“The Nutritionist” by Andrea Gibson


Hi I’m Andrea Gibson and this
is my poem “The Nutritionist.” The nutritionist said I should
eat root vegetables Said if I could get down 13 turnips a day I would be grounded, rooted. Said my head would not keep flying away
to where the darkness lives. The psychic told me my heart
carries too much weight Said for 20 dollars she’d tell me what to do I handed her the twenty, she said “stop worrying darling, you
will find a good man soon.” The first psychotherapist said I should
spend 3 hours a day sitting in a dark closet with my eyes closed
and my ears plugged. I tried it once but couldn’t
stop thinking about how gay it was to be
sitting in the closet. The yogi told me to stretch
everything but truth, said focus on the outbreaths, said everyone finds happiness if they can care more about what they
can give than what they get. The pharmacist said klonopin,
lamictil, lithium, Xanax. The doctor said an antipsychotic
might help me forget what the trauma said The trauma said don’t write this poem. Nobody wants to hear you cry
about the grief inside your bones But my bones said “Tyler Clementi dove into the Hudson River
convinced he was entirely alone.” My bones said “write the poem.” To the lamplight. Considering the river bed. To the chandelier of your fate hanging by a thread. To everyday you could not get out of bed. To the bulls eye of your wrist To anyone who has ever wanted to die. I have been told, sometimes,
the most healing thing we can do- Is remind ourselves over and over and over Other people feel this too The tomorrow that has come and gone And it has not gotten better When you are half finished writing
that letter to your mother that says “I swear to God I tried” But when I thought I hit bottom,
it started hitting back There is no bruise like the bruise
loneliness kicks into your spine So let me tell you I know there are days it looks like
the whole world is dancing in the streets when you break down like the doors
of their looted buildings You are not alone and wondering who will
be convicted of the crime of insisting you keep loading your grief into
the chamber of your shame You are not weak just because
your heart feels so heavy I have never met a heavy heart that wasn’t
a phone booth with a red cape inside Some people will never understand
the kind of superpower it takes for some people to just walk outside Some days I know my smile looks like
the gutter of a falling house But my hands are always holding tight
to the ripchord of believing A life can be rich like the soil Make food of decay Turn wound into highway Pick me up in a truck with that
bumper sticker that says “it is no measure of good health
to be well adjusted to a sick society” I have never trusted anyone with
the pulled back bow of my spine the way I trust the ones who
come undone at the throat Screaming for their pulse
to find the fight to pound Four nights before Tyler Clementi
jumped from the George Washington bridge I was sitting in a hotel room
in my own town Calculating exactly what I had to swallow
to keep a bottle of sleeping pills down What I know about living
is the pain is never just ours Every time I hurt I know
the wound is an echo So I keep a listening for the moment
when the grief becomes a window When I can see what I couldn’t see before, through the glass of
my most battered dream, I watched a dandelion lose
its mind in the wind and when it did, it scattered
a thousand seeds. So the next time I tell you
how easily I come out of my skin, don’t try to put me back in just say here we are together at
the window aching for it to all get better but knowing there is a chance our hearts
may have only just skinned their knees knowing there is a chance the worst
day might still be coming let me say right now for the record,
I’m still gonna be here asking this world to dance,
even if it keeps stepping on my holy feet you- you stay here with me, okay? You stay here with me. Raising your bite against the bitter dark Your bright longing Your brilliant fists of loss Friend if the only thing we have to gain
in staying is each other, my god that’s plenty my god that’s enough my god that is so so much
for the light to give each of us at each other’s backs
whispering over and over and over “Live” “Live” “Live”

100 thoughts on ““The Nutritionist” by Andrea Gibson

  1. Bereavement. Homesickness. A first kiss. Experiences like these transcend our rational understanding of the world. In such moments, we need poetry.

    That's why we're excited to have paired contemporary and classical poems with award-winning animators to help us all better understand the most inexplicable parts of life.

    Today, we published six poems in our new series "There's a Poem for That". We hope you love these poems as much as we do! Check out the whole series here:http://bit.ly/TEDEdTheresAPoemForThat

    Let us know in the comments which poems you'd love to see animated as part of this series.

  2. Breathless… Live, Live, Live! It's the only choice we have! Any other choice would break a heart, and the guilt will have outlived us; carelessly, ruthlessly, passed to the next generation. As long as that heart sees a world of hope, opportunity, and change, I will be here to ensure it comes true. I will be the last to bear these chains of guilt and shame, thrust upon me after fattening on the generations before. As long as that heart looks forward with hope, I will graciously, selfishly, willingly carry the weight myself, as I focus on guiding him forward, learning only to love. And I would relive each moment a thousand times over, as long as it brought me back to him.

  3. i don't know the directed audience of the poem, but now i know how they feel.

  4. “Through the glass of my most battered dream
    I watched a dandelion lose it’s mind in the wind “-just Beautiful

  5. such a masterpiece.. felt like she is the heiress of Edgar Allan Poe :)) gave goosebumps to me

  6. this is the poem I listen to to stop myself from getting too down and its one of my favorites ever so this makes me so haPPY

  7. It’s good to know you’re not alone, but scary at the same time. So much suffering, so much darkness.
    This has me emotional

  8. i've read dozens of poems. i've participated in events where people read each other words woven from the deepest sentiments lodged within their hearts. i've woven tapestries of words over the years expressing the pain and joy this world conveys to me. and each poem is beautiful. but some poems carry a power i'll never find the words to describe. some writers put so much of their soul into the sentences that reading each phrase feels like trudging through a blizzard on the top of mount everest. it carries this raw emotion that only some poems have the heart to express. and this is one of those poems. this poem holds a storm in its letters. very well done.

  9. I don't know what I was expecting, but the title made me, a nutrition student, click on this. And instead i was given the encouragement I needed for the day. Thank you

  10. All I heard was…stop listening to man & listen to the most high Yah. The true source of Knowledge & Wisdom.

  11. I didn't know what I was walking into just now when I clicked on a poem from TED.

    Turns out, I needed these words, in this order, more than I ever could have imagined.

    Thank you.

  12. There is sadness in my leaden bones,
    Overflowing from my fingertips.
    The crimson tears they bloom and
    swirl,
    Like dandelions in the wind.

    Thank you for uploading this Ted Ed.💛

  13. I have never met a heavy heart that wasn't a phone booth with a red cape inside…

  14. This is so transcending and powerful, thank you for exposing me to this beautiful poem, TED-Ed.

  15. If you're searching for wonderful contemporary poets, you should check @ siajanelloyd, @ roseclu and @ workinprogress13, among others on IG. You won't be disappointed. ❤

  16. Please please please continue the series😭😭😍😍😍😍😍😍

  17. This poem is so strong, so beautiful that I wish I can climb the top of Mount Everest and scream it for the world to hear.

  18. Youre not weak just because your heart is heavy, that hit me rlly hard

  19. i shared this to my mom and her immediate comment was "there must have been something wrong with the way i raised you… You're not normal"

  20. Its amazing how people on grief can still write a beautiful poem… how they can seek hope amidst the agony… how they can wake up and get up…

    And am just… tired

  21. This reminds me a bit of Ginsberg, the pain is the same somehow. Breathtaking.

  22. To the people who disliked this video, why?
    Why must you hate the pain of others?
    Is it because you are afraid of this thing you do not understand?
    Or is it because your pain has been put here for you to see but you cannot except it and you do not want to admit it?

  23. It is an art. Art inspired by living, living a human life through pain.

  24. i’m not crying. i’m not crying… this was so beautiful. thank you, thank you for posting this poem.

  25. first time seeing the video, listening to the poem, hit me real hard wtf, we need more of those

  26. Some people will never understand the kind of superpower it takes to some people, to just walk outside

    Introvert (me): True dat

  27. "When you are half-finished
    Writing that letter to your mother
    That says 'I swear to God I'd tried,
    But when I thought I hit bottom
    It started hitting back '"

    Wow…That is so powerful. Stunned.

  28. What narration!
    What lines!
    Powerful. Moving.
    Anything else would be an understatement.

  29. Ha, you almost made me cry

    You actually made me sob uncontrolably (iternally)

  30. im so sorry for you who feel this poem in your bones with every words running down your veins that made you cant contain the tears. now you know you're not alone and together we can do this. i really love this poem and it made me sob honestly.

  31. I believe that this poem it's one of the most powerful poem that I've heard. I believe that older poems maybe have the same feelings but the language can make it difficult to feel it(complex language). Here we have a poem very well recited and with a very simple vocabulary poem, all that holding the idea of one of the most power feeling, that it's living.

  32. That has to be the most beautiful poem I've ever read/listened to. Such passion, power, emotion with no frivolous attempt at something unauthentic and narcissistic. I find modern poems particularly true and simple, all the while way more powerful than a poem full of devices and words that are hard to understand for a common reader. This is what poetry was intended for, it is a lyric testimony. Too many have forgotten that, but we're getting back to it, and it's beautiful

  33. I've heard it twice and I would do it again and again…one new between my favourite poems

  34. does anyone else have a hard time with modern poetry? It just leaves me with a grating feeling sometimes.

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