if i knew i couldn’t fail…

6 Jan

inspired by Rashid’s question, “what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” (follow him on Twitter, @RashidZakat, and catch his blog http://rashidzakat.com)

if i knew i couldn’t fail
i would live deep inside myself
where the people chant in dances
and in wails,
loud with bass and drum.
where tears scream though scats
and the people speak in tongues.
where love pours through guitar scales
and loss becomes flat notes
in the perfect pitch.
my heart would be
a legitimate instrument
and i would skip notes and miss beats
and not care.
my arched-back would
move with hip circles and
flailed arms
and wouldn’t care how they looked.
i would move sideways,
and every other way,
forget balance,
and realize that i am rhythm
my body would own itself.
i would live deep inside myself
so close to God
my voice would sound like His.
if i knew i couldn’t fail
i would lose “myself,”
rediscover her,
and claim a new name.
maybe something like,
“free.”

(artwork by monica stewart)

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3 Responses to “if i knew i couldn’t fail…”

  1. LP January 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    That’s a great question to ask. What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail? Hmmm…I thought about playing sports and raising money, running a nonprofit or running the government. Or perhaps I just make everyone else believe that they couldn’t fail….?

    • patrice berry January 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

      forreal?? did asking yourself that move you to do any of that (beyond the thought or desire to, that is)?

  2. BP February 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    That’s a deep question. Fear of failure can be so paralyzing for me. Actually it is. To be frank..I’m obsessed with the thought of taking risks but the fear (of rejection, failure, sadness, etc.) consumes me!!! But if I knew I couldn’t fail I’ll probably write the book I’ve kept in the basement for the last 12 years. I would also probably tell my dad I love him (and to that effect that I forgive him). And I would probably call you!

    loved the poem!
    Thanks for sharing!

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