archives, feminism

Lost Liberation: This Is Just the Arc of the Story.


She could never condense herself to the short lines of a stanza.
Her breath was too expansive for the parameters of a poem.
Too many things to say — contradictions to capture.
She prefers the long way…
weaving in and out of other people’s stories —
the pressure of pentameter is too much — all that weight shouldered on but a few words.
It feels like the choice between a quick shot, or a long drag.
She likes to draw out the pain — bit lips, barren hearts, bloody souls.
She doesn’t want to have to work so hard to make meaning; that requires the discomfort of standing still — of suspension.
She is drawn to the long form.
She wants to race — next character, new chapter.
Wondering, winding — to whereabouts both untracked, and trekked 1000 times before.
Is this the beginning, or the end?
Constant middle, I think.
Is it better this way?
Searching, Never finding. Always lost.

Lost is okay. Lost can mean liberation.

You need not pick one path and stay the course. Breathe out your lines in one breath, and embody their opposite in the next. Such movement merely means you are willing to play in possibility. To trust that you somehow needed to go this way to get that way.

This doesn’t come easy. It feels cowardly not to pick a side, stake a claim. All or nothing. Slay the dragon, or let his fire consume you. But, it can come easier by acknowledging that in another story, in a different time, fire breeds life. Get comfortable with the discrepancies. Drink in the dissonance. Learn to love the freedom in the floundering. Don’t stop the story short.

You don’t know the twists and turns of the plot. A co-creator of the anecdote, but not third-person omniscient narrator. Imagine the transformations you might make. In one story, you find the form of foam on a sea wave, and in another, you burn as the brightest star in the galaxy. You are both the jester and the benefactor. The monster and the hero.

You embody an infinite number of characters set against an equally infinite number of settings. You are protagonist and antagonist, flashbacks and flash-forwards, short story and epic.

I woke up today believing I couldn’t write poetry, and now languish under a moon that shows me I can.

I have always been someone who tries to control things, to anticipate every possible thing that could go wrong, and prevent it. And, every time I find myself trying to right the script, I end up instead dramatically swinging from extreme to extreme, and then swallowing the shame of not being able to play my proper part.

I’ve been the party girl who smokes enough cigarettes to become the dragon, and also the knight, with the strength to surmount physical obstacles I didn’t know I was capable of — running half-marathons and conquering Crow. Sometimes I’ve been both of these things simultaneously. I’ve had many a March of mistakes, followed by Aprils of abstinence. And I’m finally learning this is just the arc of the story.

It’s okay to mutate. To let go of the guilt of the inconsistency. I used to admire those people who always seemed so put together, so steadfastly constant in their character. Now I wonder about all the revisions they’re missing out on. Those chances to try out new identities. To write new endings and beginnings. To sever and regenerate repeatedly. Multiple climaxes — that’s what I’m after. Round characters, not flat.

I’m part of a mixed genre. Breaking convention. Queen of the avant-garde. Master of intertextuality. Some won’t and don’t and can’t understand the plot. I don’t always either. But now I look at the chaos as adding complexity to the tale. I see the power in the paradox. I’m able to find beauty in the tragic, and meaning in the absurd. And certainly some happily ever afters too.


Kristina Ambrosia-Conn is an incurable romantic who should never have hyphenated her name, but whose greatest love came out of that union. Quirky and self-punishing, she is a sympathy crier who dreams of possibility, avoids reality, and then wonders what possibly could have gone wrong. Part gypsy, part suburban ex-housewife, and total true-blue Pisces, she is an exhaustive extrovert who talks (but should more often write) to process… anything and everything. She suffers from lack of boundaries, but finds beauty in maelstrom.


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