Follow me maybe?

Friday, February 20, 2015

"The Feeling Nobody Wants To Acknowledge"

I contemplate kissing you and telling you what
nobody else has, but I'd have to identify
your body after we end. Like Lady Macbeth, except
everyone can see our past on my hands
in this digital world and unfortunately - fortunately for now? -
you look different.
I walk quickly, trying to communicate what a coincidence
that this man is going the same way as I am
"Oh! Have you met...?" No, of course you haven't.
I inquire into who your friends are, masking
a much ruder
                       underlying
      question.
I deny you in daylight, and want you when I
brush my teeth and wash sarcastic self-sufficency
off my face. Then, it's too late and I still tell you no because
it's a cruelly cold world out there
and this carries two meanings.
I think of you like people
DON'T THINK OF A PINK ELEPHANT.
If I had sleeping problems I'd fall in love with you, so
I steal my friend's melatonin gummies to make sure I don't.

I know my own heart and I know that really, you'd get
the short end of the stick here.
Please forgive me. You sit and smile so earnestly that
I contemplate kissing you and telling you what
nobody else has. But kisses don't last forever, and you'd identify
me in the police lineup
for the crime
of being shallow.

"Everything We Get In Life Is A Gift"

He’s drunk, and I’m drunk on someone who looks like him but
I’m here to sober up. We’re in his room, the lights are off, and he lies
expectantly on his bed. My clothes are strewn,
interspersed with our pleasantries, on the floor. I am naked, except for

My Christmas present the previous year
came in a blue box, and is still on my neck. A bow pendant on a silver chain -
Never forget that everything we get in life is a gift,
she said. Thinking about her makes me feel
guilt and shame, so I try not to.
I realize this situation is also a gift. He wanted someone (anyone),
I wanted to backspace the burden of my feelings
so I found it in the first person I made
eye contact with tonight, during an unnaturally lengthy lull
between songs. As long as she never finds out,
I’m oddly grateful for now because this
is a chance to wash my hands of the other man, ironically with my hands.

I unclasp the necklace and tuck it away in my purse;
there is something decidedly impure about allowing
a stranger’s fingers on this present from my mother.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"The Ruined Jacket"

Act One, Scene Three –
You’ve got your eye on me.
                  You’re more attractive when you’re silent.
                           Let’s talk like we don’t know where this is
                                                                        going, like we’re not selfish.

Time for you to say how you feel,
         I’ve got astonishment down to an art.
                                                      I have all the power here because
Society says you should talk to me first,
buy me lunch. Everything you do
                                                             and say will be used against you.

Your cheekbones, high and hollow,
         hide secrets. When you said I’m a relationships kind of guy
                  you really meant
                                             I’m a guy in a relationship.
         You say you fucked up, that we happened all of a sudden. You want sudden?
I’ll define that better for you -
         that poor, pale girl who never smiles,
                                             your honor
                                                           - gone. This is what you get for deviating.

I always
Thought I was in control and I hate surprises.
                                    Society says girls have runny yolk feelings
         But everyone knows that’s what I do best.
                           I crack eggs on the finest leather jackets. There’s one
in my hand right now. Do I do it?

                  I’m the director
and you’re a shitty actor.
                           I’m a perfectionist and
                                    I’m not interested in your interpretation of my script.
                                                                        It’s my play,
                                                                           and you’re fired.

Friday, January 30, 2015

"I am not writing about you again"

I am not writing about you again because
really, it was your loss. No excuses for you, all you had to do
was be someone else and how fucking easy was that?
Do you know how many times I faked a laugh so that you'd shut up and kiss me?

Everyone looks at you now, and they tell me I've won
but one who strives to win is gone, and by nature is a loser.
By trash-talking, we keep you alive with our words. Who cares if gossiping
puts me in hell because I was dead to you long ago, death by your clueless carefree.

I wrote as many words as I shed tears over you, usually along the themes of
Longing, but let's be real now. Life was unglamorous too often; misunderstood,
stifled, brooding, and alone in your bed. You could touch me, but never my mind.

I am not writing about you again because I am done feeling sorry for myself;
I spent nine months being in love with being in love at first sight
and I am not about to make it ten.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Every time you come around.

All students at the liberal arts college I attend have to fulfil distribution requirements - at least one class from two different departments, from the three fields of study (humanities, social sciences, and math/science) - before graduating.

In order to fulfil my remaining humanities requirement, I'm taking a poetry class from the English department this semester. I'm surprised that I feel a little anxious about it; I'm usually fairly open, as you can tell from this blog. However, my poetry has always kind of been an unspoken thing; I've never really been in a situation where discussing it in person was needed. I've also never gotten specific feedback on any of the poems I've written over the years. I think some part of me feels like I've been winging it for the last five years. There might be so many rules and conventions out there regarding how I should be writing and I might have been breaking them this whole time with no idea.

Also, over the years, I've (finally) been developing a filter on what I choose to talk about and being mindful that sometimes, people really don't want or need to hear certain things. At this point in time, my poetry are the stories and feelings that I don't want to directly admit have been lingering on my mind, almost as if there is a sense of shame for caring about these things too much. Because of this, the very nature of my writing makes the idea of having to discuss it aloud in class slightly uncomfortable. I'm sure I'll eventually get over it though.

Yesterday, my English professor made us get into groups - those who have never been in love, those who have been in love but are not currently in love, those who wish to be in love, and those who are in love. In our groups, we were supposed to briefly share the relevant stories or feelings, and reflect on how where we're at will influence our writing. "If you don't feel comfortable sharing your feelings," the professor said, "You will not write good poetry."

I didn't immediately know which group to go into. I knew that I wasn't really looking for love, nor am I presently in love (When people ask, I say I'm dating this nice boy named Academics. No last name. He doesn't talk much, but that's not much different from some of the guys in my past), but I didn't know which of the other two I belonged in. As I've definitely mentioned here before, I've become more critical about the attitudes I had in the past and considering how selfishly I approached things, perhaps I didn't/still don't really know what real romantic love was/is.

But then again, I thought that this might be a revisionist view, that perhaps love is love if at the time you chose to ascribe such value to how you felt. If so, I ought to go to the "have been in love" group. Besides, I thought, literally nobody will care enough to contest the legitimacy of the love that I choose to talk about.

Something else drew me towards joining that group. Truth was, as I considered whether I had been in love before or not, I was thinking of a specific time and person. I thought about how this certain example took things to a new level and invalidated everything before that. If there was something so specific that came to mind, maybe it was at least significant enough to warrant identifying with that group.

Soon, it was my turn to share. "He goes here...and I hate that." I started. I wanted to say that on one hand, I remembered that time as the most in love I had ever been. I was so upset when it ended that I filed it away at the bottom of my largest desk drawer. On the other hand, now that I was being forced to revisit it, it was like recovering the file, opening it, and not being able to see what it originally looked like because it was a drawing made with glitter glue - I had filed it away before the glue dried, leaving a mess of angry-looking rips where bits of the paper file clung to glue when I pried it open. I look back with a lot of incredulousness, feeling like I was another person back then and I don't understand her. I couldn't really visualize our many small conversations at breakfast, the way we used to look at each other, the way we pretended we didn't know how society had decided we were a bad match - the things that make up what I imagine is love. Instead, I recall the times I felt I swallowed my pride, the hours and days of waiting for nothing, and the reality that we don't talk and haven't since things reached its sour end. This was a situation where the whole - the overarching feeling of love - didn't match the sum of its parts - the nitty gritty of life together. I think the human mind (or at least, mine) has an interesting way of defying rationality in this context.

I think about him more than I think people know, and definitely more than he thinks about me. There are still moments when I think about how he would react to the things going on in my life now, and then I usually conclude that he either wouldn't understand, or wouldn't care. The irony about poetry is that the people I write about almost never ever read, or even come across, the pieces about them. But then maybe that's not so ironic because it's mostly someone else's level of seeming indifference that drives me to write in the first place. It's weird how you can be so interconnected with someone else's life and then - just - not be anymore, like a band-aid that is taken off quickly and painfully, instead of slowly and painfully. That's unsettling and to me, writing poems is expressing that I haven't forgotten, like I mentioned.

By the end of the group activity, there were tears. Surprisingly, none from me.

That said, though this post wouldn't suggest it, I think I'm over it, over him, and have been for quite a while. I think that sometimes there are things that happen that will come back to us every so often. These are the things that impacted us the most, things that we don't forget, things that don't leave us in the near future no matter how far we run away or run forwards. I don't think that remembering is bad, nor does it necessarily mean attachment or weakness. If anything, I think there's a lot of strength in being able to acknowledge the past as a whole event and see it, see the bad and good, and still stay standing. These were things that once pushed us down, things that once made us feel like we wouldn't be able to go on. But now, seeing it and acknowledging it for what it is - we are SEEING it, not LIVING it anymore...because of strength.