Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm a follower. All the way.

So, one of my friends started a blog today ( and I found out another friend has had a blog ( since forever. (though that one is relatively new) Then my Creative Writing teacher was espousing the virtues of writing journals and such and then reading them later to see how far you've come and I was like, "that's...kind of an awesome idea." So here I am.

And here's some amateur poetry for you to suffer through!

Okay, this poem was inspired by the county famous (to borrow a phrase from my friend) Writers' Corner and the poets there who read their depressing (but awesome!) thought-provoking poems. Part of the reason I dislike poetry is because a lot of the stuff I read is depressing. (and yet i'm writing poetry. oh the irony!) I can only take so much gloom and doom. But I realized that these writers are trying to draw attention to real and pressing issues, to cry against injustice and stir people to do something about it. So I began to wonder what that said about me, that I'd rather not hear about these true, sad and uncomfortable realities. Thus, this poem. I've titled it "What do I know?"

When you come up here
to expose the harshness of life,
I sit awkwardly in my chair
and try to empathize.

Because what do I know
of sorrow and pain?
I'm just a privileged white kid
with the world on a plate.

What do I know
of the man who comes home
to tell his kids and his wife
that they have to go?

Because he got laid-off
and the bill collectors take all they can.
He can't get a job,
no one wants a Mexican man.

What do I know of hunger and sacrifice
as parents starve quietly
to let their children eat
the last grains of rice?

What do I know of love
or of heartbreak
when a man beats his lover
instead of stroking her face?

How can I say "leave him"
when I've never loved?
Never felt the warmth of his skin
or his kisses, soft as a dove.

What do I know of prejudice
when the worst slight I get
is the cry of "weird" and "freak?"
No one mention my skin.

I've looked in the mirror,
wishing to be skinny, pretty and well-liked.
But never wanted so bad
that I'd pick up a knife.

I've called myself fat
and there is too much on my plate.
But I've never stopped eating
or thrown up to save face.

I've thought that the world
would be better without me.
But never popped the pills, stepped off the bridge
and left my loved ones behind me.

I'm afraid of the pain.
I love food too much.
I'm not ready to die
and I hate throwing up.

In my little world, abuse and neglect
have never been rife.
Listening to your words, I realize
I must lead a charmed life.

I have been called kind
but now I wonder, "Do I even know what that is?"
Because it seems that I use that word to hide
my true callousness.

I offer apathy at best,
judgement at worst
but I wasn't there.
I only know what I've heard.

So when you come up here
to expose the harshness of life,
I'll sit awkwardly in my chair
and try to empathize.

And as you speak
I'll try to let you sow
the seeds of truth in my heart,
because what do I know?

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