A free verse poem
there are no ways of explaining
I want the bigots of the world
to feel something other than stacks
of money lining their pockets or
fantasies of distasteful uprisings
at their command
I want them to feel . . .
I have lived for forty-one years in
skin that makes authoritative figures
overuse power — in a body that gravitates
toward both men and women —
and of a gender that loses every inch
of reward as the years pile on
I’m three-times hated by the bulk
of this nation and we want to talk
about anger — the type of anger I have is
bottled up, stored for the perfect
moment — you get used to saving
your energy when you’re living
the way I’m living — you know, merely
existing, trying not to die at the
hands of a racist misogynist
gone rogue — trying not to
lose a sense of hope . . .
a sense of pride
I used to believe that if I loved
another human being hard enough
that intensity of love would be
shared with another, then another,
and again in strings of blissful
divination, but times are harder
now and love isn’t flowing freely
as it once did for me
now, I rage silently, afflicted by
a nation that would rather stake
my body to a tree and call the
hounds — feed my fragile flesh to
their young — tell them, “She wasn’t
what God wanted anyway,” and
they’ll believe it
they’ll even pass down those
tongued lies to their children and
another generation of putrid souls
would roam this earth
black. woman. bisexual . . . three
strikes before one foot leaves my
bed every single morning
you may think, “How does one
live every day afraid to be
who she is?” and I would say,
“I have been afraid of living since
the womb let me go.”
the eternally oppressed know of
no other way
we are damned in the beginning
and further damned as time
anger? no . . . what I have in
me for what this world is
cannot be described as anger
there is no word for it
there never will be
We are all substantially flawed, wounded, angry, hurt, here on Earth. But this human condition, so painful to us, and in some ways shameful — because we feel we are weak when the reality of ourselves is exposed — is made much more bearable when it is shared, face to face, in words that have expressive human eyes behind them. — Alice Walker
Originally published in Prism & Pen via Medium.
A poetic rant
We, women . . . we cling to our bodies
our sense of self wrapped up in them
and warped to nothingness by the
White men who use their minds to
belittle and belie our truths at every
corner — at every junction.
How are we to live in a nation
full of vultures?
How are we to cope?
A balking group of people has
made it their life’s work to
strip the woman of the one
thing we had total control over — the body.
And what next? What will they
search and seize and lasso into
their slimy possession that
belongs to us?
We are yclept weaker or lesser
yet they use laws to silence us — to push
us into the closets of their making.
Is it fear? Is it egotistical? Is it bullying?
What can we say about the men
who have no desire to protect us?
What can we say about the women
who support them?
Turn my body loose. You have
no reign here — it is mine. I carry it,
I nurture it — grow it into the massive
mountain you wish you could climb.
Tread lightly, though, I can shake it
and rattle you at my will.
I can crush you if ever I feel the need to.
Were these your reasons? Is this your why?
Could you no longer take the
strength and representation within
something built of atoms and flesh and blood
that is not solely yours?
It boggles my mind how senseless
human beings have become
but even more so, how drunk with
power many men are.
If it were up to me, I’d rally
the world around us to bury
your tongues in the potholes meant
for them and turn the sun’s rays
up higher — burn, motherfucker, burn.
We’d stand by, fan the flames, and
call Lucifer to your collective side.
We’d let him have his way with you,
just as you’ve had yours with us.
Sold into flames, fiery pits sing of the determination of willful souls who know only the battles of their homeland.
Dead then alive, then dead again, human resurrection; phoenixes rising up, resisting the shackles weighing them down. We move to get away from ourselves. We seek peace in other lands — eager to take over other worlds. Will our legs carry us to places unknown?
Temptation comes in two forms; young or old. We crave them both. Is this life’s crown? Are we waiting to be brought back to life while we struggle to live?
Musical Selection: Blue Magic|Sideshow
Or could we?
The world in which we live is crumbling — bursting at its seams. I can only speak for myself, but I know I am not alone in feeling this . . . in feeling the dark pain that lingers without relent. I believe it is common for human beings to want to flee the bad parts of life — to shut ourselves up and lock ourselves out of the realness of the world when it weighs heavily on our shoulders.
Shouldn’t we want relief? Shouldn’t we strive for it? And with our world spinning and crashing the way it has for decades, do you ever wonder when will it all end?
I saw the trailer for Nine Perfect Strangers multiple times and told myself after The Handmaid’s Tale, I couldn’t take another dramatic/dystopian/climactic series. But, with each view of the trailer, my curiosity had been heightened. I adore Melissa McCarthy and have always had a slight crush on Nicole Kidman, so I told myself, “It’ll either be really good or really bad. What do you have to lose?”
Shouldn’t we want relief? Shouldn’t we strive for it?
The Pull of the Series.
Before I knew it, I’d launched myself into the first episode (Random Acts of Mayhem) and had watched the next three without stopping. And now, having watched the fifth one (Sweet Surrender), I want more.
Based on The New York Times best-selling book by author Liane Moriarty, “Nine Perfect Strangers” takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this 10-day retreat is the resort’s director, Masha, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine “perfect” strangers have no idea what is about to hit them.
Having read the above synopsis, wouldn’t you want to dive right in as well? Nine Perfect Strangers, for me, started off strong from the very beginning. I had been pulled into these characters’ lives — it made me seek what they sought — to learn what they were drawn to learn. I could not pull my eyes away from each instance as every character plays a major part. Each one of them has his or her own share of chaotic behavior to lend to the series.
With everything that had been pummeling them, drowning them, beating them senseless, Tranquillum House was — is supposed to be their escape. It is supposed to be their leap into peace.
With every episode, I found myself pulled into the strength and presence of Nicole Kidman’s character, Masha. Does she have a God complex or is she truly trying to help the souls she claims to want to save? What’s the bigger picture? What is her ultimate goal?
I see a bit of myself in Regina Hall’s character, Carmel. Two people had hurt me to almost the point of being broken, yet I was not married to either of the two. But, I need to “dissociate myself” from each of them. I need to find peace with being single again. I had it a few years ago, but for some reason, it has fled the scene — no calls, no letters . . . nothing.
I also see myself in Tiffany Boone’s character, Delilah (Dee). I am struggling to save my sanity in a world designed for me to lose it. I have watched someone I love cling to another, yet knew I did not have it in me to give them what they needed. And throughout that time, I still had to wear the mask in public — be professional, carry on with life — act like shit really did not hit the fan.
Tranquillum House was — is supposed to be their escape. It is supposed to be their leap into peace.
The perfectly handsome yet misleading Yao, played by Manny Jacinto, had me burning with intense anger in certain scenes and I became an even bigger fan of Delilah. His intelligence, love of nature, charm, and calm demeanor are all captivating qualities, but his demons aren’t subdued for long. They are revealed and they stir up havoc.
What is Going to Happen?
Everyone in Nine Perfect Strangers has lost something or some things, whether they are physical or emotional — they all share the presence of loss. Tranquillum House, the savior space, headed by Masha and her helpers, reeled them in and is taking them on the most unpredictable ride of their lives.
From casual lies to micro-dosing the nine with psychedelics to playing on their emotions for personal gain or perhaps understanding of herself, Masha is a character you’re going to either love or hate. And I am still on the fence about where I stand with her. Maybe love. Maybe hate. I think the next episode will break the ambivalence for me.
Has Masha found her calling in life — trying to fix the lives of others while purposely ignoring her own trauma, her own impending demise? She coordinated an intact (on the outside) house of healing, yet everyone seems to be breaking down.
Tranquillum — not for me, maybe . . .
At first glance, Tranquillum House seems like one I would pay thousands of dollars for which to retreat, but after pulling back its layers — maybe, just maybe, I better stick to writing and therapy. The foundation and walls probably aren’t the source of my skepticism — I’m certain it is the actions that go on behind those walls. Would I even survive it? Would you?
The sixth episode airs on Hulu on Wednesday, September 08, 2021, and I intend to be watching everything as it unfolds.
Originally published in my new publication, soliloque, via Medium.