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ZOETRY

by Pricelys

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1.
Seething 04:06
When I forget a poem, I think, I must have lost its purpose The kindling I’ve used to evoke this emotion shall not be used for my ego’s circus. I wish to gift the collection Of images I have kept captive Freely like birds from cages Or, kids from rezzes They don’t belong here forever I want to offer these constellations In a way that encapsulates a collective passion For healing That I see across all nations Worldwide And feel, Mostly, when I’m barefoot and aligned When I remember I. AM. ALIVE. I don’t read my poetry as often as I need When I speak, my mouth burns blue with the memories I still seethe at the sight of old white men with big chests Loud voices The unwanted caress My words are not my weapons but my wings They help me stay in the melody of my breath Sing. A remedy for all I have left. There is no such thing as authority to me anymore I have given up my control before loathed the hope they took as war Abhorred the torrent of tears That I harboured Tore through my scriptures Like my thoughts take me farther From the truth now… I. AM. HERE. Like Humpty, Dumpty. I sway silently back and forth Like a blue flame that knows how to finds a home on a torch Promises I’ve made tales I’ve sung Have all come trailing back Like rez kids, All. At. Once. Now, still, I lay awake Strumming the cache of chords in my mind Like triggers to the trauma could have sworn I left behind I like this song though It’s the one I know most I even dream too honestly The backpack I fall asleep with Still follows me Reminding me of the times I was taught to doubt myself Then left to find a couch the rush of finding sanction is still haunting me I’ve convinced it to believe I have what it takes I carry the weight of this disdain silently. Miming What’s inside of me We are here to drift between The stories Whispered quietly Between the rez The road allowance The city streets We are simply an anomaly Observed as an oddity Traded as commodity How peculiar an Indian performance can be
2.
Being is a balancing act a melting pot of behaviours Babbling on In Babylon like you’re battling the maker Maybe, straddling hate inside of a mirror. A manifestation of The white saviour Who demands you need a cure from the three year old imagination Inner child run rampant With bountiful fascinations Whose panache about creation weaves her armour excises the wrath of bellowing roars behind bars Like boisterous baristas Belching orders Breathe. A truculent defiance From giants sweltering with their bias Muddling for an alliance To the succulent core You ever act like you enjoy risking your life? Find an audience an industry One for day One for night You ever fall in love with the things you are afraid of? You admire the skill The will some keep from Questioning their morality It’s okay… Amusement runs deep Like lingering grief ...your parent’s beliefs. Birth the need to be performative To share To exploit Such a balancing act You ever parade your pain freely down main street? Face beat, masked in drunk Walk on water Strut out of touch with the made-up world Have you ever questioned yourself? Judge your own desire to play pretend Wing your eyes wider Make them think that you’re blind Forget that your mind is plagued by the wise. You ever dance with Wesakechak? Tumble over your buoyant heels After too many bad shots You ever steal a sweater in the morning? Lie to yourself After the fourth day of yearning Only to make plans with your girlfriends again...
3.
She’s standing in the foyer Hard pressed against the door Small hands clenching …ready for war After a morning of screaming He won’t confess He's just leaving Dust settles on his echoes The pleading Pitiful. He’s weeping to make it visual. I could be in the mirror it's so visceral She’s 6. He’s 40. Justifying his actions by believing he is six How torturing Grabbing onto my wrists Now seething. My silence is his last beating The birth of rage Is a child’s vengeance crashing down She’s thinking, “It’s been a few years of this Now, it's just confusing Why I covered up so many tears Training for this abusing” Her six year old mind sounds like mine Six feels unworthy Bad Dirty body slumped down As if she’s the one who's 40 Who will be charged for this crime, when, Her anger becomes my shrine An earlier time trailed Vividly in through her mind She went visiting, Down her old timeline her very own yellow brick road She goes To where there is hope In a three-year old Walking down that yellow road Complete Plastic baby in tow sometimes, a six year old soul Transcends out to the street To find a three year old Who she is dying to meet
4.
The Tree 03:37
My love waits curiously in the shade beneath the big tree at the playground yearning to feel the joy of the last monkey bar Of the fast pursuit to the bottom of the slide Of a new friend To swing with My heart waits in the tree’s shadow, fully-braced wondering what this is supposed to feel like My love asks my heart, “Why don’t we just go play?” Quickly shot back With a tongue snap My heart reminds my love That we are afraid - saying, “If you want to go so bad Then GO, ESCAPE! Just know you are breaking the last promise I told you we made.” My love goes back to hide in my heart. My heart holds tight to my love through this guise of keeping it safe Every breath it expects Will erase a little bit of my shame If I let myself down, at least I know I am to blame My tears put the flame out again. But this is my safe place At least, these are the narratives that I’ve replayed. It is not enough to be tamed when my heart is wild in its dynasty My veins pump this blood Violently I mistake the dance between A fear of being seen with the need to be free For anxiety - I make friends with the tree Gentle in the way that it speaks A giant like me but so far from a beast Doesn’t mind my need to breathe lets me lean here to catch my breath Gives me air lets me rest Gives me shade shares its depth Makes me know It's trying its best Calms me down Makes me forget Who I am hiding from Reminds me that it will be here even if I want to go out and play It will see me Slide, and swing I can look back And, I’ll be okay I can make a friend That friend will have a name I can tell the tree all about it when I come back again My heart has a lifeline to learn from this tree Innate ability to set me free without judgement Welcome me back with an invitation to hug This is all my love is trying to be.
5.
She’s a glutton for punishment At least, that’s what the neighbours say They watch her stride across achievements in a daze Cry with bereavements at the sight of no change Nothing is good enough to her It seems – but what is it then? She calls herself a bottomless pit How performative The perfect candidate for an after-hours Like a shark In a school yard She knows her power A planted tree With the promise to flower. Still, she cowers Saving her energy for the bigger villains The ones who tower over her Like monsters do Calling her to use Put the mask back onto the face Thrust herself into the race With those who have something to prove She claimed my ecosystem is my safety net I bet you wonder if I’ve made it out safely yet Head down Well behaved Obedient Enslaved She use to say it’s cuz she likes to share But I know That’s fake Nobody enjoys laying bare For a stake Vultures are well aware What a snack she would make Her fleeting ways Are never questioned The taste of guilt is all she’s known. Eat without attention. She hates the way she has to go A glutton for punishment She takes herself wherever she goes No promises No need To be confident The emptiness is heaven sent. She roams The road is home. The wheel that steers Becomes the pen She removes the mask of sadness, then Looks past the paths That lead to pain Embrace that life is madness The black hole is comforting doesn’t judge her For the songs she sings For all the bags She pretends are wings This is not a girl filled with hate Just a woman with a need To keep herself safe.
6.
There Am I 05:32
Okay, so, I grab her hand as soon as I see her look down the trail A moment of curiosity is all the permission I need We both know that I see what she sees We don’t need to speak A slow stepping medley I pull her She pulls me Now we’re doing one of those forced runs Down the hill Surprisingly She doesn’t break free She can see that I am happy I make it clear I’m skipping cheerfully I can be honest, She hasn’t looked great lately Doesn’t make eye contact You know, one of those Kinda looks down Like she’s so interested in her toes I know where she goes though And the retreat isn’t much better She said it’ll be okay We just gotta keep it together I’ve wanted to say out loud What a trap her mind has been But mostly I can’t tell where She ends and I begin We both go on - trawling along pretending this all makes sense In this world, we stay crazy And she thinks it's unforgivable When she’s angry, I think she hates me Like clockwork So predictable I’m happy I’m here today though She was wrong That’s forgivable. We’re at a crossroads And, I like it Cuz its pivotal We reach the bottom of the path To find a river of sludge Instantly promising to be an alluvial fan As it once was With disgust, She stopped in her tracks. pulling us way back as before. I stare past her Into the deep green deciduous forest room to grow Draped in the divots of a tall sovereign maple Inextricable A golden woman With long curled hair A serpentine grin An alluring glare in illustrious charmeuse The colour of spruce In the middle of summer She was beaming. And before I knew it In all my awe So I was… … so we were. We watched her for eternity So long that the river of sludge Disappeared How could this much freedom Incite this much fear? We are all here. My feet made it clear they had no more demands to move Just as two soft hands joined with mine I can tell these hands approve… No one said a word We were comforted like daughters We cried until the river Was given back her water.
7.
Listening is transformative A gift, Surmised from lives that have truly been lived The quieter you are, the more you can hear the weaving of elation, destruction and poise The summation of entire stories found beyond the storytellers’ voice Listening helps us cut through the noise Watch as we improvise in waves With peculiar detail The art of oration alive, in curated tales Creation rarely fails to be interesting Our subconscious moves us all from myopia Into the cosmos Where I am a star Like you in flow Life, bestowed. Free the ego It had its show. The currents I’ve rushed through Left me entangled Paddling too hard In my own triangle I consigned myself to indigence For I am indigenous Holding onto the shackles Left myself dangled We each have a song For our sundry angles I’ve found new waterways at my feet When I walked out freely from my cage Withdrew from the luxury of rage for a change Succumb to the softest waves let the river have its way Trust the flow knows its pace Movement A consequence of time There is no race Here I go Into the abyss I realize my old tools don’t work for this Again, here I am, playing pretend. Like a three year old who won’t come back in. Inspired to live in a way that incites me To be creative Asking myself to be poetry For a Creator who invites me With all the worries I’ve worn My masks My thorns All of me As I am my Zoetry.

about

Zoetry is what happens when the poet has no choice but to become the poem. After a diagnosis with c-PTSD, I decided to use hypnotherapy to tap into my subconscious and clean up the mess that's been made throughout my life so I can hold tight to the authentic being that is my Zoetry.

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released April 21, 2022

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Pricelys Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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