spoken word

written by alison

I’ve gone through a few heavy things in my life — some public, some not so public. What’s that saying… “life happens”? Yeah, fuck that, even though it’s true.

I deal with said heavy things with a lot of crying, but also, writing. I have binders full of poetry and even a few self-published books. Sometimes I hate poetry and can’t even stomach it. But other times it comforts me like nothing else can.

It could be the processing that takes place when I really dig into my feelings about an event. It could be that I’m using it to help others heal too. It could be that it takes the sting away when I make it my own by forming selected words around a rhythm that I pick. Likely, it’s a combo of these and then more.

So here I am, on the tail end of some heavy things and a trying year. And I pulled out my poetry journal, the one that’s so old it has my maiden name on it. I gave myself an afternoon to use my favorite pen to craft my own rhythm around any struggle of my choosing. I really liked the result.

Which brings me to my next plan — spoken word.

I used to perform my poetry and although I had anxiety sweats so bad that even wearing all black couldn’t hide it, I felt free. It’s scary to say things out loud to loved ones and perfect strangers, but getting to craft my tale and tell it from the heart is a feeling that cannot be beat.

So now, I’m sharing this poem with you. And I’m sharing my goal of performing my poetry again in some way in the next 12 months. Because I know you will hold me accountable.

Skinny Jeans

These skinny jeans are cutting off the feeling…

to my toes and my feet
to my ankles and my knees
that I deserve anything

Years of experience has left me with impressions up my legs…

of seams
of imperfections
of what love used to feel like

If I’m being honest,

the only feeling my thighs know anymore is each other

But I’m still going to give it my all

or at least all that is left

Each day starting with the left leg first

and then the right
for one more chance to be told I look “nice”

Sucking it all in cause there’s simply no room for…

my gut
my worth
last night’s lack of exercise
last week’s trend of food to treat depression
…who am I kidding, it’s been that way for months

This button will likely cave to the weight long before I do

because 20% of your life is a long fucking time
considering I’m not even halfway there yet

So I’ll zip my lip and the zipper too

since you’re clearly tired of talking
to me
but not her

And here we, you and I, are

promises and pockets empty
and legs too terrified to move
in these skinny jeans