'The only thing that should beat your face is a makeup brush' - - KXXV Central Texas News Now

'The only thing that should beat your face is a makeup brush' - Central Texas poet uses craft to inspire strength in young women

April Neal, a local poet, performs (Source: April Neal) April Neal, a local poet, performs (Source: April Neal)
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

"Never let someone tell you that you're not valid."

"The only thing that should beat your face is a makeup brush."

"Forget that you thought it was real.”

Those are just a few verses from a poem called Things Every Young Lady Should Know by April Neal, a Central Texan.

Neal said the poem is filled with words that have so much meaning to her. 

Neal is a poet who began writing poems because her parents wanted her to channel her emotions into something constructive.

"When I did want to scream, I would write notes to my sisters saying I can't stand you and colored in crayons and shoot it to them because I couldn't scream and yell,” Neal said.

Neal said that her parents advise turned into a passion and coping mechanism. 

"Instead of showing up with wine when our friends are sad, we show up with tablets and say Ok, what are we going to write about, let's do this. That's how we process,” Neal said.

She said she uses words, written on a page, to express everything from love and happiness to anger and annoyance. She said she remembers when her poems took on a "more petty" outlook and less inspirational tone. Neal said she was interning at Child Protective Services.

"My experiences with that, my experiences with people's parents,” Neal said. “Not all were negative, but some of them were interesting and so I wrote these poems and started to say, because people were so used to me only writing inspirational and gospel work, so I could preface it by adding in they should know this isn't a come-to-Jesus poem, this is a petty poem."

She has taken her poems - petty and inspirational - to publish in a book with other poets and herself. It is called Girl Me Too, Relating to My Sister: An Anthology of Poetry.

Neal has also published chapbooks online that you can get on Etsy.

For now, it is a mostly a hobby for the 28-year-old who is studying to be a social worker.

"I can still make kids passionate about school like I am through social work, making sure they have bus passes, making sure they get what they need to be successful in school kind of gave me a type of drive and get to work and be excited about helping somebody every day,” Neal said.

Every day, even when it is not Black History Month, Neal said she celebrates those who have come before her who inspired all those words that she has written that mean so much.

"My entire life it's always been something me and my family and my church have always celebrated,” Neal said.

Neal also has a Facebook page that you can like and follow.

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