I’m a warrior.
I’m a women with dark fire within.
I’m lifting up mountains and praising the gods under the sun while I sing.
This land’s an unfortunate gift we’ve been given,
One that we’ve squandered away.
I fight to define her,
I carry her,
and protect her.
Keeping the demons I can at bay.
- Larissa Nemeth
You think you’ve stared into my soul,
Watched me exchange trainers
for my teacher heels
under my desk;
contrived to sneak
up behind me to snigger
while I clicked
in haste to class, late for lesson two.
But rewind and you disappear like an overexposed ghost; it’s just me and my own two
feet in the dawn,
And that combination clicks
like a train
I’m on my way, cushioned in sneakers
waiting for a bus in cold iron light, ground firm beneath my heels
We’ve been trained
our whole lives to
bear the scars of these pink and puckered heels.
From Payless to red soles,
stiletto spikes encircling our imaginations;
they corral, they protect, they beat us back into ugly cliques.
You’re a woman? You choose.
Stand out like two fingers clicked
at you with your tray of champagne in hand, or
slide onto a last chance train
carriage unnoticed? sneak
or walk tall? fade to
chameleon gray or hobble through your night as the life and soul-
from which wounds will you faster begin to heal?
Then there’s the fear, the Achilles Heel.
YOU CAN’T WIN is tattooed up your calf and it’s just clicked
that no matter what’s in your soul
or how hard you train
or how much you have to
give, you’re damned
at ground level or six inches closer to god, not safe in platforms or sneakers
And whether sneakers
or sandals, or square toes-
like the beating of an underfloor heart, the click-
the stomp – they reverberate, build me up as I train
to separate mind body and sole.
Yes. I see you sneaking your way up to the cliques
At the top, the eschelons of power, hell round a boardroom table,
Straining to appear alpha. I may switch shoes when it suits.
Have swapped your soul.
To whose fingers play the music
I bow for style
The rhythm upset my ears
The lyrics left me blind
Notes had me resigned
For in the end it is
The strum that has us combined
Twisted and rubbed
Take a look at these hands
They are not even mine
And yet here I am binded and blinded
Able to sway
Here, music for all.
- Thomas Byrne
And an Irish bar.
And speak honestly.
Less of over there
And more of over here!
whatever I want it to mean
defined by me!