Yet Another Poem

I’ve tripped and skinned my knees

Take the pain and pull it lengthwise

Never lose my sight, never stop and freeze

Keep tugging at the stinging skin

Stretch it out, stretch it paper thin

Can’t see the forest for the trees

I tried to clean the lenses of my glasses

But I got distracted by the slight breeze, felt the

Ice cubes in my palms

Press the edges along slender fingers

In hopes that it might melt the words that have been sitting in my mouth

Hold it still against lips that are already blue

Bite and clench the jaw, shatter molars

Crack my teeth into pieces

The wave is nauseating and I swallow every crest

The tide writhes like a sea of snakes

I feel in my stomach the baby birds that left the nest

I contain multitudes

I contain galaxies

I contain glaciers

The reality of how I live in the middle of a thousand different places that I will never fully explore heaves in my chest

Filled with restless energy

It’s made a home where it wasn’t even welcome as a guest

The fact that I cannot sit and relax for a while on every park bench, every shorline

Takes shape and oozes through the gaps in my rib cage

It is not violent or painful or explosive or fast

It is slow, it is seething rage

It is the relentless onslaught of falling snow

It’s not knowing how fast or how far you’ll go

It’s turning the page before you’ve absorbed the author’s message

All that’s certain is the knowledge that every day you’re fading a bit more

Losing daylight, blood, sleep, and hope

I can only sit and claw at my bones

Scratch designs into the calcium

Crush each individual vertebrae in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure

It’s the moment when your whole body crawls into your throat

Right before you empty the contents of your stomach all over the floor

It’s pressure, hot and thick and suffocating

And it’s being able to breathe all right and not knowing why you’re screaming at yourself to pull the fire alarm when you can feel the flames all around you but there’s no smoke and everyone looks like they’re doing just fine

 

I don’t know what’s wrong

I can’t fix what I don’t know

I can’t play detective when I’m spending all my time looking over my shoulder

If people hate me then why is my heart so full of love,

And my stomach so heavy with all the glasses of water I’ve had just to keep my mouth from asking for help?

It’s a fragment

It’s a series of fragments

It’s asking yourself why the fuck you left the fan on once again and can’t you just do something right for once and –

Stop.

It’s eating vague apologies for breakfast so you won’t slap your friends with another meek “I’m sorry”

What did I do?

What didn’t I do?

I pour more milk in the bowl and crunch the words until I can’t think anymore

It’s tight muscles

Rearranging your life a hundred times just to plan for the exit of people who swore they’d done this before and you’re not a burden and can’t you just calm down for once in a goddamn blue moon, actually, now that you mention it I can’t quite make it downtown just to rescue you, I swear to god I can’t take it any longer, get a grip, don’t make me responsible, I can’t I tried I searched far and wide for my last scrap of patience deep inside but we both know it’s true that it’s best for me and for you if I just take a vacation within my own blue skies, here’s hug and a kiss for the ride, you’ll get by you’ll see what I mean eventually you’ll see

I’ve sighed and skinned my knees

Take the pain and run with it

Can’t see the trees for the forest

I’m a big picture kind of person but it’s way too easy to get lost in the details

This time I might just have the common sense to close my eyes

If all else fails it doesn’t matter

If you can’t make sound you can’t even feel the release of crying out

 

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Another Poem

I haven’t posted poetry in a while so here’s a slam poem.  Warning for strong language.

“I’m Still Sad But What Else Is New?”

You said you loved me more, fuck you

I knew this was a lie

I don’t think you noticed my eyes or my lips or tried desperately to memorize the outline of the white sheets as they crumpled around my soft skin

I don’t think you stared so hard it brought tears to your eyes because you knew deep in the pit of your stomach that everything has its own expiration date

This doesn’t even matter because

I can’t eat when I’m sad

And a piece of fruit pressed to my lips only stains them cherry red, strawberry pink

Tip of my tongue

Juice dripping down the side of the kitchen sink
Or is that blood?
Hearts break slowly

But at least you did some gardening first

Uprooting the weeds in my belly

Planting wildflower seeds in the furrows you made when clawing at my skin

The love for me you left behind is like finding blood on a bath towel

and not knowing where it came from

You’re sure a wound must exist and conclude that the pain just went on hiatus

I really hope I don’t bleed out in my sleep
I know I loved you more, fuck you

I remember the incredible thump of your heartbeat

Hot and strong and made from the stuff that glues together even the most wild of pages

The book that is your body is bound by sea salt and sunshine

I never liked holding shells to my ear when I went to the beach

because I couldn’t hear anything and the sand that got caught in my hair

stayed long after I’d left the shore

When I laid my head on your chest

I could finally hear the ocean the way that I’m supposed to

I didn’t know that your scent would be harder to scrub away

than a few grains of sand

And it would rub my skin twice as raw

I tried to memorize the imprint of your body heat,

the topographical map that was left tattooed on me by the warmth of your torso

I want our tectonic plates to collide again and create more islands

Never mind the sand

My memory isn’t worth much more than the change I have in my pocket

but I’ll be damned if I forget the sharp bite of your fingernails

into the smeared canvas of my back

and the eager blossoming of pain

when your teeth rent through the fabric of my frayed common sense

exhilaration unfurling like ropes of light from cheap drugstore fireworks

You turned an abandoned art project into a goddamn masterpiece

Spun gold cobwebs over paint that had long since dried

 

I know I loved you more, fuck you

The way your touch felt on my skin,

pressed against the shower wall

grinning while rivulets of warm water trickled into my mouth

Your eyes in the half light

gray light

soft afternoon light

oozing all over the walls

smudged into corners that had been dark for too long
Fuck you, I knew I loved you more

when I realized that I’d slashed my own parachute to shreds

just for the pleasure of falling together

I didn’t think far enough ahead to realize

that when I hit the ground my spine would telescope

Part of me doesn’t care because this gave me a chance to stare down the moon

The sun will blind you if you look for too long

but no one tells you that the moon will drive you stark raving mad

 

I know I loved you more, thank you

For opening dusty windows I never even knew existed,

for watering plants that had long since been forgotten

and proving that the monsters under my bed would stop biting me

if I’d simply turn around and bite back

For demonstrating that it’s okay to choke back up the water of clean,

Christian thoughts that flooded my lungs instead of my mind like they were supposed to

To scream through a mouthful of lake sludge and saliva

that sex is not something that will be wrenched from hands

You did not pry my palms open

You were the first person who let me uncurl my fingers on my own

You were the first person who let me help you take off my clothes

 

Baby girl the thought of you struck me across the fucking face today

and I haven’t seen you in 58 days

I traced the outline of your fingertips,

stroked the raised welts on my cheek,

tried to hold the imprint of your hand

because I’m still sliding backwards down the canyon wall

And the girl who was once my safety net

is now halfway across the world catching butterflies

I used to love the outdoors but after you gave me vertigo

I don’t like hiking all that much anymore

It’s hard to stay on solid ground when every time I look over the edge of a building

I think I see a flash of your hair down below

and I have to stop myself from jumping to maybe catch the end of your sleeve

before you disappear around the corner

But you’re not a butterfly,

and even if you were I know I’m not supposed to pinch your wings
Either way, I miss falling for you

Disney Developments

Breaking news!  I’ve officially been able to pre-register for the illustrious Disney Dorms.  I’ve set my sights on Chatham Square because out of all the research I’ve done on housing (believe me, it was quite minimal but I digress…) Chatham seems to be the best for someone who doesn’t own a car.

Let me categorize the information I’ve been able to find:

  1. Vista Way is supposedly a little ghetto, since it’s old, and lots of parties/general debauchery goes down there.  Don’t get me wrong, I love debauchery and whatnot, but I don’t want to get fired.  Disney doesn’t mess around when it comes to misconduct.  It is close to the grocery store, so that’s a plus.

    Vista Way, taken from aujord.me
  2. Patterson Court is the newest of the dorms; it was completed in 2008.  It’s also expensive, and there’s no bus stop (if you don’t have a car, it’s a 45-minute bus ride to get to work every morning).  The nearest one is a fifteen-minute walk over in Chatham Square.

    Patterson Court, taken from hannahsdcp.blogspot.com
  3. Chatham Square is your best bet if you don’t own a car, due to the fact that the bus stop is right outside.  It’s located right across the street from Mickey’s Retreat, which is basically a clubhouse for Disney employees.  There’s all sorts of good stuff there: a pool, all different types of courts (tennis, volleyball, basketball, etc.) picnic area, not to mention it’s located on the edge of Little Lake Bryan!  You can bet I’m going there on my days off.
    Chatham Square, taken from racheldoesdisney.wordpress.com
    The marina at Mickey’s Retreat, taken from flickr.com

    4. And finally, there’s the Commons.  The internet is unusually quiet about this location, and that might be because up until recently it was only open to international students.  It’s the most expensive out of all four complexes -but just barely.  The room with the highest rate in the Commons is only four dollars more per week than the one in Patterson Court.

    The Commons, taken from collinsrace1.wordpress.com

    If you want a little more detailed information on the Disney Dorms, I’d visit here or here.  These were my most helpful sources.

    I’m anxious for them to place me so that I can hopefully get in touch with my roommate(s).  With luck, I’ll be put in a room with only one other person, since that’s what I’m used to and frankly, three seems like it would be a bit cramped.

    Even though a random person isn’t ideal, I’m confident that I’ll be able to get along with almost anyone.  If they party?  Great!  We can hit the town together.  If they like to study, that’s fine too.  We can hit the books together.  I’m pretty good at adapting.

    Much love,

    V

    P.S.  Here’s a poem of mine.  Just thought I might share it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    “Don’t forget about that day

    You know the one

    The time you smelled like sunscreen, sea water, salt and sand
    The air smelled fading sun
    Your legs are heavy and your chest is full
    You take a deep breath and your ribs expand until it feels like they might crack
    But it’s fine
    You’re not in pain
    Your lungs are simply overloaded with the fragrance of an evening well spent
    You’re not worrying about the rent that’s due or how you need to buy a new pair of running shoes
    You were running today
    Barefoot, on the beach
    Hard, wet earth under your feet
    The waves washing over your toes like the Lord bathing his disciples
    Baptizing you in foamy water
    You can feel the grains of sand in your hair
    It’s stiff and knotted but you can only grin because what the hell were you doing all day long if you’re not a mess when it’s all over
    Scrapes on your palms
    Blisters on your soles
    The gentle rolling motion of the sea still buoying your mind
    You float, suspended
    As your worries are upended
    Swallowed up by the thin sheets of sleep
    Until we meet again, my friend”

P.P.S. I just saw the Ghostbusters reboot and can I just say that I’m definitely a fan?  Jillian Holtzmann is a lesbian goddess and I 100% support the idea of an Erin/Holtzmann romance.

And seriously, who doesn’t love a crop top with overalls?

The Life and Times of a Bona Fide Homosexual

Hi there!  Today I’ve actually been semi-productive, if you can count ordering an early ballot as productive.

It literally takes five minutes, but I’m going to go ahead and pat myself on the back because it’s a step in the right direction.  In all seriousness, voting is important, everyone should do it (especially if you’re an American citizen right now), yada yada yada.

Taken from imamsonline.com

Oh, and I did go to church for the first time in forever.  It was purely to make my mom happy, but let me tell you, stepping foot in church was odd.  I felt like I was going to burn the second I sat down.

Why?  I’m gay.  Now, I know you can be gay and religious, but I’m not that kind of gay.  Once I accepted the fact that I fancy the ladies, my ties with Christianity were as good as crucified.  (Ha, ha.  Hopefully God doesn’t smite me for that one.)

Taken from carloswhittaker.com

I don’t think I ever truly believed in the Bible, anyways.  My sexuality just gave me a good excuse to duck out the back door.

After dozing off during a sermon about forfeiting all worldly pleasures in order to follow Jesus, Mom and I went to the movies.  We saw Nerve, the new thriller with Emma Roberts.

Taken from sarahscoop.com.  Just look at those eyebrows!  Dave Franco who?

Let me give you one word of advice, dear readers:  If you are a closeted gay girl, don’t go see Nerve with your mother.  It will be highly uncomfortable.

At least, it was for me.  There’s a scene where Roberts has to streak through a department store.  I could feel my face get beet-red, because my heart was doing little flip-flops and I was sure that Mom could feel the gay vibes rolling off my body in waves.

Don’t make any sudden movements, V! I told myself sternly, using every ounce of self-control not to grip the chair’s armrests in panic.  Just be cool!  God, why can’t you just be cool?!

In retrospect, I’m sure I could’ve just made a passing comment about how hot the guy in the movie was (he was streaking too), but that didn’t occur to me at the time.  And really, how could I possibly be paying any attention to him (Dave Franco, that’s his name, I just looked it up) when Emma Roberts was rapping Wu-Tang Clan and getting a tattoo?

Taken from blogarama.com.  How is she so cute?  How?  My tiny gay heart can’t handle it.

Honestly.I was not prepared for that level of adorableness from Emma Roberts.  And I thought it couldn’t get any better than when she played the narcissistic mean girl in shows like Scream Queens and American Horror Story: Coven!  In the words of Madison Montgomery:

Taken from http://www.reactiongifs.us

At one point my mom leaned over and pointed to another character, whispering, “He’s cute!” to which I replied with a strangled, slightly hysterical sounding, “Yeah!  Yes, ha!”

Stuff like this happens a lot when I’m with my family.  (I’m comfortably out to all my friends, just not my parents.)  Just the other day, we were all in the car and “Same Love” by Macklemore came on the radio.  Nonchalantly, I switched the station.  And “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry started playing.

Are you kidding me?  I was furious.  How could the two gayest songs in recent pop culture have been on two different radio stations, simultaneously? 

Taken from reddit.com

I swear, every time gay rights or the word “lesbian” is uttered on TV, I break out in a cold sweat.  It’s not great.  I should probably work on that.

I should also probably come out to my parents.  I’ve had girls over before under the guise that we’re just friends, and if I thought a three minute Macklemore song was stressful?  Let’s just say I was definitely not prepared.

Deep down, I think my mom knows.  She never asks me about boys anymore because I think she’s a little scared of what my response will be.  Once she found a flyer for an LGBT club under my bed and with a trembling voice said, “V?  You don’t think you’re -gay or anything, do you?”  Hell, she even called my therapist and asked her if I’d mentioned any lesbian activity.

Taken from imgur.com

(My therapist was horrified at the question and answered her with the standard I’m-not-allowed-to-disclose-any-of-the-information-that-my-clients-tell-me-in-our-confidential-sessions speech, but she does know about the aforementioned lesbian activity.)

I want to come out to my mom.  I really do.  But I don’t know how, and at this point in time I’m not sure if she wants me to come out, either.  She’s a small, very religious lady.

If I did come out, I think it would be once I’m halfway across the country at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Let me know what you guys think in the comments!

Until next time,

V

Checking In, Checking Out

I’m coming to you live from my dorm room where I should be fast asleep, getting some much needed rest before finals week.  I think we both know that there was a fat chance of that ever happening.  Right around finals I always seem to become quite fatalistic.  Que sera, sera and all that jazz.

Because I can’t think of a good segue, I’ll just jump right in.  A few nights ago I went on another urban exploring adventure to an old motel about an hour away from campus.  It was right smack in the middle of nowhere so I knew cops weren’t that big of a threat, but the location was next to a busy highway and a gas station.  To me, it would definitely be worth the risk.

I’d seen the motel on the way back from a spontaneous day trip and I hadn’t been able to get it out of my mind ever since.  There were three buildings that made up the property and I thought they looked beautiful, what with the reddish-brown and turquoise color scheme.  At first I wasn’t even sure if the motel was abandoned, but after a little research I determined that it shut down about 5 months ago.  The only real clues that it was closed for business would have to be the absence of cars in the parking lot and the tall weeds sprouting from all the cracks in the pavement.

Here’s an aerial view of the main complex from commercialsearch.com

I was kind of scared that we’d end up busting into a room and frightening a weary business man who was in bed watching an old rerun of Seinfeld or something.

Nevertheless, I still headed out there one evening with my coworker and her boyfriend.

I was excited because my lock picking set had just arrived in the mail and I couldn’t wait to try it out.  The practice lock it had come with posed no real challenge for me.  I was confident that the motel doors would be quite simple to pick, as long as there were no deadbolts.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t been able to practice as much as I would’ve liked.  There aren’t too many locks in the dorms aside from the ones on your neighbor’s doors.  My own dorm lock was quickly picked by yours truly, but I broke it in the process.  Oops.  (Luckily I was able to get it replaced for free, since I claimed that it suddenly stopped working out of the blue.)

Either way, I figured if I couldn’t pick the locks on the doors I could always just do the old credit card trick and we’d get inside just fine.

When we arrived at the motel it was nighttime and a storm was brewing.  Total horror movie weather.  I half expected Freddy Kruger to be waiting for us at the bottom of the motel’s pool or something.  But no, there was only a hubcap, a bucket, and an life preserver in the sludgy green water.

Displaying IMG_5041.JPGDisplaying IMG_5041.JPGDisplaying IMG_5041.JPGIMG_5041

I was a little nervous when we pulled into the complex because there were two cars in the parking lot.  The truck had a flat tire so we reckoned that they hadn’t been moved in a while, but I didn’t want to startle anyone who might have been living in one of the vehicles.  We didn’t see another soul that night, thank goodness.

The porch lights were all still on… it was eerie.

The first attempt at breaking into a room proved unsuccessful.  Apparently my lock picking skills weren’t as good as I’d hoped, and the credit card trick was useless.  I think I’m going to invest in a bump key for next time.  Andrew* finally just took a screwdriver and pried open the door.

Most of the furniture was still there, but the rooms themselves were a mess.  Some had carpet torn up, some had the air conditioning units ripped out of the walls, in one we found a big ball of insulation in the bathtub, etc.  There was a TV on every single nightstand.  That really made me wonder.  Why was this motel abandoned in such a hurry that these things weren’t hauled away or sold?

Perhaps the creepiest moment came when we walked into the third or fourth unit.  There was an armchair positioned in the middle of the room directly in front of the mirror.  Not the TV, the mirror.  I got chills up my spine when I saw that, but I’m easily spooked so I tried to just brush it off.  We poked around for a few minutes, then turned to leave.

IMG_5032

I grabbed the doorknob and twisted.  It refused to budge.  I fiddled with the lock.  Still nothing.

“Uh, guys?” I said in a shaky voice.  We had two seconds before I busted a window.

Luckily, Andrew remained calm and jimmied us out of there with our trusty screwdriver, but I’d been rattled.

We poked around a little more (and discovered some lovely graffiti), but decided to leave once Claire* said she found evidence that someone might be living in a room.  Apparently there were bags of clothes and blankets in one of the units.

IMG_5042

All in all, it was a nice urban exploring trip to distract me from the exams that are coming up.

Hope you’re having a great week,

-V

P.S.  I’ve submitted the manuscript of my latest novel to several agents, so hopefully I’ll hear back from them in a few weeks.  I’ve already gotten a few rejection letters but I’m not discouraged!

Actually, I participated in the Twitter event where on April 19th, marginalized writers were encouraged to tweet a pitch for their novels that had diverse characters and themes with the hashtag #DVpit.  (My book is about teen mental illness and features a queer protagonist, so if that’s not diverse I don’t know what is.)  If a literary agent liked your tweet, that meant they were interested in your idea and wished to receive a query letter from you.  I didn’t expect much, so I was ecstatic when an agent liked my tweet.

My fingers are crossed!

 

*Names have been changed