Perfect by Maia Mayor

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Now, to all those expecting this is a book review, sorry to disappoint, but this slam poetry deserves its own post.

I’ve gotten into slam poetry after reading Slammed by Coleen Hoover. It re-introduced me to the beautiful word of poetry and I’ve been a follower ever since. It introduced me to poets like Olivia Gatwood, Neil Hilborn, Sandra Benaim, Maia Mayor, and many talented others.

However, across the poems I have viewed so far, Perfect by Maia Mayor resonated with me the most. The first time I heard it, I could not unheard it and I needed it to be replayed again and again so badly. That is how bad it hit home. It’s like Maia is describing my entire existence in under four minutes.

Let’s take a look at the verses. Here is also a link to the poem: PERFECT by MAIA MAYOR

Is there something wrong with you?
A lose screw or two that loses you’re ability to function?
Why…are you always so tired.
You’re life is uninspired and small. All you do is sprawl on the couch with outstretch limbs like a sloth in slow motion.
Where is your devotion to succeed Maia?
Did it drift out your window with a smoke from your weed? Do I have to force feed you discipline til you finally concede I cook and I clean and I don’t stop til the soles of my feet bleed
But I’m fine…
I’m perfect.
Be perfect Maia. Be perfect like me.

Stop wearing those god-awful ripped pants and that lipstick like a whore with double D implants.
You only get one chance. Stop acting like a cat with 9 lives left. Stop committing youself to songs and stories and spoken slam bullshit in a world where degrees and PhDs impede the need for poetry.
And stop chewing on your nails.
No wonder you never attracted any males.
Why do you do thhat? Do you like the taste?
Are they sweet?
You can’t eat sweets Maia. You’re ruining your teeth like you’re ruining your life.
My teeth are perfect.
Clean and pristine. They glean like a golden halo above my perfectly conditioned head.
I don’t need sugar Maia. I am above sugar.
Why are you down here Maia? Why are down here when you need to be up here. Up here with the ones with promising career, who listen when information goes in one ear and doesn’t come out the other.
You’ll never be up here Maia. You act as if the act of listening is a crime or you would have hear me, the six hundred and sixty sixth time I told you to stop chewing on your nails. stop chewing on your nails like a goddamn piece of trash. You can’t be trash Maia.
You have to be perfect. Be perfect like me.

I get up at 5 in the morning everyday. I start my day the same way, worried that I’ll collapse as my bones start to decay from cleaning up your scraps. Why is your room such a mess? The clothes go in the hamper Maia. Not displayed on your bed like your lack of morals. Not littered on the floor collecting more dust than my withered expectations. You disregard my rules in a stubborn contempt in a substandard attempt at teenage rebellion. But you can’t be a rebel Maia. You can’t be interesting enough. you need to obey and say yes and okay. you need to do it with a smile on your less than average face. You need to try harder Maia. Make it wider Maia. Why don”t you know how to smile?
You disappoint me Maia. You never appreciate what I do for you. You never try to be a winner and you never eat your dinner. You never eat the dinner I consistently provide for you as I constantly remind you of the life I set aside for you. That meal doesnt pay for itself. I don’t care if it’s ideal. Stop telling me how you feel. You need to eat it. Eat it all. Eat it at a reasonable time with a glass of milk. You need milk Maia. You need calcium like you need a catalyst for growth. You’ll never grow to be tall. Be tall like me, I drink my milk Maia, drink your fucking milk.
Be tall. Be perfect. Be perfect like me.

You need to pay more attention Maia. Stop the daydreaming Maia. Stop staring at the ceiling as if you’re one redeeming quality lies hidden in the plaster. You need to organize your life, your life is a disaster just like your room. Just like your teeth. Just like your future which will soon come to an end if you don’t put down that pen. You need to stop writing Maia. Your life is not a book.
Don’t give me that look Maia. I’m just trying to help you. I’m just trying to love you. I’m just trying to love you. You have to let me love you so you can be perfect. Be perfect like me.

The poem is a direct reflection of the thoughts of my mother when talking about me, or so my feelings tell me. This is one of the major reasons why I feel that I am not good enough and never will be.

You see, I graduated with honors at the top university in my country. I didn’t like my degree though. I just graduated for the sake of getting out of the system which is sooo wrong. Just so wrong. Don’t follow me.

And now, I am working in a less than stellar (but mind you, stressful) job – call center – which is like looked down upon by most. Every time I go home, there’s always THE SPEECH. “You’re asleep again?” “Haven’t you just slept a while ago? You might not be able to sleep at night already.””Why are you always so tired?” “You can’t even do your own laundry. I am not your maid.” So yeah, I am guilty of being such a lazy ass. I wanna scream “Why can’t you understand that now that I’m working at night? Of course my body will feel tired than average. Why can’t you let me sleep as much as I like on my days off? Don’t you know how hard it is to sleep during the day?”But of course, these are all just in my head.

I’m also guilty of the nails biting, the not eating the dinner, the messed up and dirty room, the not being tall enough (coz I only stand 4’9″even at 24. I’m so damn guilty about a lot of things that the poem is talking about that it makes it feel much more intimate. Much more personal to me.

The verse “Why are you down here Maia? Why are down here when you need to be up here. Up here with the ones with promising career, who listen when information goes in one ear and doesn’t come out the other,”  really gets to me. Not only do I hear a similar voice from my mother, but it’s also my voice hunting me with the same thought every damn second. And it’s just so tiring, not to mention futile.

I know it’s not healthy to compare yourself to others but you know you just can’t help it. Call me immature and all those crap but this is still the way I’m feeling. I have failed to convinced myself time and again to not care what other people think especially when the people you call family are the ones making you feel this way the most. It’s like there’s a constant reminder, especially from my mother and younger sister, that I can do much better if only I try. Why am i in the call center? Why am i wasting my smart mind in a job that’s so not needing much brain. Why am i rotting away when my colleagues, high school classmates, cousins, are all soaring high with their careers? Purchasing houses and cars, travelling to all these gorgeous places? DON’T YOU THINK I DON’T FEEL THAT? DON’T YOU THINK IT HAS COME ACROSS MY MIND AND THOUGHT OVER ABOUT IT?

I know that you might say that maybe I am probably not trying hard enough, not working hard enough, not looking hard enough. Enough. Maybe indeed i am. But who are they to judge? It just lowers my about-to-hit-the-floor ego. And it freaking gets me depressed every time. This will then get me into this bad habit of mine watching indecent and inappropriate things which will further make feel guilty (coz i’m a Christian, or so I want to really become one), which will just repeat the cycle on and on. It’s not helping.

It’s hard to fight your battles alone. It’s even harder to change, to fight for life, and for the future when the ones you expect to fight along side is you is fighting against you. Some do succeed even when they’re on their own. But I am not strong enough yet. I just hope the day will come when I’m strong enough, strong enough to overcome all this mind crazies I have.

Perfect is one slam poem I will never get tired of watching. It makes me feel less alone. Hopefully, someday, I hope, when I come across it, it will only serve as a look back of the past I had once, far from the current one I have.