My Body, My Protest: After Mon Laferte

In silence, I stand

Nipples bared and bowed

To the bravery of the stolen

Of the forgotten voices

Of the raped

Of the tortured

Of those killed in the name of freedom

 

I bare my body

I surrender this suit

I plaster truth

I carve it into the bones of me

Until the world hears

 

En Chile torturan violan y matan.

 

“In Chile they torture, rape and kill.”

Commentary: My Body, My Protest (After Mon Laferte)

The story behind the poem My Body, My Protest, begins with me stumbling into bed at 4:30am, slightly (or not so slightly) intoxicated after a night out dancing. I was doing the habitual scroll through my Instagram timeline when I came across an E! News post detailing the events occurring at the Latin Grammy’s. This is where I first saw Mon Laferte’s political red carpet protest moment, where she completely bares her chest to strategically raise awareness of the grotesque acts of police brutality taking place in Chile right now.

Chile is currently experiencing a season of political unrest as thousands exercise their political right to protest. Protesters are taking to the streets to express their fury at the establishment and are demanding social reforms to address the high levels of inequality the country is experiencing.

Here is a useful link for more details on what is happening/has happened in Chile during the protests:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-50512093?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c452lzylemmt/chile-protests&link_location=live-reporting-story 

In summary, 22 people have been killed as a result of excessive police force, while thousands have been seriously injured, tortured and/or sexually assaulted. These are absolutely abhorrent acts of injustice and I was profoundly moved by this whole situation, compelling me to write something about it then and there. I deeply admire Mon Laferte for using her platform to raise awareness of the human rights abuses that are happening all over the world. Mon Laferte reminded us all that our bodies are not merely sexual tools, they are powerful vessels – holding, giving and supporting life.

Here Mon Laferte chose to use her body to express a significant message. She utilised the power of the naked female form to highlight our human right to protest, to challenge norms, to shake systems, to change the world.

Seasons Change

You were my climate

I would bend & yield to your slightest variation

When you were my sun, I would dress down for you, all skin, melanin, exposure

Blanketed by your warmth

 I vacationed in your love

 

Until the season called for your coldness

I would grimace & endure your presence

Like a sore throat in recovery

 

The autumns of your indifference

Brought with it a kaleidoscope of mystery

As the leaves fell from our dreams

Unrealised

We marvelled at the unsettling paradox

That the beauty of our ideals may never be fully actualised

But the beauty stands unwavering

All the same

 

The winter of our love

Brought with it a necessary mourning

As I purged you, heart and soul

Piercing through with icy precision

I allowed it to hurt

I gloried in the courage it took to brave your coldness

To endure

Until the last morsel of this blizzarding love

Melted away

 

Bringing forth a spring of reflection

Of clarity

As I meditated on all the reasons I had to leave:

That no matter how hard I adapt

To your vicissitudes

Your endless variations

I found myself staring

Perpetually

At this ticket back

To myself

 

For my heart is a tropical island

Of dreams & beauty & irresistible warmth

Until my rain comes like a hot baptism

Ready to cleanse & make a new

To saver in the promise of a warmer tomorrow

 

And for now, maybe that’s what I need more

As I vacationed in your temperate maritime climate

It is time for this sojourning solider to return home

Look Within

It’s not here

The Fear that plagues you

The Love that binds you

The Desire that drives you

 

It’s not here

The mechanisms of love

The barriers you place around it

The romantic illusions that pollute it

The myths that mask you from the truth

 

It’s not here

The saving grace

The divine light

Blazing away sorrows history

From your veins, from your veins

 

It’s not here

In that powdery embrace

A nose full, a mouth full,

a forbidden pharmacy

 

It’s not here

In that liquid luck

And all the ways you try to orchestrate your own destruction

It’s not here

It’s not here

It’s not here

 

 

Look within.

The New Year

Here’s to us

Making it this far

Another year closing

And as we dust down those resolutions

Reviewing the messes we’ve made

The triumphs we’ve tasted

Taking a shot for every disappointment

And dancing in the ember of the past

Reveling in the victory of all we’ve overcome

 

Nothing can compare to this strength

This evolving

And surviving the torture of our cocoons

For now we emerge

Glittering and ready

For all this year has in store,

And more.

 

For all life has in store.

Amplified

 

No substance truly annihilates forsaken pain

No chemical can cure the crash

Crash

Crash

Of a shattering heart

Breaking

On the floor of your chest

The bleeding,

The agony,

It cannot be avoided

Numbed, perhaps

But that is like

Walking bare foot

Over the shards of your own heart

Pretending the wounds aren’t there

Pretending

That the pieces

Of your once whole heart

Aren’t now festering inside of you

Like a malignant lump

No longer beating

But bleeding

Seeping through every crevice of your soul

Until you are utterly consumed

 

Neglected pain

Cannot be numbed by illegal substances

That promise of temporal joy

Temporal escape

Temporal release

Because as the substance leaves you

And your plane lands

And you feel yourself descending

Down a very deep hole

The pain will greet you there

That misery you left on stand by

On hold

Because life got in the way

 

But I know, love

This world is still cruel to the kindest of souls

And life doesn’t stop

Life doesn’t give way

Life doesn’t allow you to process this pain away – naturally

 

So we drink it away,

We smoke it away,

We love it away

But when your plane lands

And you feel yourself descending

Down a very deep hole

The pain will greet you there

Larger than before

So do not expect it to whisper

Do not expect it to meet you conveniently

Expect the room where your pain resides to be empty

Cleared of any redeeming quality

So when the chorus of your pain takes to the mic

Expect its volume, its power to be

Amplified

A Poet in Love |Excerpt from a book I may write

It was the mystery her midnight eyes exude that I found most alluring. The little tell tell signs of emotions that eyes of a different shade would reveal unconsciously; her dark brown hues kept hidden.

And I gaze into them; searching for the dilated pupils, the star struck glow, that faint glimmer and airiness that would all but confirm my suspicions. But instead I lose myself in this search; in an opal sea, for it is only her eyes that have the power to overwhelm and entrap me.

– I love her wildly.