Visual Poetry: Bring It On Down

Last year, I posted my poem “Bring It On Down”, which won second place in the Santiago Canyon College writing competition. This year, I adapted it into a short film in one of my classes at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Have a look and tell me what you think.

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Bring It On Down

Bring It On Down

She emerged from the darkness
A place she called home
Though bleak in its starkness
She’d never dared roam
Yet she wanted to run
And she needed to cry
To escape his prison, feel the warmth of the sun
To run up invisible steps, steps to the sky

But she couldn’t say a word
When he raised his hand; no sound,
Neither cracked flesh, nor cries—her voice unheard
When he’d bring it on down
She hid her bruises, and said it’s okay
‘Mama, he loves me, he tells the whole town,’
Though I’m not worth lovin’, a voice in her’d say
As he tightens a fist and brings it on down

There’s a beat of a wing on the air and she hears
A moment he’s gone
She closes her eyes and the tears
Flow, and she’s taking that flight
She jumps through the window, away from her fears
Because she knows: tonight is the night
To bring it on down, down

After she’s flown a-way
Once the coupe’s left behind, she breathes the free air
She just wants to stay
Safe; away from his eyes and their a-ccusing stare
But he’s in her mind
And it just isn’t fair
She hears him all the time
A thousand miles away, and he’s right there

Then a whisper through her windows
A call on the phone
A fami-liar tingle and her hair blows
She wishes her heart was stone
‘Cause even with all that she knows
She’s going back to him
The bruise no longer shows
He says it’ll be different and so
He’ll raise his hand up, and bring it on down
She sees that it’s comin’, but she can’t say no

Familiar is comfort, and she aches for him
To bring all the discord
And shatter the rhythm of living.
She knows she’s broken, that everything’s wrong
He’ll raise his fist in cacophonous song
All her insecurities singing along
He’ll bring it on down for sure
Then she’ll fall down, down, down


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This poem was written as an entry for a writing contest at Santiago Canyon College, where I’m currently taking classes primarily in literature and philosophy. As I post this, I was just informed a few hours ago that this poem–written in about 30 minutes–has won first place in the poetry category of the contest! –Jason


Blackened eye shines from faux-smiling face
Prepared happiness glowers into empty space
Tiny lies whispered, eyes gleam to hide the truth
First lesson learned in youth

For he is mighty, brave and tough
Weathered rage, his love—enough!
His broken bones, scarred flesh deserve the furor
Weak child-flesh of mine must be his mirror

What knuckles rapped o’er bruised cheek
Deserved, surely, for I am weak
Cowering ‘neath the arms of bloodied mom
Who knows not the horrors of Vietnam

How dare complain o’er his harsh embrace
His love revealed upon my ribs, back and face
Great sacrifice for which we pay
A price of fear, night and day

Oh brave and noble father
Purifying terror is no bother
Wake me, daddy, when the swelling’s done
Revisit battle upon your son

Thank you for the wars you’ve known
For bringing each and every one home
Showing me I can’t deserve
Your love, for I, but six, have yet to serve.

Your harsh caresses may bruise the flesh
Thanks to you, I fear not death
Eyes alight with rage fill me with dread
As I tremble ‘neath my broken bed
Afraid of you, I’ll hold my breath


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