My body

11/30/15

All of my love
I give to my cat
Because I do not have to fear
that he will leave me
if I’m being clingy
I can be vulnerable
without fear that he’ll judge me
I joke that
I don’t need a boyfriend
because he greets me
when I get home
because when I sleep
he is in my arms
I am not alone

My walls have backups
that spring into place
I wonder
how much of my shit
you will take
before you leave like the ones
in your wake

I always joke that I want to be with girls
if I want my heart to break
and guys
if I want to be bored
I am the girl who pored
over romance novels
and listened to love songs
A fling without feelings
is not where my heart belongs

I withdraw into myself
because of all the times
I’ve been wronged
I’ve said yes to sex
when I should have said no
I couldn’t answer if it
was for him or for me
What I know is that you felt the need
to remind me that I’m pretty
when you admired the curves
of my body

I would say that being kind
wins more points with me
But I am hesitant to trust
the kindness
Coming from your lips
that I stifle with a kiss
Beauty is a tragedy
and I don’t know if I am wanted for me
or the way that I look
Please don’t praise what you see
because I know the words
like a well-worn book
The last time a man whispered
sweet nothings in my ear
I cried
because creativity took a nose dive

If I pierce my face
will it make me less pretty
will the men that I attract
be less shitty

My apartment is a cave
in which I hide
My body is a cage
and I’m trapped inside
My larynx is the gatekeeper
that holds the key
My voice is beginning to be set free
with it I demand respect
Because as a woman
I know I haven’t gotten it yet.

Benchmark

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.25.09 PM

So, this happened last night. I hit 100 followers! I wanted to thank all of my readers for sticking around, and those of you who are passing through. I know I only post occasionally so it’s a nice assurance when I do that people like and can relate to what I have to say. I have a dream of my blog being discovered or submitting it somewhere and writing as a columnist or romance/advice person somewhere. The movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days makes writing for a magazine look really glamorous (yes I know, that’s because it’s a movie). But writing as a career is up there in my dream jobs.

I met a guy at a get together on the 4th of July who writes for part of the New Yorker. He’s written fiction but if I remember correctly switched to writing about his life because he knows it best. Which is similar to what I do. When I was a kid I loved writing fiction and filled books with it. I was also dedicated to keeping diaries (there’s of boxes of them somewhere) so it makes sense that I blog. I think part of it is because people are so caught up in memorializing their lives, through photographs, ticket stubs, writing.. etc. Another reason is that writing makes me feel better. It gets the thoughts out, and gives me a place to speak my mind.

I want to know how other people blog. I’m impressed by the people who put out three posts a day, or a few a week, and wonder how they balance that and life. School, work, traveling, kids, pets, relationships.. and maintaining a blog. As I’ve mentioned before I don’t post as often when I’m going through change or am coping with depression and anxiety, though I know I feel better when I do. I’m trying to pick it up at least a little more often than I have in the past. Anyho, thanks again to all of you who are following me. Will be posting more soon!

Update

I do it all the time. I write, I feel better, I fall silent. Repeat. When anxiety hits and my heart starts racing I tell myself that everything is okay. I’m in a better place. I no longer live where I’ll be greeted by an empty apartment I had gotten with my partner. I have roommates to greet me and pets to cuddle with. I like my new school, and I’m making friends. Nothing is really wrong.

Still, I wake in the night with increasing anxiety, and the thoughts won’t stop. Conversations I’ve had, things I should have said, what I have to do. Flashes of moments I’ve overcome surface in split seconds and leave me breathless. Me standing in a cornfield alone at night after getting groceries. Crying because I didn’t want to go back to school. Being sad to leave my family. The dorms I’ve lived in. My ex’s eyes, or face. The brief stab that comes with thinking of him over a year later.

“It’s okay, everything is okay.” I tell myself. Soothing like the way I’d talk to another person or animal. It’s my first semester of junior year in college and it’s said to be one of the hardest at my school. The training wheels have come off and we are left to make art, exploring what kind of artists we are. I’ve been experimenting with what sculpture means to me, and working with a combination of materials that are new and familiar. Sewing, painting, playing with wire, working with caulk..

I’ve been struggling with being torn between writing and art, and wondering if I should have gone to school for writing. What it would be like if I had. Questioning, “what’s the point? Why am I here?” Feeling worn down and not liking that my life revolves around school. That I eat and sleep less. Trying to work through having depression and anxiety. I’ve been meeting a group of girls who have similar experiences, which is comforting to know that I am not alone, but also troubling that so many people I’ve spoken to recently feel the same way. That they’ve thought about giving up and dropping out of school but we’re so close to finishing that we shouldn’t. I read an article recently that said how there is an increase of people in universities who are being seen for mental health, which is reflected in the people I have been talking to.

Since I’m torn between writing and making art I figure I should be posting more often.

The womb

There’s a place I like to sleep
with curtains drawn tight
Glowing in the magenta light
Covers tucked under my chin,
the mattress cushioning my side.

Some say the way we sleep
mimics the womb.

Similarly,
When going through change
I get antisocial,
Shutting out most
talking to a select few
While I burrow,
and make a nest.

I’ve been changing
taking information and processing it
Ready to work through
the events that make me, me.

The big topics are
the hardest to start writing about
and have the most impact.
I’m working to express myself
instead of withdraw.

But even butterflies
go through a period of change
Before they come out on the other side.

Bottled up scream

I wonder what sound
Would escape my lips
If I let it
Or if it would even
come out at all
In my dreams
When I need to the most

I felt it inside me
A shaken soda bottle
Released in hisses of air
Or singing at the top of my lungs
Because people are less likely
To call the cops on someone singing
Than shattering the silence
On these dark,
Empty streets

I don’t know how I keep going,
With this tumbling inside me
As I bite my tongue
And clench my jaw
Out of fear of
Speaking up for myself
Or saying something silly
Not wanting to offend

In stilted, stunted words
I write
Little toy soldiers
Tripping off my tongue
Not matching the passion
I feel inside
______________

I keep a lot of things bottled up. I don’t often mention when something is bothering me, because I don’t want to hurt or offend another person. There are times where I snap, get angry, or can’t stop crying because I have kept things inside for so long. I’ve become very non-confrontational, and will back out of a situation if I can. Which includes things like letting my friends call me nicknames I hate for years until I’ve become a bit more assertive and am in a process of learning how to speak up.

I’ve spent a lot of time walking around feeling like I need to scream. To let loose all of those emotions and hear it reverberate against buildings and pierce through the quiet night. Walking through streets of peaceful houses I want to pull out my hair and scream until I can’t scream anymore.

Expect, in my dreams when I needed to I couldn’t. I have a lot of nightmares where bad guys are after me, and I have to protect myself and my family. In some of my dreams it’s just me and a man. While I’m in danger I open my mouth and nothing comes out.

One tipsy night in Boston a friend of mine and I roamed the streets. I had asked him if he ever felt like screaming, and found out that he thought it would be beneficial. We spent that night walking and yelling whenever we wanted to. While he was afraid to be his loudest I found out that I could wail so loudly that it would echo off buildings and still resound in our ears once it had faded. I remember standing in the Commons and screeching at the top of my lungs. People echoed us and the residents in the buildings over the park must have hated us. That night I found out that if I opened my mouth sound would come out.

For my last day of poetry class this past semester we were going to meet in the classroom, read our poetry, then walk to a bar/diner/restaurant. A handful of my classmates and I were late, and missed reading in class. I saw them going downstairs in an elevator then had to jog to catch up. I begged my teacher to let us stragglers read there so that we wouldn’t feel left out. The place was boisterous, so our teacher told us we had to project. The first person who read was kind of quiet, and we had to lean in to hear him.

When I got up and started reading the words “I wonder what sound would escape my lips if I let it” came out in a shout, surprising me and my classmates. I was not expecting to be that loud and actually had to be quieter. But there was my answer. I’ve learned over the years to be able to speak loudly when I have to.

This past year I have been beginning to start working on things in my life that I need to address. Writing helps me to break down my issues and become more aware of myself, and blogging has been a huge step in starting to find my voice.

What doesn’t kill me

I do not own this image

I do not own this image

It feels so good to be writing again. I have been itching to put up a new post but had been trying to stay at least somewhat focused on my finals and save this as a reward. I have just finished my third year of college and have time to reflect on what these three years have been like. The image above is a good summary. My highest highs and lowest lows in life up to date have been in college. I feel like my life has been a snowball downhill when I’m in school and I’ve been catching and juggling the obstacles that have been thrown my way. While some of them have knocked me down, I am so much stronger -both physically and mentally- than when I started college. This semester has been about picking up the pieces of lost love, and coming into myself. I have had a lot of anti-social moments and noticed that I like living alone. I discovered that I adore my cozy apartment, just in time for my lease to end.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, along with being a poet/writer I am a visual artist, working in 2D and 3D. I’ve worked in wood, metal, ceramics, paper-making, collage, and painting. I now have the chance to update my blog and add some visual components, along with the poems that I have been writing this past semester. Now that the semester is over I can look around and see all of the work that I have been making in school.

When I was younger one of my dad’s friends took a picture of me with the words “restless until the moment recognized”. However many years later I have been feeling restless and tired of being the shy, quiet girl. The quiet ones are the ones who notice and absorb their surroundings, and have the most secrets. There are so many different facets of myself that I want to share, and be appreciated for who I am. I am much more than the awkward, quirky girl or beautiful woman that people see. I now have the opportunity to share some of who I am with all of you.

image

The picture that I mentioned. What I did not know is that there is a poem that goes with it on the back:

Restless until the moment recognized

Restless until the moment recognized

I had almost forgotten about this picture, until I realized that’s how I’ve been feeling recently. I’m touched that my dad’s friend decided to write a poem for me out of the blue, and to this day it is still a mantra of mine.

Running out of arms

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After Rosie the Riveter, of course.

“Where is the divide between the people that you can tell your true emotions to, and the ones that you should say you are okay, even if you’re not?”

From an earlier post I wrote during a really miserable time. Expanding on this, I’ve realized that when people ask how I am I automatically tell them I’m good, or well, or okay. I have to catch myself and say “oh wait, actually I’m not good” when I’m having a bad day. It makes me wonder who are the people you tell you’re having a shitty day, and who you pretend you’re great to because you don’t want to seem like a downer. I feel like people aren’t expecting a real answer when they ask. But everyone has a bad day sometime..

I have a hard time speaking up for myself. I worry that if I speak up I will either offend someone or lose them as a friend. I’m really non-confrontational and try not to stir up dust unless I have to. Which occasionally results in me not speaking up until it’s too late. Part of it has to do with the fact that I’ve been in a lot of fights with people before -and at a time even welcomed it- that I try not to anymore. It also has to do with self-worth, but that’s a whole other discussion.

I often put people’s needs before my own and feel like I am juggling theirs and mine, which is where the “running out of arms” comes from. Sometimes the first person who gets dropped is myself, which I’m working on. Because the person who should come first is yourself. You are the one who will always be there to take care of you.

I’ve been faced with a lot of moments recently that have given me the opportunity to be assertive and stand up for myself. Currently I’m living in an apartment that’s lease is about to end, and tons of realtors have been passing through. They started showing it months ago, and it still hasn’t been rented. Some of the realtors do not show respect at all, since I live in a building filled with college kids and young adults. Just because we’re younger doesn’t mean we deserve less respect. I have been getting text messages from strangers for months, some of them asking my permission to show the apartment and others who tell me that they will be coming. I’ve been learning how to say no when someone asks me the day of, or tells me that they are coming at a time that does not work for me. But I find it appalling how little courtesy is shown to college students.

Yesterday as I was leaving my apartment I walked into a realtor who said he was about to show my apartment, but had stopped because of a note I had put on my door saying that they are not allowed to enter without my permission. I told him that he had not told me he was coming, and my apartment was a mess. He tried to do the “it will only take a minute” thing.. and I said no. Which is a step for me.

Writing this blog is really empowering. It gives me the opportunity to express my ideas, and is nice to be able to share them with people. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been writing poetry for ten years, and have always wanted to keep a blog, but had been too afraid to. I like having something that I am proud of, and do it for myself. As well as whoever is reading this. This semester I am in the worst poetry class I have ever had. The teacher forces us to free write and then read our work aloud, and in the middle of us reading she interrupts to say that something is “trite” or that we have to change a word or a line. It’s really embarrassing, and I do not agree with the way that she teaches. I call her the “dragon lady” for a reason, she’s kind of terrifying. Plus, she has not taught us different forms of poetry this whole semester other than to define them. I forgot to mention another important detail… My teacher hates rhyming and does not allow a single rhyme to be present in our poems…And most of my poems during the time I have been writing have rhymed in every line. When I found that out the first day of class I was a little intimidated, but I’ve been getting better at it. I know I’m becoming a better writer because of that challenge.

I have been in great micro-fiction and poetry classes before, where the environment was extremely comfortable and we offered to share our work, or were asked to share in a less forceful way. I really miss my little workshop groups where we bonded over helping each other improve our writing. Occasionally I feel like I’m one of my teacher’s least favorite students. Like when she told me to turn around and face a trash can in a corner. She laughed, thinking she was being funny and giving me a place to write with no distractions. It wasn’t funny.

I have had really bad crits before and have learned to glaze over and not get offended by people’s comments. My blog is a way to remind myself that I am proud of my writing, and my teacher is only one person’s opinion.

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Foggy mind

It’s been a while since I posted something.. Here’s a poem I wrote for my poetry class. 

2/20/14 

Foggy mind:

My mind’s so tired
I can’t hear over the roaring in my head 
Too many thoughts compete for my attention
And I don’t know where to start
I heard you have to forget
In order to make room
There’s a backlog in my head

With retorts I should have said
Continued conversations to be had
I’m going to be late again
I don’t want to see this person
Can’t I just stay here?
I want to go home
What homework do I have?
I’m so tired I need a break
I’ve got to feed the birds
Should I check my email?
I do not want to wait in the cold again
I can’t wait to do this art project
Why do I still miss him?

My dreams feel so realistic I’d rather stay there
Flying on fairy wings
Having freedom to go
A green eyed stranger beckons to me
People with colorful mohawks
Walking amongst large seahorses
And rubber duckies
A princess closet
Being at home

A man prowls firelit halls
I can always see his face
He smiles but I wake alone
It’s hard to separate the two some days
No amount of sleep can help me recharge
I feel sluggish either way.

Fault lines (amethyst geode)

This is the story of the amethyst geode, which lived in a corner for most of my life. Until it got dropped one day and cracked on its fault lines. Since then pieces have been given to people who are really close to my family and I. Image

3/6/14

Fault lines (amethyst geode):

You were always whole.
(Or rather, part of a whole)
I wonder who had the other half.
Was it discovered complete?
Or with fractured parts,
Never to have a twin.

Years passed by,
With the sunlight glittering on facets,
Making rainbows on the wall
A constant presence,
You sat in the corner defying gravity
Never budging,
Requiring at least four strong men
To move you,
Bending their backs under your weight.

A careless drop along fault lines
Broken under pressure
Scattering points across the sidewalk
Landing on either side of the doorway.
Left there for protection
Mother grieved at its loss.

It was a birth
Of daughters and sons,
Made mobile through a shedding of weight
To travel all over the world
In careful hands and bundled in suitcases
To share with only those who really matter.

Untitled #1

5/7/11

Untitled #1

Leather jacket and wet sidewalks,
Leaves lay motionless on the pavement,
Trampled under my echoing boots,
Trying not to slip,
Off the edge of exhaustion,
Not knowing what lays ahead
On this dark, drizzling path,
Picturing the face so far away from mine.
I wish I knew what to tell you (or say to you?),
To speak the right words,
Like I once did (or used to?),
But words left unsaid
Float above our heads,
Like clouds of air
With every breath we exhale.