Chance (a rhyming poem–what’s getting into me!?)

Your glance, magnetic, drew in mine,

not askance, no, but open, kind,

and I, entranced, betrayed my way

to watch this gaze that mirrored the day.

Life’s needle, shocked, shook left and right,

lost as if the black of night,

but then it halted on your face

and I could see no other place.

Before this fork, I thought about,

a long and predetermined route,

But this new path, it sings of chance,

I see it in your marked glance.

Ignore the Poetry Nazis

As a creative writing major I get to study what I love, and take TONS of writing classes. Fun, right? Well, you’d sure think so. But the fun keeps getting sucked out of my current poetry class because of the presence of a certain Poetry Nazi. Okay, so this might be an insensitive name for her, but my goodness, I’ve never met a person so intolerant and close-minded about writing!

On the first day of this class, she told me that my poem, “wasn’t a poem” and that “if I wasn’t going to adhere to official poetic forms–why am I in a poetry class?” And today, she made me feel terrible about a haiku I had written because it wasn’t conventional. Sheesh! I’m not a perfect writer, I know, but her comments are more mean than helpful. What’s worse, is she does this to everyone. So it’s time for me to passive-aggressively blog about it.

I’m not trying to slander this girl for the sake of slander, but rather because I want to say this: create whatever the hell you want to create. Be you. Art was never meant to go in a neatly labeled box but rather, it is designed to challenge arbitrary rules and to make us think beyond them. Sure, tradition is important and necessary when learning your art, but being true to who yourself and to what you have to say is what’s most important. That is what resonates with people and inspires them.

One of the biggest mistakes an artist can commit is making their art inaccessible and elitist. Art is for everyone and if you get wrapped up in “supposed tos” you are going to alienate people. I mean, when you look at a painting, do you count how many brush strokes are used or critique the color palette chosen? No, where’s the fun in that? Most of us consider the feelings the painting evokes, and what it makes us visualize.

So maybe I’m just a liberal-minded, accepting, supportive, hippy artist, but I absolutely ABHOR when people belittle art because it isn’t technically perfect. Being an artist isn’t about becoming one of the master race with perfect technique and flawless adherence to tradition.

So, you, yeah, YOU! Ignore the poetry nazis! Create in a way that represents you and don’t conform to notions of “perfection.” They’re relative anyway.

Still

I still think about you

still–it’s the stupidest word

As I think on this constant miss

I am nothing but still

I’m jittery, restless, questioning

I keep following everyone’s lead

in blind obedience

“Move on, he doesn’t deserve you”

Who knows?

But I don’t move on easily

Because the more I look forward

the more I look back and see

how small we are growing from the distance

And I hate being without you

Acting like I’m fine with never

Hearing your voice

At one point you sat next to me, singing

The hardest thing is still

thinking, ‘without you’ and knowing

how your mind rests

still

without me

Checkered Past (a sonnet)

To understand for what a person aims
We often try to read them like a book
We turn each page or play these vexing games
For something else to help us move our rook

With you it’s been an endless game of chess
In which we switch between both black and white
If asked about your heart I couldn’t guess
You’ll act the horse’s ass and then the knight

Into our checkered past I often stray
To try and understand our future fate
We seem to always occupy the gray
In agony, so close to that checkmate

Where you see columns, I see rows and rows
What we should be, a genius wouldn’t know

Valentine’s Day

Your sweet burst of laughter made me bubbly and pink and

I stirred in the wooden booth letting my cheek clank against my palm.

I watched your tongue, a shiny Maraschino cherry, and

played with the plastic straw between my teeth as I sipped your story in. 

The table was a dutiful chaperone, forcing distance between us and 

I couldn’t imagine being any further from you,

That was before things went flat and

I had to fathom the mileage between

your Hannover and my Bellingham 

And then I was distracted by your full suit and

How my polka dot dress resembled my heartbeat

Both flouncing as I reached for your hand

Now I can’t wear either thoughtlessly 

And when the waitress nudged me,

she clasped her hands together like a child mimicking her schoolteacher and

her eyes effervesced with a picture perfect plea

           You’re not a bother. Of course you can.

 We froze our grenadine grins and                                                 

 

                                                    waited

 

Who could blame her for wanting to capture something?

ice melts

smiles fade

people leave