the psychology of the oppressed
where mental health is the ability
knowledge of the world’s cruelty
~ Audre Lorde, "Eulogy for Alvin Frost"
In North Dakota, "security officers" beat, tear-gassed, and released loose dogs
upon indigenous protesters
yesterday in America
while the adult children of the two main presidential candidates gave interviews
that news broadcasters said, "Humanized them,"
from thinking about nonrenewable energy,
the destruction of clean drinking water,
the increasing temperature of the ocean preceding mass die off of ocean species...
the genocide suits that we're born into
don't look down you'll see
I don't know what to say.
People say/I find myself saying
The system is corrupt
The people who I agree with feel like they are going to die young
or live old lives repeating the same reminders
like a game of telephone where no one knows what sentence we started with.
Do you really think we would defeat planet Earth?
Earth will always win!
There is a fantasy of the oppressed being secretly more powerful.
Like kissing death.
The title of this poem is a slight alteration of a line by Audre Lorde: "I see much better and my eyes hurt."
I like the straight-forward honesty of her book Black Unicorn. There were a series of ideas I had about what to write for my interaction but when I got to the fourth section of the book, this idea I have been trying to articulate for the last few years took form.
I don't think this is the final draft of this poem but it wouldn't be this far without reading her work.
I See Much Better Now That My Eyes Hurt
You can not call me crazy
now that we have queer
vocabulary lessons and a dialect on our own
television networks Now that pride has been
appropriated into us How we
parade the most
entertaining stereotype Swishen
fetchit the spectacle We are not
diagnosable we just are But some of us
can step outside our lack of the current buzzword
privilege to see that some of us are crazy
not in the funny hat
sense (that's usually religious)
but in an inability to separate our I from our us
The separation of sexuality and sanity
is not church and state anymore
than the separation of masculinity and rape is
sports and gambling
Trying to talk about a person
outside of their
generalization is not so much unheard as unlistened to
We defend the borders of our identity
so vigilantly we should be fascist billionaires by now
I am silent now when unsure
I am listen when not my experience
I am never sure when I am too prideful
not proud but
supporting my fellow lions
I am staring at the center of my own
Venn Diagram of sexuality and (everyone has
instead of responsibility)
I don't like how I overlap with
people I don't like
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.