erotic.
Our freedoms are just as precious as yours and it is not something we should get along with cages, however, spacious you might think them to be at the end of the day.
I want you to read “The Argonauts” but, do not approach it as a riddle you have to unravel. A life is more than that at the very least. Approach it with an open mind, let it take it to places she has visited. The literature that has embodied her, and listen to those pieces.
I want you to see beyond my sexuality, give me a chance to be more by opening your eyes and seeing my whole being.
Read Maggie like you would read poetry. If you have time, give me that chance too.