Something A Wee Bit Different: Discussion Point

There’s a very toxic attitude toward people of my generation that I feel I should address.

We get a lot of stick, but that’s not surprising. Older generations have never really ‘understood’ younger ones, and that’s probably why so many of us spent years being silently angry at our parents. Just by taking a brief glimpse at the rejection of Elvis or other ‘wild’ music, we can see that rejecting whatever is cool is pretty much just What Older People Do.

But this is all getting a bit much.

I’m sick of the idea that we do not work for things. That we are lazy,  entitled, given a ‘trophy just for participating.’ There is this prevailing need in modern society to act like my generation are the worst we’ve had yet – too shallow to care about anyone, too self involved to do anything. Stuck on Instagram instead of becoming hardworking factory employees, screenshotting DMs instead of sitting piously in Church.

But you know what? 

Fuck that.

Because I have seen so many amazing things in this world, and so much of it has been started by young people – particularly women, who, raised by a generation of second wave feminists, have embraced their voices with more righteousness than the Pankhursts ever could have imagined. Why aren’t you excited about that? Why aren’t you PROUD?

We have taken those Snapchat filters and made calls for revolution. We have become a civic minded movement, more aware of our privilege and the injustices of our brothers and sisters. We have become global, and strong. We are a generation imbued with empathy for our fellow man, and leftover rage at our forefathers. We embrace the queer community. We embrace people of colour. We petition and protest despite everyone telling us it will not make a difference. Okay, we’re a little Internet crazy – but social media is the easiest and most effective way to spread information and social justice and that is bloody beautiful.

I’m not saying we’re the best lot of people to be born in history. I’m sure we have plenty of entitled assholes and sleazy sponges too, but I’d say no more than any other generation. So cut us some slack. You use the world entitled so often, but are we? Are we are greedy for wanting homes, safety, a voice? Aren’t those the same things your forefathers fought for? 

Or were they just entitled too?

Election Day

​We have burned the churches and killed all the saints.

Painted over progress in pigments of nothing more than red and white,

set humanity’s flag alight with gasoline. 

Aren’t you angry? 

Aren’t you sweat pouring, balled fists, aching to change this rage?

Isn’t there a shark in your throat 

made of only teeth? 

Aren’t you exhausted? 

Ceaseless gun shots, drone drops, 

think I need another night off just

to process this shite. 

I

am a dedicated feminist, half assed activist,

so I guess I was never the key

demographic, 

but it can’t just be me. Surely,

I can’t be the only one to believe that women need a voice, 

Queers need a voice, 

the disabled need a voice,

people of colour need a voice. 

This is not a revolutionary statement, it’s supposed to be democracy,

but we are still having this conversation in 2016 so

maybe it’s a revolution we need. 
Well in that case,

Sign me the fuck up. 

Cause I truly, in my heart, believe that we are better than this. 

We have to be

better than this. 

We can’t continue down the same bloody roads as our forefathers 

and pretend 

we haven’t left scars instead of footsteps.
Are you listening? 

Is anyone

listening? 

Cause if you really opened your ears, all you’d hear are bloody screams. 

This isn’t about Donald Trump, but what he means.

Women do not have to consent to sexual acts.

It is acceptable to call every Mexican a rapist. 

Healthcare doesn’t matter.

Black Lives do not matter. 

Queer communities do not matter. 
God,

I am

so sorry. 

It’s not as if the UK is bliss, 

but after all of this, you look

like you need a hug. 
I think we all do. 

So come here, share a drink with me, 

we’ll salvage our humanity in tiny sips and in whispered quips

we’ll remember what life is really supposed to be. 

A human experience. 

Full of bad luck and fuck ups but ultimately 

about helping each other. 
Donald Trump, they have put you in a position of power.

Please.

Don’t fuck it up.

21:05

​Call me in the afternoon,

When your hair has turned that familiar dust dark and your mouth

is a crescent moon.

Call me Wednesday,

lips leaking words like comets 

spiralling across the sky, 

and your voice 

a black hole to be swallowed by. 

Call me 

after that.

When there is nothing you’d rather do with your time

than spin stories on the end of my sighs.

Call me 

anytime, 

anywhere, 

just

fucking call me. 
Cause I miss you.

And I’m an unfinished poem without

Update and Poem: Safe Space

Hello! 

I realise I haven’t posted anything on here for a few weeks, so I just wanted to tell you all that I’m still alive, happy and healthy (well, Freshers flu was difficult to avoid but I’m recovering fast) if a bit knackered. This week I have started a new job, alongside hosting the first two Aloud events of the year with Bethany Sanderson (the best and most supportive Co host I could ask for) and sorting out university stuff in general for my upcoming 3rd year studying a joint Politics/History degree. Because of all this, my time for actual writing has been somewhat limited. However, while staying in Edinburgh during the Fringe in August, I did do a little, and I was able to debut a few new poems this week at Aloud. So, without further delay, I give you a poem I’m almost afraid to post because of its feminist connotations (and you know, being a feminist on the internet isn’t allowed). This is Safe Space.
Your hunger

speaks to mine.

Girl with diamond eyes, woman

who inhales fiction like oxygen, stores secrets in dog eared pages, 

there is a screaming in your body that should be heard.

Let it speak.

Every parting of your lips or ink drip, every

conversation we share over beer or bourbon,

doesn’t it taste like a revolution on your tongue? 

Doesn’t it

feel like home? 

Just this small room, your wide eyes

and all the things it isn’t safe to say outside.

We hide

in a vacuum of understanding and compassion

because we don’t wanna hear what they have to say, because what they have to say is

poison.

Is venom, is lie, is wrong, 

so behind these white walls, we 

hide awhile,

too exhausted to keep defending our own breath.

Too tired

to keep repeating gun trigger words, feel them lodge in our gut,

and be told that bullets, little girl, are just a myth.

They don’t exist.

You have been told the shrapnel in your stomach is spreading by

women 

who look like doctors, like teachers, like change, 

but the minute you leave this safe space, it is 

war again. 

Fighting again. 

Pretending not to know that every time you speak

is an act of defiance, 

that your voice is a danger, a weapon, a missile,

that each statement, to them, screams genocide.

Feminazi.

Because wanting to speak makes you Hitler,

because wanting to be heard makes you murderer.

because they cannot picture equality,

just an upside down patriarchy 

and they are terrified of living as we have.
Your hunger

speaks to mine, 

but it is quiet now. Fragile.

Easily splintered after years of being told that your voice

is not wanted. 

But I want it here.

Now.

And I will not question the sweat on your brow, or how difficult it feels to keep speaking.

Some days, I am too tired to defend myself.

Let slut whore bitch walk by without blinking, 

let them tell me equality is here.

It is taking so much.

It is taking

so long, 

and I do not know what more I can do. 
But these moments, 

hidden,

with a pint in our jammies, talking

Shelley or Steckel, Plath or Wollstonecraft, 

my hunger

it doesn’t hurt so bad.

Poem In Praise Of My Boyfriend (after Diane di Prima)

I suppose it hasn’t been easy living with me either,

with my paper stacks and candle ends, catatonic heart and the way

I always have to be right, even

when I’m not.

Keeping you up at night 

with my questions and small nags and are you sure

you still love me? 

It’s been a long time since I asked last Tuesday.

Are you sure you haven’t changed your mind?

And you, 

never doing the dishes when you say you will, always eating my best snacks, 

waking me

in the middle of my best dreams. 
Did I set an alarm? Are the house keys

around? 

Move over, I’m

falling off the bed,
and yet,

we cling to each other, 

claws against shoulder blades, dents

where there might have been wings had evolution treated us more kindly,

your elbows

stopping the house from falling down. 
I remain more dirt and grime than housewife,

more parade of insufficiency than anything

bordering clean, 

and you

are a mess of guitar strings and half formed dreams,

but we fit. 
And maybe 

that’s enough. 

I Do Not Love You Like A City

Falling in love with you was more like falling down stairs.

I still have the bruises, you the splintered hand 

but we got to the bottom in the end.

Clumsily, 

maybe. 

But you said,

mouth full of pomegranates and hair like autumn leaves, you
said

that’s how cities grow.

Messy. 

In all

sorts of strange shapes, side streets jutting out like weeds
against rows 

of fascinating grime and bustling main roads. 

I thought 

I ought to love you like that.

We are good on Thursday nights especially.

Last week we made wizard staffs from beer cans and watched
shitty horror movies,

the chorus of your commentary making me double over, laugh

like there was not a care in the world.

As if I 

hadn’t just quit. As if there weren’t still tears in
my eyes.

As if there was nothing else in the world but you and I.

The scent of your musky whiskey madness clouds my
judgement. 

I am an island

born of blood and beach,

but if you, my darling, are the sea,

then you have made quite the pirate of me.
I don’t love you like a city,

full of urban jungles to unwind and streets flooded with
light, 

you are not small enough for that.

Not dark enough for that.

Not blood enough for that.

No.
I love you salt water, 

stings in cuts, ocean waves and
gentle drifting.

I love you mysteries creeping out from your depths,
unfathomable secrets to unfurl. 

I love you sideways, and upside down,

cause when you’re under water it’s all the same.

I love you tsunami, oil spill, great white’s clapping jaw, 

hidden hurricane and drowning victims alike. 
Cities produce ghetto, produce poverty, 

lie their homeless out to dry on wet pavement. 

There is always

fear there,
but the sea, 

oh the sea, 

I cannot think of a part that does not call to me.

The Body

The Body

​I have stopped being me again,

And these faithless hands caught

between steeples,

how they mimic the prayers you once taught me

with the exception that they never close. 

For the only church they know

is the graveyard, 

the bones, the bodysnatchers, the dark. 

Those twisted fingers scraped dirt from coffins, ransacked linings, stole souls from sunken skull eyes 

and I

watched from afar with lips pressed firm.

I never trusted what I could do in the dark

without you. Without

anyone. 

Loneliness is contagious, and I have known 

too many fevers,

but I can’t just call the doctor.

I’m scared of phone calls

and kindness

and frankly, of myself. 

These faithless hands

so quick to leave bruises on the inside of my thigh,  

so eager to see me starve again.

But it is

not just them.

Some nights my body leaves me to sleep while it wanders under flickering street lights 

and when it comes back, it always leaves the door unlocked, 

all the lights on. 

Last week, I thought a burglar got in. 

She had left a window open and it wrenched me from my sleep, 

pulled us out to a moonlit hallway,

and she lied about it.

She said, it must have been a cat.
But there are no cats in this street.

They have been driven away by the dark leaking like glue out onto the pavement

from under my floorboards. 

The smell is awful. 

My body has been out hunting again and she never knows where to hide the evidence.

I am harbouring a murderer inside my lungs and I am not cut out for jail,
But these faithless hands write scripture

in the form of post it notes,

small mercies in the form of steadiness, 

and my body 

has become a convert. 

She stays at home most nights. 

And when she leaves, she lets these hands lock the door, put all

the lights off.
It is not a miracle.

It is not

quite enough.

But it is something.