The Day Andrea Gibson Came to Town.

2 Mar

So, I had the amazing experience this last week of not only watching Andrea Gibson perform, but meeting her and going to a workshop she gave as well. It was definitely one of those moments as a writer I’ll forever cherish.

For those of you not familiar with the name, go google ASAP. Andrea is a well known slam poet, and for a good reason. Her poetry is absolutely gorgeous, and the way she words her pieces and they roll off her tongue – ugh! – they’re so great. She performed at this year’s That Takes Ovaries open mic night event, and she stayed for the second half and saw me perform one of my pieces. She did a lot of her best pieces, including my favorite of hers, “I Do.”

Then the next day she held an hour and a half long workshop (which turned into a two hour workshop because we ran way over time), and she would read us poems and we would then free write whatever came to our minds. All together we free wrote three poems, and then some of us shared one poem at the end. I shared one and she commended me on how every word was there for a purpose and how good it was. I felt so honored to have someone I admire so much pay me such an amazing compliment. At the end of the workshop, I got the chance to tell her that she is one of the three people who are the reason I got into slam poetry (along with Shane Hawley and Sarah Kay), and she thanked me. It was just an overall wonderful experience.

Anyway, here are two of the three poems I wrote. I didn’t really like the third poem, but I’m quite proud of these two. Enjoy.

——————-

Advice to a teenage Julia Allegretto Gaskill.

Don’t clash your wear and tear.
Run spark plugs through your hair.
Your avalanche back and craning legs
highlight your race car persona,
so cave in the mountain and kill the bird
before someone notices.

Stop Star Warsing all over the place.
Hobbits in your eyes;
pluck them out and wring them dry
till they turn into origami butterflies.

Speak like a queen.
Demand like a king.
Your jester smile is doubling down
your chances of ever learning how to fly.
You Blues Brothers mother.
You finger-clacking lover.
You star-gazing, toe-tapping, dream-lapping
miniature Great Dane.

Fingers grasping for rooms laced in water droplets
to dunk your shins into
and be born again as a broken smile.
Stop snapping wishbones.
Go dye your heart green
and hawk your virginity
to afford admission to this never ending factory tour.

——————-

I hate to do this, but I have to preface the next poem. This is not a poem about rape. It’s a poem about how my first kiss was taken from me, and how I came close to being taken advantage of sexually when I was eighteen, but it didn’t happen the way he planned, so fuck that fucker.

——————-

sunshine.

My body was not your playground.
The small of my back was not a slide
for your hand to travel upon,
looping around going lower and lower.
My ass was not monkey bars to grasp
over and over again
to take you to some other side.
My lips were not a teeter totter
where every “no” was a “yes”
and every “stop it” was an “I like the way
you put your hand up my dress
in front of all my friends.”

You ran around my playground
as if you owned the deed,
but before you could bulldoze me down
with your weed and liquor breath against my neck
to build a strip mall to cover all the places I had grown,
I took that stand.
I said “enough.”
You said “come back” with your carpenter hands
grasping for that monkey bars ass and
feeling for those seesaw lips,
but I slammed the door on you for good
before you ripped my life to bits.
Your broken lies broke down
the second your too-old kiss stole
from me, even after I told you of my dreams,
and after I trusted you as a friend;
my playmate during recess to whisper warranted
secrets to when the teachers weren’t looking.
Apparently I was wrong about you all along.

Now I’ve planted a sign
deep within my bark dust eyes
which forever shall read:
No assholes allowed on this playground anymore.

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