One day, daffodil. One day!
The Visiting by Franz Wright

I suffer from insomnia, from loneliness I sleep;

in the midst of the talk and the laughter
all at once you are there—

Hour of waking up and writhing 
with humiliation, or
of wishes answered before

one was aware of what they were.
And let me ask you this: the dead,
where aren’t they?

Hour when the ones who can’t rest
go to bed, and the ones 
who can’t wake go to work—

Dark blue morning glory
I reach to touch, there is another world
and it is this world.

Then the light streamed in yellow
and blue through long windows, and blood
turned to wine in my veins.

Tears of wine
rode down my cheek.
It’s happening, I thought,

though it had never happened 
before. I squeezed 
my eyes closed, gazing into

a darkness all of light. The more
you tried to hold it back, the more
sweetly and irresistibly it arrived.

Blade by Franz Wright
If I stare into it long enough, the point comes when I don’t know what it’s called, a condition in which lacerations are liable to occur, like a slip of the tongue; when a drop of blood might billow in a glass of water, blooming in velvet detonation and imparting to it the colorless, tasteless and originless fear in which I wake.

Lots of weird art while cleaning out my desk.

Poetry Thrift Shop: Day 1 of the Purge

I am blasting some sassy music right now — CSS, Le Tigre, the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and there is trash all over my floor. Well, it all looks like trash, but only some of it really is.

Here are some scrounged up lines in random order:

he wants love says no one wants it from me, poison

drinking his way down the streets

this way, trees glare at him

the branches tear in every color,

all colors compliment his skin

you know, the whole rainbow

sometimes, his belly aches for madness

where is the wine?

the man with the belly takes flight

he looks good in collective patterns of thought

it is not my problem, these wildflowers

especially when the trees punch his insides

he can feel it in his gut

the saying goes, his days waning

spits up white thickness

a night in summertime 

Somerville: Thank you & Farewell

In November 2006, I was in need of some healing. My dad died after being in the ICU for four months – he fell asleep while driving and survived. He wore his seatbelt, which saved him, but ultimately killed him as well. The seatbelt punctured one of his lungs, and there were many infections that followed. This was all happening in Arizona, where I’m from. I wasn’t there – I was in my last semester at Emerson College, living in the North End.

This was when I was living in a tiny apartment with a verbally abusive boyfriend. At the time, I didn’t know he was verbally abusive – I just thought I was stupid. After a trip to Arizona for my dad’s funeral, I graduated in December, received a poetry award, and kept writing. I knew I was no longer in love with the mean boyfriend, but I craved stability. I got a job in January at a children’s book publishing company in Porter Square. I focused on everything else but my grief, and I also became addicted to my sadness.

One summer night, after a Harry Potter movie premiere, I told my asshole boyfriend that I wasn’t going to live with him after our lease ended. We broke up and continued living together for one month. Yes: more sadness addiction! Luckily, I started hanging out with some friends that lived (or basically lived) in the North End – Shereen, Anna, and Andrew. Shereen was moving to New York, and Anna and Andrew needed an apartment – I became their third roommate, and we all moved to Somerville together.

Somerville became this magical land for us. We moved to a second floor apartment in a big blue house on Morrison Avenue. We lit a bundle of sage and cleansed the apartment. We stayed up all night when we first moved in, learning more about each other, smoking the sheesha, drinking wine. Anna and I went on several walks to discover our new neighborhood. We took photos of the tiered cake houses, lush bike path, bathtub Mary’s.

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There was a muffin factory (well, that’s what we called it) on our street. We smelled it out and met a bunch of men from Guatemala, and they gave us muffins. We ran off, laughing. The muffins were delicious and warm.

On another day, we found an abandoned paper mill (now Maxwell’s Green) and snuck inside. We took photos of the tall green walls made of windows, graffiti, dusty stairs, rusty pipes.

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We felt sneaky and free.  Afterwards, we ate grapes and peaches from someone’s yard.

On weekends, we’d go to Soundbites and order the fruit plate, which was even more awesome than the one at the Otherside Café.

Every Wednesday, we’d go to the Farmer’s Market in Davis Square. Our vegetable pile was always bountiful. Anna, Andrew, and I cooked together and for each other almost every night. We shared closets and music, everything.

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I had never felt this grounded and so in love in my life. These were friends, and this is what it felt like to be whole and alive.

Not only did I discover friendship in Somerville, but I met my future husband Jake by crashing a party across the street from our big blue house. Our first date started at Sabur and continued throughout the night on the streets of Somerville – I showed him everything Anna and I found. When we reached the grapevines near the paper mill, we shared our first kiss under the leaves.

In February 2009, Jake and I moved in together. We’ve lived (and still live – for now) on Hancock Street (which we’ve deemed the “gateway to Somerville” because of so much foot traffic from Porter Square).

Then – out of nowhere — I was laid off. The sadness came back. Everything felt unstable again. I applied to almost 300 jobs, and got nowhere. My solution was pie. I applied to work at Petsi Pies on Beacon Street. Renee (the owner) hired me and saved me from a downward spiral.

I worked as a barista and prep-cook at Petsi’s (ended up at the Cambridge location) for almost two years. My favorite scone is definitely the blackberry ginger. Also, they have the best iced coffee, ever! During this period of my life, I volunteered at the Mystic Learning Center as an editor/mentor for Books of Hope, a poetry and publishing program for Somerville teens. Volunteering there inspired me to apply for an AmeriCorps position at 826 Boston, a youth writing center. I ended up serving in AmeriCorps for two years at 826, which sparked my interest in youth work, nonprofit work, and community service.

Now, here I am, a Somerville resident for six years (all of my mid-twenties + more)– and all of a sudden we are moving out in two weeks. Jake and I decided to buy a condo in Roslindale because the housing prices in ‘Ville were out of our league. I am comforted by the fact that Rozzie is a place with yummy food and has a sweet farmer’s market. Plus, we’ll be right next to the Arboretum.

However – because of the intensity of this change – it added to my reasoning for quitting my job. I am now starting completely fresh. I’ve felt safe and comfy for so long, and I am finally ready for the excitement of transition.

Even though I’m sad about leaving, I’m also proud of myself. Somerville has cradled me and rocked me into a welcome home lullaby for long enough. It is because of the winding streets, lively arts community, colorful festivals, foodie excursions, and grounding force of this place that has kept me healthy and happy — and now, I feel safe enough to leave.

Thank you, Somerville. It is because of you that I can heal and move on. Villen for life!

 

Bright blue cold

Bright blue cold

Spontaneous Super Bowl poem

I have nothing for you,
Not sure why I’m here.

Rose and buddies.

Rose and buddies.

Green hearts.

Green hearts.

Falling up or down?

Falling up or down?