Youth, Ritual, & Ceremony Pt. 1

We present hard faces
and carry confused emotions.
We are loose and giddy,
making impulsive choices.
It’s easy to spot us on the streets;
Holding back frustration,
we sometimes look like we’re in heat.
We’re always the first to giggle
when we’re told to tighten up.
The most obvious thing about us
is that we’re not yet dogs,
but no longer pups.
In the streets we roam,
searching and prying,
trying on costumes for clothes,
wandering far from home.
We have our own language,
open and broken.
We have our own separate world,
what businesses consider a token.
Our musings and fashions
styles and happenings –
these are our own coming of age.
Far from the jungles
and safety of tribal celebrations,
our initiation is often rage or pain.
We need the feel of transformation,
to make ourselves feel real.
We need the intimacy of
tight jeans, exaggerated physiques
and there are barters  around
to hand us this deal.
This process is something sacred
and they’re around every corner
watching us.
They study us and make love to us,
offering us tools they guarantee
we can trust.
We strap on this arm band
or that clutch.
We dress in their vibrant
spiritual colors
so that we may rave and lust.
There is a process
to this transformation
and the dealers are all we have
to make it feel complete,
no matter what the path.
No matter how much cash,
it takes to get to the other side,
we’ll push our bystander guardians to sacrifice.
They can’t give us our ceremony,
they can’t give us our pride.
Nevermind debutante balls
or confirmation calls,
this process is a more symbolic ride.
We shout and cry,
we need our time.
That man in the store,
that woman on the screen
is sure to do that –
just look at their smiles.
They promise us all the time
and we obey the agreement
because we need to do this right –
to make it to the other side,
alive.

I composed this amateur-thing before I found out about these youth, and they illustrate exactly what I am talking about. If you’ve read “The Apple and the Arrow” post series, you can also see some parallels with what these youth are doing and the reaction of schools, parents, and other adults. Now, here is another piece of media to highlight the meaning of the rest of the freewrite poem. Pay attention to the opening monologue by Thurston Moore.

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Posted on June 3, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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