Worlds Away

what the nomad brought home

Conquista / “In Tongues”

I find you on the edge of dreams.
Your open arms receive me in the night.
So self-assured
You wrap me in a robe of southern stars,
Pull back the veil,
And vocalize a vow to claim me as the queen
Of this paradise you rule outside of time.
You take my hand and lead me down
Through swirling mists and emerald vales
Into a church whose taste of dripping gold
I find in blood and tears
Upon the wounds you make me lick.

And so I labor on my knees here while you watch,
Until I choke out prayers

In tongues.

 

Alright, so this isn’t a pleasant one.  This was originally the intro for a longer poem (not published here).  It’s tough to deconstruct in any concise manner, but the tags offer a decent explanation.  To get really simplistic though, it has to do with violence, churches built on blood, revelations of various kinds, the allure of the exotic, and a deep sense of pain for people other than yourself.  It’s also about finding your own spirituality at the breaking point, where prayers escape your lips in a language other than your own.

Ooooor…..you could disregard everything I just said, get a little creative, and read this through the perspective of different generations, centuries removed from one another.  😉

(la) Conquista = the Conquest
conquista (common noun) = conquest, or the endeavor of conquering
conquista = (in an interpersonal sense) a female you decide to seduce/overtake (or whom you’ve succeeded in seducing/overtaking)

December 13, 2008 - Posted by | Memories, muse, Nostalgia, Poetry, Travel, Uncategorized, Woman | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. well, i will have to read this few more times…
    but happy to see you back in here, good to be reading from you. and thanks for adding me to your links
    blessed day

    Comment by utopianfragments | December 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hey, thanks for dropping by! Unfortunately, I don’t write or explore WordPress as frequently as I’d like; I’m a student and tend to get very busy with school. Writing is currently something I pursue in stolen hours, to de-stress.

    You’re right though — this poem deserves a lot more explanation, so I’ll try…Generally, it’s about encountering gender violence in a foreign locale (hence the landscape descriptions and the reference to foreign language). The church focus is a reflection on the opulent churches there that were built on slave labor (“blood and tears”) and the realization that the wounds of the violent conquest are still open. The ambiguous marriage reference is meant to convey a sense of connection and obligation.

    I also included the church reference because sometimes there’s a spiritual aspect in enduring prolonged, difficult/dangerous experiences: the woman is taken, shown a world of intense pain, forced to contend with the repercussions of a violent past (of which the churches are a glittering example), and eventually sees nothing else to do but pray. And she finds herself praying in a new language.

    Alternatively, you could forget the idea of a contemporary female traveler and think of the woman in the poem as a victim of historic conquest, who is forced into marriage/sex, religious conversion, and fluency in a new language. (In this light, “arms” = weapons.)

    I’m afraid I still didn’t explain it too well, but I hope that helps to contextualize it a little more. Actually, a lot of the poems that I post with references to relationships, sex, and violence are about travel. 🙂

    Comment by 20yearsfromnow | December 14, 2008 | Reply

  3. nice you find the time to explain a bit. sometimes it is very nice to hear the poem ideas behinde is work and compare it to what i felt and though when reading it.
    and i like to get sometimes uopn those which make me think of their meaning, thought it is nicer when prnted then over the laptop screen.

    love traveling, and it is intersting to read your ways of talking about it.
    joyful day

    Comment by utopianfragments | December 15, 2008 | Reply

  4. I like the goth feel of this piece. The images, the word choice, and especially those last two lines create a somber mood that reels me in. “You wrap me in a robe of southern stars” is an incredibly memorable line; so quotable. 😉

    I hope you’re having a blast this holiday season. Have a blessed new year, dear. Cheers.

    Comment by S.L. Corsua | December 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. Thank you, S.L. This is a decidedly darker piece than a lot of what I’ve posted here, but you know how writing is — you can never be quite sure of what will come out. 🙂
    I wish you a beautiful new year as well.

    Comment by 20yearsfromnow | January 5, 2009 | Reply


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