"These Words," by Mikel Weisser, second round poem in the Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, July 30, 2011.
By Mikel WeisserOh the rivers of blood i have waded through
March, 22-25, 2011
March, 22-25, 2011
And the oceans of tears that have washed over me
Oh all the death that's been dealt to me
and all the ugly scenes i have seen
for on Tuesdays at 6pm
teen misery flows my way.
for i am the teen poet's best friend
an adult with a sound system
who's not afraid of the word "fuck."
That's right i fucking said "fuck."
As the host of Teen Misery Tuesdays
i hear it often fucking enough
& whereas most adults shake their heads, "Why THOSE words?"
I just say, "Who's next?"
There's only so much time
we got a lot of misery to go--
I mean, you hear the craziest things like,
"motherfuckin' this, & motherfuckin' that
some motherfuckin' motherfucker
motherfucked my cat." and shit like that
And once every couple of months
there's some variation of "Ode to My Latest Girlfriend"
"Oh sweet love in my pick-up truck..."
and as soon as i hear that i'm thinking what the fuck
another goddamned time and another messed rhyme
God how many more times am i'm supposed to
go through another june-moon-spoon?
but mostly it's just misery. see--
Blake's been off the chemo for two months
but the hair's still not coming back
he's sick of tiger-stripe pajamas
to go with his wardrobe of bandanas
sick of being sick
sick of missing his brother
though they still live in the same house
Here with her latest evisceration
Sylvie's mad at dad again
the insults they've hurled at each other since last week
+ cleverly words litanies of slights she recalls from her past
her dreams masquerading as a steel edged "think i give a fuck?"
except for the recurring white doves
that alight on the corners of her stanzas.
all her silky suicide songs
placed on the path about
five steps past her last safe place
& fifteen metaphors deep
in synonyms for death
the cut and bright pain/the cut and bright pain
the coming and going of unsightly stains
but ya betcha every poem always comes back to
the beauty of life
yes, the beauty of life
even if it's only the glory
of the glory in the beauty of the pain
& and now maybe this's payback for the times
i knew no one was listening
to the mental nooses i knotted
& maybe my smeary prints
still clutching crumpled pages
But every now and then
i pick the right poem to answer back with
when some particular misery comes sprawling
some kid spends the whole night writing about dying
instead of trying it
maybe the sharp object she reaches for
flows ink, not red.
but for now Billy's just hitting on the new chick
comparing her to the flippin'
4th of July or some shit
basically saying she's hot
& then that old familiar line
takes that old familiar rhyme:
"Of all the miraculous things god's given me for luck--
and i know right away where the poem's going
And i find that i am struck
by the stark raving desire
to yell "You write that shit
you figure it out
you are capable
you are immense
don't let this shit kill ya
you got this
is just the pain of the universe giving you your turn
this is just life overflowing over and over and over again
And your words, are the rocks, maybe even boulders,
you can stand on if you can stand it
These words share what fire you've got
your echo will fill more than my sound system
these words will keep us all alive
so yeah, go ahead and say 'em
Copyright 2011 © Mikel Weisser
Since then Weisser has gone on to receive a masters in literature and a masters in secondary education, published hundreds of freelance magazine and newspaper articles and political comedy columns, along with seven books of poetry and short fiction.
A former homeless shelter administrator, contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," and survivor of his first wife's suicide, Weisser teaches junior high history and English in Bullhead City.
He and his wife, Beth, have turned their So-Hi, Ariz., property into a peace sign theme park.