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poetry

The Balance

I watched everything hang in the balance
On a Tuesday night
I watched as people screamed and shouted
Over my people’s rights
I watched the numbers climb and climb
In a fight between blue and red
Right then, I wished to be a million miles away
Or just tell everyone I’m dead
I can’t think of world where I can’t love
In the way people think is wrong
I can’t live in a world where everyone’s stripped of rights
And the majority just move along
For we will always have that little voice
That asks, “what about me?”
And until that little voice is answered
We are never “free”
So, tonight I watch my life hang in the balance
Between parties of red and blue
And I wish I was wise enough
To know exactly what to do

***

There is nothing more terrifying than watching other people fight for control over one’s life. This poem was made in early November, as one might’ve guessed, and I believe it still applies now. After all, is the battle ever truly over when more sides wait in the wings?

Categories
poetry

Heart Size

How is it possible

To want to be so big and so small

At the same time?

To be so large that I encompass the world

And so small the world never sees me

How is it possible that I want my heart to be so big

But it’s always three sizes too small?

Or one size too large?

***

I fear by writing an explanation it will succeed the length of the poem itself. It was created at that timeless hour when I can still see light long after the sun has set, and perhaps also after watching a sad movie. Melancholy is a creative force like no other.

Categories
poetry

The Way I Am

Sometimes I’m a trickster

Whose eyes are filled with glee

Sometimes I’m a beggar

Asking for anything to be

Sometimes your heart is mine

And sometimes I am yours

Sometimes I jump through windows

Because I can’t get through closed doors

Sometimes I’m so ugly I hate mirrors

Because they reflect my goblin face

Sometimes I just grimace at my reflection

Because I think I have no taste

I can carry the world on my shoulders

But one more person, and I might break

I shout random things that hurt others

Then cry for self-pity’s sake

Sometimes I want to sleep for days

Then get up only to live through one more

Sometimes I’m wealthy

And other times I’m poor

Sometimes I marry a murderer

And sometimes you’re my princess bride

Sometimes I create things

To help the others hide

I’m a girl to society

And a person to myself

I can break a wrist in seconds

But will always cry for help

I write words on my skin until the pen bleeds

Only to have them disappear tomorrow

Sometimes it hurts to breathe

Because my heart’s so full of sorrow

But I know that no matter what I am

Whether goblin god or tree

You’ll always smile

And stay beside me

***

Apologies and a bag of chips to all who noticed I didn’t post this Friday! My schedule has kept me busy and I haven’t gotten a good paragraph of writing for ages. This is an older poem, a more intense poem, but it still makes sense poem. Overall, it has a sweet message. I promise to get something out once I enter the eye of the hurricane that wasn’t written ages ago.

Categories
poetry

The Greenroom

There’s no place like the greenroom.

There’s no place to sit

There’s no place to stand

We’re packed in

Touching hand to hand

I grab a chair and listen above

Hearing the chatter of the audience I love

While a fairy does her makeup

And the queen laughs with the men in black

Who stay back

To make sure we shine

And the hour is mine

There’s no place like the stage.

And the rushing and pounding rage

My heart goes into every time I take my place

Every time I stood with painted face

I remember my makeup man’s smile

And my mother’s proud grin

I remember the laughter of the crowd

And the music’s little spin

There’s no place where the air is thick with art

And the words we recite live in our heart

There’s no place where even empty rooms are filled to the brim

There’s no way to make that audience applause dim

Because there’s no place like the greenroom.

The home of the actors.

The home of the performers.

The home of the stagehands.

The home in my heart.

***

I’ve mentioned a greenroom in several of my poems (shared or otherwise), because the setting marks the beginning and end to a chapter in my life. A chapter that made me grow and adapt as a human being, and a chapter that I both cherish and loathe. I will always remember my time backstage and on stage, and the lovely people I met. I couldn’t describe accurately the feeling of either, yet I try through rhyming word. Enjoy.

Categories
poetry

Little Dancers

When I was younger, I never saw the bags under their eyes

Or the laces sometimes frayed

I never saw the knots in their shoulders

Or the hair that sometimes strayed

From buns and ponytails kept neat and trim

At the base of their elegant necks

I never saw the wrinkles in their leotards

Or the secrets they tried to protect

Spins and leaps fascinated me

In a way I cannot write

Because to me, they were beautiful

Dancing from day to night

With a padebure and a grand jete

They glid right through the air

Sometimes dancing to the instructor’s voice

And sometimes without a care

When there weren’t pointe shoes

They were contemporary slips

When there weren’t jazz boots

There were taps with steel tips

And I can still remember my sense of awe

In seeing a dancer take their pick

I can still remember the pounding of the music

As they performed an elaborate trick

Yet I never saw the bruised feet

And the aching souls that came

To relieve the tension of the outside world

Because we all feel the same

They were artists and orchestrators

And music was their love

They danced across the wooden floors

As if they came from above

And now, I look at the children who sit

Right next to the studio’s door

And think how they never see mistakes

Or trip-ups on the Marley floor

One day they’ll dance alone

With pointes and slips and taps

And know that we come here every week

To avoid reality’s traps

For now, they watch with open mouths

Eyes wide when I come down from my tips

And as the music stops and we all pause

A smile forms on my lips

For little dancers don’t know the sorrow

That awaits them as they age

For now, they just know the older dancer’s steps

And the glory of the stage

***

I’ve devoted more than half of my life to dancing, from hip-hop workshops to years of tap classes to national competitions. I remember feeling extremely insecure when I was younger about my movements and image, and always looked towards the older dancers for an example. Now, as an older dancer, it is strange to see the children who crowd around the door to watch us perform. It brings back a sense of déjà vu and nostalgia, if I am using those terms correctly. As I recommend martial arts, I recommend dance. Sometimes, there is very little difference.

Categories
poetry

The Countdown

One step in

Two inches down

Three times I wished

To just let myself drown

Four lines written

Five lines said

Six people screaming

And emphasizing my dread

At seven the apathy sets in

At eight it takes its fill

Nine times I felt strong

Strong enough to kill

Ten ways I can say I love it

Nine times it heard it wrong

At eight, it heard it right

And now it’s long gone

Seven days of feeling empty

And six of missing you

Sometimes I hug my pillow

Just hoping to get through

Five more months of never touching

Four more weeks of wearing masks

Three more days until it resets

So maybe we can sit at a table for two

But that’s just one estimate

***

I have an obsession with number-based poetry, whether consecutively written or just dealing with math. Perhaps this explains my affinity for Harry Baker and simple melodies, because their numbers are always what I can count on. Plus, it combines the childlike yet methodical counting method with bitterness, much like Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Ah, one hopes for the density of the population to decrease, both in numbers and minds. Perhaps this poem wouldn’t exist if such a thing occurred.

Categories
poetry

The Orchestra

It started with a single note

A single glance

A single step in the right direction

The wrong direction

It was a quirk of lips

A spasm of the brow

Which just jumbled up the melodies

Until we became an awkward duet

Not entirely unpleasant

The flat tones of the bass rang out

The flutes began to trill warning signals

I was already long gone

It continued with a text

Another measure

Another line

Another rest

The violin’s concerto still rips my soul

As I waited for the little black notes to begin again

As I waited for the rest to end

The silence to end

After that, it was the brass

And the winds

Shrieking

Warning

Sliding up and down scales

As my mind slid up and down

Up and down

Up and down

Until the cymbal crash sounded

And I thought it finished

Three measures later

Two octaves lower

The bass began anew

I can still hear it sometimes

Even when the broken flute chimed

I still listened

Even when the trumpet took the flute’s place

I still stayed

Beethoven wallowed

Mozart shrieked

Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich ranted

But I burned

What went from three melodies became four

Then six

Then twelve

Until I couldn’t keep up

Until every measure of silence stole breath

Until I couldn’t speak

The music never came to an abrupt stop

The cymbals didn’t crash again

The ending melody wasn’t raised an octave then lowered respectively

The music came to an end when the broken flute uttered one last line

With the musician out of breath

And the notes wavering like a whisper

And only one of us survived the finale

Only one of us remained in our seats

And it wasn’t me

***

A longer poem, but it’s a longer story. It feels stupid to continue to pull memories from this time, but my creativity knew no bounds more than a year ago. And I can’t express my utter surprise when I had my time epiphany. To think! A year ago this orchestra played and half of that time later I left that symphonic concert. Ah, well. There are better concertos out there.

Categories
poetry

A Million Things

I’ve been told that my mouth will get me into trouble

That my attitude will leave me wanting

That my words will leave me lonely

And my smile makes me too smart for my own good

I’ve been told that my heart will leave me friendless

My body will leave me jobless

And my choices will leave me optionless

Unless I take the path they expect

My fists make me crazy

My mind makes me intimidating

My eyes make me pretty

But the rest of me makes up for that last one

I’ve been told a million things

About how wicked this world is to people like me

But if I can see you smile when I share my mind

Or my mouth

Or my heart

Then the rest of the world won’t mean a thing

***

I am terribly sorry to my readers for the deterioration of my poetry and my lack of creativity streak. As many a writer and artist would know, when the muse doesn’t hit, the creation isn’t formed. However, I bring you a sweet little love poem laced with some unintentional bitterness about my little goblin. I immensely enjoy this writing scheme, and hope when lovely Inspiration peaks her head out again from the darkness, she’ll grace me with a couple more verses.

Categories
poetry

Worthless

I’m not worth a grain of sand

Or a drop of time

I’m not worth the tears that trickle down your cheeks

As you get caught up in my rhyme

My hands are greedy and my eyes are wide

With all that I want and feel and see

But at the end of the day it’s all meaningless

Because I’m hopelessly free

The little pain in my heart reminds me

That I’m not worth my mirror’s gaze

The symphony in my head

Is better than its theater’s craze

I’m not worth the ground beneath my shoes

Because I’m mean, shrewd, and loud

I’m not worth the masks upon my wall

Because I always come out too proud

One day, I’ll live a million miles away

So I can cause no one further grief

Whether it be over my physique or mouth

Or unorthodox belief

I’ll live underground and get a gondola

Living off the rats and stew

But I could never, ever imagine

Living without you

***

People are inherently selfish creatures, as the Machiavellian principle goes. I once read about a man who suffered from both critically low self-esteem and a God complex, which I sometimes reference because it’s darkly humorous. After all, don’t most people feel worthless? Yet we still want, and we still hope and we still dream. That makes humankind either incredibly optimistic or hopelessly blind.

Categories
poetry

Coney Island

Soft sand and bleak land

Is where I want to be

But seagull cries as someone dies

Often confused me

I’d stand there with my little love

Holding out hope that from the above

They’d get their heart and soul

And I’d collect mine back

From the same shadow that leaves a muddy track

On the steps of my front door

Forefront in my mind

Sometimes I’ll slow dance

If the music’s right

Flute plays on grey days

Without bright light

And he stands miles away

Minutes from my eyes

And watches the couple

As one cries

The other stands closer

Bare feet with rare pace

Soul and heart marked with empty grace

And in his face, I see a sorrow

One I’ll think about tomorrow

Because for now, I’m dancing

Two by two

Both of us without shoe

And the ocean’s blue

As I whisper a song into your ear

“I wish you were here”

***

The title, a reference to both a Death Cab for Cutie song and an obscure novel. The song in the poem, a reference to a Pink Floyd ditty. There’s a special place in my mind that holds this little fantasy, and sometimes it makes me smile to think that it may come to fruition, absent of the onlookers, of course. Who doesn’t love a good alternative rock reference?