July 26th, 2019
Each month I’ll include a diary style annotation in prose form below the poetry —the CNF behind the sonnet. ❤ Kristin Garth
He is your pinstriped stalker at the gate,
miniskirted traveler who hesitates. Hides
to spy how suburban pale thighs vibrate.
Favorite flavor is you, terrified.
He licks it from your lips. Big city quips
rebuild your confidence. He leads you to
a waiting car. Though you flew here for whips,
already scarred, this city makes you new
again, as small as you have ever been.
Across his lap, backseat driven by his
girlfriend, he speaks of a book you’re both in:
your verse, whips; hers, fisting experience.
Over shoulder, she wiggles a small hand.
You’re not in Wonderland, you understand.
LaGuardia is the first airport I flew into my first trip to see my second dom –once that is what he had become. Before this trip he was a friend I’d met online — one of a group of people I met in an Internet sex chat in the days before social media in a place called IRC.
I didn’t go to IRC (Internet relay chat) expressly to be a pervert. I most certainly went there to be sexual in a time and place I could not — Brigham Young University during the early 90’s, the time of my life I wrote about in the book Puritan U. My boyfriend was in college in Texas and a computer programmer. In these pre-cellphone days, to be able to
communicate more than our parents credit cards allowed, he made me an IRC account. He thought it would be cute to call ourselves, two southern kids exiled to the west, Rhett & Scarlet.
One thing Rhett knew about Scarlet maybe (before I knew it fully myself, or had the vocabulary for it) is that I was kinky. I’d ask him to spank me on one of our first dates. He also knew as an abused girl from a very repressed background that I had little exposure to sexual material, and though the spanking (really bdsm in general) was not his kink — education and freedom and liberality of thought most definitely were.
At his suggestion, I ventured like a Puritan fairytale heroine in my real-life-mandated below-the-knee skirts into chatrooms of a myriad of hurts. It was surreal and fascinating to be at a Christian college, with very little sexual experience, in a computer lab observing the discussions of floggings and canings, to learn about contracts and to watch people assert their limits so eloquently – even college kids in the rooms, my own age, as well as older women and men. People of all ages, backgrounds, political and religious persuasions, socio-economics were all so united by their crossovers of lust and sexual honesty and communicated so well, in a respectful way, about their differences.
I was too quiet to talk at first. Everyone in this world seemed so open and self aware and knowledgeable. I felt naïve and inexperienced, but I also felt more at home in this frank world than I ever had in the secrets and lies of my suburban puritan home. I soaked up information, with no actual physical experiences, happy to just learn, to be in the midst of these confident people, to feel normal somewhere. To hear another person say that sometimes crying felt better than cumming made me feel less damaged by my abuse history, which I definitely feel, in my particular case, flipped a switch inside me that made crave painful sensations at times. I met many people in this community, though, who lacked any such impetus to their desire for BDSM.
For me, though, I knew – I remembered the day my switch was flipped by terrible pain. After it happened, I called it going to the meadow. It was a space inside myself I found when I was being hurt. It was as expansive and wild as I was small and trapped; warm and fragrant as my home life was cold and stifled. The screams and threats of my household were exchanged for chirps and croaks and bleats. My closet I hid inside became grass so soft it tickled me and cradled me like the child of it I knew I really was and not this nightmare I was born inside.
I don’t know the psychological term for this if there is one, but in the chatrooms I heard people refer to something they called their sub space where they would go during BDSM activity. My sub space, I knew, was a field inside me where I was felt most alive.
I would go to a lot of places, cities, woods with the wrong men, a swinger party where I would meet a woman who knew I was not that. I met all these people through the internet chatrooms my very first boyfriend introduced me to and inside I’d eventually speak my truth and ready myself for inevitable, looming real-world adventures. These would come later after Rhett left Scarlet when I cheated on our long distance relationship with an artist who tied me up in bed.
He didn’t take me to the meadow, but he made me see that it was possible in real life, and I desired to go there suddenly more than I wanted what I thought I always had – a conventional relationship. I wasn’t conventional, and suddenly I felt brave enough to acknowledge that.
I confessed it to my boyfriend and felt horrible at my betrayal, but I felt something else, too. I felt honest and free. I felt I was beginning a journey inside myself but I had no idea how many places my small town body would go to find its way home. I would get to the meadow but along the way I’d be spanked and whipped in places like Philadelphia, Newark, San Francisco, Atlanta and even flirted with danger in an airport named LaGuardia.
Read more about my experiences on the way to The Meadow, in the forthcoming poetic collection being released by APEP Publications, Spring 2020.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. In addition to Burning House Press, her sonnets have stalked journals Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of twelve books of poetry including Pink Plastic House (Maverick Duck Press), Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (The Hedgehog Poetry Press) and the forthcoming Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press) and The Meadow (Apep Publications, 2020). Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie) and her website http://kristingarth.com