Elle 1d
An open-form poem


We stand up and speak out, in voices scratchy and riddled with slang-we cry
                                                         “consent, consent and equal pay.”

Those older than us, scoff and pull our knees off the ground, they tear our signs and say,
                                    “don’t you have another boy to throw away?”

“You don’t know your rights, who do you think you are? You work as a waitress  and have acne, you must be mad to think your voice counts.”

But don’t forget to vote on Election Day.

“When I was your age I was steady- with a good job, a steady girl, and those loans paid off.”
“You are not steady, it’s because you are lazy. Too much sleep and rap music is what is making you unsteady.”

Pastors and preachers and priests, say this generation is violent and lazy
                                                           and video game sales have risen.

These kids have no sense of reality, they are emotional and gay and trans and lesbian
We cannot block their cries out any longer
Because they are us.
They are black and white and brown and feeling.
And they are us.

Our sisters, our brothers, our friends, our lovers,
our people are dying.
In shootings, hate crimes and in standing up.
                                      
         “all these young people are killing the brick and mortar stores”
you are killing my people.


We have tasted reality and we will not hold back.
And we will stand. We will rise.

Our feet will be unsteady,
but we push
and pull
and advance.

No more we will be silent.


I have a dream.
If no man walked the streets, I’d wear a pretty dress at dusk and stargaze in the park.
                                
                                 But my fear of jeers and violence holds me back-
the dreaded “hey baby,” pounds in my head.
                                   Let me wear a dress and let me not be catcalled.


“You cut your hair.”
“It’s just a phase to cut your hair.”
“What if your future husband likes long hair?”
“Are you trying to say something with that hair?”
“Boys don’t like girls with short hair.”


As sad as it is, my story is not unique, all my friends have a story like mine. We sit at tables and drink our nonalcoholic drinks, carefully watching for the man who saw us come in.

We share tips on how to fit our keys between our knuckles, on how the elbow will hurt the most, in
                                                                 the face, stomach and groin.

We share our shame the dirty feeling after a man purposely touches your arm as you brush past him,
the shame you feel after you decline him, and he mocks you with words like
                                                                         “you were ugly anyway.”

The shame you feel when he respects your instance that you have a boyfriend, more than he respects your right to say no.

The shame is better than the potential risk of him finding out you are single; a solo woman is easier than one who has a man.
                                                            “c’mon baby, I know you want it.”
A stubborn “no” makes him declare over you;                                          
                                            “prude, no man would love you anyway.”



The boys loved me until I learned to love myself.
And then I was labeled,
bossy.
stuck up.
prissy.

Then they grew up and found it enchanting.
A strong woman was desirable.
Attractive.
Sexy. Alluring,
A challenge.
They loved it until they realized it wasn’t a front, that I wasn’t secretly insecure, they wanted me until they realized I didn’t need them.

I was raised in privilege. No gangs to fight, no mouths to feed, my rent was paid, and clothes bought new.

Am I untouched?

Has my white-fair skin erased for me, the everyday danger my brothers and sisters of color face?
bulimia,
anorexia
and blades
they will not touch me on this pedestal of privilege.
Isn’t that what they say?
You have good grades and both parents, depression and anxiety don’t hang out in the Hamptons

Our boys are starving- abs are easier obtained with lack of food, then with diet.
Let them be beautiful.
Let them be soft.
Let them be boys.

Shame on us for telling soft boys to “man up” when they cry and then raging when our husbands and boyfriends won’t show emotion.

We are a generation saying
No more.
This must stop.
This is not how it’s supposed to be.
This is not how we will be.

We’re self-named, untamed, untouched, unridden.

Scandal. Closed doors and stilettos. Parking under street lamps and groups because there is safety in numbers.
Hiding their tears and fighting to prove they are men, toxic masculinity is all over them.

This generation of children is saying no more. We are labeled feminist, weak and selfish.
We are told
“don’t be so mean,”
“keep your pretty mouth shut,”
“you run like a girl,”

Weak, powerless.
Lazy, insecure.
Rebellious, fickle.
Ungrateful, unpatriotic.
These labels surround us.
But they are not us.

And we will stand. We will rise.
Our feet will be unsteady,
but we push
and pull
and advance.
No more we will be silent.




                              Paragraph of Explanation:
This poem is an open form poem in the style of Allen Ginsberg. I participate in a movement of using poetry as a voice for activism, hence this very political poem. To quote myself (is that even a thing) from my comments on the “what movement would you start/participate in” assignment; “Teenagers should be able to talk about social issues within the medium of literature without it being labeled as “angsty” or “moody.” This is a poetic rant against all the people who think that teenager’s opinions are not realistic or “real” opinions, on: toxic masculinity, school shootings, racism, bigotry, violence and sexism against women.
I used italics to showcase the lines that were supposed to be significant. I used alliteration, assonance, rhyme, allusion, slant rhyme and repetition. I quoted Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream,” “and it occurs to that I am America” from Allen Ginsberg’s “America.” The “Knees off the ground” alluded to the peaceful protest of the NFL, “We’re self-named, untamed, untouched, unridden.” is from Moonlily by Marilyn Nelson. The scandal line is a nod to the recent rise in women speaking up concerning the harassment in Hollywood. Stilettos is for the issue of workplace harassment. And  I have made my open form in the style of Allen Ginsberg and from a few modern poets who have written things concerning current politics.
It’s a call to raise our voices, that we will not be silenced, it’s a call to understand that we can change the world with our words and the fact that we will.
I used to write my name in ALL CAPS.
Screaming it for all to hear.
For I wanted to make a dent in the lives of all I met.

I used to write my name in bold
Standing out on the page, but knowing I was small.
For I wanted to make a mark in the lives of all I met.

I used to write my name in italics
Slipping out of the grasp of my author. Falling.
For I wanted to tick in the lives of all I met.

I used to write my name
Thinking my words were all I had,
For I knew I couldn't make a dent, mark, or tick.

I used to write my name
Now I know it's a waste of the only thing I truly had TIME
For it makes the biggest crater.
Greg Jones Jun 19
Haven’t talked to you since Saturday,
I wanted to call but I didn’t know what to say.
Did...did we make a mistake?
A mis-mistake?

In the morning when the liquor wore off
Did you remember the night before?
Or did that fade?

You grabbed your clothes in the glow of the morning.
“I gotta go, I gotta go”
Then you left frantically.

I pulled into your driveway today,
I wanted to talk but I wanna hear what you’d say.
Did...did we make a mistake?
You think so?

It’s so cold now but your lips are so warm,
And your fire’s enticing me.
Can you feel it?

You grabbed your clothes in the glow of the morning.
Hyper night left both of us yearning.
Awake in the twilight when you’re not here,
I’m gripping my pillow.

You could be my drug.
You grabbed your clothes in the glow of the morning.
I could be bad luck.
It’s so cold now but your lips are enticing.
This could be young love.
I’ll take that chance to see what we can be.
don't worry about those insignificant ones
that think they know you
understand you
want to associate with you
they aren't important
what's important
is you
and don't you forget it
stopdoopy Jun 13
I knew of a girl
in a little green sweater
her eyes were bright
just like the weather
she came from a sunny place but
I slowly learned her insides were more of the rainy type
she said she had the emotional health of a cheese grater
I never really knew what to make of that-
it could be taken so many ways
but what I did know was
she was strong, soft, bold, and outspoken
she might've felt flimsy like aluminum and full of holes,
glass with little cracks to seep through,
but to me she was solid titanium that could shred through anything,
diamond with dangerous piercing points
love ya my dude

(I was going to call it "You Deserve Better" but... you feel like the new title)
I'm dry in my veins but hanging on,
I will challenge the wind and prove to it I'm strong.
Gone with my friends and my foes in its grasp,
I bet they lying still and lonely along the lime, tender grass.

The branch won't be my refuge as he needs a refuge himself,
I can be even more stronger than the branch, for I believe in myself.
The wind holds no impartiality nor does it favors not a soul,
But I'll be that one he'll remember of being quite so bold.

If I'm carried away by the wind I'll not fall,
The grass won't be my resting place and ever at all.
I will discover the mystery of the wind and its secrets,
Its weak points and as well as its deepest.

The path of the wind and where it rests at nights,
And where it begins and the things it likes;
And why doesn't it tosses shadows away,
And why me an old, dry, clinging leaf, but well, not today!
Category: Nature
Tess Apr 13
Bold like a lion,
strong and brave.
I'm not defiant,
know my name.

Proud like a lion,
showing might,
No turning back now,
I will fight.

Roar like a lion.
Hunt your prey.
Walk like a titan.
Rule the day.

Live like a lion.
Know your place.
Keep your head high an'
show your grace.

Sleep like a lion,
with your pride.
Protect your region.
None shall die.

Fail like a lion.
tail down low.
But rise like a king.
All will know.
Be a lion, bold strong, and full of fight, and if life gets's you down, rise up!
Ender Royalty Apr 12
She had three hearts
A heart of gold
A heart made of a bitter but sweet tart
And a heart to make her bold

The heart of gold
Made her age well
And never appear old

The heart of bitter but sweet tart
Purposes for her generosity
And will make sure she never falls apart

The heart that makes her bold
Is what makes her unique and distinctive
And will never back down no matter what she is told
Just another piece, enjoy!
Pearls of sadness dropped by the angels above. Every tear dropped for the ones we loved. Rain...
We are bold we keep strong. And we are always told to carry on. Rain...
The drops of tears settle into the ground. And will never again be found. Rain...

                               With love,
                                  Anonymous
You’re acting so cold,
Sending chills through my bones.
You’re acting so bold,
That it sounds like a scold.

I knew who you were from the start  
But now I don’t know who you are anymore.
Maybe it’s just a phase
Because of all the pain you endured.

But brick by brick
the towers have grown tall
And I can’t see you at all.

I am trying to find a worn area,
I am trying to find a window
To the softness that once existed
Because it feels like
there is nothing between us at all.
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