“The Corpses of Unsaid Things” is live on my Instagram page. I have been toying with the idea of releasing my reading of poems; instead of merely doing a couple of video montages with an overlay of my reading, I wanted to develop the bravery of facing the camera while reading my poems.
This is my first time doing such a thing, and while I know I was extremely uncomfortable, and it is not an amazing performance, I am proud of taking this as an opportunity to attempt to face the camera (flaws, blemishes, and all) and share my words.
Usually, I cower when someone is reading my writing. It could be fiction, and I would still hide or pace when someone’s reading. I only ever had one reader I sat still for, and that was because I trusted him completely with my heart.
But now, I am so frightened about sharing my poetry as stated in “Fears and Submitting a Poem”, yet I am doing what I can to conquer that fear.
So, if I have any friends who are authors, spoken word poets, poets, public speakers, can you give me some tips? I would love to learn from y’all on how not to be afraid when reading your stuff out loud! Thanks in advance, but also, thanks for listening!
(Also, please, let me know what you think of the poem “The Corpse s of Unsaid Thin gs”.)
My handkerchiefs are stained as though I have been suffering tuberculosis all my life, but instead of blood staining the cotton a crimson Rorschach test,
it is the black of India ink.
She pressed a needle into my skin, and I think the color seeped into my bones. Now, I am fated to spill ink wherever I go.
My scribblings have found home with me (like shadows, like fireflies inside of a Mason jar).
Even when I was locked inside of a cellar, threatened with the rust of blood and the tarnish of my reputation, I carved poems into my mutilated flesh.
A dragon guarded my door, false love glimmering in his eyes (lust poisoning his tongue, naïveté curling around me
like a lonesome lover).
The taste of gasoline numbed my soul. and left me begging for an exorcism. (I never knew the Latin word for surrender, yet I pleaded with the demons for the fruit of knowledge
Desired for them to vacate this hollow body, but they traveled the miles to remind me.)
The more ink I spill, the softer their wailing becomes until their keening is their own elegy.
I will never forfeit these words again.
(I will not neglect them like a surrendered child because some call them an obsession.)
I might never shatter the walls of this foreign heart, but give me a fountain pen and I’ll wield it like a sledgehammer.
These love songs wallpaper my heart and smother my sleep.
(This insomnia takes the best of me and churns out poetry instead of rest.)
I know all the beauty the world has to offer, yet all I can do is shelter myself (in a cellar crafted of words).
I am stupid with love, my tongue too thick with desire to be profound. I’d give up every dream I ever dreamed to be with you (and to see what illuminates your eyes like moon).
I have buried myself in this tomb for too many years, and when I finally emerge, my words are bombs. We are starting afresh, and only roses & dreamers are allowed second chances.
I haven’t dreamed in years. This restless sleep haunts me and I wander these courtyards like a ghost. (In my memories, we drove for hours, your hand on my knee, humming the songs we loved.)
Tell me the grass is greener. I’ll gladly hop the fence to be with you, but tell me: will you still hold my hand on the other side?
Always keep me close even when I push you the farthest from me you could ever be.
My heart isn’t cold merely because it is distant. (The stars are how many miles away, yet they burn.) I haven’t dreamed in years.
I need you more than your witnessing eyes can see. Maybe perhaps once I visualize these things like you do, I can return to dreaming.
Like collaging layers of parchment on top of one another, I have buried myself underneath the rubble of trauma.
Like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon or a phoenix rising from its ashes, I am discovering my autobiography written in between lines of poetry
Every word I scribble in a frantic attempt to name a feeling that is beyond words is my way of sketching the rocket ship that will guide me back to my galaxy.
The sanitized version of reality is a bitter pill to swallow, but I see myself in the paint splatters and little messes she was so anxious to take a damp rag to.
(This is an imperfect work of art, lines crooked and acrylics splashing out of bounds. This is not something that will catch the eye of an art dealer.
This is my little mistake on canvas, but, you see, that inked-in star is home for me.)
I have spent years skirting underneath piles of paper, hiding from who I could be
but the truth is
I could be amazing if you listen to this autobiography. Who am I? I’m in media res, still in the progress of discovery, but I swear, even in the shattered mosaic bits, I, too, can shimmer.
I too can shine.
(It is because of your belief in mirrors and me that I can see the vestiges of beauty through the broken.)
This poem, written years ago, is about my personal relationship with depression. Inspired to post by Nicole Lee.
This monster reigns as king as heavy as an anvil (as visible as air).
It begs a fight when all I have wanted is peace. The bruises it leaves rot from the inside out.
The pain sears, yet the monster hides (cloaked in shadows).
It may lie dormant for years. When it wakes, blood drips from its teeth, snarling, seething, it searches for a captive.
It takes and holds me hostage. It is as toxic as fumes and as haunting as nightmares.
It begs a fight/when all I have wanted is peace.
I have calligraphied crib notes adorning my arm like a scripted tattoo.
Ink has always found a way through my bloodstream, inching its way through my veins.
I used to scribble unvarnished truths. (“A girl like me is God’s reject- she deserves Hell. Wings smoldering in the flames.)
Language that became the dialect of suffering. (The patois of pain.)
A flood of anger. A deluge of emotion. Words razored into memory.
I learned to speak the language of poets. Every feeling was a cipher (translated into code). The code was similes and metaphors.
(“My stained glass heart shatters when he takes what is mine and violates it.
Like filling voids- the empty even I didn’t know I had.”)
How do you articulate words that have been carved into you longer than you have been alive?
How do you say what has been emblazoned in your eyes since you stopped resisting what you could be?
(I want to stop looking at the smudged lettering tattooed on my skin and speak my mind. Shout my sins from the window sills.)
How do I tell you the profanities that have proven themselves to be a weapon are the very tools I need in which to survive?