Poem: For Michael Boyles

Note: This past Wednesday, I was told that my friend Michael hung himself. We were friends in intermediate school (5th-6th grade, I met him in the 6th grade), then we lost touch in the 7th grade, kept ever so slightly in touch from 8th grade to high school, and then we finally caught up with one another again. We’ve been chatting on Facebook and Skype for the past two months and I was so happy to catch up with him. I was going to invite him to Greenville and we were supposed to catch up earlier last week. I’ve been on a rollercoaster with my emotions and I’ve been up and down in my spirituality as well. Would I be this emotional if I didn’t catch up with him? I’m still not sure. On Thursday, I submitted one of his narratives to East Carolina’s Rebel for a chance for him to be published.¬†Rebel¬†is an arts/literary magazine they have published every year in the spring semester. They ask for submissions every fall. He was going to change the world with his words, and he is going to do that because I want that to happen. This poem is for Michael.

When one asks how you are doing,

The imminent way to please him or her

Is to say that you’re fine.

You make it appear as casual,

But you know it’s a crisp, soldier’s statement

In times of tribulation.

Your fellow citizens need affirmation that thing at least will be fine

Even if they aren’t right now.

Hardly anyone answers

“I’m pretty crappy today.

The sun is nowhere near my mental forecast,

But how are you?”

No one would ever say

“Oh peachy,

The plan to end my life is coming into fruition.

It’s ripe and ready to be plucked from.”

You told me you were going to counseling.

You said that things were just starting to get better.

I told him to talk to me whenever he needed to.

This is not going to be wrapped in ribbons

Or perfumed with roses for your family or friends,

That’s who the prayers are for,

This is strictly for you.

You’ve always enjoyed theater and films, Michael.

Was this your way to display a final performance?

You were supposed to be remembered by talent you had

With words that created pictures on a stage,

Not the talent of a dark disappearing act.

You’re not coming back anytime soon.

I’m not writing this to pity you.

I’m writing this to grieve over you.

It wasn’t enough to stuff the world into your back pocket

When it got too hard to wear it on your

Shoulders and sleeves.

That sucks so much!

We were just talking again.

We were announcing prophecies to change the world

As we ranted about blasphemies

That held them back from coming.

You were suppose to open the door

To finally let change come in.

You weren’t giving up on everyone you cared for,

You were giving up on yourself,

And that’s why it hurts.

Those who dare to call my friend selfish…

I can’t find the appropriate euphemism for

“Screw you!”

Well, maybe I can.

They don’t understand how selfless he was trying to be

In the oddest way possible.

To those who lie to post a show on social media

About how great his smile was

When you were the people who spewed enough fire

To obliterate that expression from his face while he was still alive

You’re no good Samaritans.

Unfortunately, you are twisted Pharisees.

To those honest about it,

Thank you.

To those who didn’t know him

And wanted to get to know him more,

You’re so sweet.

But where was that thought when he was still here?

I swore at God and had the intent of doing so

Quite a few times.

But my tea kettle for prayers

Have been left on the stove much longer than usual.

My inner steam and screams from boiling water proves

How much the infuriating questions I have

Condense for answers that hardly come.

Michael, I didn’t lose my faith,

You’re just making me question it.

We were just talking again.

It’s amazing how irony become a joker

From a Jack in the Box

When it comes to our psychology.

Five years ago,

I went to a counselor because I wanted to kill myself.

Now,

I’ll be crying to a new one once a week about how

You actually carried out that dark deed for yourself.

You were a fantastic writer.

Did you think about leaving a note before leaving us?

Thank you for the emails of your pieces.

More people need to see the scribbles

From the beautiful scroll you had in your mind.

I’m not sure if I should keep writing this.

I don’t want tears to drown me,

Nor do I want my heart to become a desert

Regarding the mark you had in this temporary

Realm.

I’m not sure if you can read this,

Or hear me read it,

But I hope my intent is still validated.

Thank you for catching up with me.

I miss you.

Note: He sang and performed so well on his YouTube channel. Here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/user/allisondontexist/videos I only have two other pieces of his, I believe, if anyone wants to read them. I believe they should be read. If you ever feel alone, please talk to someone. If you don’t feel comfortable to talking to someone you know, there is a free hotline, 1-800-273-8255, completely anonymous, and they are available 24/7. Also, go to a counselor near you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s no judgment in the room, you can say, cry, yell, and more of whatever you want. Hugs are good when going to counseling too. Please know how valuable you truly are. That is not a phrase to patronize you, You Are VALUABLE.

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Poem: Dying Roots

“Without roots, a tree wouldn’t live,”

They say.

“They are the structure, What gives the tree importance,”

They say.

Then why do I have this utter need to tug at my roots

Rather than accept them?

See, my roots Haven’t grown in until the age of two.

I had no garden to show to this newer world

Upon entering it;

And I don’t remember being told in the womb

How this world would be a lot less comfortable.

Every seedling is the same

Before it emerges out of the motherly soil’s caresses,

The only place where no one could hurt you

Or poison you with choking fertilizer

For being different.

Why did my roots ever have to exist

By leaving that deep, brown comfort?

Why did they have to curl in different directions?

Couldn’t they have been straigter

Like the majority of the blonde roots and

Blue petals in this scary greenhouse?

“Strangle me chemicals!”

I cry.

I don’t want to shine and stretch to the sun.

I don’t deserve any loving moisture.

I just want the curls to stop.

Just stop them! Please!

I would rather be pretty than grow naturally.

My branches are my only shields to avoid the fact

That my roots

Were a curse.

This structure had to be a curse. I

have to avoid the glaring.

Including the glaring of my own leaves

When viewing my own

Stupid,

Ugly reflection.

Would it be bad to ask someone to clip me

Already?

Heavenly gardener,

Clip me from the Earth’s grip

So I can be finished with this grounded pain!

I’m pretty sure It would hurt a lot less

Than this.

Social Media and Michael Brown

Social media is the most powerful thing we have right now. Nowadays, it is the only way we’re able to obtain information because many of us, especially youth, do not watch the news.

I first heard of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri on Tumblr over a month ago. Since then, I have seen debates about the police department and black men in regards to the police department. There are reblogs, tweets, and likes for the images that stand up for black men, and cry out to those who mindlessly scroll on their phones and laptop how what happened to Michael Brown wasn’t the first time, and won’t be the last unless we do something about it.

Social media is fantastic in that retrospect…until it calls us to do something in person.

Tonight, at East Carolina University, there was a panel about Michael Brown. The event has been promoted for a few weeks by Greek Life, Black Student Union, Word of Mouth, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, various staff, the ECU Police Department, the Ethnic Studies department, Ledonia Wright Cultural Center, and much more. It was held in Hendrix Theater on campus’ Mendenhall Student Activities Center.

In Hendrix, there are movie events, performances, and even health awareness events that makes the whole room so packed that some would have to stand because all of the seats were taken.

Tonight, from 6:30 PM to 8:45 PM, it was so sparse. I have never felt Hendrix so empty in my whole year and few months being there.

Ranting online is helpful, but when it only promotes activism from the couch and not by human assembly, social media becomes frustrating.

I wish that more people were able to see Word of Mouth’s spoken word on the social commentary regarding Michael Brown. See the intellectual staff and students from Ledonia, Black Student Union, ECU’s Police, and even staff of higher power you’d think wouldn’t show up, express how dialogue must increase between different communities about this issue. See InterVarsity’s campus minister speak up about how the majority must stop being silent.

Something was still accomplished tonight. Despite the fact that there are a lot who still choose to be silent, those who showed up I know aren’t going to be. And this may be just a rant to some people, and some may believe that I’m defeating the whole purpose of what I’m talking about, but I am encouraging whoever is reading this to take action.

Writing has always been a form of therapy for me, and it has always been a way for me to take action. To keep this discussion going, comment if you would like to set up a Google Hangout talk on how else we can take action. Discuss dates and times that work best and stick to the one we choose. We don’t have to just talk about the Michael Brown case, because there are many things that need to be changed in this world. Society can’t run the show forever. The majority can’t run the show forever.

I understand that not everyone who follows me reads everything I blog, but here’s to hoping that that changes for this particular blog.

Poem: Traveling with “Time”

Note: this was based on a prompt of two truths and a lie. Not our own truths and lies, but someone else’s. The truths were “I don’t believe in time and my favorite soda is Pepsi.” The lie was that “I have been to India.”

I love plane rides.

My heart leaps only for a brief moment

As I feel my flighty form of transportation

Lift into the air.

Clouds are filled with anticipated

Precipitation and Mother Nature’s Despot-like rules;

But they look so weightless

As I’m lying in my seat

Like a towel sprawled upon the beach’s sand.

You know, I love beaches too.

Tumblr doesn’t really do them justice.

With a cool can of Pepsi

And sunglasses on my face as a shaded crown,

I am queen.

Time has nothing on me in my kingdom.

In fact,

I don’t love time.

Why love something I don’t believe in?

Why must it be perceived as the omnipotent

Vishnu, or Allah, or Jehovah

Of bad concepts

When I am omnipotent?

I control my destiny.

I’ve even traveled outside of my normal world

To control Fate’s scribbles.

Oh.

You bet go have.

Viewing the Taj Mahal

In a Crayola marked sunset Is the best way to feel love.

Who needs “a” love When someone built a symbol Of it for you?

Time says that it took over twenty years

For it to be built,

And over a century for it to be a legitimate landmark.

Well, Time can suck it!

Because at least it made it.

It made to become the goal of bliss

For millions of people worldwide.

Why blame something that doesn’t exist

For not accomplishing something?

“I’ve got to work, babe, I don’t have time.”

“Aw, I can’t do it tonight,

I Don’t have time.”

“We can’t to to India, the beach, or anywhere Near a plane,

Because we don’t have time!”

Time has NOTHING on me.

He/she, Whatever this make believe Oppressor calls itself,

Is not going to stop me From seeing the world.