Sonnet, revisited

Quite a few of my views also come when people search “c.b. trail” into a search engine.

It’s because of this post. And this poem (which I will type from memory):

This is for the afternoon we lay in the leaves,
after it had been winter for half a year.
And I kissed you and unbuttoned your jeans
and touched you and made you smile, my dear.
And of all the good things that love means,
one of them is to touch you there.
And to see you smile, among the leaves
and feel your wetness and your sweet short hair.
And kiss your breasts and put my tongue
into the delirium between your soft pale thighs.
Because the winter has been much too long
and soon will come again when this love dies.
I will hear sermons preached, and some of them be true,
but I will not regret that afternoon with you.

~c.b. trail

Do you feel a tad uncomfortable? Most people do. I really can’t blame you if you do.

But, I’ll tell you one thing. When, at age 15, I first read this poem, I didn’t feel uncomfortable. I thought it was beautiful then. I think it’s beautiful now. I have this poem taped in the back of my poetry book(s) to remind myself that it’s okay to let go and write about whatever the fuck I feel. It’s okay to write down random words that don’t make any sense. It’s okay to be a little more personal than normal and to write about things that might make people blanch.

And oh, blanch they did.

At the end of Composition and Critical Thinking, a required course my freshman year, the professor asked each of us to upload a favorite poem onto the class’s Moodle (online student-teacher forum-type thing) page.

I wasn’t going to post c.b. trail’s “Sonnet.”

Hell no.

I was going to play it safe and post something normal for a change. But, with the urging of a friend, I posted the poem.

In class the next day, each student had to pick the favorite poem of a peer, stand up and read it to the rest of the class. I chose to read “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley.

Nobody read mine. (Surprised? I wasn’t.)

“If anyone’s poem has not been read, feel free to stand up and read it yourself,” the professor said.

I wasn’t going to read mine. I was going to sit back and be normal for a change (for fear of not being accepted as is, I really censored myself during that first semester freshman year).

But, with the urging of another friend, I got up.

I walked to the front of the class, stood at the podium and




You could have heard a pin drop in that classroom after I finished. Mouths gaped. Everyone stared. (I felt instant judgment at this point.)

“Well, during break when your mom and dad ask what you’ve learned, you can say, ‘oh, we learned about oral sex,'”* the professor said, breaking the ice with laughter.

My peers treated me differently after that. Some respected me more. Some shot interesting looks my way. I know a lot of them talked about it afterward (hey, I’m flattered). Most of them just didn’t understand.

I think the poem is beautiful because of its brutal honesty. c.b. trail wasn’t afraid to write what he/she felt. I’ve learned a lesson from him/her. Hence why I have the poem memorized and taped in the back of my books. I need reminders that it’s okay to record even the most ridiculous or socially unacceptable thoughts and experiences.

If only they could see my poetry books. I can only imagine what they would think then.

*roughly paraphrased

Censoring thoughts

I have “Sonnet” by C.B. Trail taped on the back inside cover of my poetry notebook. This one by e.e. cummings may need to be added.

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which I will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh…And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you quite so new


Poems like this one remind me not to hold back. It’s okay to write exactly what I’m thinking, no matter what genre, movie rating or reaction the topic might receive. Things about other people can be censored, but my thoughts shouldn’t be. They should be raw, real, beautiful.

Raw, real and beautiful like this piece by e.e. cummings and my favorite poem by C.B. Trail.

(I want) total honesty and fearlessness

My Trendy Wendy notebook that I did my math homework this year and last year is no more. The spirals got all messed up and made it nearly impossible to turn the page of the notebook without ripping the page out. I retired Trendy Wendy and her brother Todd and dug through our school supplies basket for a new Algebra II/Trigonometry notebook to do my homework in. I unearthed a green College Ruled spiral notebook and packed it in my bag to take to school the next morning.

Yes, I did homework in it, but I noticed that the closely spaced lines made writing between them more inviting for me. Smaller print means more words can fit on the page – it’s a no-brainer. So, for the past couple weeks or so, I haven’t been paying attention in Trig (and I’m sure that my average has suffered a little if not immensely). Instead, I’ve been picking up my pen and getting lost in words I have written. Poetry’s always been my forte, but until a couple of weeks ago, I hadn’t been writing any new material. Now, thanks to this green notebook, I haven’t been using my laptop in school as much. Instead, I’ve been distracted by the beauty a clean, white page can provide. Just knowing I can fill that blankness with words makes me want to write all over on every page. So, that’s what I’ve been doing.

The green notebook isn’t for Trig anymore. No, I unearthed a new notebook for that subject (this time it’s red!) and have been using that instead. I’m letting this plain old green notebook help me stretch my writing abilities. I’m writing everything I can (it’s all poetry, mind you) even if it ends up sucking. At least I’m getting everything out of my head.

Lately I have been trying to write beyond my comfort zone. I’ve always kind of written G-rated poetry subconsciously. Now, my most recent works hold a new, deep and hidden meaning that it will take a reader several read-throughs to figure out what it’s truly about. Some of my recent poetry could be rated R or PG-13 at least. I used to be cautious about what I wrote. Now I find myself wanting to write about everything that I hold in my mind, no matter how vulgar or inappropriate my thoughts are (and let’s face it, every mind thinks vulgar and inappropriate thoughts sometimes). One of my most favorite poems is by this poet called C.B. Trail. He obviously didn’t care what the reader thought when he wrote “Sonnet”:

This is for the afternoon we lay in the leaves
After it had been winter for half a year,
And I kissed you and unbuttoned your jeans
And touched you and made you smile, my dear.
And of all the good things that love means,
One of them is to touch you there
And make you smile, among the leaves,
And feel your wetness and your sweet short hair,
And kiss your breasts and put my tongue
Into the delirium between your soft pale thighs,
Because the winter has been much too long
And soon will come again, when this love dies.
I will hear sermons preached, and some of them be true,
But I will not regret that afternoon with you.

I love his honesty and just the truth behind this sonnet. I have had some of my friends read this poem, and their first reaction is “ew! That’s disgusting!” but me? I think it’s beautiful. I think the way it was written is beautiful. I don’t necessarily think that the act displayed in the poem is beautiful (though, what in love isn’t beautiful?), but the way it was written is just phenomenal. Total honesty. Total fearlessness. I want to write like that. I don’t want to be reserved with my writing just because I’m afraid of being obscene or inappropriate. Marilyn Manson’s song “mOBSCENE” has a line that goes “Be! Obscene! Be be obscene!” I’m going to be totally honest with everything I write to get my point across, and if it means being obscene in the process, so be it. I’m willing to take the risk. This green notebook is helping me stretch that ability and is nursing it to reach its full potential. I write how I feel instead of how I pretend I feel. I make up stories in my head and then write them down in poetic form. I create magic with my poetry.

So, I’m trying to be open-minded with everything I write. Even if I think it’s horrible, I keep it. Even if I think a subject is a little iffy to write about, I do it anyway. I’m broadening my horizons. I’m making way for the new – so, out with my old ways and techniques!

Here are samples of my random thoughts in poems from school days (I’m keeping this G-rated here):

You Don’t Know Me

I appear miserable all the time
angry, sad, never happy
to you, this appears to be quite the crime.
Oh, how you don’t know me.
I’m filled with laughter and smiles
and I know, laughter you can’t see
but even though I run miles and miles
I don’t think you know me.
You think you know all my quirks
and what I like to be
the truth is, I’m not the queen of jerks
which shows that you don’t know me.
For as long as there is air to breathe
nobody – nobody – will ever know me.

I would tell you how the sun rose
but I’ve never seen its birth.
I know that the light slowly grows
and gradually heats the Earth.

All I know is when I wake
her silky rays reach my eyes
I know there is no mistake –
I’m in the right place when I rise.

I would tell you how the sun rose
but you’re asking the wrong girl.
This secret, nobody but her knows.
We’re both little girls in a big world.

She’s alone,
and discombobulated.
I’m alone,
and discombobulated.

Surrounded by millions, thousands, billions
she smiles for the camera constantly.
She’s mocked and her popularity’s docked
all around her, bodies are flocked.
She looks in the mirror, but cannot see.
The flashes blind her temporarily.

She faults in her footing, cameras still shooting
capturing a moment that lives on forever.
She’s harassed and so embarrassed…
never did she ask for this.
She looks for her shoe, but cannot see
the flashes blind her temporarily.

She never has that moment, the missing component
to calm herself down completely.
Not missing a beat, she’s again up and on her feet.
She struggles, but won’t admit defeat.
She walks on, but cannot see…
the flashes blind her permanently.