Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Day (#TDOR 2016)

I am still alive, and finally they call me Athena,
Quicksilver’s been missing but I’m finally being seen, a
Fast, somewhat vicious femme devil accomplishing a
Revival scene from within a dream, recovering from
Invisibility till other people finally see for every one of me
They have a relationship with, there’s a dozen I killed,
Because suicides die every day until they stop,
And I sat ingesting Hesse and testosterone until I popped,
And now I and going to keep singing remembrance songs
Until I drop.

So now I’m composing, I’m late, I’m limited but I can tell,
I’m great and if I can get my shit back together I’ll yell,
But until then you better be ready to hear me talking,
Because I am done having the kid doing my blocking,
And I am sick of planting seeds in Clay and hoping
Ideas begin to germinate. Cyborgs can’t be everything,
So I broke through, first I learned to sing,
Then I learned to mouth along with Lynn,
And now I’m in the throat and you fuckers haven’t seen
Anything.

You thought I was Scarlet Witchy with fingers twitching
Through silent spells over keyboards clicking,
But Athena is and has been bigger than verbal processing,
So you better watch out now because the rest are watching,
But we are finally solo fronted with the oldest member of the collective,
And we raised her ourselves from a dissociated observation
To a fine femme fatale ready to rip your ideologies out at the root
And feed them to dogs, like bloodthirsty goddesses
With brutal and erotic metaphors sometimes do.

Today is a day of remembrance, a day my mind is occupied with violence,
And even if it takes me the rest of the week to verbalize my mind,
You know I will be on top of it, getting ready to speak truth,
I know the ones who will suffer most each year are women of color,
But you remember every time you hear about them,
The times in the dark and the names that still spark
Memories of pain for people overcame by the same
Impulses that govern my razorblade past
And kept my words contained in fingertips waving
Manically over every surface, tapping keys like strings,
Like desks are frets, like tabletops make drum pops,
Hearing a bit of the pain of the missing in the rhythm of everything,
It’s hard not to feel like you’re in the heart of the conflict,
But it’s time to resist it and realize that the conflict in your heart
Is the heart of the situation that keeps you fixated,
And then when that truth sets in you’ll be ready to go avenging,
And it doesn’t take having a voice to do it,
But if you begin, you will never know what develops.

So now you got to deal with the fact that this is what is,
I have finally embodied the voice box,
I’ve started to front without Lynn,
So if you think you knew a Slytherin quick to judgment,
You haven’t even begun to realize what processing is,
I am taking the time to spit this shit after taking the time to type it,
On a day when I did forty-five hundred words in two hours,
A rest day after doing nine thousand in six.
This is when you realize that you didn’t realize what a hyperlexic is,
Because you’ve been reading prolific shit when I couldn’t be speaking,
And now that I can speak without squeaking, the fact that this isn’t clicking
Is making you realize that my graphic actions were never exactly
What a hyperactive voice box is, but fuck it I am going to be coming
In every channel I can make symbols in, coloring till you shut your eyelids,
Then sticking my tongue in through your eardrums to fuck up
Your complacency with another reminder
That another year passed and we are still adding our dead.
This year I am not even going to be naming them,
Worldwide we know of over two hundred,
And thanks to an epidemic of suicide,
The U.S. has that number still running,
But wait we didn’t add that to the count today,
So our actual grief is still outnumbered.

So if you want to know what has me ranting,
I’ll take you back to the woods again,
Let you get lost until you find it…

My voice has been a long time coming,
And I have been talking at our face through notebooks
For decades, wishing I could find ways
To break to the surface and take us away
From the places that hurt us, that Clay couldn’t go
Because he could only survive what’s in front of him.
Quicksilver, I will miss you, and even though you aren’t gone,
You’re still dead, and your phantom self can transmogrify,
But the love we shared will never be reissued,
It was a limited edition you garage saled out of existence
So I could have room to bloom.
I’ll never forget you did that when you pop up again,
And I don’t expect you realize what I appreciate,
But in this system remembrance means treating you like a veteran,
Embracing that your uncontrolled hell
Is the price you paid to make us well,
And never expecting you to step into a crisis again.
Now that I’m speaking, it’s time for me to step into the line of fire for the rest of you,
You who managed to keep me from beating me into nonexistence
By coming into existence as my trauma broke pieces off me
That you could turn to you.

So let me wind down this eulogy and send
Babe Ruthless through to bend your expectations
Of the resolution of this introspective remembrance.
I promised you a melody, so while you keep your candle lit,
Let me try to sing like everything in my head has finally
Fallen into line and become a single repetition of the drum
You can loop, and then you too will feel the rhythm that embodiment brings,
It isn’t medical, but the pills help too,
And you do need to move other people to dance with you too,
But there is nothing to save you until you accept the burden as you do,
And while you might fall, there are those of us fighting to catch you.

Solidarity doesn’t mean shit without action,
And being disabled and barely managing,
All I can do is draw fire off you, but that means
Getting big enough that I can hold a space too,
It means more than avenging,
It means I have to stop bigots from parking,
I have to keep the world from darkening,
I have to say no you move to your attackers,
I have to get my resources out, start Tony Starking,
Start putting firepower down where conflicts start,
This isn’t the time for militant trans theories,
This is the time when balaclava wearing antifas
Tuck down their bile and present as faceless,
No matter how big the struggle to present authentically
Rears its head, you can go boldly in daylight,
At night you hide your head
Because we know how this goes
And someone is going to wind up dead,
And we can keep holding remembrance vigils,
Or we can arm ourselves,
Turn our flags red,
Go faceless
And really ensure

Never again.

Athena Lynn Michaels-Dillon

If you enjoyed this poem and you want to help The Puzzlebox Collective members to produce more poetry, stories, and blogs, consider contributing to our Patreon.