With today being the finale of National Poetry Month, I decided to put up another poem on this site. If you want to see a lot of the other poetry that I have been posting, you can check my Instagram (or you can just wait until my final round up post tomorrow). Most of the poems from this month have been super short, which is why they are found on Instagram rather than on here. I have a lot of feelings about how this month has gone, and I will write them out and post them on this blog some time during May. They deserve their own dedicated space.
We could walk along the shore, feel the sand squish between our toes as the waves lap at our ankles, gazing out at the mid blue waters and the light blue sky, and you know that I’d be wearing a dress.
We could traipse amongst the flowers, leaning down to sniff the sweet aroma of the roses and the lilies as we follow the grassy path through the garden, and you know that I’d be wearing a dress.
You could chase me through the corridors of a castle, dodging the cool, stony walls and laughing vibrantly the whole time. You could catch me in your strong arms and pull me into you, and you know that I’d be wearing a dress.
You could stand at the end of the aisle surrounded by loved ones as organ music swells and the doors swing open. I could take one step into the chapel, and tears could start to well up in your eyes, and you know that I’d be wearing a dress.
A crimson carnation has its stem
threaded through the button
hole of a black jacket.
We’re nearing the end of National Poetry Month, and I don’t know how I feel about that. To be fair, February and March were actually my crazy busy writing months because I wanted to have as much as possible prepared. Still, the act of finalizing pieces and posting them has been incredibly fulfilling, even if it has taken up a large portion of my not-so-abundant spare time in April so far.
perhaps it is the way that life itself seems to disappear
I am a summertime poet; I cannot wax lyrical about the bare branches or frosty earth.
Perhaps it is the fact that the blood, so warm as it rushes through my core turns oh so frigid by the time it reaches my fingertips.
Or perhaps it is the way that life itself seems to disappear– to go into a slumber. How all that is lush and thriving fails to experience the season of brown and white; it misses the blinding light reflected off the snowy ground– the only exception being the ever-luscious evergreen shades of pine and fir.
Or perhaps it is the way my hands crack from the inside dry air and then my voice cracks as I try to speak my thoughts and then my ribs crack from bearing the pressure of this seasonal sadness I hold inside me.
My summer self will one day return– the self that can write about the trees, the dirt, the self that holds fiery magic in her hands and feet, the self that exhales vibrant color onto the page, the self that heals her own limbs, lungs, and bones through gentle care and patience.
I hope you’ll still be here to see her in all her glory.
A few months ago, I was having a conversation with the wonderful Alisha J. Steele about this exact poem. This conversation took place during the winter season while I was first beginning to write this piece, and while we were discussing it, I made the prediction that it wouldn’t be finished and ready to post until spring. That prediction turned out to be absolutely accurate, which just further proves the accuracy of the poem itself. I find it so much harder to find beauty in the cold and dark days, but I know it’s there. I just need to keep looking.
When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother what would I be. She responded that I would be easy going, and so I tried to be easy going– the chill, cool girl– who laughs at her cares and lets them slough off her consciousness like water rolling off the back of a duck. But, Mother, I am not naturally easy going.
I sought inspiration for this carefree state. I read about fictional girls and their days plucking stark white daisies from the emerald ground, delicately combining the stems to make chains that are then further transforming them into crowns.
I have my own chains– chains that bind, chains that loose, chains that set me free, but mostly chains whose weight reminds me of what I will never be.
I gather my own pile of daisies, and place them in a circle around me– a floral moat that I lack a drawbridge to cross. I go through these flowers, holding them one by one, gazing at their pale, pure hue, smelling their delicate odor, and peeling their petals off, saying, “It matters.” “It matters not.” “It matters.” “It matters not.”
Every poet seems to write on skies of marmalade, about waters of azure and the texture of suede, but I so rarely see these things in my day-to-day.
My life consists of grit and grime of cheap laminate floors and of vinyl countertops.
Of cracked laptop screens And weather-worn shoes—
An aesthetic with lightbulbs burnt out and muddy puddles and unfolded laundry, pots of dirt that once held plants, cacti that just refuse to die, windowless rooms, bruises on skin that has not been licked by the sun in far too long.
There’s paint stains on the dining room table.
There’s patina on the silverware.
There’s faulty memories and mismatched meter and tongues that confuse themselves and meanings that should never be spoken aloud.
Accidental laughter at problematic jokes.
Heads brimming full of ideas that will never come to fruition, poetic lines completely unnecessary to the meaning, and chipped teeth repaired temporarily decades ago.
But there’s a beauty in banality, a hope in the mundane, an elegance in all the things that we hold in disdain, so excuse me if I speak of the ugly in a gilded frame.
The first full week of National Poetry Month is coming to a close, and, just like on Sunday of last week, I wanted to collect everything I posted from the past week in a single place. So here it all is! Enjoy!
I’ve always admired those artists,
those poets, those authors,
those painters and performers,
who suffer for their art.
I like to do this thing where I pretend that my surroundings are a metaphor for my experiences.
This led me to a time where I parked my car in my building’s lot and just sat in the driver’s seat for an hour watching the glimmering raindrops lash at the windshield and slowly glide down the glass as the tempestuous gales howled around me, thinking about all the times that I have been sad: the death of my childhood dog, the end of a relationship, my grandmother’s stroke that robbed her of her ability to communicate.
“If only someone could see me right now, if only someone knew what I am doing,” I thought, “then they would know that I am a TRUE ARTIST.”
I’ve always admired those artists, those poets, those authors, those painters and performers, who suffer for their art, who make their art their suffering, who live and breathe and die for their art.
I want to be like them.
But coming out of that moment, knowing that I had wasted an hour just to pat myself on the back about its metaphorical resonance, I realized that I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons.
I am vain. A TRUE ARTIST is their art. They don’t have to pretend to be this thing they are not.
I want to force myself into the box of an artist, and that’s not glamorous or avant-garde; it’s pretentious. I’m pretentious.
Happy first day of National Poetry Month, everyone! To celebrate, I am going to be posting a poem here on my blog every Monday, and I will have a short poem up on my Instagram every day except Mondays. Most of these posts have already been scheduled, so I am hopeful that even as life gets crazy hectic again soon, I will be able to follow through on this promise.
On a different note, I have a different domain now! One without the .wordpress! I am super excited for the future of this blog and my other poetry endeavors, which I will reiterate in my 100th post on this blog, which will also be coming up this month. April will be a whirlwind, but I’m so happy you are here to share it with me.
Peace out! -Joy
If you liked this poem, here are some other similar poems: