Prison of Names

Credit: – Evelyn De Morgan “Hope in the Prison of Despair”

How does it feel to be stuffed in a box
un-Houdini-like in chain-full eye locks?
How does it feel when you try to get out,
to be sealed up despite all your shouts?
How do you see shred of light in a crack
when dignity shards slice into your back?

For pain is a powerful dictator and names
are but words with swords slain too true.

How does it feel to be told to be enough,
to be more so you become the right stuff?
How does it feel to be typecast as a “girl”
when desire opens as ship sails unfurled?
How does it feel to be set up in the scene,
your role cast as the naif of ever green?

For prison is the picture someone holds
whether true or false that can’t be denied.

How does it feel to forfeit claim to the self,
your skin adorn-worn like an animal pelt?
How does it feel to be stripped naked down,
a number-tattoo name on all that you own?
How does it feel to be absorbed in an idea
not who you are nor what you hold dear?

For murder is the mayhem of false claims
and stolen names and imagery of a body.

How does it feel? How can you feel? How?

7 Replies to “Prison of Names”

  1. If you accept the names and allow yourself to be cuffed by them you have imprisoned yourself. If you reject them you remain free regardless what they say. Or do.

    1. Understood: the platitudes about not allowing insult or injury without consent are abundant, including the statement attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, which is what I am referring to. However, there are certain types of injuries, even imprisonment of a sort, that are effectuated despite personal integrity, composure and strength of mind. Think of internet attacks: cyberbullying or business/personal defamation. There is such a thing as a public hanging by the word and belief of others with real effects, regardless of individual self possession, belief or truth. I say, especially in the Internet age.

  2. So utterly moving. We have all experienced this in one way or another. Such pain in wearing a skin that is not our own. It is not quite as easy as rejecting those skins, for those skins we wear may have the happiness or well being of other people attached.

    Again, quite beautiful.

    I visit often and follow but this really spoke to me in quiet but sure ways.

    1. Thank you for that highest of all compliments…”moving” and for your visits. And yes, I agree the complexity lies in the relationships we maintain whether optionally or obligatorily in our ability to shed others’ skin.

  3. This made my blood run cold, I guess I took it literally as far as confinement, prison, that sickening feeling only one who’s been stripped and numbered might know. It’s the worst, I think. This brought back that spinning, burning fear, a testament to it’s ferocity and it’s truth…. simple words that manipulate my thoughts.

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