Carving Craven

Illustration for Carving Craven by Buffy

Craven is the poison.

Craven is the toxin.

Craven is the venom.

Craven is her own killer.

Craven is her own villain.

Craven is her own hero.

Craven are the dangerous women for whom the world is dangerous.

Craven are the cunts with silver tongues and surgical pussies.

Craven are the dolls selling parts to buy holes.

Craven is a curse.

Craven is a blessing.

Craven is a life worth living.

She is an idea and a shadow, an illusive light and an inescapable reality. She is a burning in my chest, a fire in my belly, a burning on my tits, and a fire in my pussy: the incendiary cunt. My belly is from where my pussy comes, the burning hunger in the belly of the beast. Peel back the flesh, tear the tissue, sinew from sinew, rupture, rend, rip. Hold soft pressure outside-in while I’m inside-out with you. Reach back to me as if I were a woman and not a phantom cast from your projections, as if ours were stories that weren’t already eulogies when they began.

Craven is the ghost in the machine, shell, and graveyard of her own flesh.

Craven keeps a running tally not in numbers but in cuts, hacks, and stabs.

Craven is an electric needle into flesh, whether bid by heat or speed.

Craven tears itself in endless pieces, each borne by their own maternity.

Take it slow and fast, take the tip into soft flesh, new flesh, new tissue responsive to the pleasure or toil, the cut between injury and necessity, the feeling of chosen force, of a desired push into pain. Sustain the position, the note, the fear of how much you want it just enough to let yourself have it without regret, without shame, without inhibition. Brand yourself with the contradiction, keep it close to your heart, allow yourself to live as such, in the depths of truth and confusion, in the ocean of contradiction. Allow it, allow yourself, allow her to pulsate, to throb with her cosmic knowledge. 

Her wisdom resides in part with her determination to say that which demands truth again and again, pronouncing spells of disclosure when open secrets become gaping truths, crevasses so wide they’re unavoidable. Her desire is a truth and lie, as any real truth is at some point in its genesis, real through its transition into lie, a lie beholden to reality as much as it bends it. She is the spell, the spell that is her desire, that is her glamor, that are the words she finds and keeps until they’ve gone. She is the spell. They felt that and called her magical. She is not magical, she is magic.

Craven cuts across the breast.

Craven sutures through imprecision.

Craven injects with intramuscular depth.

Incisive, volatile. He looks at her with spite. With venom. With poison. He doesn’t know she’s his poison. She’s his venom. She’s his spite. In spite with herself, she’s a lethal injection, a life saving suture, a catastrophic cut.

Cut to black, cut to frame, blur, focus, brighten, fade, cut to red, cut to frame, blur, focus, brighten, fade, cut to bone, cut to chain, cut to cut to cut to cut. Run the film. Keep running. Don’t stop. Cut the film and keep it running. Perform an impossible task with regularity—survive. 

Do you respond to imperatives? She doesn’t, she’s got a foundational problem with authority. It’s foundational because she can’t shake it, because it’s her strength. She takes it to the base. You consume in your penetration, you can only take in what you give. That’s the rule of man’s law. Brutal.

She’s still running. She won’t stop. She’ll die again if she does. Since when has life become synonymous with running? The sound of pavement hitting her heels keeps her rhythmically tied to herself and her sisters, even when she’s alone. She hears the clicks in legion. When she walks alone she’s many.

Craven turns the corner.

Craven turns to herself.

Craven turns herself out.

She contemplates the carving, burning thought and feeling, burning wound as word, as what would, will, and could be. Her heart is on fire. It was on ice for a while. It might be again, but for now it’s bleeding and burning. It’s the burning moment, the urgency of the open wound that demands she let the burns live on the skin. The electricity vibrates through the pen, not with charge as with electrolysis, but with a similar sort of embodied insistence, an epidermal demand for naming the quandary in question: how do you use the fear? It’s a quandary of conditions by which we assume you’re already using it, and that’s non-negotiable.

Craven lost time.

Craven kept up.

Craven had no choice.

So she makes one. She enters an illusion with herself and her many others, commits to it, makes it real in wounds and ink. Wounds form words. She takes her chest back from touches for which she’d never asked. She takes it all back for her, not for you. She will never apologize for putting it out. She made her choices when she could. She’s made peace with that, which is to say she’s made peace with herself and that’s all she needs for now. She needs herself, which is to say herselves. She feels touches with love, she loves touches with feeling. She loves touch less with intent than with the abandon of desire. Craves it. Reckless? Perhaps. But at least she’s not letting the fear stop her. That’s the whole point of this. Don’t let the fear stop you. Feel it. Let it touch you but don’t let it overcome you. Let yourself use it, fuck it, metabolize it. Eat the fear, eat the love, lose the fear, bleed the love. Be in a mad love, stark raving, contradicting, craven.

The carving—visceral digging, the needle into flesh, the continued burn that exposed her insides—felt electric, like living in a body, like feeling, or allowing oneself to feel, to embody a fuller array of possibility in this flesh. She’s still reeling. You’re preternatural, a sculptured creature, a beautiful Venus, perfectly illusive, diaphanous, ghostly, glowing. She is. I am. I mean it all. The carving reminded her of all this and more. Her former selves, those she’s killed to survive, she’s living with them, the ghosts of film on the cutting room floor, a room of her own loss. And she’s still in it, is the thing. She already was and she will be for time to come, she’s already arrived and has yet to make it.

Craven is she. She is Craven.

Buffy is an artist and writer producing work about living horrors and dying beauties.

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