Spinning My Story : Bending like Photographs

All photos were used with permission & by the beautiful & talented
Whitney Justesen

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I started working on this video a couple months ago, just after Whitney so graciously gave me permission to use her gorgeous photos, & like the last video I made using my spoken word poetry, it took me awhile to finish it. I get to the point where I am almost done with it & then, for some reason, be it life getting in the way or I just get exhausted with the project, I put it on the back burner for a bit. Yesterday though, my muse paid my heart a visit, I was open, I wrote, it felt amazing. So when I woke (really) early this morning, I decided to open iMovie & see how much I needed to do to finish it because yesterday felt so good. There wasn’t a lot, so while my boys slept, I finished editing it & here I am sharing it with you. 🙂

A little back story on the poem : I wrote it back in 2006. When the casualties of the Iraqi War were spiking. When Bush was obviously still in power. When Kurt & I were in a long distance relationship. He was living in Philadelphia & I was living across the state, where we reside now, near Pittsburgh. We would meet every other weekend almost halfway, at a hotel & spend the weekend together. I wrote this in a rush, after one of those weekends. It came from the deepest parts of my heart. Thank you so much for listening/reading & being so open to me sharing these bits of myself with you. Big Love to all of you.

sunday worship, bending like photographs

the women in my family were taught
?to bury their tears in the bathroom,?
usually under the shower spigot ?
that behaves like a broom sweeping ?
the pieces of our splintered hearts
?down the drain because ?
from a distance & without sound ?
the involuntary contraction of the
?voice box, the bending & bowing
?of the upper-body can easily be
?mistaken for laughter

??the mouthful of air that gets wedged ?
in your windpipe & your lachrymal
?glands like clouds creating a slick track ?
for your mind-set to slide downward ?
are secrets to soft to share when the sun ?
is nowhere in sight to soak up the trickle
?before it runs rapid sailing toward the edge ?
of your waterfall chin??

yesterday morning, in bed, my lover & i,?
our awareness of concern was almost
?as absent as our irish & indian bloodlines,
?thin like the light coming through the tiny ?
imperfections in the drapes standing ?
as bodyguards, protecting us from the ?
outside world, our relations, acquaintances, ?
the war pounding so hard on the heavy hotel
?door is easily ignored but never all together?
forgotten, while we rested our love on cheap ?
cotton sheets, some are forced to lie in blood

we are caught in a tearless generation, our?
wet looseness was rubbed out with the industrial ?
revolution, the screeching of gears replaced
the outward cry of communal emotion & we?
have yet to make our way back, we run around?
our pain like it’s a christmas tree, sit around it,?
decorate it, photograph it, but never climb ?
up in it, sometimes the weight of decision ?
stretches its self so far out across my shoulders?
that i can barely even move, i just march?
back & forth like the misguided minds?
that run this godforsaken nation?

our sunday morning was not spent stiff?
in a church under the scrutiny of the
?religious right with their flashbulb eyes
flickering against every one of their sins ?
because we
?were in bed,
?bodies bending like photographs,?
learning what revolutions ?
are supposed to be ?
fought for??

& that pleasure ?
is just as infectious
?as tears or laughter ?
but it takes a whole lot of strength ?
to carry any one of them out?

© amanda oaks

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