“Selfie” Manifestos

My literature elective class read Becca Klaver’s “Manifesto of the Lyric Selfie,” using it as a model/inspiration for our own “selfie” manifestos. You should Klaver’s original poem here. As always, I wrote along with the class. You can read my version below, followed by student versions (all used with permission).

Our swipes
They are multiple
We shuffle them
often as we peer.

They can match us.
We can match ourselves.
We’ve got our
To-be-swiped-at-ness
Oh we have
Got it.
We leer and drool.
Go caveman.

We’re all bros.
We’re all swole.
We write our poems.
On our biceps.
We write our manifestos.
While flexing in the mirror.
While catcalling on the street.
We think: if only your eyes
Could see me now.

We pose to show
How hard we grow
And deny our feelings.

There are no more emotions.
There is no more tenderness.
We smudge our sadness.
We flip the cam around.
What is burning in our little hearts?
Hashtags of lust,
Licking like spit.
We had been reflective.
We have been reflected.

 

Student versions:

Klaire’s “I’m Bossy” (with apologies to Kelis)

There are multiple “me”s

It’s a hard pill to swallow,

Refresh and reload

Scroll through my feed

You don’t have to love me,

but I’m the boss.

We peer and cross,

lazy look,

girly look.

We’re all pretty

Bossy.

We write our poems

on the mirror.

We write our manifestos.

Telling everyone to get in the photo booth.

Take the picture,

We all look

Pretty Bossy.

Strut across the street,

everyone stop and look at me.

We pose to show

the spontaneous overflow

of powerful feelings.

What is burning in our little hearts?

Hashtag bossy

We had been reflective.

We have been reflected.

 

Erin’s “Manifesto”

Our likes

They are multiple.

We look at them

often as we please.

We can post them

We can take them down.

We’ve got our

Perfect moment

Oh we have

Got it

We peer and cross.

Go like it.

We’re all girly.

We’re picture perfect.

We write our poems.

We write our manifestos.

While sitting at the dinner table.

While watching a game.

We think: if only I

Could post this now.

We are ready

To show

Our “perfect” lives

There are no more sunsets.

There is no more enjoying food.

We smudge our panorama

We flip the cam around

What is igniting up in our hearts?

Numbers of likes

Lighting up like flames.

We had been liking.

We have been liked.

 

Taylor’s “Manifesto of the Lyric Media”

Their lives.

They’re perfect

In every way and form.

I see the smiles

And the ideal lifestyle.

I wish to be them.

I want to be them.

But that’s not who

I am.

Scrolling and tapping

Makes my inner emptiness

A little more dark.

But it doesn’t fill the void

That engulfs me and my

Emotionless life.

I care for these people,

I swear.

I know everyone on my feed,

I think.

And when I’m done stalking my

Friends-cousins-girlfriends-niece,

I’ll close the program.

Just to open another one.

Hours fly by

And I can already see

That none of these people,

Are happier than me.

Their lives are glossed over

By a pixelated screen.

It seems, that’s all they see.

One after another, the

Apps disappear.

And here I think,

Mine does too.

To feel the feel of happiness,

I know what I should do.

But do they?

 

Sadie’s “Perfection Is A Lie”

I think: if only,

He could see what he created.

That once ‘perfect’ daughter,

Transformed into a

Demonic, yet sinfully beautiful goddess.

Leading an army of spineless corpses,

Along the lands she once was promised to rule.

Watching with boredom,

As the people she’d sworn to protect,

Scream and burn to a crisp from the dragon’s flames.

He looked at her once,

And saw the reminder of his late wife.

So he forced his ‘perfect’ daughter out,

Into the cruel, lonely world by herself.

Walking through town after town,

Feeling the people’s cold, wondrous eyes,

Until she was found.

Envi, the great goddess’s lieutenant,

Who fused her soul with mine.

After that,

How my vessel looked remained unchanged,

But deep down,

She was no longer herself,

But she was me.

A burning spirit rose inside,

And with this spirit,

I set out to quench my thirst for bloodshed.

Now, when people first see us,

They run in fear,

Or think of us as that once kind princess.

Their eyes watch us,

But deep inside,

They’ve yet to meet me.

The me,

That their beloved king unknowingly,

Created.

 

Carter’s version

Our eyes.

There are two.

We use them

often as we like.

We can see them.

We can see ourselves.

We’ve got our

to-looked-around-ness

oh we have

got it.

We peer and cross.

Go gazing.

We’re all watchers.

We’re pretty selfie.

We eye our poems.

We glance at our manifestos.

While sitting in the photo booth.

While looking down the street.

We think: if only my eyes

could see me now.

There is a tranquil lyric

but we see the emotion

with the gallop of the gander.

We pose to show

the spontaneous overflow

of powerful feelings.

There are countrysides.

There are churchyards.

We see with our vision.

We flip the cam around.

What is burning in our little heads?

Balls of interiority

looking like marbles.

Eyes had been reflective.

Eyes have been reflected.

 

Melina’s version

How did this end up happening?

I’ve never been able to understand.

And I know I’m not alone.

Because since when

did people become the greedy beings

that they are today?

Why are materialistic things

more important than authenticity?

All we are is numbers these days.

Likes.

Followers.

Reposts.

It’s a very sad reality, indeed.

Since when did pictures

lose their purpose as mementos

and become replaced as pride?

I always thought that pictures

were used as reflections.

Flashbacks to happy, hopeful times.

Never would I have ever guessed

that they would one day be turned

into bragging rights.

Only used to show off.  

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