They say the pen is
mightier than the sword, but
you write in pencil.
They say the pen is
mightier than the sword, but
you write in pencil.
Sometimes, there is poetry in everything I see,
everything I breathe.
Images become words
that blend together and become prose.
Tree trunks so damp they look charred,
a wet Brown that climbs upward,
boosting Reds and Yellows
until they have enough reach to touch Blue.
And then I stop breathing.
Pulled from my pretension.
My overly romantic reverie,
to notice, startled
a wasp nest hanging above my head.
I pass it quickly
that I may still be able to find myself
in nature once again.
But it’s too late now,
and I’ve already gone too far.
I can no longer hear the whispers of the wasps
as I leave them far behind.
The train rattles along the tracks
like a great steal snake skimming the horizon
to slip into its many nests.
Station to station.
I look out the window and see
light grey clouds,
a seraphic halo
their feathery underbellies.
it is the perfect moment
and then for others, I realize
it is not
Before my mind can meander to another’s,
I bring my own form of cerebral transportation
to a shrieking, stuttering stop.
For almost thinking about being someone or somewhere else.
For taking that perfect moment away from myself.
This is written to the generation of nostalgia,
the 90s kids that revel in our infinite childhoods,
and our “superior” cartoons.
To the kids that had a promising future,
only to arrive in that future to find
that the promise had been broken.
To the kids who are no longer kids on the outside
but will always be kids on the inside.
Because the older generations fucked us up good with phrases like,
“That’s not a real thing.”
“Well, we didn’t have that in my day.”
“Oh, everybody feels that way.”
Trivializing our experiences with mere words.
But now that the same words that we were told were “made up”
can be found in the dictionary,
and now that we know how awful it is
to live with anxiety and depression,
isn’t it understandable why 90s kids don’t want to grow up?
That they might want to remain in the 90s?
That they want to live in fantasy worlds?
Cartoons, books, the internet,
and other such distractions?
That they want to keep their heads down,
eyes glued to their screens,
trying to learn about this new world,
finding others like them
and enacting positive change
while the older generation scoffs
at some long-distance face-timing taking place,
before they isolate themselves
by mouthing something along the lines of,
“Remember the Alamo?”
“We had to walk to school
in the snow
broke my legs and had to crawl…
But I still made it!”
They will tell you
you are lazy for not finding a job after completing college.
Even though they said you were the brightest star back in elementary school.
And they will tell you
they just didn’t do that back in their day so it’s hard to change now,
even though you were the generation that had to experience
more change than any other in such a small amount of time.
And yet they will tell you
that you are the generation of complainers.
That they clawed their way up and don’t see a reason you can’t too,
even though their uphill travels included a lot more foliage to latch onto if they lost their footing.
(Because in the back of their minds they’re also telling themselves the damage they’ve done to the environment will be the next generation’s problem.)
But they are wrong.
We are not the generation of complainers,
the technology obsessive.
We are the generation of nostalgia;
All in our childhood,
we went from cord phones
to flip phones
And did you know that it was made of the same stuff that got us into space?
And doesn’t a space ship suit your hand when you yourself are made of stardust?
At what point can I check the “Other” box,
on all those exams and important docs?
How many microaggressions does it take
to change the image of me, that I did make?
“Are you Arabic? Indian? Are you maybe Asian?”
“Are you, perhaps, Muslim?” despite that being a religion.
“Is your daughter that tan all year round?”
“Hablas español, bella?” with a look that says, “You get around.”
How many times must I hear that my skin is “exotic”
before I learn my body, the commodity, is something erotic?
When will I answer the, “Where are you from?”s
with what they really want to know, instead of acting dumb?
“I was made right here, in a town in the good ol’ U.S. of A.”
And they look at me strange and I wonder at what I didn’t say.
They want to know my background. They want to be privy to my race.
They want details on my religion. They want to match em with my face.
I’m afraid that I’m too light to checkmark the “Other”s
because I know I’ve got more privileges than I’ve got bothers.
But I’m dark enough that it apparently matters for some folks to ask,
so I won’t let it go unnoticed and I won’t let it pass.
I’d like to take a moment to discuss a global crisis,
a plea to the people who blame Muslims for ISIS.
You see, we involved ourselves in the affairs of Iran, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
For the sake of oil, we changed their government and didn’t expect them to attack us back.
This older generation might have lived in a time when America was a hero.
But the newer generations know that the current credit score is at zero.
We’re still plagued with hate, homophobia, racism, fear,
problems, people say, aren’t even there.
Things, people say, that don’t even matter,
while they want to find someone to blame
and put a minority’s head on a platter.
History repeats itself.
The “Don’t tread on me!” snake.
The U.S. eats itself.
Ouroboros, bites into its own tail for nobody’s sake.
Because it’s the same rhetoric, time and time again.
It’s basic goddamn Hitler politics, and we’ll blame whoever we can.
The Black communities, The Muslims, The Jews, The Mexicans.
While they’re heads sit on that platter, their bodies shoulder the blame.
But America, the younger generation knows this tactic well and it puts us to shame.
We’re a country of immigrants. A country of the displaced,
the downhearted, the lost, and the disgraced
that we’ve made this country forcefully embrace.
We pried this country’s arms into reluctantly accepting us
and now you want to reject others for the same reason?
Well, I’d say that checking your privilege is a must.
Did you forget the struggles of your very own ancestors?
The blood, the tears, the sweat, and the blisters?
That’s why I’m putting my foot down,
I’m announcing a very serious call to arms.
To keep our fellow vagrants safe, to keep them from harm.
You don’t have to do much, just hold them open and wide.
Because, contrary to popular belief, we don’t have to take a side.
It does less damage to just let people in.
At least I’d rather do that, than let the terrorists win.
I walked down the street,
the sun before me,
guiding my feet.
When a silhouetted form approached.
A blacked-out boogyman,
lumbering ever closer.
That instilled fear inside every young girl
as I looked down and held my breath.
We began to draw nearer,
and my heart readied itself to pass.
My feet have already been told
to make the moment fast.
But when the figure came in full view,
my shoulders dropped, their tension lost.
This person was less than a man by one limb.
To the wind all caution was tossed.
We passed by each other, side by side.
Her presence was a comfort, as I took it all in stride.
I dipped my head and smiled, and she did so too in turn
and suddenly I wanted the moment to last a while,
her company, now something to yearn.
“I’ve seen the devil!” James cried,
without a doubt, spreading, unbelievable lies.
“Sure you did, pal,” His friends reached for his stash,
and they began to regret sharing, with him, any of their hash.
James pulled the bag closer and continued his rant.
And still they pleaded for silence, “Oh my god. We just fucking can’t.”
“When he’s angry his skin changes from white to red!
And all that leaves his mouth is bad bad bad bad bad!”
James carried on, unashamed to be seen,
pointing to the figure on his television screen.
“His hair is so wispy, so thin, like a flame!”
Annoyed, his mates said, “That’s just Donald Trump, James!”
James shook his head, absolutely convinced
that his friends were all possessed by the dark prince.
James got up and left without another word.
Despite all the drugs, he thought, he should have been heard.
Your life is yours
and my life is mine
and that’s how it should be
all throughout time.
And if you should ever
take from me this right,
you’ll find yourself awake
in the middle of the night.
My side of the bed: empty
and exceedingly cold
as it was something that I,
myself, had foretold.
Because I was not cruel enough
to let you believe
that you had possessed
all that was me.