Two of Us

This is a spoken word piece from August that I decided to record today.  The audio can be listened to here.  Below are some themes and messages from the piece; and, below that, the text of the poem itself.

  • The obsession with female virginity always struck me as one not with innocence, but control.
  • Man now has the capacity to destroy the Earth, and yet there are still too many who think not only that there is a life after this one, but that it is more valuable. “Eschatological philosophies” are possessed by those who welcome the end of the world, as many religious individuals do (and should by doctrine), but as has been particularly pronounced in the last few decades by “radical” Islam.
  • Where poetry is often used to soften edges, abate tension, or otherwise revel in beauty, here poetry welcomes conflict and seeks to amplify it. Where poetry often preaches peace, poetry here loves war as necessary. This poetry seeks peace only in its muse, not in the comfort of the crowd or, even, the self — both of whom it seeks to “fuck their shit up” by glorifying conflict.
  • The “validation of the crowd” is a shot at slam poetry (“artistic democracy”) and its (“cliche”) free verse styling and politics. The piece utilizes both iambic pentameter and fourteeners, ends in a couplet, and is noticeably void of internal rhymes.
  • The “tuck me in at night” is a similar shot at poetry as a method of circle jerking, or artists getting together and telling each other how much they agree with one another. Poetry here is meant to “mar [one’s] sleep” as “moral questions” do the same for “righteous men” — again, this is about cultivating conflict, but in the self.
  • The piece comes full circle by saying the purpose of a poem is comfort only in the love of others — specifically, the muse. This is in contrast to the “young, healthy boys” who find their comfort in violence, or the destruction of the Earth, or in the rape and control of women, who are likened here to the Earth. Fullness must be found elsewhere.
  • “I no longer feel empty, I no longer desire anything” is an homage to King’s “So tonight I’m not worried about anything, I’m not fearing any man / Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” It is an homage but also an attempt to move past any god as a source of fulfillment and confidence, and to put such trust rather in ourselves — to “overcome him” and simultaneously reject the idea of perfection and peace; but to instead, again, seek conflict and irony and “constant struggle.”

Young, healthy boys find comfort in the trigger, in the Bomb
or the prompted yielding of a woman’s open arms and legs
What does, “No” mean?  What does “No” mean?  What does “Stop” mean?
Nothing!  Nothing!  We are the “Yes men!”
We own the Mother’s world, the Daughter’s womb
and in paradise yet still we find our blessed virgins
For what purpose is a woman’s innocence but for man to take?

“No, no, stop,” says the Mother, “This world belongs to no one
She does not consent to your touch
My daughters are innocent so that they may grow
ignorant so that they may learn
empty, just as you, my sons, so that you may find fullness in each other”

What is fullness?
It cannot be of sense, for mine are stimulated daily and for what?
I see nothing for my open eyes are burning
I feel nothing for my flesh is poisoned
I know nothing, for you, my Mother, are too vast
You that have brought life to me
my brothers seek destruction
Eschatological philosophies which now possess the power of Modern Man
but my spirit is old
and failing

I can only hear
I can only listen
As man’s knowledge outpaces his wisdom
as man’s power outpaces his responsibility
as man’s individuality outpaces his sense of community
as these things are not in balance
I can only close my burning eyes and listen

With this microphone and audience before me
I realize the only sense we need right now is sound

But poetry has lost its potency with flailing arms
Even the voice on the street is abused
The voice in this room is abused
Not just through lies
but through cliche
through conformity
through artistic democracy

Fuck that.  Fuck all that
My voice seeks not the validation of the crowd
As insanity reveals itself the right response to madness posited as sane
my voice seeks defiance

My voice seeks not to tuck me in at night
As moral questions mar the sleep of every righteous man
my voice seeks disturbance in the modern world
it seeks its own identity
it seeks to fuck shit up

My voice seeks not the wisdom of God
it seeks to overcome him in all-too-human fashion
so that I may be a man
only a man
but a beautiful man and a moral man
with a sense of tragedy and triumph
a sense of irony and resolution
but, too, of constant struggle

My voice seeks peace in her, only her, my muse, my Goddess
In her ears I pray my voice would hold the greatest weight
And it is through her, and for her, and thanks to her
that my fire is lit
I only seek in her that which she will gladly share

In those moments with her
naked as created by the Earth
soulful as created by the Universe
loving as created by ourselves
I hear the answer

As her infinite ocean pours into me
I no longer feel empty, I no longer desire anything
I am whole
I am hearing
I am being
two of us

Man has done too many deadly things for one
If what the universe is telling me is true
man must learn to love himself
and love a woman, too


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