Stone Soup Servings Presents: Flatline Poetry

 

Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry now meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery’s new location at 541 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square Cambridge, Massachusetts. The open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.

For the past four months, Stone Soup Poetry has been featuring members of Flatline Poetry, culminating this coming Monday, October 27, as Flatline Poetry features as a group. For samples of their work, visit their website and see the previous Stone Soup Servings columns for Lewis Morris, Kaleigh O’Keefe, Lissa Piercy and Guillermo Caballero (who unfortunately cannot be with the group this Monday). Also, see this past Monday’s 3TV column, and read the piece below by two of the members.

 

Splinters­­
Lewis Morris and Lissa Piercy

[Lewis]: I assume it’d be nice
to not speak the language
of struggle fluently.
I can only guess that
my tongue is distinct
when it feels like my screams
are withering
down into the splinters
people
           [Lissa]: shrug off,
and
           pull out,
and
           stamp labels over.
[Both]: Silence is golden.
My silence bleeds
through wounds that never close.
           My wounds will always heal
But, will mine?

           At times I wish to forget that my ignorance scars you;
           that scars were scripted in your lifeline upon birth.
And, your denial is a treasure so few can even fathom.
A contradiction coded in whispers of
           “racial equality”
and
           “tolerance”…
Phrases that dig and sting like
Splinters.
           But I’m re­crafting the shallowness of my middle class memories.
           Refusing to cower in the guilt of this skin,
           I consistently prick at it with
these splinters

are internal.
I’m afraid that my voice
will be dismissed as just noise.
Hidden, my emotion grows smitten with

           silence.

The noise that slowly pushes itself
out of my throat is left in pieces.
I know
           someone…
I wonder if
           anyone…
will pick up the pieces
           no one
ever wanted to.

Splinters
           use my mouth as vessel, skin as messenger, eyes as warning.
           But when I try to unearth meaning from the new facts sitting cold under layers of
           privilege,
splinters split apart each time I try to hold them.

Splinters

I am reflected in other white faces,
           in eyes that refuse to see,
arms that won’t open,
           legs that have never walked a mile,
feet that have only worn their own comfortable shoes,
           backs that stand straight without the weight of… Splinters.

And, maybe…
I deserve this.
Maybe, I’ve earned this.

           Maybe…
           I did this

All I/you see is splinters
           I try to own them.
You try to code them.
           You are broken.
Am I broken?
           I can fix you.
Do I need to be fixed?
Am I a safety hazard?
What am I to you but a
lesson to learn from?

           I learned from you;
           extracted your experience, dissected it.
           And thought I was ready to be called “ally” but
Splinters
           lie deeper than my desire.
           They itch.

They can only ever be an itch to you.

Splinters

My voice erased, my history stolen,
my past pillaged, my self made invisible.

           I am the judge who assumed you were guilty;
The police officer who always protected everyone else.
           I am the teacher who never taught your story;
The politician fishing for votes, and nothing more.
           I am the social worker who thought she was helping;
The store owner who thought I was stealing.
           They used their skin to split you into splinters. I ignored my skin and reduced you to just
splinters.
I am much more than
splinters.
All I/you see is splinters.
           I’m sorry.

You are always

           …sorry.

 

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