‘Some Serious Shit’: A Poem From a Survivor

From Varinia (Mia Caos), a spoken word artist with a powerful story:

I was introduced to slam poetry when I was fifteen years old through Buddy Wakefield’s “Convenience Store”. I didn’t start writing however, until I was sixteen after a youth slam poetry showcase. Weeks later I performed my first poem at the Mercury Cafe. Heart in throat, I spoke my peace for a room to bare witness to. I write for catharsis. I have a bad habit of overthinking. My mind is a series of tangled Christmas lights that I can’t untangle until I sit fingertips to keystrokes and write them out. That’s what works for me.

My interactions with people, specifically moments, inspired “Some Serious Shit.”

It’s a self-reflective piece. It’s about me overthinking things to the point that I couldn’t enjoy what was happening in the moment. It’s such an empty feeling to get so caught up in your own head that you throw a wrench in your own ability to just be—especially with someone else. So I sat down and wrote. I untangled the Christmas lights and decided to get out of my own way. It was my catalyst towards my metanoia— (n.) the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life.

metanoia— (n.) the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life.

Now, I want to say that I wrote this poem and I took on that metanoia full throttle and thus I lay before you personal success. I want to say that. But two months after I wrote this poem, I was sexually assaulted. Metanoia was the last thing on my mind. It was the finals week of my Winter Quarter 2013. Nineteen days before my 22nd birthday. I went into survivor mode. I pretended everything was normal. Inside, I wanted to crawl out of myself.

Some days I wanted to run a red light hoping to get side swiped. I wasn’t suicidal. I was ambivalent. I was ambivalent. Was. WAS. Picking up my poetry journal and reading it out loud to a new friend to bare witness to snapshots of catharsis I had scribbled down for the last couple of years gave way for me to part with my ambivalence. Project Ava reached out for collaboration at the perfect time. Words can’t express how much it means to me that I get to relive this poem and share it in a new way. I am so f**king grateful.

Ava Love,


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