I genuinely fell in love with Emilija Blum's words upon first read -- for one she does not mince her phrases and writes with such a voracious passion. I've been following Emilija for sometime now and her pieces, to me are like intimate tête-à-tête vignettes between herself and others.
First you stole a kiss.
Then, my heart.
Soon, my time and energy.
Hope, dignity, and pride.
I had to give those to you as a ransom
for your affection.
But you never kept your end.
“Don't negotiate with terrorists,”
my mother told me.
Then went trust.
I went to the doctor for next pain and
she told me to stop looking over my shoulder.
Confidence, optimism, faith.
What did I need those for anyway?
I can't forget the looting
my upper arms,
my left cheek,
and a bit of my ear.
Second, you decided
also belonged to you.
(My tippy toes on the floor,
but not like a little girl dancing.)
This is how tyrants
crush the resistance.
The Thief completely broke my heart -- anyone who has ever been in an abusive relationship whether it be: physical, emotional, verbal or sexual would comprehend how demeaning it is to be treated in such a despicable fashion.
One aspect of this poem that I found extremely thoughtful and carefully organised was the list -- the care Emilija put by including the word “my” in front of each abused body part. Self identification, is quite potent when it is expressed in such a manner – the level of ownership alone shows depth of character and strength of spirit.
I was employed at a woman's shelter for a short period of time – such imagery is not foreign to me – in fact this is quite the accurate depiction of what abused women are exposed to on a daily basis. And, it always starts with the simplest of manipulation and at times has the potential to end with one's ultimate demise – one time, a co-worker of mine found a woman soaked in a bloodbath after slitting her own wrists. It really is quite tear inducing to contemplate!
I sat down at a bar today and
asked the bartender, “Can I smoke?”
He smirked and said, “What, cigars?”
I kept a straight face. “Actually, yes.”
He smiled and said, “Oh I see, you're
a guy's girl.”
I looked up from my phone, made hard
eye contact, and said seriously, “No,
I'm a girl's girl.”
We stared at each other.
I broke the silence.
“So, can I smoke here?”
He nodded his head. I put the Marlboro
100 between my lips and leaned over the
bar, gesturing for him to offer a light.
I was raised in a house where only men smoked the cigars, needless to say I shattered that mold when I discovered how much I relished a good cognac and a nice robust cigar. This piece – in a way reminds me of the Woman's Suffrage Movement on a small scale, how we had to fight for even the right to be considered a person. And, yes, unfortunately, that includes something as simple as smoking. Regardless of what action it is, to look upon a woman and simply laugh at her when she is asking a serious question in the year of 2017 -- I might add breeds even more ignorance into this world. It's deplorable to say -- we are still fighting for our rights -- it's a good thing that Emilija is a strong advocate attempting to break barriers steeped in ignorance.
“on how he loved me?” She sighed.
She looked down and furrowed her brows.
“He took all of the things about
himself that he hated the most
and carved them onto my skin.”
Why is it that when some individuals are unhappy that they lash out at others in a negative fashion? I had a friend once who used to blame me for every single negative thing that happened in their life. It is still beyond me how one can go and hurt another being because they are strongly dissatisfied with themselves. Just seems so counterproductive and unfortunately part of the human condition as situations like this have been occurring since the dawn of time (whenever that started.)
I can't remember our last kiss.
Perhaps that means we never had one.
If I could remember our last kiss,
I'd spend the rest of my life
trying to forget.
I'd like to forget the first kiss
and everything that came after.
But I wrote it all down.
And I don't believe in burning books.
My husband, always tells me that regardless of the situation the past is something that can never be re-written -- no matter how much we desire things were not as they should be. This piece strongly spoke to me -- how many mistakes are we going to make in the course of our lifetime that will constantly linger in the back of our mind like a big bright neon sign "it happened -- get over it!" To that sign on most days I want to tell it to -- go to hell. I relished the last line -- "And I don't believe in burning books." that to me is such a strong statement -- my mentality is to destroy as much of that past with regards to negative occurrences as possible.
I would ask that you all consider following Emilija on social media via: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Thank you so much to Emilija for this bio and her contribution to the literary world...
Emilija Blum is a young, single mother who lives in Washington DC. She has always had a passion for reading and writing. Her favourite book is Anna Karenina, and her favourite poet is John Keats. Her work straddles a thin line between descriptions of love and politics, and she is an ardent feminist.