First the machine then the malice

Cede them both to this empty room
where the walls are white and high and clean.
The floor is cleared of all encumbrances –
you are ready.
Be received. Stay until the mourning comes.

I’ve nowhere I’d rather be.

Drop the needle to the record, anticipate,
the crackle hum that calls to mind
some other song you used to love,
which will not be the song of now, but is a song
all the same: exquisite, familiar,

calling back and holding tight.

Hand to waist or shoulder or neck
hip to hip and chest to breast or breast to chest,
dance with me, sway each sad and beaten body
still beautiful, still whole, tender to my flesh,
gentle to the sound.

No one can live with the world.

You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know.The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”

–          R Balboa

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.

1 comment

  1. You have no idea how timely this is…

    Rocky B. A warrior poet and a mu’fuggin genius.

    Ring that bell and take this stool away. I’m up and swinging. All split lip and broken rib. Rocky, you are the boom beneath my biceps. Let’s get back to beating ourselves to a verby pulp.

    To say anything else at this point would break my little glass jaw so I’ll stop… Now.

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