The Icy Sea (a slam poem)


09.02.14 untitled journal entry

(AN: I do this thing where I feel a whole bunch of things all at once and I mindlessly write journal entries in the middle of the night and I perceive them as pieces of shit but I guess I should stop putting myself down as a writer so much and think sometimes, sometimes I write good and hard about how I feel.)

The Unknown:
I am a coward because I was going to write a letter to him right here right now but I can’t do that. I can’t bring myself to even write his name on this page. He’s been gone eight months and I’m so proud of myself for making it here alone.
He told me that this very fall he was going to do it, he was going to go to flight school to learn how to fly helicopters. I hope he made it, I hope he settled into a nice cosy dorm with white walls and a cool roommate and I hope he gets to listen to a lot of Alt-j.
I always wonder if he ever thinks of me and wonders how I’m doing. I’d want him to know that I’m finally burning bridges and leaving the cafe behind. I’d want him to know that I feel more alive at concerts, feeling the music rattling my unfeeling bones than anywhere near anyone else. But most of all, I’d want him to know that I’m a stronger of a person now than I ever was before, because of him. I am a star that has been self destructing for millennia and I’m about to evolve, become new.
I hope he learns to fly, and I hope I learn to light up an entire galaxy with all my exploding scars.

I feel like I don’t update this blog a lot about my personal stuff so here I go.

I had a bad run in this week. A really bad run in that made me realize maybe I’m not doing so good mentally. I mean, I already knew I had social anxiety which I’ve slowly learned to cope with. But something feels really off in me and last Tuesday made me realize that.
I ended up getting hospitalized for an OD of sleeping pills downed with vodka. And even then, I couldn’t tell nurses with the smug looks on their faces, why I did it. I just did it. And I’ve gone through four processes now of doctors and therapists looking me straight in the eye and asking me “did you just want to go to sleep? Or did you not want to be on this planet anymore?” And in the process of trying to answer their demanding questions, I thought, “maybe there’s something more wrong with me than just social anxiety. Maybe I’m afraid to live maybe I’m afraid to face all my problems. I don’t know.”
It’s been a strange few days. I feel like a ghost. I feel like I’m not me. I feel colder and less motivated and less emotional.
But maybe that lousy night of OD’ing on pills pushed me in the right direction. Maybe death saw me that night, writhing and gasping for air all night after taking 8 fucking blue pills, and death told me it wasn’t time yet. Because there was still some shit I need to do.
so now I’m here. I’m getting the help I need. I went on and off to therapy the past year and a half and every time I stopped going it was because I thought I was getting better but I’m slowly discovering that I’m not and I won’t be okay for a very long time and I need this now more than ever. So I’m going into therapy regularly now. For real. Not once a month anymore, but mandatory once a week appointments. Because I wanna get better, dammit, I wanna get better.
For any of my followers out there struggling with something like this, please please don’t be me in waiting for a bad drunken suicidal night to realize you have a problem. If you have a problem, sing it to the high heavens, and get all the help you need. You’re not gonna be alone.

"Stone" 08.05.14

It’s been four months since I wrote something substantial. I took a long break but I think I’m slowly coming back to my days of free verse. This poem goes out to a friend of 6 years that I had to break up with due to growing apart. (I haven’t decided if this is good enough to be a slam poem)

I think I knew it was over
By the way you drew out the words
And it seems my whole life I was taught
To not be alone
To always be surrounded
But we both know I can’t be that
I cannot listen anymore
To the way I should be
The way I should only stick around
Because it’s proper
Because it’s the right thing.

I think I knew it was over
When my soul howled freely without you
And I could see myself
Standing alone and strong and
Without your overbearing eyes
And I knew
That I was a thousand winds over treetops
And I was the rushing tide
And I was a raging monsoon
That trembled at its own destruction.
And I was more alive away,
In the sky,
In between the hairs of grass,
Than I ever was by your side.

And I think I knew it was over
When a song blared,
A song of change
A song we once sang in harmony:
“A year from now
We’ll all be gone”
And I stood
And screamed every word
And you sat

"Coffee Bag Poetics" (02.14)
I just found this in my work bag and I forgot to post it. About two months ago, a distant classmate of mine committed suicide and I went through a series of emotions ranging from sorrow to anger and I spent a lot of I time in coffee shops reflecting about death and how suddenly people could just go. So on one of my numerous cafe visits, I wrote a one-shot raw piece on a coffee bag while I was listening to “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens (really reflective song, go listen to it if you haven’t heard it before) on repeat. This was the result.

"Coffee Bag Poetics" (02.14)
I just found this in my work bag and I forgot to post it. About two months ago, a distant classmate of mine committed suicide and I went through a series of emotions ranging from sorrow to anger and I spent a lot of I time in coffee shops reflecting about death and how suddenly people could just go. So on one of my numerous cafe visits, I wrote a one-shot raw piece on a coffee bag while I was listening to “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens (really reflective song, go listen to it if you haven’t heard it before) on repeat. This was the result.

Untitled 04.27.14

I have missed you,
In the boundless spaces
Between my matter and reality.

I have missed you,
In the ceaseless white noise
Of rain against pavement
Diving vertically,
Towards the centre of all.

I have missed you,
In the stars,
When the ghosts of white fires
Burned against milky midnight blue.

And I have missed you,
Quite terribly,
In the spaces between words
And silence.
Between the spines of books,
Between tea cups and mason jars,
And lone red dresses across
muffled, darkened dance floors.

But most of all I have missed you,
When the roaring monsoons seemed endless,
But gradually descended softly into drizzle
Against the whitened, heavy horizon.

The Affair of the Paper Airplane Therapy 02.24.14

I conducted an interesting experiment on myself tonight. So I had a pile of looseleaf paper on my lap and an incredibly overwhelming amount of emotions slamming into me all at once. I remembered how I used to make paper airplanes to relax me whenever my mind was racing or I was nervous. So I wrote a short quote on one of the looseleaf, folded it into an airplane, and shot it across my room as far as I could. I did this with the rest of my pile of looseleaf, the messages growing increasingly longer and more personal.  At the end of my pile, I found myself feeling so much better. I don’t exactly remember the order I wrote them. But these were what I found written on each plane in the closest order I got.

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Untitled 02.23.14

I’ve been having trouble writing anything lately, mostly because it ends up being angst-ridden and cliche post-breakup lines, and I never like my writing to be strictly about one subject.
Last night I had an anxiety attack and I was doing a lot of drawing at the same time and the following line was the only legible line on the page. Everything else was random rambling. It’s a strange experience to write during an attack.

She had a tea cup chin. It curled across her jaw.

01.08/09.14 untitled

PN: I still don’t think this is a finished poem. I scrawled it out on the bus yesterday and “completed” it today.

You and I have different definitions of strength.
Today I rolled out of bed
To the motion of my stomach
Rolling in the tides of sadness.
I clenched my fists
And let my jaw
Go stone raw.
And all I could think about was your hands
And all I could think about
Was the traces you left all over my skin,
Like a deer subtly leaving tracks
in the snowy wood.
I can’t help the oceans and galaxies
Occasionally leaking out of me,
Star by star,
Salt by salt.
I hope they scream into the night
I hope you hear them
I hope they find you and beg you
To come home,
Even if they are also far, far away
From what I once was.

You and I have different definitions of
Heracles fought the Hydra,
A person can chop cement in half
With bare hands.
I can get out of bed,
Clench my jaw in time with my fists,
And sway with the howling wind,
As everything I thought i was becoming
Detaches from the stem
And swirls in the air,
Far into the darkened expanse
Of troubled skies.

01.05.14 The Icy Sea

PN: I’ve been having a really difficult time lately, so I wrote this poem for myself. It’s definitely not the best poem I’ve written, but I don’t really care because it’s important to me, and it’s therapeutic to me.

A checkered table,
A dusty cafe,
Two chipped mugs of
Earl Grey.
That was the first time I ever saw you.
I was silent as morning mist,
Entranced by your disquiet eyes,
The mountain tops of your knuckles,
The way the teacup hung
Loosely in your grip.
I was silent and I could not breathe,
I was quiet in my curiosity.
But you loved my silence,
You loved it.
The silence was a euphoric sign
That we were blanketed in the comfort of company.

There was a time when we sparked,
Two stones clashed
And we set each other ablaze.
We carried each other into the unknown,
Foolishly fearless, but incredibly in love.
We were as invincible as the most powerful gale.

Often I found myself overwhelmed by the people I once was.
I trembled under the towering gaze
Of the stormy seas of failure,
The violent tides
That washed white noise into my ears.
I was afraid;
I felt springs leak through the gaps in my ribs
I thought for sure my ugliness would draw you away.
But you lingered like the single driftwood,
Holding me afloat.
You told me I could swim
And you would be right there if I found
I could not.
You embraced the shadows within me,
And you were brave enough to stand firm
As the wild animal viciously roared,
And the wind screamed through my hair.

You were the first person
I ever, truly believed in.
The first person
Who understood that I couldn’t always be
This animated, perfect person.
And I couldn’t always be normal
And I couldn’t always leave the darkened forest
Of my despair,
No matter how many times I set it ablaze.
You were the first person to accept
That I was what I was,
And that I was a self destructive mess but I was also
A hurricane of beauty.

But distance rumbled in the turn of your gaze,
And I knew I was mistaken.

In a trembling attack,
Your eyes grew cold.
You told me I was toxic to you,
That every time my bones shook
With terror,
I was a danger to myself and to you.
I was a poison,
And the poison leaked from me
In large clouds of black smoke
That gripped our necks firmly.
You were no longer the driftwood but a large,
Sinking anchor
And I began to drown
In the increasingly icy sea.

We were sinking,
I had nothing to cling to.
We were two rusty anchors,
Held to each other by a
Weak, thinning rope.
We were drowning in the blackening sea
With nothing but your icy skin
To freeze us in place.

A blinding, snowy road,
Gloved hands,
Two figures trudging through the roiling dust
And unbearable cold.
That was the last time I ever saw you.
Silence enveloped us most of the way,
And I believed for so long
That you loved this silence.
But there was an echo,
And a gear turned and creaked
Somewhere beneath my skin.
You were no longer in love
With the way I silently studied
Your mountaintop knuckles,
With the way quiet would consume me
As I drew maps on your skin
Or found rest on your shoulder.
You were no longer in love with me,
Of the heavy, heavy anchors within me,
Of holding my trembling bones and telling me over and over
“I believe in you I believe in you.”
The rope that held us together snapped,
And I continued to sink
Into the darkened, black, sea.
And you were no longer an anchor,
But a soaring, beautiful creature
That swooped itself out of the stilled ocean,
Into the endless sky,
Never to be seen again.
And as I felt the rocky crevices of the sea floor
Touch my wounded back,
Traces of Earl Grey
Swirled on the tip of my tongue.

11.15.13 Nostalgia

AN: A piece I wrote for a 5-minute writing exercise in my writing class last night.

Nostalgia is the smoke that curled from teacups, and faded in its ascent of the atmosphere. It is a place: the dusty cafe filled with scratchy tunes, the reflections in sidewalks after heavy rainfall, the way some trees let go and the way others stayed the same. Nostalgia is the cookie crumb pile of dirt near the basement windowsill, remaining from the July night you climbed out your window to see the stars. This is nostalgia in the simplest, cruelest forms: earl grey tea over milk and vanilla, darkened, speckled skies, rain on sun soaked asphalt, the flames of leaves sweeping along serene dirt roads. Nostalgia is not in the people but in the traces and ghosts they left behind.

10.22.13 The Altitude of The Coffee

PN:  when you’re a barista in a coffee shop, you meet some pretty interesting people.

The other day, a man came in,
Told me he loved the raw taste of beans.
He told me that
coffee beans that grew
In the highest altitudes of green, green hills
Were the sweetest of all.
And those that grew
In the shade of the valley,
Were the bitter ones.

10.07.13 “Apocalypto”

The world was going to end,

As my brazen eyes met yours.

We danced over the shaken earth

as two careless souls.

I thought the gentle brush of your crimson fingertips

Would keep the storms beneath my skin at bay.

And I knew in the way

you saw me,

that it was far from the way I saw you.

And I was to know you as


And I was to be known to you as


Because I was just a puny,

breathing nuisance

For which to crush with your

mighty stone.

The leaves fell around my feet,

like the forgotten corpses

of a thousand sun rays,

and your deathly existence

was already long gone.

but I remembered you, Apocalypto,

in the ashes you carelessly left behind.

I saw the places I couldn’t breathe

Even when your strangling gaze

was nowhere near me.

I saw places I wished to go with you,

When I was in love with your destructive beauty,

and I romanticized

the corrupted air

that you breathed into my lungs.

I was a slave to your fog

and you knew it,

and still you persisted.

I could have died, still innocent, still smooth in face

and smooth in soul,

Long before my brazen eyes met yours.

But you gently tugged away my dignity,

the lion-hearted girl

turned weak.

And I was no longer a roaring forest fire,

but a flickering candle,

running on her last, waxy breath.

And you fell in love with the Sun,

She as destructive as you,

Apocalypto and the Sun

Rang more gloriously

compared to

Apocalypto and Nothing.

And you knew it,

and there was nothing I could do,

but swim through grey fog,

in the dreams of forgotten Nothings.

nanowrimo tip #26:


encourage yourself to write by only taking as many breaths per day as your daily word count

09.25.13 “A Good Day” inspired by Kait Rokowski

PN: So I saw this slam poem on depression and I was so moved and it inspired me to write my own version about social anxiety. So here’s my version. I might turn it into a slam poem myself someday.

Today was a good day.

I smiled at a stranger,

answered the phone

said ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ in all the right places.

A good day.

My eyes wandered in all the right places,

the butterfly wings that brushed along the walls of my stomach 

were minimal.

My friends are proud of me.

Not in the bragging sense

where they can go to parties and counter

"my friend is the top of her speech and debate club"


"oh yeah? Well my friend said hello to a stranger."

There were times

where I could not leave the confines of my room,

when every word that sailed my way 

was a dagger that dug deep into my skin,

times where I was a sinking ship, with a single, desperate sailor,

yelling for everyone to go away as I save myself.

These were the bad days,

When I pushed everyone away and I could hardly bring myself

to answer the phone,

smile at strangers,

meet new people.

Every voice of “get over it,”

"she’s snobby because she can’t hold a conversation with me"

"You’re overreacting"

was a constant tick

in the ceaselessly buzzing mechanisms of my mind

and the flames roared over the plains

in a white noise storm of worthlessness,

and these were the bad days.

My friends are still proud of me.

But I get up,

I go out,

I smile at strangers.

My hellos and good-byes fit perfectly.

And I answer the phone

and I tell my mother

"it’s been a good day."