Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus

Standing (R)


RHommel

Recommended Posts

Standing

 

Here I stand.

The tomboy with the scabby knees

peeking out from beneath

the torn hem of my skirt

the day I picked the biggest fight

with the meanest bully

in the neighborhood.

Fists clenched to my sides,

chin trembling, fighting back

the tears

of years

of fears.

 

I am not afraid of you!

You cannot hurt me

anymore

than I have been already

in this stupid dress

that my mother put me in

today.

 

Here I stand.

The red-headed Garcia girl;

short-tempered, fair and freckled,

stunned into silence,

glued to the floor,

dying at the core

as your mother tells me,

"Sarah cannot see you anymore

because your mother

is a Spic whore,"

and closes the door.

 

I am not afraid of you!

You cannot hurt me

anymore

than I have been already

in this stupid dress

that your daughter loaned me

today.

 

Here I stand.

In your kitchen

with my back against the wall;

jaw slack, eyes glazed

as you call my name

from the next room

to help you with your homework,

your father's hand under my dress.

I guess

that mess

would have been less, he said,

if I'd been raised right,

meaning white.

 

I am not afraid of you!

You cannot hurt me

anymore

than I have been already

in this stupid dress

that I wore to impress you

today.

 

Here I stand.

In my new high heels

on my first day in your office

as you run your fingers

along the back of my chair.

My hair, you wonder aloud,

"Is it the same down there?"

You stare at me and I glare…

to dare you,

trying to scare you,

make you uncomfortably aware.

 

I am not afraid of you!

You cannot hurt me anymore

than I have been already

in this stupid dress

that I wore at your behest

today.

 

Here I stand.

I am not afraid of you.

You cannot hurt me

in this dress

that I have not worn for you

today.

 

~Rachel Hommel

 

-------------------

Short biographical note: I was raised in rural Pennsylvania in the 1980s by my white father and my Puerto Rican step-mother.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rachel, this is a chocking poem. At the beginning sounds kind of Cinderella tale and then suddenly turns into more of a real story. The repetition of the lines shows some anger and frustration, and keeps the breath of the reader. This, in some way narrative poem hits. Very poignant poem.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Alek,

 

Thank you for the compliment. This was one that I read aloud at Portland's "Broken Word" last year... I hope to make an audio recording of it to share here this weekend. There is one other I have written that is a variation on a pindaric ode, with strong(er) language, but altogether there are very few poems I have written with "adult content".

 

Usually I find that regular words suffice, but select poems written for spoken word forums often use "street language" to get the listener's attention. I had a university professor who would ask her students to leave class for using such language. Her point was that, as educated adults, we should be able to find "proper" langauge with which to express ourselves. Most of the time I couldn't agree more, but there are times when it can be used appropriately. I always strive to strike that balance, in poetry as well as prose. I was hesitant to post this as one of my first pieces, but I'm glad I did.

 

Thanks!

 

~Rachel

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very powerful, this, Rachel. I believe this will make a good recording. I like the repeated stanzas with the variations. It reads like the speaker has gone through different stages of life with difficulties, hardships, humiliations... but she stands strong! Good rhythm and rhyme that help the speaker make the point clear. I like the tone as well.

 

All the best,

 

Lake

Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW! WELCOME to the forum Rachel, this is a great intro, now this is poetry with a punch!

 

I love the rhythm and sound of the following sequences that punctuate the piece:

 

the tears

of years

of fears.

 

.......

 

"as your mother tells me,

"Sarah cannot see you anymore

because your mother

is a Spic whore,"

and closes the door."

 

......

 

"I guess

that mess

would have been less, "

 

..............

 

"You stare at me and I glare…

to dare you,

trying to scare you,

make you uncomfortably aware."

 

Until I singled them out, I really wasn't cognicent of rhyme in the piece...

 

 

And I began to look forward to the next repetition of the refrain and how it might change ever so slightly...

 

I am not afraid of you!

"You cannot hurt me

anymore

than I have been already

in this stupid dress

that my mother put me in

today."

 

I am very excited about your work and am happy you have joined us. And thanks again for your help on the Cadae...

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Lake & Tinker - Thank you both so much for your compliments and welcoming remarks. (I think I'm blushing now from Tinker's "WOW!" :icon_redface: ). I will try to post an audio version of this tonight, if I have time before bed. If not, then over the weekend certainly.

 

I am really enjoying reading everyone's poetry and love the added intention given to my readings by knowing that my comments will be read by the poets themselves. I feel a bit like a little girl jumping up and down with excitement about this whole experience, as I don't know too many poets in my social circle, and I feel blessed to be allowed to join your small and seemingly tight-knit community. Warning: my enthusiasm will probably wane about as much as it has for poetry over the years... which isn't much. I'm fairly good at taking constructive criticism, but my sensitive ego probably needs about three strokes for every lash. I'm working on that. Hopefully, I give as good as I get.

 

Both of you are correct in that this piece is definitely meant for the spoken word. The cadae I lent to Tinker for her article, however, is a horse of a different color... nice read aloud, but has far greater impact on the page with its visually exacting form intact. I haven't done too many like this that are better heard than read, but the few I have written for stage are equally forceful (spoken word poetry is fairly competitive out here in the land of hippity-hippie-hop-hipsterville - :)) ). I'll start an archive thread for my stuff sometime this week too.

 

~Rachel

Link to post
Share on other sites
Larsen M. Callirhoe

interesting. very tantalizing to say theleast. weall have to face challanges in life ihad to face some bullies in my life. my parents thought if i got in a fight it was my fault. don't understand my parents reasoning. they are very ignorant as to what is out there.. lucky to live in a nice plush house many would consider a mansion.

 

i took a swing at a bully and almost killed him with one swing. you bring up an interesting senario of someone who bullies you. what if you see something in them they don't realise. in away you were telling him don't you see i love you and you don't realise that abuseing me with your harsh idealogy to make me belittled to do your deeds.

 

well this is what i gathered. as for looks once we age after 35 we look old maybei see humor in how we try to take care of ourselves.

 

im a quadriplegic and women still think i am handsome. im horribly out of shape so what is their logic and reasoning in this is how i see your write.

 

as for language everything has a place and very little offendsme the only thing in life i have eve rhad aggression to was those that call the virgin mary a whore well that is a story for another time.

 

welcome to the forum.

 

victor

Larsen M. Callirhoe

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your comments, Victor. You certainly have the feel of the story in my piece: misunderstanding, judgement and belittlement. It wasn't written to just one person though, which may help shed some light for you. You have definitely sensed correctly the mark of self-doubt in my writing overall, and I find that level of insight remarkable. Also, it's amazing how that almost exactly on the day of my 35th birthday, I looked quite a bit older than I had the day before. Until then, I was easily able to pass for being in my twenties! Haha! But no more...

 

And I agree with you that equal respect for each other's spiritual beliefs ought to be more readily practiced in what seems to be a growing sentiment of reverse persecution when it comes to religious freedoms, but you are also right to save such discussion for another day and I will follow suit.

 

~Rachel

 

P.S. I read somewhere here that your space bar was stuck due to spilled juice on your keyboard. If someone is able to unplug it and put a few small drops of rubbing alcohol into the stuck parts and then use a can of compressed air to quickly blow it out for you, that should do the trick. The rubbing alcohol should evaporate quickly enough in small doses, followed by the forced air, to prevent further damage to the electronics. Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like it, Rachel, and I love your audio recording of it. It's wonderful to hear the poet read her own work.

 

Your poem shows a sad but all-too-true part of life; the bullies don't always stop being bullies when they leave the schoolyard. But the speaker's a scrapper, a survivor, and I think your university professor would agree that her poem and its details are tastefully expressed.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.