by Caroline Prank
I am a poet, with words under my arm.
I'm pacing the roof of my mouth, repeating rhymes robotically. Maybe it's time you lost the beat, and watch me kick it and flip it, till it's under my seat.
contrasting complex connotations confidently. Turning wives tales, to gross sales. I am only held back by my inability to think or when my pen is out of ink.
I am a poet, but I don't do slam.
I can't approach an audience audibly, without rendering myself to abnormality.
I don't have natural movements.
My body is rigged, seemingly tied up for your amusement.
People will laugh and shake their heads,
“Why is she up there, if she can't handle it?” They tell you there's no punishment for attempts, but truth only seems to attract its opposite.
But, I see where they're coming from,
and maybe I should get going, Because Raising my voice, raises my neves. If you feel the stage shaking, it isn't my energy, it's my fucking anxiety.
I wasn't made to present my past on a silver platter,
when it is only deserving of paper plates. I have only one story, and I tell it a thousand times. How many rhymes can you make, before it feels out of line?
I ask myself every nightmare,
if I made the right choice. If choosing to pull up all the dirt, and turn it over into words, helps me move on.
Is this even a job, willing to accept me?
Am I still credible, considering skin color and genitals? Because I know, If I had tired writing this a few decades ago, I might've had to write some different letters on that header.
A pen name.
I am a poet, yet I don't do slam.
Not that political. Not that potent. Not that kind of poet.
I'm told this every day,
and yet I choose to stumble and stutter this way, because if I tell myself there's a torture in trying I will have to live knowing, I still won't be worth my silence.