You’ve been assigned my work by your Language Arts teacher.
I will start by telling you a secret.
I’ve thought about this before,
Wondered as I put pen to page
Wove leximantic spells into the air that I vainly wish to leave after me, more enduring than a grave and half as tangible;
Pondered if THIS would be the line plucked
Like Arachne’s threads for analysis,
Vivisected for form and function,
Rotated like a hologram in your presumably cyberpunk future.
Maybe you’re a middle schooler and your teacher
Is introducing new topics to figuratively cover
And I’m just light enough (in all ways that count to such system),
To serve as a model.
Maybe as a high schooler, you are scanning the sociological forces
At play in my history, the top down view of tectonic influence,
Rivulets of events streaming through my metaphors
Like tributaries of the Columbia.
Maybe your university thesis involves analyzing
My library, looking for stylistic chains, where I rented imagery,
Whose attitudes I railed against, what title mines
I drew subject matter ore from.
A truth: I hope I have not been presented as some edgy but safe
Alternative to voices too fierce, too queer, too brown
To “inflict” upon impressionable minds.
I hope they tell you of a community I constantly felt unworthy of
And that you seek them out like holy grails full of fire
And swear words and truth.
I hope you tell your friends how passe, mediocre and softcore
I am compared to your new selected sirens.
That was a lie because they told me I do no real raising
By punching myself down and I believe them and maybe
Just in this moment I can offer something you need.
Maybe we relate, maybe someone who does or does
Not look like you but sounds like me can speak friend and enter
A part of your heartmind you’d never thought to explore
And you will fill and expand it with a choir of new voices.
Maybe I can just knock.
A final truth: I hope you’re wrong.
I hope you make up wild theories, stitched together
From scraps of sonnets and slams,
I hope you uncover profound truths on the pebble beach
Of my mundane life, I hope you have heated debates in classes
And in coffee shops, I hope you fall down a dozen rabbitholes
Researching connections that never existed
But make a damn fine story.
I hope you blushingly admit having to replace old narratives
With new information and I hope the synthesis is even more ridiculous.
I hope you discover new areas of interest in your quest
To mold me around whatever framework you need,
Probably your own spine.
And I hope it works.
Wear me like a coat, keep me in your pocket,
Take me out like I’m a compass or you’re a sniper,
Have a pretentious hipster favorite obscure line
Never referenced by academics, have a saccharine pop piece
You guiltily love, I give you carte blanche for all,
Because my Simba students, all this is yours now,
I will it all to you.
Use it for good, yeah?