‘The Nutritionist’ by Andrea/Andy Gibson

Need Gibson every day, but this was a gift I needed very much today: (they’re a spoken word poet, so please watch the video). Transcript below. (And if this is your first intro to them, you’re welcome!)

The Nutritionist – Andrea Gibson

The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables
Said if I could get down 13 turnips a day

I would be grounded, 

rooted.

Said my head would not keep flying away to where the darkness is.

The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight

Said for 20 dollars she’d tell me what to do

I handed her the twenty, 

she said “stop worrying darling, you will find a good man soon.”

The first psychotherapist said I should spend 3 hours a day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed, with my ears plugged

I tried once but couldn’t stop thinking about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet

The yogi told me to stretch everything but truth, 

said focus on the outbreaths,

everyone finds happiness when they can care more about what they can give than what they get

The pharmacist said klonopin, lamictil, lithium, Xanax

The doctor said an antipsychotic might help me forget what the trauma said

The trauma said don’t write this poem

Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones

My bones said “Tyler Clementi dove into the Hudson River convinced he was entirely alone.”

My bones said “write the poem.”

The lamplight. 

Considering the river bed. 

To the chandelier of your fate hanging by a thread.

To everyday you could not get out of bed.

To the bulls eye on your wrist

To anyone who has ever wanted to die.

I have been told, sometimes, the most healing thing to do-

Is remind ourselves over and over and over

Other people feel this too

The tomorrow that has come and gone

And it has not gotten better

When you are half finished writing that letter to your mother that says “I swear to God I tried”

But when I thought I hit bottom, it started hitting back

There is no bruise like the bruise of loneliness kicks into your spine

So let me tell you I know there are days it looks like the whole world is dancing in the streets when you break down like the doors of the looted buildings

You are not alone and wondering who will be convicted of the crime of insisting you keep loading your grief into the chamber of your shame

You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy

I have never met a heavy heart that wasn’t a phone booth with a red cape inside

Some people will never understand the kind of superpower it takes for some people to just walk outside

Some days I know my smile looks like the gutter of a falling house

But my hands are always holding tight to the ripchord of believing

A life can be rich like the soil

Can make food of decay

Can turn wound into highway

Pick me up in a truck with that bumper sticker that says 

“it is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”

I have never trusted anyone with the pulled back bow of my spine the way I trusted ones who come undone at the throat

Screaming for their pulses to find the fight to pound

Four nights before Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington bridge I was sitting in a hotel room in my own town

Calculating exactly what I had to swallow to keep a bottle of sleeping pills down

What I know about living is the pain is never just ours

Every time I hurt I know the wound is an echo

So I keep a listening to the moment the grief becomes a window

When I can see what I couldn’t see before,

through the glass of my most battered dream, I watched a dandelion lose its mind in the wind

and when it did, it scattered a thousand seeds.

So the next time I tell you how easily I come out of my skin, don’t try to put me back in

just say here we are together at the window aching for it to all get better

but knowing as bad as it hurts our hearts may have only just skinned their knees knowing there is a chance the worst day might still be coming

let me say right now for the record, I’m still gonna be here

asking this world to dance, even if it keeps stepping on my holy feet

you- you stay here with me, okay?

You stay here with me.

Raising your bite against the bitter dark

Your bright longing

Your brilliant fists of loss

Friend

if the only thing we have to gain in staying is each other,
my god that’s plenty

my god that’s enough

my god that is so so much for the light to give

each of us at each other’s backs whispering over and over and over

“Live”

“Live”

“Live”

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