An Ode to the Nice Guy

An Ode to the Nice Guy

O here I will, my nice guy, speak of thee.
Long had a lack of love been cause of pain.
And shaped the pillars of the balcony
Thou hast so laboured to rebuild again.

Many true friends had mystery turned foes
Before thine eyes so gently pierced my mask.
With golden drink and cursed speech bestows,
This group a mark from every poisoned task.

And so was left a gallery of guilt,
In every shell of womanhood consumed.
Yet strong was thine intent to see unwilt
A heart so tough, convinced it never bloomed.

But since I’m neither male, nor dead, nor white,
Let’s break it down in modern terms, alright?

See, I had a type.
The problem is:
that physicality tends to go in hand with a questionable personality,
and lately I’m increasingly tired of the pretty people with the ugly insides,
which my mother could have told me would happen ages ago, 
but as all young adults will know- 
mums are always wrong until YOUR’E WRONG…
because mums are always right.

So, nice guy, this one is for you:
Because I like how I can act pretty much the same around you as I do in my finsta.
And I like how the jokes we laugh about are almost always about farts and almost never about the arts- it is much more aesthetic.

And the truth is: I don’t want to go to radical film screenings every week.
Sometimes, I just want to watch Pewdiepie videos and eat ice cream in bed,
and yes “I love the mystery” is what fuck-boy-phase-me may have once said,
but I really only joined murder mystery society because they got into my head
by saying they only offered it to really smart people, and I… 
have an ego problem. 

Anyway, leather jackets are cool, 
I get it, and if he’s got tatts a man-bun, I usually turn into a jelly shot that was taken out of the fridge too early.
You know- all shakes and no substance,
So fam, if you relate to this on any level, hear my wisdom.

Nice guy is so much better.
Nice guy beats the tatts and the man-bun any day
Not literally, of course, he’s tiny; but the way 
he makes me feel is how I felt at age 15, 
watching Joe Jonas emerge, a fucking dream,
from underneath the stage ready to sing the hell out of the first line of “Burnin’ up”,
which as every human in the world knows is “I’m hot.”
…and he really is.

So, I have a new type, 
and it is just like the description of the paper I wrote this poem on-
White, Tesco, Basic. And white tesco basic can be hot.

The fact that he doesn’t own, nor has ever owned, leather boots – 

The way his voice breaks a little in the middle of words every now and then – 
supah white

How his breakfast is ALWAYS protein weetabix served in the same bowl- 
super tesco, 

His steady, open path into a successful engineering career- 
super basic,

His former student job as a Deliveroo driver – 
Because, hear me…
He delivers. 

And as if it were needed, that is not all,
just like Joe Jonas sang more than Burning Up to 15 year old me,
Nice guy is not just one thing.

He is no replacement for the copy-pasted versions of the same daydream 
I decided to put on a pedestal one day.
Nice guy does not belong in museum or galleries,
he is not made to be collected, 
he has no copies of himself,
he is the enemy of fake.

Unlike marble, Nice Guy is warm to the touch.
And all around him it is warm too. 
And all around him it is safe,
And all around him it’s just nice, 
and I deserve nice.

So with this wish, we close our Ode, my friends,
I guess what’s left to say is just: the end.

A.M. Asali

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My body doesn’t look the way I want it to

My body doesn’t look the way I want it to

It never has
It never will

But when “what I want” has been carefully moulded, marketed and shoved down my throat by a system whose only goal is my submission, I have to ask

What do I truly want?
I want a body that is healthy
A body resilient enough to run long distances in the pouring rain
A body strong enough to pick up my ever-growing little siblings
Those little shits
A body humble enough to remember the pains of those before me
A body brave enough to stand in the way of injustice

What I crave is a body that fights for what is right
A body that serves my communities
A body that empowers those who look up to me

I want a body so passionate it makes love to the man I adore
A body so powerful it creates life itself
A body so warm that gardens flourish inside
So tender its fruit ripens in their own time

This is what I want
I will not succumb to the deluge of falsities about where my body should be
What my body should look like
How my body should move
When my body should be hidden
How my body should be fucked

My body is mine 
And this is what I want
I have come to believe that my body already a miracle
And to that, I surrender.

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Sense it

Sense it

He smelt like a posh cinema.
Like gourmet sweets,
Expensive upholstery and ethical caramel

He sounded like an old dial telephone
Whirring through words
Bringing sentences to a ringing end.

He looked like a Kandinsky;
High-brow and rare, and
An uncomfortable mix of curves and harshness

He felt like a childhood cartoon
Whimsically drawn,
Beautifully familiar with a violent subtext –

He didn’t taste like gourmet sweets or ethical caramel.
He tasted like bitter pork.
But he tasted better after I’d cooked him.

Isabelle Hodgson 

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Modes of communication

Would you be surprised if I told you that I want you?

Has the stammering not been clear enough?

What about about the awkwardly timed jokes?

Have my side-glances not been direct enough?

Surely, the spiteful sarcasm, loaded with longing, was a dead giveaway?

In fact, I think I’ve done everything I could to tell you that I want you

Except tell you.

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