Sunday, October 30, 2011

Every Beautiful Day

Lyrics by Awolnation, "Sail". Original poem by Rajshree"

Every beautiful day will be tempered with crap
It doesn’t make the day any less beautiful.

The sun kissed her chest and face as she drove
(the song with its bass, the antithesis of lilting, “This is how an an-gel cries”)
            Still, the fear of how she would get through another day when                   the days weren’t so beautiful burned.
(The song broke through, “I made it in my mind because”)

Winter is coming and the cold. Will I get out of bed?
Winter wasn’t always bad.

She told him, at one point you must have liked costumes or trick-or-treating.
            She imagined him as a little boy freezing in the cold, but excited             with his pillow case, going out with other hood boys walking                   from doorbell to doorbell laughing in stride then the way he does             now as a man walking from bar to bar.
            She imagined the crisp air stinging his little boy cheeks red, and             what it felt like when he finally came home – surprisingly hot                   inside – divvying up his candy with his brother.

Wait. That was her Halloween.
            Those memories were hers and she gave them away to a boy                   who wasn’t little
(“Blame it on my A.D.D. baby”)

The edge of winter scared her.
            She did used to love Halloween, and taking walks in the night                   with her dad on Thanksgiving and Christmas
            - listening to her dad's antithesis of lilting breath
            - smelling the jasmine blooming and the clean so-cold air that                   would nest in her hair
            - at peace because then he wanted her there
(“This is how I show my love.”)

Winter did used to have beauty in it.
Somewhere in time something went wrong.

Winter was now cut with bleeding depths of salt tears.
(“Maybe I should kill myself”)
How did this come to be?
(“Maybe I should cry for help”)

And still in the truth of it, her heart danced
            The crap doesn’t make the day any less beautiful.
(“Maybe I'm not listening”)

To behold her was to see a woman’s heart open and laughing and                   beautiful
            As she cries and laughs, laughs and cries
(“Maybe I'm a different breed”)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Child of an Immigrant...

Being a child of an immigrant, people don’t quite understand a few things. For me,

It means tomorrow, when I launch my own small press, a press that promotes “integrated diversity” in the face of this weird political climate and increased racism, classism, ageism, the only family who is going to show up is my younger brother and my nephew.

It means I had to fight to get into college, and fight for everything I’ve done and everything I have… on the plus side, everything I have is unquestionably mine, and everything I’ve done is to my own credit.

It means growing up with expectations, not being given any clear idea of how to get there (fine), but further, actually being hindered from getting there.

It means, when I left a mentally abusive marriage, I was told by my mother that I’m an embarrassment. Eventually, I was told by my father that I am no longer welcome in their house. They couldn’t take the pressure of my pain.

It means that I understand. I don’t hate or begrudge my family… Instead, I help other people who need help… I’m a mentor, a teacher, a confidante… I’m helping to pave the way for young men and women who come after me.

It means I am tired of being marginalized by my home culture AND marginalized by American society, and through my small press, I want to help other people’s voices be heard.

It means I will fight for others the way no one ever fought for me.