Tuesday, November 7, 2017

We Need Your Help

We need your help getting child sexual abuse prevention mainstream! As we continue gaining momentum and raising awareness through our art, we need your help. Your altruistic gesture of purchasing our book will tangibly function in a variety of ways. You will possess a thought-provoking work to be shared with friends and family. You will have made a monetary contribution to Childhood Fractured and our mission of raising awareness and preventing child sexual abuse through contemporary art. You will inspire us to continue doing this work. You will be a part of one of the most necessary grassroots movements of the 21st century. You will continue to become part of the solution. We need your help. 
Child sexual abuse is the most under-reported, underrepresented, and under talked about epidemic that one could reason. Let’s look at the numbers. On the lowest end of the spectrum, we have 1 in 10 children face sexual abuse before the age of 18. On the highest end – 63%. This topic needs to go mainstream. We need to garner and foster civic involvement in every level of our society and in every corner of the world. If we don’t then who will?


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Art Next Level pod cast conversation about Childhood Fractured



ARTISTS ALLEN VANDEVER AND DEREK HOPKINS ON A JOURNEY TO STOP CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE. EPISODE 118

Art Next Level pod cast


Thank you Sergio Gomez for taking the time to Talk to Derek and I about Childhood Fractured and having us on your program.

Childhood Fractured: A Narrative, Gallery Opening and Book Release

“Childhood Fractured: A Narrative” is a special collaborative project featuring Pilsen-based visual artist Allen Vandever, writer Derek Hopkins, and documented by filmmaker Cheryl Manaligod. The team produced a 6-part live painting series at the Ravenswood gallery. With the series complete, Awakenings is pleased to present an exhibit of completed work. The show will open with a reception on Friday, October 20th at 6pm.

The live painting series provided a chance to witness healing unfold through the visual and narrative acts. The paintings aim to normalize the male voice that is often silent in discussions of sexual abuse. The Childhood Fractured team aims to end childhood sexual abuse through contemporary art, and Awakenings aims to make visible the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence. Together, the two teams are thrilled to have completed this series, the first of its kind for both organizations.






Friday, October 20 at 6 PM - 9 PM
The Awakenings Foundation
4001 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60613

Link to event page https://www.facebook.com/events/1488521238114014/


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Art & Speaking Event - April 28, 2017 Childhood Fractured a Live Narrative part 2 Fracturing of a Child



Writing Excerpt & Event Recap
Derek Hopkins
Event Recap:
We were truly humbled to have another speaking & art event at the Awakening Foundation in Ravenswood. The event was well attended and we are so thankful to all those who showed up to support our cause and to view what we had in store with our initiative. As mentioned previously, writer Derek Hopkins (Co-Founder of Childhood Fractured) is authoring a full length book to document the creative process & stories told by Chicago artist Allen Vandever (Founder of Childhood Fractured).
Derek’s Writing Excerpt following Allen’s Painting: 
“Oh, the things these brown eyes have seen. Yes! They have seen sidewinding murals of life, or, all things beneath the human veneer. And again, we happened upon the familiar. Again, we ventured into the deep-waters of childhood sexual abuse. Allen was in front of the canvas, brave. Cheryl was taking up her cinematic angles. And I was ruminating in a chair. Allen was frantic. It was not difficult to discern from whatever veneer. He was taking heavy breaths behind a heavy mind. A heavy day this would be. He gripped the canvas with a heavy white primer. Anticipation was the blood coursing my veins. I took a choice glance at the audience. And of them I found beautiful shapes, yet, their paralleling countenance was not of beauty. They read of questions without answers. Their eyes were empathetic pools of veneration. Confusion and concern. Doubted by abstraction, or, perhaps, it is my own fear reflected in these English words”

Artist Allen Vandever Tells  His Story Trew words and paint

Monday, May 1, 2017

Childhood Fractured: A Live Narrative part 2 "Fracturing of a Young Boy

The Awakenings Foundation and Childhood Fractured invite you to join us for a collaborative next four events of the six-part live painting series called “Childhood Fractured: A Live Narrative,” that tells the story of childhood sexual abuse from the male perspective the last Friday of the next five . 

The Awakenings Foundation is a Ravenswood art gallery dedicated to making visible the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence. Childhood Fractured consists of Pilsen based contemporary artist Allen Vandever, writer Derek Hopkins, and filmmaker Cheryl Manaligod, and together they aim to end childhood sexual abuse through art. Awakenings awarded Vandever and Hopkins a grant to produce a special collaborative painting series at the gallery titled “Childhood Fractured: A Live Narrative.”





 “Childhood Fractured: A Live Narrative” First event of its kind hosted at Awakenings, was thrilled to feature and normalize male voices that are so often silenced in the conversation about sexual violence.  He narrated his experience, Hopkins writes and types wile Manaligod films. The event was a huge success peformade to a full house. The written anthology and videos will all be available online following the live painting event. 

The live painting events will take place once a month from March to August. Vandever painted through the trauma of his childhood sexual abuse. A six-painting exhibit will hang at the Awakenings gallery upon completion of the event series in September 2017. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Childhood Fractured: A Live Narrative part 1 "The Sexualization of a Child"


 “Childhood Fractured: A Live Narrative” First event of its kind hosted at Awakenings, was thrilled to feature and normalize male voices that are so often silenced in the conversation about sexual violence.  He narrated his experience, Hopkins writes and types wile Manaligod films. The event was a huge success peformade to a full house. The written anthology and videos will all be available online following the live painting event. 

The live painting events will take place once a month from March to August. Vandever painted through the trauma of his childhood sexual abuse. A six-painting exhibit will hang at the Awakenings gallery upon completion of the event series in September 2017. 






The Awakenings Foundation and Childhood Fractured invite you to join us for a collaborative next five events of the six-part live painting series called “Childhood Fractured: A Live Narrative,” that tells the story of childhood sexual abuse from the male perspective the last Friday of the next five . 

The Awakenings Foundation is a Ravenswood art gallery dedicated to making visible the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence. Childhood Fractured consists of Pilsen based contemporary artist Allen Vandever, writer Derek Hopkins, and filmmaker Cheryl Manaligod, and together they aim to end childhood sexual abuse through art. Awakenings awarded Vandever and Hopkins a grant to produce a special collaborative painting series at the gallery titled “Childhood Fractured: A Live Narrative.”



In light of the current political discourse surrounding sexual abuse, it is more important now than ever to showcase the voices and artistic expression of survivors to prove we hear, see, and believe them. It is the hope and intention of the Awakenings Foundation and Childhood Fractured to kindle a critical, constructive, and positive dialogue about sexual abuse through art and storytelling.



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Saturday, March 11, 2017

My experience with Painting Number 13 "Never Ending". Painting by Chicago Contemporary Artist Allen Vandever


I found myself alone in Allen’s studio. I was in a comfortable state of receptive preparation. Yes. I was awaiting to receive, through organic transference, the last painting of this series. And there I was sitting on the same green chair. Allen and Cheryl had yet to make their way into the studio. I took some golden moments to reflect on all that has transpired within these walls. Of the all too human majesty, resiliency, and overcoming that has transpired within these walls. Underneath these lights. Before these dancing paintings, between the toy sculptures, trinkets, and brushes. All the canvas’s and promises. Shelves of paint and exhausted spirits craving for change. I was here, alone, awaiting to channel the raw clarity that is this series, this work, this life.

I woke up looking through my eyes once more. I exited the beatific nostalgia of this studio and entered into the stream of here. Of now. Allen, chin high, bursting with continuity, came down the stairs and into the studio. His face seemed to be possessed of clairvoyant intentions. Allen was followed by Cheryl. Her eyes read of angles. They were an exacting set of eyes. Watchful.  Careful. Not wanting a single thing to fall unnoticed in memory.

Allen prepared a pallet of soft greens. And here, once more, amid the rhythm of it all, we delved into the canvas. First it was to be strokes of green highlighted by innocent whites. The brush swayed back and forth. It was smooth motions. I was reminded of grass in summer winds. And from here, with the fingertips of our hearts interlocked, we traveled further into the basement of the morgans. The basement being depicted on the canvas. Second, it was careful reds and stern brows given to rendition this basement.

Allen, through his brush, descended with us into this theatre of his a basement. Allen described this theatre as a basement for a singular purpose. It was a theatre fostered by the Morgan family. A theatre were children were children were put on display while others still were forced to have sex.

Before my eyes, Allen remained solemn. His breathing intensified. His eyes were closed. His mind was a gaping maw of creativity. It was to be the final movement of this series. And in such a free forming way, orange paint found its way onto his possession. It was placed on his fingertips. The orange was forced to give form the children who were forced to sexual acts on the canvas. This moment in time, this morose platitude, swirled into the whirlpool of eternity. There, Allen was finished.

Allen’s las act of this series was the placing of a X on the canvas. Oh, how my mind was lost the subjectivity of it all. It was the royal allegory of a poet. It was the divinity of a king’s symbolism. It was a painter and his canvas. X stood for the fracturing of children. X stood for Allen’s fracturing. X stood for the cutting in two. X stood for separating body and mind from spirit. X stood for Finality. X stood for the last painting of this series.

My body ran raw with blood when I considered these words. No more children should ever be sexually abused. We thought finishing this would render us with a sense of completion. A sense of solace or closer. It is only the begging. Thank you for reading. We have only approached the foot of this heinous mountain. And together we will climb.  


Monday, February 27, 2017

My Experience with Painting Number 10 "the cutest Puppy in the world" painting By Chicago Multimedia Artist Allen Vandever


See Allen in front of the canvas. He is breathing heavy in a fragile calm. The colors before us are read and black. He apologized to me for what we were about to experience. He offered this apology from over his shoulder with a half-face. This apologetic notion threw me into a tangled state only he could unravel. Why apologize? These were the words bouncing around me.

“Morgan”, the last name of the family that sexually abused and tortured Allen, “begins with a capital M.” Allen said between breaths. “M stands for Morgan. M stands for Monster. For Murder. For Molester. For Monster. For Masochist. It stands for Monster.” These words left his lips behind a quivering exhale.  What a demonstration. I took a choice glance at Cheryl. She could be found behind her camera. We could all be found in a state of suspenseful animation.

Red and Black continued their dance before us. Allen continued his narration. We followed along with our ears, eyes, and hearts, yet, we knew nothing of where we were going. And there, behind it all, all of us fell into the red hallways of Allen’s memories. Of all that has passed in his stream of life. In his hand, a pallet of white paint. What a sight to behold. A man, An Artist, a survivor of the worst kind of sexual abuse, surrounded by his colorful lifeworks wrought from a life of color.

It was colors and cement walls around us. Hanging lights and cameras. And us. On our own islands of experience. And now we were upon the other’s beaches. A pure moment of human connection. After Allen finished the foreground, he had these words for us “After Mr. Morgan raped me, he continued to threaten me so I wouldn’t tell my family what he and they were doing to us.” Oh, the shrill of life these words were possessed of. And he said them, unafraid, unhinged, and aware.

Allen went on to explain how the Morgan’s - aside from the conducting horrific ritualistic sexual abuse of children – sacrificed animals. Dogs in particular. Upon hearing this, we all met each other once more in the space through synergy. Allen’s hands put themselves into that white pallet of paint which reconstructed the white husky puppy that Mr. Morgan stomped into death on the cold pavement in front of Allen’s childhood eyes. His hands reconstructed the white dog with an empathetic fury. With grave outpouring. It was bloodied truth manifested before my brown eyes.

See me somewhere between here and there. Somewhere between the colors and the words and the rhythms. And I was to find myself in my body, disconnected. A dark and spacious place. And through this dissonance I found my footsteps. I retraced them back through time, with careful feet, and found the corridor of self. Somewhere between, the two halves of me met in the here, now, and I was once more amongst friends. No longer separated form humanity. This work takes it’s toll on the human soul.

Allen finished putting two black dots on the painting which were the eyes. The eyes of the dog Mr. Morgan killed in front of Allen when he was a child. I had to euthanize my dog, Cosmo, several days prior. This is why Allen apologized before we began this painting. I remember watching the life pour from Cosmo. And in his wonderful brown eyes, he assured mine, which were full of tears, that everything was going to be okay. That it always was okay.

This experience took all of 15 minutes, however, the emotions emoted will find themselves in the bulwark of my soul, of our souls, in the soul of this project. I know not whose eyes my words may reach. And I know nothing of your life, of all that makes you, you. But here, I have built this bridge for you. A bridge built upon the bricks of this day. Bricks fashioned from how our souls experienced this day. Bricks fashioned from the sexual abuse we experienced as children. Here we are. And you are. And wherever you find yourself, I insist you allow a cold shrill of inspiration to shock you back into yourself. Realize you are reading these words, breathing, thinking, feeling and feel compelled to share this human experience of feeling with another in your life. Continue building bridges with us. Help us make this would a little more understandable. Help us end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children through contemporary art.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Childhood Fractured Rescue Chopper



When I think about the sexual abuse I endured as a child, I am struck by how similar those experiences are to horror movies. I often wonder how many people who make horror movies were sexually abused as children. When I think of monsters I think of real people. I don't think of think of imaginary creatures. I often wonder how many horror stories have their origins in all forms of childhood abuse. In this collage, I portray monsters coming out of a house in a mountainous forest region. I have the Childhood Fractured Rescue Chopper swooping in and rescuing the girl from her monsters. The inspiration for this came from the desired to be rescued. I had this desire every moment during my abuse and even after into adulthood. I know we can't swoop in and rescue children but there are things we can do.  I make art. I talk about it. I educate people about it. What can you do about? Please contact us if you want to get involved or partner with us!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Experience With Painting Number 2 "The Wedding"


We found ourselves in the studio. Allen was in front of his canvas. It was primed with black. Cheryl was behind her camera. She is always in more than one place. I was on the same green chair I am always on. Sitting there, head cocked, making sense of it all. Allen asked if we were ready. Perhaps. And from here, the pendulum of creative emotions began to sway.

I got married when I was 6 years old. Allen said this from deep within himself. What baffling words these are. Words that are laced with a complicated poison still unknown. My head cocked from one side to another from the attention commanded by them. It was all outside myself. Outside the beleaguered straitjacket of “I” that - if it can be found inside the dusty confines of possibility - “I” was provided recess from the confines of “I”. And with this, “I” was gifted new eyes to see the world of another.

Allen, with his hands smeared with green paint, gave life to the backyard that could be found in his memory. It seemed quiet. His brush glided across the canvas sloppy in its perfection. And then he mumbled something worth a thousand sonnets. Something I would write around if I found myself having the time. Time. Time. And with time comes memory. And of this painting that comes from Allen’s memory he had to say It was like a dream I had last night. It is a dream that always happens the same way. These, however, are the dreams of reality. Dreams of the past. And this dream was of Allen being forced to marry the daughter of the family that sexually abused him. The Morgan Family.

Allen pressed on. The painting had taken on a character of its own. We were given a green foreground. And amid the commotion, the words, and the levity of it all, I fell nullified. My eyes were staring at the canvas. My mind was staring it all in the face. The face of barbarity. The face of sexual abuse. The face of children. From this stream of events Allen was given a memory of being forced to marry a girl who was complicit in the treacherous acts against the sovereignty of childhood.

                Allen began giving form to those involved. He did this with figures of slight abstraction. The antagonist of the scene was the elder Morgan sister who could not have been more than 12 years old. Children enacting marriage would be considered acceptable. Some may even find it adorable given the context in which it happened. This is neither given the context. What’s more is my task to catch, through the fishnet of words, the memories lost in the hallways of time.

                Allen was near completion. He was tying up the always loose ends of aesthetics. His body quivered in re-creating the scene. Quivered from giving form to his younger self, Mary, and the older sister. And the other kids of the neighborhood who were complicit in this act. After creating the forms of all involved streams of yellow and green could be seen in their place. A brown river carved through the canvas that took the form of a fence.

                How subtle are the nuances of this work? This is question if often ask myself. And I often find myself without answers. For I am one person in this cloud of many. What is that I, this one man in a cloud, can do to end the sexual abuse of children. Who am I to say I want to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. And from this green chair, as the session was in its commencement, I was once more struck by profundity. I sat in this chair. And on this chair I was to feel a thousand set of eyes upon me. The eyes of children who have never had someone to speak for them. And they were there with us, guiding our creative continuity with clairvoyant hands. They told us to keep stride. To never falter.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Experience With Painting Number 3 "The Closet"


The task at hand is write about my experience with the 10th painting in our Childhood Fractured series. And I find myself warm amid the cold clamor of the day, pensive. This exercise has become what it has become. To give it words would be to speak without a tongue. In the spirit of directness, this exercise has become an act of imitation. I am mimicking the torrential downpour of creative instinct with words. I am, more or less, a conduit, however, nothing as far as it has been written, can be taken as cold truth on this cold day. The only truth is our mission; We want to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children through contemporary art.

There, in front of my brown eyes, was a canvas primed with black paint. In front of the canvas, Allen. I found him in his usual non-distinct variation of meditation. Cheryl was there. She had cornered herself in. Eyeing it all up. Allen announced, for this session, all his strokes were pre-meditated. The entirety of the piece we were about to witness was outlined in his mind.

First, in the colorful way of things, Allen gave form with orange to shelf that could have been found in the closet of childhood bedroom. He navigated this closet shelf. And he navigated his mind. He was navigating himself. As this portion of the piece was finished his narration of the event no longer functioned in a straight line. He was unable to say what it was he wanted to say. Perhaps, the words don’t exist. Perhaps, that is why he paints.

Allen labored away in unharmonious harmony. The canvas, to my eyes, began deliberating on its own character. And I was none the wiser as to its subject matter. We continued onward in this collective, creative straightjacket. I was blind. I could see. I was deaf. I could hear. I was here. And I was lost. I knew little of what was happening in front of me. Until Allen gave me a colored map.

Allen began giving form to his childhood self. Then Mary, the passive participant, in this scene. They were given to us through strokes of red and orange. Allen said all he can remember is having sex with a 6-year-old child. Do not forget Allen was six years old. The same age as Mary. The commissioner of their act was the older sister of Mary. Allen and Mary were forced to have sex together at 6 years of age.

Here, we will give ourselves an intermission and allow a rumination as to what was just written. Allen, at the age of 6 was forced to have sex with another girl at the age of six. How perplexing is this? In what banal platitude do we occupy that is conducive to acts such as this? Here, more questions will be wrought than answered. And until we tremor ourselves with these questions, answers will be sands in the wind. And we too, will be lost with it.

I could see a shift in Allen’s character. He was falling into a state of morbid reflection in front of me. He began to clutch his hands. His body tightened. Tears began to make their way down his cheeks. I watched one of them splash the floor. Tears that came from memory. Tears have made their way home. Allen hoisted himself back to now. Back to the task at hand. We never know what can be found in the hallways of time.

Allen finished the piece with a sense of guilt. He was hoping people understood what it what it was he was trying to say. Trying to paint. I admonished Allen. He was hoping the emotional tumult he was putting himself though was worth it. I assured him it was. How difficult is it for one person to convey their experience to another? This I am not sure of. I do know, if I find myself with the answer I will tell you. That is, if I can convey it to you.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Do you want to end the sexual abuse and explotation of children?

Do you want to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of CHILDREN? Every child should have sovereignty over their body and mind. Children have human rights. They should be able to grow unharmed, untouched, and unscathed, however, this is not reality. A child is being sexually abused and exploited while you are reading this. Am I responsible for that child? Are you responsible for that child? For that child who has no say over what is being done to them. No control. No power. And will grow with trauma in silence.
We want to end the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. That is why we started this project. No child should ever be sexually abused and exploited. We are using our art to raise awareness on the international epidemic of sexual abuse. If you share our mission please share our work. The more people that speak or think about the topic of sexual abuse, the closer we as world to ending the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Please put yourself inside the mind of a helpless child. How do they feel? What are they going through? What is being done to them? And even more, how would they feel knowing there are people out there trying to help them, reach them, and change their life for the better.
Share our work. Share our message. Talk about sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Help us realize our goal!

Monday, January 16, 2017

My Experience With Painting Number 12 "The Monster King and His Sirens"


          This day was a loosely organized one. Things seemed to come together as they came together. It was as if this painting, on the whole, could not have happened any other way. The farther up the life stream I wander, the more I become awash with an unfathomable sensation that things, events, and people can only happen the way they happen. The words I am writing now, at this moment, can only be written the way I am writing them. All the work we have done so far could only of happened the way it happened.

          There we were in Allen’s studio. The lights were shining above.  Allen was in front of the canvas primed with light purples, breathing heavy, preparing for the emotional tumult that would ensue. Cheryl, with her eyeful tact, which I have grown accustomed to, took up her cinematic angles. I was there on the same chair I am always on. We had a visitor with us, Jonathan. I took a peak at his face. It read curiosity. I am sure that expression would change.

          Allen began giving form to a house with sharp yellows. A house that was the home of the most traumatic experiences of his life. The house across the street from his childhood home. The house of the devil. The house of the Morgan’s. Dreadful was the thought of this. Dreadful. I have grown accustomed to seeing the world through Allen’s eyes. I have grown accustom to putting myself in the epicenter of his traumatic, ritualistic sexual abuse.


         Allen continued giving character to the canvas. He painted the street. The foreground. The background. Setting scene. Giving life to the inanimate house. After the structure was there on the canvas, I looked over at our visitor, Jonathan. I had been taking choice glances at his face throughout. His countenance, as mentioned above, was curiosity. It was now mortification. A stale mortification. The expression I would expect when one learns what happened to Allen in that house. I could see through his brown eyes the question of: Why? Why were people doing this to a child? Why was this happening? Why?

         Allen was now intent on giving his form intricate detail. This is a very methodical process. And it is very interesting to watch. Allen continued eyeing up his work. Attacking a spot here and there. Bear in mind he was talking the entire time he was doing this. And then he stumbled upon something without intent. It was a marvelous realization. Imagine Allen as a child looking out the window of his home at the Morgan’s yellow house across the street in heavy contemplation. See him there solemn, jested by the unknowing of childhood. And his mind leads him to the most fundamentals of the human experience; The dichotomy of good and evil. How profound is that? A child is staring across the street at the house of his abusers pondering the horrors that have happened to him. Pondering good and evil.

         Allen was working through this thought aloud and in front of us. This was a marvel. My consciousness was sidelined by this. I fell, once more, into a bubble of self-absorption. And I was there amid the beehive of organic creativity, meditating on the life I have lived and the sexual abuse I have lived through.

         We finished and took a collective exhale. Allen sat down exhausted. Cheryl took a seat on the steps. Jonathan was in the same seat. Words had lost him by this point. We took turns reflecting on this experience aloud. Cheryl said something interesting in relation to her sexual abuse. She remembers very clearly, scene. The scene of where it happened, what the house looked like, what the room looked like, what color the walls were and so on. Allen concurred with this and so did I. It was evident Allen shared Cheryl’s sentiment, he just painted it. I remember with vivid detail the two houses I was abused in. The furniture. The color of the walls. The time of day. The color of the sheets. There is something to say for this.

         Allen finished this piece in spite of the day. In spite of the complex trenches of everyday life. There in front of us once again. And Allen gave me a very nuanced insight into the work we are doing. At the core of ending the sexual abuse and explotation of children is the dichotomy of good and evil. That eternal dichotomy. The dichotomous bulwark that is the human experience. The duality of it all. That is at the core of what we are doing. That is a position for the flawed minds of antiquity to take up, is it not? Is it not beyond the plebian realms of understanding? Good and evil. This among many others things I do not know. Good and evil. Huh. Who would have thought.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Some Thoughts


At once I am compelled, from a state of convoluted confusion, to make sense of the sexual abuse of children. And to make sense of my sexual abuse. This ‘sense’ seems to be far outside the realms of my understanding and lends itself with tact to the confusion I am possessed of. A confusion stemming from the questions: why children are being sexually abused? Why isn’t the sexual abuse stopping? Will it ever stop? When meditating on this topic with mindful broad strokes, I, of course, wind up in the same place I started. A place of not knowing.

                The sexual abuse of children is one of the greatest epidemics of human history. And as I continue to unravel all that has transpired within the context of myself, Allen, Cheryl, and ‘Childhood Fractured’ our project, and its relation to the universal epidemic of sexual abuse, I fall victim to exasperation. I write this with heavy hands. I have no certainty as to why children are being sexually abused. What a frightening place to be.

                Contemporary society has achieved so much. Contemporary has achieved so little. This work has brought me into the beginning of knowing. I am now possessed of a more thorough understanding of the sexual abuse of children and its societal context. This is a harrowing dilemma. No matter what talents I or others may be possessed of, ending the sexual abuse of children will not happen in our lifetime. At times, when self-doubt attempts to get the best of me, it would have me revert to a state of ignorance on this topic. How easy would it be to continue with life in this way? I am finding ignorance truly is bliss. I suppose we all trudge through the trenches of adulthood, reverting, going about this life in straight lines accruing what needs to be accrued on the way.

                I can never unlearn what I have learned through working on this project. And as one of the co-captains of this ship, I must find humility in the prospect of sinking into the murky waters of public ignorance. We will navigate these waters as best we can. We will find land, as it were, but the nights are dark, the waters are dark, and we cannot yet see the sun. We know it is there. And I wish us Godspeed, for I know in my heart of hearts, we will need it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Bare Foot Boy


v  In the shift of your day we find the feet of a bare soul. Watch it swim through black wonder. Watch it pull a thread from the white fabric of time. This is done without hands. As it is willed, soul turns too body for divine compromise. The soul finds a home within a boy. He can be found in his home. Windows allow a sun to have its living room. Light is given through choice. What isn’t illuminated? The task of life. An empty vase on a table. And a girl who, without notice, comes into view. Who is she?



v  Sigmund Freud on hysterical phenomena in relation to memory: “The fading of a memory or the losing of its affect depends on various factors. The most important of these is whether there has been an energetic reaction to the event that provokes an affect.” Perhaps he would have us all hysterics. Of us that are cynics, bear to heart, the man balanced the banal plane of altruism. Or, this is to say, nothing.



v  She is Michelle. She is in view. Of her hair, blonde. Of her face, freckled. An oversized shirt and a simple skirt with pockets cover her body. That is enough. She maneuvers through what has been given. Watch it ripple. She is looking for something. This is reflected in her tip-toeing. A slanted youth. As if she, the thing, is possessed of herself. Is her compromise, in and of itself, not worthy of divinity? She hears the barefoot boy. A nose is lifted. And a mouth waters in delight.



v  It is suggested to reflect from the length of an arm. No one involved in this text is to be lionized. Humanize lions.



v  Michelle has cornered our boy in his bedroom. Her nose is lowered. Mouth drenched. After 
standing over him, she engages base appetites. It starts with a hand upon flesh. A piercing silence is where it ends. This repeats with time. What hasn’t been said? The burden of memories to come. Trauma. A resting place of the flowers. And a woman who, without notice, comes into the bedroom. Who is she?



v  Freud – “An injury that has been repaid, even if only in word, is recollected quite differently from one that has to be accepted.” Economic, is it not? To allot compensatory measures to the word. I would pluck from all, repair. Not repaid. This will be left here.



v  She is the boy’s mother. Of her hair, red. Of her face, symmetry. A simple pantsuit covers her body. She inserts herself between Michelle and the offspring. Her queries are of fury. Watch Michelle flinch. Watch the boy’s solemn wince. Aside from the wrinkles of closed eyes, nothing is revealed. Mother clothes her son and takes him by the hand. He is to pull more fabric. See Michelle fade into red memory.



v  You! Creature, staring down your nose at these words. Sit upright. Position yourself for reception. I am the apology extended. Why? This undertaking is beyond his powers. It is not owed to you, yet, through you it is given. Yes. Far beyond their power.



v  Mother and boy find a new home. It is nice enough. Injuries are never repaid, even in word. What will never be shared?



*



v  Growth was for our barefoot boy. Unravel your mind’s eye. This would have us at the delta of red memories. Here, he would move through time. Oh, He would wind through it. Yes. Everything compromised in a moment, a scene, a memory conceived by its own constrictions. Ephemeral trickery for the sages. As a snake coils itself in a garden. An attempt at status nascendi. They would have us hysterics. You know this. Or, beneath the water of all days you couldn’t



v  A sparse kitchen table. Through his eyes, it would be unassuming. Eyes awash with sights of days’ past. Mother was in the pantry. After withdrawing from laborious labor she made a meal to share. Sharp was our child’s confusion. He looked down at his empty plate. A matte smooth surface.



v  “What happened to me mom?” She fed him. He slept. A whisper. Everything is going to be fine. I love you. What is the soul to eat? Sharp was its confusion. It looked down at memory. Flat and lean.



v  Footnotes are given with trauma. How daring is it to capture a passed one? It is not of you that this question is asked, yet, through you it is mentioned. You live here.



v  Our barefoot child moved onward. What was left? A switch in home and room. Pluck at the callouses over your hands. Gnaw at your nails. Life, as it were, foreword as behind, may have been lost to darkness.



v  He came of age. This was wrought in the city. Here, transgressions in kind moved behind mountains. Imagine this. In a classroom. Michelle is there. She will howl with the posture of a phantom. Her finger will press against our boy’s forehead. Or is he older?



v  The teacher commanded the boy’s attention. Anywhere outside free birds could be found. We have lost our track. A barefoot child, ah, but before it was memory. Chanting recants of confusion. He will encounter Michelle’s deeds found in a different body. It was to be wrought in the city. Body upon body. The soul’s never touch. They would have us hysterics.



**



v  In the shift of your day we find our barefoot child, lost. Mother was there. As was the house built of blood and brick. What was this house possessed of? Imagine. I have lead you this far. Men were moving about in suits. Of them was the estranged stranger. Who was he?

v  The people of the house became aware of themselves. It is for the lack of that our child was unware of himself. Unaware of soul in body. They would have us hysterics.



v  He is Tommy. He is in view, there, at a large dinner table. Of his head, bulbous. Of his mind, broken.  A simple black suit covered his body. He was sat a large dinner table. As were the suits beside their harem. Mother was there. As was our barefoot child. Two great Danes wandered about. Gentile were these giants. Not protectors. A meal was shared between them. As was the blood spilled and word.



v  What is to happen when a meal finishes? Perhaps, everything. Our boy, in time, left the table, danced in spirit, and found himself in the home once more. See his dancing soul.



v  Our boy walked up a swirling stairwell. The carpet was worn. He found a landing to sit on. Innocence was his preoccupation. Exploring himself. This was done through the oblique of intelligence. Yes. The innocence of youth. Sweet glory is the unknowing of good and evil. The sweet indifference of childhood. Once again this was to be stolen from your boy. Upon the landing, he attracted the attention of a curious onlooker.



v  What have we managed here? Not much in the way of all things. Names have been gifted. Sweet is the proxy of apologies for the lack of powers.



v  There, the boy was upon the landing still. The onlooker turned into that that has been given a name. Tommy. He approaches the boy, bulbous. Not of his transgressions shall we wince, yet, through them we must. Somewhere, before returning to the source, apologies are made for his concupiscent handicaps. Of his soul through body, all has been lead astray. He leads our boy, astray, into a bathroom.



v  Body upon body. Souls never meet. Only concerning the spatial realm.



v  The lights above are burning. Tommy’s desire is bright. Our boy is darkened out of view. It began with words and ended with the exposition of flesh. More transpired, however, it is lost with trauma of red memory passed.



v  Our boy comes too, trembling in a closet. And those trembling hands are placed upon his knees. Tears may fall down his cheeks. This is the compensation of soul. At once, he exits the closet to find himself in his mother’s arms. The scene below has grown boisterous. Everyone involved lionize themselves and their deeds. Tommy fades. He will find Michelle in the red delta of memory.



***



v   We have mentioned the boy comes of age. And it is wrought in the city. He will reconcile all he can. Soul will fade behind body to see what can be endured. It will not amount to much. He will meet the bodies of women. Their souls never touch. It is more of snake eating snake. This has all been for what? Creatures will grovel in the garden. And their bodies with them. I am there in body, lest my soul heals in the city.


Monday, January 2, 2017

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