Monday, October 28, 2013

Poetry of a Survivor

I don't really want to say a lot about this poem. Over at http://dversepoets.com/ (on twitter as @dVersePoets) we were reminded this it is still Anti-Bullying Awareness Month, at least for a few more days. So that was what sparked this poem. Bullying is something I dealt with from ages 5 to 19. I went to Catholic Schools K-12th grade. So I didn't even escape my tormentors on the weekends. But kids aren't the only ones who bully. I've seen plenty of adults do it too.

Lyrics from the 1st stanza are from "Fatty" by Mung (also covered by the Street Dogs, which is how I actually found the lyrics. Lyrics from the 2nd & 3rd stanzas are from "Me, I am Anger" by Bryan McPherson. Lyrics from the 4th stanza are from "Make It Stop (September's Children)" by Rise Against; go find the music video, it will break your heart.

Let me know what you think.




Poetry of a Survivor

The lines were already drawn
as early as Kindergarten.
Forced to run from the popular girls
three times a day around the playground at recess.
Caught and I was shoved around,
down to the dirt.
They torture and this shit’s unkind
Everyone pointed and laughed.
I started getting stomachaches
three times a day, during recess.

The summer before third grade
the chasing game ended.
By then I was fat,
and ‘they’ never let me forget it.
Huddled by the crab apple tree
at the corner of the playground
my best friend and I tried to hide.
We were always found.
Do you remember me?
You’re the one who threw rocks at me in 1993.

Middle school brought new feelings,
and new ways to be tormented.
“You have a crush on Luke?”
“He’ll never like you, you’re too ugly!”
“You’re not his type, you’re fat!”
At home I hid behind my smile.
My best friend and I stuck together.
At church on Sundays
we dodged our tormentors.
Choosing the chapel entrance
we avoided the congregation
of the popular girls out front.
The cool kids are all walking
Like lions in their cage.

High school brought some relief.
Getting lost in the hallways was easy,
being short in a sea of students
hid me well.
I couldn’t hide
so well in the classrooms.
I tried to make myself small
walking in the door.
But as soon as I entered
the well dressed rich kids
started snickering, commenting
silently at first
then obviously so I could hear
about my chosen outfit,
my new glasses,
and how I carried my books.
I sat silently in my desk,
head down,
waiting to disappear into the halls again.
Make it stop
Let this end.

-----

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Energy

I love extremes: bright to blinding darkness, calm to crazy, sad to ecstatically happy. I like observing going from one extreme to the next. This is a poem that I've been wanting to write for a while now. The other day I think I finally got that spark I needed because of something that was said. So here ya go! Let me know what you think! Thanks!!


Energy

My favorite time to get tattooed
is late Tuesday morning.
At first, it’s just Mike and I.
The quiet hum of his machine
fills the calm space.
The other artists and their clients
trickle into the shop around noon.
The humming is overtaken
by a buzz of new energies.
We all talk and laugh
and the owner inevitably
turns up the volume when his and my
favorite band plays over the stereo.

A friend planted an image
in my thoughts the other day
of him, alone in his rehearsal space,
quietly replacing his guitar strings,
sitting in the calm energy
until his band mates arrive.
They talk expressively in Swedish
(which I imagine to be faster
and way cooler sounding than English).
The band starts rehearsing,
transforming calm energy into power.

In college I loved to sit
onstage in our theater
writing, doing homework, memorizing lines,
enjoying the quiet and calm.
My friends would trickle in
striking up conversation, hanging out, waiting for rehearsal,
until the space was filled
with voices, laughter, and electricity.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Words from the Streets

I've been listening to Louise Distras, Mark Lind and Frank Turner lately. Musicians who have come from working class backgrounds. So I'm sure that having their music pumping into my ears lately sparked this poem. Two quotes that I read recently that have been floating in my brain also prompted this poem.

"The words of prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sounds of silence." - Paul Simon

"I like people with depth, I like people with emotion, I like people with a strong mind, an interesting mind, a twisted mind, and also someone that can make me smile." - Anon

The title was inspired by the Casualties song "Sounds of the Streets" which is also about the working class.

I hope you like it! Let me know what you think! Thanks!!


Words From The Streets

Running on a treadmill,
between songs on my iPod
the music playing in the gym
sneaks its way into my head.
Some new 15 year old pop sensation
sings about “the big Gs”
and “the honeys all around.”

I walk through the streets of my town.
Two musicians play reggae
on the corner
and my feel naturally move
in time to their rhythm.
I stop and listen,
smile, snap a picture with my phone,
wave at them and move on.

Out on the trails in the city
music from working class musicians,
singing about their struggles and hardships
feed into my head.
I sing along,
throw my head side-to-side
violently while I jog,
not caring, actually kind of hoping,
that others could be listening.
I stop under the highway bridge
to read the spray-painted-on poetry,
You have to struggle
You have to fight
You have to win!
I smile, nod my head,
re-energized I run
with a renewed passion
to take on the world.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Observations

One thing that I think punk rock does so well, especially Celtic Punk, is to bring out the beauty in the less-than-pretty aspects of our world. The punk world lost a legend today, Phil Chevron of the first Celtic Punk band the Pogues passed away from cancer. This poem, if I can, I would like to dedicate to him and the music he left with us.

Song lyrics are from "Fork in the Road" by Brutally Frank.



Observations

It’s almost a clich√© scene:
bright blue cloudless sky,
perfect green grass,
flowing water bouncing off rocks,
a girl laying on a bench,
notebook open, pen scrawling away.

What’s less clich√©
are the sounds streaming through my headphones—
a 3-piece, fast paced punkabilly band screaming
Get me out of this fucking hell—
and the thoughts running through my head.

These thoughts are of the less pretty,
yet more intriguing sights,
on my way to this pristine park.
The plate with the stubbed out cigarette butt
abandoned in the alleyway behind a restaurant.
The seemingly hastily drawn face
on a peeling orange post
which I stopped and contemplated for 3 minutes.

Dancing water jets spew out of concrete
and draw me back to the here and now and
to the eternal question I face
as a poet, an artist, a human:
How do I rectify the beautiful and the not too pretty,
and fit them into one?

The white caps in the river, their power,
catch my attention,
they compliment the pounding drum beats,
marrying my auditory and my visual.
I’m reminded again that sometimes
I need to stop searching
and just observe,
and write down the experience.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Silence


Silence

I’m the girl whose acoustic playlist
consists of others’ ‘get-up-and-go’ music.
But lately I’ve been craving,
peace,  stillness, silence.

Crowded city streets,
bumper-to-bumper traffic
flowing at all hours.
The non-stop jabber of interns
gathered right outside of my office.
Two reports in two days
of gunmen rampaging in public.

Home is quiet, calm.
I turn off my computer,
silence my phone,
don’t even bother with the television.
I lay & read on my couch
until I fall into a restless sleep.