Much things to say about this poem from Leslie Speikes, but the poem really speaks for itself, out loud. We are all its “I” and we are all most certainly its “We.”
Just like poor Paula Alquist in that old black and white film,
They keep telling me that my capacity is limited
that social media and the media media
Have turned my pretty little head and my ability to comprehend has diminished
But no matter how far back into the dark I am pushed, i can still feel the shift and shimmy
Of the earth.
Even though I can’t see and i can’t hear
i can sense that
The world is tilting so far to the right that all our hopes have poor’d right on out
And we’re left sitting in the dark afraid. believing we are alone
My senses ache
We’ve been fucked in the dark for so long that a flash of artificial light causes us to rely on
Their lies and forsake our hearts, but this light?
It is only Gaslight
they will use these old scars to convince me i have done this to myself
We are so screwed down that you look crazy if you stand up
I am not crazy. I AM NOT CRAZY.
The lights have been turned on in another part of this White house
Someone is looking for jewels and they are using my fuel to do it
I am NOT crazy . I hear sounds. People are thumping just on the other side of this glass roof, but, but, I am told that I am not scared. While I stand here with my hands up and my father bleeding at my feet. I am told that there is nothing to be scared of now that the monster is slain . The blood of our sons and daughters cools and congeals on club house floors, but There is nothing to fear. I am being raped behind the dumpster in the alley and I am more guilty than my brutalizer, but I am told there is nothing to fear. And, if I don’t carry this baby to term, you tell me I’ll go to hell, but if I go home unmarried and pregnant, I’ll live in hell, but there is nothing to fear, and if there is nothing to fear, there is nothing to fight, and if there is nothing to fight then there is no reason to prepare.
My People, we must prepare!
I am told that I am not scared, but that I am crazy
I am not crazy
I am being slowly, systemically, and institutionally driven out of my mind
I am lost because i have been misled
My teachers taught me that the good fight the evil…and win
That down is bad and up is good.
Leave behind the dark and and walk in the light
That if I root for the underdog eventually we all get on down the high road to Paradise.
today, pulling our mothers back from graves and talking our brothers down from ledges,
i feel these lessons returning void.
You can smell my fear.
it smells like
cities burning and
people consuming each other
It feels like everyone above is tap dancing in the bones and ashes.
they keep shouting down to me that
I am the crazy one.
Perhaps they’re right.
I’ve heard you go insane when you spend too long awake without dreaming.
So i will pick up the power of a dream and a mountain top.
I will believe again in the strength of this heart and that heart….and that heart.
And that heart
I will duck slings, twirl past arrows, and i will not return their fear with fists or bullets
I will pray, I will shout, I will cook dinners and have you over to eat at my table
I will read, I will listen and I will watch, I will sing, I will write, and i will vote
I will raise my fist in power and open my arms to love
i will march as far as I can
And I will cheer you on as you march further.
We are not crazy.
We were broken
But now we knit bone back together with spirit and hold hands as we walk out of this
long dark night together
© Leslie Speikes 1/25/2017
For the first 100 days of the Trumpet administration, this blog will feature a new poem of protest, by my own hand and by others. They will be polished gems, or rough cut drafts of rage, or in process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered. If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. All rights remain with the author. VISUAL ARTISTS ! Do you have something visually poetic that you’d like to submit? GO FOR IT!
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