Friday, July 11, 2014


This poem isn't very good.  You can't try to flatter me and tell me otherwise.

But I'm sharing it here for a reason.  I can't write the poem I want to write.  I can't.  

I was reading a blog of spoken word artist Desiree Dallagiacomo the other day.  This woman writes raw truth.  RAW truth.  On her blog, someone asked her, "how do you write so well about things that hurt?"

She replied: "Writing poetry is like archaeology.  You've got to dig and dig through all the dirt before you find that one, gleaming, tiny treasure...

It's really wait until you are ready to write what you want to write.  There are hundreds of things that I am not ready to write, so I don't write them.  There are also things that I wrote that I wasn't ready to write, and I paid for it emotionally.

Don't pull them out of your head until you're ready to look them in the eye.  The day that happens may never come, but if/when it does -- you're going to be the most honest being you've ever been."

So this poem is archaeology.  It's what I was ready to pull out of my head.  I spent a good bit of time cursing my muse on this one...but then I realized that I'm not yet able to look this in the eye.

So this is all I have right now.  And it's enough.  

This poem wants a metaphor. 
A dramatic image of mother bear claws.
Penguin daddies incubating eggs on feet.
Momma birds regurgitating food in the name of love.

I want this poem to be my whole-heart warrior strength.
Want to watch that shit envelop pain and swallow it whole--
unhinge its jaw like a snake, see that bulge slide all the way down:
that's how it feels to swallow this.
This animal of burden I was never meant to carry,
was taught not to shoulder in case someone noticed -
we don't shoulder and carry, we swallow to bury
I told you:
there are no metaphors here.
Each word is truth that slashes my stomach like claws,
beats my heart faster than hummingbird wings
these words are not hyperbole
this is the reality that is living my skin into hopeful tourniquets
just trying to hold me together.

So hold me together. 

This story is not storybook:
no bear families on picnics telling tales of big love like mountains.
Not mother rabbits rescuing babies from the monsters in the dark,
it is not pastel pictures with gentle rhyme schemes
or bright primary colors with lilting prose.
Fuck metaphors.  
They are all broken.
I am not your mother,
and this page in our storybook is the one where you call me, 
laughing, till your voice trembles and breaks.
You ignore it.
And I let you.

There is no metaphor for the panes of glass you've built.
The way you've closed that hollow chamber you smile from,
let us watch the violence you pretend to be hiding:
my heart is bleeding from breaking down the glass you keep building.
I speak in measured phrases of love and practicality.
It's all I can find as the hourglass ticks away time, in my mind
I see you rosy cheeked at 5 years old  
and all I want is to ask you if you realize
life wasn't supposed to go this way
but I swallow questions.
My voice breaks.
I ignore it.
And you let me.

No comments:

Post a Comment