The Slums of Time

while I sat alone

within my own mind

thinking of the time

that remained for me

i counted the seconds

ONE.

I thought of the forgiving light that faded in my eyes after waking

The chains of night broken as the pine needles gently held me

The simplicity of my liminality

Content with the sky it dwelled beneath

TWO.

I saw the perfect light in which my soul has risen in

Stars turned to sunrise in my throat

Wind and rage and power.

Control. Stability

THREE.

I remembered the last night

Long as it was terrifying, deep as it was dark

Knife wounds echoing the moans of my tattered heart as I walked through fields of green

A cast around an already metastasized soul

FOUR.

I stared into the blued cosmic abyss

The light casting lies

The infinite oblivion above me

An interstellar blink.

FIVE.

On the coattails of the night that covered me

I saw it

The concave and hallow ribs that dropped off into an empty chest

The stolen and twisted truth which had chased me to this point

SIX.

I am engulfed within it

Every heart string I’ve ever snipped

Every doubt I’ve ever had

Every word I’ve ever uttered

Shoved right back into my windburnt and lightning hallowed throat

SEVEN.

I am silenced.

EIGHT.

Muted, engulfed, i relied on my other senses to propel me

The deafening tone of my own droning falling on my deaf ears

The touch of the clothes against my cold, pale, clammy skin

The sight of the two bottles perched on my windowsill

NINE.

They clutched the light

The hollow bright

Through the taste of my tears i swallowed

The fire in my soul doused by a combination of vodka and antidepressants

TEN.

The age in which i found out that there was only I

Only I with the broken heart strings that bleed the blues

Only I that could bend the halos of the infinite pieces of time around me into the glorious crescendos of nature itself

Few others i found

But they had shattered in their own vibrations

ELEVEN.

I saw the candles on my last birthday cake

The ripe age of seven years old

The fire in my eyes as strong as the flames in the welcoming candles of my short childhood

I can only wonder what the boy then would see in me now

TWELVE.

I look in the mirror

To see the person i am now

Sunken eyes as the blue waves of my irises battle the constricting red in my veins

Purple forming in my chest

A kingdom of glass in which i am the sole and failing ruler

THIRTEEN.

I meet the silence with the same level of noise that one makes

When they see themselves DYING

It echoes as it bends throughout the skeleton of my adopted home

Echo, and grow

Echo, and grow

Echo, and grow

FOURTEEN.

Rage.

The color red pouring from both my vision and my hand as i destroy the abode which used to protect me

I brought a knife to this gun fight

A mountain range sitting on my chest I cannot breathe

I choke on the words that others have said about me

I am utterly. Truly.

Alone.

FIFTEEN.

In the reflection of the blood stained mirror in front of me I see an old black guitar

As if the sounds of my fury echoed through the body of that hunk of wood

The first four fingers in my left hand are the first to lose feeling

There are gentle grey dots in my vision

SIXTEEN.

A muffled sound of a footstep on carpet

The pumping in my heart rippling out and slowing to a gentle pulsing

Pulsing

My lungs expand like the torn bags they are and deflate like the sound of singing out the window of a car

SEVENTEEN.

One second for every pill.

EIGHTEEN.

NINETEEN.

TWENTY.

TWENTY ONE.

As my legs lose feeling i see the date on the calendar

The date which will be on my tombstone
And as i wonder what color my casket will be and if whether or not dead people wear shoes

I remember a silver lining

TWENTY TWO.

Though much is taken from this life, much abides

A lightning strike flies out of my throat

The gentle sounds that pour out of the next room talk about a home in which i dont want to visit

And as the ceiling fans whisper the hot drags of summer air

I think about the glories of life

TWENTY THREE.

The sight of blond curls falling from a dust filled room

The gentle hairpin curve of a lip

The cusp of ecstasy on which a golden painted spirit resides on

The moon when it lulls the sun to sleep

The experience that i am going to give up

TWENTY FOUR.

As the blood from my hand rests on the floor and the medicine that kept me fatally stable

sit in the toilet

I am reminded of the fact that time marches on

I am shown that time and fate make one weak

But strong in will

For the meaning of our being is to strive, seek,

and not to yield.

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Thank you so much to Write About Now Poetry for sharing my video on their YouTube channel! This is the first slam poem I ever wrote, and hands down the most fun to perform. So much love and light to my newly discovered Southern Fried family for allowing me to share it with them.

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A Letter to You by Vanessa Kisuule

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Ariana Brown - “Wolfchild” (CUPSI 2015)

“Can’t afford the luxury of the tragic mulatto, suicidal for her inability to fit within a black or white world, because you can barely fit in your own body.”

Performing for UT Austin at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

Six months have past and I can finally say:
I don’t love you.
Maybe I’m still in love with the walk we took
in October
Or the time you first kissed my cheek
in December
Or when I stayed up on your birthday
But you fell asleep on mine.
Perhaps I can’t forget the way
You put your arm around me
Or the shape of your lips
But, God, I promise you
I don’t love you anymore.
I might be in love with our memories
But I sure as hell don’t love you.
—  we’ve both moved on but it still stings to smell your scent and that’s okay (July 1 // 5:56 a.m.)
She asked me, “What do you want from me?” As we stood there,
in the middle of an argument; she asked, “What, tell me what you want from me?” My response, was simple, “I just want you; I just want us.” But that was a lie, because there’s so much more behind that statement that she’ll never know. So much hurt and truth behind the theory of us that I have yet to tell her. I want her more than anything in this world but I don’t just want kisses, dates, sex, and corny memories. No, I want us. I want a trusting relationship, I want to be able to sleep at night and not have to reassure myself a thousand times, that she won’t walk away. I’m not afraid of lust or one night stands to get in the way. Cheating is not what I fear. I fear, the fact that she’ll wake up one day and just leave, just leave because it isn’t me she wants. I want us to grow together, none of these mindless dates and kisses on sunset beaches. I want to learn and build a future together. I want to be the person she trusts in. To tell me all her hopes, dreams, and ambitions. Not only will I support them, but I want to be a part of them. To be able to say that we helped each other, that we supported each other. I want hand holding, not as a sign of possession, but as a sign of commitment. I want a title not because it ties us down, I want a title because there’s nothing that would make me more proud than to know that I am hers for the taking. That I shout to the world that I want no one else but her. I want morning breakfasts with no clothes on, because in the morning fog is when we’re the most vulnerable.  I want these things not because of what movies portray for us to believe in. No, I want these things because they were what our fathers and mothers never had. I want midnight talks about the things she fears the most, and I won’t judge her for them. I want dancing in the middle of the living room not because of romance but because of unity and happiness. I want to live in happiness, to know that I have found someone who wants all the same things. I want kids, oh god, how I want kids with her, and I want them to never doubt how much of this home was built on love, alone. I want to build a career with her along my side, so that nights full of stress still somehow make me feel blessed that I have a woman like her by my side. I want her to feel safe in my arms, to know that I will never leave her. I want to be there when she needs someone to wipe away her tears and I will try my best to never be the reason for her aches and crying. I want her to want us just as much as I do. There’s so much more behind that statement, because it’s not just as simple as “I want us” no, I want something with her that I’ve had with no one else. I want to drown in love, go in head first, to never be afraid to commit to her. I want it all, and I want it only with her.
—  My answer

Hey tumblr folks! We’re looking for the help of our community to share their feelings about Button Poetry. We want to connect with fans and use their stories for an upcoming project for a major announcement coming in August. Please send a video message (or photo containing a written message) to media(@)buttonpoetry.com. Thank you all for your continued support!

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FROM THE VAULT: Troy Osaki - “Morning Service” (NPS 2014)

“War hysteria was just another euphemism for scapegoats. As if evacuation was meant for her own protection.”

Performing for Seattle during semifinals at the 2014 National Poetry Slam. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

To the next girl who has the privilege to love you:

1. He is very shy. Even though he looks tough, he would be too timid to talk to you.
2. He would hold you as though you are the most precious thing in the world.
3. When his lips land on your cheek, you would be free of all the worry of the world, but only temporarily.
4. He’s stellar at making you feel special, but please keep in kind that he treats every girl like this.
5. You’ll never love someone the way you love him.
6. He’s not very good at taking care of himself — so please take care of him for me. Make sure he drinks enough water and eats enough food.
7. He hardly sleeps. Encourage him to nap please.
8. He really likes sugar cookies. Bake some for him — but don’t end up like me and leave a scar on your wrist.
9. Borrow his sweaters. He smells like heaven and home and I swear to god, you would feel so loved when you wear them.
10. Send him pictures of yourself — lots of them. He loves seeing you happy so don’t forget to smile.
11. He doesn’t get angry often, but when he does, you’ll cry. Not because he’s hurting you, but because you simply cannot bear seeing him upset.
12. It’s always friends before you. Don’t force him.
13. He says “I love you” a lot. You’ll remember every time he says it.
14. He likes walking you home, even if it means he has to walk an extra half hour alone.
15. Don’t tell him you cried for him. He’ll take it upon himself.
16. Kiss him a lot — while you can.
17. You’ll fall way too hard for him.
18. Please treat him well. He deserves the best and he always offers the best.
19. Don’t get mad at him, please. I made that mistake one too many times and I still regret it.
20. Give him all the love he deserves, please. I beg you to treat him right.

—  Where you are, I once was. (May 31, 2:41am)
blog.helloflo.com
10 Slam Poems Every Woman Should Listen To
In the world, young girls have accomplished so much without being noticed or applauded. Normally, their accomplishments are even hidden away or ignored, even ridiculed. Clementine von Radics wants young women to know that they are brilliant and much more capable than they’ve ever been told they can be.

My poem “For Teenage Girls” is on this list!

how to get over a man who ain’t shit (in 7 steps)

Step 1.
Say aloud:

I am going to get over a man by the name of _________ because he ain’t shit.

as many times as it pleases.

Step 2.
write a poem.
it can be one word, or no words.
it can be sounds, or your silence.
just know when it’s started.
just make sure it ends.
f bombs are welcome.

Step 3.
who has time to write a poem about a man who ain’t shit? you do. Did your heart have time to love him? obviously. does the universe have time to be great? of course. Are you a poet? Do you breathe? do you have fingers? then you are a universe too.

and your heart is an orbit of stars clustering around
the black of you like a cheerful congregation…

do not dismiss its ache.

Step 4.
no, a poem does not mean
subliminal Facebook statuses.
It does not mean rebound love.
It does not mean “one last time for the road”
or “maybe he’ll be different tomorrow”

because he won’t be.
that just isn’t good math.

you probably aren’t good at math.

Step 5.
say aloud “I’m not that good at math”.

do not try to add or subtract things in your life just to forget him.
he is a loss. and a gain. It’s okay to not be okay with that. It’s okay to cry.

Step 6.
maybe you need to cry.
do that then.
the skies cry too.
and spring often comes after.

Step 7.
say “Goodbye”
say “hello”
wear your hair unkempt.
walk through a park.
decide to be happy.
without him.
decide that you are without him.
and you will be happy.
and you will be home.

home.
is wherever you choose to be.


[repeat every step until it sticks.]

C. 2015 Rashawna Wilson

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I grew up learning to protect men who hate me,
learned how to be the silencer to their pistol,
learned how to be the revolution spit-shining their spines.

Crystal Valentine & Aaliyah Jihad - “To Be Black and Woman and Alive”