As we see with the girl touching the snake above, it’s okay to feel uncomfortable and grossed out at first. I know I learned to like and apprecate snakes. It took time, but I learned to try and understand what I was so afriad of. I hope my work in 2018 helped people do that.
Here you will find eleven poems that were wrote and posted in 2018. Some were written before 2018, most from 2015-2018 under Justin Forest, Yogi Ortner, or dropoutprofessor (all me). Any outside copying of these is forbidden. You may, of course, share them.
I like what makes folks uncomfortable, so almost all my works are disturbing. Because I am training in the mental health field and have experience working with abuse survivors, sex trafficking survivors, sex offenders, non-offending pedophiles, and with solicitation and child pornography offenders, such themes will emerge in my work. I also address past trauma and abuse and hope to show that there is hope despite who were are, what hurt us, and what our limitations may be.
I hope you enjoy these.
The poem looks at the connection between life and death, sex and disease, human contact and isolation. It captures the fear in the U.S. over Ebola a few years back, yet influenza continues to be the most deadly illness for young and old. It’s the myth folks, the myth that generates manufactured fear from the unknown.
I experienced these feelings at a dance recital. This is not about ableism. Rather, the dancer represented positive girlhood in contrast to what the society often sees as perfection, the idea of the perfect body. I am no stranger to liking the mainstream or in appreciating girlhood (valuing it, I mean), but it is important to keep human beings in perspective.
Looks at the intersections of race in the United States when power is in the hands of White Males (it still is, a handful of them). It is weird to see a “Indian” dude in a museum, as if that person is a lower animal with total disregard to Indian burial rights and human dignity. The irony makes it sadly funny. And, yes, it is a tribute to one of my favorite writers Sherman Alexie.
It’s cool wordplay that just felt right. It looks at the wired world and our loneliness and how online human relationships get deleted as if they were corrupted files. Sex is in there since so much of internet viewing is about sex and masturbation (Shhhh!! Don’t tell anyone!). Society encourages us to lie to ourselves and condemn those that point out the truth.
“Freckles” is about a childhood friend that I had. We both seemed to have selective mutism (or were very, very shy). It’s about my relationship with her and my experiences in kindergarten.
The poem addresses our idea of success as something to obtain. Such cannot be obtained, but we can reflect back upon our success.
About half-true, this poem reflects on witnessing my childhood dog get shot to death by my father and the guilt I carried as a result of that event. Its disturbing nature is kind a hallmark of my writing: I want to make the reader uncomfortable because that is how we learn. I love its Poe-like essence.
I woke up at 2:00 in the morning after having a dream that I was really tiny and in a cooler-like contraption. The words just came over me, and I had to write it down. I did some on an old piece of paper in the kitchen and the rest on Notes in my iPhone. It’s a deep and spiritual poem. What it means? Well, you think about it, but it means to me that all life is sacred, even that fly on the wall. We should think before we act. You just may kill God with a fly swatter.
I just thought to myself what it would be like to interview God. I did some meditation, asked God for forgiveness (recalling my Roman Catholic faith of the past), and sincerely tried to think what God would say to us. I just let the words flow into me. I made no effort with this poem (it’s arguable if it’s even a poem). This was not meant as blasphemy, just a sincere effort to understand higher power through a troubled vessel in a murky yet beautiful world.
Just another play off words for me. I started writing at 8-years old with my brother. We both had “Brother” typewriters. So it’s about me losing my brother through time and mental illness and remembering the manual and electric typewriters. Proteus Ashmole gave me the most beautiful gift for Christmas. It’s a Brother manual typewriter, in mint condition. It’s from the early 1990s and the last manual typewriter that Brother made.
If you have a fetish for typewriters, the typewriter fetish expert and connoisseur Proteus Ashmole said to never use white correction ribbon in these machines because the white residue builds up and eventually makes the keys stick. If you have never tried to write on one and are a serious writer, please explore doing a piece on one. I plan to write some short poems, taking a picture of the poem, and posting it, much like Proteus Ashmole did here. These are as much visual pieces of art as they are poems.
Thanks so much!
See you more in 2019!
-Dropout Professor because does it really matter who I am?