Written and Performed on May 20, 2009 at UnUrban Coffeehouse, Velvet Guerrilla Cabaret Open Mic
Anais, I attempt to write to you, the old fashioned way- as if
Somehow my #2 pencil and crumbled up, coffee stained, lined paper can bring me closer to your world of last century bohemian, Parisian cafes and compulsive diary compositions and raw confessions
Anais, I waited until last minute tonight, 20 minutes before the spoken word host called my name, to pour this out, for I knew if the opportunity for another pause and revision had remained I’d never even get this far
Anais, I knew that If I had a chance to edit and scrutinize, if Microsoft word spell checks my shaky handwriting, I’d never even get this far
Anais, I have a desperate desire to quote you right now, to condemn this piece to the trash essays of college applications, but Anais, my desperate desire desperately wins over my self-respect, so I must and here it is:
“Life Shrinks or expands in proportion to our courage” you said Anais, and I have etched those words in my mind like holy words and repeated them and repeated them and repeated them Anais,
When I was afraid and was shrinking and shriveling into a dried apple core I read your words and planted them in my core and grew and expanded exponentially and one day I will engrave them on my grave Anais,
I read you out loud and courage grew on me Anais and I wonder Anais, I wonder…
You wrote in your diary, 1932, that on the day you woke up next to your oblivious husband, took a taxi to your psychoanalyst, seduced him and was fucked by him on his desk, triumphantly walked to Henry Miller’s shack, took him in your mouth, only to later, in yet another taxi, fondled the beautiful June, Henry’s wife, on your way back home, to be received by your cousin’s arms, you said you felt “rich!”, Anais.
You said there was enough love in you for all of them and more, you said there was enough room in you for the whole world to be engulfed by your womb, but Anais, there was no one to embrace you!
In all of your extravagant eroticisms, in all of your orgies, in the arms of all the men or women, throughout all the years with Henry, in all your exploits, Anais, why were you so lonely?
Anais, you wrote such poetry, you helped us “open Pandora’s Box, for which man’s words were inadequate,” you found the Delta of Venus for others, but Anais, why did you never find your own?
It takes courage to heal a broken heart, Anais. It takes courage to trust again. It takes courage to heal the little girl raped, manipulated, betrayed, abandoned, torn and cast away, I know Anais.
It takes courage to overcome incest, Anais.
Your father gave you your last name, Anais Nin, but that wasn’t the only thing you didn’t have a choice in.
I know, Anais.
It takes courage to face the truth Anais. We are not born women Anais, we become and Anais, we don’t grow up by taking men into our wombs or making babies that are still born, but by nurturing the little girl within.
And at night I think of you- all of you- your lies and your perceived truths, though you can’t tell them apart yourself. I want you all Anais. I long for you and want to hold your confused soul, and kiss you, and see myself making love to you Anais.
I wish I could take the pain away and heal you Anais, but Incest burns. I know, for I’ve been torn too, not by the passion that is ignited by the fire of a beautiful union but by sin, Anais.
But the little girl in us so tied to our Catholic guilt, which only finds salvation in these written purges, needs courage to grow up Anais…