I don’t write poetry often, but every once in a while I will. It feels a little unfinished and I might regret posting it a bit later, but I’m not a poet and such is life. The mythology of the phoenix has been on the forefront of my mind for a while now. More on that later. For now, think about this:


i set fire to myself
and bellowed sounds of agony
burned in degrees unmeasured
as the passersby passed by
bothered only by my position
surely this should be done out of sight
not when ripe
but convenient for the crowd

burnt skin curled up aginst itself
exposing flesh
revealing my “i’m like you”-ness
but i burned publicly
those who saw thought it a display
art or gimmick
it was neither
i just stopped where i was to light the match

the screaming continued
a cry for help
but who could help me
who could hear me
who could see what this fire symbolized

with silence came death
with death came birth
and out of the flames
emerged a new self
a new spirit armored with skin twice as thick
with eyes that could see twice as much
twice as fast
twice as deep
senses more sensitive to respond with greater haste
i had to burn to be reborn
here i stand, in the ashes of an old body
amongst the crowd
as they gawk
wondering why i’m exposed
why i look different from them
stronger than them
like i know more than them
surely i can’t be greater than them
greater than i was before

when i burned
i burned the box
i contorted myself to fit into
i distorted myself to fit into
i killed myself to fit into

there was no death by fire
just birth

Image source: Mia Bengtsson

April 5, 2010 | filed under random 


3 Responses to “phoenix”

  1. Paris on April 6th, 2010 7:48 am

    i like this poem; reminds me of the message behind eryah’s new video, and also the idea that you have to be broken to grow; clay refined by fire. thanks for sharing it!

  2. Leandra on April 6th, 2010 3:41 pm

    🙂 hey paris! the message of that video has been on my mind pretty heavy. right after i saw it, i saw janelle monae in concert and all i could think about when reflecting on both artists was the element of freedom.

    i’m reminded that “there is no ache more deadly than the striving to be oneself. ” – yevgeniy vinokurov

  3. Speaks Beliefs on April 12th, 2010 11:58 am

    i absolutely love this. i can image you speaking these words (via performance). powerful. beautiful.

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