Spoken Word Poetry

I am not trying to beat a dead horse by frequently mentioning my Creative Writing course and the work I am assigned to complete for such course, but as of late the assignments affiliated with this course have been very intriguing and enjoyable. Yesterday in my seminar my professor asked the class to engage in a creative writing exercise. The objective of the exercise was to write our own version of a spoken word poem, specifically a no excuses poem, meaning we were asked to write a poem on a topic that often generates a lot of excuses from the general public. For example, an example of a no excuses poem we watched in lecture was by Afua Cooper titled “I Don’t Care”. In her poem, Cooper addresses the frequent excuses that are used by persons in an attempt to communicate they refrain from racism, though in doing so she unveils how such excuses are simply exemplifications of actual racism.

We were given the freedom to write a no excuses poem on a topic of our own choosing, and so I decided to write my poem on the excuses persons typically offer towards individuals struggling with eating disorders.

My poem is as follows:

I Don’t Care If You Can’t Care

I don’t care if you cannot relate to an eating disorder, or if you cannot see Bulimia, or if you cannot understand Anorexia.

I don’t care if you think she’s just trying to be more active and not working herself to death. I don’t care if you think she’s just dieting and not starving herself. I don’t care if you think she’s smoking because she is stressed and not as a means to suppress her appetite.

I don’t care if you cannot relate to an eating disorder, or if you cannot see Bulimia, or if you cannot understand Anorexia.

I don’t care if you think her hair is falling out because she’s on a new medication and not because she is dying. I don’t care if you think she stopped coming to school because she got bored and not because she’s afraid to be questioned.

I don’t care if you think she’s isolating herself from her friends because she’s found new ones and not because her friends have shut her out.

I don’t care if you cannot relate to an eating disorder, or if you cannot see Bulimia, or if you cannot understand Anorexia.

I don’t care if you think she left home because she wants to be independent and not because she cannot stand looking into the confused faces of her parents. I don’t care if you think she isn’t eating because she isn’t hungry and not because she won’t allow herself to.

I don’t care if you think she’s vomiting because she has the flu and not because she’s terrified of food.

I don’t care if you cannot relate to an eating disorder, or if you cannot see Bulimia, or if you cannot understand Anorexia.

I don’t care if you think her teeth are rotting because she can’t afford to go to the dentist and not because the constant vomiting has rotted her mouth. I don’t care if you think she’s wearing a jacket in August because it’s fashionable, not because she is so cold she can feel it in her bones.

I don’t care if you don’t think she needs help because she’s doing this for attention.

I don’t care if you cannot relate to an eating disorder, or if you cannot see Bulimia, or if you cannot understand Anorexia.

I don’t care.

I really enjoyed composing this poem, and I feel as though a no excuses poem could have endless possibilities in regards to subject matter. I encourage anyone to experiment with this type of poetry and to unveil the poetic skill you may unconsciously possess.

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