Man in Retrograde. ~ Lisa Eastman

Via Lisa Eastman
on Dec 8, 2012
get elephant's newsletter


Last night, I spent the evening getting bombarded by texts from an angry ex-lover. What had I done?

No, I had not given him what he wanted—I was never able to. Still, the texts flew in as if by hail, hitting me unexpectedly all over and in places that counted, with words that would take years to erase.

I fought the storm as hard as I could, trying to trick myself to believe that it wasn’t happening. I looked down and I was stuck in the mire of his life, coating me with a shell of glass as if I could melt his pain and empty him of his uncontrollable spasm. I fought back with his own words, which fueled him more.

I asked him to stop, to take hold, to think, to realize, to have foresight, to strengthen, to be strong, to not give in to weakness, to step out and see himself.  To cry.

Cry sweetheart, like the lamb who loses his mother. Cry, baby. Don’t do this. I felt my skin melt, exposing my shattered bones. I was nothing but a shield for my own vulnerable self. “You’ll regret this,” I said, as my stomach went into my back and my heart caved from the blows.

You’ll find love more than you ever knew; you are just too broken for me to fill. I am not the pillar you seek but just a tip-toer through life. I plant no stakes, I seek no shelter.

I am the wind you cannot own.

My center is everywhere, in the corner of your thought. I suffer from plagues of ancient times, I am not of this world. I cannot be your earth. Nothing will grow and time will take more and more of our possibility, our solvent soil, our minerals and richness.

We are farmers stripping away our once fertile ground so walk away. Walk away. We are the rivers that rush unmindfully through our land. We have no business being here. Seeds need to grow and we are blocking their sunlight. Who are we? Destruction more powerful, we are natural and we are a disaster.

A natural disaster.

We set no example for any generation to come, only from lessons learned and behaviors modified.

We are the wrecking ball of our own existence. We’ve never been able to sit at a table together without something said being misinterpreted. We’re algebra and Latin, a Romance language that never crossed centuries. The only thing we have is a resemblance to each other, but after that we just erode like paint that dries and flecks and breaks off its surface over time.  The color is there but the paint has gone.

I don’t love you I wanted to say, or rather, I can’t love you in the way you need. I never will and I never can, until you remove the words of hate. Until you stop the snowball fight. The thrown eggs, the jokes, the pranks, the anger disguised as pranks, the underbelly of your real self, the wallet that comes up empty, the trick that comes up told, the obvious incantations that echo in me like a never-ending tunnel, like a call for help or a stress signal from a far away land, the nuclear warhead designed to obliterate everything of who I am, the chemotherapy I sought to treat me but ended up killing me.

I cannot find you until you destroy that part of yourself that wants to destroy.

I can love you as I love any living thing, but your seeds have grown dirty, your aura grey. Your mouth has become filthy as the sins of your choices. I am devastated as I walk your lands turning over burnt parts of your former self, the self I met when we were born. I walk through a smoke-filled field shattered by detonated bombs, strewn with dirty white flags whose arms had lifted barely leaving the ground, the dirt that had buried them.

Music plays like a movie in war torn France; I’m watching you in a movie in this fake landscape. As I walk slowly over you I start to turn like a leaf in fall, browning and decomposing as if from within. I fall to my knees and scream out inside. To the love I never had. To the shepherds who walk their days alone. I cry out and beat my own chest, flailing to remember you. To feel. To be the war that separated us and brought us together. The engagement, like every war, our engagement.

Better to have walked away and never mixed bombs and chemicals and gunpowder and iron and will and gold and riches and puke and blood. We lost limbs this time. We forever stymied our destiny. We forever ruined our chances of ever being whole. We left bullets in each other that must remain. Only numerous operations can remove the invisible barracks to our psyches, ones that we covered with barbed wire.

How did I end up here, worse than before. Deeper on a more subaqueous dermal plane.

What television show did I watch to get me here? Let me switch the channel. What happened to hope when I’m clinging to my very survival as a human being? I am being fed but what? Hormones, chemicals, arsenic? Melted iPhones returning back to their original states through me. I can’t house you.

I left the light on when you were sleeping and I was trying to read and that just didn’t work for you. You barked at me like a fervid animal, a rabid beast. Leaving a little light on you interpreted as an entire sun descending upon your minutiae, a burden of Prometheus to push away the impossible.

You gave up your gills to bark from your throat.

You gave up your loving hands as you tensed every muscle to fight a ghost, you bore arms against my already broken dam…

When all I ever wanted was peace.








Editor: Seychelles Pitton

Like elephant Love on Facebook!


About Lisa Eastman

Lisa Eastman is a singer/songwriter/pianist and has an album coming out in December called Jubilee. She writes both out of passion and necessity. She trusts that she will write what’s true. For the words that she imparts. She will go deep inside and tell you things that shouldn’t hide. As a seeker in these times, she is just another eye. Connect with her on Facebook.


5 Responses to “Man in Retrograde. ~ Lisa Eastman”

  1. Nonymous says:

    While I appreciate your recognition of the narcissistic yoga and spirituality scene, you have made two classic mistakes here:
    1. Projection – My wife tried that. if she could not excape being wrong, then I had to be JUST as wrong. Every day I hear more stories of how "psycho" everyone considered her. How she did not respect others, but demanded respect for herself.
    2. Self Delusion – Though I know, and it is obvious, you are not telling all of the story, refusing to reveal the wrongs you did, so those that read will still see you as the victim (my wife knocked out my teeth, then went to india to find enlightenment, telling me, when asked about the teeth "you're a grown man, figure it out!!, JUST BEFORE SHE LEFT TO INDIA, while at the same time DEMANDING TO BE FORGIVEN.) you refuse to see how you put yourself over him, I am willing to bet on a CONSTANT level.

  2. Nonymous says:

    The moment you stop attempting to project upon ME or HIM, you may see what sparked his anger.
    I am willing to bet that is not what attracted you to him, and it was brought out by YOU. People have ALWAYS asked me why I am so "happy", as only SHE and her incosiderate nature made me angry.

    I wonder, are you 36 years old? Just curious…..

  3. Nonymous says:

    I love this quote, as it is so appropriate:

    "The analogy to the obesity epidemic is useful here. Definite steps are being taken to combat obesity: soda machines are being removed from schools, exercise programs suggested, and nutrition education plans implemented. Not so with narcissism. In many cases, the suggested cure for narcissistic behavior is "feeling good about yourself." After all, the thinking goes, fourteen-year-old Megan wouldn't post revealing pictures of herself on MySpace if she had higher self-esteem. So parents redouble their efforts, telling Megan she's special, beautiful, and great.

    ~~Excerpted from “The Narcissism Epidemic” by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell. 2009

    You see nothing but "self-cherishing" spouted by the spirituality community.

    They keep telling you to eat more doughnuts.

  4. […] season is upon us: good will toward men and shopping mall […]

  5. […] all like sellers with our wares—each carrying around a sack of burden—trying to be heard, understood and loved. What can be done? Maybe the telling is the first step […]