You know, in life how we get those: OMG! OMG! OMG! moments? That is exactly how I felt when Christina Hart agreed to allow me to showcase/review her unbelievable poetry on CCIQ. Forget about oozing honesty this poetry goes one step further -- her pieces exude a condensed bold truth.
Sometimes I wonder if they
can still smell me on
their sheets or if they just
think of me whenever
loneliness wraps her hand
around their throats. Maybe
they feel me in the squeeze,
maybe they remember me
in the choke. Or maybe I am
their safe word, because
the ones who leave,
they always come back to me.
And they are never whole.
And neither am I.
When I attended College one of my placements was with the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation, right above us on the fourth floor was the AIDS Committee of Toronto. A.C.T. would always offer courses on: treatment, diet and even safe S&M courses. I realised right then and there how prevalent S&M could be in any community and no one would know about it, due to the stigma attached to this specific subject. I never attended the course but; remember one aspect that had been clearly highlighted from the outline which, was the use of a safe word. Such images in our world are considered to be taboo or whispered exclusively in corners, I find it quite brave when poets take on these subjects. The one thing that struck me throughout this piece aside from the lucid imagery, I never thought of a person as someone's safe word. I can see the comfort in that especially, given the last few lines of Safe Word.
Beginnings are beautiful.
The potential, the hope.
The realization that you can still feel.
But the endings,
that’s where the magic happens.
The world crashing down around you
as you reassemble all the parts that make you.
if you think about it,
Life cycles are consumed by extreme truths – Christina is right “Beginnings are beautiful.” Everything is still savage and raw but once an emotional cataclysmic event occurs to separate the parties – it's open season on slaughter for sure. There is beauty in destruction when you see the potential for a new growth from the ashes of despair and demolition. For they are both conducive to the creation of one's own intimate phoenix which rises from whatever blood lust explosion had occurred – a circle that can procure elegance in its wake.
Sometimes life was reruns of Happy Days and
just enough toothpaste, sometimes it was chain-smoking
and getting drunk on Wednesdays, sometimes it was
a dead car battery and no one around to give you a jump,
sometimes it was sleeping in until noon and still tired and
restless, sometimes it was a 5am wake-up call and ten minutes
to get ready, sometimes it was music that played over and
over and over in your head, sometimes it was your
favorite scent, sometimes it was your lover’s smile,
sometimes it was losing the very thing or person
that made you happy,
sometimes it was hell,
but always, always, it was art.
Art, Always totally reminds me of the song Ironic by Alanis Morissette. Each individual event stands strong on it's own but when the words are threaded with such reality -- proves for a powerful piece that transcends itself to art. It's everything all at once!!! I love it when poets write like this because it allows fuel to stream of consciousness writing. Which is a style I am personally at home reading and frankly writing.
You left me with nothing and everything
wrapped up in a pretty package
for no one to open.
You are Christmas morning at a funeral.
I am the aftermath.
Utter devastation, that is how Aftermath makes me feel. Take a look at this line: “You are Christmas morning at a funeral.” Oh my goodness, that right there strikes a chord through any heart who's been hurt, so desperately by another human being. I've affectionately referred to that emotion as the dipped in cold water feeling. When everything shatters in front of you and you have no idea if or how you are going to recover. Christina said in 5 lines what would have taken me about 20 – perfectly poised indeed.
I put times spent with you in boxes
for storage and packed them away in
some dingy dark corner in my head and
for some reason I just can’t allow them
to collect dust. I take them out and
unpack them so often even though
every single time I do, I’m left sitting here
with blood all over my hands.
I am totally the opposite to this poem – prior to being married anytime a relationship broke up I was the one who would destroy all the pictures, I've had a few bonfires. I don't know what it is, it's not even my desire to re-write history – I just wanted nothing to do with that person or their memories. Now, as I age, I can appreciate boxing memories up for moments to reflect upon in the future the tragedy lies in those tragic times which render us broken.
You Deserved Better
I can see the holes in your eyes
where the hope used to be and
I can see the knot in your throat
from every disappointment
you’ve had to swallow.
And I know, I know you wonder
why it is so easy for them to leave you.
And I wish I had an answer,
but I only have a reminder:
You deserved so much better.
We've all been there right? The one friend we who doesn't think they are good enough so they settle for someone instead of the right one. I had one good friend I almost stopped speaking to because she was always being: emotionally, mentally, verbally and I think at time physically abused by her partner and she would always take it and cry. I can appreciate not wanting to be alone but, to be with someone who constantly treats you like rubbish makes my blood boil something fierce. He would always make her feel completely worthless and this woman was probably one of the kindest people anyone could meet. That is an emotion that no one should ever have to endure. ON ANY LEVEL EVER!!! The tender way in which Christina comes to the end of the piece – to affirm the person being mistreated truly brought tears to my eyes.
We’re all garbage
trash taken out
and most of the time
we aren’t recycled properly
You know, I envisioned human beings made from different materials: glass, metal, cardboard. How each one of those classifications would have to be properly sorted,
washed, broken down into smaller bits for the purpose of melting and recycling these items to something sustainable. Each time we go through a relationship we don't necessarily recycle ourselves properly, the process would be the time we should take to properly recover into that shiny properly reclaimed human being.
Ribs Like Blades
There will be days when
fall a p a r t and
There will be days
where your ribs feel
like blades. Let them
cut you. There is
beauty in the bleeding.
There is hope
in the healing.
Ribs Like Blades, although quite dark is also beautiful. This piece is such a eloquent way of stating some days will be great and others will be miserable such is life. There is a strong life cycle in Ribs Like Blades. I could not pinpoint what it is in this piece that I love the most, then realised it was the entire piece as is.
Thank you so much to Christina for providing this wonderful bio...
Christina Hart is an author and poet with a BA in Creative Writing and English. She has been featured in Book Riot as one of their 14 “Favorite Instagram Poets.” Her companion poetry chapbooks, Empty HotelRooms Meant for Us and Letting Go Is an Acquired Taste continue to top the Amazon Bestsellers lists in poetry, while her most known novel to date is Fresh Skin. She can usually be found face swapping with someone or chasing her deranged bunny around. You can find her on Twitter: @ChristinaKHart, or on Instagram: @christinakaylenhart.