Friday, March 18, 2011

tenets

They told me i should be good. That i should be obedient and that i should never forget to say my prayers. My granny told me that i must love and respect my parents. My daddy told me that I should be humble, for I was much too proud than what could possibly be good for a little girl. The Ten Commandments told me, along with a lot of other musts and must nots, that i shouldn't covet my neighbour's wife or commit adultery. My teachers told me that my pinafore must reach below my knees and my socks should never be rolled down. Text books told me that i must look right, then left and right again before crossing the road; that the fork went in the left hand and the knife in the right; that 10 times 10 made a hundred and don't let nobody tell me any differently.
Mummy told me i should be careful of men thereon, when that blood splotch stained my panties for the very first time. My report card told me that i could do better. Always! And I think I took that to heart. It's followed me like a specter from my childhood. In all my performances. Work, writing, pay checks, boy friends, character, love. All of them have had "Can do better" scrawled all over them in invisible ink.
Society told me I must act like how a girl was expected to act. Catechism told me i must save myself for the man i would marry. Proverbs told that procrastination was NOT the mother of invention and honesty was the best, but unfortunately slow like government policy. The church told me that Jesus was coming and that i must be prepared for the judgement day - lest i be measured and found wanting. So much like school and scary school principals. My boy friend told me that i must not be a troublemaker, that i shouldn't speak my mind, that I should take it lying down, or nobody would like me. my doctor told me that i must have my babies before 35 or there'd be complications. My body told me to panic by 25. My dentist told me i must brush my teeth twice a day. My priest told me that i should say three Hail Marys to absolve me of my sins and my uncontrollable rage.
The law told me that i must part with with my hard earned money to pay for roads that are not there. My uncles and aunts have told me often that i'm a stupid, arrogant girl who had it coming and that I must listen to my parents because they've been through life and that they knew better. Really? Dear mum, dear dad, what did you do when your entire world crumbled? How did you survive being flung to the jagged rocky shore of heart break? How did you survive failure? How did you live through humiliation? The farce of everyday life? Please tell me, cos i haven't a clue. And how did you deal with fear? Have you managed to lock it behind a closed door? How did get past the feeling of wanting to die? How did you deal with your suicidal and homicidal tendencies?
I've been told, advised, warned, ordered a good many things. But no one told me that one thing that ought to have been preached from every pulpit, engraved over every board, taught in every school, hammered into every skull and told to every child sitting on every knee. No one told me the first thing i needed to learn to do, was be true to myself. And that whoever had a problem with that, should be told to go fuck themselves.

spaces

I need more cupboards
i simply must have more cabinets
with secret stashes aplenty
Make them dark, deep and cavernous.
Big enough to store a lion, his family and his secrets.
I need a huge wardrobe - more stowaway spaces.
For safekeeping of things, better lost than found.
A cryptic closet
For all the skeletons i will have
once I'm done here.

illict habits

Munching sugar
in between meals.
Munching sugar
when I ought to stay clean.
Sweetness between my teeth,
after I've brushed them at night.
Ants in my house,
ants in my bed,
ants in the dirty corners in my head.
Those nocturnal dream-parasites,
crawling on the insides of my face, upside down.
As i see you in psychedelic colours.
Cotton-candy pink and boiled-candy orange.
Hot yellow and scalding neon green.
So i sit here munching sugar.
When I really should know better.