Poems (and life updates post-freshman year for those interested!)

Submitted by E on Wed, 06/01/2016 - 04:21

1. Mundane

the bleachy grit of
scruffs away at the
blood-red chili stain in my
father’s kitchen sink;

the washcloth is oozing and
I can’t breathe through
my nose—I think I’m
allergic to bleach—my skin
is turning splotchy red and
tingles every time I move

and no matter how hard I scrub
this stupid stain isn’t coming out.

2. Changes

all of the red brick neighborhoods
I once loved
now seem empty

how I pass by your house
and your car is becoming stagnant
from lack of use
pollen staining the blue paint a
sick spotted yellow
I wonder if your tires are
beginning to lose pressure
or if maybe your mom
has been driving it in
your absence

driving down the road
I look for familiar faces
in car windshields
I haven’t found one yet
and new buildings have sprouted
all over my town

I had forgotten
how much you look
like your mother
until her face stretched into
your wide smile
and the inside of your house
is cleaner than it was when you
were here
I almost miss
dodging the shrapnel

3. Party girl

There was a time when I
got the butterflies and warm fuzzy
feelings, but those have dissolved
in coolers of fruit punch (with a kick)
and been buried under
mountains of red solo cups—
the higher the mountains get
the less I seem to care
about my own loosening morals.

I really shouldn’t go out tonight—
I’ll just stay in and watch another
Nicholas Sparks movie that will
make me feel even lonelier.

Author's age when written

I recently completed my freshman year of college and it was amazing! I am in love with my school and all the opportunities I have gotten there. I was honored to receive the 2016 Outstanding Freshman of the Year award. Throughout the spring semester, I worked not only as a campus photographer but was also offered a position as a committee chair in our student government. I also have been hired as a Resident Assistant for the upcoming school year, and I was also hired to be a tour guide (which, as ridiculous as it may sound, is my college dream. I was born to be a tour guide.). Last semester, I was also invited to read some of my original poetry for the Board of Trustees dinner (I can't remember if I told y'all that). I also was so relieved to have made the Dean's List for the Spring semester! Whew. It was a CRAZY busy year, but well worth it. For the summer, I got a cool part time internship teaching creative writing in a summer camp with professional writers and I will also be roadtripping to Cali to see one of my good friends. I hope everyone has had a wonderful year and has a great summer. Also, special congrats to Damaris and Arthur! I skim everyone's posts even though I don't always have time to comment and I'm always glad to see updates on here. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these poems. I would love thoughts/critiques, etc.!


You've gotten soooooo good at this. I can't even tell you. This is your art, and you're shaping and developing it until it's perfectly you. There's a rhythm to these poems, an ease and bite that I really enjoy. Mundane is probably one of my favorites, largely due to your phrasing--the words heighten the task you're describing. bleachy grit and Comet! punctuated with the exclamation mark was an excellent touch.

I fell right into the journey you take us on in Changes. It's vividly present; I'm there as you drive down the roads noting differences, thinking about your friend. It's bittersweet and a little sullen and also a little bit discordant, like maybe you've grown out of home.

Thank you for sharing these parts of your life with us. They're beautifully written. It sounds like you had a fabulous year--congratulations on all of your accomplishments! This has me excited to move into my new college come August. I think our schools are probably pretty similar! We should compare notes sometime!

Excellent, Erin! (Ooh, double E's!) I wanted to add that I can see you writing some kind of novel in verse...your style seems suited perfectly for that!

Mundane is my favorite, too. :)
I'm glad life is going well for you! It was nice to see a post from you up this morning.
And thank you. :)

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

Wow, hon. I regret not reading your poetry more. I'll have to go over it. Your writing has matured so much, and honestly, you seem different too. A little more thoughtful. This is fantastic, beautiful, a little heartbreaking even - and I love it.

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Thank you, friends!

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I've been wanting to comment for a week now and haven't found the time so now I'm making the time (yes it's 1:30 AM... But you know what, I'm gonna comment! lol!)!
Alright, aside from the B.E.A.U.tiful poetry you've crafted so amazingly I am most impressed with the Author's note!!! OMG!!! Great job, freshman year and you've already accomplished so much, you sound so popular and cool and smart, haha! Can you even believe how the time is flying! Wow, Erin, really girl you are inspiring! Congrats!
These works of art just show case how incredible you are! I really really really adore Changes, it was so personal and raw but somehow relatable; the talent that you have for that is incredible!
Can't wait to read more of your work super-woman! Lol! Thanks for posting these, how raw and beautiful! Sorry for my gushing (hideous grammar and over use of exclamation points) comment, I'm gonna use 1am as an excuse on this one ;P lol!
Great job! Keep posting these pieces of art, and happy summer break! Can't wait to see all you accomplish next semester :D

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
Write On!

Hi Erin!
I read your notes when you had posted, but not the poetry and wanted to comment until I read the writing.
But first, I am so happy for you for your success in your first year in college! And being a tour guide, read your poetry for a dinner, campus photographer, etc..ahhhhh! :) You sound like a hard worker. I know you will continue to do great things next year!
As for the poetry, I like Changes as a whole. Especially the one about the unused car, and how the person looks like his mother. In all of these, your feelings and heart really comes through! That's special, because I feel the honesty.

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

How did I miss these poems?! I've said it before, but I just love reading your poetry, and would absolutely eat up a book collection. I could comment on them all, but this one in particular:

"how I pass by your house
and your car is becoming stagnant
from lack of use
pollen staining the blue paint a
sick spotted yellow
I wonder if your tires are
beginning to lose pressure
or if maybe your mom
has been driving it in
your absence"

-- this completely hit me. So visceral and visual. I don't know, just the splotches of pollen stain. That image is not emotional in itself, but somehow you create an emotional feel with the entire poem, that made me feel so sad, so longing. Like you captured my own feelings so perfectly, in those few detailed images. Or more like -- I feel like one part of the magic in your poetry is that you *leave room* for the reader. You let us inhabit your poems, bring our own experiences and pasts and emotions to them. You give us incredibly realistic images and your own breath of life, but you let us exist in that space, too. I don't know if that makes any sense. But I think it's a huge part of the impact and power of your poetry.

Edit: Also, this set of poems go really well with each other. I was reminded so much of my own first year in college and my return-home. The new sprawl of buildings, the extra clean house. Love, love, love these.

It made me so happy to see your comment! You're always so encouraging. I especially appreciate that you said you felt that you could inhabit the poem--that's something I'm always striving for in my writing. I also am glad that these seemed to go together! Thank you so much for your comment!

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Erinnn.... *drags self in* I did it again. I stole a line from you. Or sort of: I mentioned pollen stains on a car. Gah, I didn't even notice I did it until I pressed "post", and then I deleted it and ran here to apologize. But I can't think of anything better to put in its place. I'm sorry!!!