Thursday, August 30, 2012

#15 half way done

Freak Show

what's it to you, mister?
staring at me like that
like i'm some kind of freak

who cares that i wear my heart
hanging right round my neck
a big bloody trophy
that my skin is scarred with them
self-made wounds
i'm a self made creature!
with my tale writ large

do you really give a fuck that my back sprouts wings
out of the cartilage thin fierce whirs

what's it to you old man?

i'm fish scales and goat hooves and claw feet and cat tails
i'm teeth and i'm flesh and i'm hair in the places
you didn't approve
i'm your greatest night mare and the thing you want to possess
a sideshow in a cage
a trophy on your wall

in another time and place they'd give me a different name my friend
they'd call me goddess
they'd call me artist
they'd call me woman


  1. The song that this needs as soundtrack, "Lies of the Beautiful People" by Sixx AM

  2. Metamorphosis

    What is the meaning of change?

    I got great marks on my
    Essay on poor Gregor
    Samsa, and I like
    To reference Ovid
    In post-modern, feminist,
    Poems about girls
    Learning how not to be
    Broken, or to broken
    And keep breathing in.

    I can give you Intellectualism,
    Abstraction, symbolism,
    Clever allegories about;

    Girls like roses,
    The vulnerability of winged things,
    The beauty of something as
    Fragile as breath,
    About Leda and Persephone and
    Rape and female agency and
    The anthropomorphic
    Personification of brutal
    Masculine power in the bull,
    The swan, the flaming chariot,
    The shower of gold.

    I am listening to songs
    About change.
    How do I remake myself
    Without a wish for you
    Inside me?

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  4. When you were a child you pulled the wings off a moth
    I shuddered, you called me a dork and ran off
    I promised to never show you my wings

    We grew up and met again
    You said I was beautiful and pulled me into an embrace
    I remembered the moth and shuddered,
    you believed I was falling in love
    so began our tangled dance

    I was deathly afraid you would see my wings
    and kept dreaming of that day with the moth
    The poor thing twitching helplessly in your grasp
    your cruel wicked fingers taking everything away
    I imagined the day you would find my wings
    and dreamt that I was the moth in your hands

    But your eyes were so kind and you spoke of sweet things
    I felt ashamed for thinking of you ripping me apart
    ...but eventually you found my wings, and you tore them out
    leaving nothing but flightless nubs and a broken me

    I blamed myself for the pain, growing sullen and bleak
    taking to put back together the things you broke

    Now I am whole though my wings feel the twinge of pain
    and my heart has a fortress to protect it against cruel little boys
    that never grow up and insist in destroying what they cannot understand...

  5. we are all born of the same mother
    who feeds us glasses of apple juice,
    cuts our grilled cheese in traingles,
    reads red riding hood and sleeping beauty
    from tall, thin books with thick pages
    and she waits for our soft skin to
    thicken like the pages in our story books,
    so she can send us off to kindergarten
    where we learn to walk and to fly
    and they tell us to reach for the clouds
    some of us try and fall and live the
    rest of our lives playing in hot dirt,
    building our houses with mud and straw
    some of us climb uninhabited mountains
    so we can live in silence with trees
    and the birds and talk to god
    while the rest shrug off their wings,
    walk on sidewalks next to tall buildings
    and in parks holding hands
    pretending to talk to each other

  6. 15. gypsy

    when i was a baby
    gypsies dropped me off on a stoop in brooklyn
    a woman lived there, she
    had a habit of nurturing wayward girls
    (this is what the boy told me
    he was sweaty and wore a sinister smile
    he liked to see me cry)
    she already had two daughters who
    looked like fairy princesses, all
    peaches and cream complexions and
    eyes like rare gems
    what would she do with this scowling little
    cafe con leche? eyes like black holes
    sucking in the world
    atom by atom

    she kept me
    loved me
    fed me
    resisted the urge to succumb to her own pain
    so that i could experience joy
    the princesses never let on that i was different,
    but i felt it
    i hid under tables at parties, i
    lost myself in the wonder of music, i
    wrote stories about teddy bear families, i
    painted my face with my sisters' pale foundations and
    wondered why they never blended
    (just a chalky mask)
    i loved to dance, the only way my body felt useful
    some found this enchanting, others
    found it almost as threatening as my
    why aren't you beautiful as they are? asked
    my classmates
    if you looked like them, i would kiss
    you i would accept you i would not throw food
    at you if you didn't look like such a beast
    they said this yet they ate my birthday
    cake and cheated on tests with my papers i
    had the answers yet they had the power
    this was not right

    (those boys didn't know much about magic, just
    court jesters juggling their balls to
    give everyone a giggle)

    i dyed my ink black hair
    it just looked like brass
    my skin, tarnished
    my fat, spreading

    (i thought gypsies were supposed to have powers.
    where were mine?)

    i could not tell fortune or predict pain, but
    i could somehow absorb it
    all that suffering, every
    anguished wail buried itself under my skin
    a sideshow freak
    they all gathered around my cage to watch me contort
    and writhe in pain
    i wished i could call upon my ancestors and curse these onlookers
    they pelted me with pennies they
    clapped and cheered
    roared for more agony
    and when i thought i could take no more
    my beautiful sisters gifted me with beautiful
    you were not left on a doorstep, they
    whispered through the bars, sweet words
    that only i could hear
    it did not stop the pain, but
    the pain became more bearable

    i was born into chaos, burdened
    with this curse
    i was not beautiful to most, nor
    will i ever be
    but i have my mother's eyes my
    father's lips my
    grandmother's belly (even when it makes me
    angry i recognize its importance)
    my family's resilience
    we are all magical.

  7. Feather

    Something like six
    hundred million years ago
    (my math isn't very precise)
    no one of us had skin
    and the heartbeat we shared
    with the earth came in raindrops
    until some time later
    some of us grew shells
    some carapaces
    some of us grew spines
    that spilled out of our backs
    and tufted into feathers
    which deflected the rain
    and air so we could fly.

    So those of us who remain grounded
    with muddy feet
    envy the winged us
    though it makes no sense to hate
    ourselves; after all, we're just
    bits of lightning and dirt
    with an occasional glittering green eye
    waiting for our turn with the feather
    after the common puddle heart welcomes us back