Posts Tagged ‘nicole blackman’

You Are Never Ready

August 5, 2009  |  poetry  |  5 Comments

Thanks to Alisha for introducing me to this piece of poetry by Nicole Blackman; it is precisely what I needed. It’s hard to find online, so I’m reproducing it here, in case you also need to hear what she has to say. See more of Nicole Blackman’s work at NicoleBlackman.com. This piece is reproduced from her book Blood Sugar, which seems to be out of stock from Akashic Books – hopefully not out of print, though, because I really must get my hands on a copy.

You Are Never Ready
Nicole Blackman

In four minutes you will be gone and I must tell you why.

When a star crashes, the angels are electrified.
Your life changes in ways you can’t imagine.

When your dreams are perfect, they run like machines and leave you dizzy.

When you first discover you’re dying, everyone seems to be saying goodbye.

When your dreams are perfect, they run like machines.

You must change your life. You are never ready.
You must change your life. You are never ready.

There are people you have to leave behind, they just dirty up your mouth
they don’t value your treasure.

You fall down, you kiss up, you love them, it’s not enough.
They’re nothing special and you’re just a treasure.
If you had no magic here you’d be just like everyone else.
Imagine the tragedy.

You must change your life. You are never ready.
You must change your life. You are never ready.

Love is like crying is like writing is like dying.
You’ve got to do it alone.

I know it’s tragic to be tender.
I know it’s dangerous to be kind.
I know it’s vicious to care.

Listen to me, I know what’s going to happen.

You don’t need a window, you need a fire escape,
you’ll need a skylight to get where you have to go.
I can’t tell you where.

And you dreamt that you were hollow
and you dreamt that you were whole.
Reconstruct what you remember
and it comes out in pieces.

You must change your life. You are never ready.
You must change your life. You are never ready.

Those below you can’t hold you up
everyone is gone gone gone
everyone is gone gone gone
learn to swin alone learn to fly.

You must change your life. You are never ready.
You must change your life. You are never ready.

Cast them off like long rope and learn to swim the dark water alone.
Look up to the stars stars stars and know that this is your sky now.

lift your arms and go
step forward in Nureyev leap
blink fast and whirr over streets
hover over trees
speed past taxis
don’t even bother to wave
at the children who watch you
awestruck
brushing past skyscrapers
and looking up up
slip off the long skirt
that slows you down
and don’t look back to watch it
billow to earth
tell the cool jets and Superman
that you’re passing them
feel your hair stream back
with wind blinding you
forcing your dry mouth open
no one can touch you now
get out of this fucking world
as fast as you can.