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Hear me perform it on youtube.


We are not more
than each other but

I bul-lieve
virginity is a childhood disease;
I know
because my friend tells me
I won't find a way to keep it.

So I do keep it.



You are not more
than me, yet

I bully you:
'sex is an adolescent dream.'
You know
because your friends tell you
that you will hold someone
close enough to have it.

So you hold someone closer.



And it doesn't bother me
that I twitch from the grief,
wince from my gut and ground

my teeth for the truth;
I do those things because
this thought makes sense to me:

I think I'm more
than you.
EDIT 5/23/2013: Hopefully, a final revision. I am very, very happy with this version and what it shows going on in the mind of a bully. You can hear me perform it here: [link]

EDIT 5/22/2013: This was a painful poem to return to, but I have never been satisfied with how it originally turned out, and soon after I revisited it with *MattVoscinar, it became tuned up, but was definitely not concise or consistent throughout. This is my most expressive poem to date, and successively my most personal. I don't think people get told straight up that they are bullying and intimidating those around them and those close to them, but I was fortunate enough to be told this, and in a way that it got through. Upon learning that my family was afraid of me, that my brother was weight training because of this fear, I had to reevaluate myself, who I was, and who I was being to others in mid-2012. I don't know if anything I've learned has stuck, or if every situation will require me to approach it as I have for the past year (almost). It's hard to change with Aspergers, Epilepsy, and a slew of mental disorders that are relatively mild, but I appreciate change for what it can accomplish.

As for critique, feel free to tear this poem apart if you still feel there is something wrong with it.

Original Text: This was painful to write. Yes, I do consider myself a bully and a horrible person. Sometimes the only thing that lets me know I'm still sane is that I'm aware of this aspect of myself and am actively trying to improve who I am in terms of how I treat others.

If you do not get the point of this poem, think about the two things I state that I believe and how I as one person, contradict them in the end. Not only have I intimidated people before, but even I recognize how ridiculous my perspective is at times. This is no longer relevant because of how the poem has been changed.

Nic Swaner 10/18/2012
Revised 10/27/2012 with help from *MattVoscinar
Revised 5/22/2013 with help from *glossolalias and =slowslicksnails :thanks:
Revised 5/23/2013 by myself

Bully © 2012-2013 Nic Swaner
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmattvoscinar:
What strikes me about this is that it's a far cry from what I'm used to seeing. Instead of a poem about being bullied and how terrible it is, this poem investigates the feeling of being a bully and the ramifications it has on the psyche. It is a refreshing pieces that uses its originality to it's full advantage and has some clever pieces that I must commend you on.

Stanza one: The use of the lyrics you've taken and the following sentence really strike me in a way. It speaks to the way in which media effects us on a personal level and creates the person we become. The belief you have is a direct result of the music you speak of and I think that's very important in this context. It's one thing to be a bully because of abuse or other reasons, but this is a direct effect of being part of our culture: the violence culture that praises those who talk down to those who are not a part.

Stanza two: Again, this stanza speaks to the culture aspect of bullying. It's obvious here that the action in itself is constructed by others as well as the perpetrator, but blame is still present.

Stanza three: This stanza is the reason I only provided 3.5 stars in technique. There are two ways to take it, and maybe that's your focus, but I think it could possibly confuse readers. I could either take it that the speaker is a virgin or that the person who they are about to bully is. This slightly changes the direction of the poem based on interpretation. Perhaps you could clear this up.

I believe the vision and originality of the piece are fantastic as states, which gives it it's impact. If you clean up that last stanza you will have one of the most poignant poems on this topic I've ever read, if not the most. As it stands now, it's still near the top of the list.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
16 out of 16 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconbelcanto2:
belcanto2 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
Wonderful reading voice, difficult viewpoint for your speaker.  I'm making a note to come back to this because I'd like to study how you've put the piece together. I take it you've worked on this for a while.  A serious, challenging topic. 
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I have, and I intend to work on it some more. I've never really finished this piece.
Reply
:iconeclecticquill:
EclecticQuill Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Student Writer
I've experienced both sides of bullying, but in all honesty I can't relate any of my experiences to this poem. Probably a result of cultural and circumstantial differences. :shrug: Still, I'm able to empathize, bully was an unconscious thing for me, I didn't even realize I was doing it, but when I did, I hated what I'd become and have endeavored ever since to be a better person and have a positive impact on others.

The poem is good, but I think one of the stanza breaks is misplaced. The first line of the penultimate stanza belongs to the preceding stanza, and causes a break in the otherwise flawless flow of the poem.
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:iconschriftsteller:
schriftsteller Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013   Writer

This is raw in the best sense of the word. I actually grit my teeth during the last three stanzas-- this feels very personal to me too. I may be reading into the virginity bit too much but I get that, totally. Being told you're a bully is a really hard thing to hear-- an even harder thing to change (from my experience). I'm glad that you're taking steps to change and are on the right track. That's really fantastic.


 


The poem itself is simple, but completely potent. I think the repitition really helps as well. I did enjoy this-- even as close to home as it hit. It's very well done. I think the best compliment is getting your reader to feel something from your work and this definitely did that for me.

Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I haven't been quite sure how to respond to your comment because I'm grateful you connected to the poem in such a way, and it seems like it genuinely touched you, something I wasn't sure my work could do anymore. Don't get me wrong, there was a time when I was high-time confident poet, but that isn't the case at the moment, and this was a much-needed boost. Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconschriftsteller:
schriftsteller Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013   Writer
Well, I'm really happy I could boost you a bit! Honestly, I haven't really read much of your work before now but this was a really fantastic piece in my opinion. I know how much it sucks to lose that confidence but hopefully you'll be able to get it back. :)
Reply
:iconawstein:
Awstein Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013
That's a beautifully written piece - and brave indeed as many people have stated. Great job!
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. :aww:
Reply
:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Professional Writer
I've only read the final, final version.

I chewed on it for a long while.

You are brave to write this. I tried looking a lot at myself afterwards, to see i I could be that honest with me, too.

As always, it's very good, has an almost lyric quality, (or rhythmic, perhaps). And I liked it.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:tighthug: Thank you for the kind words. You're too generous.
Reply
:iconhippiehebe:
HippieHebe Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I really liked hearing it on youtube - so much more powerful
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:hug:
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:iconsammur-amat:
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013   General Artist
congratulations on the DLD, dear nick! :clap:
Reply
:iconjaquillynmodel:
JaquillynModel Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013
You are very thoughtful.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
As are you. :)
Reply
:iconrlkirkland:
rlkirkland Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Congratulations on your DLD feature. :sun:
:) You volunteers are appreciated - bunches!
Reply
:icondailylitdeviations:
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DailyLitDeviations in a news article that can be found here [link]
Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.
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:iconbear48:
bear48 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Professional
very well written
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow Nic! What a compelling piece!!! :iconsweethugplz: ... I listened to the voice while I was reading it, the pauses you make and the intonation of your voice at certain parts, give it a much more emotional tone to the whole piece! :tighthug: And I'm really glad to see works from another perspective, like this one :aww: ... I personally believe in the fact that people can change if they have the opportunity ... :tighthug: ... So it's really hard not to feel proud of those who seek that change, dear!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconsweethugplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
People can change themselves, but they need to actively choose to. Thank you.
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes, and that's what makes me feel proud of those who make that choice, since I can imagine how tough it might be to acknowledge the need for change in the first place!!! :tighthug: You're welcome Nic! :aww:
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:hug:
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:hug:
Reply
:iconjijikit:
jijikit Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I may never truly understand what it is like to be in your shoes, but I certainly could "feel" what you had to say. I commend you for the bravery not only putting it out here but for ASKING people to critique it, even harshly if needed, but also accepting help in order to make your thoughts and heart heard more clearly. :tighthug:

Much luck to you on overcoming so much obstacles in your life. Again, I will never truly understand what it is to be "you" but I admire your bravery and the use of your new found knowledge.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you, I'd seen so many 'I've been bullied' stories and art— but where is the other side of the coin, the 'I've been a bully,'— where is that? I know these people are out there; I've met them! I've met people who have changed, are changing, or are learning they need to change their ways. Yet we never hear from them. Just as it's damaging to bully someone, after the bullying has happened and the event is over, everyone involved has to come to grips with what has just happened, not only the victim(s). We need more people to be aware of this so people can help solve the entire problem and reach out to both sides. Fortunately, in the psychology community, this seems to be the case, and I was able to work with people towards improving myself.

Thank you for the kind words and praise. The trick now is to not neglect what I've learned until it becomes habit, which it hopefully will. :heart:
Reply
:iconjijikit:
jijikit Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I remember hearing that changes/habits are fully ingrained when done consistently for 30 days. It may seem like a long time but not when compared to a lifetime.

Hold on to your knowledge and I'm sure it will keep you where you want to be for a lifetime. Good luck! :)
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:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconrosary0fsighs:
Rosary0fSighs Featured By Owner May 23, 2013
This is an incredibly powerful, hard-hitting piece.
"And it doesn't bother me
that I have a twitch for the grief,
a tic for the guilt and ground

my teeth for the truth;"


I love this part.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's a very revealing part and was originally written the opposite way (And it bothers me / that...). This never sat right with me. Yes, it bothers me that I have been a horrible person, but does it bother me that I'm experiencing guilt and grief? No. The feelings and what they make me remember bother me, but everybody knows that there is a reason for experiencing these feelings, whether the reasoning is rational or not. That I know the reason, helps, and because I know the why behind the guilt and grief, I feel that for the time being, it was justified for me to experience those feelings.

It was great to hear you liked this piece. I've been meaning to read one of your works which I believe is titled "Love Letters on a Train", correct me if I'm wrong. I saw it as a DLD I think and a dA friend told me it is something I might like. So I'll be sure to read that sometime soon. :)
Reply
:iconrosary0fsighs:
Rosary0fSighs Featured By Owner May 27, 2013
Well, said. I agree, about the memory of the feelings but not necessarily the feelings themselves.

Thanks, yes that's right :)
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:nod:
Reply
:iconportgrev:
portgrev Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I especially love the first six lines.

We are all one .)
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
All of us are how we project our personalities on other people. The only way to define ourselves is who we are to others and how we affect them. It's funny, we're not defined by our own actions, but the reactions from others to us. :nod:
Reply
:iconportgrev:
portgrev Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah, yes.

When I leave this mortal coil I hope it will be remembered how I made people feel. Surely all else will be gone?
Reply
:iconssensory:
ssensory Featured By Owner May 22, 2013   Writer
"virginity is a childhood disease;" that is a highlight of the poem for me.

This is a really great poem. One thing I think could use a slight bit of works the last line. The word 'still' at the end sounds a bit off, so maybe just put it after the word 'you' in that line? and change the word 'but' to 'as'

As I said, this is a really great poem. You get everything across so well, and your word choice is great!
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's been revised. I am much, much happier about how it is written and more at peace with myself now. Thank you. :thanks:
Reply
:iconssensory:
ssensory Featured By Owner May 22, 2013   Writer
I love the revision! It's definitely much, much better (even though it was great originally). You're welcome! :nod:

Oh, and, if it makes you feel any better, I believe that everyone is a bully(/bullied?) in some point of their life, whether they want to admit it or not. I think you are brave for admitting it. I do not know you that well at all, really, but you don't seem like that bad of a person. :heart:
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. :aww:
Reply
:iconssensory:
ssensory Featured By Owner May 22, 2013   Writer
Of course, you're welcome! :)
Reply
:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012   Writer
i admire your fearless self-analysis here.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you, that means a lot coming from you (honestly).
Reply
:iconthetaoofchaos:
thetaoofchaos Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2012   Writer
:)
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:icondreamsinstatic:
dreamsinstatic Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012
Your fantastic work has been feature in Friday Night Features.
Reply
:iconmattvoscinar:
MattVoscinar Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Student Writer
I'm curious, do you listen to Dessa?
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes. The line virginity is a childhood disease was taken from the song "551." I had several reworded versions and other inspired lines similar to it, but none of them came close to that line, which I'm still not sure expresses what I need to express for this poem. I normally don't take lyrics outright, but I do want to revisit this piece, as it hasn't quite sat well with me with using that lyric. Suggestions would be extremely appreciated. =)
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:iconmattvoscinar:
MattVoscinar Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Student Writer
Haha, I thought so, That line jumped right out at me. I'll revisit this later this evening and give more detailed feedback on it.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I just wanted to let you know that your contributions have helped me come to terms with this poem and myself. I believe the writing is that much stronger for it.
Reply
:iconmattvoscinar:
MattVoscinar Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Student Writer
You are the shit. Don't ever forget that.
Reply
:iconnichrysalis:
Nichrysalis Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks man.
Reply
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