pain, anger, fear, loss
laughter, joy, love, hope.
I’m just saying,
there is much more to life,
much more than emotion.
freedom to be who we really are;
who we are when everybody else isn’t looking.
“men are stronger than women”
yeah of course.
it would be stupid to argue the fact that you can bench more weight than i
it would be stupid to deny that i like it when you carry me
of course you are physically stronger than women
but it would be stupid not to acknowledge there are several dimensions to strength.
and in some things, women are stronger than men.
strength is how your mother carried you for nine months, painfully gave birth to you and still gave you her whole life.
strength is how we bleed for seven days in a row and still go about our days as if nothing is happening
strength is having to deal with cramps; feeling like your lower abdomen is on fire, like the whole world is seated on your back.
strength is trying not to take offence when some cheap dumb ass on the street makes an insulting remark about your breasts.
strength is how everyday is a struggle
how everyday someone struggles to forget the fact that some guy did not need her permission to shove his penis down her vagina
strength is having to sit down and listen to your male friends say shit like men are better than women
strength is how you get so mad but still don’t slap them
strength is how you go outside and take a deep breath
and while you are outside, convince yourself that it is not their fault
how you pretend that you do not blame them for feeling that way
strength is how you try so hard to pretend that you are not upset
so you smile and pretend you did not take that personally
and hope that tonight;
when you cry yourself to sleep
when you pep talk yourself out of overdosing
when those suicidal thoughts come creeping in
when you compare yesterday’s and today’s entry in your journal and realize that there is not much progress
that maybe then you’ll understand its not their fault
that you are still such an emotional wreck
that there are days you wake up and you just hate men
that you still cringe when your best friend sits really close
that there are days you stifle a scream when you hug your male friends
when you realize that you probably won’t ever look at your male friends the same way again
because in just one short sentence, they made you feel so unsafe and nervous
and without even knowing it, they admitted to misusing their strength,
perpetuated this never ending cycle of gender-based violence.
so yeah, men are stronger than women
but maybe if you sat your tiny ass down
and did a little reading
you’d know its only so because you are to protect women and children.
they say the only way to get over someone is to get under someone else.
that the only way to get over something is to get busy. distract yourself.
well, this is my distraction.
my attempt to flee reality.
my source of happiness, temporary as it may be.
this is me clutching onto the last straws of what was my determination
a feeling i am beginning to forget
this is me tuning into that distance voice telling me to hang in there
when all i hear is shouts of defeat and pain
this is me hoping to be stronger than i feel
hoping that i can still hope
hope that maybe i am not as tired as i feel
that my feelings are exaggerated
that my pain is exaggerated
and that there are more painful things
more important things than pain
like writing this piece.
“i am so sorry”
i say for the umpteenth time
i want to stop apologizing
but i am scared
that you hate me now
for stepping on your toes
so i am sorry
please do not hate me
i want you to like me
i need them to love me
and i am sorry
that i feel so inadequate
that i need constant reassurance
“it’s no big deal. do not worry about it”
because i said i am sorry
i am sorry that i do not feel like you are over it
i am sorry that i do not feel forgiven
i am sorry for not feeling worthy of your forgiveness
so i am sorry
for saying “sorry” so many times
but would you please forgive me
because i am sorry
for being me
and i am sorry
that i am not sorry
for being me
just this morning, i was talking to my friend and she was telling me the way “finding yourself” is the most cliche activity known to mankind. and i was like,”you should though.” i know people who think that this is a rich-people thing. i honestly don’t know how i feel about that but this much i know, losing yourself is not a rich-people thing. take it from someone who doesn’t know who she is seventy- five percent of the time. and so i have been trying to rediscover myself and man, these things are hard. it is so back and forth. like one morning you know who you wanna be and what you will stand and most importantly not stand for, and then you go through the day disappointing the person you were in the morning. there are days i am so proud of myself and there are nights i cant even stand my presence. but that’s just my story, whats yours? anyway, so part of finding myself has been reigniting old passions. and so i thought i would do a poem; share a poem i wrote when i had no idea who i was. one of my dark-day poems. i am surprised its not as emotional as i thought it would be. so here it is..
OF LOST INNOCENCE
Teary eyes staring into space
Minds racing into the past
To a time before our souls were polluted
When we heard the good sense to turn away
And stay out of trouble
When our hearts were as cute as our faces
When we knew who we were.
Of a time we didn’t feel
When we didn’t fake smiles
Or force stubborn laughs
Hearts that didn’t love
Minds that remind us to hate
When hollow sounded right
And empty felt whole.
Before we traded our innocence for company
Voices that rung of defiant hope
Eyes that saw eternal light
Legs that knew the right paths to walk
Hands that were aware of who not to hold on to
And tongues that accurately represented our brains.
When the line between right and wrong hadn’t faded away
When pure dreams were our only fantasies
And sacrifice was for a better cause
Better than tearing down our souls
And ignoring the voices of reason
When our greatest sins currently rate as our saintly acts.
so i have been watching a lot of spoken word poetry lately and i thought i would give it a go. so hey people, introducing Clarie’s first ever spoken word poem…drum rolls please. anyway, here we go.
hey kid, i know what you are thinking
you’ve hit the girlfriend jackpot!!
pretty face, an away father, no overprotective brothers in the horizon.
slow your role dude,
there is a diabolical big sister in the background.
oh, did i mention her dad owns a rifle?
well, has access to one, but what difference does that make?
i know you don’t believe me
but you haven’t seen me
and when you meet my crazy hair, daunting eyes
how rarely my lips curve into a smile
you better not have second thoughts
because most people find me disturbingly intimidating
and yes, i have made it my life’s mission to intimidate you.
so when i ask what your name is,
i wont be listening to count the syllables
or what accent the letters fall upon
i will be fast forwarding to a time
when she walks into my house shattered
and i hope she doesn’t utter that name
and when i ask what god you believe in
i won’t be interested in whatever deity you ascribe to
none will do just fine
but when i let her walk you down the street
hold her hand like you’d cling on to dear life
and pray to that being you mumbled as your god
that he gives you the patience to respect her
that your brain will understand her when she says no
that above everything, you’ll be her friend
her go-to guy with good news
the shoulders she’ll cry upon when life throws her sadness and disappointment
the chest she’ll trust to fall asleep on when she has nightmares.
for me, make an ally of me and you’ll have an accomplice for life
which i must warn you will be a difficult battle
but i just might let you win
and here’s how you do it,
if i ever hear you promise to treat her like a princess,
kid, build that goddamn castle.
PS; my name is assumed to mean clear or clarity. i hope this threat, i mean letter, was one of those things to you.
to my nine year old sister, Crystal. i love you with every cell in my being.
to choose too look away
turn your back and never around
to lose the door and throw the keys
locking yourself in your pains
choosing to stumble in darkness
to hope to find your own light
to accept that a little pain is healthy
and a little distance is eye-opening.
to choose to put yourself first
to say no and pretend not to feel guilty about it
to hold back a helping hand
just once in a while, demand for something in return
a little respect, appreciation maybe
to look him in the eye and mean it when you say you don’t care.
to terminate all memories
trick your brain into believing you’ve forgotten
to wipe your tears and lie that’s its the last time you cry over bastards
deleting dutifully mastered contacts
to collect your wandering thoughts
redirecting them anywhere but to him
hysterically laugh yourself to sleep and yourself yourself that you’ll be stronger tomorrow.
to pick yourself and
to get things done and move forward
to force a smile and say, ” i am happy for you.”
waiting for time to validate that lie into the truth
to focus,or at least fixate on literally anything else
to tell yourself it hurts less even when it kills you
hoping against hope that someday it will be a distant memory.
to grow up a little
and love yourself more than him
to set that bar high
and settle for nothing else
to look before you fall
then fall with a little grace
and learn to take the joys and pains with a lot more maturity
for this too shall also pass.
some will tell you…
nourish your mind
speak fluent English
be good at something
have stuff that keeps you busy
hold your head high
maintain eye contact
say something witty
pay for your meals
don’t drink yourself silly
and others still…
lose a little weight
tone that skin
paint those lips
flash that smile
flip that hair
bat those eyelids
throw a bashful laugh
wear a little pink
hug that figure
rock that short dress
balance a pair of heels
never forgetting to…
drink a lot of water
eat cucumbers and salad
a little run, skipping maybe?
i’ll tell you…
know what you want
spare no expense to get it
and never settle for less
and while you are at it…
love yourself like your life depends on it
cause it does
and that might include…
balancing those heels
flashing that smile
you say something witty
nibbling on cucumbers
later, go for a run.
what the heck people??live your life!!!
Days like these feel wrecked
Expectations not met
Eyes welling up
Staring up at pregnant clouds
Impatient to birth their share of anguish
Regardless of the raining anger inside.
Days like these feel stupid
The voices of reason we ignored
The jerks we hoped would keep their word
The fantasies that kept us awake
Dreams we knew wouldn’t come true
Is it sleep or tears?
Days like these feel unappreciated
Emotions loaned to unworthy creditors
All broke and bankrupt
With no one to pay us back
Faces struggling to keep smiling
Lungs that gave up on breathing usury
Hearts tired of pumping pain.
Days like these feel lost
Beings with a meager sense of direction
At crossroads of broken dreams
A labyrinth of incapacitated self will
Entangled in our regrets and inabilities
Stamping our feet through hurts
Falling down to failures.
Days like these feel complete
Surrender to the mortality of our flesh
Embracing our wounded souls
Recurring needs of our insatiable spirits
Resigning to the frivolity of our existence
Destructive habits that just won’t quit
A vicious cycle of self-harm
The nonsensical nature of our humanity.
We speak in hushed voices
So as not wake our memories
Of the people we’ve become
And the virtues we’ve lost
Whispers of the roads not taken
Regrets of the ones travelled
Ghosts of the lives we’ve destroyed.
We tread in caution
Dreadfully avoiding previous paths
Fearfully calculating our every move
Forging into an unknown future
Struggling to forget our past
Doomed as we are to repeat it.
We touch with trembling hands
Scared to hold on to others
Protecting our fragile hearts
Hiding our bereaved souls
A desperate need to let go
Severing unbreakable bonds.
We cry in muffled screams
Alone in the cover of darkness
Fighting to stay strong
Taking control of weakness
Battling with untold pain
Unforgiving as the scars may be.
We live a breaking life
Deceive, adapt or transform
Either way we survive
Through facades or our true selves
Fight this war or dodge the bullets
It’s all a matter of choice
Ultimately it’s who we are