A name is but a label that has branded us for life
A name such as my own, Biblical in nature
Meaning so much more to me than “The grace of god”
With a heart for spoken word
And a mouth more than capable
Who knows the great pleasure of the perfect phrase
And always has something to say
I’ve got a way with words,
And I’m stronger than most
A heavy heart,
And gentle hands
With uncle lost to a smoking gun,
At the scene of a suicide
A snapping turtle beneath my skin
Timid but fierce
With intellect in my veins
And curiosity all the same
Like a pine cone
Those rough and pointy edges remind me of my own
Made from good intentions
And full of pride
Backwards I am the same,
For I have only one face.
My two-toned mind
Damaged, but alive
My bipolar-stained brain
Depression? or mania?
Because what good is “the grace of god”
if he only chooses to pit you against yourself
For I am my only rival
Or Peninnah I should say
For while god's word may be gracious
It is my name not his
When life is thrown at you and hurled too fast,
You can’t even see, or even look past,
The struggles that hit you so evenly.
They leave no room for purpose or meaning.
I tried to color inside life’s challenging lines,
But realized quickly there’s not even enough time,
To draw what was always invisible.
The colors I used are not even giveable.
When you ask my name, and what you should call me,
I ignore the preference because it’s not worth recalling.
I’m just another lonely boy in a lonely world,
Where emotions and hardships are suddenly hurled.
The impact they cause is too painful to describe.
But if you felt what I felt, you’d know how I’d die.
It jabs you in the heart and never stops stabbing.
Yet I’m still standing here, my heart still beating,
It gives all it can give, pumping every bit of blood.
It doesn’t give up and just give up trying,
For it knows it’s ultimately dying.
It pumps as long as the sun is still rising.
What’s in a name?
What’s in a name?
Jack shit, that’s what’s in a name.
Because the name of a person will not change who they are.
If the word ‘war’ was defined as freedom from violence and disturbance,
what we now know as “peace” could easily be referred to as ‘war’
Because what makes a chicken so, chickeny?
Who looked at this tasty bird and thought to themselves.
This is a chicken.
It wouldn’t matter if you called it an eagle it would still taste the same in nugget form.
Because if Jimmy liked Sheila because she was hot, smart, and funny,
Why wouldn’t he like her if her name was Lauren?
He would like her the same no matter the name.
(Unless he only dates girls named Sheila,
In that case it just makes Jimmy a dick with peculiar taste.)
That’s the thing people don’t get about disease.
It doesn’t appear with the diagnosis, no.
It’s been there.
Living and writhing inside of you.
Just because you give it a name
Doesn’t invalidate the before.
So when they roll their eyes
And say you’re using it as an excuse now
An excuse to stay home, in bed
An excuse to not be in their presence
Tell them no.
Tell them everything you used before was an excuse.
Because now, you can finally give it a name.
Why did the darkness
Want you so badly?
Why does the light
Need you still more?
Why were the shadows
Screaming your name,
While shafts of moonlight
Whisper deep within your soul
Words that shatter you more
Than the ghosts ever will?
How did the angel
With wings of light
And a heart of darkness
Find you so easily,
Though you'd buried yourself
In long-lingering secrets
Why does she ache
To carry you away?
You belong to the shadows of night
And the light of day
Unable to have one
Without the other
Wherever you go
To know her is not just knowing her
name, birthday and her favorites.
No, to know her you have to notice all the
little things that make her, her.
The way her fingers tap when her favorite
song is playing out loud.
The way her eyes always search for that
one particular person in the crowd.
The way she holds back a smile when
his name is mentioned.
Most of all, how she is when she is all by herself.
Nothing shows better how a person is,
than their behavior alone.
Then she is a hundred percent herself,
and that, my love, is the girl you want to know.
i still can’t say your name.
not because, the sound makes me sad,
but rather because
the way the letters sit on my tongue and,
the way the syllables leave my lips
simply don’t feel as comfortable as they used to.
i wonder if you can’t hear my name.
the way you told me to add an accent to the end.
the way I made it sound like the ending to a love note,
a love note my diction could fold into a paper crane
that could fly to your heart.
i remember how you recorded me saying my own name,
because, you loved the way the vowels
dripped off my lips one by one,
the way I could curl the four letter nickname so gently
it sounded like a cursive word,
wrapped and tucked behind your ear.
i hope you can’t listen to those recordings,
because I can’t listen to my favorite songs.
i hope one day your mouth opens to say her name
and closes knowing it said my own,
because any time I type another man’s name on my phone,
it somehow autocorrects to yours.
i hope my paper crane name has made a nest in the back of your mind,
laying eggs that will hatch whenever you touch her,
so when you hold her hand,
the little crane in your skull says that only word it knows infinitely well:
As black as the night sky
By your search of certainty
In this crowded world
Full of uncertainty
Please let me hear
There is only one certain thing
On my mind
I want to be with you
Till the end of time
If you are ever scared
Just call my name
I'll be there
Holding you till you feel better
I want to protect you
Whatever is the cost
One day, we will find
A place that belongs just to us.
It is fair to wonder what your name
was all about—
before it was attached to you.
The crisp sounds that round together in a
full-breath definition of head-to-soul-to-foot.
Surely, the world could not have been so rich before.
Say your name again and again and again
and with each refrain, remember who you are:
The mad morning hair and queer-as-you-breathe
sun-starter who rolls with little logic from the shower
to a dreamer-doctor-writer-lawyer-teacher-self.
A dawn of aspiration and a mother-father, too,
perhaps. A twinkle that inspires when you are
unaware, and friendly face that counts the happy
paces of so many years with friends of every bond.
An iconoclastic icon, no equal in the name.
Now turn your thoughts around as you paddle
through your days. For as star-lit as you are—
—principal among the constellations—
every soul you see today
is just as brilliant in their name.