Angela Peita is a Brisbane based spoken word performer, event organiser and workshop facilitator. She is one of the producers behind Brisbane’s vibrant Ruckus Slam and is passionate about creating spaces where art can happen. When she grows up, she hopes to be just like you.
The truth about your depression
So, I’ve never been good at lying. It’s not that I don’t have the creativity to come up with a good story It’s just that I never have the guts to pull it off And It’s not like I haven’t tried I’ve spent time doing supermarket crimes Putting my macadamias through as bananas at the self serve checkout But by the time I get to the car my hearts beating the intro to a cardiac arrest and It’s just not worth its weight I’ve always been this way, When I was a kid My parents would know I’d done something wrong Because I’d put myself in the naughty corner So it surprises me more than anyone when you ask me if I can handle this And the word that comes out of my mouth is
You see I know you’re not good at lying From those days when you’re limping with cut feet from sharp teeth And you tell me there’s no demons snapping at your heels It’s just been a long day For the days you stand under bright lights without casting a shadow Because you wear them in your eyes And you tell us, it’s alright, You don’t mind At least there you can see them In the minutes when your smile has fled from your skin, And you tell me, It’s not me that chased them But it’s hard to remember when you can’t look me in the eye
Because those wolves that you’re hiding from, They sure look a lot like me
And I try to predict it coming Like if I know it’s there then maybe I can stop it I look for clues in the creases of your brow In the way you hold my hand, Or the way you don’t And I should be good at this, I’ve spent time with rusty wrists Threatening to split at the next sign of rain But your pain, Is like the summers first burn when you forget something so beautiful
It can still hurt
And when I met you I stopped being afraid of the dark We spend so much time with yours, It’s like an old friend But here’s the thing I’d trade all my days for nights, If it’s you I‘m with And you know I’m telling the truth because I’ve never been good at lying So ask me again if I can handle this My answer is
. . .
Learning to Count
It’s a matter of mathematics
One tired table hosts three empty chairs, while two distraught lovers cover two months of heartache, dampen the death of speech
muffling one hand over the other.
Two cups of tea grow cold while four ears strain against the silence that was once filled by one child’s laughter. One paper crane sits high on a shelf, saved from ruin by ten tiny fingers while two breaking hearts pretend
not to notice its irrelevance.
It’s ten past ten and the twenty concerned neighbours have stopped bringing food, as if eight weeks was enough
time for grieving.
There are three pictures on the wall, Stick figure photographs they treat as priceless art, too expensive to sell they think of the countless number they threw away over his six years,
And break into too many pieces to count.
Two sheets of blank paper mock them from the table, knowing they will never fulfill their destiny
with two-tone crayon.
It’s a matter of mathematics
When you are a family three minus one,
. . .
Paper Lantern Hands
She has Paper lantern hands Folds them in her lap Breathes out the tissue paper creases Tells me She’s not so good with names now
but never forgets a face
When we run into her friend and she stumbles on the introduction I hold out my hand split the silence with a smile and say
“I’m her grand daughter. It’s lovely to finally meet you”
She has Tectonic plate limbs She can’t move them too quickly They’ll send tremors through her body that reduce these bones to ruins When we begin to run late I think of every time she missed something Because she had to read me a story or teach me to tie my shoes or meet my imaginary friend And i tell her
Nothing good happens till the end anyway
She has Salvation in her blood
She’s nursed every sick relative
Knitted comfort between strangers Written history books of hope When I watch her bear pain proud
I realise I have her blood too
She has The stories of my ancestors But she no longer has the words to tell them And although I should have asked sooner today she wants to try As I watch her fold into frustration I tell her we should celebrate That this is life coming full circle That this silence
Is history too
we have At least today together So we let the memories go watch them catch on the wind
A ceremony of lights
I want to tell her That it doesn’t matter but I just take her hand silent As they slip out the window Like paper lanterns Released
. . .
© Angela Peita
~Bareknuckle Poet Journal of Letters ~ © Bareknuckle Poet ~ Journal of Letters & Individual Authors 2016. Edited by Brentley Frazer, A. G. Pettet & Guests. All works published by Bareknuckle Poet ISSN 2204 – 0420 are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Published by Bareknuckle Books ABN 23 626 812 677 PO Box 5009, West End, Brisbane, Australia 4101 FOUNDED – BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA 2014