Approaching the end of the course

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We have almost reached the "Finish Line"! 
We worked hard and we wrote different poems on our identity, poems that worked as a sort of "warm up" activity for our last and most challenging creative writing task: writing our slam poem.

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Do you remember the slam poem "Pretty"?  Well, it took me a while, but I managed to write down all the words and here they are:

When I was just a little girl I asked my mother WHAT WILL I BE? WILL I BE PRETTY? WILL I BE PRETTY? WILL I BE PRETTY? What comes next? All right.  Will I be rich, which is almost pretty depending on where you shop.  And the pretty question infects from conception passing blood and breath into cells the word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill fluorescent floodlight of worry.  WILL I BE WANTED? WORTHY? PRETTY? But puberty left me this fun house mirror dry ad, teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose, face donkey-long and pockmarked when the hormones went finger painting MY POOR MOTHER. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN? YOU’LL HAVE PORCELAIN SKIN AS SOON AS WE CAN SEE A DERMATOLOGIST, YOU SUCKED YOUR THUMB  THAT’S WHY YOUR TEETH LOOK LIKE THAT, YOU WERE HIT IN THE FACE WITH A FRISBY WHEN YOU WERE SIX OTHERWISE YOUR NOSE WOULD HAVE BEEN JUST FINE, DON’T WORRY, WE’LL GET IT ALL FIXED, SHE WOULD SAY.  Grasping my face, twisting it this way, then that as though it were a cabbage she might buy.  But this is not about her, not her fault, she too was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable façade.  By sixteen I was pickled with ointments, medications, paroxides, teeth coralled into steel prongs laying in a hospital bed face packed with gauze cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.  Belly gorged on two pints of my own blood I had swallowed under anaesthesia and every convulsive twist of my gut like my body screaming at me from the inside out, “WHAT… DID YOU LET THEM DO TO YOU?” All the while this never ending chorus droning on and on like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood WILL I BE PRETTY? WILL I BE PRETTY? like  my mother unwinding the giftwrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her 10 thousand dollars bought her –  pretty pretty: And now I have not seen my own face in ten years. I HAVE NOT SEEN MY OWN FACE IN TEN YEARS. But this is not about me.  This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in, about women who will prowl thirty storeys in six malls to find the right cocktail dress but who haven’t a clue where to find fulfilment or how to wear joy wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag beneath the tyranny of those two pretty syllables, about men wallowing on bar stools drearily practising attraction and everyone who will drift home tonight crestfallen because not enough strangers have found you suitably fuckable.  This is about my own someday daughter when you approach me already stung, stained with insecurity begging MUM WILL I BE PRETTY? Will I be pretty?  I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer NO.  The word PRETTY is unworthy of everything you will be and no child of mine will be contained in five letters, you will be pretty INTELLIGENT, pretty CREATIVE, pretty AMAZING, but you will never be merely pretty!

 Katie Makkai, National Poetry Slam, 2002

 slam

Let’s start by writing our poem on "who we are".

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Cristiana
amusing, talkative, ressuring, stubborn
relative of Massimo
Lover of freedom, Claudio, nice weather
Who feels anxious, insicure, under pressure
Who needs freedom of expression, loyalty, feeling at ease
Who fears indifference, loneliness, abuse
Who gives love, reassurance, sympathy
Who would like to see happiness and peace in the world.
Resident of the world
Ziraldo

shout

I am


I am loving, refreshing, sarcastic and ironic
I wonder about th existence of God and the existence of life after death or other forms of life
I hear the cracking voice of a wise man revealing sweet secrets
I see the rays of a rainbow departing and rescuing people in need
I want to go back to my previous shape
I am loving, refreshing, sarcastic and ironic
I pretend to be happy
I feel understood and protected
I touch existence and happiness
I worry about the everspreading individualism, indifference, arrogance. 
I cry people’s suffering
I am loving, refreshing, sarcastic and ironic
I understand that deep down everybody needs to be loved
I say evil is inborn in human beings: it is not true we were all born good
I dream of a newly-born child who will change the world for the better
I try to repress my anger
I hope I will grow out of people’s opinions and expectations
I am loving, refreshing, sarcastic and ironic

i slam


You were abnoxiously arrogant.  You were always thinking you were the best at doing things and your siblings were good for nothing, they were not up to your expectations.  Your concept of "success" was different from mine.  Can you here me?  I’m not you, even if I came out of you! Being successful to me is not being envied, it is not possessing things, living in a big fully-equipped house.  It’s not driving a BMW.  It’s not having my own firm.  You’ve crushed me with your unachieved hopes and dreams.  Haven’t you ever asked yourself what your kids’ penchants were? No, not at all! You were too damnly self-assured.  You thought you knew everything about yourself and your family members, but you knew nothing.  You didn’t know your kids’ deepest fears or hopes.  You just crushed us.  You pinioned our wings.  The very fact that we were not like you meant we were born defective.  Yes, as if we had been faulty objects, but unfortunately for you, you could not send the parcels (=us) back to the addresser (our mother’s womb) to be reprogrammed.  No, you couldn’t, but you could give vent to your anger: you could belittle us.  That made you feel great, didn’t it? You gloated over the humiliations that you darted at us? Do not know. I’m not sure.  I still feel confued.  Should it be true, it would be monstruous, wouldn’t it? And then they say all parents love their kids. Bullshit, hypocritical bunch of lies.  Do you know what success means to me?  Being myself, being happy with who I am, being loved by those I care for, being respected, being of help.  Success is doing what I like, not what you wanted me to do.
Somehow all parents fuck up their kids’ life and what is sad is that they do not even realise it.
Yet, I still love you, just like a victim can love her victimiser. 

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Una risposta a Approaching the end of the course

  1. anonimo scrive:

    I am insecure, dreamly

    I wonder about how the others see me…
    What they think about me.

    I hear a bell ringing and calling me somewhere…
    A voice seducting me and wrapping my body with a soft touch.

    I see a cherry garden in a petal rain…
    A swan lightly floating on a calm lake getting prepared for the storm.

    I want to be hugged by my friends forever…
    I want to be warm for the rest of my life.

    I am insecure, dreamly.

    I pretend of being positive, strong…
    I feel vulnerable and weak.

    I touch a soft and fragile rose…
    A cold and hard block of ice.

    I worry about my friends…
    I worry about what they think about me.

    I cry the death of that flower…
    The melting of the piece of ice.

    I am insecure, dreamly.

    I understand who loves and how he feels…
    I do it to.

    I say: "Dreams are part of us"…

    I dream of being loved by everyone and accepted as I am…
    I dream of being loved by you.

    I try to be respected…
    To be less caring than I am.

    I hope that one day you'll notice me…
    That you'll see what I feel for you.

    I am insecure dreamly.

    Alessandro