Tag Archives: college

diary of a moth.

20 Jun

photoWelp. I’m back in Portland, for good this time (sort of). I’ve been meaning to write up a goodbye letter/poem to Ashland and share it on here, but I haven’t had the energy or the inspiration just yet. I’m sure I’ll get to it sometime next week, once I’m done unpacking and settled into my pre-NZ routine. I’d also like to write a review of The Unfortunates, which will probably happen at some point this weekend.

Anyway, in my Advanced Poetry class during my last term of college, we were required to make chapbooks. I’m not going to post all of the poems from my chapbook, which was entitled diary of a moth, but I am going to share a generous selection of them. If you’d like a hard copy of my chapbook, just leave me a comment and we can work something out.

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~*~

failed science experiment.

five days into my last college term
I was diagnosed with severe anxiety

I had gone to the emergency room
because I thought I was having a heart attack
the doctor who looked like Roger Waters
told me I was lucky it wasn’t a blood clot

and Beckah said “you’ll be fine
and Nick said “you’ll be fine
and Wilkie said “you’ll be fine

but it’s hard to agree with their sentiments when
fingernails drag through my arteries but only at midnight
thumbtacks and paper cuts and violin music fills my veins
helium lodges itself deep inside my brain
my heart runs a ten minute marathon without stop
while my breath tries to catch up

one                  two                  three               four

one                  two                  three               four

breathe           breathe           breathe           breathe

breathe           breathe           breathe           breathe

I                       am                   fine                  I

am                   fine                  I                       am

fine                  I                       am                   fine

screaming into black pillowcases into friends’ mouths
into shaking palms into cellphones into wine bottles
seeing person after person after person after person
who all come to the same conclusion

you’re broken, but we can fix you

well who the hell dropped me in the first place?

~~~*~

thirty-eight minutes of separation.

we’re not alike
we’re not identical
we’re not psychic

we’re not the made for TV breed
you find on sitcoms or in young adult lit
who pull hijinks and speak in sync
there’s no Weasley blood twitching in our veins

both pledged to a fraternity since birth
destined to forever share the same
bad eyesight and cheekbones

once we were a band of pirates
pockets filled with Pokemon cards
but that clock stopped and now
drunken texts about Mad Men
are how we choose to communicate

so I wish people would just stop —

but the thing is I once wondered to myself if I
would know instinctively if he were ever hit by
a car and an hour later I got a phone call about
how he had in fact been hit by a car and my
heart stopped dead inside my chest because
maybe we hadn’t lied to Cindy Modjesky ten years
ago when we tricked her into thinking that we
were telepathic at Rachel Lowary’s birthday party

no, we’re not alike
no, we’re not identical
no, we’re not psychic

but we are something

~~~*~

my hometown is more than just a tv show.

patches of orange cackle on the island

riding pioneered escalators
towards a heaven of cinematography

lloyd’s beckoning me nigh
practicing voodoo
on my thighs and stomach

flying through the park of oak
mouth crammed with
green clouds

tumble down the water hole
keep your ground control in check
vault down your blitz or you’ll jinx henry

sit upon your throne of literature
berkley can wait
forever lost in the maze of saturday mornings
filled with hoards of drunken santas

science is not only for children

~~~*~

the only time I ever felt patriotic.

When I was ten I
fell in love with
John Adams.

I inhaled his letters.
I cartographed his lineage.
I painted visions of his farm, his trials,
his speeches inside my mind’s eye,
and people would crease their eyebrows
whenever I’d shout:

I care!
I’m there!
I could be your Portia!
I’d be your Diana and Miss Adorable!
So long as you’d be my Dearest Friend!

And friends never understood the obsession,
even after I tried to explain
the pride of his Boston Massacre win,
his undying passion
during the Second Continental Congress
of the late seventeen hundreds,
how he spent almost half his life away from his wife
but never once stopped writing her love letters.

If only I had realized back when I was ten
that being in love with the dead
is as useless as being a poet,
but my tempered heart never did stop beating
for our nation’s second president,
who died on my birthday
one hundred and eighty-seven years ago.

You bid me burn your letters.
But I must forget you first.

~~~*~

adama.

I thought I saw
Edward James Olmos
on a bike outside Bimart
and I almost cried out to the
aged Commander to take me away
aboard his vessel and save me from myself,

but it wasn’t him.
It was just some
guy. I should have
known. He did not
have a Commander’s
pride.

~~~*~

forestiera.

I spent the train ride wanting to scream
I am fifty percent of you

I grew up on faunes and gnoochi
and ravioli once a week
my nonna taught me
to count to dieci on her knee
always surrounded by cornicello
and mano cornuta necklaces
pizzelles and pignoli were distributed
around the natale tree
while my cumpari and cumari
praised their favorite bambina

but how do you communicate that
to a dozen or so strangers with
your big blonde curls and
your big blue sunglasses and
your big bulging suitcase and
no trace of knowing
the tongue of your heritage

~~~*~

hey quiet girl.

where did you hide your tongue

words are thick in your
birchwood mouth
and never seem to seed

fingers hidden in curtained bangs
owl eyes impressed on your palms

no one likes a shy beast
no one likes a doubter
no one likes a wallflower

stop imagining fictional destinies
when reality has a bone to pick with you

people think you don’t like them
so you cannot blame the silence

~~~*~

inked.

I wish someone had clued me in
on how often it would be
misinterpreted and sexualized
and violated and touched and called
into question,

because I feel like
Jim Henson is probably
rolling in his grave right now
and I’m
to blame
for wearing his words
on my skin.

~~~*~

michael.

I proposed to you back
in our kindergarten days
of red rover and monster tag
hand prints hung on walls with
drawings of glitter and magic markers

you didn’t care that I had proposed
to Kenny Laszlo and Alex Wagner
in the same hour or that
they had both said no

our two year engagement ensued
until the day I broke it off
when I realized come second grade
I wanted Parker Unruh’s buzz cut
more than your pudgy face

and you tried to kiss me
in the lunch line
in front of Cindy Modjesky but

by
that point
I had stopped

~~~*~

dream life.

I wish I lived
in a tiny flat in the middle of NYC;
the summer sun kissing my shoulders
as I’d float around to
bookshops and black box theatres,
eating my weight in pizza
and photobombing tourists.

I wish I lived
on a farm miles out of town
with twenty-four palominos
that I’d ride across sloping fields of barley,
and my cuticles would always be dirty
and each day’s end would mean
sunsets and apple pie.

I wish I lived
in a fictional realm
where people could fly and Muppets rode bikes
and there was always a Han or a Donna to
solve my mundane issues;
where evil was definable and defeatable, and
I had a viable excuse to own a katana.

I wish I lived
in a log cabin that smelled of wet dirt, and
I’d have with me an old typewriter
and a drawer filled with red flannel shirts,
so I could spend each day feeling like the
Thoreau of the common age as I’d ponder life
and the universe over a mug of Kahlua.

I wish I lived
in a multitude of realities and dimensions,
but I only live in the one
and I do not have a license and my wallet
is always bare, and for some reason
my feet are glued to the ground
and beg me not to go.

I wish I lived.

~~~*~

failed science experiment II.

I tore my ticket to the circus
into ten star shaped shards;
one for every week,
every broken speech
swollen on my teeth.

I smashed the violins.
I cracked the fingernails in two.
I chucked the helium canister over the moon
cause I am done being spoon fed.

One     two      three                           four

One                 two three       four

I           have    won                             I

have                won     I           have

won                 I                       have    won

no        thanks to                                            you

I know now the world was
the one who dropped me,
but that’s okay because
this broken girl learned herself
a healing factor,
better than James Howlett
and Kal-El combined.

It’s nice to remember
how to breathe again.

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one month to go.

13 May

I’m feeling good today, which has been really nice. I’ve been in a rut for the last week, feeling depressed about life while also feeling excruciatingly lonely, so I’m happy that today has been a good one.

I think there’s a whole combination of reasons for my positive outlook on today. For starters, I got to write some articles for BP this afternoon. It’s been a while since I’ve been asked to write for them, and there is no greater feeling on this planet than getting paid for your words. Then this morning I went for a run and listened to I Am America, which was just an amazing way to kick start the day. I also found out Nick is coming to town this weekend, which just fills my heart with glee. To top it all off, the weather is just beautiful (and not sweltering hot like the last couple days), and good weather always puts me in a good mood.

I realized today that I’ve begun to slowly come to terms with The End. The end of school; the end of my time in Ashland. It’s a rather bittersweet feeling. I’ve wanted out of this town for a while (since my junior year, really), but now that the end is in sight I’m sad to leave it all behind. I’ve been reflecting on my definition of “home” recently and have come to realize that, in almost two months, I’m not going to have a home for an entire year. That both scares and invigorates me. Ashland’s been my home for so long; so much so that Portland doesn’t quite feel like home to me anymore.

Anyway, I’ve got about a month left before I leave Ashland. In that time I’d like to revisit my favorite restaurants/bars/coffee shops, say goodbye to all my friends, walk all of Lithia Park one last time, hang out at Emigrant Lake, perform in the Rogue Valley Poetry Slam for my third (and final) time, and perhaps see My Fair Lady or King Lear at OSF.

It’s funny. When I close my eyes I can see my dorm room back when I was a wee freshman; Amanda sitting on her bed in the corner sketching while I watch CSI over at my desk across the room. Things were so different back then. I was so different back then. I was still a kid. I didn’t know anything about the world. And now… well, okay, I still don’t know much about the world, but I know so much more now than when I was a frosh. A part of me feels like I’m just a giant kid wrapped up inside an adult’s body, and I think I’m always going to feel that way, but I can also recognize how mature I’ve become. Nowadays I love cleaning, budgeting my paychecks, grocery shopping, cooking/baking, running/exercising, drinking, writing poetry, and having a job. I literally despised all of those things I just listed when I was eighteen.

The gap between an eighteen year old and a twenty-two (going on twenty-three) year old doesn’t seem like much, but holy hell, it really is a lot. You just deal with so much in that time frame. You try new things. You learn new things. You learn who you are and how you perceive the world around you. That’s one reason why I’d argue the importance of going to college; not so much for the degree and all the student loans you’re guaranteed to wrack up, but because of the people you meet and the interactions you partake in and the experiences you garner. Would I have turned out differently if my neighbor back in the dorms hadn’t slowly transformed into a transwoman before my eyes? If I didn’t gain friends who outwardly enjoy sex, weed, and alcohol? If I hadn’t dealt with friends coming out, friends expressing suicidal thoughts, and friends who went through pregnancy scares and abortions? Would I be the same sheltered girl that I was when I was eighteen, so wide eyed and naive to the ways of the world?

Probably.

This wasn’t meant to be a rant. This was supposed to be a quick update on how I’ve been having a good day, but then I got… nostalgic? I guess I’m just grateful. Despite wishing I had chosen a different college many times throughout my education, if I had to go back I wouldn’t have chosen differently. I’m sure I would’ve had a great time at other schools as well – and probably gotten more for my money – but I wouldn’t trade in the friendships, experiences, and memories I made at SOU for anything in the world.

One more month to go.

Let’s try to make the most out of it.

September, 2008

 

May, 2013

school’s last first.

2 Apr

Well this is it, folks.

My last first day of school starts in twelve minutes.

It’s an odd feeling, knowing I’ll never return. Knowing graduation is right around the corner. Knowing there’s no denying the fact that I am an adult any longer. What’s more, it’s kind of scary. School is what I’ve come to know over years. Three month learning increments. Spring breaks. Christmas breaks. Summer breaks. Midterms. Finals. Late night cramming. Last minute project work. Doodling during lectures. Commuting to classes. Teachers rambling. All of it gone only two and a half months down the road from this very moment.

I’m not a spontaneous person, so school’s always been perfect for me. I like routine, and school is nothing if not routine. Routine is comfortable; routine is cozy. Routine is safe. It’s frightening that in seventy-four days the routine I’ve come to know will be gone forever. Yes, I have New Zealand to look forward to, and a whole future of doing whatever the hell I want. No more stupid classes that mean diddly-squat for my future. No more trying to memorize pointless facts and figures just to pass a test so my GPA will remain at its pristine 3.5 level. No more having to deal with the stupidity of certain people of my generation in classes. Yet still, it’s hard not to feel scared when you’re approaching the end of something that’s been your life for almost twenty years. I started attending preschool when I was three. I’m twenty-three now. Just thinking about my lifetime accumulating an education and how that’s soon ending makes my stomach churn. I feel as if I’ve learned all there is I need to know at this point, but it’s still frightening; the prospect of letting go.

Oh yes, there might be grad school in the future, but I’ve been a bit skeptical lately that I’ll be attending grad school. I guess it depends a few years down the line, where my writing has taken me and what it is exactly I’ll be doing with my life. Only time will tell on that front.

The point of all this is, despite the senior-itis that is bound to hit in, oh, probably the next day or two, and the joy I take in complaining about how I don’t want to be in Ashland and how I can’t wait to be in a different country, I’m going to try to enjoy these last couple months. I’m going to spend time with my friends that I know I wont see much of once I leave. I’m going to visit all my favorite restaurants and shops as often as I can. I’m going to try (though I doubt I’ll succeed) to not take my education for granted and actually appreciate my classes instead of bitching about them. I’m going to try to enjoy every moment, god willing.

The rest of my life starts in seventy-four days.

I am excited.

I am aghast.

I am terrified.

Let’s begin.

TPhoto_00031

lazy saturday morning.

9 Mar

As I’ve already made clear time and time again, this school term hasn’t been a great one. It’s been an example of why I shouldn’t put things off to the last minute, and how horribly I crumble when I bite off more than I can chew. Two and a half jobs, seven classes, light crew, and an art show… Phew. It was a heavy work load, to be sure, which should explain my lack of entries on here as of late.

The term’s not over yet. We’re entering dead week in two days, and then to swiftly follow will be finals week. I’ve still got two portfolios to put together, three short stories to wrap up, and two more papers to write – not to mention three final exams to start prepping for. I’ve got a ways to go before I can breathe easy, and even after this term is over I still have one more term to go where I’ll have to throw myself into both Capstones to ensure completion, while also juggling four classes, preparations for my New Zealand excursions, and starting to make the transition into leaving Ashland, my home, behind. I don’t think I’ll truly be able to rest until I’ve crossed that stage and been handed my faux diploma.

And yet, this morning, I allowed myself some breathing room. I slept in until 9:30am, loitered about watching The Colbert Report and dicking around on Tumblr, and then I did something I haven’t done in ages. I got back in bed and spent two and a half hours reading. Nothing else. Just me and the book. It was glorious and comforting. I mean, there’s not much comfort in reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series (though I’m glad to say, unlike Monday when the book made me weep, today I found myself fist pumping the air), but the act of shirking the work I should be doing in order to escape to GRRM’s fantasy world… it was just nice, y’know? It’s nice to give yourself a break, which I don’t think I’ve done a good job of this term. Compared to the last two months, my work load today isn’t quite as grievous, so I allowed myself the chance to indulge. Everyone should indulge now and again, if only for the sake of their sanity.

98 days until graduation.

39 days of attending classes.

12 days until spring break.

6 days until finals begin.

I can do this.

no more.

17 Feb

I’m ready to take a four month naps.
Wake me when my senioritis is gone
and I’m being handed my diploma.

five.

10 Feb

let me out
let me out
let me out

i’ve never been the type of girl
who shoves her face against a pillow’s front in
order to scream
for five minutes straight
due to the sheer amount of agonizing anxiety
she’s got wound up inside of
her
but today i became that girl
crocodile tears and all

wishing to be surrounded by sheep
to zorb, to run, to fall from the sky
to try something new for once
to seize this coward’s life and take a stab at bravery
deep in your heart, in your fields, in your greenery
i’m tired of this bullshit philosophizing
when i should be busy
coming to terms with what it means to be human

the moment that my visa went through
i knew i’d be useless
to this endless education

let me out
let me out
let me out

let me in
let me in
let me in

~~~~~~~~*~

This is a follow up to the poem six. My plan is to write one poem each month leading up to me taking off to New Zealand, each title counting down the months left until my departure. This one purposefully lacks capitalization/punctuation in a sort of act of rebellion against college.

boozin’ it up.

7 Feb

This is a picture I took of myself last night; on a Wednesday night when I should’ve been studying for a test and I was by myself, no less. So, I guess this school year is slowly turning me into an alcoholic. A grumpy, ‘don’t-want-this-shit’, ‘why-the-fuck-is-it-not-graduation-time?’ alcoholic.

Fuck you too, school.

((Also, will someone please explain to me why the entry I did on Matlida: The Musical over the summer has suddenly drawn in almost 2000+ views for the last month? Why is it suddenly so fracking popular?))