Monday, January 30, 2017

Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience – Dani Miller

Close up image of a microphone on a stage. The audience that is facing the microphone is blurred, appearing as a myriad of colors (red, white, green, yellow, etc.)
As the incoming administration builds its agenda of attack on marginalized people, on freedom of speech, on the earth itself, poetry will continue to be an essential voice of resistance. Poets will speak out in solidarity, united against hatred, systemic oppression, and violence and for justice, beauty, and community.
In this spirit, Split This Rock is offering its blog as a Virtual Open Mic. For the rest of this frightening month, January of 2017, we invite you to send us poems of resistance, power, and resilience.

We will post every poem we receive unless it is offensive (containing language that is derogatory toward marginalized groups, that belittles, uses hurtful stereotypes, explicitly condones or implies a call for violence, etc.). After the Virtual Open Mic closes, we hope to print out and mail all of the poems to the White House.

For guidelines on how to submit poems for this call, visit the Call for Poems of Resistance, Power & Resilience blog post


By Dani Miller

I'm tired of writing poems about oppression.
I'm probably just as tired of writing them as you are of hearing them.
I'm tired of bleeding for the paper.
I'm tired of bleeding for those who have no more blood left to lose
I'm tired of writing poems about oppression.
I'm tired of finding the most eloquent way to comprehend this cruelty.
To glorify their deaths.
There is nothing about this struggle that is poetic.
So why do people still tell me that my poetry is beautiful?
My poetry is hardly beautiful.
It is hardly poetic.
I'm tired of being poetic.
There is no metaphor I could write that could make a Museum of their bodies.
Of our bodies.
No simile could slide America out of our choices.
No score is high enough to bring back our boys.
Sometimes, I'm angry as fuck.
And I just want to scream.
And curse.
And stick my middle finger up to the world
and not be eloquent.
And I'm tired of taking that and transforming it into beautiful
Into 3 minutes.
Into the fascinating plight of a struggling artist.
I'm tired of writing about oppression.
I'm tired of spilling myself into these words
only for nothing to change.
Only for us to be in the same place next month.
Next week
I'm tired of unity.
I'm tired of politicians who say unity is the best option.
Who say he's our president so we should give him a chance.
As if he hasn't had his chance for a year and a half
As if over the course of American history, people like him have ever given us one.
I'm tired of respectability politics
and of people who tell us to hug our oppressors.
as if peace is the same thing as justice.
as if patriarchy doesn't objectify the passive girls too.
as if Martin Luther King didn't die the same way that Malcom X did.
I'm tired of of conversation.
And I'm especially tired of people mistaking conversation for progression.
We've been having this conversation for centuries.
This is not new. And
It sure as hell isn't progressive.
Rather it's the opposite, it's static.
What good is conversation if we all just stop there.
Because conversation may be the first step in abolishing the oppressive institutions our country is built on
but it is time for us to move on to the next step.
I am tired of seeing those goddamn safety pins.
I’m tired of white feminism
And white women who voted for trump
53 percent of y'all.
I'm tired of feminism that isn't intersectional
We preach sisterhood but then turn our backs on LGBT women, Muslim women and women of color when they need us most.
We Put the weight of our struggle on their shoulders
but when they need our support we disappear.
Emphasize our whiteness over our women.
And you know what,
I'm tired of writing poems about oppression.
Probably just as tired as you are of hearing them
But we both aren't as tired
as the mothers who are forced to
 mourn their children's name
before they can learn to cherish it.
As the woman who are forced to let politicians make decisions about their bodies.
As 10 year olds who think skinny is a compliment.
As survivors of rape who are gaslighted into believing his choices were their faults.
As residents of flint who are still being poisoned
As low income families who won't be able to afford health insurance
As Muslim citizens who are called terrorists
As refugees who continue to fight for their lives and their families with no support from America
As anyone who are told they don't belong here because of their race, nationality and religion.
As the people in the street who are protesting for their humanity
I'm tired of writing poems about oppression.
And that is why I keep writing them.

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