On Winning #poem #short prose #literature

Liliya Kulianionak; Shutterstock

The afternoon smelled of brick wall; the wall I used to scratch with the knees and the nails on my way to the sea.

My blood stained my socks and fed the roots of the orange tree mama planted one spring before my seventh birthday.  Soon after the tree grew blood oranges.

I used to dream I would reach the port before crickets would serenade the white cement between the bricks, and the evening wind would sew the wounds from the face of the wall.

I needed a God to lead me to the sea. In mama’s stories there were too many Gods leading souls to heaven. I did not want to go to heaven. I wanted to go to the sea.

I used to fail.  I did not understand what failure is. The next afternoon, little ducks embroidered on the rim of my light blue dress, I would start climbing the wall again.

One day I thought I would get to the port and run straight into the sea.

Little did I know that day came when I first looked into your eyes. The ghosts of your victories and those of your wounds flapped inside your retina like laundry left to dry on a wire. Long red poles floundered left and right like the wings of a moribund bird.  The body of a boat eroded by salt, and by the kisses of the women of your past agonized in green and blue.

The sea inside your eyes: on the right your love for me and on the left your hate for the world. 

Did I say your love for me? You see, over time I had to reconsider that formulation. Your feelings resemble more a never-ending animal magnetism than love.

Let me make one thing clear. No one person is sufficient to drive all demons from another one. You can think Goethe’s elective affinities if you wish. I cannot save you from you. You need to help me.

I can carry this conversation into the night and win.

Ah, winning! The day I understood I can win I stepped into hell.

That day was the day I lost my innocence and with that the paradise. Since then, my blood has never stained my socks anymore. The orange tree has never grown red fleshed oranges, and mama stop telling stories.

I beg forgiveness every night.

Every night the number of my wins, and that of my enemies grows.

I became you as much as you became me.

Yet I know no hate. You do.

What’s wrong with me?

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My book Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings featured in San Francisco Book Review and Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

The Promise of Us #poem #poetry #poetry collection

The three days that we spent in that city.

The evenings, intoxicated by the smell of linden trees and the intimation of grace, entered our imaginations as the air fills a restless balloon.  

Under the 7am cold shower the first morning blossomed into layers of rose and gold; shivering skin hoping for the warmth of a kiss.

The afternoons grew childbearing hips and spun them in the soft air; the floreo circularities of the flamenco dance. 

Our candlelight dinners with their buttery taste, creamy textures, and oaked aged incantations.

The shell of our nights broken by mental possessions in front of which any other type of possession becomes superfluous. 

I remember you holding in the air an unopen bottle of wine. Then, head on my knees, you cried. 

Your tears trickled from my legs on the floor. The bed grew aromatic roots.

The promise of us, with its infinite ambiguity, spread through our bodies. 

The city, like a gigantic swan, deserted its breeding nest.

It left us to the mercy of an inexplicable love. 

Oh, yes, my love.

Oh, yes.

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My poetry collection Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings is available on Amazon here .
Passions featured in San Francisco Book Review
Passions featured in Manhattan Book Review.

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@Gabriela Marie Milton

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rien que pour toi #literature #fiction #short prose

 Subbotina Anna; Shutterstock

Between the bed and the window, in that space that smells roses and rien que pour toi, the morning let’s her hair down. She is so close that I can reach her skin with the tip of my fingers.

I know, his book and the fame it brought him. The book in which he made me — the me that he imagined — the main character.

He was fascinated by the purple of my makeup and the yellows of my cobra who used to erect the upper portion of her body to greet him every time he visited.

I do not know what demons he tried to exorcise. In the heat of those summer afternoons, he used to sip his sangria and attempt to find almost religious justifications for what he called my ecstatic existence; an existence populated with the richness and succulence of the Mediterranean literature and void of bullet points.

His acute shyness and his need to overcome the incapacity to love beyond nightly adventures used to ring in my ears like some unhinged marimba lamenting the loss of a pipe.

The dress that I wear in page twenty-seven. That dress and the heart-shaped red stone pierced with a hole for suspension I used to wrap around my neck. I found that stone in a church yard. I was too young. Perhaps an older version of me would have made him a better writer. Do not laugh. You are too handsome when you laugh.

In the end he managed to do something special. He invented the name of a perfume and made me wear it in every page of his book: rien que pour toi.

I hid his book somewhere in the library.
Yet, every morning, in the space between the bed and the window, it still smells rien que pour toi.

Excerpt from my new manuscript of love poems and short prose.

My book Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings featured in San Francisco Book Review and Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

Will you vote for me? My poem – If I say I love you – is in the running for Publication of the Year at Spillwords Press (NYC)

My Dear Readers,

I was not going to post today. However, I am humbled beyond words that my poem, If I say I love you, is in the running for 2020 Publication of the Year at Spillwords Press. To everyone who has supported me in my writing journey, my deepest thanks. May your days be filled with love and success. May you be inspired and may life shower you with happiness.

The voting for Spillwords Press annual awards is now open. Congratulations to all nominees. All of them are wonderful writers. They deserve plenty of recognition.

My poem, If I say I love you by Gabriela M, is under the rubric Publication of the Year (Poetic).

If you do not have a Spillwords account, you can vote with your FB or Twitter account. When you click on the poem, a Spillwords window will open. You will be asked to enter your username and your password. Ignore that and click on the FB or Twitter icon to vote.

Update: One of my followers pointed out that there is actually a WP voting option too. You can click on the WP icon, instead of FB or Twitter, and vote with WP if you prefer.

Here is the link where you can vote. Voting is open till January 30.

Last February I was awarded Author of the Year at Spillwords Press. I told my followers one thing that will always be true: my award is as much yours as it is mine.

If you wish to read my 2019 Author of the Year Spillwords interview you can read it here.

If you wish to (re)read my poem, If I say I love you, can do it here.

Love to everyone


@Gabriela Marie Milton

On Fame #poem #flash fiction #thoughts

Photo: Gabriela Marie Milton

It seems to me that we struggled to survive for thousands of years so that today each of us can have 30 seconds of fame.

Our latest accomplishment may be our last.

It’s winter.

My book Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings featured in San Francisco Book Review and Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

Mistrust #igpoetry #short prose #flash fiction

My poetry collection Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings is available on Amazon here .
Passions featured in San Francisco Book Review
Passions featured in Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

Bewitched #poem #poetry collection

 ch123; Shutterstock

Included in my poetry collection Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings.

perhaps I was bewitched by the North Star
or by a ballad as dateless as my blood
geography of feelings populates unwanted interludes
my eyes, the nests of dewy grass and leaves
emerald eyelashes flaunt
black taffeta chirps between my fingers like piano keys
inside my soul your kisses soar
soft lilac tones like prayers of the youngest nun
perhaps because I read your poetry last night
and cut my soul between a stanza and a strife
perhaps a child played with a kite
a kingdom for a sup
maybe it was the wind
that woke me up

Passions featured in San Francisco Book Review
Passions featured in Manhattan Book Review.

On Love and Novels #literature #prose #fiction

He was a great novelist. He avoided the big juvenile traps: on the one hand, repeatedly writing about one’s childhood and one’s limited experiences, and, on the other hand, confining his characters to slogans such as do good or better days are ahead.

He knew he went against the grain of what was considered acceptable in his country; a country in which the novel frequently used everything from camaraderie to horror, and from war to sex, in order to avoid the birth of a new Emma Bovary. Emma’s sensuality would have scandalized a society in which some, if not most, deified violence and crucified sensual love. Should I mention The Scarlet Letter?

He loved me. In his last note to me he wrote:

“Love and sensuality include divination: a thirst for deciphering the signs inscribed in the sacred area of our subconscious, a craving for knowing what the future holds, and the supplication that providence or god will fulfill our desires.

How much we want that which is not only given to us but that which we create too: Mircea Eliade’s homo religiosus, that alter-ego who lives inside us and conjures the meanings we create in sacred times and spaces.

Love and sensuality are the well of eternity.

Will I advise you to write about love? No.

Yet I know you will do it.”

Passions featured in San Francisco Book Review
Passions featured in Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton

On Women’s Writings #poetic prose #feminism #literature

 artellia; Shutterstock

On Women’s Writings

I do not like women’s writings. They talk too much about their bodies.

Notice the negative connotation attributed to the relationship body/femininity construed as an obstacle to the evolution of the spirit?

This man’s feeble mind confined women to lands of sensuality, magic, swamps, and mud: in short, to categories related to the carnal. Women can only be aware of tumultuous feelings that erupt inside their bodies. Nothing else. There was an implicit juxtaposition between body/femininity and spirit/masculinity, the latter understood as superior.

I navigated the incredible writings of women like Virginia Woolf, George Sand, Marguerite Yourcenar, and many others.

I became a mirror. I produce images of the spirit and of the body.

I play with them. I absorb them. I devour them.

I am the same with the richness of the intellect and the opulence of feelings.

My body is the alphabet of a language spoken at the exact hour when the sunset rains its cherry blossoms over the laughter of children.  

I love the frenzy of the 1920s. Oh, les années folles

I am the quintessence of that which you will always desire.

I am a woman.

I am not made in your image.

You are made in mine.

Happy New Year to all my followers. May 2021 bring you happiness and success. May you be forever loved.
Gabriela

Passions featured in San Francisco Book Review
Passions featured in Manhattan Book Review.

@Gabriela Marie Milton