Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Emma Shinn May 2014
the world needs a lesson in self esteem

we can start by re-examining exactly what each part of that term means

self (hyphen): "to, with, toward, for, on, in oneself"
esteem: "favorable opinion or judgement; respect or regard"
self esteem: to hold a favorable opinion or judgement, respect or regard, to, with, toward, for, on, or in oneself

the world needs this lesson because our children do not know what this term means
because the reason they do not know is because their parents did not know
because the reason their parents did not know is because every generation before them passed along
a belief that you had to fit into every box, had to blend in to every crowd, had to meet every bullet point on the checklist
in order to be considered a person of worth

because the great secret that they never told is that people were not made
to fit into boxes, or be marked on a checklist

because my mother married a man who did not deserve her
because she thought that she wouldn't be able to do any better
because that man looked at his beautiful new stepdaughter
and told her she was worthless, and that her mother knew it too

because that girl was cursed with the hips and the **** and the waist of her great grandmother
and when she went to school with her stepfather's words in her head
a boy in her second grade class said the same **** things, and worse

because i was that girl and i was never the girl who got to walk behind me in the hallways
and laugh at the way that my shirt was too tight, and my thighs were too big, and laugh even harder when i cried
because my best friend in high school was always "the hot one"
and because i cried myself to sleep every time one of our guy friends talked to me about how much he wanted to **** her

because i craved objectification before i'd even finished ninth grade
because i wished that i could sink my hands into my own flesh and rip pieces away and be left with something "beautiful"
because i looked in the mirror every day of my life and pointed out every small detail of what was wrong with my reflection
because i hoped that would help me pretend it didn't hurt when other people pointed out the imperfections

because even after satisfying girlfriend boyfriend girlfriend boyfriend, i still did not feel good about my own body
because it took finding the woman that i want to spend the rest of my life with to make me want to turn the lights on when we ****
because she is the most beautiful woman that i have ever seen
but before me, she'd always wanted to leave the lights off too
because we are grateful to each other for the confidence we have gained
and because we both wish we hadn't needed the other to find something that should have been found within ourselves

the world needs a lesson in self-esteem
and i know this because
i had to write this poem
This is actually a transcript of what should really be heard recited as a slam poem. I do like how it works on paper though, so I thought I'd upload it without audio anyway.
NeroameeAlucard Oct 2017
Let's see
When she visits I'll need
Rubbers, fresh and non latex
Oil to rub in gently
To work my arms out
To prevent pain whilst issuing it out
Whips, and maybe a couple of paddles and
Chains
Because i know she's into pain
Maybe even an umbrella, or a nicely made cane
....
I think thats it
Ive quite the checklist!
Lawrence Hall Sep 2016
Disaster Preparedness Checklist**

Double-A batteries, a map out of town
A tank full of gas, a mind full of plans
A flashlight, toilet paper, a radio
A can opener and cans to go, go, go

Leather gloves and duct tape, whistles
Waterproof matches, and match-proof water
Blankies and ponchos and a change of clothes
A medical kit and a pocket knife

But

No one ever lists a box of cigars,
And a Wodehouse for reading by lamplight
Liam  May 2013
Pub Juxtaposition
Liam May 2013
personal journal musings from last week...*

Stopped in at my neighborhood pub last night
  a couple of pints, some word exchange
Colorful place on a perfect Spring evening
  people on tap, constantly spilling in and out

The place is bustling and packed
  loud and dynamic
Sound flowing on open air
  drifting in from sidewalk patio and out to beer garden

Luckily nab a lonely stool near the entrance
  girl sitting kitty-corner around curving end of bar
Casually we cover topics from her mac 'n cheese
  to wind chill generated by ceiling fans

Conversation is suddenly confiding
  prior night's end-all fight with her live-in boyfriend
Obvious need to talk to someone neutral
  bartenders are busy, so it's me and we do

She's come seeking emotional sanctuary
  awaiting his departure to some event
Unhappy with her role in the argument
  unhappy with the person she has become with him

They'd intended to go ring shopping
  as recently as last week
She now looks forward only to the comfort of
  quiet, pajamas, ice cream, dreamless sleep

Upon leaving, she twice asks that I promise
  to be here if she finds no solitude and must return
This is no request...more of an appeal
  alone in privacy is one thing...alone in festivity another

I promise twice - I'll be here
  she doesn't return
I sincerely hope that she's well on her way to
  an ice cream induced pj slumber

              Less than an hour later...same bar stool

Pleasingly boisterous bachelorette party arrives
  staking claim to a nearby parcel of floor
Numerous "excuse me" squeeze-throughs  for drink orders
  rendering me a semi-familiar bar obstacle

One reveless wedges in, questions me
  what color underpants do I have on...don't recall
Insists that we check...dark bluish-grey
  too bad...she was hoping for purple to match her own

Impishly waiting long enough for my mind to stew
  she finally reveals the query as part of a formal interactive checklist
I apologize for not being more daring in spectrum
  we laugh, nevertheless...strike one

Eventually exchanging pleasantries with another
  a more subtle approach, but the inquisition repeats
Here we go again...Batter up!...Red?...very sorry...strike two
  I'm feeling of no value to this effort

Red offers me a redeeming pitch from the list
  someone must serenade the bride-to-be
I accept and get to meet the veiled celebrity
  she wears an engaging and jubilant aura

Gauging the atmosphere, I decide against romantic
  opting for a song that playfully questions the sanity of her choice
From my heart, I sing the chorus to Matchbox Twenty's "Unwell"
  It goes over very well and I avoid strike three

She and I hit it off, we discuss her wedding plans
  discover our roots are in the same part of the city
I'm rewarded for my musical contribution
  allowed to buy her a shot of Patrón...the checklist dwindles

Now partaking in the excitement of their celebration  
  an honorary addition to the large but exclusive group
My joyous new acquaintance has us take a picture together
  a snapshot of this special occasion to which I've somehow been privileged

A train of waves, goodbyes, thanks, and good lucks
  trails the party as I watch it crawl to the next establishment
In the hushed cacophony, I return to my thoughts
  a fantastic diversity of emotional experience within two short hours

My elbows on the bar in sober contemplation
  counting crows ...one...two...juxtaposed
A contrast of simultaneous realities
  somberly lamenting vs vibrantly anticipating

Reflecting on the beauty in such contrasts
  that serve to define the images of our lives
I finally come to the inevitable conclusion
  it's time for another pint...of ice cream
Jaz Dec 2013
I've had my share of pervs.
I've been groped.
I've been peeped.
I've seen them watch ****.
I've watched them play with themselves.
I've seen them drunk and hanging with women.
Yeah, I've had my share of pervs.
The only thing that's unchecked on the
Perv's checklist is:
Getting *****.

And I pray to God it stays unchecked.
AJ  Mar 2014
Battle Scars
AJ Mar 2014
I. When I was 5, I thought recess was probably the best thing ever invented. Until the first autumn rainfall, when the sky opened up and unleashed it's sorrow unto the earth. The children were kept inside that day. As the storm thundered on around us, we ran to play on the other side of the classroom. The boys charged to the shelf with legos and blocks, while the girls lined up at the miniature kitchen. I followed them to the tiny toy oven, even though, secretly, I thought those lincoln logs looked really fun.

II. When I was 6, I thought my first grade teacher was the sweetest woman to ever have lived. Then, one day she lined us to to go outside, calling out, "Boys on one side, girls on the other" reminding of us of a divide between genders that we did not understand. Marking off differences on a checklist that none of us had read yet.

III. When I was 7, like most little girls I daydreamed of the perfect wedding. The part I played over and over in my head was my brother walking me down the aisle, "giving me away". Because even in the second grade, some part of me knew that I belonged to the men in my life.

IV. When I was 8, I learned that the praise I'd receive from the boys I called my brothers would always be conditional. No matter what award I received, how fast I ran, how tough I fought, how smart I was, I'd always be "pretty good for a girl". And that is never a compliment.

V. When I was 9, the YMCA told me I had to stop playing the sport I'd loved for 5 years because I was a girl. I took my first feminist stand by quitting, because I don't care what they say, softball and baseball are not the same thing.

VI. When I was 10, my brother informed me that the day I brought home a boyfriend was the day he bought a gun. Because that's how you protect your property.

VII. When I was 11, a boy ran up to me on the playground and told me I was cute. For a moment, I felt confident, a feeling that was foreign to me. Until the boy and his friend started laughing uncontrollably, as if they couldn't believe that I'd ever think that was true. I cried a lot that day because I hadn't yet realized that my self worth wasn't directly proportional to how many boys found me attractive.

VIII. When I was 12, my aunt gave me my first make up kit for my birthday. When my grandmother tried to force me to wear it, I refused, yelling, "It's my face!" She proceeded to tell me that I'd never get a boyfriend with that attitude. After all, who was I to want to be in control of my own body?

IX. When I was 13, I thought gym was a subject invented by sadistic hell fiends created just to torture teenage girls. It was the hottest day of the year, and I'd just ran a mile, so I opted not to change out of my tank top before continuing on to my next class. A teacher cornered me at my locker, advising me to put on a jacket before I became a distraction to the boys.

X. When I was 14, I confessed to my mother the wanderlust inside of me. Exclaiming about travelling to new places, having new experiences. That's when she looked me dead in the eye and told me to always take someone with me. Preferably, a man. I couldn't bring myself to be angry. We both knew what happened to women alone on the streets, and I felt bad for the way I made her eyes shine with worry each time I left the house without her.

XI. I am 15, and I walk with my fists clenched and my head down. I am always conscious of what clothes I wear and whether or not they could attract "the wrong kind of attention". I attempt to shield myself from the world, but I can feel my barriers cracking with each terrifying statistic, each late night news story, each girl that was never given justice. The world is a war zone, and every woman must put her armor on before walking outside. My life has been one battle after the next. I am a 15 year old war veteran, and have the scars to prove it. I've learned from my experiences and am left with just one question:

At what age does the war end?
Serenity Elliot Sep 2014
Is this the real world,
A ticking time bomb?
Or a clock,
As I hope I won't explode.

In my career I need to rise,
Be successful and stable with an iron fist
At the same time I need to find a husband but I'm not even meeting people
Have kids young so I'm an active grandmother,
But then, what about my job?

Everyone is having children older these days,
They say,
But what about my biologicial countdown timer?
A woman called me a 'lady' the other day,
And my friends are getting married.

Is life a checklist?
If so, maybe the world needs to rethink.
Lawrence Hall Aug 2017
Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Double-A batteries, a map out of town
A tank full of gas, a mind full of plans
A flashlight, toilet paper, a radio
A can opener and cans to go, go, go

Leather gloves and duct tape, whistles
Waterproof matches, and match-proof water
Blankies and ponchos and changes of clothes
A medical kit and a pocket knife

But

No one ever lists a box of cigars,
And a Wodehouse for reading by lamplight
Madison  Sep 2018
Broken Weeds
Madison Sep 2018
The moths followed the little square
Like he was a flame
The little square wrote a book about his despair
And the moths made a proclaim

The little square didn't like us
So he told the moths to find us, "the mess"
He told them to do it without fuss
'Cause without us his garden would be flawless

The moths came out to his garden
They found me and my kind
And pulled us out with a gun
Treating us like we aren't apart of mankind

We were put on trial by them
And thrown into fire
We were shoved into a room by 'em
And gassed because it was "prior"

Occasionally the moths were bored
So they played hangman with us
This was a game that they adored
All we could do was stare at the hanging carcass

They were our friends and family
They were the only medals we had left
We were too broken to be angry
So we ignored the theft

When the moths got rid of us
They went for the most damaged weeds
That often made us anxious
Because of it some did misdeeds

Some couldn't deal with the pain and fear
So those weeds jumped to the birds
On the floor they left a smear
The smears thought jumping would send them homewards

Though we saw death so many times a day
We were still able to eat and treat people with hate
It was because from our god we have gone astray
Maybe because we were all under weight

In our stomachs prowled lions
Our hunger was so severe
If we found stray scraps we would go for the ****
If you went for the food you were a volunteer

One time we ran out of food
So we complained even more
The moths got tired of our complaining mood
So we ran to a new camp door

We were often moved
We went from camp to camp
Of course we all disapproved
On the house that was based by our stamp

On each of our wrist
Was and inky black stamp
It was on the moths checklist
It was our name in each concentration camp

When we were saved from hell
We were all broken weeds
We couldn't even sleep well
But the ones that saved us answered our needs

The ones that saved us helped end the war
And some were normal citizens
Everyday we are grateful for their loving core
Even if we had great differences

Though the Holocaust made us different
And the memories haunt us
It was kind of a movement
Because now people won't walk into war without a fuss
This poem is dedicated to the Jews that suffered from the holocaust
Ken Pepiton Oct 2018
'Put my hand in the hand of the man from Galilee,

that song keeps playing in my memory, and I recalled

Or I thought I did, I imagined he'd walk with me
and talk with me
Along life's merry (or was it narrow?), way

a light touch, his arm around my shoulders,
as boys are wont to do,
I axed 'im,
help me fill the darkness behind my eyes,
which I think may have been blind, at that time,

I have memories like that.
packed away in old memes. That mean something...
Gold-something...
color maybe, Goldfarv? Bloom.
Right, my augmentatious savant
looked it up and I sorted what I recalled

Google The Global Brain, Howard Bloom,
where he named a kind of
category of knowability. Memes, he called them.

And I thought, memes mean something more,
not Dawkins's, nor Bloom's, but these,
heteromemes bubbling out my belly button,
look real close.

Here a seeing being done, words appearing...

fractally featureless by the time a clock could have been imagined,

the point of the story was made,
and there is no end in sight.

Pop. Another apocalypse bubble collapses by mortality. Whaddyaknow?

What remains when a bubble pops at a positron level,
after the charge is touched and
the tension-power-loss collapses the bubble?

You should think, you know atoms work, this way.

Touchy bubbles disappear when their form is disinformed,
the wall of a bubble,
one quanta of power thick,
vanishes
as the charge that formed it flees.
That bubble,
not cloud-based, random super positioning,but
elect
tric-magi-tech, a touch screened
at the quantum accounting point of real-ification,
but, probably,
a bubble,indeed,
powered, one way or another, with a single charge,
Go, that's it.
(I charge thee, son Timothy, go)
That's all an electron does.
It goes, as soon as any sense can be made of it,
outa here, oughta hear it, clear,
ping. No charge, no bubble, but next sure as...
No, ah, when I think about that..

Hell,
somethi' from nuthin musta hapt one time,

but ya'll take no heed, this voice,
m'fallin angel, Tantan, droppin' in ol-fren, tricky hybridbast...

Noah was a tellin' Ham the truth
found in wines that moved themselves aright,
slurry tongued, and laughin' but pisstoff.

The idea of somethin' goin' south in a family,
that started up again when
ever Noah started drinkin' old wine, sayin' sbetter'n...

Old story, God damened 'em, not me, I just
built the box.

Who told you I was naked? Noah queried Shem.

-- aye, ye know, Noah was drunk,
No excuse, but you know.

Things were said, that maybe could be forgotten, after a while,

But those father wounds a man imagines worst
are the one's his son's forgot.
Forgot can't be forgiven it seems, sometimes...

The story being told is complicated. See,
the Bible is a lens,
not a map.

I've looked so long through that lens,
that I began to see the bubble formed around me,
charged powerfully with fear,
'yond my bubble monsters lurked.

But, my bubble bumped another,
purest of happenstance,
the bubbles merged and merged again,
their power building to a wave,
crashing to the shore and no more
was I bubbled in my safe place.

I found this trail up from the beach.

It got me much farther than this, should you ever
visit me.
Did you regret the defeat at Ai,
or were you
Aachen, bold?

No, irrelevant, obtuse allusion to Yahshua,
that's not in the stack,
that card's about as relevant as McLuhan's hair of the dog.

Information unformed begins to boil deep in me.

Somethin', ain't it?  All them three meter dishes shrunk down
to the size of a spoon, a teeny weeny spoon, a coke spoon,
like on Miami Vice, back when.

Satellite TV changed the desert, fer sher, but 4g, brohan,

that was the trick. Elect trick.
Future, on demand, where outhouses are still de rigueur.

Before you know it, country kids,
too poor for any but outlaw dreams,
can audit courses at MIT,
if somebody
shows him, it can be done, prove t' him
it works, faith can make things happen,
but
happening as an event, in the Deep Field,
is sorta hard to nail down to one thing,
until the very last
Planc-sec.  
Astrophysics is part of the metagame, fer sher.
But
there's some stuff that takes some patience,
to learn. Fifty year'r longer.

Everything that's old and still works is only old, not rotten.

Olde time religion, at the oldfo'k dayroom,
where the clock runs the whole show.
It's another game show. Saint Bob Barker takes a bow,
and declares the potential worth of all your eyes behold,
behind the curtain,
lies the prize.

If, if, if you are a luckywinner and
you arise when I call your name
to come on down,
fall on your knees and declare the worth...

pure gamesmanships required here, golf whispers only,
worship, 'smuch more difficult to aim for than praise.
I agree.
Praise, appraisal, worthyness, worthship, prize, what's the diff?
How comes a thing to be worthy,
in your estimation? Tell me no lie.

A feeling? What's it worth?
Depends.
Safe? Priceless! Don't shout. There's money to make.

'Got a busy-ness pre-positioned high above the rest.
A super-positioned superstion. The darkness.
See, safety is a human right.
So we sell walls, impermeable. It's always, lights on
within, then
We'll be rich and powerful wallbuilding,
citi-zen warriors fed and fattened
by those we make
feel safe, from the dark unknowns seeping in.

That's the idea. It's worked for years, at least
since
we saw the Power in Myth and
capitalized Campbell's bliss and Sagan's billions and billions of stars.

Within these walls workers will work for food and a feeling.
And Facebook.
They choose a place and stand, and do what comes to hand.
Heartily
grip what's easiest for you to hold on to,
they are told.

Attendants bring the meds, settling every disruption
of the peace the patient craves in his comfort.
The price ain't right, m'mouthmumbles...

You are absolutely co-rect-allatime, tekayepeel.

There are wishes being made,
on all manner of stars
for happy ever afters.

If wishes were askings, what if
connecting to the source of haps which,
every expert knows, haps are
all happiness can possibly
consist of.
Oh, consist.
That sticky, gluteny idea stuck in my daily bread.
It's related to resist, desist and the command to stand.
Sistere. Shield-wall and all that. Turtles all the way down.

A disruption!
Day room Now! Granpa's shouting,

This is that bomb, this is a dam buster Jesus H Christ Bomb!
I'll drop it. I swear.

Something's bound on earth to go wrong,
ever since Eve bit that apple, if she'da left that apple on the apple tree
Nah, that ain't how it went down and
songs about it don't change it none.

But, maybe this is me interrupted... in my meander.

What if, nothing is immaterial,
as an idea, it can't go wrong,
and Murphy's law, obeyed, is good, all the time.
If nothing can go wrong, it won't.
Ask the pilot flying by faith in his checklist.

What if,
asking for help helps?
Was that a message? A touch by an angel?
Spirit, the idea? An answered prayer?

Are you familiar with its role in reality?
Something makes these bubbles spin, y'know.

Ignoring is bliss, nay,
No more,
precisely, nevermore,
quoth the raven, shall the man who can read
be locked away from all the stories,
telling eventualities that
men, wombed and un,
have told and tested for ever, it seems,

Stop
striving for perfection and let patience have her way witcha,

whatcha learn can change the world.

Look back. Good news from a far country come our way.
Grandpa made some sense and we built a fort, of pillows
This is a reworking of Good news from a far country, I am attempting to rein in my scattered mind. Let me know if you see improvement or parts in need thereof.

— The End —