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the church lady’s prisoner


I’ve talked in the past about my Wild Child (see one and two). This is an aspect, or one of my personalities that I have been dealing with lately. I guess this person has been wanting to come out again, and maybe that’s why my mind has been working on issues that concern her so much lately.

She came out not long ago, for a little while. I was by myself somewhere, so no one was around to witness the brief transformation into this person. I’m calling her Leila. I don’t really know if this personality ever went by another name, but Leila suits her well. When I was by myself and this personality emerged, I felt a sudden playfulness, and a fierce power that I don’t often have. An assuredness. But the others in my ‘system’, the other members of Team Denelle, had a little freak out when she surfaced. It was only for twenty seconds, as she looked around the area and surveyed the situation, and the others came storming out to regain control.

I told my sister Bodhi about it that night. One of my littles was out and talking to Bodhi, and described Leila as having “exotic eyes”. What this little meant was that Leila is seductive.

I don’t know when Leila first came about. It might have been as early as ninth grade, when I started flirting with a maitre de at a restaurant, and he was in his twenties. I looked quite a bit older than my fifteen, and I’m not entirely sure if the memories I have of this man are imaginations, fantasies, psychic visions of his life, events that might have happened but didn’t, or actual bits of reality. Probably my imagination. But I learned the mojo at some point in my life, and Leila has it.

Leila is the personality that went to work several years ago and was immediately told by a good friend “girl, you’re getting laid today”. And then within the hour my on again off again asked me what I was doing for lunch. I guess going home with you for a quickie, is what I should have said…because that’s just what happened. Leila used to walk into a room and command attention, turn all the eyes toward her, and smile knowingly as men gasped in her presence. It’s not that she is the most beautiful woman ever known to man; but she sure knows how to work what she has. She can make the men fall for her, trip on her words, stand in line for a chance to be rejected by her. But like I said, she doesn’t come out often.

Others in the System get nervous; is she going to do something wild that will get everyone hurt? Is she going to seduce the wrong kind of man? What are we supposed to do with all this power? Leila is overwhelmingly powerful and strong, and that doesn’t always mean safety, especially to the others in the team that have been hurt, abused, and exploited. So Leila might be out for a few minutes, or a day, or a month before the others come grab her up and stuff her inside the safety of the church. I’m thinking one of the reasons I have been so spiritual my whole life (but only ONE reason, there are a good many) is because I have needed to hide my power. I’ve needed to control myself, and turn my light down a little. My light shines so brightly, it often draws too much attention to me, which was very dangerous in my past. So I have hid in the church, in the guise of virgin, or acolite, or martyr. I have sacrificed and given and tithed and fasted. I have punished myself for my intense sexuality and my innate love of the male species. I have chastised myself for my lust, desire and passion, and tried to contain a natural and beautiful fire within the pews of a musty old belief system that didn’t fit my reality. And Leila would stay in the church, for however long, twiddling the days away without letting her vibrating presence be known.

Until recently. After her half minute of glory, when her exotic eyes roamed freely again, I did some work trying to understand and accept this personality, and that very weekend she came out again for a whole day. I went to an outdoor event, hosted partly by the group I work for. The day was beautiful; blue skies, clouds sprinkled in the heavens, wind slightly stirring the leaves on the trees. It was perfect and comfortable. Leila showed up at the event, and one of my friends was there to greet me and hug me; I didn’t even know she would be at this event. Interestingly, there was another person I knew there, only Leila had never met this friend, and so didn’t recognize him until someone pointed him out and named him. “Oh,” said Leila, “that’s him.” She hadn’t recognized this familiar face even though she saw him when I came to the event, because Leila is always hidden away, and she’d never come out in front of him.

Leila loved the rest of the day, the weather, the event, the men that couldn’t stop looking at her. One man wanted her to get involved in a group he ran. Another man asked her what her interests were in this or that. Another man seemed to stare at her from across the space, keeping eyes on her often, but seeming to be shy when she noticed his glances. He seemed especially interested in what she was doing and where she was. Leila smiled at all these behaviors, and remembered how good it is to be out among the living, where she can be fully appreciated for all her fabulousness.

I can see why the others have tried to trap her away, though; she is decisive. Or not. She is determined. Or bored. She is playful and sultry, or temperamental and stubborn. She is what she wants to be, whenever she wants to be it. This isn’t something that our society deems acceptable from women. Women are supposed to be nurturing and giving; long suffering and understanding; patient and kind. Women fix the wounds of others, they don’t inflict them. Women follow after the leaders, they don’t become them. Women are supposed to complement men, not out shine them. And Leila doesn’t give a fuck.

Leila is Leila.

She is her own storm. Her own energy. Her own life force.

If she is too much for you, you better get the fuck out of her way.

If you want to know her, you might want to think of offering her a bite to eat, or a nice margarita.

If you want to love her, you’d better come with a lot of tools in your arsenal, because she is fickle and charming and difficult and silly and ornery and generous and more than a galaxy of amazing…

but not everyone can handle all of that so she usually stays locked up inside the church.

But now I’ve found the key to her prison, and I’ve set the captive free…



In the dead of the night

while children are sleeping

I walk the wet grass

on tip-toeing feet.

Deep into the labyrinth

I fly like an angel

guided by starlight,

spurred on by heat.

My hair is a comet

that streams out behind me

The wings that I wear

are a gossamer white.

I chase down your shadow

and run from your memory

I drink to your fortune

and succumb to my plight.

I pour out my heart

and leave it before you

A scattering of breadcrumbs

to show you the way.

I sit in the center

of my dark, empty labyrinth

I call out your name

and bid you to stay.

sexiest food in the cutest container…

If you were to ask me what food was the best for being intimate I would tell you Chinese Take Out. “You are soooo weird”, I hear you whispering over cyber-miles. Too right. You might be thinking about something sexy and delicious, like strawberries. Strawberries are the “go-to” fruit when you want to have hot, unbridled passionate love making. Everyone knows that. Strawberries with chocolate, strawberries with whipped cream, strawberries with sugar. Sexy, sexy, sexy. And yes, they are delicious. Not so sexy, however, when you are allergic to them. Breaking out in hives? Not sexy. Itchy throat that makes you have to scratch it by making that weird choking/snorting noise? Definitely not sexy. Having your throat close up when you are ‘in the mood’? Wow. That sucks. (ha ha)

Chinese Take Out is definitely my food of choice for intimacy. And I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a good aphrodisiac, or that it should be involved at all in foreplay…as much as I like spring rolls, I’m not thinking they should be eaten off of anyone’s body. The intimacy I mean is more of an emotional response to the food. When I watch TV shows, or movies, any time a group of people are working hard and passionately about something, working closely together in a small knit group, Chinese Take Out is involved. Sure you often see pizza containers, but more often it seems that little boxes of Chinese food litter the table, floor, or counter tops. Chinese Take Out on TV seems to imply connection, intimacy, and being together in the wee hours of the morning. Sure sometimes it just implies hard work, and maybe a need for quick, delicious food. But somehow it has become linked with sensuality in my mind.

Maybe it’s because of an ancient conversation I had with someone, who said he knew a couple whose habit it was to stay in on Sundays, and enjoy an entire day of love making, getting out of bed only to order Chinese Take Out. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen couples in the movies or shows I watch order each other’s favorite Chinese meal, bicker about who gets the noodles or egg rolls, and wave those chopsticks around like little wooden phallus’. Maybe I just have a thing for Chinese food so it makes me happy. Maybe it’s the cute little boxes that fold up like little pieces of origami full of tasty treats. I don’t know, but I’m in love with the image of eating out of the boxes. I suppose that seduces me right there, and is a bit sensual as well. Not to mention the not always exciting fortunes that are intimately tucked into a cookie shell that could possibly resemble the female body, if one allowed one’s mind to consider such things. Secret treats inside a secret hiding place. And how intimate is that right there! Surprising me with an unknown secret thought that only I can see when I burst open the cookie. Mmmm…Chinese Take Out is good all around.

So if there’s anyone out there looking to seduce me, better get some chopsticks ready and show up at my door with lots of little folded boxes. You’ll be in for the tastiest night of your life.

skeletons in my closet


the skin is so tender there,

so soft, so smooth.

i’m surprised at how easily it

opens for me.

like grating cheese

or cutting off a pat of butter.

it just opens up ~

yielding ~

and offers my inner secrets to

the bathroom tile.

and out seep my skeletons,

and cascade to my feet

like a little gothic convention

gathering in the night.

and they

drip. drip. drip.

down to the ground

as though they have jumped from the

highest cliff


into the sea of grief

and sorrow

which is myself

and my skin.

and my bathroom floor.

which is now collecting these

secretive, skeletal remains

and is busy hiding the secrets

in cracks and


a splash here, a splash there,

a little sticky clump on the

sink, even.

it clumps up so fast, into

stringy little ropes, which makes

me wonder ~

are the skeletons trying to

form a rope on purpose?

are they trying to climb back


into my head to keep

hiding from the world?

or are they just trying to kill me?

‘cuz i can do that myself.



i’m in the wrong place at the right time.

i’ve never understood that idea or phrase,

thinking always that it meant

to be accidentally at the bank

at the moment it was being robbed

or to be finally sun bathing

in the nude

when a freak and heavy hailstorm hits

and you’ve only just gotten your

nipples pierced.

i didn’t know it meant this.

that i might be here

in this place …

the wrong place.

wrong for me in so many ways and

so many facets

and for so very many reasons a place

that is altogether not right.

yet it is quite the right time for me

to be wrong.

if ever there was a time

well suited for the wrongness

it is now.

and it is right,

this wrongness.

and thus the strange phrase finally

fits snugly inside my brain.

(written summer of 2009.  i think.  or fall.  maybe.)

these hands

i tremble when he touches me,

like a new born bird,

shy, and tender, and hungry with need…

and i wonder at this man,

as he touches my face with his gentle hands –

hands that are strong, and powerful, and masculine.

hands that could bring down another man,

or work the fields all day.

how can he channel such strength

and power and intensity

into such a tender touch?

and i long to nibble on his ear

and whisper to him in my best

kathleen turner voice

that i may need a lifetime to explore

this man

and these hands.

past loves, future lives

The sun is setting now, and I sit on my porch with my beer and laptop, and think about my ex-lover. Wind blows through the leaves on my tree, making them dance and shimmy, and I remember that this ex-lover of mine inspired some poetry from me. Perhaps on a gorgeous, warm, relaxed evening like tonight. And I can almost smell the rain coming, while the world around me is turning a spring green; and not just the trees and yards and bushes, but the very color of the atmosphere is greening up, almost the opposite of how a night looks before a storm, when it turns red and smokey, and a touch menacing (but exciting nonetheless). And I remember my old beau, and I smile.

I sit here and think of the love we made, and the times we shared, and all the amazing aspects of our past relationship. How much we loved each other. How important he was to my life, both as a friend and a lover. The way his face looked as he created one piece of art or another. The gentle look of concentration as he made me dinner. The peace and calm I found when I was around him. This beautiful person contributed so much to my life, and made me a better, more soulful person.

Love is amazing. It is not always happy and spring green, and full of fragrance and growth. Sometimes it causes friction, and pain, and an aching hole in the heart. Sometimes it makes us crazy, and we want to pull our hair out, or get into fights at the bar.

But sometimes, a rare person comes along and breathes life into us, making us feel more passionately, more deeply than we have ever felt before. And at a time in my life when I least expected it, perhaps I have found this kind of love again. Someone that takes my breath away. Someone who makes me curious about life, when I thought I was familiar with its paths and turns. Someone who has lit a spark in my heart, and makes me feel like I am once again a twelve year old girl, looking into the face of a full life, ready for a beautiful adventure to unfold. And that twelve year old  is hopeful, and bright, and full of expectation, like I haven’t known in decades. It’s like an archaeological dig has uncovered some precious hidden treasure that has been unknown and undiscovered for all these years; and that treasure is my heart.

So I take another swig of my beer, and reflect on my past love, and – hopefully – my future one.

all of me

Denelle Hobbs

I’ve been thinking over some words of wisdom from a friend. Things like ‘don’t get upset’ or encouragements to not get tied up in my emotions. And while I appreciate the thoughts, and the hope that I will be well, I disagree with the overall ideas. I love my emotions. I’m not a very Zen person. I can’t wrap my mind around the idea that I must let go of my attachments to people, things, ideals that I love; or situations that anger me, or that I think should be altered toward a better outcome. Why do I need me to stop feeling in order to grow as a person? I don’t believe I do.
I won’t be beaten into submission by a God that is afraid of my emotional outbursts.
I won’t be tricked into complacency by a religious system that prefers numbness to the powerful and electric moments of raw feeling that occur in the NOW.
I can’t be forced to relinquish my passion, my drive, or my intense longings for love, beauty, or oneness with my fellow man.
And I don’t think I should have to give these things up.
I refuse to believe that spiritual enlightenment comes at the cost of my emotional self.
I fiercely believe that any God, Being or Universe that is worth being worshipped should be able to handle the divine, explosive, caustic, curious and intense soul that is me.