Thursday, April 30, 2009

Learning and Teaching are My Anti-Drugs

Perhaps the ultimate goal of education is to learn how to govern yourself.

I was peer-reviewing a friend's paper just now. She is arguing for the "decriminalization" of marijuana. I'm not prepared to say I agree with her arguments, but what I am leaning towards is a system where the innocent aren't having to spend their hard-earned money to punish the guilty. Especially when the guilty are only harming themselves.

This reminds me of the movie Thank You For Smoking. Is it ethical for lobbyists and advertisers to fight for people's right to buy and entice people into buying tobacco, alcohol, or guns (all of which are legal but have killed many)? If you haven't seen the movie, it follows a tobacco lobbyist. He is good friends with a gun lobbyist and an alcohol lobbyist. They say that people have the right to choose.

This right to choose our vices makes me think of all the other things people choose for their lives. Do I have sex on the first date? Do I spend $50 a week on make up? Do I watch four hours of television a day? Do I curse in front of my grandmother? Do I eat whatever I want to and never work out?

None of the aforementioned things are against the law. None of them are beneficial to my life either. I have come to realize, since I've been at college, and since I've let go of religious dictates, that I am smart enough and I love myself enough to make good decisions about my behavior.

I think that when a person or an institution sets him/her/itself up as authority figure and begins setting down mandates, he/she/it runs the risk of losing the validity behind the rule of law. If the law is meant to protect us, perhaps part of that protection is making sure that we are capable of knowing how to protect ourselves.

I don't smoke weed. But based on the research that I saw laid out in my friend's paper, it's looking like that should be another right we give back to the people. If you are not hurting anyone outside your person, perhaps it is detrimental to the system to try and regulate your behavior.

I learn something new everyday.
Learning and teaching are my anti-drugs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Conversations I've Been Having

Me: I've discovered what I'm missing in my life.
Frank: What?
Me: Here at OCU, we are all so damned busy trying to be the best at everything, trying to save the world, that we neglect the small things, like poems and artwork and laying by the pool having long conversations and cuddling and dancing. Life is not a meeting. And meetings don't change the world. But quality time can. Insightful conversations can. Y'know?
Frank: Yeah, I get it.

To Justin on Tuesday around 7 p.m.: I think there's a lot that comes the more life you live.
(i.e. age is more than a number. Damn it.)

Me on Monday around 9 a.m.: Today is the last Monday of junior year. That's crazy. I'm about to go to breakfast with my friend and then wash my sheets.
Clarence: You're growing up so fast!
Me: I know right. Getting through school, wrecking cars, having sex, washing sheets...I've come so far and yet I've got so far to go.
Clarence: Sounds like you're just livin' life to me.
Me: I am. It's a party. Gettin' tipsy, dancing, having meetings that are way too long. It's just life. Mi bella vida ("My beautiful life" in Spanish).

"This is my beautiful life.
The only thing certain is everything changes.
The lows and the highs and all those goodbyes:
As hard as it gets I know it's still amazing to be alive.
It's a beautiful life.

It hurts while it's happening.
I wanna feel everything.
How can you know 'til you try?"

"Mi Bella Vita" by Lindsay Lohan

Keeping the Balance?

I find myself forever questioning whether or not we are in control of our lives.

Do we make decisions that we want to make and the end result of our life is based on those decisions? Or are we puppets and playthings for a God who does with us what he/she wants?

I think the right answer is probably somewhere in the middle. I was telling a friend last night that I think "god" is a label we put on what we don't understand. I think the thing that we most often call God is really just the Force that sustains the Universe. This Force is sentient but it is not a person. It was not born, it does not live, and it cannot die. It simply is. The job of this Force seems to be that of balance-keeping. For each person who is born, a person dies. For each year that someone lives too long, someone else dies early. For each good deed there's a bad one. For each happy thing there's something sad.

I could be wrong, but it would make sense. "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." It's science, right?

And in my mind, this doesn't leave room for coincidences or mistakes. Everything happens for a reason.

On March 6, I totalled my car driving an hour and a half from a booty call. On April 27, a male friend of mine spent his evening in a hospital treating a severe burn when he thought he'd be spending his evening in my bed.

Is the Universe trying to counteract my inclination toward random sex?

I don't know.
It's just a thought.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Will Never Be A Slam Poet

I will never be a slam poet.

This baffles me. When people read my writing, they tell me about the strength of my voice and the way the words "hit" them. But when I try to write poems for the stage, they always come out sounding too soft or lacking depth.

I thought the problem was in my performance, my delivery. So for an experiment I read a poem by Lauren Zuniga, a friend who is good at slam. I did well. If the poem had been memorized, it probably could've gotten me an 8. So it's not in the delivery.

I noticed last Wednesday at the slam finals for Oklahoma City's nationals team, that everyone who scored well (and even many who didn't) used their poem to tell a story or to call people to action. I realized that the poems I write do neither. I write prayers, introspections, ideas, questions. Sometimes I tell stories, but they are usually love stories or something else equally as boring. I "bleed" too much, feel too much, think too much.

I did an exposé on slam poetry for my nonfiction class at school and in the revision stage, I realized something else. My view of slam has changed over the last month. It used to be something I idealized, even idolized, something glitzy and glamorous and poignant that I wanted to grow into. I thought of slam poetry the same way I think of the competitors on America's Next Top Model, the same way I think of young, famous musicians, the same way I think of the editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine. Something beautiful, hard-to-reach, unnecessarily demanding, and ultimately not ME.

I put beauty and fame on a pedestal, but I was created for hard work. I put vapidity and cut-throat behavior on the list of things to be excused, but I was molded for love and nurture. I admire glitz and glamour, but I was made for wiping snotty noses and picking hearts up off the floor.

I'm coming to grips with this. I used to want to be a slam poet more than anything in the world, but I can't. I was meant to be different. Meant to write, not to perform. Meant to speak, not to recite. Meant to teach, not to compete.

It's a hard pill to swallow, but it never does any good to resist what the Universe has planned for you...unless you're willing to come away from it with a limp (cf. Jacob wrestling the angel and having his leg messed up in the book of Genesis).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

15/30 - I Want To Kiss The World

Give me strength
I can already see the change I want to make
I know the steps I need to take
I'm doing it for the future's sake

Give me love
I'll need motivation to go beyond and above
It'll push me forward when competition's not enough
I'll hold me together when the times are too tough

Give me peace
when change is slow and things are futile as they seem
I'll need it when I lack the strength to swim upstream
May it be the image in my head when I can't stand what I see

Give me drive
That's what will keep me fighting for our lives
It's how I'll know that I'm among the strong who will survive
It'll keep me focused on my reason to be alive

Help me endure
I want to live for a cause that's right and pure
I want to continue forward when my mind just isn't sure
I want to kiss the world where no one's touched before

So show me how
I'm feeling ready; you can start the process now
Let the winds rage so I'll learn to stand and never bow
Show me the heights so I look to them and keep from falling down

Remind me why
Tattoo the dream to the backs of my eyes
Place a burden on my heart that makes me ache inside
And until the job is done, don't let me run or hide

I'll need to watch you run when my feet are feeling slow
Don't let me bow out because of things I don't yet know
Promise me that my sacrifice will help them grow

Give me
Strength like rivers rushing
Love like a god dying
Peace like the wind shushing
Drive like warriors vying
Endurance like an athlete
Strategy like the end of days
Purpose until all's complete and
Force that can't be swayed
until I kiss the world.

14/30 - Make Me Better

I don't want you to save me.
I want you to pull the bravery out of me.
I don't want you to kiss my wounds.
Just remind me that the rest of the world has been wounded too.
Don't tell me it'll be okay.
Tell me to fix it myself if I want it my way.
Don't pamper or baby me.
Push me hard so I'll become the best that I can be.

But be there when I cry,
When it really gets too rough and I feel like I could die.
Hold my hand sometimes.
Just make sure my sadness doesn't make you tell me lies.
Pull me out of the muck and mire
Then remind that bravery is courage under fire.

13/30 - Invisible (title debateable)

She sits alone
not because she has no one,
but because she's old and no longer fun.

She hangs out with those half her age because they're the only ones around.
She lost her groove a long time ago and it has yet to be found.

She's enchanting because she's real,
not particularly attractive, but her eyes make you feel
and her voice has that appeal.

I wish I had seen her in her prime.
I bet she had a way of making folks laugh all the time.
I bet she had a great smile.

I hate that time can steal that away.
If only we never lost anything when we aged.
If only we always liked how we changed.

Now it's like she's invisible.
People look right through her.
All she wants is to be seen as real.

I feel sorry for her and the way she feels,
but then I remember that my own were invisible for hundreds of years.
This isn't a new tragedy.
Society must find someone to cast out
and they chose those that have aged like her
once they embraced the ones that look like me.

Perhaps we all pay our dues and take our turn
before the world decides we've earned
a place in their minds and eyes.
Then they transfer their blindness to those from other places and times.

I pray that the cycle is breaking
with the collective tolerant breaths we've been taking.
This world must begin changing,
lest this breathing become a massive suffocating.

Monday, April 20, 2009

12/30 - Exploration

(More experiments with rhyme scheme more than subject matter. I'm twenty and single, don't judge me. Lol.)

My mind takes me to new places with you
Suddenly grades don't matter as much
"Because it feels good" is reason enough
And there's nothing you can suggest that I don't want to do

In my mind, your hand on the small of my back
Feels better than the cushion of my bed
Thoughts of your touches run wild in my head
and each time it's harder to stay on track

I think about your arms and the touch of your lips
I imagine your hands on my softest skin,
Welcoming your nature, taking all of you in,
Chest heaving, breath shallow and quick

And I wonder if I would know you then
Might our union join facts together to make truth?
Might the basic become a beautiful poem about you?
Perhaps your body will help your mind make sense.

I just want to explore and experience you,
See your tendencies and doubts.
Does your bedroom-self match the you when you're out?
I wonder if intimacy matches the surface you.

11/30 - Copulation

(I'm exploring rhyme schemes moreso than subject matter)

Can sex be a gift
better than chocolates and trinkets?
Might a real chemical connection
outweigh monetary and material affection?
What if making love
really is the act of caring enough
What if it's the highest gesture
made from a place that's spiritual and pure?
We hold closer our bodies
than our things and our money
We protect our health
more than our circumstantial wealth
So why do we constantly and publicly forget
that sex is the most heartfelt present?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10/30 - Oath to Poetry

I swear...
You distract me in a way that makes me think on-task is a joke.
You fill me to the point of bursting
and I want to explode in front of a crowd so they know
that I love you like smooth chocolate mousse sliding down my throat.

We met a long time ago, when I was young.
My little girl's eyes couldn't see the real beauty you possess.
At that time I was too shallow to understand your depth.
You were a passtime, a plaything,
one more way to show the world I know how to overachieve.
Now your depths have made me more aware.
I understand, but I'm still too shallow to meet you there.
Or maybe I'm scared of what lies that deep.
I never go farther than two or three feet.
But maybe our connection is buried in my past.
Maybe I must face my demons if I want to make this last...

Or maybe that's not true.
I swear, you keep me needlessly confused.

What if...
what if the key is simple undivided focus on you?
I lose sight of what matters when I start to focus on myself.
You start to guide me one way and I end up somewhere else.
I just need my feet to follow the gaze of my eyes.

I swear...
I want you delve into you so deep that I get lost inside.
If you had skin, I would wish to be tattooed to the underneath.
If you had blood, I'd want to be the cells that make it look red when you bleed.
If you could walk, I'd lay my body down on puddle to make sure you stayed dry.
If you were a mortal in need of life breath, I would give you all of mine.

Just teach me what I have to do to get close to you.
Who must I be?
Through what new eyes must I learn to see?
In what new hemisphere must I learn to live?
How many more years do I have to give before you kiss me with the gift?

I suppose it doesn't matter.
Nothing you do could change the way I feel.
I could never give up on the only thing that's always real.
I am yours for all of time.
Tell me that you'll have me, and I'll give you my very life.

I swear.

Now I'm only 5 behind instead of 6.

9/30 - Simile for Love

I love you like flowers love sunshine
and like the desert loves heat.
I love like back massages when I'm tired too
and telling you when you have food in your teeth.

I love you like joint showers
and letting you stand under the water
while my teeth chatter against your bare chest.
I love you like that time it only last five minutes
but that short time was the best.

I love you like chocolate cake and fresh-baked bread.
I love you like half-priced ink.
And get this: I love you MORE than the color pink...

I love you like my next breath
and the sound of rain when there's nothing else to do.
I love you like twenty-one years
and all the trouble I can get into.

I love you like Jesus loved sinners,
Like Gandhi loved peace,
Like Buddha loved happiness.
I love you like the homeless love their next meal,
Like oxygen loves trees,
Like grass loves dew.
I love you more than this poem can express
and I don't even know you.

This I Believe (NPR)

I believe that we, as humans in general and as Americans specifically, are our brothers’ keeper. I believe that we are only as strong as the weakest among us, and that another’s weakness is just as much your concern as your own.

We live in a world where America consumes nearly half of the planet’s resources yet holds a small percentage of its people. As a result of this, we are responsible for how we handle our wealth and also how we react to or ignore the world’s poverty.

I have heard many say, “You have to take care of home first.” I agree. As Americans, we lived in a stratified nation. Everyone on the top tier lives in a type of excess that is nothing short of an insult to those who live on the bottom. This is evidenced in our schools, in our job market, in our consumer habits, and even in our body composition. As our president is fond of saying, the gap between Wall Street and Main Street needs to close. But I also believe that we also need to close the gap between Wall Street and no street.

A stimulus package is not going to close this gap. In fact, I don’t believe that any government funding or legislation can ever close this gap. The world is abundant in resources. The problem is not lack; it is distribution. The problem is not work ethic; it is inopportunity. The poor lack because the rich hoard. The unemployed drain federal funding because companies inbreed and overwork their own.

Change must start from the ground up. I must become a more conscious consumer. Perhaps instead of a new pair of Jimmy Choo’s, I should pay a low-income teenage boy to cut my lawn or clean my garage. Perhaps I should hire a father of four to paint my shutters. Or I could skip this year’s Caribbean cruise and take my family hiking at the national park three hours away, donating the extra money to the PTA at my neighborhood school.

I believe we are personally responsible.

America has an attachment to capitalism and free enterprise, but the market ceases to be free once it’s monopolized. I’m not suggesting communism. I am only opening the discussion for more solutions, more permeability, more elasticity.

Some say, “you reap what you sow,” and the poor just don’t work hard enough. Even if that’s true (which I don’t believe it is), why does that justify greed, gluttony, blindness to the facts? The five-year-old who gets teased for having hand-me-down clothes can not influence his parents’ occupation or lack thereof. Put yourself in perspective for a moment and consider taking a hit for the team.

I believe that all who prosper were blessed in order to be a blessing. Gifts are from the heart and they don’t require tax refunds. This I believe.

Monday, April 13, 2009

8/30 - Work Hard, Play Hard

I've heard it said, "youth is wasted on the young."
Well I'm determined to make some change for the world while I get me some.
I won't wait 'til I'm old to do what I want to.
And I won't work so hard that I reject the impromptu.

Every hour spent working is an hour's work done.
But every hour spent playing is countless memories and reruns.

Remember the time you were so drunk you walked around the corner topless in a city where you'd never been?

Oh my gosh. I'd forgotten all about that.
Remember that car ride to Cancun when we stopped at that restaurant and got free dinners from those creepy old men?

Yes! They were so gross.
Hey, remember that weekend we spent at the shelter with those kids?

Yeah, remember how grateful that disabled girl was when we told her she could be our best friend.

See, I want to let the good times roll and look back on the memories and laugh.
But I want to do what's good for my soul and build a legacy that will last.

I'm not giving up my indiscretions
Or working my life away
But the fun I have at night will be tempered by good work in the day.
I'll never ignore the hurting people
Or take more than my fair share.
I'll sacrifice for what I believe in
And I'll push every limit I have.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

7/30 - Maybe

I have this odd way of forgetting how to follow my heart.
Once I know what she's asking for,
I quit before I really get the chance to start.
Like I'm scared of how happiness feels,
Afraid to get attached to good because bad has always been more real...
But life makes sense right now.
Pain has left its handprint
but today I think it's beautiful somehow.
On Friday I thought the world might come crashing to an end
But at this moment
I know it's all in Someone's hands.

And maybe that Someone is me.
Maybe it's faith in inner divinity.
Maybe it's the open heart the Buddha showed me how to see.
Maybe it's the knowledge of my wealth as compared to poverty.
Maybe it's the selflessness that Jesus taught me.
In fact, maybe religion is just the deification of poetry.
Maybe now that I have written it
I know I can conceptualize spirituality.
Or maybe today is just the first one in a while
where the stars are aligned for me.

6/30 - Teach Me

(this one is a love fest for my poet friends)

Teach me, Papi, what stars are made from.
I want to be a success like you.
Teach me, Dear Heart, what love is made of.
I want to give it back to you.
Teach me, Sweet Girl, how to care give.
I want open hands like yours.
Teach me, Brother Nature, the heart's way to live.
I want faith and grace like yours.

Teach me.

Happiness is borderline inappropriate jokes with a tall Nuyorican.
It's inhaling second-hand smoke while discussing the meaning of everything.
Acceptance is compliments and kisses from a southside white Jew.
It's pretending to put up walls specifically so he will reach through and touch.
Love is women, cast out by society, giving hugs and speaking words.
It's knowing that they've misdefined beautiful because there aren't enough more like these.
Insight is a pitbull with long hair and a strand of sacred prayer beads.
It's being blessed through a soul that forces yours to reach beyond itself.

Please, teach me.

Passion is blond hair and blue eyes born on an East Texas stage.
It's showing the world that they must look past the first page to see real.
Dedication is a world champion twice over.
It's performance over personal desire because there's always more ground to cover.
Intensity is multiples of three locked into something bigger than himself.
It's irrevocably yoked to coaxing souls back from the gates of hell.
Ferocity is packaged small but heard in the same places as that historic gunshot.
It dares us to utilize ideas outside the box that previously held our thoughts.
Desire is multifaceted, seeing what the world won't see.
It's coupled with the ferocious to change the culture of the streets.

Will you teach me?

Because there's a Krysis that makes me reach for Mo', man. It teaches me to Khary others' burdens so that Mabrey we'll hear when justice comes Colin.

When I saw the Red Eagle fly, I prayed Missa May I move the Hudge to a place where we all like to keep things Kosher and our words can heal the sick and make Manuel.

Teach me.

5/30 - When the Sun's Out

Everything hurts less when the sun's out.
Nature heals.
Grass feels softer than carpet.
Warm wind is better than finger tips in your hair.
Clouds look prettier than marshmallows taste.
When the ancestors look down on us from the stars, the things they whisper are sweeter even than the jokes of best friends.
Daisy petals make better decisions.
Forget-me-nots make lovelier hats.
Running water soothes longer than even jazz music.
Butterflies are better listeners than people.
Even mosquitoes just remind us to keep fighting.
Gentle, 90-degree perspiration feels fresher than tubwater steam
and real lavender smells better than Bath and Body works.

When the sun's out, smiles always balance the hurts.

4/30 - My Inferno

I've always liked watching fires
Sitting on the floor in a blanket
Staring silently into the flames
Focused, not on the people around,
not on the smells or the sounds,
only on the warmth and the light.

I've always liked feeling fires.
Heat strong enough to burn turned soothing on my skin.
Perhaps watching the fire without
is what kindles the inferno within.
I've felt what it's like to get too close,
to get burned by what you think you know...

I've always wondered about fires
What the center of the flame would feel like if skin didn't burn.
I've always wished I could learn what the wick feels like,
Surrounded by a blue halo telling the world I can stand the heat.

I've always had a thing for fires.
I went through a candle phase.
Not for the colors, scents, or the decorative effect of carefully sculpted wax,
But for the flames.
I lined candles up on my dresser and shelves,
Lit them and centered myself until I started to sweat.
I lay there until the heat began to feel suffocating,
then I extinguished the flames to temper the heat,
One by one,
Degree by degree,
but left the last one burning until I was nearly asleep.

I've always had a thing for fires,
Even from the womb.
A Leo, born under an infernal sign,
to a father inept at warming, adept at burning things into the dirt,
and a mother who just wanted us to work.

I hear many people fall into categories of personality:
Fire or ash,
Destroyer or the destroyed,
Ignition or the effect of the flame,
the Actor and the acted upon.
I think I'm the weaker one.
That which is turned to dust,
that which has been burned too much,
that which has forgotten to trust,
that without strength enough to stay together.
That which dares not to aspire
to a product thoroughly changed in a Refiner's Fire.

I've always been attracted to flame.
Maybe that's why I don't leave the inferno.

3/30 - The First Time

Six years old.
She hears him tell her mama that he don't like them nappy-headed girls no more.
For the first time, she understand the difference between Black and White.

Eight years old.
She doesn't like the way his white hand feels on her nappy brown hair no more.
For the first time, she understands that adults ain't always right.

Ten years old.
She hears her baby sister's seven-year-old voice asking when she could go. She don't wanna play this game no more.
For the first time, she knew the difference between safe and at-risk.

She slips inside the room without knocking.
Step-Daddy is startled.
The baby is happy.
"Come here," sister calls in the lightest voice she can muster. "Mama's
asleep. You can watch cartoons if you promise not to bother. Keep it on
low and sit real close so you can hear. Until I come and get you,
everything is free and clear."
The child smiles and runs past her sister to the TV.
Big sister avoids Step-Daddy's eyes focusing on the space in between.
"What do you want?" She asks him.
"I want you to earn your keep," is what he said.
"But I do my chores and make good grades..."
"But I have to watch you two all day and I never get to play."

She knew what he meant.
Not sure how, but she knew.
The stories older kids whispered weren't made up; they were true.
So she said, "I'll do whatever you ask me to do."

For the first time, she really felt physical pain.
She learned then how to hide without having to abstain.
She learned how to turn a switch off in her brain.
And that was the only thing that kept her sane.

He bought them all the best things:
Clothes, art lessons, and a coveted domain.
She and Baby grew up in the household she had saved.
The bed was made,
and she no longer cried when the time came to lay in it.

Nineteen years old.
Baby walks in without knocking while her sister's trying to change.
There's a big bruise on sister's hipbone and one on her shoulder blade.
The off switch in sister's brain stays on when Baby's around.
She can't find the words to say.
She almost cries,
considers asking why,
but finally just turns around with a sigh.

Baby wanted to know, "Where'd you get those bruises?"
Sister'd never been good at outright lies
and with Baby it was useless.
So she tried to cover it up another way.
"Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answers to. Just focus
and get yourself done with school. Then we'll get outta here, Baby, and
I won't get bruised."
"Why don't you just tell me the truth?"
Sister almost snapped, but held back. "Just trust me. I'm doing this for you."

The day after Baby graduated
she came home to find her things packed.
Mama was crying over cornbread but she couldn't find her sister or stepdad.

Baby started asking, digging, prying.
Mama just kept stirring, rocking, crying.
Baby started screaming and fighting.
Mama hurt so bad she thought she was dying.
Baby went searching for answers.
She knew something bad had happened to her sister.
Maybe if she'd been stronger and not let Sissy dismiss her...

When she got to the door that was locked
her knees almost buckled, but she braced up and knocked.
And knocked.
Then she called
and she cried.
She pleaded
and plied at the knob.
Then fell, crumpled and broken, to floor with a sob.

After what felt like an hour but was less than five minutes
the door unlocked and opened and Baby knew it was finished.
Strong arms grabbed her shoulders and lifted her face.
"Stop crying, Baby, we're gettin' outta this place.
Go grab those boxes and don't listen to anything they say."
Baby started to argue.
"STOP IT! We're leaving today."

Twenty years old.
She drags her baby down the hall so they don't have to take this no more.
For the first time, they walked out and shut the door.

2/30 - Agape

Love is lying to you about what I said because I don't want to hurt you.
Love is ignoring the past
and making myself not ask the questions I won't like the answer to.
Love is glad I don't have the money to pay you.
It's glad that I streamlined
and stopped getting high.
Love is glad I laid down the knife
and now use the right tools to fight.

Love tried
but really is no longer mad at you.

Love wants you to succeed.
It wants to you always have everything you need and then some.
Where love is there's no place for greed or deceit.
You and I were never meant to be.
Maybe you and she are...
but if you're not...
I hope each of you drops the other gently.
And even if you don't think this is what you need
I hope you find somebody who can see

See your talent
See your dreams
See your potential to do unimaginable things.
I hope you find someone to sew your seams,
to make you laugh and drink your tears,
work out your kinks and help you fight your fears.

Love has let you go and can't wait to see you rise
above the horizon line into a blue sky ready to help you shine.

1/30 - P.I.N.K.

(appropriate with this layout)

Passion tempered by
Innocence and
Necessity born of

Persistence and
Not forsaking

Pleasing the
Individual while
Nudging the masses toward
Kinetic energy

Purity and Pathos
In conjunction with
Naked Newness
Knitting together the fabric of my soul

Pink is twenty-one and five years old
It fuzes the magnetic with the pale.
Perhaps I understand this hue obsessive compulsively
because it carries the same dichotomy
that travels inside me.

April is Poetry Month

This means I'm going to make an effort to write a poem everyday. I am aware that I am six days behind which might mean that I'll write two poems a day for the next six days. Or I may not catch up. We'll see. Also I want to have a grown-up place where I can post my poetry since Xanga is out and Myspace is out.

Here goes...

Oh, I'm also going to use this as a place to pay homage to poets who keep me wanting to write and perform.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where Life Takes You

My best friend and I were just having a conversation about the future.
Here's how part of it went:
Me: "When I said I wanted to teach, someone said, 'You should try to get on at a private school'."
Insert Jen's disgusted face.
Me: "Oh I know! I said, 'Hell no!' I want the poor, dirty, grungy, gang-bangin' kids that no one believes in. Someone else can have the spoiled rich kids."

We are both juniors who won't be done with school in a year.

She started as a dance performance major here at OCU and did that til midway through sophomore year. She decided that she wanted to try something else. So at the end of that year she went back to Kansas and she goes to Emporia State as a math education major. Then she wants to do graduate work so she can teach science.

I started as a journalism major with no idea what I wanted. Then, as a sophomore, I switched to English because I'm not a news hound but thought I'd still be in publications. I wanted to be Miranda Priestly (fictional character who is the equivalent of Anna Wintour the editor-in-chief of Vogue). Not until about two weeks ago, did I discover that what will really fulfill me is teaching kids to love what I love, or at least teaching them to do it right.

My next dilemma was/is whether to stay in Oklahoma and get my 2nd degree and teaching license here or move somewhere else to do it. Teaching is a more flexible field. Everyone needs teachers. So Jen and I were discussing it.

I asked, "Do I really want to stay here by myself to fight the good fight?"
Jen said no. I woud get drained and tired. I need a support system. "You don't want to go to school and fight for kids that no one else is fighting for, and then come home to an empty apartment with no friends, no husband, and no cat."

She's right. So I'm looking into the University of Kansas which is only about an hour from her. We'll see what happens.

It's sad to say that my mom and my grandparents and my cousins aren't support enough. But Jen brought up another good point. I need unconditional support from people who won't judge me if I decide not to practice Christianity. I love my family, but that's a block they don't get past. That's a block a lot of people don't get past.

"You need to get out of the Bible Belt where non-Christianity is always a deal-breaker."

And I need people my own age. I need my BFF and maybe a man.

It's interesting where life takes you.