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Tag Archives: forbidden

Heartbeat

Heartbeat 

                 

                                                                                                                                         

This silence would be deafening

But for the thunder in my heart

My mind wanders through the stardust

To secure that elusive flickering port

I speak in desperation to my heart in undertones

But my insistent words of wisdom

It consistently bemoans

Sharon Lynn Van Meter

Copyright 2005

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Falling In

Falling In

Mystery surrounds me like a cloud of smoky rain

Feeling with my bones inside this blurry silver flame

Grasping the intangibles that swallow me within

Unable to distinguish where I end and you begin

Floating on a downy cloud into eternity

Engulfed by an inferno deeply penetrating me

Mystical haze of ecstasy exploding with the truth

Drunken by your lifeblood; I am breathing into you

Sharon Lynn Van Meter

Copyright 2004


Bite Me

Tear me with your fangs

I want to feel your pain

I need to see you go

Deep inside my soul

Change me

Rearrange me

You derange me

Take me to the night

Tear apart my bleeding heart

Your dazzling white teeth blind me

Your unearthly eyes

shine golden bright

In silver-blue slivers

of a full moonlight

Entrancing my mind

Stirring my insides

Hurry up, yes hurry up

And bite me

Your body moves

stealthily

in so close

Your breath the deepest

mournful moan

Suck the blood out from

my very soul

The ethereal trees swallow us

up hole

So utterly alone in the still dark night

My adrenaline pumps

precariously high

Ice-cold fingers close around my throat

Excruciating heat

flows through my sighs

Icy lips sear fire

through my feverish skin

Change me to dazzling from within

Go ahead and bite me baby

Live eternally tonight baby

Give lifeblood’s immortality

Hell‘s a reality

and heaven a dream

Existence is you devouring me

My blood runs hot throughout your veins

Pain so lavish

it drives me insane

So smooth how you have changed me,

So illicit the way you

rearranged me

So deranged

how you excite me

Oh yeah, I love

the way you bite me

How you slide

your soul inside me

Now we see forever

endlessly

Yes I love

the way

you

bite me

Sharon Lynn Van Meter

Copyright 2012


Silent Truth

Silent Truth

What can I say to him

that he doesn’t already know?

What can I give to him

that he doesn’t already own?

Who is he but a stranger?

Who is he but a man?

And I could have a dozen

Of them eating from my hand

Why am I calmed by his presence?

Yet so shaken by his hands?

For he’s not of my world

and would never understand

my many dreams and passions,

my hopes and all my fears,

why his skin’s so very tough

you couldn’t pierce it with a spear

I cannot find a weak spot

In that wall around his heart,

And he won’t feel my strength

when he sees me fall apart

Should I bring him up?

Should I pull him down?

Or just turn around and walk

On back to solid ground?

 

Would I not swallow him whole?

Would he not crush me like a bird?

And for the grace of my pride

I shall never utter a word

Sharon Lynn Van Meter

Copyright 2002


Masquerader

Masquerader

Who are you this time? Ball is over time to go home.Masquerader who took your coat? Ball is over time to go home but the music keeps playing and it drowns out my pain as we keep swaying and the tick of the clock somewhere out in the square and the horses are waiting like thieves in the night my chariot stands drenched in moonbeams evanescent light

Engraved in my mind is the sound of your voice and it resonates one, two, three and four. Your hand clutches my waist as the pale lights bathe us across the dance floor.Your face is so close I smell your desire and the smooth way your hardness plays soft with the music glides me into your arms, Masquerader who are you tonight?

Your dark hair cascades down the nape of your neck as my fingers brush lightly across it and your mouth curves in mysteries too deep to fathom inclusive of all that you are. A Lord, a Marauder, a thief in the night stealing my breath with your sighs hanging heavily in the soft shimmering lights engulfing my soul with the resonant sound of your heart beating rhythmically to the music and mine so close I could whisper your name,  Masquerader who are you tonight?

The moon intergrades with the sound of the sighs whispered under your breath as you guide me around the dance floor and I wonder and ponder the thrill of your arms beneath the smooth silk of your shirt as it plays like a kiss on your skin Masquerader who are you I wonder again as the sound of the clock in the square rings midnight and I am no closer than nearer to you in this moment than I ever have been in my life.

I stumble and mumble; you smile under your mustache so dark and so smooth and I feel the rough ache of your face next to mine pulling me closer much closer than that and I know you can feel my heart pounding deep into your chest in rhythm with yours so steady and strong my breath catches somewhere in my throat.

Oh Masquerader your breath burns my throat and I want to lie down in your arms and I know that you know that you own me this moment, you own me this moment so take me to places where I’ve never been like the places that live in my mind where a dark handsome Lord in a silk tailored coat rides up on a white steed and whisks me away into the moonlight, oh Masquerader is this just another one of my fancies, a fairy tale dream in the night?

Don’t let the music stop playing let it go on forever eternal inside of my mind as you lift me up into your arms and twirl me across the dance floor and moonbeams immerse us like nymphs in the night. The ball is over time to go home the ball is over time to go home but the music keeps playing a tune I have heard in my mind so many times before. I must clutch you tight around your neck to believe I hold you inside of my heart I don’t want to go home let the music play on, I want more Masquerader I know who you are.

Sharon Lynn Van Meter

Copyright 2006


Diary of Indiscretion

Diary of Indiscretion

Morning tastes like grits

Over crumpled sheets and vows

Glaring, biting true

Sharon Lynn Van Meter

Copyright 2005


Taming the Beast: Women and Fairy Tales

Taming the Beast: Women and Fairy Tales

            The love/hate and submissive/manipulative relationship between woman and man has long been depicted in fairy tales as that of a beautiful, naive and helpless young girl who is seduced by a hideous, controlling, forceful (yet inexplicably kind and gentle) beast. He is at once repulsive and seductive. The damsel in distress is eaten, beaten, ravaged, raped or otherwise tortured and abused by the hideous creature. Even so, more often than not, she willingly manages to miraculously “change” the loathsome yet somehow loveable creature into a handsome young prince through her loving kindness. The “new man” then is compelled to prove his virility still intact by “rescuing” her from…herself.  Here we may venture to ask, who writes this stuff anyway?

Distinguished author and analyst Marie-Louis Von Franz, who worked closely with psychoanalyst, C.J. Jung until his death, examines the relationship between women and fairy tales in her book, The Feminine in Fairy Tales. According to Van Franz, fairy tales “express the creative fantasies of the rural and less educated layers of the population”. Thus they have the “advantage of being naïve (not literary) and of having been worked out in collective groups, with the result that they contain purely archetypal material unsecured by personal problems.

Though, initially written for adults, fairy tales were rejected and distributed to the nursery in the late 1700’s because of appearing to be “irrational” and “nonsensical”. However, in modern times, they have become increasingly popular in psychological studies. Von Franz intimates “Feminine Figures in fairy tales are neither the pattern of the anima (Jung’s name for man’s femininity) nor the real woman, but of both….some […] illustrate more the real woman and others more the man’s anima, according to the sex of the person who last wrote down the story…”(4). Many fairy tales do not reflect a woman’s point of view, but the feminine “anima”. This explains the reason why women in fairy tales and in society today “play the role” of the beautiful maiden as portrayed in The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm in “Snow White”, “Cinderella”  and “Brier Rose”, which is intimated to them by the male anima (feminine part of the male personality.) This is most likely initiated by their fathers…and of course through other countless male-authored or influenced fairy tales.

In regard to the nature of relationships between modern day man and woman and those heroes and heroines in the fairy tales of yore, we are still Beauty and the Beast personified. Von Franz observes that “Just where the man has a most uncertain delicate feeling, the woman places the thorn of her animus; and where the woman wants to be understood or accepted, the man comes out with some anima poison dart”. In light of this truth, can a woman transform a beast into the man of her dreams through domestication, and on a deeper and more intimate level, does she truly even want to? I propose that women do not desire to liberate themselves of the savage brute (Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “beast” as “a four footed mammal…, a contemptible person” or “something formidably difficult to control or deal with”), and, in fact, crave the beast on an erotically sexual and primitive echelon which would explain the immense popularity of fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast.

According to Christina Bacchilega in Postmodern Fairy Tales: Gender and Narrative Strategies, “Beauty and the Beast” is one of the most popular fairy tales. Bacchilega states that Folklorists have deemed it a “sub-type C” or “Search for the Lost Husband” fairy tale and they have counted over fifteen hundred versions”. A famous French author of over seventy books, including stories and works for children, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, wrote the immensely popular version of “Beauty and Beast, published in 1757,” (which she based on a longer version penned by Mme. de Villeneuve). Beaumont’s enchanting version is found in Beauty and the Beast and Other Classic French Fairy Tales, which is edited by renowned critic and editor of fairy tales, Jack Zipes. In Le Prince de Beaumont’s adaptation, Beauty is the youngest daughter of a rich merchant widower.   Because she possesses a kind, selfless character and great love for her father, she becomes his favorite which generates a great deal of envy and animosity from her two older sisters.

As in so many other fairy tales, such as “The Maiden Without Hands” found in The Complete Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm and “Belle-Belle Or The Chevalier Fortune”, which is alsotranslated in Beauty and the Beast and Other Classic French Fairy Tales, the father either loses his wealth and, whether inadvertently or not, in some manner promises one of his daughters (usually his favorite) in exchange for his life and/or wealth. In Beaumont’s version of Beauty and the Beast, Belle’s father loses his wealth, goes away on a business trip and spends the night in the enchanted castle of the Beast, who threatens to take his life for picking a rose unless he gives the Beast one of his daughters in exchange.

Belle’s love for her father is so great that, although he adamantly prohibits her from going to the Beast in his place, Belle finally persuades him into taking her back to the enchanted castle. After meeting the Beast, Beauty is terrified yet that night she has a dream in which she is told that the “good deed” she is performing to save her father’s life will not go “unrewarded”.  However, the next morning, Beauty is convinced that the Beast intends to “eat her that night,” (which could also be interpreted as a sexual connotation).

Beauty soon is attracted to the beast for his “innate” kindness and tells him that this realization causes him to no longer appear “ugly” in her eyes. When the Beast agrees that he is good yet still a “monster,” Beauty admonishes him; “There are many men who are more monstrous than you and I prefer you with your looks rather than those who have pleasing faces but conceal ungrateful and corrupt hearts (Beaumont qtd in Zipes,).” This observation is indicative of the moral in many fairy tales which unfortunately uphold society’s double standard which dictates that a man may be as ugly as a beast and still be desirable as long as he is good-of high moral standards- (and perhaps even more desirable if he is not) however a woman must be both good and beautiful in order to be desirable, or at least what fairy tales and society represent as the “beautiful” archetypal fairy tale woman.

As is typical in this form of fairy tale, Belle finally realizes that she cannot live without the Beast. After she promises herself to him the Beast is miraculously transformed into a handsome prince, and since Belle has broken the evil spell, they live happily ever after because their relationship was founded on “virtue.” However, it is of great significance that Beauty cannot help asking “What happened to the Beast?” And as Bacchilega quotes from Jean Cocteau’s 1946 movie, Beauty and the Beast, “Beauty has a mixed response to Prince Ardent’s looks, and when asked if she is happy, she answers “I’ll have to get used to this” (Postmodern Fairy Tales).

But does a woman really want to get used to losing (or reforming) the beast?  Bacchilega deduces “One need not be a Freudian to realize that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ depicts a woman’s struggle to reconcile sexuality with ‘love’” (Zipes, Beauty) Beauty has abandoned her childhood dreams and come to terms with reality as well as her sexuality. Unfortunately whenever she finally comes to “terms” with the Beast (her sexuality) and can conceive a happy future with him, he disappears. This metamorphosis occurs with virtually every new wife and/or in every new love/sexual relationship. Just whenever a woman is ready to settle down and “play house”, her Beast turns monotonous (the sex and the man), and, as Bacchilega quotes Barchilon “Le conte merveilleux” in Postmodern Fairy Tales: “When the fear goes away, so does the beast, a charming irony.” And as Bacchilega adds; “A magic trick which leaves almost no trace of Beauty’s desires and losses”.

So why does a woman continue to endeavor to tame the beast if in the process she loses her passion for him? Women feel that they must tame the beast because in doing so, they tame their own natural and primal desires which they feel is necessary in order to reconcile into a long-term monogamous relationship. However, is this really true? Fairy tales never venture beyond “and they lived happily ever after” because theoretically there is no wild and passionately erotic “happily ever after,” which survives past the electrifying, “virginal” and tumultuous throes of love’s early passion. This is precisely why Romeo and Juliet must die and Catherine must die in Wuthering Heights. This is why Elizabeth leaves John in the immensely popular erotic movie 91/2 Weeks; to stay any longer would have been emotional suicide for their affair since it was primarily based on sexual passion and domination. Courtly love between a Knight and a Lady of the Court was similar; Lancelot and Lady Guinevere could never consummate their love, thus they were assured that their passion would never wither and die.

That is not to say that a man and woman cannot continue to share an erotic sexual and romantic relationship, however the intensity will never be quite the same as in the initial stages. Just as in steamy, passionate love affairs depicted in books, movies, etc., fairy tale romance is also filled with erotic, sexual tension because it teases and tantalizes us with not only forbidden love and lust but sexual taboos such as implied bestiality portrayed in “Little Red Riding Hood: The wolf “hid himself under the bedcovers and said to her….come lie down beside me. Little Red Riding Hood undressed and got into the bed where she was astonished to see how her grandmother appeared in her nightgown” and in “Little Red Riding Cap,”(the original Grimm version). “After the wolf had fed his desires, he lay down and fell asleep…” (Zipes, The Brothers Grimm).  The majority of these fantasy tales are never entirely played out which makes them even more subtly erotic.

It is interesting to note that, according to Jack Zipes, (Brothers Grimm, xxix) most storytellers were women. Perhaps this is due to (most) women’s biological deep intuitiveness and natural openness. In Postmodern Fairy Tales,Bacchilega insists that anthropological and historical research has shown women to be more commonly identified with and closer to nature than to culture. Unfortunately, in a “patriarchal structure [this] makes them symbolic of an inferior, intermediate order of being…by show-casing women and making them disappear at the same time, the fairy tale thus transforms us/ them into manmade constructs of ‘woman’” (Bacchilea). On the bright side, fairy tales allow women the beauty of utilizing the “mirror image” for reflecting, refracting and faming (Bacchilega).

According to Von Franz;

Woman to a great extent-and the less they know about it, the worse it is-rule even life and death in their surroundings. If the husband dies, and the children die, very often women had something to do with it. But it would be inflation and absolutely destructive, if a woman thinks she is responsible…”

It is also Von Franz’s belief that a person is indirectly guilty if [she] hasn’t realized the evil within [herself]. Thus, a woman must be able to look into the magic mirror, so to speak, and see the evil along with the good and accept it. This is what fairy tales allow us to do. For, as Von Fronz infers; “The more one has looked in the mirror and watched one’s own face for hate, jealousy, dissatisfaction, etc., the better one can read the other person’s face and be wise enough to keep out of the way”.

If a woman is truly honest with herself and in touch with her inner psyche, she will likely admit that she is sexually aroused by a dangerous, controlling and forceful man and everyone is fascinated on some level by the “forbidden.” In numerous surveys, women have admitted that a “dangerous” man is highly provocative as well as attractive and this is repeatedly highlighted in literature among heroes such as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre and is witnessed by the immense popularity of fairy tales such as the aforementioned “Beauty and the Beast” and “Little Red Riding Hood,” as well as the phenomenal and hugely successful Disney movie trilogy, Pirates Of The Caribbean, featuring seductive bad boy, Captain Jack Black.

And more recently, we see Stephanie Meyers, author of the immensely successful Twilight book (and movie adaptation) series, embraces this identical “Beauty and the Beast” theme. Edward, the forbidden vampire and his nemesis, Jacob the werewolf, are both forbidden beasts. This tale of illicit love and romance carries strong sexual connotations of women’s secret desires for the “bad boy”, the “dangerous and forbidden” and, of course, the all-consuming “beast”. Whenever Bella, the “beauty” finally changes to conform to society’s patriarchal “bad girl”, we note that she also must retain the majority of her “good girl self” in order to be accepted by the same patriarchal society’s standards of the female archetype. Edward and Jacob both can remain in the “dangerous and forbidden self” but they also must possess a “kind and gentle” side as well.

Most women will concede that a dangerous, controlling man is not a good choice for a lifelong mate and therefore she must either “tame the beast” or find one who is already “domesticated.” Bacchilega suggests that since “Cupid and Psyche,” “King Crin,” and “Beauty and the Beast  […] all represent marriage as a social and ideological institution (Postmodern Fairy Tales),” and according to Bacchhilega, in the two aforementioned tales, the wives enjoy their husbands “mysterious nocturnal visits” with a “sexual attachment not matched by the trust, sensibility, common sense and intellectual affinities, which by today’s standards would presumably make for a solid marriage.” So a woman with a “dignified, resolute and courageous character” such as Beauty’s, although the “object of an exchange” may turn […] her victimization into heroism”.

Thus if a woman and man are both secure and balanced in their animus/anima, it is entirely possible to live as Beauty (with her masculine side) and Beast (along with his feminine side). Just as women are drawn to a Beast who is in control, men are drawn to a woman with a “wild nature” who is also in control. However, for this union to be successful, both parties must also agree to allow themselves to be “out of control” to a large degree, just as are the characters in fairy tales find themselves.

Above all else, it is imperative that they reconcile their passion with love, for one without the other can logically never survive. Equilibrium in the male/female relationship is difficult to achieve, especially when one must overcome societies archetypal male and female roles such as those which are ironically portrayed in fairy tales such as “Beauty and the Beast.” “There is no love without thorns,” thus; “the thorny hedge growing around the castle blossoms suddenly into beautiful roses in a Fairy Tale (Von Franz.)” Passion does not have to die and the equality in this liaison will reveal a couple’s natural amorous desires and thus prevent a woman from waking in the morning to ask in dismay; “What happened to the beast?”

Works Cited

Bacchilega, Christina. Postmodern Fairy Tales: Gender and Narrative Strategies. Penn:

University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.

“Beast.” Miriam-Webster Dictionary. 11th Ed, 2007.

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Random House, Inc., 1944.

Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.New York: Random House, Inc., 1944.

Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. New York: Little Brown and Company, 2008.

9 ½ Weeks. Dir. Adrian Lyne. Perf. Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger. Turner

Entertainment Company and Warner Home Video, 1991.

Pirates of the Caribbean. Dir. Gore Verbinski. Perf. Johny Depp, Orlando Bloom,

Kiera Knightley. Walt Disney Entertainment, 2004.

Von Franz, Marie-Louis. The Feminine in Fairy Tales. Mass: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1993.

Zipes, Jack. Beauty and the Beast: And Other Classic Fairy Tales. New York: Penguin Books, Inc., 1997.

Zipes, Jack. The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. New York: Bantam

Books. 2003.

Sharon Lynn Van Meter

Copyright 2009/Revised 2012


spoon-feed me whispers

…you come to me and sit on my bed and you spoon-feed me whispers and there was something you said

 which went straight through my core and lives in my head …and I prayed for another time

and place, an alternate universe suspended in space where judgment didn’t rise in haste

and I could eloquently trace those virtuous lips and that chiseled face with my fingertips…

and not curse the year you were born on my lips but instead brush them gently across  your own

but you’re so forbidden… and Sara sang; “Adia, I do believe I failed you” and “I will remember you”

…and I don’t know if I did and you can bet your sweet life I still do…

the night I led you to my bed I couldn’t avert my eyes from you…the essence of your schoolboy- manhood

your predacious innocent wisdom seized my passions …outstretched, unspoken… mutely understood

meticulously penetrating all I ever knew of life and yearning and pain so that I would never ever be the same …

I gaze into tranquil words as they hang in the air; the silence speaks volumes in the ethereal night

your breath… softer than a whisper, so new, so wrong, so unequivocally right…on my skin

your hands on my face, my fingers in your hair, those curls on my breast… those eyes…damn those eyes

your musky fragrance wed my perfume  as your lips met mine and you came… into my soul

 I know the curve of that face, I remember… May to December, oh God I remember… I know

your mouth drank in my pain and your fingers spread out my ache and  worked it like a sculpture through and through

we fashioned one another into smooth liquid silk… so soft and so hard… do you want me to?  oh yes you know I do…

but forever was a promise we could not afford to keep….and were we but in that other

alternate universe where our presence dominated the judgments made on us…and if time

were on our side and honor among thieves could be believed, that night you were mine…

you were explicitly mine, you stoked the fever of my soul, and I stroked the burning of your dreams

And I’m still deaf from my silent screams

and I’ll never be who I was in those shadows and shades and in my perception…. In me you undulate…

and I don’t know what to believe in and you don’t know who I am…except that kiss was the sweetest, fervent timeless bliss

unequaled in my life…  I did not care if we both burned in hell… all I wanted was you in my bed, my soul, my head

and that wicked, consecrated, illicit, righteous all-consuming kiss… you sucked me in and I devoured you,

 warm and pure and smooth, a fragrant bouquet of sweet red wine… I am daunted by my musing of the life-force that is you

you leisurely rushed through me; you possessed that hidden forbidden measure of me, fumbling, caressing, exploring, possessing

we owned the night in those precious hours of  you and me in that dark sea of dreams… riding the waves of passion’s seas

in the safe haven of heaven in each other’s arms we savoured and swallowed the pain, bittersweet, transient, deliciously free

brushing my lips on those freckled shoulders, fingers caught in the hair of your chest…and we intertwined

in complete cerebral intercourse… your soul, it made the hole much deeper…the lennon-yoko kind…

a meeting of the minds…and more, yes so much more and as I gaze into yesterday

i understand the hands of time cannot erase that night, that face, that kiss

and passion’s purity could never be replayed… it is my perception and likely yours is nothing close

 to what I see,  your reality may deem my dream as just that… and that alone

but I care not, for I treasure those hours, days, minutes…and what is love but a connection, a feeling, a passion, a need?

it may last a moment, a day, an eternity or… a few perfect hours… it can unite two, be all encompassing, or live only in one…

but that can never diminish its value or my memories … you come to me…you sit on my bed, spoon-feed me whispers…

and there was something you said, and it burns hot in my veins and goes straight to my head…

Sharon Lynn van Meter

Copyright 2012


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