Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry.
We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry’s audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.
Transcript Provided by YouTube:
So the Lit Mag is publishing a poem about my assault,
and technically they don’t know that’s what it’s about.
They aren’t completely at fault.
But now I’m left to address it,
give his act a name,
and, I mean, all I really want to do is never think about it again.
But they’re missing so much of the story, you know.
The publishers– they even told me that their favorite lines
were the ones that when I sent them to my best friend
ze asked if I needed zir to take me to the hospital,
and I said no.
Except I didn’t.
And saying no in a text message doesn’t make it real.
The lack of consent is between the lines,
but they’re publishing this poem of mine, right?
And they believe it’s about healing instead of being hurt, again.
And then I remember the numbers
and think it easier to call myself statistic instead of victim,
or asked for it, or invited him in,
so that obviously that meant he could take all that I had
even though we were in a house that’s not mine.
And I’m still not sure if I’m talking about the location, this happened,
or my body doesn’t actually belong to me anymore,
so I just stopped talking.
If I don’t speak, it’s not real, right?
And I mean, I never told him he was hurting or violating,
I mean, assaulting me.
Just let him finish and roll off,
and we slept in the puddle of my own blood,
and he thought it was just my period,
even though I stopped bleeding a week ago.
And now I’m late…
because he is still in the bed that’s not mine.
They can’t just leave him there
even though I’ve already left so much of myself on the sheets.
And afterward, my best friend comes,
picks me up, takes me to Planned Parenthood,
and I make this untimely joke about how this wasn’t planned.
And the nurse asks about my sexual history with my most recent partner.
And in that moment, he is human,
and he has a name.
And I tell her it was more of a one-time thing.
And she asks about protection,
and I tell her, “Not this time.”
And she reminds me of the importance of a condom,
and I don’t say anything.
So she gives me two white cups,
one with water and the other with whiter pills,
and I learn that Ella isn’t just a little girl’s name
but rather the name of the pill that keeps her from existing.
And Ella hits me with a semi-truck twice
until I vomit everything I have inside of me,
and I don’t feel like I’m a person anymore,
except I can feel my heartbeat in my everywhere.
And so I write, I write until there is nothing left to say,
and the Lit Mag decides they want to publish my trauma turned pretty.
Because I’ve left so much out,
it’s easy enough for everyone else to swallow.
(cheers and applause)
This post was previously published on YouTube.
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