Cafe #5 – Boy & The Body

 

 

You ask me about my body as if it’s your business
You ask me about my insecurities as if you want to share them
You ask about favourite body parts as if hoping I say something you have

You’ve never met me
You’ve never seen the way I tug at my skirt when it rides too high
The way I pull my sleeves down because I hate my hands

You ask me to describe the shape of my body
As if you think I’m body confident
When I reply with “I don’t wanna talk about it”
You still go on
You say
“You’re hot”, you say
“Well I think you’re pretty”
Oh fuck, in that case, you’re totally right

Not

You’re a boy with a big mouth
Your words are merely an opinion
You speak with the intention of making me confident
Well, BOY

I don’t need your validation
I see these curves, this extra love around my waist
It’s a challenge to be accepted
Something to conquer

I don’t need to be stick thin to find success
To find love
To find myself

I don’t need someone to tell me to stop prodding and pulling

Boy

 


 

Café Series | Post #5 | Poetry #2

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Cafe #4

The café in which I sit is so similar to what I’m used to, yet it’s so different. It’s a standard chain you’d find anywhere in London; the selection of drinks to the branded coffee cups, same.  The coffee shops I usually sit in are infested with business suits, men and woman having meetings with their ear pieces. I’m usually the youngest amongst those who are using the space as an office, or are having a lunch break. Here, it’s a student city. There are students everywhere, and in my ray of vision, I can only spot one person who could be past the age of 30. It’s weird being amongst people my own age. I often find myself immersed in activities with those older than I – poetry readings, libraries, or simply cafés which are clearly in boroughs that don’t typically host the youth.  I feel as if, sitting here typing this,  I could be mistaken for one of them. One of the kids who went on to study more,  one of the kids spending further years of their life dedicated to books; one of the kids with direction – potential or intentional. But I’m not. I’ve tried to be that person, giving up my creativity for the regime of tests and assignments, and it wasn’t for me.

Success can be found in many ways. You can get brain washed into thinking that the degree is what they want, that the piece of paper before you is what’ll make them pick you over them. This could be true, but it’s not something I’d wholeheartedly agree with. I suppose I’m talking about the arts; I know that a Doctor has to have some form of training, amongst many other professions. Props to them, takes serious smarts and dedication to get a profession such as that. In terms of painting, writing, acting, even some office jobs, I don’t believe you need to spend thousands of pounds to get a piece of paper to prove you can do it. A piece of paper isn’t proof of passion.

I’m sitting here, amongst those who are working towards that. That piece of paper, that proof of their ability to learn. I sit here and I have no stress, no deadline  – I have liberation and a clear mind. I see essays scattered on the bench tops, I see headphones blocking out distractions, I see students in heavy discussion. I sit here with my computer, I wear headphones so I can groove as I type, I text my friends about how their Mondays are going so far.

I’m not envious of the students in this café, but I can appreciate their dedication. Just don’t lose your passion amongst the deadlines kids. Have an impassioned direction in life, and don’t lose it for a grade.

(Christmas from a) Café #3

Christmas welcomes two types of people.

Living in a city comes with being surrounded by 8 million other people. All of which celebrate Christmas with their own families. These 8 million people buying presents for however many other people results in a lot of shops being filled to the brim with urgency and impatience.

I fit into one of these two categories.

I don’t go out of my way to shop, but I don’t dislike crowds. Waiting in a queue doesn’t bother me, I see it as a chance to meet new people and chat to those ahead and behind me. We can’t see waiting as a waste of time, it’s purely a different use of our time.

There is another type of person.

They dislike queues, they dislike the crowds. Impatiently waiting and ‘wasting’ their time in a line that isn’t moving fast enough. Why isn’t it their turn yet?! The queues are always too long, the streets are filled with people in their way. The traffic lights stop them when all they want is to drive on.

I believe myself to be quite patient. I obviously see the inconvenience in excessive waiting, but ultimately we’re all in this season together and we have to work together. There is no point in getting frustrated at the teen behind the till because they’re working slightly slower than you would like. He’s probably working overtime to cover those who are taking leave. She may be a new Christmas temp. Be patient, this is the time to be merry and spread love. As cliché as it may be, it’s true. You will only ruin your own mood – and day – by acting otherwise.

So if you’re hurriedly finishing your Christmas shopping this week, or waiting in line for that much needed coffee before your shift at work, see this time as a personal break in your day. A time to talk to those around you; a time to take a breathe; a time to practice mindfulness.

Have a wonderful Christmas. Spread joy and practice patience.

Café #2 – The Wake Up

I’m sitting in a café.

Through the window before me, I see a church built in 1843 surrounded by trees abandoned by leaves. The darkened stones of the church, and the hibernating trees, allows for an eery painting within the frame. I resonate with the feeling this view perpetrates. My chest feels tight like the claustrophobia I feel when I look at the tall spires of the church. My mind is a spindly and uncontrolled mess, like the branches and twigs stemming of the trunks of the trees. My breathing is short and in sync with the cars that drive past.

I’m sitting in a café.

Everyone else in this cafe seems relaxed, shoulders softening with every sip of their beverages. My spine is rigid. There is a man leisurely reading the local newspaper – every minute, near to the dot, he leans forward, takes a sip of tea and settles back into his armchair to read on. My tea is going cold. There’s a man sat in my favourite armchair duo, with his jacket over one of the seats to deter anyone joining him. I dislike this man for depriving me from one of the most comfortable seats.

I’m sitting in a café.

I am dreaming of the day I get sucked into a book. I wish for a one-way journey into a world where magic exists; where the rockstar falls in love with you; where adventure is freely accessible. When I was a child, I was convinced I was a witch. My name ran in sync with one of the most famous witches on a tv show called Charmed, so who was to tell me I wasn’t blessed with the same magic she possessed.  As a child, barely at 12, I possessed so much imagination and magic within myself that I believed that every potion or spell I created was true. It was creativity at it’s most raw and pure form – unadulterated passion.

I’m sitting in a café.

I have taken a sip of my tea, and it has softened my shoulders. The man sitting in my favourite seat has left. The tall, black armchair surrounds me in a different way to which the dark spires of the church claustrophobically smothers. As I sit down, I feel calm. I find my breathing return to normality, and my chest loosen with every bar of the jazz which is playing. I am now reliant on the strength of this armchair.

I’m sitting in a café.

I am now going to bring out my book. I want to find myself immersed in an imaginary world for a while. I don’t mind that I can’t stay in there forever, I just find comfort in knowing that there is always another place to escape to.


Café Series | Post #2 | Poetry #1

Café

The café in which I sit is submerged in life. People’s bellies satisfyingly full of freshly ground coffee, minds greedily living vicariously through those in the novels they read, mouths competing against each other in unconstrained conversation.

I come to this café often. I mostly come with a friend who also likes to write, we sit and motivate each other with silence amongst offerings of the thesauruses within our heads. I also come alone and it’s days like these I find myself to be more productive. I order a coffee and put my headphones in. This mutes a very distinctive and important connection to the people surrounding me; I don’t hear voices nor background noise, I just see bodily expression allowing a deeper gaze past who these people portray themselves to be.

There is a man. He looks alone. His torso slightly turned to the conversing couple to his left. His faded blue eyes constantly looking around him, only drawing to the fact of his lonesome even more. He sips his tea in small sips, and holds no book or hobby in his grips. I’ve been this man. I used to be so uncomfortable in my own solitary; drinking my tea so slowly so I would always have something to hold. If I wasn’t drinking tea, I would have my mind in my book; I couldn’t bare myself to be truly alone. I think we people have difficulty being alone because we think it gives an impression of weakness. Being alone doesn’t make us weak, it’s confidence. If this man eliminated the worry in his eyes, strengthened the weakness in his shoulders, he would come across as a different man.

There’s close to thirty people in this café. Amongst the young couple discussing finance, the elderly lady engrossed in the daily news, myself on my computer writing this, there is only one man in his own mind and company. He has no slump in the ‘S’ of his spine. He has no computer; has no book – only a mug stained black to accompany him at his table. He doesn’t seek companionship only  gazes upon the world beyond the glass. I don’t see him as weak because of this. If anything I look up to this man. We bring the discomfort of being alone upon ourselves, we’ve taught ourselves to seek the outward expression of popularity by wandering the hollow worlds within our screens. This is not how it should be. We have every right to be alone with our thoughts, I encourage myself to do just that everyday.

I find writing in a public setting like this inspiring.  Even though sometimes I can sit and get no words down, the individual beings and the stories that come with the bodies, can turn a viewed facial expression into a sentence of beautifully connected words.

The café in which I sit is full of regenerative life. Individuals finishing unfinished tasks, children bursting with curiosity, and a barista steaming a full jug of almond milk for my next latte.