Tag: strong

poem: The Big Girl Pants

Not only were
the Big Girl Pants
chafing
obviously,
they were not effective.

So, i burned them –

along with every deluded thought
that i can get through
this awful crisis
alone.

In twenty hours
it will have been eight years
since he broke my life apart.

In the intervening time
i have ridden a wild roller-coaster
between loss and survival,
crumbling over and over
in anxiety and fear,
only to recover somehow
and find a way to move again.

My scars were visible
no matter how i smiled,
showing through all my clothes,
turning up
unbidden
in my art.

Today, the duality,
the paradox,
between the two beings
sharing the shell of my skin –
the artist who laughs,
jokes,
feels so blissfully alive
in the flow,
and the one who
is so distracted
broken,
afraid,
disjointed
and impractical –
shouts at me so loudly
it causes physical pain.

If i act as though i loathe myself,
i am lying;
if i act as if i love myself,
i am lying.
Neither extreme is truth.

The first testifies
to the worst parts of me,
the shaking shadow of a person
who cannot help but believe
the most loathsome things
that has ever been said
about me.
The second
gives voice
to a joy
that seems indestructible.

In various moments,
both have validity.
Neither aspect of me
can survive on is own.

One would blindly go on,
making art,
ignoring all the world
for such passion;
the other would destroy
my soul
rather than
accept
i am worth
supporting or loving.

Without your help
i will fall into utter ruin,
weakness or art
slamming me hard
against the rocks
until i break into pieces
too small to reconstruct.

The Big Girl Pants
did not work,
nor the education,
nor the ambition,
nor the self-hatred,
nor the vicious punishment

It leaves me exhausted.

Since being an adult
is a failed experiment,
all that is open to me
right now
is to think
of the little child
who was so lost,
marooned in this life
and and the things
that always saved her –
faith that help would come;
complete, awesome gratitude
for even the smallest acts of mercy;
unwavering dreams that gave her rope
when she was falling
so she even when she hit the ground
she was never totally destroyed;
and the foolish, unconquerable
ability to love,
even those who were cruelest,
opening her arms
at the first breath of kindness.

She made no plans,
she suffered but she always
found in her dreams
what she needed
to heal from the injuries
of temporary surrender.
Her love for life was enough
to keep her going,
waiting
for that next moment to pray,
that next small miracle
that would save her
for another few hours.

Screw being a grownup.
Let me have the faith
of that suffering child.
this belief in limitless possibility.
i can really do worse tonight.

8 december 2015

poem: a matter of posture

For so long
everything curved inward;
eyes gazed at the ground,
energy flowed
from the back of the neck
like a faucet,
lost in the ether.
Although protective in some ways,
this posture drained.

Spirit cannot soar
and cower
simultaneously.
The pain of contraction
lasted and lingered,
vanquished for a spell
here and there,
before the metal bindings
tightened
and the turning
drove in again.

i may have written
this poem before,
aware for a gleaming instant
of my potential
if i could straighten,
able to glimpse
like a mirage
or a falling star,
how my perspective
would change
if i stood tall
and looked unflinchingly
forward.

16 november 2015

poem: tempered steel

Tonight, i can feel
the tempered steel
underneath these undulating curves
and soft skin.

Often i am confounded
by the ocean of mood and emotion
constantly shifting
among my muscles and bone,
convinced that this variability,
longing and weakness
are more real –
for they cut into me –
they move with my blood.

His distress
and anger at my failings
pierced me so deeply
that they exposed the metal.

i forget how fierce i can be,
particularly in the midst of trouble.

i am strong enough
to get my point across,
to love with all my might,
to apologize for falling down
as i climb back up to standing.

This steel can bend like a blade
and snap back intro shape.

These moments of clarity,
when I see myself as what I am –
strong, resilient, even brave –
can help me survive
the worst troubles.

24 july 2014