Sunday, April 22, 2012

Uh... poetry?

I hope you guys are in the mood for a little dash of ridiculousness, because man, do I have a treat for you tonight!

I do not write poetry. I just don't. I appreciate poetry-- I've had to remind myself not to lick the pages of my John Donne anthology in public-- but my thoughts and feelings and emotions (even the best ones) simply do not translate into a world without punctuation rules. I've worked on it, I've taken classes, I've stared frustratedly at botched pieces of notebook paper and willed them to become art, but it has yet to work. Sadly, I've somehow found myself enrolled in a workshop intended for people who, like, know what they're doing. My strategy so far has been to write prose and then go back and add haphazard line breaks and delete all the periods. My professor has actually liked them, by some crazy, demented twist of fate... but I still cringe every time I glance at my class folder. But what better way to overcome anxiety than to dip your whole head into a freezing cold bucket of it?

I'm sharing this one with you because the prompt is awesome, and I want to invite you to write your own original poems under the same guidelines. So I can selfishly read them and feel like some kind of proud aunt. You can leave your poem as a comment, or just comment with a link to your own blog. I'll pick a favorite and then praise the hell out of its author in a future post. Are you down? Will you do this with me? Cool.

In your poem, include at least fourteen of the following items: a statistic, a dish eaten cold, three forms of heat, a smell you can't forget, a line from a movie, something out of a textbook, two things you wish you had said, a reference to an aunt or uncle, some kind of moving vehicle, two words beginning with R and ending with "-ion", a stage direction, two distinct hours of the day, an historical figure, an adhesive, an animal only seen up close in the zoo, a slang expression ("call it quits," for example), something really bad that you did, something that undermines or negates everything else you've said.

Here's mine!

Is this punishment for when I was ten
and I scratched my brother’s arm so hard
that it left permanent half-moon scars?
Is that why I saw my eleventh birthday come
and go without receiving a single piece of parchment
stamped with the imprint of an owl’s beak?

They say revenge is a dish served cold,
and goddamn it, I am freezing.
I belong in a toasty wand-knit sweater
with my blocky first initial on its front!
I belong with my legs tucked under me
on a red couch next to a furnacey fireplace!
I belong gulping steamy potato leak soup
that I charmed out of the kitchen after hours!

Where are all my adventures?
Where is my 8AM air tingling my cheekbones
as my thighs hold tightly to a wooden handle?
Where is my midnight foray into the forest
under my friend’s dad’s uncle’s old cloak?
Where is the unforgettable smell of butterbeer,
all caramel-colored and homey and in my throat?

For Merlin’s sake, just let me in!
Let me in or I’ll use the Expoximise charm
and glue my ass to the front gate!
Let all the “deserving” eleven-year-olds watch
as I lean, center stage, gate-to-ass like a zoo elephant
and yell all the things I should have said!
I should have sent them my own letter
and been like, “Dear Hogwarts School.
I am pleased to inform you that you have been
invited to accept me into your establishment!”
I should’ve found Dumbledore’s email address
and said, “Hey, buddy. I’ll set you up on Grindr
if you let me be a Gryffindor!”

Whatever. Out of everyone in the world,
.0355% of us are special enough for your castle,
and I was supposed to grow old and jaded
without you. Was that the plan?
Well, I found a loophole!
You didn’t admit me, but I snuck in!
And every time I open those heavy,
beautiful books, I will have the adventure
and the food and the burgundy sweater!
And even longer than my brother
will have half-moon scars,
I will have my own personal magic.

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with. I may never even reach angry-eighth-grade-diary-scribbler levels of poet talent, but at least I just posted the phrase "gate-to-ass" on my blog. I hope you all have a lovely day. I'll see you guys soon!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I need an oil change.

You know that ridiculous staple of horrible pop songs, when it digresses into a boys vs. girls chant-off? Like this and this. Lately, I... sort of feel like there's one of those happening in my head. On the one side, I'm working hard in school, taking on a huge project with the book, making videos, running, feeling good about myself. It's like a really enthusiastic Zac Efron wearing pastels and nailing his choreography. But all the while, on the other side, there's this catatonic depressive waste of space who eats a lot of cookies and doesn't get out of bed until noon and finds it physically strenuous to put on pants. The anti-Efron. I've tried to force the latter side out of my brain. I've tried to make the two opposing mindsets converge or battle to the death or something... but as with everything in my personality, this situation is sort of all or nothing. I'm either ON or I'm OFF.

I pretty much took the month of March off from working-- a mental health sabbatical, or something-- but now I'm having a hard time getting my footing again. For instance, this is like my seventh try at writing a blog post. That's nuts. That's just utterly nuts. I've never in my life had a problem vomiting my thoughts here, but tonight? It sort of feels like I'm on an exercise machine and somebody turned up the resistance level to 70,000,000. I keep typing halves of sentences just to erase them, stretching my neck agitatedly, punching my left hand with my right. I don't know how to turn it off. My eye keeps going down to a minimized Word document that contains the blueprints for a video I'd really like to have done, but even with all the free time in the world, I haven't been able to make it. Do I need an oil change?

This year has brought me quite a heaping plate full of personal challenges-- some of them definitely big enough to warrant the occasional breakdown/cookie massacre-- but something really huge occurred to me today. It's April. As in the fifth month.*
As in 2012 is nearly half over. It's one thing to let yourself feel necessary emotions when they're necessary for the necessary healing process, but it's another thing to let an entire year slip by while you're hiding your head under your food-stained comforter. Starting today, I'm renewing my commitment to work through the pain. I'm going to structure my life so tightly that there's no room for wallowing. I'm going to be bigger than the forces trying to bring me down. I'm going to stop playing this
High School Musical song oh dear god why.

Do you guys know of any secret tricks that... kill depression? Is there some kind of aerosol spray I can buy? Is there an app for that? I'm really open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks for putting up with my moody evil twin tonight. Here, have a pretty picture of my college campus, for your trouble. I hope you all have a lovely evening! Sincerely. I'll see you soon.

*Mmkay, so yes, let's take a moment and discuss the fact that I-- for a few minutes--thought April was the 5th month of the year. Go on. Laugh. Get it out of your systems. I'm tired. Screw you.