Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Mundane Pride (Clarification of Terms)

You woke up this morning
And even though your body
Felt like it had suffered a small death
In the dark, sleeping hours
You got out of bed.*

*(Bed: A location to sleep or relax. A resting place that is no longer a resting place, but a battle ground. No truce or treaty tethers the ghosts that pace around the perimeter of its frame. Just the suggestion of a threat straining for closure and resolution to a too-long siege on memory.)

You took a shower
And even though the pounding water
Echoed panic, panic, panic
Can't you see the world is flooding*
Go back to bed
You stepped out, shook yourself dry
And were clean.

*(Flooding: Present participle of flood where present particles of water surge in a seeking wave. A wave searching for the presence of landmines left behind as reminders that your land will never be mine and my land will never be yours. No common ground. No soil to foster a peace.)

You got dressed
And even though your reading hands
Said there was too much here
Or too little here
Or this stretch of skin just won't do*
You put your clothes on with
A mundane pride.

*(Do: Past tense: Do not give in. Present tense: Do not give out. Future tense: Do not give up)

You made breakfast
And even though your appetite
Felt like a loss of control*
You ate.
You felt your food hit the bottom of your stomach
And took comfort in the solid sound of the reverberation.
You are not the dark center of the universe
You think you are.

(Control: Synonym: Denial)

You went to work
And even though
The frantic sound of typing fingers
Sounded like the lurid language
Of frenzied dragonflies whose
Vocabulary consisted only of the words
Not good enough*
You made it through.
You were good enough.
Even if it was just for today.

*(Not good enough - direct translation: Giving up all hope for a better future)

You went home.
Undeservingly exhausted
You crawled back into bed
Pulled the covers over your head
Made no promises for tomorrow.
You measure your lifetime in days now
And there are still hours* left in this one.
There are still minutes left in this one.
There are still seconds left in this one.
And every tick of the clock is a step forward
On the lifelong road to recovery.*

*(Hour: How I measure the moments when your stretch of presence doesn't stalk my memory)
*(Recovery: A mundane pride in re-establishing a routine to increase the amount of hours that I feel good enough; in redefining control; in doing more than saying; in not becoming overwhelmed by the flood; in brokering a ceasefire with the ghosts in my bed -- ending the too-long siege on memory)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This Black Body Pt. II

Black body an assumption
Black body an expectation
Black body a projection
Black body in the media
Black body violent
Black body a problem before it walks through
the door.

80% of black bodies graduate high school.
Record breaking
Still can't break stereotypes.

Black body collateral.
Black body disturbed the peace.
Black body gunned down in the street.
Black body a weapon.
Black body brokers peace treaty with blood.
Black body scapegoat sacrificed on the altar of racial pedagogy.

One black body killed every 28 hours
by people sworn to protect all bodies.

Black body unknown.
Black body featureless.
Black body homogeneous.
Black body blasphemous.
Black body never nuanced.
Black body seen in its entirety in one glance.
Black body doesn't measure up to Eurocentric standards of beauty.
Black body feels worthless.

Unnoticed black bodies develop eating disorders.
Black body can never starve itself of its color.

Black body alone.
Black body afraid.
Black body looking, looking.
Black body never found.
Black body lost.
Black body drowning in pools of shadow.

Black body absorber of light
Solar panel - Unpredictable, inconsistent, an unstable energy source at best
Black body absorber of light
Black hole - Collapsing, unescapable, kept at a cosmic distance
Black body absorber of light
Weeded out - Photosynthetic, artificial, fibrous, invasive species.

Black body blood-borne.
Black body tainted.
Black body carrier of biracial bug.
Black body transmits shame.
Black body inherits blame.
Black body a legacy of chains.

This black body trying to break free.
This black body a destroyer.
This black body trying to destroy assumptions.
This black body trying to defy expectations.
This black body trying to demystify projections.

This black body is trying.
This black body is trying.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

3 Ways to Use School as a Coping Mechanism (draft)

1. Establish a routine
   Get back into the swing of things
   Wake up Brush your teeth Take a shower Skip breakfast
   Get in your car
   Drive to campus
   Go to class
   Go to class
   Be late to class and hope your professor
   is only looking at you weird because
   you are late and not because
   she can smell the scent of
   undeserved tragedy wafting from you
   like a failed attempt at aromatherapy.

2. Read your textbooks out loud
   Practice drowning out the lo-fi
   Buzz of your self-deprecating self-talk
   By reading in a clear, even tone even
   While panic is pressing against the back
   Of your throat like a detonator
   Take pride in the fact that you can read
   About survivors of abuse and trauma
   As clinically as a doctor reading an MRI
   And preparing to relay a terminal prognosis of disease.

3. Go to lunch with your friends.
   Even if you're not actually going to eat lunch.
   Even if they're not actually friends.
   Even if they're just long-term acquaintances you've met
   From having so many classes with them
   Go to lunch.
   Listen to the things they talk about.
   Pay attention to the way they eat their food.
   Think about how there are seven billion people in the world
   All eating differently
   Talking differently
   Having lunch
   And realize how ridiculous it is for you to rationalize qualitatively
   That one person is greater than seven billion.