Rien Que Pour Toi by Gabriela Marie Milton

image: Shutterstock

[From my poetry collection Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose.]

Between the bed and the window, in that space that smells roses and rien que pour toi, the morning lets 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 the suspension I used to wrap around my neck.  I found that stone in a churchyard.

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 on 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.

On August 2021 Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose became a #1 Amazon bestseller. My deepest thanks to everyone who bought my book.

#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women (ed.)
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

From Woman: Splendor and Sorrow – Who Am I? poem by Gabriela Marie Milton

Gustav Wertheimer – The Kiss of the Siren , Public Domain

Who Am I? published first by Shabd Aaweg and republished in my book Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose.

For five times in twenty-four hours, I face in the direction of the sea.

The first time the morning star floats above the water as innocent as the breast of a young girl.  Soon the sun will try to catch her naked and burn her skin. She will escape. Pigeons will carry her across the sea. She will melt into yellow waters. Her last rays will fall in my lap like feathers.

I will rejoice.

The second time, divorced from her night bed, the light disperses itself on the shore. I can see myself washing clothes in the sea. My hair is tied in a ponytail. I am barefoot, and my dress is rolled up. The skin of my lips is cracked. I bleed. The clothes I wash smell cedar and spices. The shadow of a seagull positions itself on my forehead. The sea reflects the twelve signs of the zodiac. I can see no relationship between my destiny and that which I do. I am scared.  

At noon, the sun kneads the waters with rapture. Shells shed pearls on the shore. My own rational thought leaves my body. I delight in the waves like a gazelle in the grasslands. I feel the movement of the water on my skin. Its cyclical quality sends me in a state of ecstasy. No, it is not the ecstasy of Saint Teresa of Ávila. It is something similar to a soporific trance. I am dead, and I am alive at the same time. I come from the sea. I return to the sea.

In the afternoon, my rational self awakes. My mind spreads its wings. I get preoccupied with verbs. I set one triangle in the normal position, and I invert the other one. I bind them together. I make myself a dress from pieces of paper inscribed with old symbols. Oh, femininity! You are the goddess of vines, the mother earth, the chalice, the blood, the fertility of the womb. I mull over these desperate efforts to equalize the feminine with the masculine. There is nothing in these symbols that points to the intellect of a woman.

In the evening, the sky stretches itself from blue to dark violet. The silk of the gloves hugs my fingers. I feed my iguana with cookies soaked in champagne. She hisses at me. I open a package of silk stockings. The door opens by itself. You step in. I stare at you. You are in by your own volition.  One kiss and you borrow my tears. One touch, and I borrow your pain. A passage rite. I keep a coffin adorned with lilies in my bedroom. I sleep besides death like Sarah Bernhardt.

Did you hear that noise? A rosary fell from the Spanish chest.

The wind slips between the petals of a rose and opens it.

Who am I? If I knew, I would tell you.

Did you say you love me? The twenty-four hours are up. Nobody is facing in the direction of the sea anymore.

There is no me.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Of Wounds By Gabriela Marie Milton #poem #poetic prose #short prose

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

I cannot tell which of the wounds I acquired hurts the most. I gather all of them in a large wicker basket. Every summer morning I sort them out. I re-live each of them.

I see how the Lie walks hand in hand with the Betrayal, and how the Betrayal indulges herself in the sweetest of wine. Oh, that irresistible taste of black grapes that melts in her mouth. It almost makes her attractive.

The Envy wears red lipstick and high heels. She dances naked on a wooden table. At every turn, she spreads poisonous confetti in the air, and lowers her eyes. I try to decipher the meaning of her gestures. I cannot.

The Greed, with her childbearing hips, indulges herself with poor souls who live at the margins of the city. The children are hungry, and the mother long exhausted. The beds are cold. The moonlight enters the room through broken windows.

I feel the pulse in my temples. Exhausted I go over the meaning of love and sacrifice. I try to restore them to the right place.

Love is the consummation of all acts leading to the warm meal one hands to an old man during winters. It is the sum of all unknowns. It is the finger that draws stars in the darkest of skies.

Sacrifice? You tell me.

Sightly revised version of the original published in Women: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

A Reading from Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women – Beginnings by Jo Lynn Juneau & updates

Dear Readers,

As of this writing Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women is still running #1 on Amazon New Releases [poetry anthologies]. I cannot tell you how humbled and delighted I am. The poetry in this volume is fabulous. Your voices deserve to be heard.

I will be interviewed by New York Glamour Magazine about our book. I will post the link when the interview is published.

Below is my one of my readings from Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women: Beginnings, by Jo Lynn Juneau. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it inspires you to start reading your own poems.

video by Gabriela Marie Milton

Beginnings
by Jo Lynn Juneau

Cast out of Paradise, Eden’s perpetual exiles
the surreptitious serpent, now lies crushed under our feet
God took a lesser part of Man, and created from it the strength of humanity
we bear the world in our wombs, and bear its weight on our shoulders
we suffer the pain of giving life, so we suffer death differently
we are harbingers of antiquity and the future
we are Goddess
we are Mother
we are One

UPDATE:

Since June 17 Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women has been a #1 Amazon bestseller. As I write this update it still is. Thank you to everyone who helped us. We would not be #1 without you.

Check our publisher Experiments in Fiction‘s post here to see a picture of our book in a bookstore in UK. It is exciting. The book is fantastic. It deserves to be read. It deserves to be in bookstores.

Have a lovely day and thank you for spreading the word about our anthology.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Summer Love by Gabriela Marie Milton – from the book Woman: Splendor and Sorrow #poem #poetry

Image: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – Liebespaar (Die Hembusse), public domain

Summer Love By Gabriela Marie Milton – from Woman: Splendor and Sorrow:I Love Poems and Poetic Prose

That summer love burned us until our skin became tranquilized.
We were ready to receive.
None of us cared about the danger of the thousand apples from which we bit.
Poetry?
Oh, poetry was too good to be read.
We tasted it and ate it with silver spoons.
All filtrations of the mind and senses hid in small apple bites and scented flowers.
By dusk, we exhausted everything with our breath.
The children’s voices vanished into the dark.
The doubt of too much spilled between us like ashes from a broken urn.
Summer love.

Updates

  1. Please do not forget our Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women Party, June 18, 3pm London time. I emailed the Zoom link to all authors. The event will be live-streamed via YouTube. See you at the party.
  2. I was interviewed by Victoria Onofrei of Radio Bloomsbury. I spoke about my poetry, our upcoming anthology Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, and many other things. The interview will be broadcasted Sunday, June 19, 6pm London time. I will share the link on my blog and Twitter account on June 19.
  3. If you submitted poetry for MasticadoresUsa and did not receive a reply from me please resubmit.

Thank you!

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women scheduled to be released on June 18, 2022

Art by Nick Revees

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women scheduled to be released on June 18, 2022

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to announce that Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women is scheduled to be released on June 18, 2022.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to edit and curate this anthology. Every day I hear women speaking about the adversities they face. Every day I see most of them triumphing. To read the unbelievable poetry of women and men who understand how many obstacles need to be overcome in a society that is still patriarchal brought me to tears. Thank you for submitting your incredible poetry to this anthology. Thank you for opening your hearts.

Below is the description of the anthology as it will appear on Amazon.

Award-winning authors, Pushcart nominees, emerging poets, voices of women and men, come to the fore in this stunning, powerful, and unique anthology. Their poems testify to the challenges that women face in our society, and to their power to overcome them. A memorable collection of over 200 poems by more than 100 authors, this anthology is a must-have for anyone. We all can benefit from the poetry of survival, and of healing. We all can benefit from the experiences so beautifully evoked in this book. We can all come together to emerge triumphant from pain.

This anthology has been a team effort. Many thanks to Ingrid Wilson at Experiments in Fiction for agreeing to publish this book. Ingrid, you work relentlessly and you are a wonderful poet. Many thanks to Nick Reeves for his wonderful art and for his proofreading expertise. My deepest gratitude to everyone who spread the word about this anthology. Thank you to those of you who joined our Twitter Space.

On June 18, the day of the release, we will have a launch party via Zoom. Contributors are invited to read their poems. An email with more info will go out soon.

The event will be live-streamed via social media, so anyone will have a chance to hear poems from the anthology read by the poets themselves. For further updates check my blog, Ingrid’s, and the following social media accounts:

Twitter:
@shortprose1 (Gabriela Marie Milton)
@Experimentsinfc (Ingrid Wilson)

Instagram:
@experimentsinfiction (Ingrid Wilson)
@gabriela_marie_milton

Have a glorious rest of the week.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Knowing – poem/poetic prose by Gabriela Marie Milton and an update on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

Corsica – beach

Knowing – poem/poetic prose by Gabriela Marie Milton

Around me “all-knowing” people. Happy because they think they know. Yet what brings them happiness is what they do not know. Ignorance repeats itself with the precision with which Big Ben tells the time.

These days the child has an imaginary friend called Li Boo. One night an avocado seed crawled on the north wall of the mansion, reached the roof, and bloomed to the sound of a fanfare that happened to go by. Li Boo came out of the bloom, wrapped in sea silk, blueberry eyes, strawberry lips gasping for moonlight.

Back in our bedroom I throw at you stars dressed in chiffon skirts.  Roads toward tomorrow break the walls.  The air smells mastic, cyclamen, and rockroses: the smell of the Corsican maquis; the essence of Corsica.  Sirens.  Homer’s Odyssey. Occupations. Feuds. Purification of Sunday’s water.

Another fanfare goes by. A lizard shakes her head pointing toward the West. Your raspy voice turns toward the South. It flickers in pine trees. It slithers in the white sand. It goes beyond the taste of the daily bread.

Li Boo, sweet tears on his cheek, salt and rose petals in his boots, disappears into my consciousness.

I know nothing. Another claim to fame. Did you smile, my love?

An Update on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

Ingrid just received the paperback proof of Wounds I Healed. I am truly thrilled. Please read more here.

Thank you to everyone who plans to join me and Ingrid on Twitter Space on June 4, at 9 am CT – 10 am ET (USA) for a lively discussion and more updates on our anthology Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women. By saving and clicking on the link below you can listen to the discussion even if you do not have a Twitter account. Please share the link with those you think may be interested. I can’t wait to talk to those of you who can attend.

Twitter Space Link

https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1lDxLLreevkxm

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

A New Poem by Gabriela Marie Milton and an Update on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

Image: Gabriela Marie Milton

Poem by Gabriela Marie Milton

On Saturday June 4, at 9 am CT – 10 am ET (USA) join me and Ingrid on Twitter Space for a lively discussion and updates on our anthology Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women. By saving and clicking on the link below you can listen to the discussion even if you do not have a Twitter account. Please share the link with those you think may be interested. I can’t wait to talk to those of you who can attend.

https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1lDxLLreevkxm

Let me know if you have any questions.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

Front Cover/ Experiments in Fiction /Nick Reeves

Gabriela Marie Milton – Editor’s Note on Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women

When I posted the call for submissions to Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, I wanted to compile an anthology that would underscore how powerful women are, and how much they can accomplish regardless of the adversities most of them go through. I had no idea that – while reading the poems I included in this book – a larger story will emerge. I can only judge this story with my own sensibility.  

First, there is my complicity with the poems from the book. I am a woman, and I can relate to the consequences that our patriarchal society has on my fellow women. The stories the poems here tell are my stories even if I did not live them all.   Either Jung’s “objective psyche” exists, or I underwent a process of osmosis while reading the stunning work I selected.  All abuses described here, as well as all victories, became mine.

Second, I can assure you dear readers that you will not regret a moment immersing yourselves in this book. It is not important whether a poem is born like a child, or constructed like a temple. The type of poetry is always secondary to its substance. It’s a matter of preference. The poems in this book are poems of substance regardless of their form. They grab you by the throat.  They scream listen to me. They bring you to your knees.  They inscribe on each page – with a multiplicity of voices coming from all sexes – the astonishing power women have. They are exceptional poems.  

Third, is this a feminist book? One could see it as such regardless of what definition of feminism one employs.  However, our minds and souls can transcend definitions. We can go beyond reflections. The poems in this book are not reflections or merely copies of life.  They do not belong to certain metaphysics of feminism and/or patriarchy. The poems in this book are life itself.  

Welcome to women’s lives my dear readers.

You will enjoy this ride.

I promise you.

Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women, edited by Gabriela Marie Milton and published by Ingrid Wilson/Experiments in Fiction will be released in the first part of June. Artwork by Nick Reeves.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings

My name is Gabriela (II) #flash fiction #short prose #poetic prose

Head of a Woman’ by Jean Jacques Henner, Public Domain

Flash Fiction by Gabriela Marie Milton

My name is Gabriela. Papa used to call me Marie.

One night the moon stretched in our bed, its lips sultry, its breasts soft like two humongous cotton candies bought by the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round Carousel. That night your cascading laughter made all naked desires hide under the bed. I tried to drag them out. I couldn’t.

Later, head on your shoulder I looked at the stars through the broken ceiling, my eyes plagued by an inexorable yearning to prove my existence. I don’t know why. Those who want to prove their existence live in the realm of the inexistent. They are bizarre people who write love letters to themselves trying to deceive others.  Any trick is a cry for recognition. Any cry for recognition is a basic assertion of impotence.

What was I doing? Oh, I was trying to get into my red dress. I couldn’t get it over my hips. The humidity of the night must have made it stick to my skin. Did you laugh again?  Stop. Put your shirt on. We’re going out.

Anyway, I was talking about the absence of existence itself which always leads to sorcery. The skin of an eel caught in the spring, dried, stuffed with rose petals and rosemary, chopped and hidden behind the head of the bed. A night spent in that bed will haunt the two lovers for life. Like I haunt you.  

How did you call me? Why did you use that name? Yes, it is my first name, but nobody uses it. Everyone calls me Gabriela.

Stop calling me Anastasia. I am not resurrected yet. I don’t know who Anastasia is. I’ve never met her. But don’t get fooled. That doesn’t make her less dangerous than me.

Follow me on Twitter here.

Thank you.

Gabriela Marie Milton
#1 Amazon Bestselling Author
Books:
Woman: Splendor and Sorrow :I Love Poems and Poetic Prose
Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings