Poem - Don't Put That Sign On Me

If you read my piece entitled "Mid-life Crisis? Who Me?" then you will see this as a continuation of that moment when I reacted to some unnamed person accusing me of having a mid-life crisis because my hair is getting long (as defined by corporate America). The first few lines of this email were sent to my boss and he encouraged me to continue. Wait? Does that mean he tricked me into putting my head into my own noose? Ha... (note: this poem was featured the week of 12/21/10 on the main page of Books, Literature and Writing).

Don’t hang a sign on me cause I’ll tear that sucker down
You wear your sign and live with your uptight frown
I don’t have a sign because there ain't one needed
I live my life my way and I’ll never be defeated

That's right
I'll never be defeated
Not by you
Or anyone else
Because only I can do that
To myself

Don't paint any graffiti on me because you don't know what to say
Maybe you think you know but all you can do is kneel and obey
So you think you can define me and put me in some kind of place
Well you can forget that because it's more likely that I get in your face

That's right
I'll never be defeated
Not by you
Or anyone else
Because only I can do that
To myself

Yeah that's right I said what I said so what?
You gonna fire me, not hire me, tell me I'm out of luck?
That's your world a-hole not mine because I don't confront
I live and let live while you treat people like game for your hunt

That's right
I'll never be defeated
Not by you
Or anyone else
Because only I can do that
To myself

I'm not too impressed I bet you're finally about to figure
Yeah you look me in the eye and my mind you try to disfigure
I know your lies and all the old things you try to reinvent
You think you can pretend but I know your game's intent

That's right
I'll never be defeated
Not by you
Or anyone else
Because only I can do that
To myself

Too bad I'm not the one who you can intimidate
You got power but no creativity to demonstrate
Maybe you'll win inside this office where you project
Your dominance over us folks who you disrespect

That's right
I'll never be defeated
Not by you
Or anyone else
Because only I can do that
To myself

Go on hang that sign on me and make me you
It won't last long because I'm not the one who
Looks up and hears anything worthy in your word
So hang it up but know my mind is as free as a bird

That's right
I'll never be defeated
Not by you
Or anyone else
Because only I can do that
To myself







More by this Author


Comments 27 comments

J. Edward Hardin profile image

J. Edward Hardin 5 years ago

Very good point. It is true that only we can do that to ourselves. This poem is a good reminder that we can choose to be optimists or defeatists. I voted it up. I appreciate the humor of the picture too. :)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Good ideas, well put. It's not in the choice, sometimes. There are times when we have to go with the flow... but let it be hoped that we learn by our errors.


scriber1 5 years ago

It's been truly fascinating to watch your evolution from when you first began and I noted that you weren't writing poems; rather essays -- to you then becoming a quite skilled poet -- and to now when you've, and because of new understandings of yourself, now having the ability to throw down the rhetorical gauntlet as you have in this hub. A roller coaster of a ride, and I've been glad to be along. PS: Signs are made for selling property; and I, like you, am not for sale.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 5 years ago

You can never control the actions of others; the only thing we can control is the choices that we ourselves make. Decisions loom in front of us everyday............ it up to us to do the right thing. Sometimes we do it right, and sometimes we do it wrong, but only we can really know the difference. No one can do that for us! Rated up! Kaie


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Wow! sounds a little angry and defensive...but I liked it.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Anger and attitude are a direct result, the cause and effect of oppression. Your piece is well written and a vicarious thrill for those you only dream of telling it like it is. Bravo


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

As I read your poem I felt your anger as alekhouse did. I too liked it though.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@J. Edward – thank you for commenting. I try to take control of my own life in this one and not be so influenced by folks who are concerned with superficialities.

@Twilight – thank you. Yes at times we do have to go with the flow… this is a mood piece… I can’t act like this way all the time or I would be homeless!

@scriber – thank you again my friend. Many things are happening in my life and all I can say is that I feel influenced by them and by the people I’ve encountered here on hubpages. If you do detect improvement then you along with many others have had a hand in that.

@Kale – thank you for your comment. It’s true that we make our own choices and hopefully they are the right one’s for our own lives. So many people are influenced for the wrong reasons but our choices should also be based upon what is prudent and not to prove a point.

@Alek – thank you… yes you are right… it is angry and defensive… that means it came through as I felt.

@Amy – thank you. It was a bit of a vicarious thrill for me too because I needed to mouth off. I wouldn’t be able to get away with this at work but in reality this defiance is deep down inside of me.

@Susan – I’m glad you liked it even though the anger was there. I’m the moody poet so you’re going to see some pissed off moments from me


perfectperception profile image

perfectperception 5 years ago from USA

I love it! Now that's the perfect self perception!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thank you perfect... I do know myself and I know what I'm about... it's fairly important to know these things so you can anticipate you're own reaction to stress...


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

Is it just me or does this poem have some political intent in its voice...I sense a message here for our elected ones. LOL! Good poem...thanks for sharing! WB


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

A well spoken voice for those who would wish to say what you said and can't quite articulate it like you, be it through lack of courage or words or both. Great stuff. I loved it.


maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

After reading this I felt like I had just walked out of the steam room and all my pores were cleansed...Brutally honest and direct...Another poet, xobirdie, seems to share the same anger and honest exhortations...Check her out...her latest," Who are you to say ", mirrors yours...

I love passion in prose, and you have that in spades, my friend...I'm wishing you and yours a very happy and safe holiday season...Larry


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Just be true to yourself...be you, that's what we all love about you. Even though I feel your anger, I know where you're coming from...thanks for sharing in your style.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Wayne – yeah there is some political; there is some work; there is some family… you know we’re all dealing with people who want to define us… I say “don’t tread on me.”

@chspublish – thank you for your comment… I’m not the only frustrated person around that’s for sure…

@maven – why do I always hold my breath when I see a comment from you! Brutal honesty will get someones attention and you’ve accomplished that… As I’ve said this is a frustration piece and it was a response to a provocation… We’re all on an org chart somewhere whether it’s at work or in other situations; it’s possible that I’ve made someone feel the EXACT SAME WAY in the past. I have to understand that it’s not just about me. I know I have to maintain my poise at work but there is a poet out there who wants the stage too. Have a great holiday my friend!

@b. malin – thanks for understanding. We are all human. We all feel pain and anger at times and I’m going to let ya’ll see it. Hope you don’t mind. I appreciate you giving me the benefit of the doubt when I get pissed….


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Oddly enough, when one is truly secure in his/her own skin and the center is centered, the fight about having the right to BE becomes moot. People are more encouraged by your simply BEING and may even figure they should try it themselves. It really is not a battleground unless accepted as one. Defending it makes it appear insecure, maybe even to oneself.

So that is the next step: Casting off one''s own arsenal of resistance arms. Why resist what is a square peg all by itself, anyway? Just let it realize that it doesn't fit you. It will, because it has no choice! It really doesn't fit!

Twilight - as for going with the flow - no problem. Just go as oneself and not in costume. When you contribute YOU to the flow, it's the better for it.

I agree with scriber that you're evolving at breakneck speed, SP - into who you've always been but perhaps were not quite fully self-aware . Still in progress and progressing nicely! I notice the definesiveness too, as alehouse does. It's OK - it "goes-with" where you are now. But you'll be realizing there is no reason to defend as though it were up for grabs & needing to be grabbed or protected from being snatched away from you. It can't be. So you'll relax and just BE, too busy loving every minute to even consider spending any of them protecting what is secure already. Then you'll be busy investing in BEING more than defending a right to BE. Mellowness is a bonus. I promise, you won't hate it! See? LOL

You're quite a writer, by the way! And a bright clarion call for others who may not yet have found within themselves the perspective and passion to go for it, the courage to BE. Gets my votes!

You needn't try to overly direct your course - it will find its way.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Nellieanna!

Yes you are right... But I am an aggressive person in my life; very competitive, talkative, cocky, flirtatious, forward, confident and egotistical... ok... so at times you get a poem like this. Yes I should let it roll off my back and be mellow. No question. Maybe that is where I need to evolve... I find myself in the middle of an environment where people have power over me that I do not respect at times so you are seeing me blow off some steam here. I'm not going to deny that these feelings are real... but this piece can also be for anyone who is under someone's thumb and to me it's a "rap" piece for an aggressive performer. But in the end it's just howling at the moon.

As for my evolution I wonder each time I post if that is the last one I'll ever write. I have no idea when or if another hub is going to materialize in my mind. I am going with the flow and I'm pretty random as you can tell. You are a gentle soul and I have that in me but it's clearly not who I am at this point in my life. Maybe one day... it's not something that I reject; it's something that I haven't mastered...


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

No need to "master" it. For one thing, as you say you have it in you. When it's needed or ready or whatever, it's there. Not to be mastered but to be embraced then. If you're aggressive mostly now and have irritants, expressing it in honest and real poetry like this one allows it space and expression. Perhaps it also allows for more mellowness at the point of the irritations. But not the "stuffed" or bottled-up kinds, more perhaps mellow that comes from an integrated, actualized soul - which is not a definition of mild, but of authentic - what YOU are, ALL of what you are. But the sense of BEING it does add the mellow sense of being ok and having neither to fight about it nor defend it - more like, to be able to feel a little cocky that you don't have to prove to or fit around anyone else's expectations. You know that any power"they" have is not over YOU but over what you're committed to deliver in the relationship as an honorable person deserving respect, not as anyone's pawn.

Knowing it deeply yourself makes it obvious to others. Mellowness comes with knowing it deeply. Doesn't matter whether the being you are is laid back naturally or feisty as a fireball - this deep feeling of being gives both calmness and brooks no abuse. If it changed your being - it would have defeated itself. That's not the objective.

I'm not always a gentle soul, by the way. I have many facets. But I'm sure of my being in all of its facets. Not likely you'd be like me any more than that I'd be like you. Not the objective in the slightest.

Just enjoy the freedom to be the way you are NOW and as you become. That's all I meant to say. It's difficult to maintain too much anger for too very long when you're genuinely enjoying it and when whatever or whomever is its object is no real threat to you. LOL Hugs.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Nellieanna,

I think you just started another hub for yourself with that answer... it's true that being is better than acting in the sense of not acting mellow when in fact you are a ball of rage... I get that...

For me I have some threats to my livelihood that are ego driven by others and with my two children I find myself worrying and developing resentments. This is where I need to relax and try to not worry about things that may never happen. I've had troubles with that in the past because I visualize problems and then think about the alternative and I end up dwelling on things that never happen (just so I can be ready for them). I like to feel things so sometimes my empathy for a future problem gets the best of me...

What? You're not always gentle? I don't believe you! Don't blow my image of you! Who can I believe in? Ha...


simone93 profile image

simone93 5 years ago

I need to pass this one to my boss....I feel every verse of this poem....


agaglia profile image

agaglia 5 years ago

What a great poem - and a great page. This is similar to my poem: I'm no billboard. Check it out, if you are interested.


Jawanza profile image

Jawanza 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Bravo. Keep your wings spread.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@simone93 - yeah we all have somebody we need to pass it to... too bad more bosses don't understand how much strain they put on people's lives...

@agaglia - Thanks agaglia and I will check it when I'm back in town next week...

@jawanza - thanks man... they can control some things but not my mind...


hubpageswriter 5 years ago

Good words, strong message put across. I'm a new fan, glad to join your entourage.


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

Thanks for the reciprocity hubpageswriter... it was a rant... had to get it out...


Desadi 5 years ago from Marietta, Ga

Very well said, we are the only ones who can choose to lock ourselves up in the chains of conformity!


The Suburban Poet profile image

The Suburban Poet 5 years ago from Austin, Texas Author

@Desadi - thanks man and all I can say is be yourself....

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