Naysayers need to be ignored. Tuned out. Self-appointed judges Hidden behind social media profiles Are cyberwaste for a reason. We live in a country That prides itself On freedom and Freedom is Letting the woman You are inside Take a walk outside—among us. Honestly, There's nothing wrong With having your beauty lean Toward a dark, otherworldly aesthetic: Teased black crown of hair, Facial foundation Like snowy Northern winter, Long black lashes above brown eyes Flutter like moth's wings When blinking, Vampiric fangs Show in your blackened plump lip smile, Black leather collar with leash ring On neck, rosaries & crucifix, companion pieces, Shiny black claws tip your fingers, Lacy black dress, Flowing sleeves, Black leather conch belt with chains, Torn fishnets, Demonia® platform boots— Your keys to contentment are worn. “Dressing up normal” Would seem like donning A Halloween costume. The most liberated People live out Their best lives. Visiting cemeteries in the day, Prowling shopping malls with friends, Attending live concerts or doing photoshoots, You're demonstrating liberty The U.S. Constitution only mentions and The slavish Normal would envy and Freedom is Letting the woman You are inside Take a walk outside—for keeps. [ For Mamie Hades, YouTube®/TikTok®/Instagram® sensation. ] SUBCULTURE I'd spent my entire Young adult life In active search of Myself. Racism Made me leave the Heavy Metal scene. Backstabbing Made me leave the Punk Scene. High school clique-level immaturity Made me leave the Circle-A scene. Lack of a lover and peers of similar tastes Made me shed Black Gothic threads In favour of colours. In my pursuit through the crowds, I found myself in pieces, went From Metalhead To Punk To Goth And Anarchist combo. Those years, those stages were fun, But they ended With dissatisfaction Or the taste of spew. The Mainstream don't want me And the Underground doesn't either. I don't see a contingent of folks with Open arms, happily chanting One of us, one of us, one of us To me Any time soon. Through the looks, crowds, years, stages, I found myself in pieces, went From Metalhead To Punk To Goth And Anarchist combo. Now, I'm nothing But a subculture of one. [ For Barbara Mercer, Darren J. Beaney and Nick Paleologos. ] FRACK 1979: Sunday nights at 7pm Eastern Time Gave the males of my family a good Excuse to flock to the living room, In front of the wooden floor model TV After another baked chicken dinner, And catch an episode of our Favourite Science Fiction show: Battlestar Galactica. Colonial Warriors Versus Cylon Raiders. Star fighter battles in space Had us Allen/Holiday/Watkins males amped up and cheering. Occasionally, Starbuck, the Galactica's Cigar-chomping, womanising ace star fighter pilot, Would spit one word when he was aggravated: Frack! Funny-sounding word. Almost like—well— I incorporated That peculiar word Into my boyhood life, Such as it was— At home, Aunt Freda would make Sticky ham-hocks and chalky lima-beans for dinner & I thought— Frack! In the classroom, I would take a math test And fail with flying colours— Frack! In the school hallway, A bully would spot me, Chase me, doomed me to a motiveless beatdown— Frack! Little did I know As I became older, The word Frack Would come to describe A process. Using an unholy Witches' brew—water, sand & chemicals— To force out from shale rock &
Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California U.S.A. Active on creative writing & Spoken Word since the early 1990s. Author of 7 books–Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black [ all from POOR Press ], Elohi Unitsi [ Conviction 2 Change Publishing ] and his 2 newest, Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]–and 53 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far.