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Category Archives: Writings

What’s the Prognosis, Doctor?

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April is drawing to a close and May is just around the riverbend. Which means today was a No Man’s Land kind of day. You know – when you’ve got work that you could or really should work on now, but isn’t due for a week or two, class that ended early, and almost an entire a day ahead of you to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. Well, it at least applies to me.

I was let out early from both of my classes today, so I had more time on my hands than I’m used to. I went to a Thai restaurant called Isle on Bleecker St with my friend Nicole, and by the time I got back to my room, was so worn out that I took a nap. The downside to all of this good weather (and there is one), is that I have suddenly acquired the buds of an illness. Put simply: I feel sick. Sore throat, hot-headed, and tired. I think it’s allergies. Okay, I’m praying it’s all because of allergies. I don’t need strep throat, or to be one of the rare cases of people who gets mono twice. It’s almost finals time! [On a side note: Yahoo answers is probably not the best source for information regarding medical treatment. ] Which also reminds me, why isn’t Doogie Howser, M.D. on Netflix? I could use some inspirational end of day journaling by a young NPH.

I couldn’t find any good clips of the actual show, but here’s NPH spoofing his role as Doogie on “How I Met Your Mother.”

Anyways, here’s another poem I wrote. It’s a lighter, cuter poem. I think it’s my favorite, but I say that only because I haven’t written another I love as much yet.

“Boundaries”

Let’s draw up a line of
Demarcation. Divided, we own
everything.
 
You own the bookshelves,
the TV, the closet space.
I take the desks, the chairs,
the posters. 
 
You can have the shoes, but the soles are mine.
The pens and pencils – they are yours,
as I will pocket the computer keys.
 
I call the pillows, and you the sheets.
The books are mine, but the words
are for your eyes only. 
 
I want the lamps, but you won’t let me
have them.
 
You see,
you are light enough to keep me
from crying out in fright at night,
when I remember that monsters
hide underneath our bed.

April Showers.

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Owing to the fact that April is unleashing a fury of tears outside right now, I thought I’d post some poetry about water. Because I can. And because it’s still poetry month.

Hopefully, you’ll take today’s crappy conditions as an excuse to watch a bunch of silly comedies, cheesy romances, or awesome action flicks. Rainy days are meant for movie marathons.
So here you go.

Water, in four parts:

Broken notes on red rubber soles


1 “Notes”

Drip drip drips drop

in pitter patter patterns

on the head of my

umbrella and jar

with chords that

sing from the church

on 10th street.

I can hear the

beat beat beat of

drizzle

spitting disjointedly

on its flimsy black sin,

attached to little metal arms

that unite in my firm fist.

I twirl it like a parasol despite

fast, fuming winds;

slanted mist makes

a mess of my carefully applied

makeup.

By the time

that I reach campus,

I am saturated,

a creature from the sea.

2 “Red”

I could’ve invested in rain boots

that would slosh slosh boisterously

as I tread across lacquer black puddles

that lie like veiled oceans

on the streets I walk to class.

And if webbed feet would

suffice for fire-engine brick bright

rubber, size 10 wide,

I’d rub my toes with glue.

3 “Rubber Souls”

I don’t see fish,

but trash, silky oil,

and myself – a face distorted-

but I am saved before I

sink any deeper because

my soles have been baptized.

4 “Broken”

It’s a wave that builds and builds and builds on itself,

growing and climbing heights no man can touch

with his fingertips, even when stretching on tippy-toes.

Every man feels it, has felt it at one point in his

life. And when it breaks, there’s nothing worse

than knowing

you’ve lost control of the sea.

Rhyme Time.

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I promised poetry, and so without further ado – it is yours for consumption. My professor was teaching us about rhyming assonants and consonants, and read us some examples for clarification before turning the torch to us (Assonance rhyming is when you rhyme words that contain the same vowel sounds, or rather, contain the same vowel in the word; consonance rhyming is the same, but with the same letters and different vowels – so, in a sense, like alliteration). We had 7 minutes to write whatever came to mind – assonance wise – and this is what I  produced. Makes no sense, really. But sometimes that makes it interesting.

Occasional opportunity
orders orange conversation
How about now, young soldier
come closer
hold out on opulent  sorrow
born from narrow organs
one world over done
cover constant chorus of corduroy
hopes corner colors collect
octagonal  innovation
ordinary offerings
of corpulent tongue posture.

So our assignment was to write a bunch more assonance/consonance rhymes and take words or phrases that really stood out and said something pretty – and compose a poem with them. The point was to find internal rhyme, rather than external. I took a few from above, but my main inspiration often comes when I walk back from campus or just down any sidewalk. When this happens I usually have nothing to write with, so I just note them down in my phone for good measure. I ended up doing a combination of both assonants and consonants. This is probably my second favorite poem.

“In the Family”

Sister Jane is justly dubious
She ruffles your hair, sings
“Hold tight, brutal brother.”
You curl into the crook of her arm;
comfort comes cautiously.

Your mother’s royal moans
distract father from farming.
He enters the kitchen, sees her
weeping. Narrow organs that own
opulent sorrow. He could comfort
her tomorrow. For now,
father lets her be.

Brother collects conversations
that seep from cracks in wooden walls.
Father isn’t who he appears to be.
Cavernous swears quell quiet pleas,
Mother just wants father to leave.

“Don’t cry, dear sister,”
you whisper. Her brutal baby brother.
Sister Jane smiles with sorry eyes.
Colors collect as pools of wet
on her rose cheeks.
You trace your fingers over
her tears.

Two able bodies born from botched relations.
Come morning, you still have each other. 


Now back to home-working. I hope your day has been swell, reader – whoever you may be.

Soot and Smurfs.

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Here’s another poem I wrote a while back for class. My professor thinks it’s very “Blake-like.” You can decide for yourself:

“Height”

Would you like to hear the story about a girl who tried to fly?
She decided she would take some clay and climbed up to her roof.
She envied not the birds, but others with wings that kept them high
The girl thought she would make it when she leapt up to the sky.

Time moved too slowly while her thoughts moved too fast.
She beat hard those heavy arms that were never meant to last.

Her mother found the little girl, after having heard her yell.
The clay had shattered all around, broken pieces everywhere.
The sun had been too hot that day, but that’s not why she fell.
The little girl managed to take flight, reaching heaven but not hell.

 

I can see why she might think that. I find that my poems often have a moral attached to them, or tell a story. Maybe it’s because of all the Aesop’s fables or Grimm’s fairy tales that I read when I was younger.

I like “The Chimney-Sweeper”, by William Blake.

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry “Weep! weep! weep! weep!”
So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep.

There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,
That curled like a lamb’s back, was shaved; so I said,
“Hush, Tom! never mind it, for, when your head’s bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.”

And so he was quiet, and that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping, he had such a sight! —
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black.

And by came an angel, who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins, and let them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing, they run,
And wash in a river, and shine in the sun.

Then naked and white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind;
And the Angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy,
He’d have God for his father, and never want joy.

And so Tom awoke, and we rose in the dark,
And got with our bags and our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm:
So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

Mind you, it’s not a very happy poem. Blake presents images of a depressive nature within the common rhyme scheme of aabb – death, orphaned children, labor – contrasted with images of renewal and resurrection – angel, innocence, freedom, etc – which are all relevant conditions and themes for the time period that he wrote this (England, late 1700s). I find it both interesting and clever how poets such as Blake can write about such dark matter using a form that most people associate with nursery rhymes.

As for me, I sometimes find poetry that rhymes somewhat difficult to like. Parts of me find it cheesy, while I simultaneously wish I could write just as well. I guess I’m more of a fan of internal rhyme than external.

 

On another note: We watched a video claiming that the ’80s television show, The Smurfs, was overwrought with themes of communism. Papa Smurf : Karl Marx. What? Yes, apparently. What I learned: I know way too much about this show – more than my TA who evidently used to watch it – because she was surprised to learn why Smurfette was the only female character of non-smurf origin present in the town of blue men (she was created by the evil wizard Gargamel). Of course I filled her in. Why do I know so much about this stuff?

Lucky Number Nine.

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More poetry today.

This form is modeled after the poem “Meatloaf” by Donald Hall. Check it out sometime.

I like it because it’s almost like writing in free verse; you can say anything really. And it sounds conversational. But there are nine stanzas with nine lines, and each line has nine syllables. I used to dislike writing poetry in a prescribed form – especially when rhyming is involved – but I have come to appreciate that. It’s almost like coloring inside the lines. The guidelines definitely help me when I can’t think of what to write, or where the poem is going to go.

But there are occasions when I do like to stray from the beaten path.

Soul Searching

1.

Sometimes walking the streets of New York,

the days as metal as the buildings

I keep my head lowered as I stroll

the grey concrete roads of my city –

not on purpose, although sometimes I

feel its easier to face the world

in which my shadow always moves first

as the wind turns my cold cheeks to ice

and I wonder as I watch my feet

2.

if the paths I chose will lead me right.

I once dreamed of being an actress,

and though it sometimes haunts me when I

watch the glass that mocks without mercy

and the voices that tell me to buy

buy, buy! I can’t hear my thoughts again.

Rage, rage but I will not go gently

for the light that shines upon my face

as I lift my head up to the sky

3.

and breathe in deeply despite the cold

and raise my timid gaze to strangers

watching me, judging me like they know –

but no they don’t see everything, not

the girl who waits to break from inside.

And I blush but say nothing at all

while my eyes may give my soul away

my smile is linear, loyal

on those days I don’t feel anything.

4.

I once wanted to save animals

soft and furry bunnies, kittens with

big eyes and puppies who chased their tales.

But if they had sad tales of their own

my heart could not bear to hear it, no

I would rather be immortal

like the gods of Greek mythology

but then they are just as imperfect

as us humans who hide our faces.

5.

Our shadows, they are faceless, but not

formless. If you try to find her eyes

you would fall forward, grow closer to

uncertainty, unless you are sure

of where you stand. Is it on two feet?

What has four legs at dawn, two at noon,

and three legs in the evening, man

I need some more direction. I fear

growing up but not alone because

6.

we are never alone, just look out,

not in. The early bird catches worms

and if I was a bird I would too.

But the heat of the sun melts my wings.

I fall back into reality

tasting more than the red blood on my

pink lips, the ripe fruits of the lush trees

that have to be shipped some place else

because here my city tends to grow

7.

paper, smoke, and a high work ethic.

Entrepreneurs can have their field day

here. Tourists too, with their cameras.

Smile at this statue, or this bridge,

shadows on the streets blend into each

other, no can tell who is who

until you stop, look at a map, ask

a stranger for directions I look

up when you ask, raise my face to meet

8.

yours. It takes me a second but I

pause my Ipod, wondering which way

you are going, if our paths will

cross again. But I doubt it, you see

we are strangers, alone together

but lonely? It is hard to tell when

your sunglasses hide your eyes from mine

So I look back down once you leave me,

My thoughts grow so loud again, I feel

9.

Time pass, the chill air that means winter

but hints at the coming of spring and

then I smile despite myself I

know that I am home, there is nowhere

I would rather love and learn and live.

Local bars and speeding cars that honk

despite the two hundred-dollar fine.

My world is never quiet or calm.

I keep walking until my feet hurt.

 

 

 

What’s in a Sonnet?

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Hello all!

I’m going to save you readers any nagging about the lack of things I’ve done today and surplus of work I still have to do by posting some poetry instead. Okay? Awesome.

For my creative writing class, we were told to write two sonnets, using 5 lines that someone else wrote and had passed on to the person on their right. They could be anything, full sentences or not. The lines I received were :

and led you without consent into the dark
of roses wafting from each bloom.
Bittersweet shapes of round deliciousness
Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness
into the closed air of the slow

Here’s what I wrote for my sonnet, Shakespearean style.

1.

Some say thy fault is youth, some wantonness
You were prompted, nay, tempted by a certain vision –
Bittersweet shapes of round deliciousness
and by doing so, made you regret your decision.
He saw, despite how you tried hard to conceal
guilt painted black on your naked bodies, raged,
would not, could not, believe you refused to reveal
yourselves. He turned his back and how you aged,
and led you without consent into the dark
of night, into the closed air of the slow
realization He would not be there to help mark
the way. Now you cut your feet on rocks below.
Silent tears. And the rain that falls upon your tomb,
mixes with the scent of roses wafting from each bloom.

Next, we were told to write another sonnet, using the 5 lines we originally wrote before passing them on. Mine were :

my breath caught in my throat.
and… how he ran tirelessly with
parted, mountain and valley
The clock’s right hand stopped on 8:12
let die the glimmer of hope, she

And now for the final product:

2.

The clock’s right hand stopped on 8:12, I swear
when I saw him my breath caught in my throat.
Of all the minutes of an hour to see him standing there.
A river of opaque moments past, I am without a boat.
He once let die the glimmer of hope, she holds on to his hand,
lips parted slightly, their interlocking fingers now do
mock me. I stand alone but I cannot stand
to remember and… how he ran tirelessly with blue
shoes in summer grass to meet me, when we had the world
to ourselves. We had no concerns, no obligations to fulfill.
My heart, with him, parted, mountain and valley unfurled
between us. I gave more than I got. I think of him still.
I look my last and breathe again, wonder if I should’ve let him know.
My dress is tight in certain places; I’m trying not to let it show.

 

The last part of the assignment was to reorder the lines so that they don’t look, sound or even feel like a sonnet. That’s where my professor and I differed in the definition of a sonnet in class. She appreciated my opinions, but I don’t know if that’s what she really wanted to hear.

Anyways, they’re here for your enjoyment now. Go listen to some Peter Bjorn & John if it so moves you.

Have a great day!

 

All Delighted People.

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So I’m writing a short story about dinosaurs. YEAH! Actually, it’s about one dinosaur – a stegosaurus (because that’s my favorite one) and the boy who finds it hiding in the back of his woods one day. He tells his family, but they don’t believe him. So he decides to return to the woods from whence it came (yeah) and tame it – or something like that. That’s where I’m at so far. I guess I’m going for a dragon taming movie/story plotline, but with a dino instead. So it might come across as cheesy, but I’m trying not to let it get to that. Unless cheesy is the only way a tale about a dinosaur can be written. Let’s hope not.

I’ve got a few other stories up my hypothetical sleeves (I say this because I’m wearing a t-shirt, so does it still count?). Nothing concrete though, just loose ends and random pieces. Sometimes it’s easy, because the story will just flow naturally; other times, I find myself writing a new story in the same voice. Which isn’t very good, especially if I’m looking for variety. I don’t want to write the same story twice. Or write someone else’s for that matter.

Anyways, I’m rambling. All this talk about writing must not sound very exciting. So I’ll move on.

This morning, I met up with some friends from home at a little breakfast nook in my town called Sunny-Side Up. It’s pretty cute, and definitely one of our favorite places to share stories over pancakes and coffee. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed them all – Emma, Dan, Kat, Shelby, Nick, Erin, Allie, and James – until we started cracking jokes and telling each other about our semesters at school. It’s so good to see their friendly faces again. It also made me realize how much I’ve changed over the past semester, and year (I actually haven’t seen any of them in a year, since I stayed in NYC during the summer). I know how easy it can be to hide in the corner with nothing to say and just listen to them all speak, because that’s the sort of person I used to be; but I’ve noticed major differences: I’ve definitely become more confident and at ease in my skin, after only a few days back in CT. And I like the change.

I’m aching for another chance to hang out with them all, since it gives me a reason not to stay cooped up in the house all day long. It’s getting to me, already. I’m missing my independence like woah.

There’s little else for me to say right now, except that I’m heading off to listen to “Impossible Soul” without interruption – or will at least try to. Oh man. Sufjan Stevens was just SO GOOD in concert. I took some pictures on my phone, but they’re terrible quality. It’s okay though, I’m reliving it in my mind right now. I love when he sings the verse of “Stupid man, in the window, I couldn’t be at rest”, even if it’s auto-tuned. It’s too cool. OH. And then All Delighted People! Spend the rest of the night listening to Sufjan? Oh yeah, there’s no question. Challenge accepted.