Poetry Pt. 2

A collection of unrelated poems of mine:

to be perfect

i’ve always liked numbers, the way they add up perfectly

with only one answer, one solution. i used to wish all things were as perfectly

organized. i wished i were organized as perfectly,

wish i looked it, dressed it, acted it.

wished all my problems could be solved perfectly.

set equal to zero and isolate the x: a mechanical

procedure taught from a textbook. perfectly

scoring academic tests is easy enough

but answers in life don’t add up as perfectly.

people don’t work like 1, 2, 3, experiences aren’t

scored alphabetically, and i can’t live this perfectly,

because i am not.

i am not perfect or close to it. but i am perfectly –

imperfect.

summer rain 

i take her hand,

bare feet slipping on the soaken grass.

we watch the rain as it falls 

and speckles the pool surface.

“one, two, three”

interlaced fingers and shrieks of laughter 

as we fall with the raindrops.

two skinny bodies in polka dot underwear

crashing through the water.

together, we tilt our heads towards the clouds

and drink in the summer rain –

nothing has ever tasted so good.

untitled i

you kept me afloat for so long,

        when you drifted away

     i forgot how to swim.

untitled ii

i wonder if being

in love

will make me feel any less

incomplete.

untitled iii

i think it’s strange 

no one likes a caterpillar

but everyone likes a butterfly.

PC: https://media.istockphoto.com/id/89288958/photo/monarch-and-caterpillar-on-milkweed-plant.jpg?s=612×612&w=0&k=20&c=ID3GSnp161j8jHkye0GQhkOk1etXnlJktqOxsj-xhfw=

Beauty in my Backyard

I think humans have developed this extraordinary ability to ignore the minuscule. We go about our everyday lives without paying any attention to the little joys all around us.

Thoreau, the Transcendentalist philosopher we are studying in English class, spent a great length of time at Walden Pond. He took up residence in a ramshackle house which he refused to upkeep and lived the most simple of lives out in the wilderness. Though I do not believe myself capable of his feat (I would grow lonely within a week), I admire his efforts to console nature for advice.

The other day, I was laying in a hammock when I spotted so many tiny insects in the soil around me. Within a two-foot radius, I saw green bugs crawling up blades of grass, ladybugs munching on leaves, and a huge number of ants scurrying over the dirt. It was beautiful. I guess I had never before considered how much life there was in my back garden.

They are always here – the little sources of beauty – whether they come from nature or another. We are just so used to turning a blind eye and a deaf ear. We have let ourselves become distracted by materialism, work, or responsibility so that we overlook one of the best parts of life: the details. I want to open my eyes and ears again and appreciate every last grain of sand, a speck of dust, snowflake, and ladybug.

PC: https://i.pinimg.com/564x/2d/aa/a2/2daaa2750cff5a221f82650a0505cc0d.jpg

scraping

There is one word to describe the feeling that I’ve had all day. Scraping. my soul has been aching to claw its way out of me. I know what it wants, it wants to rip my chest open and thrust its way through the bars. My mind is filled with serrated lines shooting across the interior of my skull. I shake because I am so trapped in here. When I look in the mirror I can feel my eyes fall back into my head as they drown in the screams that shatter throughout my brain. I can not see myself. Why can’t I see myself? No matter how hard I glare at myself in the reflection I’ve trained to stay still, I can see my face morph and melt into the person I try so desperately to hide. I like to imagine my hands pulling my face as they slide across my skin, dissolving the only thing that is truly there with me at the end of each night. My skin tingles all the time, it radiates through me like small bursts of electricity stopping the beat of my heart with each one. It was supposed to be easy, “crying doesn’t make things better” I was trained for this. I was trained for this straight face and beautiful smile. Why can’t I see myself? “No one will feel sorry for you with that look on your face” I’m sorry, the tears burn their way through the gloss that shields my emotionless face. They leave scars you know, the tears, they ruin the smile. I was taught to cry only in front of a mirror, that way I can watch them disintegrate my complexion, I force myself to watch as I express the most basic human emotion and torture myself at the very same time. This is how I was taught to feel so excruciatingly uncomfortable in my very own skin.

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pc: me

NOW

Honestly, I don’t know if I like Charles Bukowski but I love his work. I first discovered his poetry a year ago and I was just smitten with his spot-on/blunt observations of life. It’s funny though because he has this ‘don’t try too hard kind of attitude that I really don’t empathize with and he’s also kind of gross and offensive, yet I’m totally enamored with his humor and wit.

I can’t tell you what my ‘favorite’ poem by him is, because that changes all the time. They’re consistently clever and I could read his work all day. I thought of his poem “NOW” though, while I was thinking of what to even write today.

NOW

I sit here on the 2nd floor

hunched over in yellow

pajamas

still pretending to be

a writer.

some damned gall,

at 71,

my brain cells eaten

away by

life.

rows of books

behind me,

I scratch my thinning

hair

and search for the

word.

Obviously, this is about writer’s block, and yeah that just resonated with me while I was thinking of what to even write this afternoon.

If you want to laugh, I recommend his poem “Flophouse”, if you want to be inspired, I recommend “Roll the Dice” or “How is your Heart”, and if you want to think, I would read “The Genius of the Crowd” or “Dinosauria, We.” Also, all the poems he wrote about his cats are fantastic.

PC: https://www.thegreatcat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Bukowski-and-Black-Cat.jpg

Poetry Pt. I

So far, these past couple of weeks, I’ve been publishing very surface-level (and frankly, boring) writing. One day, I wrote a poem with the intent of posting it, but quickly decided against the idea. There is something so raw, and so vulnerable about poetry, that to share a piece can be both a creative outlet and an absolutely terrifying experience. But no one really reads these anyways, so I might as well.

PC: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/96/5a/32/965a32cd4f0928ec10f3fa4847730893.jpg

TW: Eating disorder/self-harm. A couple years ago, my best friend was suffering from a severe eating disorder and almost died. This was the inspiration for a poem:

the bathroom mirror speaks

It tells her she is a slut, to “cover-up.”

or she is a prude, to “show more skin.”

It tells her, with makeup, she’s “trying too hard,”

or without, she should “make an effort.”

It tells her she is too big, too curvy, too small, too flat

– she is too much, not enough

It tells her lies and truth

and truth and lies

until she cannot tell one from the other.

instead of math homework, she’s adding up calories,

instead of breakfast, she’s chewing on the cuticles of her thumbnails,

instead of sleeping, her bedroom is a 24-hour gym,

instead of showering, she’s drying her tears,

instead of living, she just is.

the sight of her reflection in the mirror is enough to make her shatter

and when the voices overwhelm her own,

she drapes a cloth over the frame, gagging their words.

but It claws and crawls its way out from the glass

slithers into her ears and slides down her throat,

spilling into the cavity of her diaphragm.

now the words on the bathroom mirror are her own.

who decided her skin was a sin?

who indicted her bones a cage?

who determined her flesh as a source of release?

you. 

you taught the bathroom mirror to speak.

More Waves

I probably had one of my rawest encounters with the ocean on the Santa Cruz trip. On Thursday the group hiked to Smugglers cove (Liam and I ran), this large round bay faces south, unlike Scorpion Ranch which faces northeast where we spend most of the trip. What’s important is not the bay itself but that hundreds of miles south of the bay a hurricane was(still is) active off of Baja. Hurricanes and storms such as this one generate 90% of swells worldwide, and this storm is no exception. For days large lumps of water have traveled hundreds of miles along the coast bringing warm water and very good waves to Mexico and California. The swell and bay direction created a very interesting experience in the water. Large closeout walls slammed into shores in sets of 4 to 5 waves with faces that peaked (to my best guess) at 7 or 8 feet. Liam, Zimo, and I got the opportunity to swim out into these waves ducking and swimming under them and even catching the smaller ones with our bodies, or the boogie board in Liam’s case. This experience is easily one of the coolest I’ve had in the water because of the lack of wind and large swell, the waves were perfectly clean giants and they were absolutely gorgeous. Each set was a new masterpiece of nature and each wave defined the ocean’s beauty. I love waves.

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pc: Pierre Dasen