Purpose of a Life

from by Andrea Lee



This is more my classic rambling style


If a stranger asked me what I do with my life

I’d say that I’m studying computer science.

But if you asked me what I’ve done with my life

Above all, I’d point to my poetry

The disconnect between what I am doing

And what I am most proud of

Makes me question my future

A feeling I’ve gotten used to

I’ve been living the last few months without even a real name

So it's only really a minor speedbump

That I probably picked the wrong field of study

But the key to writing good poetry

Lays more in my ability than it does in pursuing a degree

But I could make this into my life’s journey

I am privileged enough to have been given the ability

To use my words with reasonable clarity

But you cannot write an emotionless poem

Art requires joy, and it requires sorrow

And where one goes, the other will follow

And often, my poems are windows into my soul

Used to drag out thoughts I never knew were mine

I never feel more authentic than I do when baring

My troubles in front of people who see themselves

In some small part, of the story I tell

Whether it's in the unsteady, shaking leg,

A nervous tic granted by genetic chance,

My muscles cursed forever to betray my mind

Or in that mind. Racing, never still

Always wondering

What next, what next, oh god, what next?

Speeding towards the perceived certainty

Of its own failure to be apart of this society

I stop.

I’m not wrong, I hope. It better be society

Otherwise, what can I ever be?

I know that I’m right

but I know I’m not right inside

Forever plagued by thoughts of disaster

Racing away from a pain that cannot be traced

to one specific incident but no less real

A feeling, forever, of disbelonging

Never fitting the expectations of those around me

But when I write, people understand me

Saying that that my words have made a difference

And if my words are already making a difference

What else can I do to contribute to society not monetarily

But by making something of a truer reality

In the heart, and the mind

My logical brain must accept that this matters

For the intangible impact is far greater

Than the one that can be measured.

Am I willing to be paid in kind words from strangers?

Is knowing that I touched a heart

Worth a loss of supposed productivity

A very different life from the one I once planned to lead

But already, it is rushing towards me

This is what makes me stand proud,

I live for those 5 second interactions,

the awkward intimacy of the post show thank you

Where two lives acknowledge

That they have walked the same roads

I can remember every one clearly

Keeping a mental list of people who have thanked me

Reminding me that helping their lives make mine matter

And sometimes I daydream, thinking maybe one day

My poetry could save a life

And that idea, is worth giving up everything.

But realizing that I have that desire

To help, to nurture, to save

Reminds me that I’m not as bad of a person

As I let myself believe that I am

So yes, maybe one day, my poems save a life

But its very well that life could be mine


from Introducing Andrea Lee, released March 1, 2016



all rights reserved


Andrea Lee Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Andrea Lee Plank is a spoken word poet / computer geek living in Bethlehem, PA. Andrea identifies as a nonbinary transgirl and uses they / them pronouns. They are attending Northampton Community College.

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