This poem is beautiful (no pun intended) - it addresses so many insecurities people of all genders, race, shapes, and backgrounds face. To see someone be brave enough to stand on stage and reveal them all is inspiring.
My favorite aspect of Carvens Lissaint’s poem is how he starts the poem off. He also does this with his other poem “Financial Aid” if anyone has ever seen that one. He starts off making it seem like the poem is going to be light and funny - if you listen closely, the audience laughs at all his jokes at the beginning, not knowing what is coming. Slowly, he begins to make the jokes more disheartening and less humorous. Apart from easing us into this heavy topic, I also think this style brings to light how little “jokes” you may think are funny can really hurt someone. We’ve all heard it before, but yet, people still still say those fat jokes, insensitive comments about skin color, etc. It’s not a elementary school thing either.
I attend a prestigious university that claims to have some of the brightest minds - yet, I have heard some of the most insensitive comments while being here. Telling your friend that I am your “maid” isn’t funny - both of my parents break their backs cleaning houses every day. So being a “maid” isn’t a joke for me or my parents… it is their and my own harsh reality and something I struggle to accept every day. There are so many other things people have said that I can go into but I will save that for later. I hope you guys find this poem inspiring and eye opening! I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes:
"When I was in the fifth grade, I wrote a suicide note. That was the first time I believed someone loved my writing."
"In the first grade, a white girl at snack time told me that my skin looked like I never took a shower - she’s never seen something so black.”
"I would pray, every night, to be a superhero, asking anyone who watched over me if they could grant me the power of invisibility so I could vanish off the face of humanity each time my confidence was steamrolled to the concrete."
"My junior year, I grew a foot taller, I lost 30 pounds but was still heavy with self-consciousness.”
"My freshman year of college I started having sex with women in the hopes to find myself in the museum of their pelvis…"
"I used to pound bodies into the spine of my mattress, screaming at the top of my lungs, what’s my name, just so they could remind me who I was…”
"Depression can drive humans to very hollow places - places where flocks of vultures lurked in the things I found beautiful."
"My skin color is a shade of armor that can never be bruised"
"I’m no longer afraid…to turn the center stage into a playground"
and last but not least,
"I cry and I fail and I fail and I get the fuck back up”