Lost in Translation

I have not posted in quite some time. Been having a lot of feelings lately and am reminded of this poem I wrote back in May.

TW: Sexual Abuse

Lost in Translation
05.30.2016

Sun drops drip down my shoulder and I am cooled to the point of disaster.

I don’t know what I’m writing,
let alone how I feel.

Do you know who I am when I’m not here?
Could I possibly be any more alone when even I’ve left myself?

My body breathes, and how?
How
when I’m not even there to inhale?

Is numb a feeling or is it the absence
of truth?

Truth.

Truth is, what I never knew
I’ve known before
and now
I don’t know how to feel anything but pain,
and
a dull queasiness seeping through my bones,
and
numb.

And
I wish I could remember
who taught me to feel this way
and
the first time I learned to leave my body
and let it feel whatever happened
while I didn’t have to feel a thing.

And the truth is
my body knows
and tries to tell me
and sometimes, maybe
I don’t want to listen
or
we don’t speak the same language
because it tells me things I never wanted to understand.
And maybe I never will.

Pedophile
is a Greek word
meaning,
“lover of children”;
and to me
and my body,
that will never
ever
ever
make sense.

So leave me to feel numb
because it makes more sense to me than the truth.

And if I ever understood
what makes some minds work the way they do
I’m not sure I could ever feel a thing again
and it would make about as much sense
as the sun making me feel cold
or a pedophile
being someone who was supposed to love me.

EJZ

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Stand Up and Speak Out

Many of you know, a year ago today I escaped from an abusive relationship. This year has been a journey of rediscovering and learning to express my identity. This poem was written the day after the criminal charges I pressed were finalized in court and I was able to read a statement on how my victimization has impacted my life. It summarizes the most valuable lessons I have learned this year.

Stand Up and Speak Out
Elizabeth J. Zinn
October 29, 2015

Stand up and speak out
for the times you couldn’t stand it
and couldn’t speak it
It’s not your secret

Stand up and speak out
for all the times you were told
to sit down
and shut up
That your voice was not something that mattered,
Coerced and cajoled to never be heard,
only seen
unspoken, unstanding,
misunderstood,

silence

Stand up and speak out
for the fact that your truth
was a threat to their illusion,
delusion of dominance,
so they turned it on you
threatened to torture
to terrorize
if you told the secrets that shielded their shame
I’ll repeat it –

It’s not your secret.

Stand up and speak out
for all the dreams laid to rest
Traded for nightmares you forgot how to wake from-
WAKE UP
Stand up
and speak out

Stand up and speak out
Rip out the threads of the threats and untruth,
The damage they drove you to deem you deserve,
Til you could not tell the difference
between the reality choked in their hands
and the concoction they forged
to replace
what you understand
to be real

Stand up and speak out
Take back the your power from the ones who abuse it
Who sewed your mouth shut with lies and lived just to use it
against you,
convince you the truth from your lips
that they strangled from sounding
is a lie you’ve been telling –
Listen,
they can say it
But they can’t steal it –
They’ll never control truth
with hands afraid to hold truth

Stand up and speak out
For the feelings they’ve trampled, denied you to feel,
Wrung out to dry with calloused disease
voraciously craving control
and deception, your
perception
pulverized by persistent perpetration,
repeated by psychopaths purposefully mis-preaching:
your feelings are flawed
feelings, your fault
feelings, pure shame
feelings, pure guilt
feelings, be punished
feelings, be blamed

Feelings
are yours
And if they are trampled,
if they are ignored
They are your right
To stand up and speak out for

Stand up and speak out
For your rights
For your wrongs
You are responsible for your own life
It is nobody else’s
to belittle or blame
It is holy
and wholly
your own
to control
and your soul
will thank you

Stand up and speak out
and claim the word, No
and shout back, No more,
You may have pushed me down to the ground
But I,
I am choosing to
Stand up
and speak out
for I can longer stand it
and now I can speak it,
now I can scream
it
was NEVER
my secret.

EJZ 10.29.2015

If you are suffering, there is help. Your pain is not your secret to keep.
www.thehotline.org

This is a good poem.

Piece together the fragments of your thoughts.
Group them in relation to the spectrum
and spread them out on the coffee table.
Sprinkle
some lavender and
chamomile around
so they look good enough to settle in and seep
into someone
else’s cup.

I’ll take one look
and one swipe of my hand
and make a collage out of the puzzle pieces
you bent and snipped and burned to fit
so nicely
into your idea of Truth
and it will be more beautiful than any song you ever sang –
and that will make you run from it.

And you’ll come back kicking
and screaming
No! then
yes! then
no,
and I will hear you
but I won’t listen.

Should I have added cinnamon to make it easier to digest?
Tramadol to deny?

You see, I do things my own way
and I’d appreciate
if you’d shut the fuck up
and let me hear my own thoughts
because they sing more sweetly than your mental cacophony.

You see,
I’ve seen more corners of the Earth than you thought possible.
No, it’s not round;
In fact, it morphs
and sometimes into the shape of a gun with your finger on the trigger
but never long enough for you to shoot,
only
long enough
for me to change my point of view
and run for my life.

Then it morphs again
and my finger’s on the trigger
but I drop the gun
and let you choose
yourself.

So, I go my own way,
walk on my eyelashes
or swim through the sand
or gather up roses
and grab onto the thorns,
dig through an earthquake
and I’ll probably fall over
but let me.

I don’t want to be saved.

Because the Earth morphs
and becomes an electromagnetic platform
onto which my feet are drawn,
soles bound still to its core.

I don’t really know in which sense I meant
but maybe that’s the reason they’re spoken the same.
Maybe
our souls lie in our feet
and that is why they’re so easily soiled
and just as easily washed.

All I know is life is a choice I make every day,
a chance embraced each time I open my lungs to breathe

but I didn’t put the air in my lungs
I just chose to keep breathing.

Have you ever thought about how we keep breathing the same air through different sets of lungs but all the air we’re breathing has been breathed before?
And it never seems to run out?
And maybe
it’s the love of our lungs for the air that keeps it around?

Have you ever thought about how we write different things down,
abstract or real,
but we never run out of words?
And maybe
it’s the love of our souls for the truth that keeps
us
around?

And maybe
we’re all holding the same pen?

Have you ever started writing and taken a pause to breathe and forgotten where you were?
And you look around and everyone is carrying umbrellas
but you can’t feel the rain?
And then you realize you were just listening to “Dark Side of the Moon” on repeat for three hours
and the pen is still in your hand
and your feet
are still on the ground?

EJZ 06.26.2015

Poetry

From Mother Joy and Father Sorrow,
Poetry was born
in a place where the sun shone bright for days
and the nights were dark and cold
and then it would rain,
and hard,
for hours without stopping
but it would seem like weeks or even months.

And the only sounds you’d ever hear were music
or the hollow pang of a timpani
or nothing

and you couldn’t tell what was emptier.

The languages they spoke there were called Love
and Pain

and there was an understanding
that on this day,
the day that Poetry was born,
a key would be given to Joy and Sorrow
to give to their child

and this key would be called Truth

and it was to be scorned
and it was to be revered
and it was to be so
those who choose to see would hear the music
in the hollow pang of the timpani
or nothing.

EJZ 04.08.2015