Saturday, March 21, 2015

World Poetry Day

So I found out tonight that today was World Poetry Day. I had no idea, which is pretty strange for someone whose life basically revolves around poetry (and music and a few sports that I'm a fanatic about). Many have been sharing different poems or pointing people to relevant poets or events happening today. I've decided to highlight a poem from my favorite modern poet, Sierra DeMulder, who I had the honor of hearing live for the first time this week. Sierra is a fantastic poet and a kind and encouraging person. She can captivate a room within minutes. Trust me, I witnessed this. This poem is in her first book, The Bones Below, which is outstanding. As we witness the violence in the media that has been going on in schools across the country, imagine it from this perspective and you will see how very much kids are being let down by other kids, by adults, by their own parents. If you can, find this poem on YouTube. Sierra's performance of it is just...I'm not sure I have the words.

Static by Sierra DeMulder

Somehow, there is silence
People are running, their mute eyes panicking like deer, 
who have never seen the oncoming glare of judgment.
A single red flower blooms in the center of her shirt. 
She finally looks at you.

Rewind 1 week:
She sits in front of you in science and she smells like ice cream.
You wonder if she even knows your name -
Wonder if she would ever notice your thimble of existence. 
To them you are nothing but the skinned knees of the student body.
But they will read about you. 
(the ones who are lucky, who will see death and not meet it) 
how you walked like a god, 
unnoticed among them, 
planned a revolution for your fingers to pluck pulses like arrows from bows.

Rewind 1 week: A sharpie in the boys bathroom speaks hollow point prophesies.
It goes unnoticed. You go unnoticed in the hallways, stepped over like broken glass.
You count how many people make eye contact and don’t make it to your second hand.

Rewind 1 week: The whole world is sleeping.
You are wrapped in a straightjacket of alarm clocks and 
school bells; The only one conscious in a city built of zombies.

Rewind 1 week:
The guidance counselor asks if there is trouble at home,
"You never speak in class, you eat lunch alone" but how 
can he possibly relate to this Armageddon in your head, 
to the static collecting between your knuckles,
You stare at the picture of his perfect framed family,
imagine each of them crying. You tell him, and his photograph to go to hell.

Fast-forward four weeks:
This is hell.
3 bodies down,
6, 7.

Rewind 8 days: You wonder if heaven exists,
Or if it’s just a Santa Claus lie to make you sleep at night and be nice to others.

Fast-forward 7 days: She catches you staring.
Calls you a freak. You forget what it’s like to feel anything but fire.
The hallways laugh. The lockers punch back.

Fast-forward 1 day: You drag the weapon from your belt.
The hallways stop laughing. Their wax smiles start melting.
The sound of gunshots does not scare you, the satisfaction does.
You count shells in your head, fallen bodies out loud. 
This is their alarm clock. 
This is natural selection.
This is survival.

You rewind. The trigger pushes your finger forward.
The bullet comes spiraling back into the mouth of its barrel.
A single red flower wilts in the center of her shirt.

She finally looks at you.