Poem published in SUBROSA Curated by Estefania Schubert & Ingrid M. Calderón-Collins ✍️ TW suicide & self-harm.
This poem pretty much sums up my feelings of being an outsider. I have never felt secure with people, in friendships and it’s all been a fight to fit in, to be accepted and keep a straight face and not appear too ‘weird’. To be honest, looking back I think all of us kids were trying hard to fit in, because it was all about the hierarchy and being cool in school. Better to be in than out. I used to get bullied because I was naive, was shy and wouldn’t stand up for myself, I would believe what people were telling me … about myself. I gave up trying to make friends by the time I was 13 & social isolation accelerated my depression. Social isolation and depression made me both suicidal and self-harm. As did the dysphoria puberty gave me.
I was full of self-pity & hatred because no-one seemed to be able to help or understand me. I didn’t understand why I was struggling to function. I was walking around feeling I was repeatedly being smacked around the head with a frying pan. Teachers only saw me as a pain in the backside, who wouldn’t do their work & would disrupt lessons. I spent so many years denying any feelings I had, feeling it was my fault & thinking no-one liked me because what is there to like? It’s amazing& sad, looking back, at how much of how I behaved & thought was depression and stigma and shame and loneliness and what people had told me I was and should do.
I don’t need to carry that shit anymore!!!!!! I don’t need to keep destroying myself.
I had mixed feelings on The Day is Ready for you, the second collection of poetry by Alison Malee. When I first read the book I struggled to connect with the poems, on the second reading I begun to appreciate the way in which Malee constructs her sentences. She writes with lowercase letters, as well as with the lines spaced, so it felt more intimate. It was that intimacy that made me start to connect with the poems, and enjoy the book. There was a feeling in the poetry of alienation, of not belonging. The questions Malee was asking based on the environment, and the experiences, of the narrator. The love poems gave me the sense the narrator believes love is for the few, and that they don’t believe they are one of those few. I liked the writing was whimsical too at some points, and I liked a lot of the metaphors that were used. I loved the title of this book too, which I interpreted as The Day is Ready for you: You are Ready for the Day.
Concept: we are becoming dull with age I tell you about the raspberries and you tell me We are too old to believe in magic
I ask, is it growing up that leaves us empty?
A good, decent sized, poetry collection that will give you nuggets of wonder, and goosebumps, and joy, and nostalgia.
Did you know?
The Day is Ready for you is published by Andrews McMeel Publishing. They have also published poetry by Lang Leav, Amanda Lovelace and Alicia Cook.
Alison Malee has written another book, titled This is the Journey.