I am the miracle
Survival was never guaranteed
Living a life to please everyone
And never yourself isn’t a pretty one
When you give away pieces of yourself to everyone you meet
You start to realize the Jenga puzzle your bones are becoming
You start to write rules to save your own life
Start hiding in your head and learn
That you do not have to share everything that is beautiful
Many have begun to smell the construction on my breath
Say I have a new glow
A different walk about me
That I don’t seem so low no more
I have learned the art of handing over myself
Back to myself
If I live this life 100 more times
98 times I will have been indecisive
Stuck between a heart the size of Mt. Everest
And my self preservation
Loving everyone with no reciprocation
Can burn you
It can cause you to believe that no one will stay
That there are no afloat boats in this water with you
You look at everyone like a walking Atlantis
A secret sinking beauty
And you wrap yourself in notebook paper so your skin becomes your verse
So that you no longer have to explain your pushing away or up and leaving
Your face will be your testament
But instead of believing in the leaving in people
You remember that love is how you survived it all
That when you tried to slip through real friends fingers
They clenched their hands tight in attempt to hold on to every broken piece of you
You are the survivor you have learned the lesson
It sounds like a saxophone being choked by Soulja Boy.
Reminds me of my inability to cook well.
Of carnival goldfish unaware of death.
Rusted pipes screech for water.
The CD skips, and voices are on play for the sake of play.
Even the popcorn has too much butter.
Unicorns & jackalopes lurk invisibly.
I doubt myself as if I were God,
and forget it all like a dream.
Ingredients: 1. Three things you stress out about. 2. Five things/skills you do not have, but want. 3. Five sounds you hate. 4. Three animals that scare you. 5. Five small things that annoy you. Here’s what we’re going to do. Title the poem with a moment from #1. For example: When The Phone Goes Three Days Without Ringing or After You Lose Your Job or When Your Lover Moves Away or When I Got Spanked For What I Didn’t Do… Then let the next lines be guided by this title and go! Include as much of your others lists as possible.
1. Three things you stress out about.
2. Five things/skills you do not have, but want.
3. Five sounds you hate.
4. Three animals that scare you.
5. Five small things that annoy you.
Here’s what we’re going to do. Title the poem with a moment from #1. For example: When The Phone Goes Three Days Without Ringing or After You Lose Your Job or When Your Lover Moves Away or When I Got Spanked For What I Didn’t Do…
Then let the next lines be guided by this title and go! Include as much of your others lists as possible.
Name something or someone you don’t want in your life anymore.
Write down the last time you saw this person or enacted this behavior. Finish this line: If I live this life 100 more times, 98 times I… Compare this something/someone to an animal and place it in the body Finish this line: I am the miracle I have survived….
Write down two lessons you learned from this person or behavior.
List three ways it would be completely unrealistic to deal with this something or someone
Write down the last time you saw this person or enacted this behavior.
Finish this line: If I live this life 100 more times, 98 times I…
Compare this something/someone to an animal and place it in the body
Finish this line: I am the miracle I have survived….
To My 5-year old Self and the Rest of Holy Trinity’s Kindergarten Class” by Nabila Lovelace (Prompt #1)
The quietest kid in class will have the most furious pen you have ever seen
He will echo like valley
And will have an imagination that is louder than his mouth
He is sky
He is love before it learns sex
He is love at first sight for real
5 years old
Spreading glue on hands just to peel it off
Mrs . Rothlesburg would always tell you stop
She doesn’t remember that 5 years old
Begins the urge to want to shed your skin
And this is the closest you will ever get to it
The life ahead of you is one to look forward to
But live like you are now
Learn to build a house out of yelling and a home out of anything
Including the silence between good and bye
Craft house out of your lonely
Carve it into the corners when you face the wall for timeout
Remember it when you are old and not as filled with joy and love as you are now
You will have to contort your body into a home
You are all Ocean powerful
Walk like you’re a mansion
And don’t be willing to let everyone in
People like to tear down what they know is strong
Humans have a funny habit of tearing down what is beautiful
Bandaids do not heal all wounds but don’t live your life in fear of taring
Live like you know nothing of falling or failing
You are the height of beanstalks
The quietest boy in this class will go on to hear out the world
He will listen to the whirring between subway cars
Know the difference between wind and breath
He will hear the prayer of the night in the cricket chirp
Hearing all can harden a person
I ask you stay nimble and fresh like clay
Love will hurt
Life be’s like that sometimes
Life be scattered all over the floor sometimes
Learn the trick of moving on without the cheesy song dedications or popular music of a love bashing era
“Love can teach you if you let it”
Mrs. Rothlesburg will not teach you that
But she will treat you all like her children
No matter how many absent nights, remember your mother
There is power in friendship
There is healing in speaking
The streets of NY are heaven
When you miss it
Close your eyes
Life is a motherfucker.
It’s loaded with bullshit & occasional diamonds.
There is love, hate, and blue balls (lots of it).
Sarah - know that the Peanut butter & Jelly sandwich you are enjoying
doesn’t taste as good without the Jelly.
Sis - find solace in the fact that our father’s yelling is simply his way of showing that he cares masked by a Phanthom who was too appalled by that beauty that lay beneath.
Not everyone finds beauty in beauty.
Some of you will know exactly what you want to do with you lives.
Others will be up shit’s creek changing your major more times
than most of you will masturbate in a day when you’re 14
Nether is better or worse. Just different.
….oh yeah. You’ll hear that a lot.
I knew I wanted to be writer when I was 8
when I wrote an I Love Lucy spec script entitled,
“Ricky & Lucy Go To Cuba.”
I was naive.
I didn’t know that they weren’t exactly
fond of gingers in Cuba.
You will be your greatest deceivers.
You will convince yourself willing to accept love when it is right in front of you.
You will die in your grave with the belief that you are as shallow as the peak of the tallest tree in the land.
You will validate anger with taking a stand.
The quiet ones are who you should look out for.
Find the clouds.
A bowl of quinoa cheese grits and a cup of coffee after waking up with a hangover
even though you didn’t drink the night before.
A night of mistakes that you can chuckle away like pop rocks.
Sidney Bechet’s, “Si Tu Vois Ma Mere” playing on a Southern winter’s day.
Fight the clouds.
Imagining the girl in your head when you listen to music,
fearful that you might settle for less.
Wasting time playing with dust-storms,
when there are tornadoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes teasing for a fight.
Brendan Frazer movies & Creed.
And, to you, Alex.
To the one who is as large as the belief that all is fate,
never losing its prestige or validity,
all encompassing & infinite.
As gargantuan as the things birthed and fallen.
Created and Destroyed. That which humanity will never know of.
As boulder-like as the ego that the most unlucky of humanity possess.
The type that blinds them, not from what they perceive to be below them
(for that is the only place they look. )
but above them.
What misfortune that must bring.
Do be devoid of the sky.
You were large at one time.
But, today, I stand with a mind clear like Montauk.
Having experienced all the blue balls in the world compliments of Sarah.
Having been water-gunned in the middle of the school day.
Having experienced the most beautiful of misfortune,
I can tilt my head back, and open up my eyes.
Prompt #1 (provided by Rachel McKibbens) Write down:
1. Three truths you learned by the time you were ten-years old.
2. Three beliefs you still have, despite the truth.
3. Three things that feel like heaven.
4. Three things that feel like hell.
5. Three pieces of nature that are massive.
I’m gonna call this your time machine poem. Because here’s what is gonna happen: you are you, now. Only, you get to go back to your kindergarten class with that amazing brain and heart of yours, full of what you know, as your five-year old self. Tell them everything, Billy. Each line should sound like a recess bell. You can break it down by using numbers. Or each line can be to a specific student (make up names, I only remember Scott Schulton from my kindergarten class. Oh, and Salma Gonzalez, who was a first grader. She yanked my braids every day while we waited in line for the bus. Salma Gonzalez, you’re a no-good ass-for-brains. And skanky.) Tell the truth about your teacher (even if you’re making it up.) Tell the truth about the quietest kid in class. Tell the truth about bullies and first loves and sticky hand holding and panty showing. Tell them everything. Pull from your list accordingly. But make sure you tell three of your classmates that they are what you wrote down for #5. Tell them how big they really are. How strong. How powerful. How everlasting. They need to hear it. I promise.
Prompt #1 (provided by Rachel McKibbens)