Saturday, 8 April 2017

Christy Aldridge

When I read the poems of my next showcase Christy Aldridge I want to just sit and cry. Because her work is lovely and EXTREMELY emotive. It moves me to think of a mission that I started years ago called “the verity of humanity” basically, searching for personal and intimate truths. And Christy is quite honest about speaking hers.

Plastic

Everything is beautiful from the outside, looking in, faces pressed
against the glass, imagining the sweet words being said as you read
our lips and pretend everything is perfect.
Everything is fine.
Everything is perfect.
I'm okay.
Our smiles could be envious, you wish you were us because who
wouldn't want to be? You can see our perfect faces from the other
side of the glass. You can see our perfect life. We're happy.
Everything is fine.
Everything is perfect.
I'm okay.
From the outside looking in, we have it all. We kiss and carry on.
We smile and laugh. We put on a good show for our audience.
Everything is fine.
Everything is perfect.
I'm okay.
You can't see the glass we walk on, forcing laughs to cover up the
tears. You can't hear the abuse, the control, the intent in the words
we say cruelly between smiling teeth. You can't feel the pain we
keep creating to amuse those looking in. You can't smell the stench
of death as we rot. You can't touch the plastic our skin has turned
into as we change into what we're expected.
But everything is fine.
And everything is perfect.
Don't worry.
I'm okay.

Every single human being has issues in their life that they struggle with – perspective and to not judge is the key. I know, at times, someone's life might seem completely perfect – a utopia – feast for the eyes when others are looking in. But, their intimate truths tell another story. I thought the first sentence of each stanza created a smooth transition throughout
Plastic to show the severity of one's own human truths. My favourite one was...

You can't see the glass we walk on, forcing laughs to cover up the
tears. You can't hear the abuse, the control, the intent in the words
we say cruelly between smiling teeth. You can't feel the pain we
keep creating to amuse those looking in. You can't smell the stench
of death as we rot. You can't touch the plastic our skin has turned
into as we change into what we're expected.

There is such power here not only through the words but also through actions. I mean think about it – we only know the faces people are willing to open up their hearts to sharing. Everyone seems to always judge people for some reason or another but no one truly knows anyone – as truths almost always mean keeping people at a distance even though their faces are pressed up against the proverbial freshly wiped with Windex windows.


Emptys

How much louder do I have to scream before someone starts
listening? How many words do I have to spell out for you before
you finally see that something is terribly wrong here? How many
bruises must I self-inflict upon the unseen parts of my soul before
you'll admit something is wrong with me? How many cuts must I
make before you notice the blood? How many ways must one
person die before you understand? Before you sympathize? Before
you decide to offer your help? How much more do I have to cling
to my sanity in hopes of getting better? Of escaping? Or finally
giving in? How many smiles must I force before my face finally
breaks and reveals what no one will ever understand? How many
laughs must I fake before you play back the tape and hear the
voices in static

-I'm not ok nowhere near okay I'm on of the emptys-

and understand that we're all just losing our minds and pretending
to be okay? How many more times do I need to start writing for
me only to find myself speaking for us? How long before I realize
my voice is louder than the preset I've been operating at? But how
much louder do I have to scream before someone starts listening?
How many people must lose their voice to finally be heard?


How many times have you casually walked down the hall at work or supermarket and bumped into someone that you know? Of course, upon first sight in a civilized culture the first thing that should come from one's mouth is "hello, how are you?"  The next part is the tricky – how many of you in a clearly not fine mood or even state fit for company turns the corners of their mouths up to conceal the pain with a half smile with the answer of “I'm good, how are you?” We have become a desensitized society – and once again – the last stanza genuinely speaks to me:

and understand that we're all just losing our minds and pretending
to be okay? How many more times do I need to start writing for
me only to find myself speaking for us? How long before I realize
my voice is louder than the preset I've been operating at? But how
much louder do I have to scream before someone starts listening?
How many people must lose their voice to finally be heard?

I'm just going to let that sit there for you to think about. Before, I add one more thing... if you are person who is screaming at the top of your lungs in silence – who is not constantly heard that could cause a lot of pain – eventually that person will genuinely end up blowing their casket after feeling silenced for a long time.


Swimming With Sharks

You're suffocating me. I can't hardly breathe when we talk. Can't
speak. Can't think. You've cut the oxygen to my brain and I'm
slowly dying beneath your embrace. You've placed a pillow over
my face and you smother me. You place your hand securely over
my mouth to capture my words and my thoughts before they hit
the open air. You've become my filter, sifting through what I feel
until you find something that works for you while I begin to rot
inside. I don't know when I became such a problem for you, when
what i say became grounds for you to censor who I am. I sit by
myself and my mind begins to reel. I start to wonder why I ever
let it get this far, how I let you get this much control over me
because this was supposed to be love but it feels like sedation, like
isolation, like slavery. This was supposed to taste like forever but it
tastes like poison, like a leaking gas hose, like carbon monoxide
filling my lungs with the death I chose for myself and the death
you chose for me. Because I can't breathe and I'm drowning
slowly while everyone is watching, smiling as they remark how
beautiful the water looks because the ocean is always gorgeous until
the tide pulls you under and refuses to release you to the surface
where you can breathe. The waters are beautiful until you're
drowning in them. You were beautiful until you began choking the
life out of me.


Breathing space, I think is something that most of us require in order to sustain our lives. It is essential that we be able to respect the space of others as they should respect ours. But that is not normally the case is it – normally there is one who feels the need to control every aspect of your life. To the point that one day you are walking around in a pair of Mary-Janes instead of the big buckled shoes you loved but your significant other at the time (there is a reason why we have ex's) had thrown outside of your house. That type of control is not something that people need to go through. We do not need to be controlled and manipulated by someone who doesn't genuinely love us. There is a tremendous wisdom inside of all of Christy's work that most certainly should be acknowledged. 

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