Lex Rushing – Wisdom Beyond Her Years
By Sue Todd
Excerpt from Invisible Women
by Alexys Rushing
Sometimes it feels like I live in a world of invisible women
Afraid to show their face
Afraid to show too much leg
Or God forbid-she wears lace
She walks with mace in a race of pace
Sometimes, it’s easier to erase our claims of distaste
When told what our place is,
It’s easier to stay complacent, than to cause some displacement and
Create an assailant, I said-
Create an assailant
Didn’t you know you could cause a man to be overly invasive, even when you aren’t even abrasive
It’s just the way your face is-
Alexys Rushing, best known as Lex, is a poet currently living in Girdwood. Originally from Modesto, Calif., Lex says she moseyed to Alaska in 2017 after completing high school and a couple of years of community college. She lived in Talkeetna for a few months, working as a food and beverage administrator at a lodge. However, Talkeetna was not to be her home for long.
She had been hitchhiking to Girdwood on the weekends, and she was drawn to make the move here after just a few months. Since then, she has worked all over town, with stints at Alyeska Resort, Silvertip Grill, Jack Sprat and now at The Grind. Her stature is slight, but she has a tall personality. Her smile will light up a room, and it is probable that you already know who she is. This lady is a dynamo.
She made her foray into poetry at a young age. As she describes it, she had a tough childhood and used poetry as an outlet. Therapeutic as it was, she made her poetry public in 2014 while living in Modesto. She happened upon a coffee shop called the Queen Bean, a venue where poets could share their works.
After listening to other artists, she made a leap and began to share her own poetry. Using beautiful metaphors to express her thoughts and feelings, she has written some powerful pieces focused on empowerment. The tough upbringing she mentioned was actually one involving sexual abuse.
Through her poetry she shows empathy for those who are pressured to squelch, for those who are asked to succumb to standards set by others. And she gives them recourse. She returns their power. She expresses for them the words they cannot find. Recent events in the news have made her poetry even more relevant, all the more healing.
Lex says a woman’s voice is important, and she aims to give women the power to speak, in spite of politics. She feels women are objectified. She feels standards regarding how they should look, what they should say, how they should feel, and how they should respond have been set by others.
She is giving women the keys to unlock themselves. She is letting them know they have the power to choose, to say no or yes. She believes women have the right to their own feelings and do not have to be victims; and there is no shame in speaking out against abuse.
I asked Lex, just on the off chance someone has not heard of her, to tell me what message she would give to the person who has never experienced her poetry. Her response was that she would ask them to be fearless in their stance, to not be swayed or told they are wrong. Lex readily admits that she hopes to give both men and women the tools to fight for justice, to press against societal norms, to not be boxed in.
Alexys Rushing – she is young, vibrant, generous and talented. Her words are powerful. On the last Thursday of every month, look for her at “Girdwords,” an open mic night at the Grind. It is an event geared toward the spoken word. Of course, her medium is poetry so she will be sharing her own words and some poetry from her favorite poets.
Others are encouraged to share their poetry, short stories, or bring their favorite books and read excerpts from their favorite authors. The hope is it will become a venue where people feel comfortable and safe to share the words that resonate with them with a group of people who want to listen.
It is early days for this young poet who has already empowered (and sometimes even angered) so many people with her words. Who knows what the coming years will bring? For now, let’s keep this wordsmith close to us. She is making a difference.
Another excerpt from
The way your head sits above your ribs-
IT IS YOURS
Not his, and not hers
The way your lips curve and
The way the tears burn and
The way you had to learn
The burden of your upturned head like
It was yours to be sorry for
What are you sorry for?
For always being more than
A shooting star?
For having constellations of
Stretch marks and scars and
Wearing them on your milky way heart?