“When you can’t imagine you can fall to pieces in another’s sturdy arms and still be seen as whole
remember the universe only became the universe when it shattered into dust.”—Andrea Gibson (via ohandreagibson)
My uncle Billy is the leading Little Debbie’s snack cake salesman in all of North America.
From Miami, Florida to Vancouver, British Colombia, Nobody
sells more fudge rounds, Swiss rolls or nutty bars than him.
My family is incredibly proud of this fact
We tell it to strangers,
to the respective husbands of our nieces,
to the clerk at the drugstore,
we whisper it in church,
‘Did you hear about Billy? Yeah, he’s the leading Little Debbie’s snack cake salesman in all of North America.’
And I will never write a poem that will ever come close to matching the grandeur of that.
So you won the Nobel Prize, did ya? That’s nice. Did you hear Billy put six hundred cream pies on the rack of a shop’n’save in 3 days - that rack was freakin’ empty
is art the first class to be dropped by any public school?
Why are music rooms empty in junior highs from New York City to Nashville, Tennessee?
can you burn CD after CD after CD while filling your tank with an infinite amount of gas?
Like the war is worth funding but music isn’t?
Our culture is a prison.
And the only one with the key is little Emi Jones, covering every inch of her standardised test with the best number 2 pencil version of a starry night anyone has ever seen and yes,
there is a humming bird in her chest.
Its wings are beating 80 times a second.
But the second you and I will see that Doctor King did not write a speech called I Have a Dream - he wrote a poem called I Have a Dream.
Y’all, I don’t know if God will have a purple heart, but I know we have a bow
we could pull above the strings of a combat boot and make it sing
like the eyes of a 7 year old boy
staring down the barrel of Apartheid’s loaded guns;
Screaming for the right to write stories; to sing songs in his Mother’s tongue
Point me in the direction of glory
I will run towards a tiny hand in the most wounded corner of Palestine,
dipping a brush in to a can of yellow paint
to paint a feather on a wing on a wall that is so tall, only yellow birds can escape
And when they do, they carry the hearts of little girls on their backs.
and when their wings flap, they make the sound of anthems being replaced with sky.
And I swear, I could see their shadows pass across your glowing face
the night you said you have never given birth to a child
but you tear every single time you write a poem.
We are growing our future
with every borrowed pen
I pray tonight we could write a rain that would fall like the tears at Folsom State Prison the day Johnny Cash smashed his guitar over apathy’s head.
The way Frida Kahlo - in the prison of her own body - had whole years where she could paint nothing but red
but she painted
to the bars in the locked cells of her pores.
The same when saxophones in New Orleans played music underwater,
knowing some of those notes would rise up to the air carrying people and hope to shore.
Y’all, I don’t believe in the godliness of steeples, but I believe in the stain glass
and every key on every organ that is desperate for light ‘cause we are desperate for life -
for the sight of a captivated audience refusing to be held captive in the thought that they can only listen and watch.
Picasso said he would paint with his own wet tongue on the dusty floor of a jail cell if he had to.
We have to create;
it is the only thing louder than destruction;
it is the only chance the bars are gonna break. Our hands full of colour
reaching towards the sky - a brush stroke in the dark
It is not too late
That starry night - it is not yet dry.
“I am not looking for roses.
I want to break like a fever.
I want to break like the Berlin Wall.
I want to break like the clouds
so we can see every fearless star,
how they never speak guardrail,
how they only say fall.”—Andrea Gibson, “Pole Dancer” (via thisisaiyana)
The tomorrow that has come and gone
and it has not gotten better.
When you are half finished writing that letter
to your mother that says “I swear to God I tried,
but when I thought I’d hit bottom, it started hitting back.”
There is no bruise like the bruise
loneliness kicks into your spine
so let me tell you I know there are days
it looks like the whole world is dancing in the streets
while you break down like the doors of their looted buildings.
You are not alone
in wondering who will be convicted of the crime
of insisting you keep loading your grief
into the chamber of your shame.
You are not weak
just because your heart feels so heavy.
I have never met a heavy heart that wasn’t a phone booth
with a red cape inside.
Some people will never understand
the kind of superpower it takes for some people
to just walk outside.
Some days I know my smile can look like the gutter of a falling house
but my hands are always holding tight to the rip cord of believing
a life can be rich like the soil,
can make food of decay,
turn wound into highway.
Pick me up in a truck with that bumper sticker that says,
“It is no measure of good health
to be well adjusted to a sick society.”
I have never trusted anyone
with the pulled back bow of my spine
the way I trusted ones who come undone at the throat
screaming for their pulses to find the fight to pound.
Four nights before Tyler Clementi
jumped from the George Washington bridge
I was sitting in a hotel room in my own town
calculating exactly what I had to swallow
to keep a bottle of sleeping pills down.
What I know about living
is the pain is never just ours.
Every time I hurt I know the wound is an echo,
so I keep listening for the moment the grief becomes a window,
when I can see what I couldn’t see before
through the glass of my most battered dream
I watched a dandelion lose its mind in the wind
and when it did, it scattered a thousand seeds.
So the next time I tell you how easily I come out of my skin
don’t try to put me back in.
Just say here we are together at the window
aching for it to all get better
but knowing there is a chance
our hearts may have only just skinned their knees,
knowing there is a chance the worst day might still be coming
let me say right now for the record,
I’m still gonna be here
asking this world to dance,
even if it keeps stepping on my holy feet.
“Yes, I am going to permanently fuck up your lip stick.
Yes, I am going to throw tantrums through your tidy heart.
Yes, I am going to fall apart at your mother’s dinner table,
over green beans and lentils and somebody’s sensible doubt.”—Andrea Gibson (via romanceonlysighs)
“I remember the way love
Used to glow like glitter on my skin
Before he made his way in
Now every touch feels like a sin
That could crucify Medusa, Kali, Oshun, Mary
Bury me in a blue blanket
So their god doesn’t know I’m a girl”—Andrea Gibson - ‘Blue Blanket’ (via thisworldspinsfartoofast)
“Don’t cover your ears, Love.
Don’t cover your ears, Life.
There is a boy writing poems in Central Park
and as he writes he moves
and his bones become the bars of Mandela’s jail cell stretching apart,
and there are men playing chess in the December cold
who can’t tell if the breath rising from the board
is their opponents or their own,
and there’s a woman on the stairwell of the subway
swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn,
and I’m remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun
with strip malls and traffic and vendors
and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it.”—Andrea Gibson (via plastikparachute)
Last night I painted a purple tree on my bedroom wall
I woke up this morning in a pile of leaves
The color of a million different faces
Thinking of that hand that planted the seed
Of the family tree that grew us all
And how each one of us
Will one day fall back to the ground
I was listening to my heart pound
Knowing with every single beat
That a thousand other hearts were falling asleep forever
On a day they never thought they would
And I know there are tribes of aborigines
That decide how and when they’ll die
After a hundred years or so
They walk into the desert alone
Offer up their breath
And within two minutes soar into a death
As beautiful as their life
And I was thinking I
Will probably never be enlightened enough to decide how I want to die
So this morning
I decided how I want to live
What I want to give
What kind of song I want to sing
Now I’m no longer
Looking at my days like they’re a cup
Calling them half empty or half full
When they’ve always been enough
They’ll always be enough
To fill me up
If I stop thinking so much
And start drinking them up
Until I get so drunk and high on my days
I’ll be walking up to strangers and saying things like
“Hey, I know Jesus was born in a manger
But I woke at dawn today
To watch the earth’s horizon
Give birth to true rising sun of God
And I can’t stop singing hallelujah”
Can you believe we’re here?
Can you believe there are gods somewhere praying to us?
I want to be that nut on a bus
Who’s really a prophet
“Smoking is bad
You might be an opera singer some day
And how are you gonna hit the high notes?”
I wanna live like those high notes
That rise from the throats of old ladies
When they see little babies
Riding in shopping carts
I wanna start somebody’s heart like that
Taking ninety years back
So you’ll have sworn
You weren’t born
Until you saw me
In all the sidewalk cracks
So when you trip
You’ll fall in love
With someone you thought you hated
And now look at what that love has created
There’s a sky
On her faded blue jeans
With a flock of birds
About to fly to my words
And my next line’s
Gonna rhyme with her eyes
And she’ll wink
And I’ll think I’m as beautiful as him
I wanna live my life
Like it’s a little league game
I don’t care if I win
Just wanna watch some little girl
Get her very first hit
Watch her father cheer so hard
He spills his beer
And decides to quit
I wanna split some woman’s
Tired eyes open
Wake her with her own sunrise
So she knows
There’s reason to be hoping
“There are stingers in my heart
But I’m sure that I’m a queen”
And that night
She’ll vow to swarm
Until every angry car horn
Is reborn a song
Of let there be light
Every angry war cry reborn
A song of let there be life
I wanna build the timid teenage boy
A microphone that will
Echo his rhymes
The same way
They echo in his shower
When he’s home alone
I wanna write poems
In the tone
Of your mother’s eyes
When she whispered your name
For the very first time
Poems that will make you go home
Pick up the phone
And call her
While I call mine to say
“You know those lines
On the kitchen wall
Where I grew
Taller and taller and taller
Put a couple more there won’t you?
Cause I’m growing up here”
No longer looking at my days
Like they’re a cup
Calling them enough
From now on
They’ll be overflowing
Since now I’m knowing
It’s up to me
To fill them up
“Call in your royal heart.
Tell it bravery cannot be measured by a lack of fear,
it takes guts to tremble,
it takes so much tremble to love.
Every first date is a fucking earthquake.”—Andrea Gibson, Royal Heart (via youarerelevant)
“And I know Fuck is a bad word, but it sounds so good.
Good, like flipping off the preacher
whenever he forgets that Eve was Adam’s teacher,
‘cause apples are fucking healthy you patriarchal piece of shit.”—Andrea Gibson (via lipstick-feminists)
“it has been 5 years, 1 month and 3 days
since the first time i saw you naked
since the night you ripped off your shirt, stuck your boobs in my face,
and said “touch them”
i touched them like a diabetic third grader opening a snickers bar
you said “hard”
i thought “yes i am”
but you are so soft
i said, “your lips, they’re like whale blubber”
that wasn’t my best line
but it worked
tonight in the grocery store i found one of your hairs in my underwear
i pulled it out in the frozen foods section
and shouted, “that is so gorgeous it could kill a man!”
good thing i’m a leprechaun
baby i have no idea how this will end
maybe the equator will fall like a hula hoop from the earth’s hips
and our mouths will freeze mid-kiss on our 80th anniversary
or maybe tomorrow my absolute insanity
combined with the absolute obstacle course of your communication skills
will leave us, like a love letter
in a landfill
but whatever, however, whenever this ends
i want you to know that right now
i love you forever
i love you for the hardest mile we walked together
for the day i collected every sharp knife in the house
and threw them one by one on the roof
then told the sun
“listen, show off, from now on, you better only give me blades of grass
things that are growing and soft
cuz there’s this girl who says she wants to float on her back through my blood stream
and when she does, i want my rivers to reach the sea”
do you hear me, lover?
do you know the night you told me you had a crush on my ears
i swore to never become van gogh?
and look, baby, they’re both still there
just like my firefly heart is still right there in your glass jar
i never trusted anybody more to poke enough holes in the lid.
so on the nights you sleep like a ballerina
i try to snore like a piccolo
and i press my lips to your holy temples
and i say i crash into things in the dark
even when the lights are on,
and i am wrong more often than i am writing
and even then i am often wrong.
but when my friends are in the bathroom at the bar
rolling dollar bills into telescopes and claiming they can see god,
i will come to you,
holding my grandmother’s bible.
i will press it to your chest
i will bless it with your breath.
and when you ask if i want to roleplay
altar boys fucking in the church kitchen during sunday mass
i will say hell yes
but only if you leave a hickey on my ass in the shape of jesus’s palm
so i can be sure i got nailed
lover, you will never lose me to the wind
you are the lightning that made me fill my chest with candles
you are the thunder clapping for the poem that nobody else wants to hear
you are an icicle’s tear watering a tulip on the first day of spring
you melt me alive
you kiss me deep as my roots will reach
and i want nothing more
than to be an eyelash fallen on your cheek
a thing collected by your fingers
and held like a wish
i promise that whatever i do, i will always try my best
to come true”—Andrea Gibson (via starvingmermaids)
“Everything is a lesson . Lesson number one through infinity : You will never have a greater opportunity to learn to love your enemy than when your enemy is your own red blood.”—Andrea Gibson (via ohandreagibson)
“i want to know what grows beneath the drone of
hallmark and roses
i want your goodbye to feel like explosives
your lips a burning building without fire escapes
your hips the gates of hell if i know if heaven exists
but this will do just fine
and i want to feel you like life lines on the palms of
Jesus when nails went through
is that really, really creepy?
just in case it is, let me also say that i want you
sleepy-eyed in the morning waking at my side
like a warm summer sky born from
so much softness the horizon cries every time
night fall comes to take you”—Andrea Gibson (via rarararambles)