Allison Baldwin

 

Awakening Spell 44

Breathe into yourself.
Tell yourself:
These hands are beautiful.
These eyes are beautiful.
These lips are beautiful.
These scars, these wrinkles,
the folds between thighs
are beautiful. You are an
origami crane poised to fly.
All eyes are on you.
Let them watch, darling.
Give them a show.
Promise yourself they will
leave satisfied.
You already came in that way.

 

 

 

 

Stand Out

A written response to those who say I only stand out because of my disability.

A powerful writer, with a beautiful voice
I stand out because my red hair
Ignites flames behind me
Warming the path for cold feet.
I have been here before
so I can lead you through the dark.
I stand out because I am expressive.
I laugh with my entire body:
a death and a resurrection
in the span of ten seconds.
I live in the caught breaths,
the curling stomachs
holding tight, the energy rising.
I give it away—
a glimpse—
then take it back—
a shock—
of your own power.
I make you love and hate yourself
at the same damn time.
I stand out because I make you face
your contradictions.
I stand out because I don’t need
to be loud to make a point.
I stand out because I am more, then less, then more again
(And expect it, too.)
I stand out because invisibility is a party trick.
So is showing up.
I stand out because I am a creator
surrounded by unfinished business.
A melder of magic
A weaver of words
I balance spells on my tongue,
whisper weight into bone.
Are you listening?

I can show you the harmonies and symphonies of imagination.
I can show you the chords of truth.
I can make the pirouettes and cartwheels and tango roses come alive.
I can show you to yourself,
make sure you don’t—won’t—forget.

 

 

Allison Baldwin is a poet and disability advocate based in Highland Park, New Jersey where she serves as a member of the borough’s Arts Commission. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies from Rutgers University and a Masters degree in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. In October of 2017, she was one of several poets to participate in the Highland Park Arts Commission’s Inaugural Spoken Word and Poetry Show and has since performed her work at several open mics and local bars in the area. Most recently, she organized and hosted Verse and Vision: A Night of Poetic Magic, as well as a poetry specific open mic in collaboration with local record store, Chamber 43.

Additionally, as a member of the Arts Commission, she is currently coordinating Access
Granted, a two-part photo essay/community writing response project focused on providing persons with disabilities a platform to share and tell their stories. She also manages the Instagram account, Awakening Spells where she combines her intuitive gift of Tarot and Oracle card reading with poetry to help those in her community embrace their magic.

When she’s not writing or performing, Allison can be found having coffee with friends, watching crime tv, and laughing out loud. You can follow her on Instagram @awakening_spells and the Access Granted Project on Instagram @accessgranted2019.

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