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Picture courtesy: Cocktail in glass by Naae Studio, Pexels.

Hello dVerse Poets!

Sanaa here (aka adashofsunny) to stir your muse once again. In the hush of deepening blue, comes evening to the city, ever lit, ever awake and conscious with a pulsing heart; come take a seat, there is smoked salmon with cream cheese, cucumber sandwiches with tea and cherry bakewell tarts.

Before we begin, I’d like you to mark your calendar, dVerse is going on a two week summer break after open link night this Thursday. We will be back on July, 11, Monday.

For today’s Poetics, we are going to discuss peer pressure.

Peer Pressure

by artist “You know the Drill.”

Stop putting words in my mouth,
When I don’t know what to say,
I can’t function at my best with you breathing down my neck,
Like the whole world’s on my shoulders,
The complications lead to frustrations,
I’m not about to watch this cave in.
The lights are green but I can’t seem
To find a shoe that fits for me.

I’m trying too hard to be someone I’m not,
Maybe I’m not meant for a life of purpose,
An empty shell cracked on the surface,
I wish I could confront my fears,
Instead of wasting precious years,
Grind my teeth; rip the meat off the bone,
This is my resignation cause I know I’m not coming home,

It comes to something when home is the coldest place
I’ve felt in such a long time,
So I’ll pack my bags, fill the tank with gas,
But I still can’t leave here
Cause I know my words are empty,
Just like my promises.

Peer pressure is the influence wielded by people within the same social group. It is also a term used to describe the effect this influence has on a person to conform in order to be accepted by the group.

The idea for this prompt came to me during an open link LIVE session last month where the subject was being thoroughly discussed by everyone present there.

“Oh so you have never had a cigarette? Too bad. You can’t join us on the rooftop.”

“She doesn’t mind being the odd one out with those bushy eyebrows.”

“Oh please, stop being so dramatic. Everybody does it except for you.”                      

Yes you guessed it right, these are just a few that were hurled at me back in the 90s during my high school days.

Picture courtesy: Grayscale Portrait of Woman, Pexels.

And it doesn’t stop at adolescence. Gosh, no.  I was reading an article online that I would like to share here with you, which discusses how to handle peer pressure as an adult. Here is the article below:

Handling Peer Pressure As An Adult by Integris Health

What is it about human psyche that makes one vulnerable to this phenomenon?

Is there an end to this cycle being repeated over and over again? Are we strong enough not to conform to it?

I can’t tell you the number of times I have been tossed around in social groups owing to the fact that I am different. But over the years, I have learned and discovered that there is in fact a way to avoid it from taking place.

Do not engage. Do not succumb. As simple as it sounds, it isn’t exactly easy to accomplish. I know. But it’s worth a shot.

The Pressure

by Tory Dent

Too many times have I with the sun on my back, flamboyant,
heinously direct,
rocked, wrung hands, my shaking head refuged
a now-wet Bounty paper towel
or institutionalized inside the free-space of my bedroom
that opens like a file on my computer screen
with that which I’m constantly trying to put a name to,
the way faces in my past
automatically assign to themselves signifying feelings.
Like a shot of B12 effective only if injected intramuscularly
I am neutralized as a naming vehicle by this pressure
that cannot be extracted like a billboard or wisdom tooth.

No torii erects itself as gateway to the totem of experience,
no descriptive alloy exists to transform or rebirth
the most primitive and bare-boned,
the referential instability of physical pain no human agency
speaks successfully in lieu of.
Gritty locks felled into the sloth of tears, their salty
aftermarks imbricating my face, a kind of warrior’s mask
of a warrior’s failure afore the clandestine ideal of physical perfection:
O poster of Marky Mark that posits itself
like an Aryan agenda against every public bus, a tableau
of prayer ossified for us to emulate.
Celebrities represent what Grecian gods were once.

(Read full poem here)

For Today’s Poetics, I want you all to think along the lines of Peer Pressure.

How does it make you feel? What are your views on it? Slice it, dice it, pepper it with everything that you have got and write a new poem.

You can choose to write from experience, and/or share an incident that has occurred. My aim is to make this prompt as open-ended as possible.

New to dVerse? Here’s how to join in:

  • Write a poem in response to the challenge.
  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr. Linky below
    and remember to check the little box to accept the use/privacy policy.
  • You will find links to other poets and more will join so please do check
    back later in order to read their poems.
  • Read and comment on other poets’ work– we all come here to have our poems read.
  • Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog.