365 days since Aug. 4, 2013

Grandma was the one constant in my life. I changed, but she never did. She sat in her chair, in her house, read the paper, made simple dinners, called me, asked me to take her out shopping.

That woman loved to shop.

Even when her cane slowed her down and I became aggravated. I tried not to let it show, but I think she could tell half the time.

But she stopped sitting in her chair in her house, stopped reading the paper, stopped making simple dinners, stopped calling me and asking me to take her out shopping. She stopped. Her heart stopped. She died of kidney failure a year ago today.

It’s hard being my age and hearing my peers talk about their grandparents. I feel like I’m too young to not have grandparents.

But, as my boyfriend says, c’est la vie. Such is life. But I miss her terribly.

So this one’s for you, Grandma.

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

read

my

poem.

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

Rearranged

I’m on a roller coaster.

Image
[The ex and me the day of our Hersheypark trip sophomore year.]
I rode my first one in Hersheypark almost four years ago with my then-boyfriend. We then rode the second-steepest roller coaster in the nation. Fahrenheit, with its 97-degree drop, transformed my breathing into a scream.

He and I went on to Darien Lake together that summer (2009) and rode all of the coasters in a matter of hours.

They’re thrilling. The chug-a-chug of the climb, the intensity of the sudden plummet. The world dissolves beneath the tracks and you feel like you could fly right off into the clouds.

I’d give anything to fly off into the clouds right now.

I remember a poem I wrote several years ago that goes like this:

“Everything’s the same, but I have changedI’m different now, rearranged.”

I feel rearranged. I’m still me, just different.

On my drive back to school over a week ago, Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again” popped up as the first song. It’s odd how well it fits.

I’m beginning again this semester, in more ways than one. I’m still me, just rearranged. Revitalized. Reawakened. Reusing bits of me from the past and repurposing them. Replenishing.

Releasing.

I love roller coasters, but this one needs to get back to its station soon so I can get off.

Your promise was such a waste

You said that you would never do it,
you said you could resist.
Now I see you lift that can
and press it to your lips.

You have ranted on and on about its dangers,
but there you stand
talking to everyone else,
holding it in your hand.

Occasionally taking a sip or two,
then glancing around to see who saw.
Hoping someone caught you being bad,
hoping someone saw you break the law.

You pour the rest into six cups
and begin to play the game.
By the end, everything reeks of beer,
and you are the one to blame.

Your shirt is soaked
and your hands are sticky.
No longer are you not branded
by the beer drinker hickey.

The stale scent is on your breath,
accompanied by its horrible taste.
You fall over as you faint;
your promise was such a waste.

~EMS

5/4/08

1:42 AM

This never happened. I let my imagination run away with me for this one. For this poem, it’s my conscience talking about me. I’m the one who is drinking, even though that has never occurred and I have always promised myself that I wouldn’t let that substance enter my body. But, like most promises, eventually this one will break, so I wrote this poem to myself as a reminder. I don’t exactly approve of underage drinking, or even drinking in general for that matter. People tell me that I can’t judge it until I’ve tried it, but to be perfectly honest, I have no desire to even take a sip. This poison that people gulp down makes them act so stupid, and I am beyond that. They can have fun killing their livers; I’ll be with my real friends that don’t need alcohol to have fun.

Procrastinate no more

All of my classmates are complaining about the Anthology that we got assigned. This massive project is homework for three months(?) and due in May for every sophomore class that passes through my high school. My oldest brother did it, my middle older brother did it, and my youngest older brother did it. It includes reading, analyzing, interpreting, and relating to pieces of literature that you as a reader and individual appreciate. For me? Easy as cake. For my classmates? It’s just another assignment that they can whine and stress over. I’m enjoying every minute of it.

The day it was assigned I went home, dug out my poetry books, and then proceeded to read every single poem in my Emily Dickinson book, my Romantic Poets book, and my Robert Frost book (again). I bought an Edgar Allan Poe (Major Tales and Poetry) novel, and got started on that as well. I made a checklist, and have been in deep thought about every work I want to add in ever since.

I have a good ten or eleven works done already (I have a system where I type in school, copy and paste it into a wordpress draft, and then copy and paste from the draft into a document on my computer – VOILA!) , and they are already compiled into sleeves in the order that I currently want them in and are settled into my draft binder. Just last night I stayed up until three in the AM working on a work that I suddenly had a brilliant idea on. It’s three pages long (and the minimum requirement per work is two paragraphs – hehe) and I am extremely proud of it.

My Anthology is going to be awesome. I can already feel it. I have my title, I know what’s going to go on my title page, I have my chapters named, and now all I have to do is fill in the gaps with  more works. I’m organized, I’ve been looking forward to this for six years, and I believe that I am better off than anyone in my class. Bring it on, Anthology.

Follow the yellow brick road?

My heart lurched. A lump formed in my throat. Tears sprang to my eyes. To want something this bad hurts… especially when one knows it is not within his/her grasp. Especially mine. Watching people perform on the stage is really emotional for me. When their emotions show during the song they’re performing, it affects me. Deeply. I’m torn in-between reality and fantasyland. Which should I choose? The practical way? The logical way? The way where I have a sure chance at succeeding? Or…should I shoot and eventually miss? Should I be risky? Should I jump without knowing where I might fall?

I’ve had pipes since, well, I don’t even remember when. Chorus teachers I have had over the years have always acknowledged my talent, and their acknowledgement eventually paved the road to my distant dreamland hidden in a thick fog. All I wanted to be when I was younger was a singer. A real professional vocalist with millions of adoring fans. Then I began to love Evanescence and thought: wow, it would be awesome to be the female lead to a hard rock band. Thus, a bigger dream was born.

Maybe you’ve noticed that I have a deep obsession with female fronted bands – and well, now you know why. I aspire to be like them; I want to be in their position so badly. It aches to see them perform and think about just how lucky they really are. They are exactly what I want to be. All I want is to perform with my band on a stage in a grand theater to a crowd of a million. To spill out my emotions through song and slump off the stage exhausted when I am done. I want to sing and run around with the mic. I want to lean on the mic stand and have sweat pouring off of me from so much exertion. I want to stop singing and listen to the crowd sing the next verse – a verse most likely derived from a line of a poem I wrote when I was twelve. I want to share my love of singing with the world and I want to belt it until I can’t belt it “no more.”

At my fork in the road, to the right lies the road that leads to my dreamland. The road paved with yellow bricks and patches of lilies of the valley growing on the side giving off my favorite aroma. To the left is an equally pleasant-looking road, only it is paved with brick that gives off the more practical red-ish color. This road is the one I’m to follow should I want to be successful on the first try. The writing road. I’ve been told I was born to write, but I’ve also been told that I have a very powerful voice. Now, should I choose the yellow brick road that leads to my dream career of being the female in a female fronted band? Or, should I venture down the more structurally sound road that leads to definite success? Do I want to be an exact clone of my mother and eldest brother, or do I want to be the first to set foot on my own yellow brick road?