"When I researched The Middle of Everywhere, I asked refugees to write "I Am From"-type poems as they struggled to find themselves in a new country. They followed a formula with each line beginning with "I am from." Writing this kind of poem is a way to experiment with identity issues. ... You might want to give it a try."
--Mary Pipher, Writing to Change the World (2006)
I am from divorce.
I am from broken dishes being thrown,
and seeing Dad on weekends.
I am from a broken home.
I am from a 3 day car ride
moving my life
into a dingy double wide;
I am from leaving my friends behind
because mommy said I must.
I am from rat-infested schools.
I am from ignorant, right-wing propoganda
And I am from a teacher
Who was too scared to admit he was Liberal.
I from rape.
I am from rape culture.
I am from being taught to be a rapist
I am from being a rape victim
And I am from
(months, years too late)
I am from being Over rape.
I am from black T-shirts and apathy,
From loud music and screaming vocals
I am from the closet
I was from the theatre
I became from queer activism.
I am from bodyguarding gay friends
I am from bloody lips
and grass-stained shirts
and kicked shins
and being pushed down the stairs
All-in-all, I am from homophobia.
Yet still, I am from music.
I am from notes and rhythms and secondary dominants
and resonance; timbre; rhythm; rhythm; rhythm
pentatonics and black notes.
I am from pissed off nights slaving over 2 measures
Of music for hours on end and throwing it out
before I go to bed.
I am from gender.
I am from being confused as hell;
From being accused of being a pervert
From self-loathing to self-loving
And from finally deciding to FUCK IT AND WEAR THE GOD DAMN DRESS.
I am from activism.
I am from selflessness.
I am from sadness and anger.
I am from hope.
I am from defeat.
And I am from victory.