sadness is so strange, but as i grow older, i’m beginning to realize that we need it. happiness is important, of course it is, but i need my negative quiet days just as much as i need my optimistic days. i’m sad a lot of the time, actually, and i’m beginning to be okay with that. it’s who i am at this point in my life and i know and am so sure that it’s only temporary. sadness of distance, yes, a very real thing. sadness of loss. sadness of knowing your parents are sad. or your grandmother. nephews and sisters and brothers. sadness of still being hungry when your mother clears the table of dishes. sadness of sunday evenings and daylight savings. sadness of the end of summer. sadness of grieving, which is sadness squared. sadness of goodbye. sadness of apology. sadness of pinch and pull and tired. sadness because sometimes there is nothing else and that’s okay. sadness because the promise of happiness. sadness because it is important to be sad and to let sadness be a part of you.
I have a new poem up at The New Old Stock along with an audio clip of me reading said poem. While you’re there, browse around and submit some work. They’re doing really, really great things with the written word. Plus, Aaron’s pretty chill. Go, go, go!
I’m thinking about this a lot, and I’m also thinking that you’re going to be okay. I promise.
We try to love what cannot be tamed. Wild horses,
clear vodka in shapely bottles, angry men and the things
they carry. We have done what we could. They say
anything they can to justify leaving. That we are
always sad. That we have let our hearts burn out
for lesser things than them. They accuse us of being
too sad to love. We’re not sure where we’ve learned
this, to want the things we know we can’t have.
We put on a dress, any dress. Lick our black lips,
pin up our hair. We have learned to kiss boys
with our tongues in the dark. They say after,
there is fire in our breath when we sleep. Chances are,
we are all the same, riding high on velvet blue nights.
Our weaknesses have names and phone numbers,
addresses we can send anonymous letters to,
detailing our escape. We are praying for sixteen again,
for tulle and prom dresses and clear skin and boys
who still have to ask to hold our hands. They say
they can find us by our cheekbones, that they are
small, miraculous sources of light. We’re doomed
without our mothers. Sometimes we’re safe
but usually we’re not. The crime scene tape
should have been your first clue.
I want to love, but my hair smells of war and running and running.
The title of the work is identical to a series of photographs by Huseyin shot in Odessa, showing curtains blowing in the wind. These images inspired an installation of hardened lace curtains, frozen in time and space. The work refers to the gesture of opening the windows to set free the soul of the deceased, as well as the idea of a spirit present in a room, mysteriously lifting the curtains to reveal its presence.
Gabriel Lester,Melancholia in Arcadia (2011)
All rights are reserved. Photography by Peter Cox.
Rabo Art Collection
He starts it off, as they always do, by saying,
“I still want to be friends” but I am already
on the next subway, the next taxi, the next whatever.
I am thinking about dinner that night, or the next night:
Angus beef, sauteed chicken, mahi mahi fish tacos.
I am thinking about the coffee pot and runner’s knee
and how much money I have in my savings. I am
thinking about hypothermia and missing bodies;
all the knives in my bed. I am thinking about how
the very word promise sounds more like an undoing.
I am thinking about the easiness of mouths.
How they open. How they give so much but also
about how they take away the things our minds
have committed to that permanent place of the brain,
where memories continue to rattle around long after
we’ve stopped shaking. I am thinking about how
he has turned me into a lake and I’ve never learned
how to swim. I am thinking about how I now have to
unlearn all of his secrets. Become a tourist to his body
again, blink against the hurt. I am thinking about
expensive hair cuts and retail therapy, dressing room
girls who are used to outlandish requests from customers.
I am thinking that this isn’t a dress my mother
would approve of, but honey, I look so good in red.
Yesterday in my speech communications class, my professor was talking about friendships and all the different roles we step into for our friends and all the roles they step into for us. I’m always tweeting and posting on here about how important friendships are and how you should never ever take them for granted and I just wanted to reiterate that again. Maybe it’s because, as some of you know, my absolute best friend is going to school in another city and I miss him hourly, and I think about him a lot and I just related everything she was saying back to our friendship, but I wish I could have recorded everything my professor said because I found myself nodding my head and smiling and just agreeing with everything she was talking about (I mean, honestly, she’s brilliant).
But specifically what stayed with me was when she was speaking about how we parent our friends. Not that we boss them around, exactly, but because we want them to stay healthy and active and be around for a long, long time, we tell them what to do, a lot. So gently gently gently remind your friends to eat, to drink plenty of water, to take their medications and go outside for fresh air. Remind them that you love them and that even if you don’t always agree with their decisions, you’ll always be there for them. Be patient and understanding but don’t be afraid to argue with them. Stand up for yourself, stand up for them.
My professor said, “I need you to live for me.” And we do. We need our friends to live for us, selfish as that is. We need them. We can’t survive without them. Take care of each other, y’all. Take care of yourselves.
apples, leaves, cinnamon, sandalwood, jasmine, a candle my best friend got me to burn when I really miss him + said best friend’s cologne, mint, roses, the entire fall candle collection at bath and body works, coconut, clean sheets, my grandmother’s hands, melting chocolate, new books and my current perfume.
We are all really stoked about this event!
We will be reading round-robin style, all of us will have books there that wouldn’t mind going home with you. ;) It should be a blast!
October 18th at 6pm @ A Poet Art Gallery, 4032 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
(Check out some of us here on Tumblr: alonesomes, brandonspeck, fly-underground, amanda-oaks + fleurishes!)
We hope to see, bring your poems for the open mic!
Peeing my pants because this is a real thing that’s REALLY happening!
is not pretty
but I don’t care
Set the dumpster
on fire. Break
Don’t kiss me
like they do
in the movies.
like they do
on the emergency
Now it’s getting to the point where I see a bench or a parking garage or Christ, a garbage can we passed by once and I am so overwhelmed by missing you that it goes all the way right down to my knees and I don’t want any part of it. When I’m singing I’m singing to you as loudly as I can in my head. Strangers come up to me and check my forehead, under my tongue for signs of a fever. I can’t go anywhere and make the mistake of thinking it’s safe. We said love and pinky swore over Italian ices, colored juice running thick down our chins. Parking lot a shimmering mirage beneath our carefully linked hands.