National Poetry Month Self Care By Jordan Simpson

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Stephanie BensionJordan Simpson 00:00 /07:53 In this sound portrait, we meet poet Jordan Simpson. He describes how his poems begin with purpose and truth, how his struggles inspire him and the connection between poetry and pharmacy. He reads his poem, “Self Care.”Jordan Simpson is an award-winning slam poet, musician, activist and TEDx presenter. His writings have appeared in HuffPost and the Houston Chronicle. The 23-year-old is a doctoral candidate in pharmacy at Texas Southern University. His debut poetry collection, ON FIRE, is a journey of discovery that sheds light on mental health, immigration, self-acceptance and more, published by 310 Brown Street in May 2018. Self CareThe body’s clotting processIs where healing beginsYour blood hardens at the injury siteTo prevent any more lossA scab is formed to prevent infectionWhile your skin mends itselfThe time it takes your blood to clot may take secondsBut for your skin to repair is undeterminedWhen I think of self careI think of how innate healing isHow my body decides when there has been enough loss to actHow the maintenance of meIs a belief in autonomyI think of how cliché ‘self care’ soundsOf how uncomfortable it feelsLike bleeding gums after your first floss in awhileI haven’t taken care of myself properlyBecause I have a hard time finding the differenceBetween the painful process it takes to overcome my pastAnd my past itselfI’ve been getting in the way of my own healing by picking scabsAfter failed relationshipsThe suicide attemptsAfter losing my eyesight to an autoimmune diseaseAfter depressionAnd I wonder why my body is still full of remindersI’m a body of scars that wants to believe in healingI’m learning self care is an act of giving yourself permissionA covenant between me and my woundsYes, I am hurt, but no, not alwaysYes, I will be okBut no, I don’t always see the hard truthsLike having an autoimmune disease meansI am the most damaging to myselfThat my immunosuppressive therapies remind meThat my vulnerability isn’t always a curseThese timesGrowth is more of an irritationBecause shaving hasn’t been a daily routineUntil nowWhen happiness feels more like hot waterOn an open cut in the showerWhen depression is a cold nightI’m learning I can’t let this fallacy of isolation make me forgetThat I have a lover with a warm smile for those daysAnd it’s hardBeing strong with bruisesWhen you can’t be any more open than you already areAnd there’s nothing anyone can doBut watch your body quiver under the slightest of pressureSo you let the time passAnd pray your body works its magicBut self care is not magicIt’s a lesson in faith backed by hard scienceThat I believe in a God that believes in meEnough to be surrounded with friends as a reminderTo sleepTo cryTo prayTo drink waterTo allow myself to be lovedAnd lookI’ve never brushed my teeth enoughTo make hope feel so fresh in my mouthBut I am hereStill a gap-toothed unwarranted smileStill an infectious laugh amidst the diseaseStill a joyStill blessed and bleeding atop a mountain of bandagesKnowing I’m ok until I’m notUntil I amcenter_img X Share This poem is reprinted with permission of the author.Music used: Don’t Worry (excerpt) and Optimist Live (excerpt) by Zoë Keating from Into the Trees and Ashes (excerpt) by Hilary Hahn & Hauschka from SilfraTo learn more about this series, go here. Listenlast_img

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