Gavin Jones is a writer, poet, self-publisher, and educator who is based in Toronto. He is a past student of York University and author of From Suicide Kit to Liberating Liberty, a coming-of-age LGBTQ + novel about identity, sexuality, and self-acceptance. He’s also working on two other young adult fiction books and a self help guide for youth and adults to overcome emotional trauma. Gavin is passionate about working with young people, he believes in the power of storytelling to connect with youth locally and around the world. Gavin has also established a tutoring program to assist youth from low-income families to develop learning skills in the areas of high school math, English, and science.
Ahead of his appearance at our March 10th event, Gavin shares two poems with us – the first, Cover Up, was written while grieving the loss of his mother in 2015. It was a reflection on the strength and bravery of his mother and the community of women who helped him through that difficult time. The second poem, Remember Me, is in memory of the many people who have passed away in 2020 and a reminder to their families to cherish the living.
Let me cover up the scars from last night.
Let me cover up the verbal filth that came from my spouses’ mouth, the rudeness from my teenage child, the abuse from the woman whose husband I’m sleeping with.
Let me cover up the scars that were left on my face, the bruises on my body.
Let me put on my makeup and show off my inner confidence. I’m going to let my strength come through the beauty that shows from the outside.
Let me cover up the stains from the tears.
Let me cover up those slaps across my face.
Let me cover up with the strength of a woman. I am a woman. Am I truly a woman?
Am I covered up?
I have to cover up; I can’t let others see the weakness in me! I can’t let them see how my spouse and my children are abusing me. I can’t let them see the beat down from the man who is not loyal to me.
Let me cover up. Cover up years of hurt, guilt and shame.
Let me cover up the hypocrisy, the lies and the pain.
Let me cover up my own self shame and hatred to my own self.
I am a woman; an esteemed woman. A woman who holds the highest positions, a woman who manages people, a woman who is qualified more than most men. A woman who everyone talks about, a woman who walks with confidence, a woman who walks in a room and everyone gets nervous.
I am that woman, that type of woman. A woman who wears the title, miss, mam, madam, president, CEO. Dr. Professor, teacher. I am a woman whose strength become known away from home.
I am a woman who is covered up, and what does that say about me? Does it mean I’m weak because I covered up? Does it mean I’m not worthy of my title as a woman?
Woman thou woman, our lives are filled with storms and turmoil, our lives bear the scars of captured slaves. Our lives are tears, pain, hurt and guilt.
Despite our curses, despite our fears, despite our weakness, aren’t we still women in our own rights?
I hear the bickering, I hear the noise, I hear the laughter, from other women, but I leave you with this, what would they say about us if we walked away like most men?
The sun will never rise on my face again. A new day shall not awaken me. The sound of nature will be heard no more, for tomorrow I’ll be gone.
The folks I loved and dreamed about will rise to my ashes, and a jar shall hold all of me. I will go where the wind goes, and I shall sing what the birds sang. I will wait, wait for the day when life reincarnates and once again, I’ll become.
Let not the empty echoes of my body frightens you, let not the teardrops of my past pain bring you sorrow. I’ve lived without you knowing me, I’ve cried tears of bitterness without you hearing me. My prayerful devotions have let me in monasteries and sanctuaries. I’ve died many times in front of your eyes and I’ve lived within your dreams.
Wipe away those bitter tears, and pick up the pieces of your broken heart. While my soul rests for another joy, talk and laugh about the memories of old.
Remember the dreams I’ve shared with you, remember the Joy’s we had, remember my pain and what I’ve overcome, remember me in the light of your beautiful world. Remember me in the darkest time, remember me when the shadows come, remember my tears, those loving and lonely, remember all that I am when I’m away in my new home.
The sun will never rise on my face again. A new day shall not awaken me. The sound of nature will be heard no more, for tomorrow I’ll be gone, but I will wait, wait for the day when life reincarnates and once again, I’ll become.
Gavin Jones visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 starting at 6:30pm alongside Natasha Ramoutar, Andrew Wilmot, and Laila Malik. Our guest speaker Jen Sookfong Lee addresses how publishing is hard to navigate for BIPOC and offers practical tips for managing the publishing process in her talk, “The Business of Publishing and Inclusion”.
Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:30.