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.

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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=

Reading Journal on Dr. Faustus i was kinda proud of

Beginning in the 1500s when Dr. Faustus was written and spanning to the modern era, the human race has pushed the boundaries of what is natural and tried to become gods. We invented the astrolabe, conquered the seven seas, built nations on the destruction of entire peoples, and constructed skyscrapers which seem to defy every idea of what is possible. Our health has improved, we’ve made life convenient beyond belief, but despite all this achievement we, like Marlowe’s arrogant celebutante “yet art thou still but Faustus, and a man.” 

For the past few hundred years mankind has become increasingly involved with the same internal struggle as Faustus. Each new level of knowledge we acquire we become more careless and ignorant. Everytime some new process or physic principle is discovered we slip deeper into the Faustian bargain we call progress. This rat race for discovery becomes paired with this nonsensical notion that we are the only important thing on the planet and that we deserve everything which we can fathom and more. This is the mindset which sent Faustus to eternal damnation, and this is the mindset which plagues the modern world. Regardless of all the power we may accumulate over the natural world we still are humans, flawed forever by stagnant ideas and held to earth by the unrelenting and unstoppable march towards death. 

 As private school educated students from generally wealthy families, fiscally or situationally, it is easy for us to fall into the Faustian mindset. I’ve been at fault of this, my friends, my family, and classmates––all at some point have looked at the world and thought “I deserve more”. This mindset ruins the last humanity which wisps gently between us, we become stale, ignorant, and spoiled, unable to understand that there are other people around, and even more so, other things. We all too easily divulge in the trap that we can do what we want to the world without consequence. 

Just as Faustus enjoyed his twenty four years of power which ended in a no bit unexpected end, mankind is still enjoying its twenty four years marching towards an end we can all see and yet choose to believe is not real. Like Faustus, humans are just people who happen to be in situations of extraordinary power. 

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I finally understood.

A few weeks ago I wrote about what it was like to have a crush. It inspired me to write about my perception of a broken heart. I think that the feeling of a heart breaking is different for every single person, simply because we all have different hearts. They are filled with different people and different places, some half full and some to the brim. In my eyes, no heart is the same. A heart can be broken by a girl, a boy, a mother, or a father. Anyone can take it and squeeze it until it cracks. I can not learn a lesson, the same thing will happen to me over and over and each time I let myself think that this time will be different. It never is. The first time I think my heart broke was when I was in seventh grade. When I was young, I was very close with my dad, and I spent a lot of time with him. When I turned 13, I had already begun to struggle with depression. It ran in my family and my dad had it bad. When I was growing I would try to talk to him and sometimes it felt like I was talking to a body without a soul. I never understood why I wasn’t enough to keep him afloat, why I wasn’t enough to chain his soul to his body. My days started to slow and I began to feel the separation between my skin and my spark, and slowly, I felt it float away. I finally understood why it was so hard to laugh. Nothing was funny. And I understood why he couldn’t say I love you, Because he couldn’t even love himself. I stopped trying and he started to get better. He would ask me how my day was and I couldn’t remember. So I said nothing. I watched as my dad formed that same hopeless look in his eye, as he watched my soul melt out of the bottoms of my feet. My dad sometimes says things he doesn’t mean but that doesn’t make them sound any less real. A few weeks ago he explained to me that it was tiring watching me get like this. “I don’t want to be your dad anymore.” He took it back. But I would have rather been slapped in the face. That’s okay. I know he tried for a long time and for a lot of that time, I wasn’t there. My mind was always elsewhere, drifting through the sharpness of the sea that he used to throw me into. I like to take myself to those places. Where I remember sitting on my dad’s shoulders or holding his hand while I got off the ski lift. I get sad because I don’t want there to be a brick wall between my mind and his the last year and a half that I live in this house. I don’t know how to try to fix what we broke. Sometimes we sit in a room with a stranger as she tells us what we do wrong and how we can “communicate” in a healthier way. I watch him look out the window and think about a million other things. I won’t play the victim, even if I sometimes catch myself wondering what 10-year-old me could have done better. It’s not his fault and I know that. But it broke my heart to watch as the conversations grew shorter and his door opened less. It broke my heart to start hearing my name instead of honey. It broke my heart to not see him on the field at my soccer games. It broke my heart to watch him cry about his dad and the lack of love he received. I love you, dad. But after all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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the beauty in an off day

Today, I am having an off day. I know it when I wake up because I start my day with a sigh rather than a smile. I don’t bother to make myself feel good by putting on some mascara and emphasizing the pink on my cheeks, I let my eye bags express the weight falling on my head. I put on my Uggs, and I always wear Uggs on my off days. they remind me of my childhood and the ability to cheer myself up simply by the embrace of my mother. It takes more now, a walk or a bath won’t fix it. It sits deep within the structure of my body. It sheathes across all of my nerve endings, running through every square inch of me. It is not sad, nor is it happy, it just is. The feeling of simply not feeling it strangely comforting to me. It is not dark or sad, it is normal. It is okay to sit and let your mind drift into space. It is okay to sit on the floor of the shower and let the water trickle down your face and across your lips. It is okay to put on a show and not pay attention. It is okay to go for a walk and find yourself sitting on the icy pavement within 5 minutes. It’s okay to keep your headphones in all day and let your world be surrounded by something that you chose. I don’t know who needs to hear it, but it is okay. I often forget that this is not being lazy, unmotivated, or worthless. It is normal. Everyone has days where the air seems a little thicker and the light feels a little dim. Whether you choose to admit it or not is a choice, I do, because I want people to know that despite my sarcastic sense of humor and plastered smile, I too have off days. It’s really hard to see the bright side sometimes because maybe there just isn’t one. I mean sure, someone always has it worse, and hey, at least I’m alive. Believe me, I’m grateful, but for the love of god let me feel something. Anything.

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go outside and try to feel something.

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.

Writer’s block

I am experiencing major writer’s block. This entire week I open my computer once or twice a day and try to think of something to write about. My mind feels completely and utterly blank. Then I realized that my mind has been blank for the entire week. I know this just makes me seem stupid. Hell, it makes me feel stupid. Sometimes I have the mindset that I can’t write something unless it’s “interesting” but then I go on to wonder what interesting really implies. Is it interesting to just be depressed, angry, or fill your life with gossip? It often starts to seem that way. I won’t pretend to be an angel as if I don’t get involved, I just hate when that starts to be the things I find interesting. The more I let myself get roped into all this shit the more I get sad. It’s all a cycle, you get sad because you get roped in and you get roped in because you have nothing else to think about. Then I realized what even is writer’s block? The idea of free writing is the ability to write whatever is on your mind. So I guess that’s what I’m doing. What I’m trying to say is that, more often than not, the things that happen in my life would not be viewed as interesting. But maybe that makes it easier to write about.

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pc: me