Politics-and-Prose

And I hate to break it to you
but you will have to save yourself
because no one else
is going to do so.
And if I know a thing for sure
it’s that you can do it,
you are brave and you are strong
and you are worth it.
A hero
should never be a support actor,
so be the one of your own story.
—  // pain is never permanent
j.d.m.

there are some ultimatums i wish i had made earlier. cut myself out of pictures long beforehand. my mother told me if someone ever gave me an ultimatum to just get out of there but i think she forgot there are good ones. 

like it’s me or it’s your hate of women. like i should have stopped talking to him long before then. but he was nice when he wasn’t making those jokes and i tried to tell him. he said they weren’t hurting anyone. but why did he think i was bringing it up, then? it didn’t matter. i was young. and.

like it’s me or you keep doing those little impressions of a gay man. like i knew she thought they were funny. and she said she was totally fine with gay people. i should have known then. when she found out about me she couldn’t stop laughing. of course, she cackled, while i held hands with my girlfriend, god i knew you were weird but this is “and then some.”

it’s me or your petty racism. it’s me or how you treat waitresses. it’s me or you keep being a terrible human. i believe in you and i think you can change but the question is will you. because when i told him it’s me or your anger, he chose his anger. there are people like that. who won’t change. who don’t care enough about you. there are times you have to realize - we are two incompatible humans and flawed and maybe one of us is right or we’re both wrong but it doesn’t matter because we just don’t belong. there’s no reconciling what we’ve lost. 

she said fine. it’s me or your goddamn feminist poetry. and i smiled. because that one was easy. i just wish she hadn’t waited to ask me.

I feel it. The collective drop of hearts. Lurching stomaches and cut circulation. Blood pausing if only to catch a glimpse of a time before the announcement. I feel it. The trembling that starts without realization, the anger that boils without permission, the weariness that clings to our bones. There is a man out there who would trade us for a crappy deal on infrastructure. There is a man out there who would paint his own world with our blood because he does not think we are beautiful enough. There is a man out there who weaves threats into our hijab, rewrites our religion into a scare tactic. And there are people who revere him. Carry him on their shoulders while they straddle themselves to our backs. Ravenous and insatiable, they seek our flesh under their nails, our grief in their fists, our tiredness in their mouths, mocking the way we mourn over our stolen freedoms. Today, we bleed for humanity. We hold mothers and daughters a little closer, we kiss our partners a little longer, we pray for our mosques a little louder, and we try to be a whole lot stronger. We have been horribly wronged and our hearts are swollen. But we have each other– I know it has only got harder, but I will stay strong for you. Right now, there is nothing that means more to me than the fact that we are together. I love you–if you haven’t heard it yet, believe me when I say I love you.
—  He’s not our president 
Her own God

On the day
She became her own God;
She had read in the paper
A woman had been scentenced to jail,
For the crime of allowing herself to be raped.
And she knew then
The world would never raise its’ hands in praise to her,
But raise its fists,
Instead of looking into her soul where dreams would be born,
Told her to cast her wide wondering eyes down
So she would forever gaze at the feet of men.
Who told her her body was not her own,
To be polite
And say thank you to cat calls that were never wanted,
From men who would undress her with their eyes.
As if they had the privilege of seeing her naked body
Try to swallow itself
As she walked a little faster down the street.
Who would never know her trampoline back
Carries burdens,
Stretched across her shoulders
In bouldered heaps,
But every time she bounces back,
Higher then before;
That the shape of her mouth as she whispered “no”,
Spelled out “Yes”,
To the illiterate men who called themselves lovers,
Scholars of the body;
Books they never learned to read,
While she turned pages of poetry
Into paper planes,
Her origami words
A story they would never understand.
Her Atlas hands
A map,
He would never take the time to hold.
Who was never thin enough,
Or curved enough
Or smart enough
Sweet enough
Smiled enough
Pretty enough
Pleasant enough
To please the world;
Who was a morsel,
Passed along on a plate,
For greedy hands to grasp,
While she kept her mouth closed,
Swallowing words,
Because she was taught to be quiet
She was taught to be soft,
Taught to eat last,
To be full,
Be filled;
While the world gorged it’s empty belly
On her remains.
Who dreamt she was a canyon,
The cavern of her heart
A chasm she cast her dreams into,
Hoping the world would stand at its edge
And listen to them grow.
Whose father demands respect
But can’t understand why she doesn’t speak up
Because . Every. Secentence. Was. Interrupted.
While her brothers were boisterous
And were praised for their noises,
She grew up with play kitchens and tea sets
But wanted to be an architect;
Building dreams into castles they could never knock down.
You see,
On the day she became her own God,
She remembered wisdoms
From all the Gods before her.
She remembered that she was
The Gate Keeper;
That there was no way in to this world but through her thighs,
That her rotund belly was a rapidly growing family tree,
And she would carry it in the branches of her limbs,
Cradle it in the cage of her ribs,
And it was the steps of her spine that would lead them to the world.
That she would put the world to her chest,
A treasure she gave
So the world could thrive, greedily.
That the stretch marks painted on her skin
Are not battle scars,
They are more than that;
Each one
A reminder of a day
That the universe expanded in her belly.
Each one,
A reminder of a day
Every heavy step
Brought her closer to the cosmos.
Each one,
A reminder of a day
That she would protect them with her blood and bones,
Each one a reminder
of the sheer miracle
That is her body.
On the day she became her own God,
She remembered,
She would teach her sons to be soft,
Her daughters to be strong,
Her children to be resilient,
To a world that worshiped
Inequity.


a.g.case
…And her commandments were simple; Love thy self.

Снова и снова убеждаюсь, что мы сами делаем своё настроение.И если вы не обращаете внимания на неприятные мелочи, о которых в любом случае забудете максимум через час и не будете тратить своё время на самокопание, а вместо этого просто постараетесь заметить что-то хорошее, то жизнь правда станет проще и лучше.

November 9th, 2016. I am 20 years old. I am an Asian-American, middle-class, college-educated female. And I just watched my country burn to the ground.

It’s strange to think that our daily lives didn’t stop for this. I still ate lunch, went to work, bought groceries. There is a quiet that wasn’t there before, and a sense that a storm is coming, but that’s it. We will only begin to feel the true detriments of this moment months, maybe years, from now. In less noticeable ways, at first: setbacks in education reform and environmental policies, a conservative Supreme Court, strained foreign relations. But the effects of last night will eventually manifest in higher-than-ever rates of hate crimes and overt discrimination, in increasing failures in our justice system, in a continuation of life below the poverty line, and in many ways we could never imagine.

But what’s most devastating about the results of this election is what it tells us about ourselves: it shows us just how many of the people around us have fallen for the shiny veneer this man coats his destruction in. It tells our children that they are living amongst strangers, neighbors, friends, and family members who believe that violence is tolerable, that hatred is the solution to our problems, and that fear is a necessary tool for a strong leader. We wake this morning, and every morning hereafter, with the knowledge that half our country stomped on our dreams for a better tomorrow and smiled as they did so.

And so the question now becomes “Where do we go from here?” How do we pick ourselves up from the ground we’ve been thrown upon and continue fighting? The fight will be harder now, I assure you—harder now than ever. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth fighting. We want equality, justice, peace. An old man sitting in a white house on a hill will never be enough to keep us from those things. But we must love, everywhere and everyday, to keep those things alive. Wish well those who would do you harm; show them there is power in kindness. 

Don’t be discouraged. Know now that you matter, as you always did. Use your voice, and your mind. Everyday, you will be faced with new challenges, and everyday, you will be given the chance to make an impact. Take both in stride, take neither for granted.

Where do we go from here? Forward.

— 

d.e.m. // “The Aftermath of a Nation Failed: A Millennial in Mourning”

*This is not meant to be an attack towards those who voted for Donald Trump, but a voicing of the sadness and hurt felt by myself and many people, today and for a long time to come.

stand by your glasses steady and drink to your comrade’s eyes. here’s a toast to the dead already, and hurrah for the next to die
—  the revel, bartholomew dowling

Suddenly you want immigrants and refugees to write for your publication? Suddenly our voices are now important?

Suddenly you are interested in political poetry and prose? Suddenly everything we’ve been trying to say is now important?

Why? Because you elected a president most of them have been running away from. You elected someone close enough to our monstrous dictators.

You want us to compare notes, to tell you how they escaped, make you feel as though this very moment in history could be worse. The irony.

Political as always,
Ijeoma.

We’re flawed in our philosophy, lost in the monotony, caught in the cacophony, going hungry feeding monopolies. I can’t even speak out properly, I might lose all my property, either my breath or my bones with twenty cops on top of me. In confusion I call this democracy, but politics is not for me; definitely, probably, with the probability of death haunting me. Punishment is not new to me, but the police are friends with impunity. The media covers the casualties, forgets about some casually and completely neglects it gradually. They try to blunder and badger me and blemish my image to the point of insanity. Then they sugar coat in hopes to cope, and loss of life is suddenly battery. In truth we’d all love a lobotomy, but apathy has penetrated our society like nonconsensual sodomy. Everything’s a mockery, our beliefs and morality sabotaged by hypocrisy. I see it all around me, people struggling with their own tyranny, each drowning in a private sea, neck-deep in irony. We forget that a trump card is an anomaly, not a true form of authority or superiority. And if you listen to the dissonance of broken dreams, therein you’ll find the tragedy of being a minority.
—  Nav K