NPS 2009 Day 3: DeAnn Poetry Feature

Salt Lake had its first bout last night, and despite putting what I’m sure was a valiant fight (how could it be anything else?) came in 4th. Although, it’s hard to be surprised that we weren’t first given the nature of the competition–namely our team was up against the Nuyorican Poets Cafe–who’ve had a very extensive history. Like, 35 years of being involved in this slam poetry thing. Like when I say slam, you think “Nuyorican”.

Nonetheless, life goes on and Salt Lake stillk rocks. And on that note, I present to you another piece of poetry–this time from Salt City slam poet DeAnn. For more on DeAnn and the SLC slam team in general, please visit here.

For My Chesire Cat
By DeAnn

He smiled acceptance
in the form

Of Cheshire Cat challenges,
Witty banter
hidden between each tooth
I found a new degree of friendship
as strong as the cement
that held his braces into place.
He smiled acceptance.

He smiled a dare
when my learning curve
discovered his biological urge
was left of center.DeAnn Rocks the Mic
I was given a choice
between two natural impulses:

Love or Hate.

both sides of the coin
in my 13 year old
bleeding heart chest
pointed to an open mind.
I made room in
the space between silver crooked teeth
for the other boy
and he painted our cheeks rosy.

And then there were three
and we smiled graciously
at rock wall challenges
because we knew
we had the most efficient pulley system
the world had ever seen.
We broke down entire mountains
of school ground bullies
with a new found
ability to question,
to recognize ignorance
in advice we once mistook
for wisdom.

It was they
who flipped the switch in my naivete
from adults are always right
to most times they’re not.
That intentions made
the necessary crooked edges
of jigsaw puzzles
even when they’re wrong…
and that LOVE
would somehow
make the pieces fit together
to form a bigger picture
for us to frame and show
the entire world compassionate perspective.
All the
and friends
would see it hanging on the walls
of humanity’s art gallery.

See the answers in
the honesty
of our young rosy cheeks
and finally notice
how the wide open eyes of
friendship and tolerance
had blind spots
in all the right places.

But the Cheshire Cat’s father
blew through humanity’s art gallery
on anti-fairy tale winds of destruction
from the direction of a condition HATRED
as old as the religious rising of the sun.
All the jigsaw pieces
of compassionate love
fell to the bathroom floor
in a crumpled heap
as the wind blew south
to a cheap motel in Arizona;
leaving behind his soul shattering aura
for the other boy and I to find.

We found our frowning Cheshire Cat
among puzzle debris and blood.

Instead of witty banter
he spouted
the ancient burning ways
of the old religious sun
from shattered braces
and bruised pale cheeks.
His wind battered body
told of battles
with crooked intentions
brought upon
by a 13 year old boy
seeking compassionate LOVE
from an adult.

The ambulance came
and treated his blood as though
it were infected with the contagious
deadly disease of queer
and told us to go home.

Over ten years later
I no longer have the company
of rosy cheeks.
Only the wisdom
that crooked edges have carved into me
over time.

I have a handful of jigsaw pieces
to drop into all of your laps.

For my Cheshire Cat
who taught me to question
even respectable authority
and the oldest cliche’s
who now speaks only in religious tongures
with a penchant for gays
disguising a secret desire
he must have swallowed
the day the orthodontist pulled
a jagged disarray of braces
from every corner of his mouth
like a painful memory

For the destructive wind
who might have taken pride
in the young man
who mirrored the better parts
of his grace
but allowed his fear of God
to overshadow love for his son.

For the other boy
who’s rosy cheeks
inspired my own
exploration of various shades of silver

And for me, the last one standing.

I give all of you these jigsaw pieces
from us
with hopes
of someday painting
the world with
daring rosy cheeks
baring accepting silver smiles
once again.



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