It had been a great night of spoken word, of poetry. Despite feeling like the oldest in the group, I had no qualms. I stood in my place in line with no complaints, without a sip of water for 6 hours, feeding on poetry the whole time. Of course I am exaggerating, I did eat corned beef pan de sal from Starbucks.
I'm still reeling from the night prior --- from meeting my favorite spoken word poets in person, buying their books and having them signed, to hearing my favorite lines spoken in real life. It's a lot like being in a concert, except that it's not like you can jump around and toss beer cans all around. That would've been fun --- but anyway :P
Here are some of my favorite poems from Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye. It was all so worth it.
No Matter the Wreckage
No matter your wreckage.
There will be someone to find you beautiful,
despite the cruddy metal. Your ruin is not to be hidden
behind paint and canvas. Let them see the cracks.
Someone will come to sing into these empty spaces.
When Love Arrives
Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to,
And love leaves exactly when love must.
When love arrives, say, “Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.”
If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her.
Turn off the music, listen to the quiet, whisper,
“Thank you for stopping by.”
A Love Letter from the Toothbrush to the Bicycle Tire
They told me that I was meant for the cleaner life, that you would drag me through the mud. They said that you would tread all over me, that they could see right through you, that you were full of hot air, that I would always be chasing, always watching you disappear after sleeker models, that it would be a vicious cycle.
But I know better. I know about your rough edges and I have seen your perfect curves, and I will fit into any spaces you let me. If loving you means getting dirty, bring on the grime, I will leave this porcelain home behind. I’m used to twice a day relationships, but with you, I’ll take all the time. And I know, we live in different world and we’re always really busy.
But in my dreams, you spin around me so fast I always wake up dizzy. So maybe one day you’ll grow tired of the road and roll on back to me. And when I blink my eyes into the morning, your smile will be the only thing I see.
Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else. -Richard Siken
If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at, you can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands.
Or windows. Or mirrors.
Let them see what a woman looks like. They may not have ever seen one before.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch, you can let them touch you.
Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for. Sometimes it is a bottle. A door. A sandwich. A Pulitzer. Another woman.
But their hands found you first. Do not mistake yourself for a guardian. Or a muse. Or a promise. Or a victim. Or a snack.
You are a woman. Skin and bones. Veins and nerves. Hair and sweat. You are not made of metaphors. Not apologies. Not excuses.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold, you can let them hold you.
All day they practice keeping their bodies upright— even after all this evolving, it still feels unnatural, still strains the muscles, holds firm the arms and spine. Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you, admit they do not have the answers they thought they would have by now; some men will want to hold you like The Answer. You are not The Answer.
You are not the problem. You are not the poem or the punchline or the riddle or the joke.
Woman. If you grow up the type men want to love, You can let them love you.
Being loved is not the same thing as loving. When you fall in love, it is discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping. It is realizing you have hands. It is reaching for the tightrope when the crowds have all gone home. Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along.
It is hard to stop loving the ocean. Even after it has left you gasping, salty. Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night. And know this: Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours. Let the statues crumble. You have always been the place. You are a woman who can build it yourself. You were born to build.
Happy inspired Tuesday, everyone :)
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